web site hit counter Cathedral of Bones - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Cathedral of Bones

Availability: Ready to download

Simon Frost lives in a curious place, where magic is used by the very best Animists to do wondrous things—like call upon imps, wraiths, and all manner of monsters to right wrongs, deliver justice, and accomplish feats no human could achieve. Simon Frost is not one of those Animists, though he’s been trying to become one for years.  When a plea arrives from a distant hamlet, Simon Frost lives in a curious place, where magic is used by the very best Animists to do wondrous things—like call upon imps, wraiths, and all manner of monsters to right wrongs, deliver justice, and accomplish feats no human could achieve. Simon Frost is not one of those Animists, though he’s been trying to become one for years.  When a plea arrives from a distant hamlet, preyed upon by an abominable monster, Simon sees the opportunity to finally prove his worth. But upon arriving in the tiny village, Simon finds not just a monster but a key to his past—and a pathway into an unbelievable future.


Compare

Simon Frost lives in a curious place, where magic is used by the very best Animists to do wondrous things—like call upon imps, wraiths, and all manner of monsters to right wrongs, deliver justice, and accomplish feats no human could achieve. Simon Frost is not one of those Animists, though he’s been trying to become one for years.  When a plea arrives from a distant hamlet, Simon Frost lives in a curious place, where magic is used by the very best Animists to do wondrous things—like call upon imps, wraiths, and all manner of monsters to right wrongs, deliver justice, and accomplish feats no human could achieve. Simon Frost is not one of those Animists, though he’s been trying to become one for years.  When a plea arrives from a distant hamlet, preyed upon by an abominable monster, Simon sees the opportunity to finally prove his worth. But upon arriving in the tiny village, Simon finds not just a monster but a key to his past—and a pathway into an unbelievable future.

30 review for Cathedral of Bones

  1. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Sewell

    Goodreads Giveaway. Eidendel is a city of animist magic, governed by the Foundation. Haunted by the unexplained killing of his twin sister and the disappearance of his mother soon after, Simon's poor magic skills tumble him to the bottom of the ladder to the mailroom. When a plea for help from a far flung province to help eliminate a demon is ignored Simon takes on the task to prove his mettle. His quest leads to discoveries concerning his scientist parents and a deadly power that exists within Goodreads Giveaway. Eidendel is a city of animist magic, governed by the Foundation. Haunted by the unexplained killing of his twin sister and the disappearance of his mother soon after, Simon's poor magic skills tumble him to the bottom of the ladder to the mailroom. When a plea for help from a far flung province to help eliminate a demon is ignored Simon takes on the task to prove his mettle. His quest leads to discoveries concerning his scientist parents and a deadly power that exists within him. Within the cathedral of bones from his dreams he meets Alice and together they discover secrets and uncover a deadly conspiracy. This middle grade level fantasy employs a unique magic system and is an immersive story.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I would have to call this a YA fantasy book, since it is full of magic, imps, demons, and so on. Simon Frost iis a want to be Animist who finds a quest to go. He is off to kill the "monster" that is scaring a small village. Once there, he finds that the monster is a girl, but she has also been modified and has tentacles and the ability to shape shift into something like a dragon. In this book, we learn that people can still be cruel to others that are different from us. Also, that as much as we I would have to call this a YA fantasy book, since it is full of magic, imps, demons, and so on. Simon Frost iis a want to be Animist who finds a quest to go. He is off to kill the "monster" that is scaring a small village. Once there, he finds that the monster is a girl, but she has also been modified and has tentacles and the ability to shape shift into something like a dragon. In this book, we learn that people can still be cruel to others that are different from us. Also, that as much as we want to believe i our government, that certain things are usually kept a secret from the citizens. When Simon tries to get help for Alice, he learns that people simply want to hide her away, and pretend that people like her simply don't exist. It is so much easier than trying to find a cure. And isn't that what a lot of countries do with their mentally disabled and homeless?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mallie Moore

    I highly recommend this book to anyone. It’s technically middle grades but I think adults can love the story too! There are many great messages for kids approaching adolescence and adulthood, and the characters were multi-dimensional, yet still lovable. Pick it up if you have the chance :)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tiffani Reads

    **Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for giving me an advanced copy for review.** Okay so first thing I would like to point out is that the review copy I read appears to be 131 pages shorter than the finished hardcover. So my rating may increase upon reread of this book. That being said the reason that I rated this book only 3 stars is because I felt it lacked world building, a general lack of explanations about the magic system, and some character building. If the finished copy does this b **Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for giving me an advanced copy for review.** Okay so first thing I would like to point out is that the review copy I read appears to be 131 pages shorter than the finished hardcover. So my rating may increase upon reread of this book. That being said the reason that I rated this book only 3 stars is because I felt it lacked world building, a general lack of explanations about the magic system, and some character building. If the finished copy does this better, I feel like this could be a fantastic series because the magic is really unique and the world is very interesting. As a reader though, I found that I was confused quite a bit because of lack of explanation over why something is the way it is. As for the characters, Simon is a great character. You can tell from the very beginning that there is going to be a big reveal about his backstory, some of it is predictable, some of it is not. Because he is the main character, I feel like he gets the most development which is as it should be, but because he gets the most that leaves other characters as lacking. Alice as the secondary main character seems like she could have been fleshed out a bit more. Explore her character and her powers, I know because of how we meet her and how she is written, it is impossible to give her a backstory but there is more that could have been explored about who she is now. Then the supporting cast is fine but flat. Their characterizations are one dimensional. His dad is a depressed drunk. His mentor Neeta is a hard ass. Brenner is a bully, plain and simple. That's all they are, that's all you get in the way of character development. I know that side characters are not really integral to the story but these three should really have had an impact on Simon from how they treated him and interacted with him but they were only given the barest of character traits and not really thought about beyond that. I really hope that they extra pages added to the finished copy of this book explain this world more thoroughly because I could see this becoming a really fantastic series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    S Tondra

    Cathedral of Bones is an interesting read but I'm not sure it is really a middle grade book. Simon our protagonist is 14 but encounters more dark themes (human experimentation, murdered family, drugs) that I don't think the typical middle grade reader would enjoy. The story starts out a bit slow and confusing as you are learning more about Simon and his backstory but picks up once he decides to try and help a village on his own and discovers Alice the monster/human. The world building was good a Cathedral of Bones is an interesting read but I'm not sure it is really a middle grade book. Simon our protagonist is 14 but encounters more dark themes (human experimentation, murdered family, drugs) that I don't think the typical middle grade reader would enjoy. The story starts out a bit slow and confusing as you are learning more about Simon and his backstory but picks up once he decides to try and help a village on his own and discovers Alice the monster/human. The world building was good as you learn about the Animism magic that powers Simon and others. However, there was just something off that I couldn't put my finger on that kept me from really enjoying this book, it wasn't bad but it just wasn't great either. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, misspelling, and grammar errors in this review are all on own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alexis (The Book Democracy)

    3/5 Stars ** I received this as an E-ARC from Edelweiss plus and the publisher in exchange for my honest review, Thank you!** I have mixed feelings about this book. I feel very confused about the magic in this book. Everything just felt very jumbled to me. I will say the characters were interesting and I did enjoy them. Overall just an okay read for me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Soup

    I'm not entirely sure why this book is being marketed as a middle grade novel when it would likely enjoy broader readership on the adult market. The deep dive into demonology of the Lovecraftian type seems unlikely to interest most middle school students (although it is likely to freak out at least some of their parents) and Simon behaves, thinks, and speaks more like the depressed protagonist of Office Space than the 14 year old boy he is. There's great world building here as well as potential I'm not entirely sure why this book is being marketed as a middle grade novel when it would likely enjoy broader readership on the adult market. The deep dive into demonology of the Lovecraftian type seems unlikely to interest most middle school students (although it is likely to freak out at least some of their parents) and Simon behaves, thinks, and speaks more like the depressed protagonist of Office Space than the 14 year old boy he is. There's great world building here as well as potential for a series, although again I would target a more general audience so as to not lose the readers who would be otherwise interested but put off by reading a "kid's book."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amy Carlson

