Review – Bullets and Bones by R.S Penney

Updated: Oct 18, 2020

Okay before we get into the review itself, I just need to disclose the following. I did not buy this book, I was provided with a copy of the eBook by the author’s manager, Henry Roi, in exchange for an honest review. Anyway, with that out of the way, onto the review.

Straight away, reviewing the book, a sequel to the author’s previous work Desa Kincaid: Bounty Hunter, without having read the first book puts me in a tough position. Some of the issues I have with this book could be chalked up to me not having read the other book but it can also give an insight for people like me that haven’t read the first book and are wondering if they should just jump in now and give it a chance.

If you’re in that position, let me save you some time and cut to the chase. Don’t read this book if you haven’t read the first one. Go back, read the first one, and then if you enjoy it you can come back and read this review. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Done? Okay for everyone that’s read the first book and are wondering if they want to read the second book, here’s my review.

The plot continues on from the first book (obviously) and follows the main character, Desa Kincaid, as she returns to her hometown after failing to stop the big bad of the first book. Desa is happy to return home at first but it’s not long before she’s swept up into a web of political intrigue orchestrated by the highest levels of government. A prisoner in her own city, she is called to adventure by a mysterious traveller to find the mystical Spear of Vengeance, a weapon forged by the gods themselves.

Now to the big question on your lips… does Desa find the spear? She could have found the spear and used it as a flute to play Hall of the Mountain King for all I know because I didn’t finish the book. I got about seven chapters in and put the book down and haven’t given it a second thought.

That being said some of the ideas in the book are really interesting. The use of Ether in the field binding and the sci-fi western setting initially drew me to the book and made me agree to review it. Unfortunately, these things couldn’t keep me invested in the book for very long as more and more pronouns were fired at me from a cannon like a thesaurus after a night of dodgy seafood. This would normally be where the characters step up and keep me engaged in the story.

This is where the book falls down for me. I just don’t like the characters. There’s too many of them being introduced to me at once making me switch off and detach from the story. Desa herself feels boring with some of her companions being a bit more interesting but not by a large margin. The perspectives jump from character to character so much at the start of the book that is gets jarring after a while.

Another thing I didn’t enjoy about the book was how the exposition was handled. It’s dumped at the start of the book with a lot of telling not showing which, paired with the dialogue feeling overwritten and stilted at parts, pulled me further out of the experience.

So, the plot, characters and dialogue haven’t fully engaged me but maybe the action will keep me in.


The action scenes just go on too long. There’s a lot of back and forth but not actual feeling of momentum. It’s a lot of noise and punches that absolutely bores me to death. Like with everything in this review, these are all my personal opinions and some of these issues come from me not having read the first book in the series and that’s a fair critique.

However, the long and short of it is this… It took me 98 pages for the book to get interesting with a bit more sci-fi worldbuilding that I enjoyed. Sequel or not, it should not take almost 100 pages for any book to become interesting.

Overall, an intriguing premise just let down in execution.


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