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The Bone Magician (Tales From The Sinister City #2)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  953 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published 2010 by Macmillan (first published March 7th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sesana
Not that long ago, I read The Black Book of Secrets, and really liked it. This is a paraquel to it. Which means, essentially, that the stories were taking place roughly at the same time, in the same fictional country, and have some overlapping points that you'll only realize if you read both books, but otherwise can be read entirely independently. And I liked this one, too, every bit as much as The Black Book of Secrets. This one is set entirely in the fictional, Victorian London-esque city that ...more
John
Jul 25, 2016 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite a few years ago I read this author's The Black Book of Secrets and loved it to pieces. Recently it occurred to me to wonder if she'd written any more books in the interim, and . . . Well, okay, so I can be a bit slow on the uptake on occasion. Blame it on the fact that I'm not much of a series reader.

The Bone Magician is set in the same general milieu as was The Black Book of Secrets, and has various other points in common -- most notably the fact that its protagonist is an orphan boy. In
...more
Karissa
Dec 30, 2010 Karissa rated it it was amazing
This book looked right up my alley and when I saw it I had to pick it up. It is the second book in the Tales from the Sinister City series by Higgins. I actually hadn't read the first book, The Black Book of Secrets, and didn't realize this book was part of a series. The good thing is that you can still really enjoy The Bone Magician without having read the first book. Right now there are two more books in this series; The Eye Collector and The Lunatic's Curse. I really enjoyed this book, it had ...more
CharlieH
Apr 15, 2010 CharlieH rated it it was amazing
The Bone Magician is a very different book from most books. It starts out in a town named Urbs Umidia. Urbs Umidia is split into two sections, the North and the South. The North is full of rich people, who have all money, but don't work a day in their life. What happens if they run low on money? They secretly murder one of their neighbors and take their fortunes for themselves. In contrast, the South is full of poor beggars who live on pick-pocketing others. It is a place full of violence, but ...more
Deb
Jul 07, 2009 Deb rated it it was amazing
I give this book a 10. It is written in the first person and the second and is written very well. It has interesting characters and thoughts about humans and life. "I wonder if it is better to be in a beautiful house looking at an ugly one, or to be in an ugly house looking at a beautiful one." Pin is the main character. He works for an undertaker named Goddfrey Gaufridus, who one day when he was a teenager went into a coma. Luckily the undertaker was dishonest and sold him to the medical ...more
Shayla
Jul 15, 2014 Shayla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The Bone Magician was an excellent follow up to F.E. Higgins's Black Book of Secrets. I love how she weaves all the characters together and that they are independent of each other. As always, the characters are very interesting and the plot is fast paced and captivating. The tale has the Gothic overtones and is a little bit creepy without being over the top and pointless. There are references to drugs and murder which might not make it appropriate for younger readers, but it would be a great ...more
Mailis Viiand
Feb 06, 2010 Mailis Viiand rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
It supposed to be scary at least promised by the reviews written inside the book, i didn't find it that disturbing, but lets be honest its children's book and i am a hint away from early middle-agedom...nevertheless its still a good read, and although a bit predictable sometimes still with twists that make you go a-ha in the end... i cant wait for the next installment where the stories from this and previous book come together...
Brittany Martin
Dec 04, 2009 Brittany Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even better than The Black Book of Secrets. This one tells the story of a young boy whose job it is to sit up with dead bodies overnight at the undertaker's to make sure they're really dead. He discovers a network of swindlers that he has to muster the courage to take on. Higgins adds to the mysteries of her series by the end, promising more to come.
Chris
Aug 23, 2015 Chris rated it it was amazing
Really great book. If you read the previous Black Book of Secrets, you will like this one as well.
Rachel
Nov 26, 2016 Rachel rated it it was amazing
This book I'd actually say is the better than The Black Book of Secrets. Once again there is a bit of language, and a serial killer's on the loose, but other than that it's relatively innocent.

I was a bit concerned that this book would leave the "real" world that the first book created and enter the paranormal, but it didn't. The Bone Magician however is a very small part of the story which I didn't care for all that much. The character himself is actually a side character for the majority of th
...more
Ashley
Jun 29, 2016 Ashley rated it it was ok
F. E. Higgins brings us another spine-tingling read in The Bone Magician, book two of the Tales of the Sinister City series. Here, we journey to the city of Urbs Umida, a nightmarish city divided by the putrid Foedus river, the north full of greedy, conniving aristocrats and the south overrun by a multitude of murderous and disreputable characters. Here we find young Pin Carpue who struggles daily to afford both food and shelter in a city full of thieves and killers. His mother died a year ago ...more
Cristina Boncea
Cartea nu a fost deloc atât de rea pe cât mă așteptam, chiar dacă mi-am dat seama de cele două "mistere" propuse de aceasta, sau mai bine zis, de rezolvările lor, foarte repede.

