Just One More Chapter

Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light. 

-Vera Nazarian

 

I'm just trying to light up the world as much as I can one SciFi/paranormal/fantasy/space opera/time travel book at a time. 

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Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones by Micah Dean Hicks

This voracious bibliophile is all about scene staging. It is an absolute necessity in a good/great/satisfying read. This gruesome story had that in spades!

 

The premise was unique, which scores major points with me. Taking one look at the book's title, I obviously expected some dark material but I was not prepared for some of the head tripy-ness this book dishes out. Just thinking about being harrassed by a needy ghost that can cause you to black out... whose actions you are not privy to, essentially causing you to be an unwilling passenger in your own body, now THAT'S creepy.

 

The writing was stark, succinct and unapologetically laid bare for the reader to take it or leave it. BUT let's forget for the moment the whole "ghosts being able to hop inside a person's body and take it for a spin" aspect... asking us to suspend reality enough to allow for ghosts that swarm inanimate objects like cars, music boxes and drains, causing them to fail and clog stretches my frivolity tolerance a bit too thin. The world building, on the other hand, was evocative and sinister as all hell. There were loads of ghosts that don't understand personal boundaries that can overload things as well as people... there were people not haunted with ghosts who were psycho, agro killers anyway... and then there were people just trying to survive this crazy town. My favorite characters were side characters though. I really liked Bethany, Henry and his father. They each brought a fragile yet resilient dimension to the plot. I loved how broken they were not only because it was interesting to see how they dealt with it but to also see how they "fixed" themselves and their situations in the end. I liked Henry, his tinkering brain, and his brilliant, mad scientist ghost interloper who tried and tried but couldn't seem to get anything right. I loved how strong Bethany was and how determined she remained. Henry's father helped out in the weirdest times but for someone so out of touch with reality, he was somehow there for his kids in a pinch.

 

One thing I hate to say is that I could only get through this in spurts. The plot was sufficiently ghoulish but it just didn't grab ahold of my attention and keep it there. There was an unfortunate case of insta-love, which annoys me to no end but at least it wasn't drawn out with deep, protracted declarations. Also, the ending was a tad confusing. I totally love anything and everything about alternate dimensions BUT it wasn't described with enough detail and therefore, it wasn't wrapped up as neatly as I think it was going for. I am definitely not one who needs a story to be wrapped up with a sparkly bow but it did feel like that was where it was going and if so, it failed.


Overall: This nightmarish read was solid. The writing was good and the world building even better. The character development was not as stellar but was still decent. If I could have read it straight through, no stopping and starting and stopping again, I would have rated it higher but as it is, it's a good, macabre story.

*** I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ***