Review: City Ash and Desert Bones by Laurel Myler

City Ash and Desert BonesDisclaimer: This book was produced by the publishing company that also publishes my current series of novels; however, I purchased a hardcopy version of this novel for full price.

The mystery about Reesa, one of the narrators and main characters of this novel, hooks you from the very first line of the book. As reminders and clues slowly unwind through the rest of the tale, becoming entangled with the rest of the mystery of the world, I found myself both aching to know the truth and fearful of what I might discover. 

I put off reading this novel for ages because I’m a total wuss when it comes to anything horror-related, especially if zombies might be involved. But once I started, I devoured this book in one weekend. It’s not “horror lite,” but the book includes enough interesting and futuristic science-fiction elements in this post-apocalyptic Wild West for my brain to be all in. Even the zombie-like creatures read to my hind-mind as “aliens,” which made them delightfully creepy rather than absolutely terrifying.

Some of the technological and world-building elements of this future didn’t quite work for me, and I’d love to have known more about the greater world. However, I understand how that might not have worked in the brisk pace of the plot, where an info dump would have slowed the action rather than enhanced the story.

The ending gave closure to the characters, but not necessarily the reader. I’d be delighted to read other works set in this world.

Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Published by steelvictory

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Her debut novel, STEEL VICTORY, was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was one of the co-editors for FAR WORLDS, a speculative fiction anthology. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (, on Facebook (, and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

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