Povestea se întâmplă într-un orășel foarte trist, pot spune, foarte mizerabil, plin de tâlhari și oameni de nimic. Personajul principal este Pin iar conflictul este cauzat de un anumit criminal care la rândul său, este suspectat a fi tatăl dispărut a lui Pin. Am citit prima carte din serie în urmă cu mult timp, poveștile
...more
Tracy
May 30, 2010 Tracy rated it liked it
The more I thought about the ending of this book, the more ripped off I felt. From reading the multitude of comments that refer to the 'paraquel' status and the accompanying glowing reviews of the the 'other' story, The Black Book of Secrets, I gather that this is a good thing.

Well, maybe - IF I'd read anything in the book's description (I don't usually read reviews until afterward, too many people don't grasp the concept of what a spoiler is) that tells me something else is going on at the same
...more
Chris
Mar 04, 2015 Chris rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-fiction
Reviewed first at Brunner's Bookshelf

Before I read this book I judged a book by its cover. I decided to give The Black Book of Secrets a try. I liked that one a lot and was excited to see it was part of a series. I was a little less excited when I found out the next book doesn't have the same characters but involves the city which book one took place. I liked the description of this book so figured I would keep going. I was a little let down.

This book is about Pin who is a young man out on his o
...more
LilaBird
Sep 04, 2010 LilaBird rated it liked it
So this book confused me. Or I guess you could say my reaction to it confused me. I listened to the audiobook and that may have been the problem. This book is basically the Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell for YA readers. It read the same way (minus the footnotes) and had many characters with different backstories and overlapping threads. I actually really liked it, but I think it was difficult to listen to. I really wish I would have read the paperback. I think I could have paid better attent ...more
Barbara
Nov 27, 2009 Barbara rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Gr 7 & up
A paraquel, or parallel story, in the same alternate world as 'The Black Book of Secrets' by the same author. After his beloved mother dies and his father is a murder suspect and disappears, Pin Carpue fends for himself by working for an undertaker as a ‘body watcher’, sitting all night with bodies making sure they are really dead before they’re buried. One night, after being partially drugged, the body he is watching sits up and talks as a ‘bone magician’ (waker of the dead) and his female ...more
El Templo
"Lo primero que hay que advertir a todo aquel que se atreva a abrir las páginas de esta novela es que, como a su autor le gusta decir, esta historia “paracede” a El libro negro de los secretos, su obra anterior; es decir, los acontecimientos de ambas transcurren al mismo tiempo, pero con personajes distintos y en lugares diferentes. Aquí seguimos a Pin Carpue mientras trabaja como velador de difuntos; parte de su tarea consiste en comprobar que éstos están realmente muertos antes de ser ...more
Malef
May 05, 2013 Malef rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Le Magicien des Morts est le deuxième opus de la saga. A premier abord je trouve l'histoire moins intéressante que le premier volet "Le livre noir des secrets" et est un peu lent dans l’ensemble.
Cela dit l'auteur utilise trois mode d'écritures - La narration indirecte dans la majeure partie du livre, La narration directe de Pin le personnage principal dans ses les lettres-journal et une narration faite par le journaliste Déodonatus Snoad dans ses articles - qui racontent peu à peu l'histoire don
...more
Latie
Aug 09, 2013 Latie rated it really liked it
I picked this up not realizing it was part of a series of books, nor realizing it was intended for children/tweens. It is described as a ‘Paraquel’ which means the story runs parallel to the previous one is written and can be read as a standalone. However, as I read the book, it became clear to me that the world our main character, Pin, inhabits would have been more appreciated if the first book was read. Additionally the ending of this book clearly ties in with the first book. It may be ...more
Jackie
Alone in the world, Pin Carpue, must make his way after his mother's death and his father's flee from authorities. Pin's father is a suspect in his uncle's death. Pin is more educated than most on the south side of the River Foedus. His mother was a wealthy northsider who wanted a better life for Pin. But, with both parents gone, Pin finds employment in the local undertaker's business as a body-watcher. One night, as he sits over a newly-deceased body, three people sneak into the room. Before ...more
Flora Smith
This is a wonderful middle grade age mystery that is a paraquel to The Black Book of Secrets, meaning they take place at the same time. This story is set in the fictional town of Urbs Umida which is split by a foul smelling river into north and south sections. The north is where the wealthy live and often smells better than the south.

