Title: The Bone Houses
Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction/Horror
Publication Date: September 24th, 2019
Synopsis: “eventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.
The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?
Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.” (Goodreads)
Here’s the thing, calling an undead being a Bone House is a lot nicer than zombie but it is still a zombie! Also, I am terrified of them and they have been haunting my dreams for 21 years! Seriously, it dates back to Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, ha.
Anyways, enough of my boring background. As a certified chicken, I would say that this book had its creepy parts but overall it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. That’s probably for the best so I wouldn’t have nightmares.
But, let’s talk about the characters! Ryn is not afraid of death and carries an axe with her to deal with the ones that rise. Just like her father, she becomes the next gravedigger for their town after he goes missing. Ryn and her siblings have suffered a lot of loss and even then the local Lord is also a dillweed to them. She is always trying to protect them and will do everything to make sure they have what they need to live.
Quickly into the book we are introduced to Ellis. There isn’t much that is known about his background and as the plot progresses, so does his background. He is very witty and I enjoyed the humor he produced during the worst times, ha.
Although you would think Ellis would be considered the comedic relief, a goat steals the whole show! The goat is funny, loyal, and her horns pack a punch! No fear for the undead can be found when it comes to her. I always enjoy a good animal companion and this one did not disappoint.
As for the plot, it was fast paced, interesting, and left me wanting more from the characters. I will say that the plot twists were easy to spot out after learning a bit about the curse. I also thought the ending was a tad anti-climatic.
It took until the last book of the page to make me sad. I wasn’t expecting the last couple of sentences to be so impactful but I think it’s what I needed to hear since I am dealing with my own grief.
“And perhaps this was the truth about the dead.
You went on.
They’d want you to.”
Overall, I enjoyed it and I am glad I have the Owlcrate copy because it’s definitely one I would read again.