    Thank you NetGalley for an ARC of this book! Simon Frost lives in Eidenel a curious place where Animists, those with the ability to use the earth’s meta to perform “magic” (although it’s not called that), are the acting government. Simon is an Animist, but not a very strong one and is thus subjected to working in the mail room. Both his parents, however, are powerful Animists and are renowned for their research, although no one really knows what his parents are researching. At the start of the no Thank you NetGalley for an ARC of this book! Simon Frost lives in Eidenel a curious place where Animists, those with the ability to use the earth’s meta to perform “magic” (although it’s not called that), are the acting government. Simon is an Animist, but not a very strong one and is thus subjected to working in the mail room. Both his parents, however, are powerful Animists and are renowned for their research, although no one really knows what his parents are researching. At the start of the novel, Simon’s mother abandoned him four years ago while his father quit working for the government in favor if devoting all his time to his research. Simon’s twin sister who died when they were ten was also a powerful Animist but the events surrounding her sudden death are shrouded in mystery. The real narrative begins when Simon (as the “mail room boy”) comes across a letter from Splithead Creek, a minuscule village crying for an Animist’s help to save them from a terrifying monster. Simon, who is already frustrated with his unimportant (and rather embarrassing) position, impulsively quits his job and decides to take care of the monster in order to prove himself. Except the “monster” isn’t anything like his assumptions and him teaming up with said monster to find a cure for it sends him on an adventure that will change everything he thought he knew about himself, his family, and his whole world. I don’t know why, but for some reason my recent book choices involve monsters. (Maybe I am instinctively ready for Halloween?) Cathedral of Bones, though, is one of the best written monster-fantasy stories I have read in a while. Honestly, it amazes me how in such few pages A. J. Steiger can create a dynamic, flawed character yet do so in a way that still makes the reader cheer for him. The same holds true for Eidendel, which is flirting with so many ethical gray lines but you want to see it succeed so badly. I especially love how Eidendel is a mix between your average 19th century country and this magical realm seeped in a history that makes children scared of monsters under their beds (which could actually be a possibility in some cases). I also applaud Steiger on his ability for clue-dropping and strategically revealing bits and pieces to avoid info dumping while keeping the reader eager to finish the book. Overall, the superb writing and storytelling skills makes this novel an excellent addition for children’s collections. However, at the same time I am confused as to what the official theme is – or whether it’s supposed to have a theme. At first, with Simon growing from a terrified child into a brave man, I figured the theme would be bravery and standing up for what’s right. Then Alice is discovered and for awhile the theme focused on uncovering the mysterious monster-maker with an added Frankenstein-vibe. Then Simon discovers what his parents are researching and – especially after Simon finds his mom – I expected the ultimate ending to be about ethics in research with the added element about healthy grieving. But then the focus shifts back to Simon’s growing bravery and selflessness except instead of standing up for what’s right he’s trying to save all humanity even though he doesn’t understand all the consequences to his actions. These themes actually work well together and while reading I didn’t feel like the writing was trying to jump from one topic to the next, yet in the end I wanted some sort off concluding statement made about at least one of the themes to pull everything together. In particular I wanted some sort of concluding thought said about Simon’s parents’ researches because, oh wow, are they doing some unethical stuff! Forget the monsters who are really ruling the world, the research was disgusting! I mean, bringing people back to life by combining them with monster parts (especially when the victims want to stay dead) and Simon’s father cutting off his own son’s head and reattaching it to a robot body? The Foundation (the title for the Animist government) needs to enforce stricter laws for research or else they’ll end up with a bigger mess than just a horrifying monster secretly ruling the joint. Because unlike what Simon’s parents believe, unethical research isn’t love – it’s keeping the family from properly grieving and will eventually cause more harm than good. (Also, Simon falling in love with a sort-of dead girl was weird.) Verdict: A unique addition that will open discussions on ethics while appealing to monster-fantasy lovers.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mindy

    In Cathedral of Bones, the author has crafted a tale filled with tentacles, different planes of existence, elder gods, and mind-blowing cosmic powers, but grounded in a coming-of-age story of friendship and family, sacrifice and forgiveness. Simon Frost has had a rough start to his early life. His twin sister was murdered several years ago, his mother vanished shortly thereafter leaving only a note, his father was expelled from the Foundation amid darkly ominous rumors about his research, and Sim In Cathedral of Bones, the author has crafted a tale filled with tentacles, different planes of existence, elder gods, and mind-blowing cosmic powers, but grounded in a coming-of-age story of friendship and family, sacrifice and forgiveness. Simon Frost has had a rough start to his early life. His twin sister was murdered several years ago, his mother vanished shortly thereafter leaving only a note, his father was expelled from the Foundation amid darkly ominous rumors about his research, and Simon himself has shown so little talent as a Foundation animist not a single mentor will take him on, leaving him relegated to working in the mail-room sorting requests for the Foundation’s aid from citizens and towns/cities. When the Foundation ignores a letter from a small town asking for assistance against a dangerous monster, Simon takes it on himself to come to their aid, the first step on a journey that will find him an unexpected ally and change everything he knows about the Foundation, himself, his family, and his world. I enjoyed that there were several thematic questions that were posed while reading this book, to encourage readers to think critically about these things in their own life: -How does one move on from trauma/grief? -Can one be redeemed after a horrific act? -Can a lie ever be more ethical than the truth? -What does it mean to be “truly” human? -What is our significance in the greater universe and how does our understanding of that affect our actions? -Is family more important than friendship? -Is it moral to sacrifice few for many? Although this book is marketed as middle grade I would caution teachers and parents in picking up this book for anyone under the age of 14. CW: murdered family, necromancy, human experimentation(with graphic detail), drug abuse, profanity and dark, disturbing imagery. This was one of the more unique books I’ve read in awhile. Overall I did enjoy it and would be interested to see if this book becomes part of a larger series

