The Bone Magician [NOOK Book]

Overview


Pin Carpue is on his own in the world. His mother is dead and his father is missing after being labeled a suspect in a rash of murders. Pin finds a job working for the local undertaker as a body watcher, making sure people are really dead before they’re buried. The body he’s supposed to be watching tonight is currently surrounded by three people engaged in a most unusual ceremony. An old man, a bone magician, and his young female assistant are waking a woman so her grieving fiancé can have one last goodbye with ...

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The Bone Magician

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Overview


Pin Carpue is on his own in the world. His mother is dead and his father is missing after being labeled a suspect in a rash of murders. Pin finds a job working for the local undertaker as a body watcher, making sure people are really dead before they’re buried. The body he’s supposed to be watching tonight is currently surrounded by three people engaged in a most unusual ceremony. An old man, a bone magician, and his young female assistant are waking a woman so her grieving fiancé can have one last goodbye with her. Pin can’t believe it will work, but then the dead woman sits up and speaks.

Pin is determined to discover how the magic works. He cannot believe they are raising the dead. He cannot believe his father is a murderer. Then Pin himself nearly becomes the killer’s next victim.

As this mysterious tale unfolds with delicious creepiness, Pin will learn more about the bone magician, the girl Juno, and a hideous creature called the Gluttonous Beast that is kept in a local tavern where people pay for a glimpse.

Once again, F.E. Higgins delivers a story that is full of intrigue and suspense.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Sarah Hill
Higgins returns to the world of her first novel, The Black Book of Secrets (Feiwel and Friends/MacMillan, 2007/VOYA February 2008), in this "paraquel" to Ludlow Fitch's story. Pin Carpue is a young lad working for a local mortician as a corpse watcher - someone has to make sure the bodies are really dead. While working, Pin sees the Bone Magician and his young assistant raise a corpse from the dead. What kind of magic is this? Pin befriends Juno, the herbalist expert who helps the Bone Magician, and the two of them meet various mysterious Dickensian characters. Deodonatus Snood, a writer for the local newspaper, believes The Silver Apple Killer is Pin's father, who ran away after murdering his own brother-in-law. But Pin believes that his father is innocent and is not a serial killer. With a faux leather look, ragged edges, and soft burgundy font, this fantasy novel is very appealing to readers. Chapters jump around in time some, so low-level readers might be confused at first. Readers encounter Pin's diary, some local newspaper articles, and even signs from the town of Urbs Umida in the novel. Higgins is a mastermind at creating a creepy world where children still maintain some sense of hope. Pin is surrounded by unappealing adults, but there are always a few to keep Pin fed and loved. Juno and Pin have a complex friendship and the mystery isn't as simple as it seems. The Eyeball Collector is expected in May 2009. Reviewer: Sarah Hill
School Library Journal

Gr 6-10

Left to survive on his own in the pestilent and crime-ridden city of Urbs Umida after the disappearance of his father (a suspected murderer), Pin Carpue's trustworthy nature earns him employment as a corpse watcher, assuring his skittish employer that the dead are truly dead. But Pin's seemingly straightforward job becomes more complicated when he is drugged at his post and subsequently witnesses two cloaked figures raise the body in his care for a final communication with a loved one. A series of coincidences leads Pin to seek lodging in the same boarding house occupied by these mysterious individuals-a bone magician named Benedict Pantagus and his troubled assistant, Juno-who also present their corpse-raising spectacle at the city's most notorious tavern. Lonely Pin is soon drawn to Juno and the secrets of her herbs. He strikes a deal with her that they will leave the abominable city together if he is able to divine the secret of bone magic. In tantalizing subplots involving a series of murders, a caged Beast, a dashing phrenologist, a potato-throwing dwarf, and a hideous journalist, Higgins explores the question of spectacle and what constitutes an honest wage. The cast of unusual characters and their interrelated stories carry readers along swiftly to an ending that begs for a sequel. Budding fans of Poe or Dickens will be entranced by this atmospheric novel.-Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI

Kirkus Reviews
Loosely linked by references and cameos to The Black Book of Secrets (2007), this "paraquel" spins its wheels through the muck-encrusted streets of Urbs Umida, dropping both corpses and more Dickensian-style characters into the mix. Hired by an undertaker for eerie nighttime vigils, young Pin is amazed to see a cadaver supposedly reanimated by magician Benedict Pantagus and his herbalist assistant, Juno. When heavily contrived circumstances throw Pin and Juno together, Pin becomes as determined to discover her secrets as he is to clear the name of his vanished father, who is accused of murder. Meanwhile, journalist (and freak-show escapee) Deodonatus Snoad gleefully chronicles the crimes of the "Silver Apple Killer," who casts electrocuted victims into the evocatively named River Foedus, and the hideous Gluttonous Beast terrifies paying crowds at the bustling Nimble Finger tavern. Higgins introduces a large cast, proceeds to kill part of it off, then closes by freeing the Gluttonous Beast and setting Pin and Juno on the road out of town. Further episodes may bring some plot resolution-but don't bet on it. (Fantasy. 11-13)
From the Publisher
Praise for The Bone Magician:

"Higgins is a mastermind at creating a creepy world where children still maintain some sense of hope."—VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

“The cast of unusual characters and their interrelated stories carry readers along swiftly to an ending that begs for a sequel. Budding fans of Poe or Dickens will be entranced by this atmospheric novel.”—School Library Journal

“This ‘paraquel’—meaning it takes place in the same world, but follows a different thread—to Higgins' excellent Black Book of Secrets (2007) drips with the same lightly fantastical, heavily Dickensian atmosphere…there is still no end of picaresque charms, creepy turns, and beguiling cast members..."—Booklist

