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The Bones of the Earth

(The Bones of the Earth #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  116 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Is it wrong to kill a human …
when you’re not human yourself?

It’s been two hundred years since the Trauma, a catastrophic event of a now forgotten origin, wreaked havoc upon the Earth, reducing the human population from billions to thousands, and leaving the survivors as prey to humanoid hunters. Vrana of the Raven is one of these hunters. Her tribe has made killing humans,
Paperback, 306 pages
Published June 10th 2015 by Scott Hale (first published June 9th 2015)
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Scott Hale In 2011, before the conception of "The Bones of the Earth," I started writing a story about a knight who was stranded in a forest where anything could…moreIn 2011, before the conception of "The Bones of the Earth," I started writing a story about a knight who was stranded in a forest where anything could happen. It was my first attempt at creating hybrid of the fantasy and horror genre, a concept which I thought was novel but, obviously, is not. I got about five pages in before I lost interest and started working on something else. Here's a passage from the story. It's not the greatest, but it's fun to break-out these dusty things:

"Stories were seldom and few; talk of the forest was forbidden by Edgar’s mother and of late there was little to talk about in regards to it. His oldest brother, Henry, claimed to have heard from a servant that the forest was a prison of sorts for those whose crimes were so great that officials refused to execute them out of fear they may return as the vengeful dead, intent on continuing the atrocities they had begun when they were the vengeful living. From names and faces he could not recall Edgar heard tales of the maiden of the east having been stolen away by her sworn guard to the wretched wood, where she bore him disfigured children that consumed them both; and tales of a lake with no bottom, in which its surface reflected heaven and hell. Edgar even heard his father one night, drunk on wine, in an exchange with his Edgar’s uncle, reminiscing on a battle that they had fought on the outskirts of the forest that had come to an unexpected end when the enemy turned on one another and began devouring each other, armor and all."

What we have here is one story about what would eventually become the Nameless Forest in Vrana's world. But before I decided to join the two, I borrowed the idea instead.

The Black Hour is a combination of the chaos of the Nameless Forest and concepts such as the Witching Hour. I love the idea of there being this infernal hour, this span of time where the natural world breaks down and logic and science and all those things we hold true become meaningless. As an author, it allows me to get really creative, as well as catch the audience off guard, because the Black Hour can seemingly come out of nowhere. And for a story that takes place in a post-apocalyptic landscape (even though it doesn't look like your typical one), something like the Black Hour can be a huge threat to those who are just trying to survive.

Sometimes, when a thing beholden to no rules, the audience can tire of it or think the author is just winging it. And that's what the Black Hour is. Anything. Because of this, and being someone who hates filler and meaninglessness in stories, the Black Hour is sometimes a struggle. I find myself making connections for it, even though, technically, there doesn't have to be any.

The Black Hour is also an excellent tool for world building, as what I choose to include in it is obviously deliberate. So if I'm showing you something, like I said before, it probably had or has some purpose at some point.

Eventually, the small story of Edgar's and "The Bones of the Earth" were combined. Edgar became King Edgar of Eldrus and the Nameless Forest became this thing only hinted at. The Nameless Forest and the Black Hour share a lot of the same qualities, and this is no accident. And it's no coincidence that it rears its ugly head one last time when it does before the story's end.

You will absolutely learn more about the Black Hour. In the prequel/takes place during "Bones"/sequel, "Three Heretics," both the Black Hour and the Nameless Forest are heavily explored. They are integral parts to the overarching narrative of the series. Also, the possible origins of the Black Hour will be discussed in the short story, "The Black Hour," which will be part of my anthology "Black Occult Macabre," which will be released later in 2016.

Thanks for the awesome question! I love answering them. I can't wait to hear what you thought about the story, and I hope you'll be here for "Three Heretics" next year.


Scott Hale Absolutely! In fact, the Kindle edition will be free 7/9-7/10! Otherwise, it's four dollars (not too shabby, I say). If you buy the paperback, you can…moreAbsolutely! In fact, the Kindle edition will be free 7/9-7/10! Otherwise, it's four dollars (not too shabby, I say). If you buy the paperback, you can buy the Kindle edition later at a discounted price (because this is the kind of book you want with you at all times. It's like an accessory).

