Book Spotlight: The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Welcome to book spotlight where instead of giving you another book review, I’m just going to talk about books I’ve read recently that I enjoyed. Prepare yourself for the fangirl gushing.

I wasn’t planning to read The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones. I don’t like zombie-esque stories. I’m not a fan of spooky or creepy stories. It’s not something I would have picked up on my own. But I received a copy of The Drowned Woods in a subscription box and I read a review that mentioned how the books were set in the same world and how the ending of The Drowned Woods ties directly to The Bone Houses and I thought I should probably read it first, just in case.

And I’m glad I did.

I ended up enjoying The Bone Houses more than The Drowned Woods. I connected to the characters and plot more. I learned it’s more fantasy than horror. The “zombies” aren’t like most zombies. They’re dead, sure. They fight people, sure. But they aren’t out to eat your brains or face off or be super gory or spooky. Some are so decayed they’re more bone skeletons than zombie (hence, “bone houses”).

But because the book is more fantasy than horror, more quest adventure than survival, I found myself drawn into this world, into the simplicity of the magic, in the soft gasp of the twists and turns. There’s excitement and soft moments and interesting twists, and really just everything I want from a decent YA fantasy novel these days. Emily does a great job foreshadowing everything, so I found myself pleasantly surprised by the story.

Plus, the bone house goat companion was hilarious and fun.

There was so much scope to the world in The Bone Houses that I’m glad Emily wrote a second story set here, even if I didn’t enjoy The Drowned Woods as much. It was still good, but I didn’t feel as invested in the characters or plot. I appreciate how it connects to The Bone Houses and I would recommend reading both.

The Bone Houses and The Drowned Woods have been likened to modern fairy tale, and I would definitely agree with this assessment. There is just something slightly enchanting about both of these stories that make for good stories.


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