Covenant by Allan Leverone started with promise but ultimately comes up short. The plot is very simple and straightforward, a young couple buys a house for a price that’s too good to be true and surprisingly discover that something sinister is involved. Not ground-breaking or new but the “haunted house” theme can still be used with great effect. “Head Full of Ghosts” by Paul Trembley is a prime example. The problem with Covenant wasn’t the plot or even the ability of the writer but a slow middle act and poorly done ending. However, overall the book is still enjoyable enough to recommend.
Covenant by Allan Leverone
The first problem with the book is that the most intriguing aspects found early on in the book are not further explored later in the book. The book opens with some background on the origin of the haunting and it's great Click To TweetThe book would have benefited from adding more of these flashbacks sprinkled in. Instead we get a bit of an overdose of the protagonist’s mental state. It seemed like the author was trying to establish the feelings of dread and darkness through the mind of the protagonist. Not that it was a bad idea to go this direction, we all want to know what’s in a character’s head, but it was too much and at the expense of other more interesting possibilities.
Most of the middle of the books is wrapped up in the protagonist’s head, when I think there should have been more haunting going on. There are only three happenings related to a haunting in the book, two significant ones and one in the middle of the book that is very underwhelming. A haunted house story, after all, should be very freaking haunted.
The good is that the history and origin of the story was very good and I can tell the author has talent. The torture porn feel of the opening of the book seemed like it could have been used to greater effect throughout the book. I also liked the prose and the detective was a good character. I would have liked to see more of the detective, as he was more of a peripheral character for most of the book. I would love a followup book that explores Collins during his life, that is a potential read of the year.
This is the first novel of the Leverone’s that I’ve read so I don’t know how this compares to his previous work. However, I think there is enough here that some people will quite enjoy the Coventant. I also think there is enough wrong that others won’t. Covenant will garner polarized reviews, but if you are a fan of haunted house stories, Covenant could be right up your alley.