YVO’S SHORTIES #66 – The Great Alone & Children Of Blood And Bone

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two highly popular books I’ve been a bit afraid to pick up, since hyped books and me don’t really get along… The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah turned out to be a huge success, while Children Of Blood And Bone by Tomi Adeyemi failed to blow me away completely.

Title: The Great Alone
Author: Kristin Hannah

Genre: Historical Fiction
First published: February 6th 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Finished reading: November 20th 2018
Pages: 435

“All this time, Dad had taught Leni how dangerous the outside world was. The truth was that the biggest danger of all was in her own home.”


After enjoying her other story The Nightingale in the past, I had high hopes for this one as well. I’ve heard lots of wonderful things about The Great Alone over time, and I’m glad to say I’m another one to join the fan club. The Great Alone is without doubt one of the best historical fiction stories I’ve read so far this year. I already knew the writing was going to be good, but that doesn’t take away I was overwhelmed by just how emotional, challenging and harrowing this story was going to be. The Alaskan setting is brilliantly developed and well described, making it feel as if you were discovering the island along with the characters. This setting was definitely a huge bonus! I also loved how the development of the setting reflected a development in the characters as well. The story is set in three different years (1974,1978, 1986), where we follow the same characters as Alaska changes them and things happen. Warning: The Great Alone is not a happy story. It is a story of survivors, emotional and hard to read. Trigger warnings are in place for abuse and violence… The development of the characters is excellent and makes them both feel realistic and easy to connect to. Especially Leni won over my heart easily (and Matthew of course!). Domestic abuse is a very difficult topic to write and read about, but I think Kristin Hannah did an excellent job of portraying it realistically. Did I feel frustrated sometimes by some of their actions? Definitely. But that doesn’t take away that I feel their situation was very realistically developed. There are a lot of difficult, sad and harrowing moments involved in The Great Alone, and I definitely suggest keeping a box of tissues close. But it is also a very rewarding read and I’m sure fans of both historical fiction and family dramas will love reading about Leni’s journey.

Title: Children Of Blood And Bone
(Legacy Of Orïsha #1)
Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Genre: YA, Fantasy
First published: March 6th 2018
Publisher: Henry Holt And Co.
Finished reading: November 23rd 2018
Pages: 537

“You crushed us to build your monarchy on the backs of our blood and bone. Your mistake wasn’t keeping us alive. it was thinking we’d never fight back.”


I wasn’t planning on reading this one at first. Hyped books and me don’t tend to get along, especially YA fantasy ones, and let’s face it: there has been a lot of hype around Children Of Blood And Bone. But there was just something about the cover and blurb that made me want to give it a go anyway. And while I do have to say that this first book of a new high fantasy series failed to blow me away completely, I can also understand the love for this story. In fact, I was going to give it an even higher rating before the appearance of the romance scenes… Which I felt were completely unnecessary and made me feel a little disappointed. The writing is good though, and I really like the idea behind Children Of Blood And Bone. While I did feel the many foreign sounding names and terms were a bit confusing in the beginning, they did add to the magical atmosphere. I admit I would have liked to see the worldbuilding a bit mor developed, with more details and sooner in the story to fully enjoy the setting. But the idea of the diviners and maji is fascinating as well as the different kinds of magic. The quest was a bit too simple to my taste, and the plot twists a bit too abrupt, but overall it was without doubt a very entertaining YA fantasy read with pleasant enough characters. They just didn’t really stand out for me.


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31 thoughts on “YVO’S SHORTIES #66 – The Great Alone & Children Of Blood And Bone

  1. I’ve been wanting to read The Great Alone for so long and now that it’s won a Goodreads award even more so! I’m glad you enjoyed it though I can understand that it’s really hard to live up to The Nightingale. The setting of Alaska really appeals to me though and it’s great that she portrayed it well as you say. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I actually enjoyed The Great Alone better than The Nightingale though! Although the books are completely different and not easy to compare… I hope your experience with The Great Alone will be a good one.


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  3. The Great Alone is high on my winter TBR! I feel like it would be a good book to read this winter since it is set in Alaska. Plus I like to read sad & depressing books in the cold weather lol

    “In fact, I was going to give it an even higher rating before the appearance of the romance scenes… Which I felt were completely unnecessary and made me feel a little disappointed.”

    I completely agree! While I think I enjoyed this book a tad more than you did, I was not a fan of the romance either. It felt odd & forced.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Great Alone should be perfect then! 😉 The setting is briliant as well as the character development and writing in general… I hope you will enjoy it.

      And it’s good to hear I wasn’t the only one who was annoyed by the romance in Children Of Blood And Bone. I feel we will see more of it in the sequel, but I’m still looking forward to read it.


    • I’m happy to hear I wasn’t the only one! I fear we will see more romance in the sequel as well… But I’m hoping the worldbuilding will at least partly make up for it.


  4. I’ve been waiting til I’m in the right mood to read Children of Blood and Bone (I really need to be in the right mood for fantasy), but I have to say the whole thing with the author accusing Nora Roberts of trying to copy her kind of has made me not want to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have both books on my TBR. Great you enjoyed Great Alone. I especially like the sound of the setting which seems to have worked out well for the narrative. The second book is a genre that I don’t read but the setting is what caught my attention. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on both, can’t wait to get to them soon. Great reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. The Great Alone was hard to read because of the subject matter, but it was so good. I’m glad you enjoyed it, too.

    I was thinking about reading the other book, but I don’t know if I will. I don’t like the Nora Roberts drama she tried to create. Even my husband knows who Nora Roberts is and that she doesn’t need to steal anything. But maybe someday.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Darn, I knew I forgot a book for my Christmas list! (That would be The Great Alone.)

    Tbh, both books have been on my radar, but I’m leaning toward renting Children of Blood and Bone from the library instead of buying it. Your review is very much in line with others I’ve read in terms of the story’s weaknesses… and I’m not sure I’m be entirely happy with the book once I’m done with it.

    Liked by 1 person

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