Bone Harvest – James Brogden

Bone book! Though not the bone book that has the Discord served obsessed… Bone Harvest is a horror thriller about an ancient Celtic deity, Moccus, and his followers. Moccus returns every twenty-six years, and has to be fed with sacrifices… And in 2020, both his followers and the way the worship have changed. Dennie Keeling, a lonely old woman, ends up almost single-handedly fighting against the coming threat…

YOU SHALL REAP WHAT YOU SOW

Many thanks to Sarah Mather and Titan Books for sending me a review copy of Bone Harvest. All opinions are my own.

STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶

PUBLICATION DATE: 17/11/20

SUMMARY: Struggling with the effects of early-onset dementia, Dennie Keeling now leads a quiet life. Her husband is dead, her children are grown, and her best friend, Sarah, was convicted of murdering her abusive husband. After Sarah’s tragic death in prison, Dennie has found solace in her allotment, and all she wants is to be left to tend it in peace.

Life remains quiet for twelve years, until three strangers take on a nearby plot and Dennie starts to notice unnatural things. Shadowy figures prowl at night; plants flower well before their time. And then Sarah appears, bringing dire warnings and vanishing after daubing symbols on the walls in Dennie’s own blood. Dennie soon realises that she is face to face with an ancient evil – but with her dementia steadily growing worse, who is going to believe her? (from Titan Books)

OPINIONS: Bone Harvest is a compelling story about a little known Celtic deity. I found the religion/cult aspect around Moccus fascinating, and would probably consider that my favourite aspect of the book. As a whole, it was quite different to what I was expecting from the blurb, especially since Dennie’s story doesn’t start until a good hundred pages into the book. I really enjoyed my read though, as it also was something other than what I have been reading recently and it brought welcome change.

While the cult of Moccus is a bloodthirsty cult and there is a fair share of gore, most of the horror is really down to psychological suspense. The boundaries between reality and imagination become murky in this story, especially combined with Dennie’s early-onset dementia. The characters are pretty much all morally very gray to clearly on the side of evil, which makes for interesting reading. I think there is not a single character who is morally blameless in the whole book.

I do feel like the book could have been a bit tighter, maybe cut down a bit on some of the slower bits to enhance tension and speed up the pacing, but all in all it was a solid read. If your appetite has been whet, you can find Bone Harvest on Goodreads here, and on Bookshop here. (affiliate link)

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