A review by es_the_book_hoarder
Eve's Rib by C.S. O’Cinneide


I was drawn to this book by the titles and the cover. I know, I know,  generally not a good idea to go off covers but I figured it was worth it, especially when I read the description. And when I read the author's note at the beginning of the book, I was even more intrigued.

Eve's Rib is a solid domestic thriller/family drama with an added element of "magick" in the traditional sense - not stage magic or illusion, but honest to goodness witchcraft - and it is an element that is interesting, but I felt that the novel could have worked well without it in some ways.

That being said, it is there and it does have a part to play, particularly in the later parts, and especially as we reach the climactic scene near the end of the book.

This is a slow burn, told in alternating sections by three unreliable narrators. The story unfolds with small reveals throughout, and eventually all parts converge and we're shown the "truth" we've been seeking out. But in all that was good, I felt that a lot was lost, left behind, or flat out ignored. And on reflection, I think that was kind if the point. I think you have to read this novel and see the symbolism and metaphor within it to truly appreciate what the author is trying to achieve...

I don't want to spoil anything here for prospective readers. This can be read and enjoyed as a straightforward thriller, and my initial thoughts on it were from that perspective. Yet I find myself peeling back layers, connecting threads and considering the quite intense, deep themes that run throughout this book, along with the symbolism and metaphor, days after I gasped in shock-horror at the revelations on the final pages, which seemed, at the time to be far simpler than they have now become.

As a reader, I find that is a good thing, and hope it is the author's intention to provide a story that can be enjoyed both as a "standard" thriller and as something else entirely. If not, and you decide to give this one a go, you won't regret it either way.

My initial thoughts on this book were very superficial and that was reflected by my original rating for this as 3.5 stars, and an overall CAWPILE rating of 6.42. On reflection, my ratings are now as follows.

Star Rating: 4

CAWPILE Rating: 7.71/10

Characters: 7/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Writing: 9/10
Plot: 8/10
Intrigue: 8/10
Logic: 7/10
Enjoyment: 8/10

Eve's Rib publishes on 18th October 2022.

Many thanks to the author, Dundurn Press and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.