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The Puppet Maker's Bones (Death's Order Book 1) by [Tangredi, Alisa]
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The Puppet Maker's Bones (Death's Order Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Length: 266 pages Word Wise: Enabled Audible Narration:
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Editorial Reviews


"...I have to say that [Alisa Tangredi] is now on my list of writers to watch. From the moment I cracked open the cover I was plunged into a world centuries old, with characters that I came to sympathize with and hate with a passion. They were richly developed and the settings and history completely engrossed me. Rare are the books that I read that can bring up such emotion from me..." Rachelle Gagne, The Novel Blog

About the Author

Alisa Tangredi is a native Californian, currently residing in Van Nuys with her husband and their dog. She has written all her life, though most things went into hiding in a drawer. She studied theatre and music at San Francisco State University and worked as a stage actress for 30 years, with sporadic employment in commercials and television. She was also an active participant in several Los Angeles based theatre companies and continues to support live theatre throughout the L.A. area. She has written several stage plays in addition to her novels. For more information, please visit her website and blog at

Product Details

  • File Size: 601 KB
  • Print Length: 266 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Viverridae Press; 2 edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Publication Date: April 3, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #590,765 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Cross-posted from Papyrus Independent Author Reviews.

Pavel is a shut-in, an old man who seems like an easy target to a local predator - but who will be the hunter and who, the hunted?

"The Puppet Maker's Bones" is an interesting blend of psychological study, dark fantasy and mystery. The action is set in the present day, but the great majority of the novel is concerned with the historical background of Pavel, the protagonist. Who is this old man who avoids contact with the outside world - and more importantly, why does he avoid contact with the outside world? This question sends the reader into Pavel's past to explore his upbringing and what follows is a peculiar and fascinating study of a man born an outcast and raised in an eccentric family.

Eventually, Pavel's origins are understood and his peculiarities revealed. Pavel has had a rather unfortunate life and I really enjoyed experiencing his tragic past. He is a fascinating character and I oscillated between sympathy and horror as he developed throughout the novel. Eventually, I began to understand that this story was unlikely to have a happy ending. Pavel's upbringing was too unusual, his nature and self-imposed isolation too damaging. He was both highly intelligent and emotionally immature and disaster was inevitable. In another story he would have been a serial killer - in this he is a time bomb, ticking its way to self-destruction.

I always enjoy a story that tries to take a new perspective and for me, this story was both fresh and original. If you were born a curse incarnate, how would that impact your upbringing? If people who came into contact with you met with an untimely death - how would that impact you emotionally? This is the kind of study that the author creates with Pavel as the subject.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't let the appearance of this being a genre novel fool you - it's not. Any great story, compellingly told, will transcend the genre label, and "The Puppetmaker's Bones" is both great and compelling. I plowed through it in two and a half days, and I wanted more when it was over. Not that this novel does not satisfy completely, but Ms. Tangredi has created such a detailed, rich universe that I want to spend more time in it, and learn more about the supporting characters, their lives, and their histories.

Our main character here is Pavel Trusnik, whom we first meet as an elderly shut-in (literally) living in a Victorian home in Pasadena, and he is a beautifully tragic character. Completely human (oddly enough) and entirely sympathetic, even when he's not at his best, he lives with a terrible secret that is slowly and deliberately revealed to us, and that revelation, alternating with the present day, gives the book an epic, larger-than-life feeling. And yet, everything also remains grounded in the real world. This was a detail I very much appreciated, as Ms. Tangredi has created what I can only describe as "a supernatural thriller for rationalists." We get all the spooky and boo of ghost or vampire novels, but none of the "Oooh... Magic explanation!" BS that normally comes with those genres. That's just another reason that "The Puppetmaker's Bones" defies genre classification.

The prose is brisk, economical, and wonderfully unlabored, which makes it a real page-turner, and every character is sharply defined, frequently in one or two brush strokes. Even minor characters who appear for only a paragraph or a page enter with a rich history revealed in a few wisely chosen details. Because of this, despite the darkness all around, there is no lack of humor, grim or otherwise.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have the unique and extraordinary honor to have known Alisa as a young woman. She was, and still is, an amazingly talented actress, singer, and individual. I, and I would expect most of our community, had no idea how deep and significantly her talents actually ran. I am an avid, nay, obsessed reader of this genre of writing, and I am completely astounded by the abilities of this author to allow beautiful prose explain the bizarre and hideous, so that we are drawn into the heart and soul, as well as the mind, of every character. Leaving the reader with a feeling that the understanding of each character, major or minor, is complete. I have read hundreds of novels from this area of fiction, and i cannot imagine someone fond of this style of writing not being entranced by Alisa's caring and obvious love for even her most vile characters. It shows how her true ability to take us into the mind of the depraved can give us each insight into the depth that each of our souls may indeed find before each of us find our individual ends. Brava my friend, Brava. To each of you reading this review, I believe that you will find yourself thrilled that you took the time to read this book. For all of you who love unique, macabre, fascinating fiction, I believe that you will thank me for my recommendation. My best to you all.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ms. Tangredi's The Puppet Maker's Bones has elements of a Shakespearian tragedy and is as well written as any I have ever read. This compelling novel also has horror and paranormal elements, AND it's a love story. Pavel Trusnik is a mysterious recluse who lives with a tragic secret that is revealed to us in layers as his story unfolds. The manner in which the author shifts seamlessly to the past and present makes for an entertaining read. From the first mention of the strange pair of scars on his back, you begin to wonder, "what the heck is going on?" Who is Pavel Trusnik? The prose is brilliant (as it was in another book I read by the same author, UNDER THE LOOKING GLASS). Loved the details presented regarding the craft of puppet making. On a more esoteric level, Ms. Tangredi writes stories involving insanity and madness that draws you in gradually until you are so immersed in the characters, it would be impossible to pull away until you complete the journey. I'm not alluding Pavel is insane, not by any means, but where do you draw the line between decades of isolation and utter loneliness and the madness that can ensue? No doubt he is an empathetic character and you want things to turn out well for him. If you enjoy stories that really get into the characters' heads, and by doing so, get into the reader's head, pick up THE PUPPET MAKER'S BONES. The title itself is intriguing enough to make you want to read the story. Once you begin, you won't want to stop!
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