Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones
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.

Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones Details

TitleBreak the Bodies, Haunt the Bones
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 5th, 2019
PublisherJohn Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN-139781328566454
Rating
GenreHorror, Fiction, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal

Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones Review

  • Gary
    January 1, 1970
    It’s refreshing to run into a genre novel that carves its own path, and that’s what you get with Micah Dean Hicks’ debut Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones. The novel's setting is Swine Hill, a town so saturated with ghosts that literally everyone has at least one haunting them. Jane has a good relationship with her ghost, who feeds her the secrets others hide from the world. Her boyfriend Trigger is haunted by the ghost of his own brother, whom he accidently killed. And her brother Henry’s mad s It’s refreshing to run into a genre novel that carves its own path, and that’s what you get with Micah Dean Hicks’ debut Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones. The novel's setting is Swine Hill, a town so saturated with ghosts that literally everyone has at least one haunting them. Jane has a good relationship with her ghost, who feeds her the secrets others hide from the world. Her boyfriend Trigger is haunted by the ghost of his own brother, whom he accidently killed. And her brother Henry’s mad scientist of a ghost helps him create, Doctor Moreau-style, a pig person called Walter Hogboss, who ends up running the local slaughterhouse. When the company that owns the slaughterhouse creates more pig people to staff the place, the townspeople turn on their monstrous new residents, leading Jane to believe they must flee before the town overflows with violence.Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones is a surreal horror story about “economic anxiety”, which has been a buzzy media term the last few years. It doesn't work as a political allegory, but as an exercise in sustained dread I found much to admire. The story unfolds with a captivating spontaneity, and while it sometimes felt unfocused this mostly works in the novel’s favor. Those looking for an offbeat read may find this rewarding.
    more
  • Robin Bonne
    January 1, 1970
    Surreal and poignant. Jane, and her brother, Henry, live in a world where people can be haunted. Henry’s ghost is a sort of engineer/scientist that possesses him and uses his body to work on building and making his projects. He works at the pig slaughtering facility and creates a new race of sentient pig men. This causes tension in the town as the townsfolk are afraid of losing their jobs. Although this is a surreal setting, the emotions that drive the characters feel real. I’ve lived in dying t Surreal and poignant. Jane, and her brother, Henry, live in a world where people can be haunted. Henry’s ghost is a sort of engineer/scientist that possesses him and uses his body to work on building and making his projects. He works at the pig slaughtering facility and creates a new race of sentient pig men. This causes tension in the town as the townsfolk are afraid of losing their jobs. Although this is a surreal setting, the emotions that drive the characters feel real. I’ve lived in dying towns and this book elegantly captures the everyday horror of trying to escape a place that feels suffocating. Jane was a complex and deep protagonist whom suffered from regrets that shaped her actions. The Hogboss is an uncanny type of monster. I empathized with him and the pig people. I would highly recommend this book to horror fans. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an unbiased review.
    more
  • The Captain
    January 1, 1970
    Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Here be me honest musings. . .The totally awesome cover is what led me to find out more about this book and the weird premise is what drew me in.  This book takes place in a dying American town called Swine Hill.  The only thing stopping the town from total annihilation is a pork processing plant whose workers have little hope and no resources to start anew.  Economic troubles would be bad enough Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Here be me honest musings. . .The totally awesome cover is what led me to find out more about this book and the weird premise is what drew me in.  This book takes place in a dying American town called Swine Hill.  The only thing stopping the town from total annihilation is a pork processing plant whose workers have little hope and no resources to start anew.  Economic troubles would be bad enough but then there be the ghosts.  Generations of angry and depressed dead are tied to the town and its residents.  If ye aren't careful yer body can become a host for one or more restless spirits.This book centers around one such haunted family.  Jane has carried her ghost since she was a young girl.  