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Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones by Micah Dean Hicks #BookReview

Swine Hill was full of the dead. Their ghosts were thickest near the abandoned downtown, where so many of the town’s hopes had died generation by generation. They lingered in the places that mattered to them, and people avoided those streets, locked those doors, stopped going into those rooms… They could hurt you. Worse, they could change you.

Jane is haunted. Since she was a child, she has carried a ghost girl that feeds on the secrets and fears of everyone around her, whispering to Jane what they are thinking and feeling, even when she doesn’t want to know. Henry, Jane’s brother, is ridden by a genius ghost that forces him to build strange and dangerous machines. Their mother is possessed by a lonely spirit that burns anyone she touches. In Swine Hill, a place of defeat and depletion, there are more dead than living.

When new arrivals begin scoring precious jobs at the last factory in town, both the living and the dead are furious. This insult on the end of a long economic decline sparks a conflagration. Buffeted by rage on all sides, Jane must find a way to save her haunted family and escape the town before it kills them. 

Title: Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones | Author: Micah Dean Hicks | Pub. Date: 2019-Feb-5 | Publisher: John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Pages: 304 | ISBN13: 9781328566454 | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Library

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Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones Review

Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones is an undeniably gorgeous book. I was hooked pretty much immediately and basically did everything in my power to make sure I was able to finish it in one reading. (It being Mother’s Day had it’s advantages for once!) I was deeply enamored with Swine Hill, and the downward spiral of this little town as it struggled to survive.

Micah Dean Hicks does a great job with atmosphere. The hopelessness and despair that hangs over Swine Hill is so thick and rich it feels like you could bottle it (and maybe force-feed it to the perpetually cheery morning people who insist on bothering you before you’ve had your first bit of caffeine for the day).

The characters are great as well. Each one of them, even if you don’t see much of them, is a character you almost instantly care for. Sometimes you want to scream and shout at them. Sometimes you want to slap the self-pity out of them.

As for the ghosts? Every place has its ghosts. Every person has their ghosts. In Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones they’re just more obvious and a bit more dangerous. But, in reality, they’re just an outside reason for people to be as broken on the outside as they are on the inside.

This book is not what I wanted after I read the synopsis. I expected something with a bit more oomph. However, Hicks made me like it even if it didn’t come close to meeting my expectations, and there’s definitely something to be said for that.


You can find this book at many retailers via clicking on the appropriate link on Goodreads; however, in the spirit of supporting literacy programs, we would like to point out that you may be able to purchase this book through BetterWorldBooks.

Published inHorror Book ReviewsStarred Reviews

One Comment

  1. I’m thrilled you enjoyed this one. The synopsis reeled me in and the cover art and title are killer. Got it on my list now!

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