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Bones and Bourbon

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Retz Gallows has been possessed by an ancient necromancer for almost his entire life. He’s used to wicked schemes and body-stealing shenanigans, but waking up to a unicorn head in his passenger seat is a new low. Now he’s forced to carry out a gilded menagerie’s dirty deeds, but the task brings him face to face with the hope he’d long given up on: his older brother.

Paperback, Self Published, 468 pages
Published May 1st 2020 by Dorian Graves Fiction (first published April 23rd 2018)
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Kirsty ❤️
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The blurb really sold me on this book. To be honest I was intrigued just by the notion of an angry unicorn. There’s a lot going on in this book and for the most part it’s enjoyable. It’s got quite a unique plot. I would have liked a bit more backstory for some of the characters and there were a lot of unanswered questions by the end but overall I quite enjoyed this

Free arc by netgalley
☙ nemo ❧ (pagesandprozac)
i don't know if i just read this book at the wrong time, because due to whatever arcane and strange reasons of the spirit, occasionally you just aren't in the mood for a particular book at a particular time. this might have been the reason why i didn't connect with anything, or maybe we are just inherently incompatible for whatever reason.

the writing was alright, nothing stunning but not bad either, but i just couldn't connect with any of the characters. even at the very end, i just was overtak
Oct 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: spfbo-2020
*I read this as a judge for the #SPFBO*

This is an urban fantasy which I didn't expect to be as entertaining as it was. Normally urban, and especially bloody ones, aren't my thing unless they appel to a very specific criteria/humour, but this one grew on me and I ended up liking it a lot by the end.

We follow two brothers, they have not seen one another for the past 10 years but at the point we meet them they're close to an unexpected reunion as part of a mission gone awry. The first brother is J
J.P. Jackson
4.5 Stars

This is one tasty tale. Very dark, smeared with blood, riddled with violence and a portrayal of the Fae exactly as they should be; sinister and deadly - occasionally kind, but usually with an asking price. Of note - if you're a unicorn fan - buyer beware. These one horned wonders are deadly beasts, and our main characters dispose of them with deadly accuracy.

So what's it all about?

The story sways back and forth between two brothers, Jarrod and Retz. Both are Fae born, being half human
That's one of the coolest covers I've seen in a long time, and I'll admit I grabbed it because the cover grabbed me. Loved the title as well.

First off, I'm just going to say that this isn't the type of book I usually read. I'm afraid I was lost most of the time, wondering what was going on and if I was missing something. The book was beautifully written and perfectly edited so the fault is my own, and not the author's.

If you enjoy fantasy, mystical creatures, high adventure, and lots and lots of
Maraya21 (The Reading Dragon)
🌈 Picked read for the 2019 Unleash The Mods™ (UTM™) challenge over at Maraya's Cave Of Freaking Wonders -- Pick: Maraya | Month: October 🌈

4.5 Stars

★★ Note: The book was re-released on May 2020, not sure if there are any changes in the new book or not. I read the original version/edition of this book and my rating is for that. ★★


Pre-Review Thingy:

Half-huldra Retz Gallows is having an awful day. First, he wakes up in the middle of driving to who-knows-where with an angry uni
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars - A well-written humorous action adventure! 'Bones and Bourbon' begins with two seemingly separate quests which reunite the Gallows brothers before long; though with opposing goals. Various supernatural creatures are featured in this hysterically funny tale of the brothers' misadventures.

Perfect for fans of Christopher Moore!

Look for 'Bones and Bourbon' releasing April 23rd.

I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s. Read mor
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The cover caught my eye (honest, that NEVER happens) so I decided to give a new author and publisher a try. Happy to say I was pleasantly surprised. ;)

First, I’m not a “book cover” reader, but honestly, the cover on this book definitely got my attention. Enough that I took a chance on a new author. (The synopsis was a pretty good draw for me too 😉 ) I’m happy to say that this is one time that a cover definitely lived up to the book.

I had no idea what to expect from Bones and Bourbon, but needl
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, mm-recs
Received from Netgalley, this one jumped ahead of 10 other books so first impression was damn good from the blurb. The title jumps out and there’s a lot going on in the cover artwork. So yeah I happily jumped to read this one. From the words attacker and unicorn head, I was hooked. Nalem had me in stitches and that was only the first chapter. The plot is genius and the character creation more so. Nalem the psychopath stuck in another body. Retz hi-jacked and stuck with the fallout, Jarrod the hu ...more
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was good.

