Book Reviews

The Bone House // Bones and the Undead

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Seventeen-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.


Ok, so this may be an unpopular rating, but a solid 3/5. It was cute. Don’t get me wrong. And I listened/read it steadily. However, it was greatly predictable. I felt the characters fell a bit flat. It is in no way a horror book. Neither is it spooky. It is simply another fantasy book just with reanimated dead bodies called bone houses.

Ryn is a gravedigger by day, bone house killer by night. The term bone house refers to these zombie creatures that for some reason keep rising from the graves, wreaking havoc on people that near the forests. Ryn has had to protect her family since her mother died, and her father and uncle disappeared. She leaves her brother and sister to head into the forest to try to put a stop to more bone houses resurrecting.

Joined with Ellis, a map maker she meets, they set out for the fabled cauldron, said to create life from its abyss. The romance that develops between them honestly made no sense to me. It felt almost forced. Sure they spent time together in the forest, journeying closer to the location of the infamous cauldron, but it felt more like a friendship. They saved each others’ lives a few times, shared stories of their past, but in no way did that mean they should fall in love.

Likes: I loved the bit of Welsh culture and locations you get. I love the unique take of turning a zombie into a creature known as a Bone House. And the connection of the Cauldron story to the Bone Houses? That was quite sweet. And the bone goat. Bless its undying heart.

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What are some of your favorite Halloween spooky reads? Have you read The Bone Houses? What was your opinion?

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