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"Blood and Bone…"
Ash Tyler is to be the stag boy in the Stag Chase, an age-old tradition where a lone runner is chased through the mountains by a pack of hound boys. Winning means everything to Ash, as he believes it will reunite him with his dad, who returns from war with post-traumatic shock. But Ash begins to experience unsettling mysterious events up in the hills – events that whisper of a terrible and dangerous past. The strange occurrences seem to be connected to Ash’s friend Mark, whose father has recently committed suicide. What has started as a straightforward sport turns into an epic struggle against unknown elemental forces.
I was gripped, hooked and glued to this story from the first page. The author evokes a sense of eerie unease, a landscape that is wildly beautiful, but cruel too, and the sense that we and the present day are but tiny specks on something vast and eternal:
‘Ash walked. He walked in the footsteps of long-dead shepherds and hunters, warriors and poets, pedlars and wanderers, lovers, wise women, outlaws, rebels. He felt them all around him, as if the centuries that separated him from them were vapour-thin.’
Of course, the story is full of as much action, adventure, mystery and blood-curdling moments of horror as any teen reader would want, but its strength is the substance below this – the effect on the reader is both immediate and lasting.
Reading ‘Bone Jack’ is like a mountain run – exhilarating, breathtaking and a touch dangerous. Recommended for anyone of 11 or so upwards.Read moreLess