There ya go.


Okay, I’m sure you want more than that. As I mentioned this was a great book and a wonderful story. I wasn’t sure what to expect when read the story. Well, that’s not true, I had an idea from the blurb and from chatting with the author, but still I didn’t know what kind of writing or story telling I would get. I ended up pleased. The story focuses on the Gallows brothers (Retz and Jarrod) who have not seen each other for at least ten years. Their paths are different u
I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley

This is probably more of a 2.5 but I rounded up to a 3 because it definitely feels wrong to give it 2 stars. I think most of my ambivalence towards this story comes from the fact that I read a lot of urban fantasy and also a lot of stories with brothers/siblings as the main characters so I guess this just didn't stand out in a lot of ways when compared to other things I've read. Both of the brothers are decent enough characters and I didn't disli
What a different type of paranormal book.
Well written. Main character is Retz. He has a powerful entity sharing his body. Not a comfortable relationship. But they make do.
Their power is to manipulate bones. They have a quest. The whole story is well done with a cast of secondary characters.
Lots of magic. Some mystery. No sexual tension. But a great tale.
Reads somewhat like a folklore tale.
An interesting story. Liked the whole concept.
(Given a copy for an honest review)(NetGalley) (Thanks)
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A copy of the book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review

Sooo, this book was really hard to rate.

The writing is good and draws you into the book, +points for a Trans-Character, unusual supernatural creatures, disfunctional family drama, mysteries for days, not a romance!,..

It reminded me a bit of 'Supernatural', which only makes sense in which there are two brothers and a bunch of supernatural beings and they try to save people/the world/.. it's still not entirely clear.

However this
Rambling Reader
Bones & Bourbon is a twisted family tale. Estranged brothers, Retz and Jarrod Gallows find their paths crossing in a twist of fate. The very people that Jarrod and his boyfriend have been charged to protect are the very people whose freedom Retz is supposed to end.

Plus, when your younger brother is possessed by a centuries old entity who has a taste for mayhem and shady moral values, family fun tends to get a bit awkward...real quick.

I liked both Retz and Jarrod though I found it quite easy to
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to NetGalley and to the editor. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The cover was good and the synopsis sounded interesting so I couldn’t resist and I had to request it on NetGalley, and I am really really happy that I got approved because I loved this book and I will read the next ones.

First thing first, I loved the originality. This book is original in many ways, it’s original its folklore, for example, because the author wrote an urban-fantasy with character
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this was a crazy and fun trip!
Aggressive unicorns, huldras and hollows with no internal organs, faerys, undead, curses, snakelike lamia, japanese furaribi and the Harvester. What have I gotten into?
The answer is simply put: a darn good adventure.
The author kept me interested from page one until the very end. The writing was fluent and fun. There were so many (actual) mythological creatures to explore and I was glad the author kept reminding me who had internal organs and who didn't and how
Joyfully Jay
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kirsty
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.25 stars

The blurb for Bones and Bourbon immediately had me requesting the book for review. Dorian Graves successfully manages to build a unique urban fantasy world, introducing originally created beings within a story, which at its heart, is about familial love.

Retz and Jarrod alternately narrate Bones and Bourbon and Graves is able to give them both individual personalities and voices. Jarrod is the more selfless of the two, although he is not without his flaws, an alco
Colin Hardy
This is certainly one of the most bizarre books I have read. The characters and world building are quite unique as is the plot...I think. It is this latter that makes the book difficult to get into. It is as though the story is missing several chapters or another book at the start. Characters appear fully formed with no clear backstory. Their actions the reader needs to make sense of as they go along. Sometimes you can and sometimes you either have to go with the flow or give up. Each of the cha ...more
Jonathan Pongratz
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was the first book I read of Dorian Graves. I saw the cover on Ninestar Press's site and couldn't resist buying. Like the cover suggested, this book was quite the adventure!

Huldra brothers Jarrod and Retz haven't seen each other in nearly a decade, but when fates brings them together, they are forced to confront a number of supernatural threats together or die trying.