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    "I am the darkness between worlds, and between elementary particles, and inside your own mind. I am the emptiness before birth and after death, the ancient indifference of the stars, and of what lies beyond the stars -" ---------------------------------------- Simon Frost is a teen who has lived a life steeped in sadness and mediocrity. He has failed his magical apprenticeship and is toiling away in the mailroom when he receives an unusual letter. A small village is requesting The Foundation's hel "I am the darkness between worlds, and between elementary particles, and inside your own mind. I am the emptiness before birth and after death, the ancient indifference of the stars, and of what lies beyond the stars -" ---------------------------------------- Simon Frost is a teen who has lived a life steeped in sadness and mediocrity. He has failed his magical apprenticeship and is toiling away in the mailroom when he receives an unusual letter. A small village is requesting The Foundation's help to protect them from a monster and his superiors tell him to ignore it. In his heart, he just can't ignore this plea for help. He knows he's not got enough power to fight the monster himself but he hopes that he can at least validate the claim and get these people help. What he finds in the small town challenges him in every way possible and our little anti-hero rises to the occasion learning about the truth of the world; the magic he so desperately wants as well as unraveling the truth of his own history and just who he is and who he is meant to be. Despite his inability to do any magic of note, Simon has this deep, compassionate heart. That shines through in every page. He slowly gains courage and faces some really hard truths in his pursuit of this monster. There are beautiful lessons of courage, loyalty and acceptance in this story. Simon has a Harry Potter-like quality; a meek, young boy who has to decide whether he wants to stand up and do the right thing even if it means putting himself at risk. The world building is as complex and yet readable as Harry Potter so even though it is aimed at middle grade it is perfect for fantasy fans of every age. Thanks to Harper Collins for a copy of this novel. All opinions above are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Elley Murray

    I really liked this book, but I don't understand how on earth it's being marketed as middle grade?! My understanding of middle grade fiction is that it's generally for ages 8-12, and YA is for 12-18 year olds. Simon Frost is 14 but doesn't read like any 14 year old I've ever met and could easily be aged up as 16 in this book, especially with the bit of romantic theme. Even with him being 14, the themes in this book are much more suited to YA (as is the level of violence and gore). The reading le I really liked this book, but I don't understand how on earth it's being marketed as middle grade?! My understanding of middle grade fiction is that it's generally for ages 8-12, and YA is for 12-18 year olds. Simon Frost is 14 but doesn't read like any 14 year old I've ever met and could easily be aged up as 16 in this book, especially with the bit of romantic theme. Even with him being 14, the themes in this book are much more suited to YA (as is the level of violence and gore). The reading level, both vocabulary and themes, also seems a bit high for middle grade. Getting past the completely inappropriate categorization of this book, it's a really interesting story. Simon is a somewhat failed Animist apprentice who has been regulated to working (and living) in the mailroom at the Foundation, which is sort of the governmental system of this world. There are heavy Lovecraftian themes throughout the book, and it's as much horror as it is fantasy. If you're into Lovecraftian/cosmic horror (yes, I'm talking Azathoth, shoggoths, abominations and the like), this is the book for you! There's plenty of necromancy, human experimentation, drugs, murder, and mutilation for everyone! (You can maybe see why I don't think this is middle grade...) Still, Simon was a really appealing character, and I was really drawn to Alice as well. I found myself caring deeply what happened to these two and rooting for their success. The ending was shocking and amazing and more than I'd hoped for - absolutely amazing. A digital ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own. Like this review? Check out more of my reviews on my blog, Elley the Book Otter

