After more than three years, dozens of query letters, countless cover-to-cover revisions and editing sessions, several months of cover shenanigans, a live-action trailer, and eight-plus posts of countdown hype, the release day of See These Bones is finally here! Today, readers from around the world will finally get to experience the post-Break world through the eyes and mind of my possibly doomed and very-much-broken protagonist, Damian Banach.
I’m equal parts happy, excited, and… worried.
Why worried? Well, other than the novelettes I’ve shared on this site, this is the first work of fiction of mine that most people will ever read. I’m worried that something unforeseen will go wrong with the formatting, even though I’ve verified both formats multiple times. I’m worried there will be conflicts with the IngramSpark and Amazon POD versions. Most of all, I’m worried that people just won’t like it.
Which is silly, to be honest. Of course, some people won’t like it! That’s just a fact of life. When it comes to creative professions, I’d say thick skin is almost as important as talent.
I’m still working on that part.
The good news is that advance reviews have been positive so far. I’ve had a total of twelve pre-release reviews from bloggers, netgalley members, and goodreads reviewers. Seven were five-star reviews, one was four stars, and four were three stars. Of the last group, three were still positive, while the fourth absolutely loathed my protagonist1 , went into great detail about that fact, but said he’d probably read the sequel anyway.
I’ll be honest; that last review took a bit of the wind out of my sails2, but I knew some people would feel that way. One of the reasons I’ve shared so many chapters from the book is because I want people to know what they’re getting into when they buy it. I’d rather someone not buy the book at all than for them to buy it and be scarred for life by the experience3.
It’s my nature to focus on the negative reactions, but the positive reviews have been very gratifying. Here are snippets from eight of them:
“Love love love was such a page turner from the get go.”- Charity Solomon
“Overall, See These Bones is a must-read for any dark superhero fiction fan seeking an original new tale.” – K.C. Finn
“I would definitely recommend See These Bones. It was a very enjoyable read.” – Samantha Gregory
“This story is fascinating and consistent at the same time and keeps the tension until the end.” – Netgalley Reviewer 585612
“Packed with superpowers, admirable imagination, unlimited twists, and extremely witty narration, See These Bones by Chris Tullbane is one of the best fiction books that I have come across.” – Ankita Shukla
“I’m really looking forward to the rest of the trilogy.” – Cass Morrison
“More books like this one, please!” – Ivy Bookdragon
“You’re going to need a box of kleenex and a seat belt!” – Janis Milford
Needless to say, it’s really nice to see that people outside of my circle of friends and family are enjoying the book so far!
As a reader, I’ve never really paid much attention to content warnings4. If I encounter an element in a book that really bothers me, I’ll just drop the book and move on. I’ve had a very blessed life, and I don’t have a lot of trigger points to worry about. But as I’m learning more and more as I age and (hopefully) mature, it’s not about me. Something that is unnecessary for me can still be helpful, or even vital, for other readers. With that in mind, now that the release day has arrived, I wanted to give a brief, non-spoilery overview of possible content issues.
There is a lot of death in this book. Some of it is graphic, some of it is not, but–as might be expected in a book featuring a character with necromantic powers–death plays a fairly significant role in the plot.
See These Bones contains numerous, often detailed, scenes of action and violence. The Post-Break world is not a peaceful place, even in the last democracy in North America.
The book contains sexual situations and suggestive dialogue, generally through the unfiltered minds and mouths of the predominantly teenage cast. As one reviewer said, “I love how [the book] actually grasps that [Damian is] just an 18 year old boy. He lusts after girls and his classmates make dick jokes.”
This book contains a huge cast of characters, and those characters come from many walks of life, represent many ethnicities and races, and include different sexual orientations. This is simply a reflection of society in the post-Break world, where some progress has been made even as the world itself has fallen into chaos.
I feel like I’ve covered this ad nauseum, already, but… there are a lot of expletives in See These Bones. Most are courtesy of Damian himself, but many of his classmates are happy to throw out the occasional f-bomb when they feel like the situation calls for it.
An immature and unreliable narrator
Damian, as a character and a narrator, can be a lot to handle. We spend a lot of time in his head, and it is not the happiest of places. He is eighteen, angry, immature, often melodramatic, and very, very flawed. Moreover, like many of us, he is blind to some of his own flaws. That blindness can spill over into a lack of awareness of what’s going on around him and how his treatment other people often sows the seeds for his own struggles. If you’ve read the sample chapters, you should have an idea of what I’m talking about.
If any of the above throws up a red flag for you, please think twice about reading See These Bones. Check out the sample chapters to decide for yourself if the book is right for you5.
My goal with this book and every book is to entertain… I’d genuinely much rather you not read something6 that I write than be made upset by it.
And now I’m going to go unplug for a bit and wait for the release day dust to settle. I hope you enjoy the book! If you like it, please leave a review! (If you don’t like it, but still want to leave a review, that’s great too!)
Have a fantastic November!
See These Bones is available now in digital and print formats!
- Which is a bit of a problem for a first person perspective view!
- Like I said, I’m still working on having thick skin.
- Full disclosure: So far, nobody appears to have been scarred for life.
- Or trigger warnings, as they’re sometimes called.
- If the free chapters I’ve shared aren’t sufficient for you to make that call, the book will also be available via Kindle Unlimited, so you can read for yourself and drop it if it’s not to your taste without actually buying the book.
- Let alone buy something!