This is one creepy, intriguing book and I really liked it. I found it in the library on audiobook and had to read it, I have heard so many good things about Holly Black and knew I had to pick it up. I think it is aimed more at a younger audience but despite being 25 I don’t know how comfortable I would be reading or listening to this in the dark by myself.
Doll Bones is about 3 children, Zach, Poppy and Alice who create an imaginary world with their dolls. In Poppy’s house, there’s a cabinet with an old china doll that they refer to as the Queen, when Poppy breaks her out the kids are sent on a trail to return her to her rightful spot. Their route leads them to new towns and on an adventure all led by the Queen herself but how is she able to communicate? The reason for the journey will haunt you, and trust me you will look at china dolls differently after reading this book.
I already am not a big fan of dolls especially those with the painted eyes and the cotton dresses. There is always that feeling that their eyes are following you across the room and no matter what you can’t get past the eeriness. This book just ate into all my doll-related fears but in a ‘I can’t stop reading’ way. The plot was addictive and I liked how the kids were led on an adventure by the doll, giving her a voice in a fantastical way.
The children are all on the edge of becoming teens so this book has a nice coming of age theme in the background. There are also elements of parenthood and parental relationships especially with Zach who is coming to terms with his father coming back into his life and home. There are hints too that Alice lives with her grandmother and Poppy is part of a big family and maybe sometimes overlooked. The children all depend on each other and it’s interesting to see their relationship develop and be tested over the course of the plot.
This is a very quick read and I think the book format even has images which I think would only add to the already creepy atmosphere. I enjoyed listening to it in audiobook format and I found the narrator added to the storyline. Nick Podehl has a great voice for this plot and as most of the book was told from Zach’s perspective it complimented how the story was told.
I gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars on goodreads, if you haven’t checked it out I would recommend it. I think I am going to look at more books by Holly Black as I know she wrote The Spiderwick Chronicles and I loved the movie. If you have any Holly Black recommendations please leave a comment below, I would love to know which books to continue with.