“In this standalone companion novel to The Black Book of Secrets, British author Higgins deftly balances the exceedingly harsh circumstances with wry humor, sly commentary on class issues, and a protagonist who has enough wisdom to recognize the fact that his optimism is perhaps misguided but who manages to retain it anyway.”—The Bulletin of The Center for Children's Books

Set in Urbs Umida, where 'merely to be born was considered the first step towards dying', The Bone Magician . . . is a deliciously dark Gothic thriller-cum-Holmesian-whodunit, the writing so atmospheric that the fumes from the noxious River Foedus, where the murder victims end up, seem to seep off the page and swirl round the reader.—The Telegraph, UK

Young readers with a taste for the macabre will find it deliciously scary.—The Guardian, UK

Praise for The Black Book of Secrets:

“The story’s vaguely Dickensian atmosphere is exquisite . . . a smart, peculiarly thrilling book that is sure to appeal to readers ready to sidestep the goody-goody Harry Potters of adventure fiction.”—Booklist, Starred Review

The Black Book of Secrets has it all: danger, adventure, theft, murder, body snatching, poisonings, a touch of humor, and enough mystery to keep you guessing until the very end. . . . An enjoyable story that begs for a sequel.”—PW Children’s Bookshelf, “Galley Talk”

“Higgins creates a fascinating novel peopled with colorful characters and imbued with clever plot twists . . . and the novel’s climax is both excellent and surprising.”—Voices of Youth Advocates

“Wonderful. Anyone looking for the next big thing has come to the right place. Higgins has created a uniquely grim fantasy world that more than holds its own with Dickens or Peake. Her characters are brilliantly realised and the story grabs at the reader with hooked talons.”—Eoin Colfer

“A fantastic debut . . . don’t let this book remain a secret!”—John Webb, Waterstone’s Children’s Fiction Buyer

School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—Crispin "Pin" Carpue must make ends meet on his own. His mother passed away and his father has been accused of murdering his uncle. Pin finds work as a corpse watcher. One night, his vigil is interrupted by Benedict Pantagus and his assistant, Juno, who come to raise the dead for one last goodbye. By coincidence, Pin ends up living in the same rooming house as the bone magician and Juno, along with a cranial topologist and a potato-throwing, poetry reading dwarf. Pin befriends Juno, determined to discover the secrets of their bone magic. Things take a dark turn when Pin is accosted by The Silver Apple Killer one night and almost sacrificed to the odiferous Foedus River. Will Pin be able to help find the killer whom many assume is his father, save himself, and clear his father's name? F. E. Higgins's tale (Feiwel & Friends, 2008) is set in a dark, macabre world, fascinating in its details and character sketches. Narrator James Daniel Wilson vividly evokes the murky, ghoulish setting. He uses very similar tones for both Pin and Juno, and in several passages it is difficult to determine which character is speaking. Overall, however, the audio version is well done. A supplementary purchase.—Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429990899
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Publication date: 2/15/2011
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 605,693
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • File size: 928 KB

Meet the Author


F.E. Higgins is the author of The Black Book of Secrets and The Eyeball Collector. As a child, she once saw a ghostly apparition, and ever since then, she has been fascinated by the macabre. Born in London, F.E. Higgins now lives in a haunted house that dates back to the fifteenth century, in a small village in rural Kent, England.

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Read an Excerpt

A corpse on the cusp of putrefaction could hardly be considered the most entertaining company on a winter’s evening, but Pin Carpue didn’t do what he did for the conversation. He did it for the money. Tonight, however, things were different. If the body he was watching—her name, when alive, was Sybil—had revived and tried to engage him in some sort of discourse, he couldn’t have replied even if he had wanted to.

For Pin had just succumbed to a soporific drug. Hardly able to move, certainly unable to speak, he lay in a semi-comatose haze on a bench in the corner of the dark room. The last thing his soggy brain recalled was leaving his lodgings. As for his immediate whereabouts, it was a mystery.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2012

    By far the greatest joy that I received from this book is gettin

    By far the greatest joy that I received from this book is getting to see how F.E. Higgins has transformed as an author between her first book and second. The action is plentiful and engaging without the long pauses of dialog constantly interrupting. The violence and graphic content is well balanced and no longer seems like an inappropriate contrast between age groups. The audience is clearly targeted to older readers then the first book and is well defined throughout the story. Higgins gift for explaining her world with a stunning clarity has become even more refined. And most importantly the book holds the mystery and suspense needed to keep the reader turning the pages, something that was desperately missing from the first installment of this series... Read full review at theofficebooks.blogspot

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2012

    Terrific

    This story is a mystery kinda sci-fi book which will satisfy any thrill seeking reader. Pin, a boy looking for his father, discovers many strange things and people along his journey to prove his father isn't the silver apple killer. To say any more would ruin the adventure.

    *GMSclippers

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2012

    Read this Paraquel!

    If you are planning to read this book make sure you have read the Black Book of Secrets!!!! Otherwise read on this book is just as good as the first!!! In the Bone Magician the young hero questions the existence of magic. Is it real or is it just an illusion? Read it and you won't be dissapointed.

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  • Posted March 24, 2011

    best book ever!!!!!!

    if you're looking for something creepy, get this book! its the best one you'll ever read! But you have to read the black book ok secrets first or it wont have the same affect.

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    Posted May 12, 2010

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    Posted November 15, 2008

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    Posted January 12, 2012

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    Posted May 16, 2011

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    Posted October 14, 2008

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