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Friday, December 6, 2019

#ATBR2019 Review: The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher @SagaSFF @jessmapreviews @UrsulaV

The Twisted Ones by
T. Kingfisher

Thank you to Saga Press for these copies!

Publisher: Saga Press
Publish Date: October 1, 2019
385 Pages
Genres: Horror, Fantasy

When a young woman clears out her deceased grandmother’s home in rural North Carolina, she finds long-hidden secrets about a strange colony of beings in the woods in this chilling novel that reads like The Blair Witch Project meets The Andy Griffith Show.

When Mouse’s dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother's house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be?

Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is stuffed with useless rubbish. That would be horrific enough, but there’s more—Mouse stumbles across her step-grandfather’s journal, which at first seems to be filled with nonsensical rants…until Mouse encounters some of the terrifying things he described for herself.

Alone in the woods with her dog, Mouse finds herself face to face with a series of impossible terrors—because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they’re looking for you. And if she doesn’t face them head on, she might not survive to tell the tale.

From Hugo Award–winning author Ursula Vernon, writing as T. Kingfisher, The Twisted Ones is a gripping, terrifying tale bound to keep you up all night—from both fear and anticipation of what happens next.

My Review:

This is one of those books that I was wondering how I was going to feel within the first 50 pages.  This reads as Mouse's writing of her experiences while cleaning out the hoarding house of her late stepgrandmother.  It starts off a bit slow as she gets there, tries to get settled and realizes just what kind of task she's actually in for.  We get to meet some of the tertiary characters and it sets the mood for the rest of the read.  My favorite character by far is Foxy... and Bongo (the first an eccentric older lady who lives nearby and the latter Mouse's dog).  They bring a lot of levity to the book that I actually thoroughly enjoyed.  

Tok - tok - tok - tok... then it starts to get REALLY interesting.  Look, I'm gonna be completely honest with you, the synopsis is creepier than the book itself.  While there are some great visual parts to the read, it (to me) wasn't really scary or creepy in the slightest.  I think I was expecting more in that category but THEN, I remember that it is described as a cross between The Blair Witch and The Andy Griffith Show. Okie dokie.  Expectations changed and YES!

The story definitely takes some turns I wasn't expecting and for that I give lots of credit to the author for surprising me.  If you enjoy folklore/pagan-ish type reads that are a bit on the lighter side, I think you'll really enjoy this story.  And do take a moment to read the Author's Note and maybe read a little more on where some of the story comes from.


Jessica's Review:

Don't even ask me why I went into this thinking it was a short story collection. I have absolutely no idea why - but man was I confused when I started. That being said, I did enjoy the book and was happy that it wasn't a short story collection (I think I got this confused with another horror/supernatural anthology I've had sitting in the TBR next to this one). THE TWISTED ONES by T. Kingfisher was not as scary as I was anticipating it be for the horror genre, but there were definitely some creepy and eerie moments.

This one did start out kind of slow for me. Mouse is tasked with having to clean out her deceased grandmother's home. Seems fine, right? Well, grandma was a hoarder and Mouse has her work cut out for her. This was where it felt slow for me - the first section of the book is the cleaning. It was starting to lose me, but then Mouse finds her step-grandfather's journal. This is when things start to pick up for me and what kept me reading.

Not only did I enjoy the story as it picked up, but I also liked the development of the supporting characters to Mouse. I mean, who doesn't love a dog sidekick, even if he isn't the best watchdog out there. These characters help create a balance with the creepy elements. If you're looking for a scary horror book, then this probably won't be it. If you want something on the lighter end of the creepy and almost folklore-ish genre, then this will work better for you!

3.5 stars

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