California Bones by Greg Van Eekhout

California is the Magic Kingdom. Literally. And the Magic is in the Bones.California Bones

Daniel Blackland remembers the first time his father fed him a bone sliver from the La Brea Tar Pits, the painful burning magic of it. Not everyone can do magic, but everyone who can wants more. And as in any food chain, the highest concentration ends up – in the highest predator on the chain. And when Daniel is six, his father gets eaten, flesh and bone, by The Hierarch – the man whose magic let California secede from the United States. Here’s a tip – the Hierarch is Not Nice ™.

Daniel fled – a child can’t do much against the most powerful man in the word and his squad of well-armed guards – and he grew up to be a thief. Now the local crime boss wants something from the Hierarch’s vaults, and he bribes Daniel to fetch it out for him.

The Good:

  • California has waterways instead of roads. California. Water. Full Stop.
  • A heist story! With a great heist team! What fun!
  • There’s more than one female character in the story, whcheck markich heists often don’t bother with.
  • Historical shout-outs!
    • William Mulholand, who built the LA Water and Power grids, didn’t die in 1935 after all, he just kept right on living and supplying water to California – magically.
    • Walt Disney – bwahahahaha, spoiler spoiler spoiler, keep reading, its fun.

The Badx mark

  • Cannibalism. Everyone knows it happens, everyone looks the other way.
  • Can’t Trust Anyone is taken to a magical extreme.
  • The Happy Ending…    what, you expected a happy ending from cannibals?

Thebaloon Double Take 

  • California is the Magic Kingdom with real magic!
  • Our Hero is friends with The Girl(tm), and doesn’t expect a romantic hookup with her.
  • The utterly ridiculous situations Daniel and his friends find themselves in as they collect Quest Items.
    • Dude, are you real or are you part of the song? Don’t harsh my mellow. <spoiler!>

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