Review: “California Bones” by Greg Van Eekhout

9780765376916California Bones
Greg Van Eekhout
Tor, 2014.

Los Angeles is a daunting town for visitors, but it houses a wealth of hidden treasures, like Rhino Records and Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles.

And in California Bones, cannibalism.

Greg Van Eekhout’s adult debut is a grisly urban fantasy not for the squeamish. In this alternate LA, magicians, known as osteomancers, gain their powers by ingesting the bones of fantastic creatures, like krakens, and, on more than one occasion, other osteomancers.

The novel follows Daniel Blackhand, a gifted osteomancer who watched his father be eaten by the tyrannical Hierarch, a century-old osteomancer who rules Southern California. Since then he has made a living as a petty thief, but when he gets a chance to take part in the biggest heist of his life, and also avenge his father, he jumps at the opportunity.

Of course, things don’t go as planned in this blend of Raymond Chandler, Ocean’s Eleven, clones and cannibalism, but it is a brilliant and clever twist on urban fantasy.

Read my full review at “The Nameless Zine.”

—Michael Senft

Buy California Bones

About Michael Senft

I am a freelance writer and critic from Phoenix Arizona. I spent 10 years covering music, the arts and pop culture for the “Arizona Republic” before life circumstances took me away from newspaper. But I never lost my joy at writing. Or reading.
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9 Responses to Review: “California Bones” by Greg Van Eekhout

  1. Tammy says:

    Love this series!


  2. Really enjoyed this book, I gotta read Pacific Fire now to catch up.


  3. I haven’t read this series yet, but I’ve always that the magic system was pretty fascinating.


    • It’s cool, but not for the squeamish. My wife refuses to read it. She can’t handle zombies either, and she still has nightmares about the cannibals in “The Road”.


  4. Pingback: Review: “Pacific Fire” by Greg Van Eekhout | Relentless Reading (And Writing About It!)

  5. Pingback: Halfway Through the Busiest Five Days of My Blogging Life | Relentless Reading (And Writing About It!)

  6. Pingback: Tough Traveling — Orphans | Relentless Reading (And Writing About It!)

  7. Pingback: Tough Traveling — Magic Systems | Relentless Reading

  8. CWSmythe says:

    Interesting review, enough that I bought the book, but worth pointing out that Van Eekhout’s adult debut was Norse Code, which everyone should read.


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