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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Bone House by Stephen Lawhead

See my review of The Skin Map here.

The Bone House by Stephen Lawhead follows in the impressive shadow The Skin Map left in the Bright Empires series, giving it the strenuous challenge of stepping beyond the excellence of book one. After reading The Bone House, I unfortunately feel it did not rise to meet the challenge.

The writing and cultured prose found in The Skin Map are not lacking in The Bone House, as well as the once again, superb historical settings, cultures, and views sprinkled throughout the book. Characters remained consistent to their established background as well as interesting, and none of the book happenings seemed contrived. The plot also continued forward and a sizable wrinkle was added at the end of the book.

I struggled through writing this review , several times. Having read the book in the space of twenty-four hour, after finishing  I was in a strange quandary; I could confidently say it was pretty good, I liked it, and I’ll read the next book in the series. Unfortunately, when faced with expounding on it in my review, as I did with The Skin Map, I had to fight tooth and nail. The Bone House was simply missing some of the magic the first book in the series had, and I believe I’ve pinpointed why.

It was just not all that different from the preceding book .

The Bone House contained large doses of universe traveling, time zone jumping, minor philosophical ponderings, secret codes, and old unknown scripts.

Unfortunately for the book, all these were already in place in The Skin Map, and their initial magic was worn off. To be sure, they were gently enjoyable in this second book, but for an excitement pulsing review, The Bone House needed to give me substantially fresh material; I don’t believe it did.

My single ‘real’ con of the book fits directly into the book’s lack of newness.


Stephen Lawhead has constructed the characters well, no denying that. Nevertheless, he seems to have left their growth at a standstill for The Bone House! I saw no perceptible growth within any of our viewpoint characters throughout the entire book. This was not just disappointing, but makes distinguishing between books a serious challenge. I expect this problem will only increase exponentially as more time passes since having read both books.

In conclusion, it was an Ok book, but it was really missing that book one magic I felt after reading The Skin Map.
Do I recommend it? Yes, but not with near the excitement as The Skin House.

Find it here and more books like it here

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