There is more than one mystery taking place in this story. Some are more easy to untangle than others. Pin Carpue is searching for his father who has been accused
...more
Taaya
Nov 16, 2015 Taaya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ein Mörder treibt sich in der Stadt umher und alle behaupten, Pins Vater sei der Täter. Pin, der nicht daran glauben kann, wird eines Tages selbst vom Mörder angegriffen, überlebt aber. Unfreiwillig kommt er so aber der Lösung, wer denn in der Stadt sein Unwesen treibt, immer näher.

Der zweite Band der Reihe - jeweils abgeschlossene Geschichten, die aber locker mit einander verwoben sind -, geht in eine etwas andere Richtung. Hier steht, wie die kurze Inhaltsangabe wohl schon vermuten ließ - ein
...more
Coolkid97 (Toby)
Oct 04, 2016 Coolkid97 (Toby) rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This was super good!!!!! I love how everything turned out in the end... excited to read the last 2
Leah
Mar 25, 2012 Leah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fantasy, read-in-2012
Let me preface by saying that I have never read The Black Book of Secrets, and this is my first encounter entirely with Higgins' work. That being said, this was one of the more disjointed books I have ever read as far as plot is concerned. There is a lot of jumping between characters as each chapter starts. While that is not an uncommon method of switching the POV in a book, rarely have I ever seen it happen by way of introducing a character just to kill them off in the span of a five page ...more
Suzanne
Aug 15, 2014 Suzanne rated it really liked it
I just love this series of books!
Yes, they are creepy, and full of noxious tales, but they also tell heartwarming stories of friendship and survival.
Pin, whose mother is dead, will not believe his father is a murderer. His father disappeared after the questionable death of Pin's uncle.
Juno is an orphan, her father killed and she left homeless and to her own devices.
Together they navigate the seedy town in which they live, doing whatever is necessary to survive. Sitting through the night with cor
...more
Tati Dengo
Even better than the last one. Mystery that grips you 'til the very end while seamlessly tying together an array of seemingly unrelated characters.

The characters are the best aspect of these books because all of them possess something curious that attaches you to their stories. Their unconventional professions, their peculiar and/or mysterious back stories, and their unique goals and ambitions create a very multilayered narration.

Also enjoyed the little tidbits tying this book to the previous
...more
Melissa
Feb 21, 2013 Melissa rated it liked it
Pin is a body watcher. He watches over dead bodies for an undertaker. Not a pleasant job in the slummy south side of Urbs Umida, but Pin has to earn a living when his mother died and his father disappeared, presumably to avoid arrest as a murder suspect. One fateful night, Pin witnessed a "raising of the dead" orchestrated by the Bone Magician and his young female assistant Juno. From here, Pin is pulled into the mystery and magic of the waker of the dead. Through it all, Pin's own pursuit to ...more
Hang
May 30, 2012 Hang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grade-6
I think the theme of this book is friendship and I have 3 examples. The first one is that Beag Hickory and Aluph Buncombe saved Pin by asking him to join them. Pin was very hungry and didn't have a home. They became friends and so that is that. The second example is that Pin was very curious about Juno and she was too. They first didn't really know anything and then they talked to each other. They learned to know each other better and became friends. The third example is that Juno was at Pin's ...more
John
The second of interesting series of young adult books set in a quasi-alternative world (though very much similar to 1800s England). The first two books are billed as paraquels (i.e. they take place at the same time). In The Bone Magician, after the disappearance of his murder accused father, Pin Carpue finds employment as a corpse watcher. That is a he sits beside a corpse for a few days to make sure it is really dead and won’t wake up. One night, he witnesses a corpse raising and later ...more
Nathan
Nov 28, 2009 Nathan rated it really liked it
Another excellent entry into the books of F.E. Higgins. This tale revolves around a boy named Pin whose mother has died and whose father fled after being accused of murder. Pin works watching corpses to make sure they are really dead before they are finally buried. One night he witnesses the bone magicians raise the dead for the grieving widower to make final amends and thus begins his intriguing journey in a city filled with a whole cast of unique and intriguing characters, both good and evil, ...more
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F.E. Higgins has been fascinated by the macabre ever since seeing a ghostly apparition as a child. Nowadays Higgins travels the lands that these books describe, collecting strange artifacts and the even stranger stories behind them. When not in pursuit of a story, Higgins may be found in a haunted house in Kent, where a dismembered hand cradles a large diamond on the mantelpiece.
More about F.E. Higgins...

Other Books in the Series

Tales From The Sinister City (4 books)
  • The Black Book of Secrets (Tales From The Sinister City, #1)
  • The Eyeball Collector (Tales From The Sinister City, #3)
  • The Lunatic's Curse (Tales From The Sinister City, #4)

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