:) (less)
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"The Corrupted living on Lacuna were entirely self-sufficient, but what they could not cultivate quickly enough was life. They kept coming to the mainland for offerings, sacrifices to be given up to their lord. Why is that? Why is it that humans always seem to think the best way to get on their god's good side is to rub his nose in the corpses of all his children they've killed?"

i fully confess that this book took me forever to read because i am too dumb for fantasy. this isn't fantasy-fantasy,
Sep 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Anne by: Bradley
Alright, so this is a self-published work that was given to me by the author. Normally, I'd say, no thank you, but Bones of the Earth had been on my reading list for a while, and came highly recommended by a good friend of mine. And then another friend of mine. And then another...
Ok, you get the picture. People loved this one!
And I kind of went into it with this vague knowledge that it was some kind of a horror/fantasy/dystopia mash-up about non-human animalish people vs. some kind of hybrid hum
mark monday
Aug 19, 2015 rated it liked it
dark journeys within a dark, post-apocalyptic science fantasy landscape. featuring much slaughter.

Bones of the Earth was my kindle bus book for a little over a month and I should have chosen more wisely. this was an oppressive experience for me and I found myself dreading it. not a great way to start each day. ugh!

about a third or so of the way in I starting comparing the protagonist and her kind to Nazis. she and her ilk are people who fancy themselves altogether different from the humans who s
This is a book that practically no one has read, but


First, a word to the wise. This novel continues a long tradition of great adventure fantasy and discovery while being extremely rooted in the very best traditions of better-than-Cthulhu horrorgore.

Getting through the book was was like eating great key-lime pie (and I like key-lime pie) while understanding that I'm actually a post-Cthulhu monstrosity born to a world that has already had the great beast awaken and convert our mod
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

Well that was a crazy ride in a crazy world!

Vrana is the main character and the books starts with her out on her eighteenth birthday doing the tribal rituals all of the people do in order to become an official tribe member.

This books is fantasy/horror/something else. I felt like I was in an alternate universe and it was so weird to read about people like this when there was the normal human world years ago. It didn't seem like that world even existed until V
This book grabbed my interest because it is a mash-up of stuff I love : post-apocalyptic Earth and weird vaguely Lovecraftian magic/horror. I’m not sure why I am so fascinated with the idea of human civilization being brought back to a tribal society that has to manage around the ruins of the hyper-modern digital age, but it’s obviously an easy way to sell me books…

There is no exposition in “The Bones of the Earth”, and the world-building reveals itself slowly through the story, which makes for
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing

So I finished it yesterday, but was rendered absolutely speechless when it was over (sigh) so was in no state to write about it...until NOW.

Every once in a great, too-long while, a book might come along that has the power to pivot one's send us force us to reconsider all that we read before that one magical book. And Bones of the Earth? It is precisely the kind of book I'm referring to her
Jessaca Willis
Breaking my heart to say this, but I DNF at 35%. Let me tell you a bit about The Bones of the Earth and why I would still give a 3 ⭐️ rating to a book I didn’t finish.

From what I read so far, The Bones of the Earth is like The Secret of Nim meets Mirrormask. It’s dark, it’s a little trippy, and it would likely make a great movie like the other titles listed!

So why didn’t this book have me hooked?

The Bones of the Earth follows Vrana as she completes these trials for her people, during which she a
John Hennessy
Aug 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, horror, sci-fi
The Bones of the Earth is an extremely intriguing work of horror sci-fi fantasy. Whilst that might seem like a jumble of genres and hard to get working into a single book, author Scott Hale has pulled this off admirably.

These days, authors need more than a good story to stand out, so the presentation is important. The book's cover is quite a work of art. It is unusual, makes you want to know more. Is the main character a force for good, or for bad?

In Vrana, we have a plucky and strong heroine wh
Jody Ellis
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Scott Hale is destined to be a best seller, a legend in his class. The Bones of the Earth is unpredictable, vivid, terrifying and above all else, makes it near impossible to put down and even when you can, you spend your time daydreaming of the world and what will happen next.

It is a tale of post apocalypse where humans have split off blamed for the Trauma and then there are the tribes who are human in a sense but have decided to pretend they aren't human at all. The people likened to Native Am
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I received this copy for free from the author. Thank you very much!

