Thursday, January 10, 2013

Review: The Turbatus Bones by Jack Speight (Bone of Evil)

**Before I get on to the review, I would like to briefly, yet officially announce that I am back to the blogging world. I arrived home from England a few weeks ago and will be sharing more and varied book reviews for you all! Now, on to the less boring stuff. **

The Turbatus Bones #1 Bone of Evil By Jack Speight
Pages: 306
Publisher: Createspace
Series: Book #1
Source: received from author

Goodreads Description:
There are four Turbatus Bones: HEALING, LIGHT, FORTUNE, and EVIL. Together, they give the power to travel through space and time. Apart, they can heal, reveal, destine, or doom anyone foolish enough to pick them up. And they are currently scattered across the fierce and fantastical realm of Tarkan.

When young orphan Jackson Walker discovers it is in his power to reunite the bones and find his parents, the quest begins. What Jackson doesn't anticipate is that the bones desperately want to be found by seemingly anyone except himself. When one of the bones falls into the hands of the cruelest man in all of Tarkan, the tyrant Mal, it will take all of Jackson's courage and cunning to retrieve it.

Luckily for Jackson, he is far from alone in his quest. His world is filled with quirky characters: Seven the oversized dog, Radio Flyer the undersized dragon, Jinda the distinctly disfigured herbalist, and the feisty and gorgeous serving-girl, Claire. All of whom are caught, with Jackson, in the perfect realm for fantasy - a world quaking with the turbulence of war, romance, and magic. Written as the first installment of The Turbatus Bones series, The Bone of Evil is ultimately as much about adventure as it is about finding a place in this world (or the next).

My Review:

First of all, this is a review I intended to write months ago. So apologies to anyone who had been waiting to see this review. If that wasn't you, then ignore this and pretend that I'm a good, timely person who reviewed this book on schedule.

I began reading this book and was immediately impressed. The book was fast-paced like every adventure ought to be, and the short chapters really added to the appeal of this book as a quest novel. You can't really go wrong with a crotchety old woman with several missing appendages and an over-sized St. Bernard who speaks and never bathes. I loved that this book has two young boys as protagonists. I had a difficult time at first imagining Jackson and Ome as children-sized. When it comes to the "hero on a journey" character, I tend to picture a brawny young man with emerging intellect, yet a large amount of innocence. Speight's characters break this literary habit; it made for a very refreshing read. Jackson, the young bonemaster, has a likeable courage, but a curious and dark intelligence that makes the boy seem less of a boy and more of a young soldier. And, were back to the 'ol "hero on a quest." Jackson was a very curious character to me and I enjoyed reading his emotions slowly unfold. I look forward to learning more about Jackson in the upcoming novels. "The Turbatus Bones" has a various and unique cast. I thought the each character was compelling and well-rounded, and each served a part of the plot, which really tied the whole story together.

The plot of the story was one of the most unique I have read in some time. I don't read too much Science Fiction, but I can't recall any stories about bones being gathered to help people travel to new world, especially none that take "payment." It was very interesting. And the book climaxed smoothly, everything came together. When the book was finished, my heart was pounding and my fingers were itching to turn just one more page. Good thing there is a sequel!

I give this a four out of five foxes for its fast-paced reading and its ability to engage reader curiosity. The plot was thick and the characters substantial. Speight really did quite a marvelous job on this book. It's a great read middle grade to teen reading.

Check out the Spotlight and author interview I did with Speight earlier.


  1. It's a little ironic that you're back from Europe posting this review while I'm in Europe reading it. Thanks for the kind words and you'll be the first to know when the second book is ready. It's tentatively titled "The Bone of Hunger.". Jack.

  2. Excellent! A fifth bone?? I just got really excited for this next installment. I can't wait to read it!


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