William M.'s Reviews > The Bone Factory

The Bone Factory by Nate Kenyon
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's review
Jun 29, 2011

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bookshelves: horror

Author Nate Kenyon continues to improve with each book, especially his technical writing. The Bone Factory illustrates Kenyon's talent for smooth prose and his special attention to atmosphere. I'm a sucker for novels set in snowy, desolate locations, and the locations in this story are about as far away from civilization as you can get. But there were a few choices that I wish were handled differently and the overall storyline didn't grab me the way I would have liked.

I enjoyed the slow, calculated buildup with the family and the move to their new home, but sometimes I think too much time was spent on small events which could have been edited down and been just as effective. For instance, there is a section nine pages long describing a character's inspection of the woods around his property to see if there is anyone lurking around. Surely this didn't need to be nine pages. There were also some character reactions that I found rather odd that pulled me out of the story. Helen's strong reaction to Angie's information about the missing girl seemed a bit melodramatic. David's reaction was strange as well. It's not as if the girl was torn to shreds inside the house. They were simply living in a house where the previous owner's daughter went missing. What's the big deal? They never even found her body. People go missing all the time for any number of reasons. These revelations could have been smoother for me.

Prologue aside, and with the exception of a brief death scene involving a camper, the horror really doesn't get going until another two hundred plus pages. And while there is no doubt that Kenyon is a fine writer, I question the need to tell this particular story. Well executed, sure, but it was not that engaging as a tale, especially a full length novel. Perhaps it would have worked better as a novella. The separate parts of the story didn't quite connect in a natural, organic way for me. The section about the baby and his bottle was quite vivid and horrifying, but for most of the book, I found the horror rather tame for adult fiction. However, I have heard great things about Kenyon's new novel, "Sparrow Rock", so I plan on giving that a try.

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