This book was all about the imagery. I mean, man, it was VIVID! The landscapes, creatures, characters, even the villains
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review

Rating: 4.75 Stars out of 5

For the full review, visit

From that review: What a startling fantasy story Bones and Bourbon by Dorian Graves turned out to be.  Dark, incredibly imaginative, not always enjoyable (trust me), with a universe so full that it needs more information to be complete in its foundation, and characters that both stymy and border on the profound,  this novel will leave you muttering and loving it long after you

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Bones and Bourbon has an exciting, enthralling concept and absolutely excels in its execution: from the dynamic opening scene right to the last page. The writing is well paced, with an engaging style throughout; practically every line of exposition presents the intended information about the world and cast in an interesting way. The world building was just the right amount to display fascinating settings but not to ov
k reads
I thought this was well-done, nice world-building with magical characters not commonly seen in UF. It reminded me somewhat of the Cal Leandros series. ...more
Madison Keller
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This book is a treat. The two point of view characters are the Gallows brothers, who haven't seen each other in about ten years, since they were kids. Their father's machinations from behind the scene send their paths colliding together near the start of the book. I read a lot, but this story managed to keep me on my toes.

In order to help two Furaribi (Phoenix-like creatures) get away from a Lamia zoo, the brothers have to face down fairie, their father, and a pack of murderous unicorn. And hope
Susan Anne
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of Bones and Bourbon by Dorian Graves via IndiGo Marketing & Design in exchange for an honest review. In many respects, this book is a classic Grimm Brothers fairy tale in that the fairies are monsters and the intent is a cautionary tale. I especially enjoyed Graves giving us interesting paranormal creatures, with nary a werewolf or vampire in sight. This includes Retz and Jerrod, who are huldrakind, half huldra and half human, and both have a penchant for finding trouble. They ...more
Lisa The Novel Approach
I’m going to start this one with, if you are looking for a romantic tale with a paranormal plot, this book won’t fit that bill. Though Jarrod does have a boyfriend, Farris, there is no real physical intimacy between them except for some captured moments of cuddles and intimate conversations. But if you are looking for something unlike anything I personally have read before? Read on.

What is this story, then? I honestly don’t know how to describe it for all its individuality, but I’ll do my best w
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Netgally and NineStar Press for the e-arc!

3.5 stars

TW: Alcoholism (the character in question never takes steps to cut back, which is fine by me since that isn't what the book is about, but I know that would bother some other readers)

I requested this book purely because the premise snagged my attention. One of my favourite troupes(?) is when some entity shares a body with a human, and this is the situation with one of the two main POVs in the story, and I was totally into it. (howev
Annemieke / A Dance with Books
When I started this book I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. I try not to read too much of the synopsis or to remember that much of it. I think the first 50 pages or so were a little rocky for me because of that but after that I was completely drawn into the story and I can’t wait to see if there is going to be more in this world and the Gallow Brothers.

Bones and Bourbon is told in two first person point of views. One is Retz, a half-huldra who is sharing his body with a necromancing spirit.
Dawn Vogel
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(This review originally appeared at Mad Scientist Journal.)

Bones and Bourbon by Dorian Graves is a wonderful take on the urban fantasy genre. Chronicling the adventures of brothers Retz and Jarrod Gallows, this book is equal parts hilarious and a great commentary on the trials and tribulations of families.

Retz and Jarrod Gallows are both hulderkind, with one mortal parent and one huldra parent. But while Jarrod simply has the increased strength and stamina of the huldra, Retz has far more proble
This is a hard book to assess because there was a lot going on in the book. Every character in the story has their own agenda for the things they do and readers are left to piece the story together as the story progresses. The POV switches between Rez/Nalem and Jarrod but a lot more characters show up and readers do get to see how they are all connected.

There's almost no romance in the book and it's very much a plot driven read. We get to know the Gallow siblings and the issues that plague them
Ulysses Dietz
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bones and Bourbon
By Dorian Graves
Ninestar Press, 2018
Four stars

I can’t remember what got me to buy this book, but it was a surprise as I read it. Fast-paced, carefully crafted, “Bones and Bourbon” is the first in what promises to be an action-packed series of highly surreal paranormal urban fantasies.

Retz Gallow is not fully human. Plus, he’s possessed by an ancient being called Nalem, and has been since he was a baby. His brother Jarrod and his father Alexander decamped when Retz was a little
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The Backlot Gay B...: Bones and Bourbon by Dorian Graves 1 8 Jul 14, 2018 04:38AM  

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Dorian is the author of "Bones and Bourbon," first book in the urban fantasy "Deadly Drinks" series. Are you looking for a novel with body-hopping necromancers, gay relationships and transgender protagonists, otherworldly realms, families of supernatural beings, and the occasional carnivorous unicorn? You've found the right book!

Dorian Graves has also written a number of short stories, including "

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