To Break A Covenant, by Alison Ames
Imprint: Page Street Kids
Publication Date: September 21st, 2021
Page Count: 320 pages
Content Warnings: Gore/blood (human and animal), body horror (human and animal), claustrophobia, hallucinations/nightmares, death, animal death, parent death (mentioned), parental conflict (being afraid of a parent), mention of alcohol/drinking, mention of self-harm, mention of divorce, mental illness (perceived/actual), mention of child death/killing, mention of suicide, drowning, paranormal activity
*I received an ARC from Page Street Kids and TBR and Beyond Tours free of charge, and my opinions are completely my own.*
If you’ve ever seen one of those ghost-hunting TV shows, you’ve seen Moon Basin. Paranormal investigators have been coming here since before the Amityville hoax even hit the airwaves. There’s not a show on record that hasn’t done an episode here…
There are mining towns just like ours all across the eastern US, but that’s the one thing that makes Moon Basin different.
No one ever leaves.
Moon Basin has been haunted for as long as anyone can remember. It started when an explosion in the mine killed sixteen people. The disaster made it impossible to live in town, with underground fires spewing ash into the sky. But life in New Basin is just as fraught. The ex-mining town relies on its haunted reputation to bring in tourists, but there’s more truth to the rumors than most are willing to admit, and the mine still has a hold on everyone who lives there.
Clem and Nina form a perfect loop—best friends forever, and perhaps something more. Their circle opens up for a strange girl named Lisey with a knack for training crows, and Piper, whose father is fascinated with the mine in a way that’s anything but ordinary. The people of New Basin start experiencing strange phenomena—sleepwalking, night terrors, voices that only they can hear. And no matter how many vans of ghost hunters roll through, nobody can get to the bottom of what’s really going on. Which is why the girls decide to enter the mine themselves.
Around this time of year (end of September for any future readers), I get the intense urge to read the spookiest, most bone-chilling books that I can find. I know I am not the only person to experience this feeling, and thankfully, there is a wealth of stories to choose from. To Break A Covenant is one of the stories I would place on the lower level of Halloween picks - it begins to scratch at that itch with Ames' vivid descriptions of the horrors in the mines, and with the realistically horrific nightmares experienced by Clem, Liesy, Piper, and occasionally Nina. However, the book feels a bit too vague to truly fulfill that need. While Ames is superb at creating that tension and amping up the suspense, it falls through in a slightly disappointing way. I did not expect the story to end in the way that it did, which isn't a bad way - I just expected something different. I would definitely recommend To Break A Covenant to anyone looking for a spooky read that ultimately will help guide the direction of your Halloween reads.
When you read, can you imagine the characters breaking out into song and maybe even a cool dance sequence? Can you see ? Or EXAMPLE? Wow, so do I! To see what I am imagining without any supernatural effects, you can listen to my To Break A Covenant Book Tour playlist right here.
Are you still not sure about reading To Break A Covenant? Well, if you like these books:
The Dead and the Dark, by Courtney Gould
Hold Back the Tide, by Melinda Salisbury
Sawkill Girls, by Claire Legrande
Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Then you’d definitely want to grab a copy of To Break A Covenant!
The super awesome thing is that To Break A Covenant is out NOW! You can get a copy from your local bookstore or library, or you can get a copy online. Click on these buy links and you can get your own copy at the following links.
Many thanks to TBR and Beyond Tours for allowing me to join the To Break A Covenant book tour! You can check out the rest of the tour stops on their Tour Schedule webpage.
Alison Ames is a writer based in Colorado. Her debut novel To Break A Covenant will be published in fall 2021.