Ryn is a gravedigger in a small village of Colbren and since the death of her parents, she is trying to make a living together with her siblings and pay off any outstanding debts. Her hometown sits at the bottom of a mountain range and is said to be touched by a curse that causes corpses to rise at night. They are known as “bone houses”. The corpses start to attack Colbren with more ferocity after a mapmaker named Ellis comes to town in order to map out the mountains. He hires Ryn to take him up there and act as his guide, which she sees as an opportunity to stop the risen corpses once and for all. Together, they start on a journey that will shed light on their true motives.
The plot of this novel is incredibly enchanting. Despite the fact that it is essentially telling a story about zombies, it is done well. All of the characters are relatable and unique, their personalities different yet complementing each other. And they’re so imaginative – having a risen corpse of a goat as a loyal companion throughout the story has just melted my heart. It is all just wholesome. There is a lot going on and each chapter has had me sitting on the edge of my sit, wishing to continue reading.
“And perhaps, even back then, Ryn thought that if she could love the monsters – then she could love those monstrous parts of herself.”
The author writes about a number of difficult topics in a very serious yet approachable manner. Ryn and Ellis go through some morally tough decisions to make and I think it is great that these are shown in a YA novel. It touches on the subjects such as grief, letting go, losing the sense of belonging. As the story progresses, both characters develop significantly.
“And perhaps this was the truth about the dead. You went on. They’d want you to.”
Personally, I have not found this book to be in any sense dark or scary, it was a realistic fantasy. It didn’t contain any significant amount of ‘faerie’ topic in it, which I was happy to see since I think the most recent YA reads are becoming saturated with it.
“She held on, knowing that sometimes that was all a person could do.”
I would highly recommend “The Bone Houses”, it is an amazing read, a fresh breeze in its genre, that I’m giving all five stars for. It will really stick with me, this book.
Have you read it, if so what did you think? Let me know down in the comment section.
Thank you for reading this review and until next one, Dream On, Dreamers!