  12. 4 out of 5

    Julia Pika

    Received an ARC copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Cathedral of Bones follows Simon, a teenager who works in a mailroom for the Foundation, a sort of group that keeps people in check, especially Animists aka those who can wield "magic". Simon is an animist, but his magic isn't really that great. Life's pretty boring for a teen who wanted to be a hero and help people, until one day a letter comes in from a town begging for help to fight a monster. That monster? It's just a girl Received an ARC copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Cathedral of Bones follows Simon, a teenager who works in a mailroom for the Foundation, a sort of group that keeps people in check, especially Animists aka those who can wield "magic". Simon is an animist, but his magic isn't really that great. Life's pretty boring for a teen who wanted to be a hero and help people, until one day a letter comes in from a town begging for help to fight a monster. That monster? It's just a girl named Alice. She has quite an interesting story to tell, however... So, I agree with what some of the reviewers are saying about this being more Young Adult rather than middle school, the magic system here is pretty complex and not entirely explained. It's also pretty dark in tone. It's still pretty...hopeful, but there's just a lot of dark secrets, tragic backstories, etc, to be found in this book. I really enjoyed it though, although the magic system not being explained too carefully bothered me I got over it pretty quickly for the sake of the story/characters. Simon is a great character and it's fascinating seeing his true backstory unfold. His parents were equally fascinating and Alice even more so. The bully is boring but who really likes bullies in books? Ha. Simon's mentor was shockingly interesting, despite not having much screentime. This book is also steampunk-y, though I think it leans heavily toward magic, it does have a ton of steampunk elements throughout. Not to mention all the demons, imps, mechanical monsters running around... I wish the world-building was more in-depth but I can see wanting to sacrifice it for the sake of Simon and his story which was fantastic. Great book for anyone interested in a character-focused steampunk/fantasy book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn (Katie) Burlo

    There’s nothing I love more than cute, magical books that actually end up being very dark. Does anyone else feel like this? Anyway, this book teeters on the line between middle grade and YA novel. The protagonist is 14 which is usually on the verge of middle grade/YA, yet there are a lot of very dark things he goes through. There’s a lot of creepy and harmful unethical research (which is an odd fear of mine...it’s just really creepy to me), and Simon actually ends up teaming up with a monster he There’s nothing I love more than cute, magical books that actually end up being very dark. Does anyone else feel like this? Anyway, this book teeters on the line between middle grade and YA novel. The protagonist is 14 which is usually on the verge of middle grade/YA, yet there are a lot of very dark things he goes through. There’s a lot of creepy and harmful unethical research (which is an odd fear of mine...it’s just really creepy to me), and Simon actually ends up teaming up with a monster he was at first going to get rid of - yet ends up being a girl named Alice who is being targeted because of who she is and her powers. There’s monsters and themes like growing up, being brave, ethics, and doing what is right. The book never settles on a single theme, but I think that’s great! Personally, it gave me more to think about. My one critique isn’t necessarily the book, it’s more the marketing. I don’t think this book should be middle grade, and I have seen other reviews that say the same thing. I think of middle grade as a “middle school” kind of book - I’ve read quite a few and think older people can still read them, but the audience it is intended for is younger. YA on the other hand is really for teens and young adults. These books deal with darker topics and are a little more complex, and I feel like this book would’ve fit better under a YA label. That said, the book is still a great read, and I would recommend YA lovers to read it. Consensus: 4/5 For more reviews and book boards, visit my IG! @katiebreads

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amita

    Will I ever stop thinking books are going to be light, fun reads and ending up getting clotheslined by them when they turn out to be a lot darker? The answer is... I doubt it. But that's fine, because it does truly add to the experience. This is classified as MG but I would put it somewhere between upper MG/lower YA because even though the characters are 14ish, the way it's written and how the themes are explored are more YA-leaning. Okay so now onto the book itself. This is one of those reads tha Will I ever stop thinking books are going to be light, fun reads and ending up getting clotheslined by them when they turn out to be a lot darker? The answer is... I doubt it. But that's fine, because it does truly add to the experience. This is classified as MG but I would put it somewhere between upper MG/lower YA because even though the characters are 14ish, the way it's written and how the themes are explored are more YA-leaning. Okay so now onto the book itself. This is one of those reads that seem really really good while I'm reading, but afterwards I look back and think "yeah that was good but not spectacular." There's no specific reason for that; I liked Simon (omg 490 pages in that ebook and he did not catch 1 single break), the plot was very high-stakes, and the dark atmosphere/the world itself were honestly incredible. I just... I don't know. I didn't connect with the book as a whole, and that's okay. It was still a fun read. I do want to point out the writing itself. This book dealt with a lot of ideas and feelings that would ordinarily be super hard to describe (mostly because they don't exist and are different than just describing the setting or rules of a fantasy world), but the author did a really great job of it. Final note is that I did cry over a specific part of this at 5 am so I will be counting that as another achievement for this book

