Rating: 4.5 / 5
THE BONE HOUSES by Emily Lloyd-Jones is a book I had seen around a bit, but I didn’t know much about. I was excited to receive this great (signed!) edition in my Owlcrate Book Box in September along with some other goodies perfect for going into the spooky season! I made a last minute decision to join the #spookathon readathon last week, so this was a perfect book pick for the prompt for a title including a spooky word (bone counts in my book!).
Aderyn (Ryn) is a young woman who has taken over the family business tending the graveyard for her family after her father went into the woods and never came back. After her mother’s death and their uncle’s departure (leaving the family in debt), Ryn and her siblings are barely making ends meet. Just when it seems that things couldn’t get worse, they of course do and the remains of the dead (the bone houses) are beginning to come back out of the woods.
There are legends that claim the bone houses are the result of a curse, but most don’t believe they exist. Ryn has learned to take them down, but soon their numbers are increasing and an attack on the town means that people can no longer deny that these legendary enemies exist!
When Ryn stumbles on Ellis in the woods where one ought not to be camping, Ellis enlists her help in his quest. He is a mapmaker hoping to make his name correcting the faulty maps of Ryn’s region. With her family’s struggle and the town’s new difficulties, Ryn must accept the job Ellis offers and set off into the woods to face the dangers therein.
This was definitely a perfect pick for October! While I wouldn’t say this was overly scary, a story about bone corpses coming back to “life” certainly screamed “spooky” for the #spookathon. I loved seeing such a strong female lead in play as well as Ryn takes care of her family, the business and even Ellis at only seventeen years old. She is incredibly strong, even as she mourns the loss of her father and her mother and faces seemingly impossible struggles.
I really enjoyed Emily Lloyd-Jones’s atmospheric writing in the book and her sense of humor came as a pleasant surprise to me. There have been a lot of takes on the zombie type story, but this one took a unique approach which I loved. I haven’t read anything from her before, but I certainly will be checking out her back list and what she has to come in the future.
If you are looking for a good spooky read to round out your October or fall reading, this is one I would recommend!