Her ghost reads other people's thoughts and also likes to offer commentary on Jane's own inner desires and feelings.  Jane considers her a friend but it's a double-edged relationship.  Her brother, Henry, harbors the ghost of a tinker and scientist.  The two minds together can come up with marvels.  However, this ghost sometimes subsumes the boy when a particular problem catches his fancy.  The problem gets solved but Henry is completely blank of all memories of the solution and the missing time.  Their mother has been consumed by a ghost with an overwhelming need to be loved.  This love is so selfish and strong that it literally burns the flesh of her lovers.  Her children cannot touch her for fear of being scalded.  Their father is a human automaton who left the family, became homeless, and roams the streets.  He shuns all company and the ghosts shun him.  Neither Jane nor her brother know why.  Talk about family dysfunction.The highlight of this book for me was the complexities of the world building around Swine Hill.  Its depressive nature is pervasive and yet it be rich with unusual  ideas and imagery.  The ghost elements were absolutely fascinating and I loved the diverse effects of spirit inhabitation.  There was also an odd but sad robot and animal hybrids.  This book led to excellent questions about humanity, economics, brutality, fear, greed, loss, and tenacity.  The world felt real and gritty and very unpleasant.  And yet the residents continued to hang onto survival even if the war has been lost.  Though hope is missing, there is still the desire for comfort at any cost.  I honestly wanted better for Jane and Henry.  The story couldn't end well given the rules of the world but I had to know the resolution.  And I truly liked what I was given.I don't know if I could legitimately recommend this to anyone because it is so unique and weird and gritty.  But I admit that I am so very glad that I read this book and I look forward to seeing what else this author has in store.  For a debut, it is wonderful.  Arrrr!So lastly . . .Thank you John Joseph Adams / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt!Check out me other reviews at https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordp...
    more
  • Stephanie (That's What She Read)
    January 1, 1970
    This is a hard book to rate. There is so much here. If there is one thing that's done well, it's the sense of atmosphere. The characters live in town that's dying and suffocating. They are haunted by literal and figurative ghosts. Our main character, Jane's ghost tells her what people around her are thinking and what their intentions are, while her brother Henry's ghost is a genius that takes him over and keeps him up building machines. There were a lot of big ideas at play in this book: views t This is a hard book to rate. There is so much here. If there is one thing that's done well, it's the sense of atmosphere. The characters live in town that's dying and suffocating. They are haunted by literal and figurative ghosts. Our main character, Jane's ghost tells her what people around her are thinking and what their intentions are, while her brother Henry's ghost is a genius that takes him over and keeps him up building machines. There were a lot of big ideas at play in this book: views towards immigration and immigrants, race relations, and corporate greed. The story is told with a dark surrealism that feels like a dream. I think the pacing in the middle, after we are introduced to the major characters and conflict, slogs a little bit. The story itself was a little dark and depressing at times, but I thought the ending was well executed.
    more
  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    If you would like to read more of my review check out beforewegoblog.comSwine hill is a place that will hurt your body, wrack your soul at the altar of human selfishness, and destroy you. Imagine living in this place. Imagine working at the store or a packing plant here. Imagine having to share part of your soul with the undead. Hick's characters do, and for a short time, we readers also do.  Hick's has invented a story that is so rife with pain, imagination, and horrors that if you could take t If you would like to read more of my review check out beforewegoblog.comSwine hill is a place that will hurt your body, wrack your soul at the altar of human selfishness, and destroy you. Imagine living in this place. Imagine working at the store or a packing plant here. Imagine having to share part of your soul with the undead. Hick's characters do, and for a short time, we readers also do.  