Review: Well of Bones by Chase Walker

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Chase Walker's Well of Bones was published in February 2020.

Chase Walker

Chase Walker was born in California and raised in Southern Nevada. He spent his childhood telling stories - stories that more often than not got him into trouble for stretching the truth. As a child, he idolized heroes like Indiana Jones and Luke Skywalker, who had a knack for getting out of the trouble they inevitably always found themselves in. As he grew older, his tastes expanded beyond Steven Spielberg and George Lucas films. He joined the army and found that its hurry-up-and-wait lifestyle was perfect for whipping out a paperback and reading a little Joe Abercrombie or Michael Crichton during the short bouts of downtime. He fell deeply in love with reading and discovered a whole new way to tell his stories. Writing became a hobby quickly, and then a passion.

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Well of Bones (The Forgotten Ways #1) by Chase Walker
Well of Bones
The Forgotten Ways #1
by Chase Walker

War is a bloody affair for an infantryman. The war for expansion into a new world is no different for Jake Zimmar. He would do anything to get out of combat — even join an obscure division of witch hunters and monster slayers. Jake no longer fears the tales of his youth — the monsters are long gone if they ever existed at all.

Assigned to investigate some strange happenings on a small island colony, Jake and his new allies quickly find themselves in a different kind of struggle for survival. The age-old evil that stirs under the island is an evil beyond that of the creatures of myth.

A dark cave guards even darker secrets. Inside, Jake finds more blood... and long-forgotten nightmares made flesh.

Beware the Well of Bones


Chase Walker's Well of Bones is the first novel in the Well of Bones fantasy trilogy. When I began to read this novel, I found myself liking it and enjoyed the gradually unfolding story. It appealed to me, because it's an entertaining blend of flintlock fantasy and dark fantasy elements.

Well of Bones begins with a chilling scene of a young Hannah searching for her runaway dog and finding a strange well inside a cave. When Hannah enters the cave, she senses a presence there and a voice calls out to her and persuades her to give a drop of her blood. When the night falls, something terrifying happens to Hannah's family...

After the prologue, the story shifts to Jake Zimmar, an infantryman, who serves in the Brenarian Army. Jake saves Count Varro's life in battle and is rewarded by giving an opportunity to join an order of knights, the Order of Apollo, which was originally created to fight the creatures of the night. When his knighthood training is completed, he and his allies are sent on a mission to a small island called Delwhick to investigate a case involving possible witchcraft. When they arrive on the island, they find out that there is something evil and very dangerous beneath the island...

This premise sets the stage for an action-packed, dark and thrilling story that transports readers to Delwhick Isle where strange and dangerous things happen and an ancient evil stirs beneath the land.

One of the things that I like about the story is that the author takes his time to write about how Jake becomes a knight and doesn't rush things. He lets the story unfold at a steady pace and reveals how Jake's life changes when he joins the Order of Apollo.

Another thing I'd like to mention is that the author has found a good balance between descriptive storytelling and action scenes. This is something that many debut authors struggle with, because they tend to pay too much attention on action scenes and often forget everything else, but in this novel everything feels sufficiently balanced. Although certain events are fast-paced and there's plenty of action, the story flows well.

The author writes effortlessly about Jake's life, his military training and his experiences in the infantry. He also tells of Jake's frienship with Brom in a realistic way and pays attention to his tasks on the island.

The author's descriptions about what life is like in the army and how men deal with battles and losses feels wholly realistic. Such things as camaraderie between soldiers and serving in the infantry are handled atmospherically by the author. The battle scenes are also well-handled. I think that the author's personal experiences about serving in the army have influenced his writing style and have allowed him to write realistically about these things.

The author creates a captivating sense of strangeness and mystery with his descriptions about the weird happenings on the island. Reading about what kind of strange things happen on Delwhick was enjoyable. I also enjoyed reading about the love story the author had included in this novel.

As a devoted fan of the darker side of speculative fiction, I was thrilled to read about how the evil presence on the island took hold of people and what happened to them. In fear of writing spoilers I won't go into details about these things, but I can reveal that certain scenes are fascinatingly dark.

Because Well of Bones is the author's debut novel, it has the feel of a first novel to it, but this is not a bad thing at all. What I would've liked to see more is deeper character development, but I wasn't bothered by its absence due to the story being entertaining. I enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading the sequel, because the author has created a good and gripping story that can easily be built upon in the further instalments.

My final words are:

I enjoyed reading Chase Walker's Well of Bones and found it entertaining. This novel is one of those independently published speculative fiction novels that are not well-known, but are awaiting to be discovered by readers. If you're in need of something dark and entertaining to read, this novel may well be what you're looking for, because it's well written fantasy fiction with a focus on fast-paced storytelling and entertainment values.