Growing up, “Silent Hill” haunted me. I never thought I’d be transported back in setting. But To Break a Covenant brought me back to a similar setting and I was terrified. Talk about a book that chilled me to the bone. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I thought I was ready for scary when I started To Break a Covenant. I was wrong. It had me looking over my shoulder and rushing to finish before dusk. Delivering “Silent Hill” vibes, To Break a Covenant starts off unsettling, before devolving into pure terror. Reading felt like an experience of simultaneously rooting for these friends, while also screaming, “DON’T GO!” I became so invested in the book, I finished it in almost a day. The creepiness slowly creeps up on you and soon you’re shivering while reading.
Yet the suspense, intrigue, and tension pull you through To Break a Covenant. I couldn’t have stopped reading if I tried. Around halfway through, the tension train fully departs the station having fully established a foundation of uncertainty and friendship. Ames manipulates our feelings of being unsure what is real. Of not knowing when someone we love is truly gone, and what we will still do for them. To Break a Covenant, at the end of the day, retains its core of friendship and the friends who become our family.
To Break a Covenant is gripping on both a suspense level and a character one. With scenes that will haunt you while you’re sleeping, all the way to a romance storyline that is so soft, To Break a Covenant is a gripping read. It completely surprised me with how much I loved this book. Especially since I am a big terrified scaredy cat. But I was transported not only in setting, but in character mindset.
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