  15. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena

    The following review was first posted on my personal blog: Fourteen-year-old Simon Frost wasn’t very successful in his training as an Animist, so he has ended up in a boring job sorting mail for the Foundation in the fantasy city of Eidendel. One day, a letter from the mayo of Splithead Creek catches Simon’s interest. The town needs the help of an Animist to rid themselves of an “unspeakable horror”. Simon’s supervisor doesn’t think that the emergency is worth the Foundation’s attention, but Sim The following review was first posted on my personal blog: Fourteen-year-old Simon Frost wasn’t very successful in his training as an Animist, so he has ended up in a boring job sorting mail for the Foundation in the fantasy city of Eidendel. One day, a letter from the mayo of Splithead Creek catches Simon’s interest. The town needs the help of an Animist to rid themselves of an “unspeakable horror”. Simon’s supervisor doesn’t think that the emergency is worth the Foundation’s attention, but Simon feels otherwise. On a whim, he quits his job and travels to Splithead Creek himself. The fearsome monster turns out to be a girl named Alice. Based on her gray skin, tentacles, and ability to shapeshift into a dragon, Simon speculates that she might be an “Abomination”, an illegal human-demon hybrid. He takes Alice to see his estranged father, a doctor who may be able to help. Along the way, Simon learns some dark secrets about his family, his own past, and the Foundation. This fantasy story with steampunk elements features thorough world-building, especially as it describes the old legends that come to play a significant role in the plot. Although the pacing is inconsistent and the first few chapters are a little dry, the book turns into a gripping fantasy adventure that will appeal to middle-school-age readers with an affinity for unique fantasy settings. 

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sherry

    2.5 stars Sucked in by the whimsical cover, I did not expect to find a story based in Lovecraftian horror, but that’s what I got. I’m really not sure how to respond to this book. On the one hand, stories based around a disregarded character heroically saving the world are kind of my jam, and Simon is a perfect example of the kind of good-hearted and humble hero I love to root for. His friendship with Alice—a mysterious girl with tentacles who shapeshifts into a dragon-like monster—is sweet. But fo 2.5 stars Sucked in by the whimsical cover, I did not expect to find a story based in Lovecraftian horror, but that’s what I got. I’m really not sure how to respond to this book. On the one hand, stories based around a disregarded character heroically saving the world are kind of my jam, and Simon is a perfect example of the kind of good-hearted and humble hero I love to root for. His friendship with Alice—a mysterious girl with tentacles who shapeshifts into a dragon-like monster—is sweet. But for me, that all sits very uneasily beside the cosmic horror of eldritch beings who would uncaringly destroy the universe. The book has some dark elements, like experimentation on dead people and magic powered by animal sacrifice, and Simon’s soul gets eaten by an otherworldly entity. All this in a book meant for middle-grade readers. (Simon himself is only 14, although he’s treated like he’s much older by the adults around him.) I do think some kids will enjoy this novel, but it’s definitely not for everyone. A copy of this book was provided through NetGalley for review; all opinions expressed are my own.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chaitra

    This is such an odd book to be called middle grade. Mine is 8, and I normally read middle grade books to him. One of the reasons I chose to read this book is to vet its suitability, but I think I'm going to pass on this one. That's not to say it's not a good book - it is, even as it deals with some really weird topics (of the kind that are prevalent in our world, I'm sorry to say). The protagonist is 14, and maybe that's why this is in the YA/Middle Grade section, but this world's 14 isn't the s This is such an odd book to be called middle grade. Mine is 8, and I normally read middle grade books to him. One of the reasons I chose to read this book is to vet its suitability, but I think I'm going to pass on this one. That's not to say it's not a good book - it is, even as it deals with some really weird topics (of the kind that are prevalent in our world, I'm sorry to say). The protagonist is 14, and maybe that's why this is in the YA/Middle Grade section, but this world's 14 isn't the same as ours. Simon is an animist, which means he can channel magic and put it to use, but at the beginning he can only do this sparingly. You know there's something not right with that, and the reason becomes clear later on. I liked the themes, I liked the clash between the parents. I wanted the book (series?) to explore some of this further - the mom does forbidden magic, but it's forbidden from an entity that really has no moral bearing to do so, so is it really that bad? (According to me, yes, but I don't live in this world). I hope there's another book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Rose