Hick's has invented a story that is so rife with pain, imagination, and horrors that if you could take the spawn of Dr. Moreau and The Haunting of Hill House you would have something close to this. Haunt is unsettling in ways that made me uncomfortable deep down in my bones.Hicks explores the premise of a haunted family in a haunted town. It centers around the protagonists Jane and Henry. Brother and sister trapped with the souls of unsettled ghosts inside them. In Jane's case, it is the soul of a woman who thrives on conflict and secrets. The spirit silently whispers to jane the horrible thoughts and intentions of those around her. Henry has the ghost of a mad inventor inside him seeking to create incredible and awful machines whose purpose is sometimes unknown. The pair is also influenced by their mother and father, both haunted. Her mother is haunted by a person so craving affection that her body physically radiates heat. Enough to burn and scar. Jane is the heart of the family. Silently she pounds away at life and looks after her family as best as she can within the circumstances.The crux of the story rests around Henry and how his mad ghost creates things. This time Henry invents pig people. Upright human-like animals that are built to self-slaughter and could eventually render the town and by extension humans obsolete. Henry  creates many, but individually we meet Hog Boss and his kind son Dennis. Both are good-natured and thoughtful people set at deliberate juxtaposition to the rest of the "human" inhabitants of the town. Enter the fearful townsfolk, frightened of the unknown, in both the pig people and the loss of their livelihood. What happens next can only be described as an explosive clash between the old ways and the new all within the context of Jane attempting to save people.The setting in the story is unrestrainedly unworldly. The writing drips darkness and moisture from every page and sometimes, I could swear my kindle was fogging up from the cold. Hicks absolutely has created a world where you should be very afraid that ghosts will settle in your bones. The underlying theme of this story is relationships: sister to brother, mother to son, lover to lover. In this, it is the immense power of links that can drive a person to the unthinkable or the extraordinary. What would I do for the person I love? What would I do to the person I hate? Person to person a spiderweb of narrative and relationships is created. This web holds the town together and eventually culminating in it blasting apart.Behind the relationship web and narrative, Hicks also remarks on social problems. Racism, sexism, classicism and the dehumanization of immigrants in the United States are allegorically reflected upon. This adds another critical dimension to the story. It is more profound than ghosts or pigs. It is so much more.It is poignantly cruel that these characters, so afflicted, must also contend with the worst problems we see in our own world. Hicks will unflinchingly show you the horrific visage of ghosts and nightmares pulled from the headlines of our own world, leaving you to wonder whether one lot is truly fundamentally worse than the other. And yet, perhaps it is true that they who would grow must first be made to suffer. Certainly, the growth we see in these characters is the result of a purposefully built set of trials and woes; it is not an easy journey for us to follow but it rewards us as only a master-crafted tale can.Things get harsh and really painful for the characters in this story. I know I have alluded to it vaguely, but I don't want to give away the cleverness of the story. It is scary, mystical, and bittersweet. It absolutely deserves all of the forthcoming awards that are going to be thrown at it. If you are a fan of the horror/bizarro genre, look no further than this book, but even more so if you are a fan of the written word and the power it can wield, this is a worthy read. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an unbiased review.
    more
  • Myndi
    January 1, 1970
    This review was originally posted on my blog Mad Book LoveThere is just so much to unpack with this book, I don't know how I'm going to keep this review a reasonable length. While I can hardly say what it was I expected, I can say with complete certainty that it wasn't what I got. And thank the gods for that! This book wow'd me. WOW'D. Me. Now where to start, where to start...The cover: in no way appealed to me. If you've read any of my reviews, you know how much I covet covers. Covers are meant This review was originally posted on my blog Mad Book LoveThere is just so much to unpack with this book, I don't know how I'm going to keep this review a reasonable length. While I can hardly say what it was I expected, I can say with complete certainty that it wasn't what I got. And thank the gods for that! This book wow'd me. WOW'D. Me. Now where to start, where to start...The cover: in no way appealed to me. If you've read any of my reviews, you know how much I covet covers. Covers are meant to convey something about the book, they make promises about what's on offer inside, and if I don't like the cover, my gut says I'm likely to feel the same about the story. Were it not for the promise of ghosts (and the offer of an ARC), I probably would have bypassed this book. And that would have been terrible!!! Now that I'm done reading it, the cover is no more aesthetically appealing to me, but I see how it connects to the actual story, and it really couldn't be more appropriate. The story: I'd say I'm at a loss for words, but it's really that there are so many words, and I shouldn't write a novel or an essay (though I would love to do a deep, close read of this book, if time allowed, there is so much to dissect!). This story promised ghosts and it delivered in spades, but there is so much more to this than ghosts. This is not the kind of horror novel that relies on graphic and gruesome violence and anxiety-inducing, heart-wrenching fear. Which isn't to say there isn't some violence, and perhaps a little gruesomeness, but that it isn't particularly graphic, and that the cause of the violence and gruesomeness is where the horror lies. And the fact that the source is reflective of many of American societies ills; that it all makes sense.To some, it might seem a bit absurdist. There were moments when I felt that way, and I suspect it's intended. This story is a sort of quasi-apocalyptic Animal Farm meets Frankenstein with angry ghosts who can hurt you, who can possess you, who are angry and sad and scared and can't move on to...wherever or whatever the next step is. Their existence has crumbled, and over the years, the town they left behind has crumbled along with them, weakening their tether to the world. They fight desperately to prevent change, while still keeping the town alive, because they are afraid of the unknown, because they feel they were cheated and are owed something, because they have things they still want to do, because they have needs that must be filled. And they don't care who they hurt along the way. Oh my gosh, I could go on and on, but what I mean to say is, it is a strange book, but it is a beautifully strange book, thought-provoking, poignant, and ridiculously relevant. It is fascinating and hideous, beautiful and confounding, brilliant and ghastly. Without a doubt, one of the most surprising stories I've ever read, certainly not one I'll forget, and an easy, hands-down, no-need-to-contemplate, brilliantly-shining 5 star read. All of that said, this feels like a book that isn't for everybody. There are some small, quick scenes of violence. It is not a happy or light read. It's edgy and twisted and bizarre and outlandish and if you like those things, it's absolutely fabulous and you should read it now. Right. Now.Note: I received this book from the publisher. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
    more
  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    First off, let me start by saying that this book is unique. It will mess with your mind and not in a good way. However, this translate to a book that you must read. If you are a fan of horror books than you will want to pick up a copy today. This is a family affair. Jane and her brother, Henry were not just the only ones trying to battle the evilness that encroaches on their town. While, I did find Jane to be strong; she was not the only strong female character in this story. Bethany kicked some First off, let me start by saying that this book is unique. It will mess with your mind and not in a good way. However, this translate to a book that you must read. If you are a fan of horror books than you will want to pick up a copy today. This is a family affair. Jane and her brother, Henry were not just the only ones trying to battle the evilness that encroaches on their town. While, I did find Jane to be strong; she was not the only strong female character in this story. Bethany kicked some serious ass as well. Yet, here is where the stuff of nightmares is at...walking, talking pigs. This is what the ghost that inhibits Henry's body has him creating. Turning pigs into people. They are replacing the jobs of the townfolk. This book is so bizarre but at the same time I could not stop reading it. Just when I thought it could not get more weirder; something else would happen in the story that would have me in awe. I can't really explain this book in a way that gives it justice, so you will just have to check it out for yourself.
    more
  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    Oh. Kay. You guys, this book is so strange, but also so good? I've seriously never read anything like it. It's sort of like a combination of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle x Animal Farm x Frankenstein + ghosts. It's dark and horrific, ghosts litter the streets and have followed people for years. It's super atmospheric, and while horror isn't typically my favorite genre, I sort of couldn't stop reading this. I don't think I can say very much without starting to give things away, but at heart it's a Oh. Kay. You guys, this book is so strange, but also so good? I've seriously never read anything like it. It's sort of like a combination of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle x Animal Farm x Frankenstein + ghosts. It's dark and horrific, ghosts litter the streets and have followed people for years. It's super atmospheric, and while horror isn't typically my favorite genre, I sort of couldn't stop reading this. I don't think I can say very much without starting to give things away, but at heart it's a book about relationships--brother and sister, parents and children, ghosts and the haunted. It's a book of growth, though not everyone makes it out alive. 
