Hi everyone and welcome to my tour stop for To Break A Covenant by Alison Ames hosted through TBR and Beyond Tours. I’m excited to share my full, spoiler-free review of the novel for my stop on the tour.
You can check out the full schedule for the tour here.
About the BookTo Break a Covenant by Alison Ames
Published by Page Street Kids on September 21, 2021
Debut voice Alison Ames delivers with a chilling, feminist thriller, perfect for fans of Wilder Girls and Sawkill Girls.
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.
Content Warning: Gore! lots of 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.
About the Author
Alison Ames is a writer based in Colorado. Her debut novel To Break A Covenant will be published in fall 2021.
Ames’ YA horror debut is spine tinglingly creepy with a plethora of scares sinister shadows. The city of Moon Basin can be compared to towns like like Stephen King’s Derry and Salem, MA.
The fiction town of Moon Basin, the original Moon Basin, was buried under the ash of mine that exploded decades ago. Stubborn townspeople chose to move just beyond the vicinity of the ash, refusing to get up their claim to the space.
For years, rumors of the Old Moon Basin being haunted as attracted ghost hunters and paranormal tv crews and podcasters. The book is interspersed with unseen footage from these shows as well as interviews that provide a lot of the exposition for the novel.
The narrative of To Break A Covenant features four delightfully quirky, misfit girls. Clem and Nina are the original best friends, then they bring Lisey who trains crows as a hobby and finally Piper, whose engineer father has been paid to go into the mine and map it’s weak areas. When Piper’s father start acting strange and the townspeople start experiencing inexplicable phenomena, it’s up Clem and her friends to brave the mine and break the cycle of haunting and death once and for all.
Some of the scenes in this book represent why I love horror. Truly terrifying moments where, if not for the controlled environment of fiction and confinement to the pages of a book, they would keep me up at night. There is something positively exhilarating about a passage that makes you stop and check your surroundings for uninvited guests. Especially since I don’t belief in the supernatural.
Overall I gave this deliciously eerie, perfectly spooky ghost story 4.5?. It’s a solid YA horror novel featuring female friendships, sapphic hauntings, and plenty of scary moments. I would recommend it for lovers of Claire Legrand, Amy Lukavics and Amelinda Berube.
What About You?
Have you read To Break A Covenant? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!