Review – Bad Bones by Graham Marks


Gabe is feeling the pressure. His family has money troubles, he’s hardly talking to his dad, plus lowlife Benny is on his case.

Needing some space to think, he heads off into the hills surrounding LA. And he suddenly stumbles across a secret that will change everything. A shallow grave.

Gabe doesn’t think twice about taking the gold bracelet he finds buried there. Even from the clutches of skeletal hands. But he has no idea what he’s awakening…

Graham Mark’s chilling novel is part of the Red Eye series! 

See the creepy trailer below!

Publisher – Stripes Publishing

Date Published – 4th May 2015

Pages – 336 pages

Format – Paperback

Category – UKYA / YA Horror

Source –

I was sent a copy of this book via LoveReading4Kids and the wonderful Stripes Publishing!  This does not affect my review or my opinions in any way and am delighted to write an honest review.  Thank you to Stripes Publishing for sending me this book to read!

** Please note Tales Of Yesterday Reviews are written as spoiler free as possible**

Bad Bones by Graham Marks is the fourth book to be released in 2015 as part of the new YA Horror Red Eye Series by Stripes Publishing with another title to come later this year.

Today I am bringing you my review and an exclusive extract from the book!

Also check out my Q&A with Graham Marks here

As you all may already know I love a creepy and scary read and loved the previous Red Eye books I have read so far, Frozen Charlotte (see my guest post with Alex Bell here or my review here), and Flesh and Blood (see my guest post with Simon Cheshire here or my review here) .

I used to love the 90’s Point Horror series when I was a teenager as well as being a huge fan of James Dawson and I am excited about the whole premise of a new UK YA Horror series with a contemporary makeover that has left me craving more and to collect and read the rest in the series asap.

You can find the original press release and more information on the fantastic Red Eye series here.

You can see the creepy Red Eye Series book trailer below….if you dare!

Graham Mark’s contribution to the fab Red Eye series is a welcome addition and one that I enjoyed.  I am a huge Indiana Jones fan and I found that whilst not exactly the same it had hints of a young Indiana Jones feel to the book which I thoroughly enjoyed!

Bad Bones tells the story of Gabe who’s family have fell on hard times and he is desperate to try and ease the burden and help his family even if it means running illegal errands for the school bully!  One night up in the canyon he stumbles across a shallow grave and some bones!  Upon further investigation he discovers a gold bracelet and decides that this may be the answer to his families troubles…he could be rich!  But what Gabe discovers is that he as unearthed something truly sinister!  Somebody wants that bracelet back and will do anything to retrieve it! Gabe finds he has awoken something truly terrifying!

The book explores an Aztec back story with Gabe unearthing the bracelet and then starting to have dreams about ancient rituals with gold masks and crucifixes and sacrifices! And when an owl, some coyotes and a stranger start to follow him and stare at him from afar Gabe begins to feel like there is something strange going on!


[On a side note – every time Gabe went up to the canyon or the Aztec’s were mentions I kept visualising the Crystal Maze Aztec zone!  What is wrong with me!!!!!  Does anyone remember this? *Grabs crystal and runs for the exit*]

The characters in Bad Bones were all unique with the main focus being on Gabe and a growing friendship between himself and girl scout Stella who tries to warn Gabe about running errands for school bully Benny and his right hand “bozos”  who’s decked out van sounded awesome!  Just me?!  Whilst being a story about ghosts and Aztec rituals it had a good theme of friendship with Gabe and his best friend Anton being “blood brothers”!  There were pictures and the scars to prove it!  And with often occurring messages about trust it made me actually care for Gabe and his friends!

I especially related to Gabe’s love for Peanut M&M’s!  Nom Nom Nom!  He even cracks open a huge XXL bag to share with Stella!  Now THATS friendship!  If that was me….nope too late they are all gone!  Yummy in my tummy!


For me the best character was Father Simon who Gabe and Stella turn to for help!  A man of the cloth and an ex CSI agent!  Yes you heard me right!

*plays CSI Las Vegas music*

And in his Mission / Church he had all kinds of ex CSI gadgets and gizmos and equipment and I LOVED him!  He was so cool!  He could even tell you if your note had been written in blood!