    more
  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    Full review to follow
  • Camille
    January 1, 1970
    Truly unlike anything I have ever read before, Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones is rhythmic in its prose and packed with sophistication, a book that utterly demands to be read. From the first page to the last, readers will be unable to put down this book both because of the mesmerizing story and the unspoken truths that it contains. One of the main parts of the book that promoted its overall theme was its setting. Taking place in the town of Swine Hill, readers will immediately be greeted by a Truly unlike anything I have ever read before, Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones is rhythmic in its prose and packed with sophistication, a book that utterly demands to be read. From the first page to the last, readers will be unable to put down this book both because of the mesmerizing story and the unspoken truths that it contains. One of the main parts of the book that promoted its overall theme was its setting. Taking place in the town of Swine Hill, readers will immediately be greeted by a setting that matches its story almost perfectly; rusting iron, miserable faces, and crumbling infrastructure. It is a town of abandoned buildings, few jobs, and a suffering population, something which is more common than people might believe. Through Jane and Henry’s stories, Hicks uses this setting to the best of his ability to prove just how disastrous a town like this could be to its population, along with just how far some people will go to ignore a problem. I also found the town to act as a sort of character of its own at times too. It suffers along with them, rotting from the inside out with their ghosts, but also learns to survive and move on with the cast of characters. Readers would find the portrayal of the town to be fascinating as it depicts just how much a setting could affect society, and how society could affect its setting.Another aspect of the book that I adored were the characters and the themes behind them. Each living with their own ghost, I found the concept of this overbearing presence to be fascinating as it was almost like an extension of a character’s “self”, like the daemons in Philp Pullman’s books. Both like them and not, the ghosts acted as a support for the characters…but also as a source of pain. For example, to some Jane’s ghost might seem like a gift as it “reads” the thoughts of those around Jane and tells them to her. In reality, Jane is both friends with the ghost but not, glad to hear the extra commentary but also fearful of the pain that it could bring her. Her brother, Henry, is like this too with his ghost that makes him build strange but horrifying machines. To go through the process of building something is one thing, but when the power and evil behind the contraptions are revealed, only suffering ensues. Through these ghosts and their connections to the characters, Hicks explores deep issues such as relationships and what it means to be someone. He also explores social issues such as racism and sexism in a way that comments on how a setting could impact and rip at a certain person. This leads to the characters changing deeply through the story as their situations change as well, and though this might seem like an obvious thing to say about a book, readers will appreciate the insight that Hicks gives on how a place/society could impact who a person becomes. If you are a fan of horror or thriller novels in YA, this is certainly the book for you. Jammed-packed with meaning and beautiful prose, Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones is a book that is truly one of a kind. Not too graphic and without the jump-scare tactics of other horror books, Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones will leave you questioning in the best way possible. I recommend this book for people ages 14 and up because of mild violence.
    more
  • Josie Jaffrey
    January 1, 1970
    What did I just read?!?This is one of those books that confounds me as a reviewer, because it defies description. It is (nominally, at least) a contemporary SFF novel, a label that will in no way prepare you for its contents.The story is set in Swine Hill, a once-prosperous American town that now relies on its pig processing plant for survival. The town is haunted by ghosts, and most of its inhabitants have at least one ghost attached to them, all of which have different effects on those they po What did I just read?!?This is one of those books that confounds me as a reviewer, because it defies description. It is (nominally, at least) a contemporary SFF novel, a label that will in no way prepare you for its contents.The story is set in Swine Hill, a once-prosperous American town that now relies on its pig processing plant for survival. The town is haunted by ghosts, and most of its inhabitants have at least one ghost attached to them, all of which have different effects on those they possess. The story follows two main characters, a brother and sister (both possessed), who are trying to scrape by in this shell of a town.In one sense, the book is about the destructive effect of globalisation on small-town America. In another sense, it’s about the insidious way in which desperation and isolation can breed intolerance in such communities. In another sense, it’s a homage to Philip K Dick’s ‘Beyond Lies The Wub’, bringing into question the morality of killing and consuming intelligent creatures such as pigs simply because they’re tasty. In yet another sense, it is about the difficulty that we experience in trying to leave the past behind us, particularly in the shadow of broken families. But in the most literal sense, this book is about a ghost town in which the few remaining jobs are suddenly taken over by artificial pig men.And that’s really the best way I can describe it to you.One thing’s for certain: this book is a real thinker. I’m going to be puzzling over it for many days to come, I’m sure. For that reason, I’d highly recommend it for book club reading. This is a book you want to talk about with someone, because the messaging is complex and the potential morals multiple.I really enjoyed the writing. It flows well, and the author conveys complex concepts without resorting to laboured prose. The story also has a fair amount of pace, although I confess I found it slow-moving at times. The characters are also well-conceived: properly fleshed-our and with individual traits that made each sympathetic and yet none particularly likeable. I enjoyed that a lot.But there was something missing for me. Something about the ending wasn’t quite right (I disliked the Henry/Bethany ending, and felt that the last chapter should have been cut and reworked into earlier parts of the story - but indeed it may have been reworked by the time it went to print, because I read an advance copy).Still, if you fancy something COMPLETELY different that will give you an awful lot to think about, then you should definitely give this book a go.Recommended for: fans of Philip K Dick, George Orwell and weird modern dystopia, richly woven with social commentary.***Disclosure: The Gin Book Club received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The Gin Book Club has received review copies from this publisher several times over the past couple of years. None of this affects the content of our review. This review is provided voluntarily and contains our honest opinion.
