Review: The Fisher of Bones by Sarah Gailey

May Contain Spoilers

I’m still not sure how I feel about The Fisher of Bones. All I know is that Sarah Gailey is one heck of a writer. I felt the same way after finishing River of Teeth. I mean, what the heck is this? Feral hippos?? The Fisher of Bones, sadly, is missing the feral hippos, but it does have weird bits of bones and Gods Whispers to harry the protagonist instead.

When the Prophet dies, his powers are passed on to his daughter, Fisher. Fisher doesn’t feel that she’s ready to lead her people, who have been wandering for decades, searching for the Promised Land, but when she hears the Gods Whispers, she gathers her determination and tries to become the leader her people need. Pregnant, overwhelmed by her duties, she discovers that not all of her flock are as loyal and faithful to her as they were to the Prophet. Even with her father’s last gift, the Gods Sight, some of her people still doubt her leadership.

When small disasters, as well as large ones, trouble their journey to the Promised Land, Fisher has to work even harder to hold her group together. The frantic words of the Gods, written on bits of dinosaur bones, spell out a prophecy, but she’s not sure she understands it. Can she convince her people to follow her, and that she truly hears the Gods Whispers?

I didn’t feel that I ever got to know Fisher, but since this is such a short story, that’s not really surprising. Told in serial format, the chapters are short slices of Fisher’s ordeals, mostly self-contained. I didn’t feel that I got a good handle on the larger world outside of Fisher’s clan, and I’m not sure I understand why her father strode out into the barren wilderness in the first place. What are the gods, and why can only Fisher hear them? The ending left me feeling out of sorts. “That’s it?” I thought. And do I really understand what just happened??  I’m not sure, but this was a compelling read despite my lack of complete comprehension.

You can read The Fisher of Bones at Serial Box, or at your favorite eBook retailer.

Grade: 4.25 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

About the book:

The Prophet is dead.
The eyes of the Gods have turned to his daughter. But she isn’t ready. Not for the whispers in her ear, for the divinations… for the blood. Her people’s history and their future, carved by ancients into the bones of long dead behemoths, are now her burden. Only she can read them, interpret the instructions, and guide them to the Promised Land.
Their journey is almost at an end, but now, without the Prophet, she must find a way to guide them to the place they will call Home. Through blood and through sand, against the will of her own flock, against the horrors that haunt the darkness, only she can bring her people Home.
The Prophet is dead. Long live the Prophetess.