- The Bone Snatcher by Charlotte Salter
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-399-18634-9 $16.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-399-18636-3 $10.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 5-7
Abandoned by her parents, who’ve sold their daughter to purchase passage to the New Continent, twelve-year-old Sophie is now a servant at Catacomb Hill, where her work is feeding sea monsters (or becoming their food herself, if she’s not quick enough). Sophie has the gritty determination to handle the situation, and she even comes armed with a gift of storytelling, an ability that allows her to craft tales that shape the behavior of those around her, turning the tides in her favor. There’s a fantastic secret woven through the novel involving a mysterious box, something left behind by the brilliant father of two horribly abusive teens who likely killed him off, and the slow reveal of this mystery is effective, leaving the reader as much in the dark as Sophie herself. The sea monsters themselves are creatively described, all thrashing tentacles and keen animal intelligence, worthy opponents or allies depending on who is engaging with them. Fantasy fans who appreciate dreamy, atmospheric novels will sink right into this world of islands, monsters, stories, and a staunch girl who grapples with it all.