    more
  • Lenoire
    January 1, 1970
    The small town of Swine Hill is filled with ghosts. The ghosts have taken over the abandoned downtown area and haunt places that they have unresolved dealings with. Some ghosts have been known to hurt people and sometimes, even change them. In Swine Hill, there are more dead things than living.Jane has been haunted since she was a child. Her ghost feeds on the secrets and fears of people around her. She loves to share her findings with Jane, even if Jane doesn't want to know. Jane's brother, Hen The small town of Swine Hill is filled with ghosts. The ghosts have taken over the abandoned downtown area and haunt places that they have unresolved dealings with. Some ghosts have been known to hurt people and sometimes, even change them. In Swine Hill, there are more dead things than living.Jane has been haunted since she was a child. Her ghost feeds on the secrets and fears of people around her. She loves to share her findings with Jane, even if Jane doesn't want to know. Jane's brother, Henry, is also plagued by a ghost. His ghost takes over and causes him to build strange and dangerous machines. Her mother is possessed by a lonely spirit who craves attention and burns anyone who she touches.When newcomers start obtaining coveted jobs at the pork processing plant, both the living and dead are upset. They are worried about their future and where they would go. Jane and her family have loyalties to both sides and try to survive when things start getting violent. Will Jane and her family be able to escape Swine Hill?I found the book to be an interesting read. It definitely had a different plot that I would have expected or used too. I found each character to be well developed and interesting. However, I found it annoying that some characters knew how to get rid of ghosts but, didn't really make the attempt to do so until things went downhill. For example, Jane was trying to make her friend's life better but, yet she continued to let her mother suffer from her ghost. Overall, the novel was an interesting read from books I normally read.
    more
  • Jessica Bronder
    January 1, 1970
    In this world ghosts can haunt the living but living within them. Jane, Henry and their mother are haunted. Jane’s ghost tells her the thoughts and plans of everyone around them. Henry has a mad scientist that is forcing him to create horrific creatures and machine. Their mother has a ghost that so desires attention that she can burn people that she touches.In Swine Hill is a slaughterhouse where we find Henry creating human like pig creatures that are phasing out human workers. But this is just In this world ghosts can haunt the living but living within them. Jane, Henry and their mother are haunted. Jane’s ghost tells her the thoughts and plans of everyone around them. Henry has a mad scientist that is forcing him to create horrific creatures and machine. Their mother has a ghost that so desires attention that she can burn people that she touches.In Swine Hill is a slaughterhouse where we find Henry creating human like pig creatures that are phasing out human workers. But this is just the beginning. As the people get upset at the loss of jobs, the pigmen, and more the little town gets closer and closer to the breaking point.This book was not what I was thinking it was going to be. It’s a great, creepy story that drew me in from the first line and left me off balance. I was not expecting and just when I was kind of getting my mind wrapped around the idea it was off again. But this book is not just a horror story. There is so much more in regards to character development and attitudes towards the immigrants and creatures working the only place with limited jobs. This was a great story although some may not like it. I would say if you liked horror you will enjoy this book. This was the first book I have read from Micah Hicks but it won’t be the last one.I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
    more
  • Qassye Hall
    January 1, 1970
    We are thrown into a world where ghost, darkness, sadness, grime, dirt, and horror can all exist. Micah Dean Hicks breaks what I would consider “the fourth wall”, and allows many elements to exist in about 300 pages. In his debut novel, BREAK THE BODIES, HAUNT THE BONES, we explore the world of Swine Hill on the backs of Jane and her ghost. We burn alongside Jane’s mother and her mother’s ghost through physical touch, emotional tugs, and mental thoughts. Jane’s mother is one of the most intrigui We are thrown into a world where ghost, darkness, sadness, grime, dirt, and horror can all exist. Micah Dean Hicks breaks what I would consider “the fourth wall”, and allows many elements to exist in about 300 pages. In his debut novel, BREAK THE BODIES, HAUNT THE BONES, we explore the world of Swine Hill on the backs of Jane and her ghost. We burn alongside Jane’s mother and her mother’s ghost through physical touch, emotional tugs, and mental thoughts. Jane’s mother is one of the most intriguing characters of Hick’s novel, and it kept me tearing through each page. Henry’s love for invention and creation is another and to constantly make a change (even though they’re not working out in his favor) is another pull to turn the page. But most importantly, I kept turning the page because of Jane and the journey of Jane’s MUST to save her family. If I continue, I will slip into spoilers, so I will stop here. Dark is in this novel. Horror posses this novel. The language and tone in the style Hick’s has chosen to write in adds an extra element that I didn’t know I needed. I highly recommend this novel to you and to the world. Even if horror is not your genre or “your taste”, you won’t regret stepping out of your comfort zone and reading BREAK THE BODIES, HAUNT THE BONES.
    more
  • Angel Hench
    January 1, 1970
    What a deeply strange and compelling book. Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones is about a dying town haunted by it's inhabitants, both living and dead. Jane is possessed, her brother is possessed, her mother is possessed. Her father is so damaged that he cannot be possessed. The town is overrun with ghosts and the only place that can still be considered operating in any capacity is the pig-slaughtering factory on the edge of town.🐷There is so much to this book. It's about family and regret and rel What a deeply strange and compelling book. Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones is about a dying town haunted by it's inhabitants, both living and dead. Jane is possessed, her brother is possessed, her mother is possessed. Her father is so damaged that he cannot be possessed. The town is overrun with ghosts and the only place that can still be considered operating in any capacity is the pig-slaughtering factory on the edge of town.🐷There is so much to this book. It's about family and regret and relationships and change and resistance to change and prejudice and longing and love. I feel like I need to re-read it just to get the meaning of everything contained within. BUT it's also just a really good ghost story. You can either enjoy it as an allegorical tale or as a straight up horror book .🐷I would be interested to know what you thought of this book ... did it have any special meaning for you or did you read it straight up as a book about a haunting?? If you'd like to go read it quick, I'll wait here for you so we can discuss.🐷(A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.)
    more
  • Uriah
    January 1, 1970
    Most of my time reading is spent getting inside other people's heads, and until now I've always thought that was by choice. But I think I really just struggle to find myself in other people's works, and so escapism becomes more realistic than reflection. "Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones" has changed this. Never before have I walked away relating to so many characters on so many levels. From the gifted boy who belongs in a better town to his empath sister who can read people's hearts to their y Most of my time reading is spent getting inside other people's heads, and until now I've always thought that was by choice. But I think I really just struggle to find myself in other people's works, and so escapism becomes more realistic than reflection. "Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones" has changed this. Never before have I walked away relating to so many characters on so many levels. From the gifted boy who belongs in a better town to his empath sister who can read people's hearts to their yearning mother who burns everyone she loves... Everyone is haunted. And getting free is every bit as tangled as the toxic settings that mire into us. I'm still unpacking the introspection this book has put me through. Whether this is a testament to Hicks's deft way with words or to a shared and overlooked narrative from America's rural heartland, I'm unsure. Actually both. Let's go with both. I've never read anything like it. If you're afraid of ghosts, give this a pass. But if you're ready to meet your own, look no further. A stunning debut. Here's to many more.
    more
  • Larry
    January 1, 1970
    Hicks does not waste any time setting the scene. The opening lines: "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."Hicks explores this premise through the lives of a family, Jane, her brother Henry, their Mother and Father. Jane, Henry, and their mother are haunted, and have complicated relationships with their ghosts. Their friends are haunted. Link by link, Hicks builds a web of rela Hicks does not waste any time setting the scene. The opening lines: "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."Hicks explores this premise through the lives of a family, Jane, her brother Henry, their Mother and Father. Jane, Henry, and their mother are haunted, and have complicated relationships with their ghosts. Their friends are haunted. Link by link, Hicks builds a web of relationships among strongly portrayed characters, some living, and some not. They seem real, all trapped in the decay of the town. The reader -- this reader, anyway -- comes to care about them. Then things get really bad. Not everyone makes it out alive. But the ending is satisfying, and hopeful. I was not disappointed.I recommend it.
    more
  • Chandni
    January 1, 1970
    I hate DNFing review books because I want to give my honest opinion on the entire book. However, I have so many books on my TBR that I can't justify reading a book I'm not enjoying.While the premise of this novel is intriguing, my biggest issue with this book was that I never connected with either the main characters or the plot. The writing is pretty good and the author manages to perfectly capture the atmosphere of a dying town. However, the plot is so slow that I never really cared about what I hate DNFing review books because I want to give my honest opinion on the entire book. However, I have so many books on my TBR that I can't justify reading a book I'm not enjoying.While the premise of this novel is intriguing, my biggest issue with this book was that I never connected with either the main characters or the plot. The writing is pretty good and the author manages to perfectly capture the atmosphere of a dying town. However, the plot is so slow that I never really cared about what happened.I think this book definitely has an audience, but unfortunately it just wasn't for me.I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has affected my review in no way.
    more
  • Joe Crowe
    January 1, 1970
    This one's a ghost story, and author Micah Dean Hicks has all the fixings of a standard ghost story, but then mixes them all up in a way that shows he thought way too hard while writing the story (I mean that as a compliment.) It's what he does with the fixings. It's not one ghost, it's a town full, and almost everyone therein is haunted by one. The story has emotional weight, with the living people being more than jobbers for the supernatural creatures to smack down; and even the ghosts are ful This one's a ghost story, and author Micah Dean Hicks has all the fixings of a standard ghost story, but then mixes them all up in a way that shows he thought way too hard while writing the story (I mean that as a compliment.) It's what he does with the fixings. It's not one ghost, it's a town full, and almost everyone therein is haunted by one. The story has emotional weight, with the living people being more than jobbers for the supernatural creatures to smack down; and even the ghosts are fully, cleverly realized. (Review from an early review copy.)
    more
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    I received this ARC at NYCC. Overall, I liked this book, but parts just seemed to drag and the story lost its momentum. There was also probably a little too much going on. Definitely not like any other story I've read before.
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I did like the idea of the book. The storyline was good and very detailed. Plus I thought it got kinda got crazy towards the end. A very weird crazy horror story.
  • Brittany Holcomb
    January 1, 1970
    This book was great! A very interesting and strange world with relatable characters dealing with strange but fascinating circumstances. I was hooked and had difficulty putting the book down!
  • Jo
    January 1, 1970
    Review to follow, but loved it.
  • Nancy (The Avid Reader)
    January 1, 1970
    Swine Hill is a place; a town that is overrun with ghost not only is the town haunted but the people in the town are haunted as well. Some ghost just come to sort of hang out with their host giving them certain abilities while others are possessed by their ghost. Once you enter the town of Swine Hill you may never leave again. Each and every person in the town of Swine Hill has quite a few deep dark secrets in their souls that they hide away from even their own selves. Like most everyone else in Swine Hill is a place; a town that is overrun with ghost not only is the town haunted but the people in the town are haunted as well. Some ghost just come to sort of hang out with their host giving them certain abilities while others are possessed by their ghost. Once you enter the town of Swine Hill you may never leave again. Each and every person in the town of Swine Hill has quite a few deep dark secrets in their souls that they hide away from even their own selves. Like most everyone else in the world they have something they feel guilt over or maybe even have done somethings that they wished they had never done or may just wished they had done differently. Or maybe just things that they blame themselves for and have never let go of. They are also afraid of having something new come into their lives and changing things as they know it. They are afraid of anyone new coming into town who are different than they are. They are afraid that these new people will take over and rule and they will no longer be the ones in charge. Our main character Jane has had her ghost for a long time ever since she was a little girl. Jane’s ghost just likes to hang around to be kind of like her friend. Jane’s ghost tells her what everyone around her is thinking. With this knowledge Jane tries to help people or keep them safe. Henry, Jane’s brother’s ghost is the possessing type and has like moved itself into Henry’s body. It will at times take over and help Henry fix things. Jane’s mother can’t touch anyone as her ghost will burn them to a point of leaving scars. Everyone in Swine Hill has their own similar stories to tell about their ghost. Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones is a very intriguing and intense read that will having you opening up your mind and giving it a lot of thought and applying it to your own life. It is a deep heart felt read that will hold your attention from beginning to end and have you thinking about it long after you have read the last page and wishing for more. I love a good book that will just haunt your bones so to speak. In my opinion I think that Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones is for everyone especially anyone who is looking for a good story that will have you thinking and opening up your mind and for anyone who likes a good ghost story as well.
    more
Write a review