California Bones

Greg van Eekhout, Author
Greg Van Eekhout. Tor, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2855-7
Reviewed on: 04/07/2014
Release date: 06/10/2014
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4299-4685-8
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-7653-7691-6
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Van Eekhout (Norse Code) introduces a magical alternate Los Angeles undergoing a familiar struggle to control limited resources. Trained at a young age to be an osteomancer—one who consumes fantastical creatures’ bones to gain their power—Daniel Blackland hides for 10 years after his parents are killed, surviving on petty theft of trace magic. Then crime lord Otis assigns Daniel a dangerous heist that he can’t refuse: breaking into the Ossuary of the Hierarch, the osteomancer who rules Los Angeles, to reclaim a weapon crafted by Daniel’s father. To execute the heist, Daniel recruits a too-capable but very argumentative team to bypass spells, riddles, and monsters. While the action and magic are thrilling, the various heists aren’t suspenseful. The team defeats difficult obstacles with ease before readers can even appreciate them. A late reveal also undermines everything the reader believes about Daniel and his loyal friends. Nonetheless, the story will excite readers who love magical showdowns, and will tease them with an ending that sets up a sequel. (June)
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