The Bone Snatcher

352p. ebook available. Dial. Feb. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399186349.
Gr 6–8—Sophie Seacove lives in a world where Sea Fever has made people terrified of the water and sea monsters fill the ocean. Her parents abandon her to a strange family who live on an island, Catacomb Hill, off the coast. Trapped in a rotting, mysterious house, Sophie learns from the house's caretaker how to keep the sea monsters at bay. At the same time, she tries to devise a way off the island. When the family's nephew arrives and offers her a chance to escape in exchange for a hidden invention of his uncle's, Sophie has to outwit both the crazy family and the mazelike house. Though Sophie has a clear goal (to get away from Catacomb Hill), her actions seem aimless, and the story wavers confusingly between quirky adventure and dark science fiction. She's harassed by the family's psychopathic twin sons, whose purpose, beyond serving as cruel, violent obstacles to her search, is unclear. Readers don't learn enough about Sophie's background to be invested in her efforts or to care about whether she succeeds.
VERDICT The novel doesn't manage its many characters and plotlines in a cohesive, entertaining way, making it a low-priority purchase.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing