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Knock Knock

(The Skillute Cycle #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  392 ratings  ·  94 reviews
At the center of S.P. Miskowski's novel-length fairy tale are three restless girls, best friends stuck in the backwater of Skillute, Washington in the late 1960s. Their neighbors and families are petty or poor, or both. They warn the girls not to wander into the dense forest. Something evil lurks there, people say. The girls are not convinced. During a playful oath, they w ...more
Kindle Edition, 303 pages
Published (first published July 31st 2011)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  392 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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Jack Tripper
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
As much as there appears to be a horror/weird mini-renaissance taking place over the past several years, I haven't had nearly as much luck with modern novels in the field as I have with short fiction, of which there is almost too much good stuff to keep track. Knock Knock is a major exception. It's not just one of the best horror novels I've read lately, but one of the most terrifying as well.

Considering horror has been my main go-to genre for nearly three decades, it takes a lot these days to a
Nov 01, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Cover Illustration by Russell Dickerson.
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of supernatural horror
Recommended to Char by: James Everington
I read this book with my Shelfari horror group. I enjoyed it!

Knock Knock is the story of three young girls that brought something to life. Something that will follow them for the rest of their days.

I thought this a well written story with good character development. I got to know the three women rather well over the course of their lives, and I enjoyed that.The pacing was okay- there were a couple of portions that dragged a little bit, but the ending more than made up for the slow spots.

I enjoy
Dec 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In Michael Moorcock’s book on Fantasy, Wizardry & Wild Romance, there is a chapter devoted to the geography of Fantasy, its foundational importance to casting its spell. If such a book were written on Horror, what makes it tick, etc., a similar chapter would certainly be called for. In S.P. Miskowski’s remarkable first novel, Knock, Knock, the geography of the Pacific Northwest, with its dark woods, small and dying towns, and its attendant folklore, is prominent. Miskowski’s creation, Skillute, ...more
Sadie Hartmann
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Spend enough time navigating the waters of horror fiction and you will soon discover for yourself that most coming of age horror features protagonists of the male persuasion. Coming of age is one of my favorite sub-genres; I gobble them all up!
Coming of age centered around anyone *besides* straight, white males are few and far between. So add this one to your TBR! Our story begins deliciously with 3 girls who hate the idea of pregnancy and motherhood so much, they agree to sneak off into the woo
Sep 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5, rounded up to 4 stars.

The concept revolves around three girls who make a pact in the woods one day....and the repercussions that follow throughout their lives. I felt the novel was very original, and had some genuinely creepy moments. The individual characters were well defined, and the story well paced. Because of these factors, I felt that I should round my rating up....the only reason for my 3.5 instead of an outright 4, is that there were times when I felt the story dragged on a bit, an
Carla Remy
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I upped this review to five stars. This book is really creepy, and it really stayed in my mind.
I've just been meaning to add, I love the idea, in this book, of doing a spell but having it backfire, having the spell be powerful, effective, but do the opposite of what the spell caster wanted. Because isn't magic a mystery? Also, this book has (obviously) been on my mind three weeks later. This is significant.
Very creepy, at times suspenseful and even scary. So much like 1970s h
Dec 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What an incredible book. From the awesomely creepy cover art down to the very last page. I'm so impressed, I read this in more or less one sitting, because this really isn't a sort of book one puts down. The writing is phenomenal, particularly for a debut novel, particularly for a genre novel. This book featured some of the most nuanced, well developed and realistic female characters I've ever read, some of the best character writing in general. The opposite of chick lit. This is about three you ...more
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
An engaging work of horror in a small town setting, written in a style I grew up reading. A slow burner with an ending that eludes to more good stuff in the remaining 3 books in the series, which I will surely be reading. My only small complaint here is that the during the first portion of the book the pacing was a bit slow at times, but this did make sense in the whole picture as part of building the story.
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An unsettling exploration of how sometimes wicked things linger.
Stephanie (That's What She Read)

This book was not what I expected. It starts out as a group of friends make a pact in the woods of their Washington small town that will haunt them well into adulthood. I am on the record of enjoying stories that explore characters through a long stretch of time, especially focusing on consequences of actions and how their lives play out. My one issue would be the pacing, I wish there had been more creepy moments in the in-between years instead of them being concentrated to the beginning and
Nick Imrie
Oct 04, 2019 rated it did not like it
I thought this was going to be a slow-burn, creepy horror, but it turned out it was just slow.

