Every book in this series have been marathon reads for me, and Etched in Bone was no exception. I picked it up yesterday morning and pretty much did absolutely nothing else until I read the last page about midnight last night (although I did stop, in the name of marital harmony, to shovel some dinner down; luckily, there was a footy game on last night, so the shovelling went largely unnoticed).
I have loved every moment of this series; been sucked into this world so thoroughly that interruptions leave me hazy about reality and I have been as attached to these characters as much as, or more, than any others. Possibly more than real people I know.
But... this one; this final book concerning Meg and Simon, was not as great as the first 4. Because this book deviated from the rules the author created for The Others. In any of the other books, Jimmy would have been a stain on the sidewalk before chapter 3. I get what she was trying to do here, I get what she wanted to explore, but it was not done as gracefully, and the effect felt forced; its execution more heavy handed. In short, Jimmy got on my nerves; I stopped being horrified and started getting irritated and mumbling 'why isn't this man dead yet???'.
Still, I'd recommend this to anyone who likes urban fantasy and/or parables. Because this whole series is one giant parable about the human race: our capacity for grace, our capacity for vice, and our wholesale destruction of everything in our path as long as we remain unchecked. As horrifying as The Others are, I can't look around at what's going on today and not sort of wish our Earth had Naimid's teeth and claws to protect her.
I'm attached so thoroughly to these characters in the Courtyard, I'm not sure I'll read the next book; which is apparently in the same universe but with a different setting and characters. I want more Tess! But I'll definitely be re-reading these.