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BILLY BONES by Christopher Lincoln


The Road to Nevermore

by Christopher Lincoln

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-316-01475-5
Publisher: Little, Brown

A sadly weak follow-up to an engaging first novel. Having turned from a skeleton to a real living boy in Billy Bones: Tales from the Secrets Closet (2008), Billy is content to spend his days with his newfound human relatives, Mum Biglum and Millicent. Unfortunately, it’s clear that the world he left behind won’t let him go so easily. The vile Shadewick Gloom is making a power grab in the Afterlife, and he needs Billy’s Uncle Grim (aka The Grim Reaper) out of the way to do it. What ensues is a madcap series of escapades in which Millicent goes to the nasty Nevermore as a ghost while Billy, inexplicably, becomes a skeleton once more. Aside from an unsatisfying climax there are continuity problems that remain unanswered. Is time still stopped at the end? If so, why is that no longer a problem? How does Billy turn back from a skeleton to a real boy? Kids who haven’t read the first book in the series will certainly find themselves out to sea with this tepid sequel. (Fantasy. 8-12)