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 possess 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 by Micah Dean Hicks.

Qassye M. Hall is an MFA Candidate of Fiction at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the Executive Editor for LUMINA Journal and Founder and Editor of Grimm Tales. Her work has appeared in the Scarletleaf Review and Breadcrumbs Magazine.