It’s 1907, and Bing’s father makes a living in Chinatown by digging up the bones of the dead before sending them back to China for a proper burial. Bing hates helping his father with his work, and things go from bad to worse when father and son discover that Mr. Shum’s skull is missing from his grave.
I got this book for a bargain and after seeing the appealing discount, I then decided to read the synopsis. I was a bit skeptical about the grave digging because that’s bordering on Horror and that is a genre that I do not want to get involved in. I bought the book anyway because I’ve never read about Chinese culture and I wanted to broaden my horizons.
It’s the early 1900s and Bing and his father, Ba, are in the graveyard to go dig up the bones of a person and send them home after it’s been cleaned. Ba’s been doing this for years so it’s a bit strange when Mr. Shum’s body is dug up sans head. Bing is immediately creeped out because weird things are happening and Ba keeps saying that ghosts don’t exist…yes, that’s usually the first line in a horror movie and those people don’t make it out alive.
Even with that you’d think that yes, this book is in fact a horror but actually reading it, you don’t get that feeling. There are creepy bits in the book but I think this was more about resting in peace than spirits coming through the veil to make life a living hell for those that are still alive.
Characters: Bing seemed like a weak character in the beginning. He was 15 and technically still a child. It’s normal for kids to be scared…even adults get scared. There was a lot of character development that took place for Bing. He became brave and stood up for himself and for others. It seemed like his biggest challenge was his father.
Ba was a very stubborn man. I was glad when he learnt his lesson…well, he learnt something.
Likes: I loved the writing style and I thought that this book was fast paced. I liked that we could learn about the Chinese culture too. The plot was amazing.
Overall Thoughts: I was reluctant to read this book but only because it wasn’t No.1 on my TBR. I’m glad I decided to pick it up. This certainly deserves a spot on my 2016 Top 10. An amazingly fast read. I loved everything about this book.
Read:22 June 2016
Publication Date: 1 January 2004
Publication: Two Lions
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Paul Yee