My goodreads friends so far all loved this book. I don't know why, because I don't get it. I really wanted to like this book. It sounded great, the premise of the story sounded good and I liked the cover art. But the writing did not work for me. I found it to be slow, with a meandering plot and at times overly florid prose, weird dream sequences and confusing chapter beginnings. The things that I did not like are probably those,
J. Kahele
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I'm speechless

I was consumed by this book from the very beginning. From the descriptive scenes to the unbelievable dialogue all I can say is wow!

What I liked about the most about the story was the author let us dive into it right away. The female lead was my favorite character, a strong, no nonsense warrior. The beginning starts with her journey towards home where she encounters a man who is shooting arrows at her. She chased him down and kills him with an axe. As she continues her path towards
Lady Luna. ✨
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-shit
This book made me cringe... in a good way! It is very hard to make me cringe but you did it. I loved Vrana she is great. This story is very dark but enjoyable. Recommended to people who like dark and gritty horror stories that have you on the edge of your seat.
I also love the artwork on the cover.

Can't wait for the next book , hurry up Scott :) !
Rayene Ziadi
Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone older than 18 with a taste for post apocalyptic adventure .
I give it a 4.5/5 stars.
I had to wait 2 days to write this review because all i could put on paper when i finished it was: it means that? ohh..oh my.. wow.....
The Story follows Vrana of the Raven, a fearless Badass 18 yo in a post apocalyptic world, along the story she meets R'lyeh and they develop a Katniss-and-rue kind of relation ship. In Caldera her village they take upon a mask and they become it, in Vrana's case it was one of the raven: " 'Maybe i am a raven after all ', she said t
Shannon Mcfarland
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I liked this book a lot. This book takes you on the journey of Vrana. We begin the book with Vrana taking part in her tribes traditional trials to be accepted as a full member of their tribe. Vrana has just turned 18 and must complete certain tasks to complete the trials.

Lets just say that although I would assume that the world Vrana is on may or may not be earth, it is a post-apocalyptic world where there are mutated creatures and the humans that remain are now known as the Corrupted.

Vrana and
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Bones of the Earth" sucked me in right away. Scott Hale's writing style, and the story itself (which I'd describe as fantasy with shades of horror), will keep you reading long past bed time!

Despite a few niggles with the editing, I really enjoyed this book, and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

☽ Su ☾
I LOVE Scott Hale's writing style ( unique and very descriptive ), and the story itself was amazing !
very strong characters.

it all happens in a post-apocalyptic world , Vrana Of the Raven is the main character , a hunter who goes on an adventure to seek answers, a journey that changes her life forever.
haunting, horrific, all in all just great !
3.5 stars. A nice mix of several genres and some good characterization, but the story didn't grab me.

The book was an interesting mix of dystopia, fantasy and horror. Each side was nicely developed and everything intertwined to form a full story. I liked the dystopian part with the various societies and creatures that came after the apocalyptic event, even if many questions about the past stayed in the shadows. The horror side was well mastered, leading to uncomfortable descriptions and other ugl
F.D. Gross
Set in a post-apocalyptic world of madness, mayhem, and mutation, The Bones of the Earth, by Scott Hale, brings you to a place of ancient rich history long forgotten. A place where the strong minded prevail and the weak fail. The Bones of the Earth is a story that forces you to set aside the truths you know about this life and throw them in the trash. The old ways no longer exist. There is only persuasion through force, and that is what Hale demonstrates in his prose. Beautifully written and gro ...more
Jul 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: horror lovers
Shelves: fantasy, horror
3.5 stars
I share most of Anne's opinions.
I liked the character of Vrana very much. I could easily identify with her. Her relationships with R'lyeh, Aeson and Mother seemed realistic and healthy. I like the fact that the author did not include instalove or many romantic scenes as other writers do. He was able to create a capturing story with a strong female character. No love triangle- horrrrayyyy! :D
I like the fact that as the story progresses, the line between black and white, good and bad beco
GrilledCheeseSamurai (Scott)
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it

A post-apocalyptic, Cthulhu style, fantasy, horror?


It's kind of hard to pigeon hole this one. Let's just let it be its own thing. Cuz you know what? I loved the shit outta whatever it was doing. It worked.

