Blog Tour Review: The Tale of Raw Head & Bloody Bones by Jack Wolf

The Tale of Rawhead and Bloody Bones Book Cover

The year is 1751 and Tristan Hart, a precociously talented student of medicine is studying under the legendary Dr. William Hunter in London. Tristan is fascinated by the nature of pain and preventing it; the relationship between mind and matter and the existence of God. He is a product of the Enlightenment, a rational man on a quest to cut through darkness and superstition with the scientific method.
But that is just one side of Tristan. Tristan is also a psychopath and a deviant, obsessed with the nature of pain and causing it. A product of an age of faeries and goblins, gnomes and shape-shifters, he is on a quest to arouse the perfect scream and slay the much feared folk demon Raw Head.
Profoundly imaginative, unexpectedly funny, and with a strange but moving love story at its heart, THE TALE OF RAW HEAD AND BLOODY BONES is a brutally beautiful and daring novel about the relationship between the mind and body, sex, madness, the nature of pain and the existence of God.

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About The Author – Jack WolfAuthor Jack Wolf

Jack Wolf is currently studying for a Ph.D. and is at work on his second novel. He lives in the United Kingdom. The author was a woman when he wrote the book and is now transgender.

This review is part of The Tale of Raw Head and Bloody Bones Blog Tour. To find out more about the tour and to discover where else the tour has stopped, visit TLC Book Tours.

Review

What an interesting story to begin the wrap-up to April reading. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I know I was both curious and drawn to several aspects of The Tale of Raw Head & Bloody Bones with only getting through the synopsis.

I was somewhat confused in the beginning, the story is written in an interesting style that uses old English, and quite a few seemingly random words have capitalisation in the midst of a sentence. In my experience capitalisation pronounces an importance to certain words, whether they are names or not, and I was unsure if these words should have been given more attention or treated like the rest.

While disarming, the capitalisation of random words and the use of old English when you’re not used to it, is something you can find yourself getting used to. It did take me some time, but Tristan’s journey is what drove me on and I’m glad of it because eventually I didn’t mind the writing style. I found it created a sort of rhythm, an ebb and flow, that enhanced the reading experience and would probably not have been there otherwise without.

As for the characters… Honestly, this is probably what kept me reading the most. Tristan’s soul searching in discovering his connection with sadism and attempting to understand how this affects him as a person; whether he is unnatural or not. For someone who has had associations with people in the BDSM community and has experienced her own forms of questioning her mental state, reading a character that isn’t evil (in my opinion) and is trying to understand themselves, was fascinating. I’m not sure if other readers would be able to identify as easily with Tristan if they haven’t had the previously mentioned associations, but I found it quite easy to identify, understand, and feel for him. I like to think some of that is also the author’s portrayal and bringing life to Tristan. He is definitely a tortured character and far more intriguing because of it.

I love reading about scientists in any story, but more so when it comes to a time when society was only beginning to embrace it in part and yet dominating it with theology. I always found the two warring together an interesting mix and I loved the whole scientific aspect Tristan Hart’s journey is engrossed in. Once again I’ve found myself wanting to read more stories revolving, or related to, scientists in historical fiction. It feeds the nerd in me.

The Tale of Raw Head & Bloody Bones reminded me often of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but, unlike Frankenstein, I wasn’t bored witless and frustrated with the main character. I would consider this tale one for those who didn’t care for Frankenstein, but either way it definitely offers food for thought.

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