The Bone Magician – F.E. Higgins
An orphaned boy, Pin Carpue, is adrift in a Dickensian not-London after his beautiful and saintly mother dies and his father has disappeared following his uncle’s suspicious death. He scrapes by working for an undertaker, staying up at night with the bodies making sure they’re truly dead. Drugged one night at his post, he wakes to find a man and a young girl raising his charge from the dead so that she can tell her fiancee she forgives their last fight. He later falls back in with the conjurers, barely escapes from a serial killer, and builds a new family of sorts.
There are a lot of characters and a lot of build up, making the first half of the book a bit of a slow boil. Once threads start to get untangled, it becomes a lot more engaging. This is a fun type of scary, more about the mystery and atmosphe than anything truly frightening, it’s perfect for middle schoolers.