Scott Hale immediately blew me away with his words. The words were with intention. They had weight. It felt like taking my time reading the words was important. So often I just blow through books, they kinda just zip right through me and are done. Which is fine - I like a zippy s
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Holy F!#%
Only one other story has given me nightmares, and it was the comparatively mild At the mountains of madness. Needless to say my nightmares were much worse during this read.
The first things to catch my attention were the detailed descriptions of setting and the fluid action sequences within. Each battle kept me fully absorbed, and never once did I feel the action was clunky or forced. The multiple plot elements overwhelmed me at first and were seemingly disjointed from one another, but
Belinda Lewis
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful, weird and very dark.

I experienced notes of early Clive Barker with a post apocalyptic fantasy aftertaste.
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book wrenched me out of my reading comfort zone and took me on a journey that was wonderfully horrific.The cover art is darkly beautiful. The main character is immediately compelling. The reader is powered through the heroine's trials because of the author's deft writing. The description is crisp and precise and the entire book reads like a movie. The movie industry would be wise to jump on this novel. The horror is served up with healthy doses of symbolism, archetypes and mind bending imag ...more
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Scott Hale's The Bones of the Earth was truly an incredible literary experience. I have never read a book quite like this. The story takes post apocalyptic themes and mixes them with myth and magic to create a story that sucks you in from the first page.
Hale lets you into the character's lives and you begin an epic journey along with them. You cannot easily let go of them when the final pages come to. Each character is unique and complete with flaws and integrity. Some you hate and fear and o
Kathy Stewart
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review, and if you enjoy horror stories then you’ll love this book. In fact, it might leave you with nightmares. It’s extremely well written and evokes a weird post-apocalyptic world where Vrana, the main protagonist, wears a stinking, rotting raven’s head and, in her quest to save the world her tribe of humanoid hunters now inhabit, she is also tasked the kill humans, the Corrupted. She’s courageous and determined, athletic and skille ...more
Lynn Mccarthy
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Bones of the Earth is a great read hard to put down once started.

We begin the book with Vrana who has turned 18 and must complete tasks to complete the trials.
Vrana wears a Raven skull on her head but a lot of her tribe wear different skulls so it is not just about one group.
There are some gruesome parts to the book a horror book but also it has love thrown in as well.
Great story well done.

Thank you Catlady and the Author for a chance to read this rook.
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I got this free from the author for a fair and honest review. I just cannot finish this....quit 67% in. The horrible sex scene with the "do you know where pee comes from?" finalized it for me. Reads too much like a fantasy than apoc fiction. Jumps between scenes feeling rushed and with no good transition. ...more
Julie Arthur
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you’re looking for a quick read that you can skim through without reading every word and still kind of know what’s going on, this isn’t the book for you. This book is a lot of work; every word is important, every small detail, each name of a new person/place/thing that you have to remember. The detail Hale weaves into this book is amazing. I found myself re-reading several passages to try and take everything in. The main character, Vrana, is strong, rational, and easy to root for. She’s intri ...more
Lucille Marcelo
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Your typical apocalypse has the basics: once-proud ruins, ground zero, and the last of humanity picking up the scraps; but Scott Hale’s is something more. Horror and fantasy collide in this series as we follow Vrana on her trek across the post-apocalyptic wasteland, causing her to question everything she’s come to learn and love of her tribe. Scott Hale is able to bring your nightmares to life in this macabre series. Get lost —wander— and second guess reality and morals in this post-traumatized ...more
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Horror Aficionados : The Bones of the Earth 1 9 Mar 02, 2020 06:16PM  
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The Bones of the Earth 4 4 Jan 31, 2016 08:28PM  
Goodreads Reviewe...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Review Request - Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy/Horror 1 15 Jul 16, 2015 03:17PM  
Kindle Edition Free 7/9-7/10 1 7 Jul 03, 2015 04:09PM  

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Scott Hale has always been obsessed with all things horror. While it's not uncommon for his writings to blend multiple genres together, Horror is ever-present, be it in the scenarios themselves, or the uncomfortable truths he dares to explore.

Scott is the demented mastermind behind The Bones of the Earth series. Six books and four years later, the series has come to an end, but his addiction to wr

Other books in the series

The Bones of the Earth (4 books)
  • The Three Heretics
  • The Cults of the Worm (The Bones of the Earth, #3)
  • The Eight Apostates (The Bones of the Earth #4)

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“Why is it that humans always seem to think the best way to get on their god’s good side is to rub his nose in the corpses of all his children they’ve killed?” 4 likes
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