It starts off OK, with a few spooky moments gradually building tension, but it never gets beyond tension building.

By the final third I was skimming, and the new characters that were introduced were so unlikeable and dull that I didn't care at all what happened to them.

I finished with a feeling of being conned - like I'd been reading a shaggy-dog horror. The prose style is never better than r/nosleep: f
Angel McCoy
Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Angel's Adjectives: Hoary and honest

KNOCK KNOCK comes off the pages with all the menace of an old cautionary tale that has yet to be watered down for a modern, more tender culture. There's nothing tender about Miskowski's treatment of her characters. With bald honesty, she paints a picture of rural America that leaves you shivering. I hesitate to call any of her characters heroes. They are, rather, antiheroes, examples to future generations--who probably won't do anything differently either--of
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
Beware the woods, they’re dark and deep…

Story – 5.0 Stars
Narration – 4.5 Stars

“Knock, Knock" by S.P. Miskowski is about three young girls that go on a little adventure in some forbidden woods only to awaken something that will haunt their futures.

The story follows these girls as they become women and the character development is very good. These three are really something else, in fact (view spoiler)

Once I got started
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book reminded me of old-school Stephen King, specifically I.T. which strangely enough I'm currently re-reading! It's a story that spans generations and really encapsulates the lives of the main characters and S.P. Miskowski's brilliant writing really brings them to life.
The story is compelling and masterfully written, the creeping unease and horror builds up to an absolutely fantastic ending.
I'm now going to go and buy the rest of the Skillute cycle as I'm eager for more!
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Seemed like a supernatural Bad Seed. So I found it disappointing. By the end I shrugged, I had lost interest.
M Griffin
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Knock Knock, a novel by S. P. Miskowski, follows a trio of girls, from the town of Skillute in western Washington state. We're introduced to Marietta, Ethel and Beverley at age eleven, follow their lives as they grow up to womanhood, see their connections to each other evolve and shift as the events of life and adulthood affect them individually and together. The girls hear horrible rumors of what happens to women who become pregnant, and resolve that this will never happen to them.

Marietta live
James Everington
Mar 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I first came across the author S.P. Miskowski when I read her really rather excellent short story A.G.A. in an issue of Supernatural Tales. So I thought I'd try her novel Knock Knock, particularly as it seems to be doing rather well for itself, getting nominated for the Shirley Jackson award and everything.

Knock Knock uses a familiar horror novel device - that of setting a novel firmly in one small, American town and telling of an evil that affects multiple generations in that town. In this case
Lisa Reads & Reviews
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, kindle, horror
I have a sense of unfairness while reviewing Knock, Knock as I read it on the heels of a far deeper novel and the prose here pales in comparison. I'll be as objective as possible, while being subjective as necessary.

Fantasy/Horror, with no other pretensions. The scene is an impoverished town in northwest USA, near Seattle, but the ambiance could just have easily been anywhere Appalachian or backwater, Deliverance banjo dueling Tennessee. After awhile, those kind of towns are difficult to find i
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Knock, Knock by S.P. Miskowski is a fascinating tale of what not to do and the consequences not only for you, but for others nearby.

Three young girls decide to perform an ancient ritual against the advice of one who knows better. They go to the center of an old wood and make their blood pact calling up 50 years of terror.

Fact of the matter is that Knock, Knock frightened me as few horror stories do anymore. It has a strong psychological affect on you and you find yourself jumping at what used to
Philip Fracassi
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, genre, modern-lit
KNOCK KNOCK harks back to the glory days of Stephen King and Dean Koontz - playing on childhood wishes gone bad and what happens when innocence and ignorance tangle with the great dark forces surrounding us.

Filled with intensely creepy moments that will tingle your spine and give you shivers, KNOCK KNOCK takes you on an epic tri-part journey crossing generations of a myth come to horrible life, of a vengeful dark spirit that will do whatever it takes to survive.