And…and….and….that’s not all!  Oh no indeedy!  Not only is he a man of the cloth and ex forensic scientist….he is also a forensic historian!!!!

See…Father Simon = AWESOME!

*Throws peanut M&M’s in mouth in satisfaction*

There was a few heart racing moments in this book with one being when Gabe’s sister is in danger and he first encounters and realises what is after him!  What pursues is a showdown where a crucifix and determination save the day…..well on this particular day anyway!

I also have a favourite line / quote from this book which I thought was chillingly beautiful….

“Like this coin, life is all about what you do with it, how you choose to spend it”

This book gets you straight into the action and whilst getting some back stories into the character it is more focused on the present and the story with some religious undertones, creepy goings on, ritual style murders, a angry man with red eyes and an action packed ending…I would NOT want to be the school bully in this book 😉

It’s a great addition to the Red Eye collection!  Go grab a copy!  But make sure it’s not guarded by some ancient bones! 😉

Do check back in a couple of weeks for a Q&A with the author Graham Marks!  Now without further ado I present to you an exclusive extract from Bad Bones……

Exclusive Extract

I am honoured, with the publishers permission to be able to share a fab exclusive extract with you from Bad Bones!  Read and Enjoy…….IF YOU DARE!

Don’t forget to check below the extract for the Tales rating of this book!



I award this book 3 out of 5 Tales Of Yesterday Books!


You can find out more about author Graham Marks on his website here

Or check out my Q&A with Graham Marks here

Or a guest post of Scary Moments here

Also check out a Spotlight for Bad Bones for the Red Eye Read Along here or here

You can buy a copy of Bad Bones here

Or why not checkout the other titles in the Red Eye Series here

Also do follow the new YA community from Stripes Publishing – or on twitter @doyareadme for news, competitions and more.

Don’t forget to check out the fab Lovereading4kids also! – here

Have you read this book or any of the other books in the Red Eye Series?  What did you think?  Are you a fan of YA Horror?  Do you think you will give this book a go after reading this review?  I would love to hear from you – please leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or why not tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Running from ghosts!sig


Written by

I am often known to be a bit clumsy and a little loopy! Book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher film loving csi geek! Winner of UKYABA Champion Newcomer 2015 and nominated for Champion of Social Media 2016 and Blogger Of The Year 2016! © 2014 - 2021 Michelle Toy All Rights Reserved

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9 Responses

  1. Olivia Levez says:

    Haven’t read this one – but have read Sleepless and Frozen Charlotte in the Red Eye series. Heard Lou Morgan pitch Sleepless at the UKYA Extravaganza in Birmingham – I think you were there too?! But when I got to the book table, all copies had gone! The premise is that a study drug leaves its stressed-out ingestors with horrifying side-effects – oo-er! Set around the Barbican it’s a nastily creepy read chock-ful of horror tropes that will give its teen readers nightmares! And what can I say about Those Dolls in Frozen Charlotte? *Shudders*. Fun horror reads but probably not cross-over books. Tweens will love…

    • Chelley Toy says:

      Hi Olivia

      I really really need to get around to reading Sleepless. I had a Point Horror guest post from Lou – did you see it? Also I have read and reviewed the creepy Frozen Charlotte and Flesh & Blood *shivers* – I also featured guest posts from both authors. Give me a shout if you need the links but they are under the Tales Welcomes in the index 🙂

      Chelle xx

  2. Olivia Levez says:

    PS If you like slasher, you will like Sleepless 😉

  1. May 4, 2015

    […] I read called Frozen Charlotte (see my review here), and most recently Bad Bones (see my review here), but Flesh and Blood took the scares and in this case gore up another notch on the heart rate […]

  2. May 17, 2015

    […] recently read and enjoyed Bad Bones by Graham Marks (see my review and an extract from the book here) and I am honoured to have had the chance to put some questions to Graham to celebrate the release […]

  3. July 24, 2015

    […] and reviewed some others in the series – Flesh & Blood – here and Bad Bones – here.  I have also been lucky enough to have some fab guest posts from Alex Bell, author of Frozen […]

  4. October 22, 2015

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