The Bone Houses

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones, Can be read in a few nights depending on your speed, Young Adult

“She reminded him of an ocean—beautiful, with enough salt to kill a man. He suspected it would take a knight or a hero of legend to impress one such as her.”


The second I finished this book, I said, “Damn. That was good.” And it truly is. The Bones Houses is a great read for October. It’s nice and spooky without being too scary. And since I don’t really do horror (especially body gore), this was the perfect “horror” book me. 

If you like zombies but are tired to the standard brain-eating zombie story, then you’ll enjoy The Bone Houses. This is a fantastic story based in Welsh mythology. An ancient curse has left the village of Colbren vulnerable to the dead rising and becoming “bone houses.” Normally, they just stay in the woods, but something has changed. Now, they’re entering the village and attacking those who live there.

A photo of The Bone Houses with a skull surrounded by ivy.

Enter Ryn and Ellis. Ryn is Colbren’s gravedigger by day, bone house fighter by night. Ellis is a map maker who happens to live at the Prince’s castle. Through some unexpected turn of events, they team up to solve the problem of the bone houses. Along the way, they both learn more about who they are individually and who they are together. And bonus, they are joined by a bone goat. A bone goat y’all!!

The world building is great and I was completely sucked in. And I loved both Ryn and Ellis. I saw a few of the twists coming, which I usually hate. But this time, I didn’t mind because I was curious to see how the characters would react and what they would do once they figured it out. I also really appreciated that we got a prologue of sorts. Most stories like this end at “the big solution,” but we get several pages of what Ryn and Ellis do after the fact and it really was lovely to end on such warm and calming notes.

To be honest, I didn’t even know this book existed. I picked it up because it was the October choice for the Chronically Iconic Bookclub (Ellis has chronic pain, which I think was dealt with really well in the story and actually mattered for the plot unlike some other books I’ve read) and I’m so glad I did!

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