The Color of Bone by
I hadn’t heard of
until I was asked to review her collection. I’m glad I was given the opportunity to read The Color of Bone, because this is a great collection. Most of the stories in this book are fantastic. The offerings are diverse, ranging in emotion from horror to sadness. Carol Weekes
The first story, “Standing Water,” starts this collection off with a bang. A little boy notices what he thinks are snakes in his elderly neighbor’s rain barrel, but soon realizes these are not snakes, and they are hungry. He is bitten by one of these creatures, and what happens after that is pretty horrific. Great story.
If clowns creep you out, you’re going to get chills reading “Clowning Around.” This is not your usual evil clown story. It has a great twist towards the end, and you won’t look at carnival workers the same way again.
“The Punishing Room” was my least favorite story; mostly because I couldn’t suspend my disbelief. A little girl is always punished by having to sit in a corner in the kitchen. One night the appliances start talking to her and tell her they will kill her parents so she won’t have to sit in the corner ever again. The story is well-written, but I found the idea of talking appliances a little silly. This would probably be a great story in a horror collection for kids, though.
One of the few non-horror tales, “Two Hours, Two People, and a Box,” is a chick-lit kind of story about two people who can’t stand each other getting stuck in an elevator together. They end up hitting it off after a little bit of violent fighting, and seem to fall in love. Good story, but seemed out of place with the rest of the collection.
One of the creepier tales, “The Wishing Well,” will make you want to cover up any deep holes in your yard. The
Cobb family moves into an old farmhouse and discover a well in the backyard that stinks. Terry thinks an animal fell in and died, but he discovers something more evil and sinister than he could’ve imagined. At first repulsed by what he finds, he then becomes attracted to what it can offer him and regrets it the rest of his life.
A spooky story that is also sad is “Maybelline.” The tone of the story reminded me somewhat of
’s “Stand by Me.” A group of 12-year-old boys heads out for an adventure one day. They decide to hang out in an empty boxcar at the train tracks, and meet a young girl who is anything but sweet. Stephen King
The final story, “Smoke and Leaves,” is another carnival story, this time with an evil who works the beanbag toss. He lets his son play the game although he is nervous about the carnie, who gives him a creepy vibe. He should’ve followed his instincts.
There are more stories in the collection for a total of 26. There were only one or two I didn’t care for, but they were still very well-written; they just weren’t my type of story. All in all, this is a great collection, and I will be seeking out more of the author’s work.