Book Review: Caitlin Kittredge’s Bone Gods

Posted August 28, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Caitlin Kittredge’s Bone Gods

Bone Gods


Caitlin Kittredge

dark fantasy that was published by St. Martin Paperbacks on November 30, 2010 and has 352 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Corsets & Clockwork, Street Magic, Demon Bound, Night Life, Huntress, The Iron Thorn, "The Curse of Four", The Nightmare Garden, The Wild Side: Urban Fantasy with an Erotic Edge, Devil's Business, Soul Trade, Mirrored Shard, Dark Days, Black and White, Games Creatures Play

Third in the Black London dark, dark, dark urban fantasy with four lines of steampunk focused on Pete Caldecott, a former detective inspector with the Metropolitan Police Force in contemporary London.

My Take

Fascinating as always, but thoroughly confusing as well…I suspect I’d have to read it four or five times before I might be able to make sense of what is happening. We do finally find out why, sorta, Pete is no longer on the Force. Bit of a pity that, since with Jack gone, Pete could use some supportive colleagues.

The second murder scene has an instance where Pete finds a significant bit of hidden evidence, and I keep reading it over and over trying to understand just why it is that Pete thinks that the necromancer “had practically painted her name on the wall”?? Sure, she’s heard the phrase painted in blood before from a book in Morningstar’s possession, but how does that indicate it’s directed at Pete?

The Story

DI Heath has asked civilian Pete to have a look at a body at the British Museum: the assistant curator’s body has been completely carved up with magical symbols, and no one wants to get near it until Pete clears that being near the body is safe.

Slowly, slowly Pete uncovers the meaning and purpose of the symbols as she crosses London and assorted characters of the Black with a little help from a white magic witch.

Then Pete encounters the Order of Malleus. A group more interested in bringing magic users to Jesus.

Everyone wants Pete to give it up. When dead Jack turns up, they tell her to turn him away, to kill Jack. A Jack who is not the same. Well, hey, he just got back from Hell after making a deal with the Morrigan.

The Characters

Pete Caldecott is a Weir. A vessel who serves as a something of a battery backup for a mage. Jack’s been dead for over a year now — taken by Belial as per Jack’s contract — and Pete hasn’t gotten over it yet. Although, I do think Pete is channeling Jack. She’s gotten just as snarky, sarcastic, and quick to anger as Jack.

Jack Winter is the crow-mage and a heroin addict who was taken to Hell when his bargain with Belial was up (Demon Bound, 2). He’s both weak and strong, depending on a desperate sense of self-preservation and a warped sense of loyalty. Lawrence is a white magic witch who had been Jack’s best friend.

Ollie Heath is Pete’s former partner on the Force with a skeptical but open mind. Frederick McCorkle has recently been assigned to Ollie as his partner, replacing Pete. Boy’s got some hidden “depths”…

Juniper Caldecott is Pete’s mother. The one who walked out on her two daughters and husband ages ago. Now mum’s hangin’ with Ethan Morningstar who seems to head the Order of Malleus, a religious organization which tortures and kills magic users and anyone with a talent.

Ian Mosswood, a.k.a., Green Knight, a.k.a., Green Man, is a friend of Jack’s and hangs at a pub in the Black called the Lament.

Nick Naughton (Demon Bound) reappears in Pete’s life with some dire consequences and is an adherent of a dead god, Nergal.

Hecate is Pete’s patron while the Morrigan, a.k.a., the Hag, fills a similar position for Jack.

The Cover and Title

The cover Jack is a bit more like the text Jack in that he has filled out from his former, too-skinny self except that according to Kittredge, Jack has lost his tattoos. The girl is the same that’s been on the same three covers…and it sure ain’t Pete.

The title is rather confusing as well. Bone Gods?? I don’t get any sense of bones in this except that bones are what hold us up…?