The Bone Houses – Emily Lloyd-Jones

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The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Published: September 24th, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Horror, Romance, Family, Adventure


I never thought a book about zombies could be so elegantly told. But I should have expected to be swayed by Emily Lloyd-Jones, the same author who wrote The Hearts We Sold which, despite the less-than-pretty-topic, sold me with its beautiful neat writing.

It’s not easy to turn a fantasy story, with zombies of all things, into a fairytale complete with a moral message and universal themes of family, love and acceptance. Yet this author succeeded. She most certainly improved upon her previous release and I would even go as far as to say she went above and beyond what I expected.

This is about two young people who set on a journey into a dangerous forest. Ryn is trying to stop a deadly curse from destroying her family and Ellis is a mapmaker with huge ambition who decides to map a place no one dares explore – the forest. Together they face obstacles and become stronger on the inside and the outside.

My only issue with this book, and this author it seems, is that while her characters are not one-dimensional per se, they never do turn into real beings that could jump off the page. It very much feels like we are reading someone’s story as opposed to someone telling us their story.

But this book remains a lovely and surprising experience. Normally I do not read about horror-ish elements but the un-dead and the violence did not shock me one bit, possibly because the writing enchanted me too much. Or maybe I’m changing. Regardless, I can’t wait to see what Emily comes up with next and I am pleased to recommend this book to you.


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