Charlie Hernández and the Castle of Bones by Ryan Calejo

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Can I just start by saying I have some very serious Cover Love for this series!! I love the way the above and below ground are reflected. I feel like it just gives you such a feel for what this book is going to be!

The fantasy world that Ryan Calejo build for Charlie Hernandez had me completely submersed in every little detail. The location of the story was really fun, as it has a fun southern feel along with the fantasy.

How I Felt:

This was a book that I could not put down. My son also read it, as it is targeted for middle grade and he LOVED it! The way the story takes Charlie from one clue to another, really gave the book that page-turning feel. I got a little more information, but not ENOUGH to satisfy and I just had to know more.

I did feel that the book could have been edited down just a bit. It is 608 pages and for a middle-grade reader, that’s a LOT of book. There were some very descriptive sections that could have been reduced to make this book a bit shorter. Overall though, this was a solid read!

To Read or Not To Read:

This is the second book in the Charlie Hernandez series. While, I think The Castle of Bones could be a stand-alone, I believe that you would find it a much more enjoyable read if you read the first book in the series first. (Charlie Hernandez and The League of Shadows).

This book is targeted towards middle-grade readers, 4th grade +. This could also fit into a Young Adult reading category for lovers of books like the Lightening Thief.

Where To Find This Book:

Goodreads * Amazon * Kindle * Audible * B&N * iBooks * Kobo * TBD

Inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America, this bold sequel to Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows, which Booklist called “a perfect pick for kids who love Rick Riordan” in a starred review, follows Charlie as he continues on his quest to embrace his morphling identity.

Charlie Hernandez still likes to think of himself as a normal kid. But what’s normal about being a demon-slaying preteen with an encyclopedic knowledge of Hispanic and Latino mythology who can partially manifest nearly any animal trait found in nature? Well, not much. But, Charlie believes he can get used to this new “normal,” because being able to sprout wings or morph fins is pretty cool.

But there is a downside: it means having to constantly watch his back for La Mano Peluda’s sinister schemes. And when the leader of La Liga, the Witch Queen Jo herself, is suddenly kidnapped, Charlie’s sure they’re at it again.

Determined to save the queen and keep La Liga’s alliances intact, Charlie and his good friend Violet Rey embark on a perilous journey to track down her captors. As Charlie and Violet are drawn deeper into a world of monstruos and magia they are soon left with more questions than answers—like, why do they keep hearing rumors of dead men walking, and why is Charlie suddenly having visions of an ancient evil: a necromancer priest who’s been dead for more than five centuries?

Charlie’s abuela once told him that when dead men walk, the living run in fear. And Charlie’s about to learn the truth of that—the hard way.

Just the Details:

Book: Charlie Hernandez and the Castle of Bones by Ryan Calejo
Series: Charlie Hernández, Book 2
Page Count: 608 pages
Published Date: November 12, 2019
Publisher: Aladdin

Interested in Book 1? Charlie Hernandez and The League of Shadows

Charlie Hernandez and The League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo
Page Count: 330
Publishing Date: October 23, 2018
Publisher: Aladdin

The Lightning Thief meets the Story Thieves series in this middle grade fantasy inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America.

Charlie Hernández has always been proud of his Latin American heritage. He loves the culture, the art, and especially the myths. Thanks to his abuela’s stories, Charlie possesses an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the monsters and ghouls who have spent the last five hundred years haunting the imaginations of children all across the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Central and South America. And even though his grandmother sometimes hinted that the tales might be more than mere myth, Charlie’s always been a pragmatist. Even barely out of diapers, he knew the stories were just make-believe—nothing more than intricately woven fables meant to keep little kids from misbehaving.

But when Charlie begins to experience freaky bodily manifestations—ones all too similar to those described by his grandma in his favorite legend—he is suddenly swept up in a world where the mythical beings he’s spent his entire life hearing about seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Hispanic folklore and into his life. And even stranger, they seem to know more about him than he knows about himself.

Soon, Charlie finds himself in the middle of an ancient battle between La Liga, a secret society of legendary mythological beings sworn to protect the Land of the Living, and La Mano Negra (a.k.a. the Black Hand), a cabal of evil spirits determined to rule mankind. With only the help of his lifelong crush, Violet Rey, and his grandmother’s stories to guide him, Charlie must navigate a world where monsters and brujas rule and things he couldn’t possibly imagine go bump in the night. That is, if he has any hope of discovering what’s happening to him and saving his missing parents (oh, and maybe even the world).

No pressure, muchacho.

Where To Find This Book:

Goodreads * Amazon * Kindle * Audible * B&N * iBooks * Kobo * TBD

Ryan Calejo was born and raised in south Florida. He graduated from the University of Miami with a BA. He’s been invited to join both the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Golden Key International Honour Society. He teaches swimming to elementary school students, chess to middle school students, and writing to high school students.

Having been born into a family of immigrants and growing up in the so-called “Capital of Latin America,” Ryan knows the importance of diversity in our communities and is passionate about writing books that children of all ethnicities can relate to. His first novel was Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows.

Simon & Schuster Webpage | Twitter | Goodreads


I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

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