Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones- ESSENTIAL

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones, 353 pgs. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2019. $18.

Language: PG (6 swears, no ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (zombie attacks)



Ryn lives in a small village at the foot of a mountain range that long ago was home to the fae. The fae are gone, and the mountains that once meant prosperity for her people, now only represent danger. After the death of her parents, Ryn carries on the family grave digging business. Together with her siblings, she is attempting to survive in increasingly dangerous times as those their family is tasked with laying to rest refuse to stay buried and emerge from the ground as bone houses, or the walking dead. When Ellis, an apprentice map maker, arrives in town, it seems that he may be there for more than map making and could hold the key to stopping the menace that is threatening Ryn, her family, and the village.

Mixing fantasy and horror, fans of both genres will be pleased with a tale that provides excellent character development and original storytelling. A stand-alone book that could easily be turned into a series, a strong female character with a less conventional profession who battles zombies is intriguing and enjoyable. The relationship between Ryn and Ellis is authentic in its innocence and awkwardness and provides some lightness to a scary story about the vengeful walking dead. The fae aspect of the story could have used more development, but this does not detract from the appreciation of the book.

Reviewer: AEB

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