    4.5 Stars. This was a well crafted fantasy with lovable characters and fantastic pacing. It's one of the few books I have read that is truly for early YA(think 7th-10th grade); it felt as accessible as a middle grade fantasy, but man, it went pretty dark in places that I was not expecting. The magic system of Animism was well explained without too many info dumps and I LOVED how it roped in mad science (kind of like the magic system in Full Metal Alchemist) in a creepy, dark and interesting way. 4.5 Stars. This was a well crafted fantasy with lovable characters and fantastic pacing. It's one of the few books I have read that is truly for early YA(think 7th-10th grade); it felt as accessible as a middle grade fantasy, but man, it went pretty dark in places that I was not expecting. The magic system of Animism was well explained without too many info dumps and I LOVED how it roped in mad science (kind of like the magic system in Full Metal Alchemist) in a creepy, dark and interesting way. Simon was a great main character and I liked finding things out along with him as everything he understood about his world unraveled. Again this was very well paced, it kept staying exciting but gave enough time to care about Simon and Alice and their friendship. The author left it a little open ended, enough to have a sequel if she so chose but closed enough that I didn’t feel like this was all just set up for a series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mel Lenore

    This book is a solid mix of sci-fi and fantasy. I loved Simon and Alice's friendship, and I really enjoyed the character development and the overarching "message" of the story. This book bridges the gap between middle grade and YA. I would say it is most suitable for 13-15 years of age. There is death and violence discussed explicitly. With that being said, I think it would have functioned well as an adult book. The lore was incredibly interesting but also very poorly fleshed out. We really don' This book is a solid mix of sci-fi and fantasy. I loved Simon and Alice's friendship, and I really enjoyed the character development and the overarching "message" of the story. This book bridges the gap between middle grade and YA. I would say it is most suitable for 13-15 years of age. There is death and violence discussed explicitly. With that being said, I think it would have functioned well as an adult book. The lore was incredibly interesting but also very poorly fleshed out. We really don't learn much about the inner workings, magic, or gods at all. I felt like the pacing could have used some work as well. Nothing of import seemed to happen until about 80 pages in, and then we hit a lull again before really revving up at the end. Overall, I enjoyed the story, the characters, and the writing style. I just kept wanting more from it. The potential was there, but not developed. I do recommend it. Especially for young teen readers.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Missie

    I really enjoyed Cathedral of Bones,. It was such an interesting new world. A father has two children and one of them tragical dies. He and his wife split because of differences of opinion and the mother is not seen again. His son is pretty much abandoned and goes into the city to work. He can do some elemental magic, but does not seem very good at it and ends up working in the mail room. The adventure begins when the son (I am horrible with names) decides to go on a quest that would have been ig I really enjoyed Cathedral of Bones,. It was such an interesting new world. A father has two children and one of them tragical dies. He and his wife split because of differences of opinion and the mother is not seen again. His son is pretty much abandoned and goes into the city to work. He can do some elemental magic, but does not seem very good at it and ends up working in the mail room. The adventure begins when the son (I am horrible with names) decides to go on a quest that would have been ignored by the government.. This leads to introduction to a monster who the son befriends. The adventure is full of mystery, realization and an epic ending. I am not 100% sure if it is a stand alone or is going to be a series. It wrapped up ok enough to be a stand alone, but it would be a great series.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cmeiss330

    I loved Alice and Simon’s relationship throughout this book and some of the writing was truly beautiful but I still feel like the attitude towards anxiety medication was not addressed well. He was having literal panic attacks and taking pills for them and having him throw them away like he does because is irresponsible when so many people feel a stigma for taking them (myself included when I first started). That’s not a good look for young readers. I know a lot of people think this is too old fo I loved Alice and Simon’s relationship throughout this book and some of the writing was truly beautiful but I still feel like the attitude towards anxiety medication was not addressed well. He was having literal panic attacks and taking pills for them and having him throw them away like he does because is irresponsible when so many people feel a stigma for taking them (myself included when I first started). That’s not a good look for young readers. I know a lot of people think this is too old for middle grade but as a librarian I think it’s age appropriate for 8-9th graders and early teens on the higher end of middle grade who want more high fantasy with a Lovecraftian horror introduction. I still feel so conflicted bc I loved the story but I just don’t know how to feel about the depiction of mental illness (especially as a demon that can be conquered without medication?)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Zakri Banker