Written masterfully by renowned au
Ennis Drake
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My first thought after delving into Miskowski's "Knock Knock" was: This is modern Americana worthy of the name.

A significant piece of literature almost biographic in the revelation of its characters, and utterly engaging in its portrayal of a "small town mythology", the lure of "Knock Knock" is irresistible (and does not leave the reader unrewarded). But make no mistake, this is horror. . .and it is this undercurrent of the supernatural that weaves and binds Ethel, Beverly, and Marietta (the no
William R.
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Tour de Force. Gripping suspense with an edge of your seat build. Strong character development.
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't what I expected, and I mean that in a good way. I figured supernatural horror would be the main theme, and it is, but I didn't expect such a nuanced and detailed look at the lives of these three woman in small-town Washington.

Like so much of my favorite writing, the creepy horror aspects are thoroughly grounded in achingly real problems and vicissitudes familiar to most real people. The dysfunctional or downright abusive relationships, the feelings of being trapped by circumstances,
Bob Suggs
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Creepy is as creepy things imply.

This book is about three young girls who make a blood pact in the middle of the woods. A simple act done in youthful glee, but something evil lurks in the shadows and it is awakened.

Start reading this one early in the day. Otherwise you'll be staying up late (like I was) and burning the midnight oil trying to finish the story before sleep invades.

A little jumpy in the beginning but S.P. really hits the ground running as the story moves along. Good character devel
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
I won this book on Librarything in exchange for an honest review.

I'll start with this... I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight. The buildup, the suspense, the darkness lurking behind every page is just right. I almost tabbed through the pages faster just because the buildup was too agonizing, I knew something horrible was going to happen and it was scaring my socks off.

The book starts off with three little girls making a blood pact in the middle of the woods in a small town. Then it spans
Daniel C.
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A really wonderful and gripping novel. Taking place in the town of Skillute, Washington and spanning the years from the late 1960's to the present, it's a frightening coming-of-age story, as well as a suspenseful horror story.
Miskowski's writing lures you in and holds your attention, always leaving the reader wanting more. This book receives my highest recommendation. Read it, and then seek out her other work.
This is the first book in the 'Skillute Cycle'. Following Knock, Knock are three nov
P.A. Fenton
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Knock Knock is a superb horror story, psychologically tense and tightly executed. The tale spans the lives of three women in a small town in Washington state, beginning with the mistake they made one day of awakening the vengeful spirit of "Miss Knocks". I found myself frequently holding my breath while reading the last few chapters. In hindsight, this might be why my fellow commuters were giving me strange looks. If you liked The Shining or The Ring, you should check out Knock Knock. ...more
Carol Brannigan
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book, er-arc
This was a great read. The masterful part of the story was not so much the plot- as the basic element has been done multiple times- instead it was the intensive character development and tension build-up that gives it an edge.

I was pleasantly surprised by just how well this was written. I felt as though I knew each character not only from their own perspective but from the other characters as well.

A well done piece of horror wrapped up in the history of a town.

Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I increased my star rating on this book from 4 to 5 after reading the other books in the cycle. The whole is stronger than the sum of its parts, and I would definitely recommend continuing on with Delphine Dodd if you liked Knock Knock. Here's a link to the short review I wrote after finishing the final book. ...more
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Making Connections: 998. - KNOCK KNOCK by S.P. Miskowski 16 45 Apr 28, 2013 02:37PM  
The Magic Ritual in "Knock Knock" 7 21 Jul 20, 2012 12:54PM  

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S.P. Miskowski is a recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. Her books have received three Shirley Jackson Award nominations and two Bram Stoker Award nominations, and are available from Omnium Gatherum Media and JournalStone/Trepidatio. Her novel I Wish I Was Like You won a Charles Dexter Award as well as This Is Horror 2017 Novel of the Year.

Miskowski's stories have been pub

Other books in the series

The Skillute Cycle (4 books)
  • Delphine Dodd
  • Astoria
  • In the Light

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“Ethel had long since stopped believing in either gods or monsters. She was now convinced that what she had seen was a hallucination, born out of fear. That was a little girl's fear. As she grew up she learned to be afraid of real things, actual things, like wild animals and women who hated their children.” 0 likes
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