    Cathedral of Bones was an interesting world to delve into for a time. It was fascinating to follow main character, Simon's path from child to a very magical adult, but I felt the story was clunky at times. There were elements of the world that seemed to be missing, pertinent pieces of magic knowledge were not explained, and even understanding his parents and their role in the world was confusing. It had a bit of a rushed and forced storyline. Overall, it had great elements about friendship and t Cathedral of Bones was an interesting world to delve into for a time. It was fascinating to follow main character, Simon's path from child to a very magical adult, but I felt the story was clunky at times. There were elements of the world that seemed to be missing, pertinent pieces of magic knowledge were not explained, and even understanding his parents and their role in the world was confusing. It had a bit of a rushed and forced storyline. Overall, it had great elements about friendship and trying to tangle with an unknown magic, but I feel more of the world and magic needs to be explained.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deep_Abyss

    Whatever this story is about, I am sure it’s another masterpiece. I still love When My Heart Joins The Thousand so much, that I know I will love this one to. Whether it’s about two people falling in love to discover the wounds in them, or an adventure worth remembering, I can’t wait. Whatever this story is about, I am sure it’s another masterpiece. I still love When My Heart Joins The Thousand so much, that I know I will love this one to. Whether it’s about two people falling in love to discover the wounds in them, or an adventure worth remembering, I can’t wait.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael Dunn

    Pretty standard plot device of these types of stories. Main character is an underdog who ends up having super powers. its the hero journey plot, where the protaganst is on an inner journery of self discovery as well. Its very much a YA book, contrary to those posting otherwise. Its still good. what makes it are the inclusinon of Lovercraftian Elder gods. Many story lines left loose, so expect a sequel.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Kizer

    This is more like a 2.5 star rating. I'm just not sure about the blood sacrifice, the weird dark vibe the whole story gives off is something my middle school students would be interested in. This is one of those books that you would recommend to students who like the Five Nights of Freddy series (which is way darker than Goosebumps). But other than those students I really think the audience is limited. This is more like a 2.5 star rating. I'm just not sure about the blood sacrifice, the weird dark vibe the whole story gives off is something my middle school students would be interested in. This is one of those books that you would recommend to students who like the Five Nights of Freddy series (which is way darker than Goosebumps). But other than those students I really think the audience is limited.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Ashby

    Too convoluted for me at the climax but I was riveted for the rest of the story. Simon makes a good underdog trying to find his inner strength only to eventually learn he has the secret power all along. Alice is amazing - if hard to picture. Both Simon's parents are great characters but each is worth hating in his/her own right. A unique fantasy. Too convoluted for me at the climax but I was riveted for the rest of the story. Simon makes a good underdog trying to find his inner strength only to eventually learn he has the secret power all along. Alice is amazing - if hard to picture. Both Simon's parents are great characters but each is worth hating in his/her own right. A unique fantasy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karly-Lynne (storybookcook)

    CW: murder, suicide, human experimentation, child abuse, gore I really enjoyed Cathedral of Bones but I would caution that while it is marketed as a middle grade fantasy novel it is really more of an upper middle grade dark fantasy with strong horror elements include violence and gore and it won’t be right for all young readers. It is heavily influenced by Lovecraftian lore complete with tentacled monsters and elder gods and deals with issues of posthumanism and the unclear boundary between human CW: murder, suicide, human experimentation, child abuse, gore I really enjoyed Cathedral of Bones but I would caution that while it is marketed as a middle grade fantasy novel it is really more of an upper middle grade dark fantasy with strong horror elements include violence and gore and it won’t be right for all young readers. It is heavily influenced by Lovecraftian lore complete with tentacled monsters and elder gods and deals with issues of posthumanism and the unclear boundary between humans and monsters. I appreciated its nuanced approached to ethical issues, showing that good and evil are not always as distinct as we would like them to be. Cathedral of Bones won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but if you are open to cosmic horror you should definitely pick this one up!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I received an arc from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This was a really good read. Somewhat middle grade but somewhat YA but thoroughly enjoyable by all. Simon is a wonderful character. Alice could have used a bit more fleshing out but all in all this was great.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dylan Schulze

    The Cathedral of Bones is a childrens book that gives students good visuals throughout the book. This book discusses magic and fantasy which makes the students use there imagination while reading the book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    B

    Eh, it took too long to get the meat of the story. Lots of building up , but everything happened in the last 50 pages. I don't think kids will want to wait that long for the exciting bits. Eh, it took too long to get the meat of the story. Lots of building up , but everything happened in the last 50 pages. I don't think kids will want to wait that long for the exciting bits.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.