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The Twisted Ones

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,305 ratings  ·  302 reviews
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.

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
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Gallery / Saga Press
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Andrea Nope. One of my favorite things about this book so far is that the author manages to confirm w/in the 1st 10 pages that yes, the dog will be fine…moreNope. One of my favorite things about this book so far is that the author manages to confirm w/in the 1st 10 pages that yes, the dog will be fine <3(less)

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i don’t usually dig folk horror—i find it too understated; too quaint and stylized to be entertaining, let alone scary, but this book is refreshingly modern and legit creepy. i wasn’t scared-scared, since whatever part of a person that regulates the ability to be scared by books/movies seems to be broken in me, but i can wholly appreciate effective horror atmosphere, and this is FULL of skin-crawlingly memorable images and phrases, and some wonderful surprises.

i’ve read several short stories online by
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I am NOT generally a fan of horror novels, but I am a fan of T. Kingfisher (aka Ursula Vernon), and that was enough to convince me to give this a try. And it is seriously creepy! If I were more of a horror fan my rating would probably go up. :)

This book has a great main character, Melissa or “Mouse,” with an appealing voice and an excellent job.
I’m a freelance editor. I turn decent books into decently readable books and hopeless books into hopeless books with better grammar. It’s a living.
Mouse h
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In the backwoods of North Carolina stood the house of Melissa's estranged dead grandmother. Melissa aka Mouse, with her Redbone Coonhound "Bongo" in tow, arrived in her pick-up truck to clean out the house as per her father's request. Grandma,"a nasty piece of work" who was "mean as a snake" was a hoarder. The house was a virtual firetrap; storage bins piled "knee high", newspapers "piled in neatly tied stacks", and "a room of dolls, dead dolls with hyper-realistic faces peeking out from behind ...more
In my mind I roughly categorize supernatural horror into two main groups: Babadook-style horror and Cabin in the Woods-style horror.

Babadook-style horror is the kind that starts out right off the bat with a low-grade, unceasing tension, and it usually follows one or more Very Unhappy People. You see the characters and think- do they really need to go through even more shit? Their lives already kind of suck. But the story often relies at least to some extent on the narrative mystery o
Allison Hurd
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, fem-author
I'm all riled up so though I should be sleeping, here is instead a review. This book is like being handed the script for "I Am Legend" and turning it into "Zombieland." It is based on horror, but it's not horror. It's at best Buffy the Musical.

CONTENT WARNING: (usually I say "just a list of topics, no actual spoilers," but these are weird content warnings. They are in and of themselves somewhat spoilers, but it is just a list.) (view spoiler) ...more
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, 2019-releases
This was scary and funny and if I hear something tapping on my window at night I will freak out.
What a way to kick off Spooky Month - The Twisted Ones had me watching over my shoulder when I was reading it at home alone, and I loved every minute.

T. Kingfisher - or Ursula Vernon, if that's how you know her - is probably best known for her fairytale retellings or interpretations. This is my first full-length novel of hers, and what an absolute stunner. Folklore being largely an oral tradition has lent the author an incredibly readable "voice" in her writing; and she's not afraid
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 spooky stars. I really enjoyed this one!

Then I made faces like the faces on the rocks, and I twisted myself about like the twisted ones, and I lay down flat on the ground like the dead ones...

This is a retelling--or rather, a sequel--to Arthur Machen's 1904 short story, The White People. (You don't need to know anything about the original story to enjoy this novel, though. I hadn't read it when I read this novel--though I did go back and read it later.) The book alternates between dark fantas/>Then
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The Twisted Ones was a fun novel featuring the perfect blend of humor and horror, with the first element provided mainly in the form of the main character’s incredibly infectious voice, while the second came via the setting’s creeptastic atmosphere. You’ve got an old house in the middle of the woods, filled with decaying trash and other ghastly things like scary baby dolls. Meanwhile, the locals also know better than to go wandering among the trees, f
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Melissa travels to Pondsboro, NC to clear out her grandmother's house after her death. Her relationship with her grandmother was complicated. The woman was mean, difficult and Turns out she was a hoarder, too. As she slowly starts to clear out the house, she finds her step-grandfather's diary and notices strange things about the surrounding woods. Weird rock carvings. Disfigured animals. Strange effigies. And the tapping sounds....always the tapping. Melissa -- Mouse to her friends ...more
Elle's Book Blog
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Horror/Fantasy

Unfortunately, this book just didn't do it for me. I love the MC because she had a great personality and a snarky attitude but I didn't care how the book felt more fantasy than horror. Sure there were a few moments that gave me the chills (especially at the beginning)

Then I made faces like the faces on the rocks, and I twisted myself about like the twisted ones, and I lay down flat on the ground like the dead ones...

but those chil/>
Sep 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Kingfisher is a great storyteller and the story moves along drawing you into this, of course, unbelievable world. It's told in a folksy kind of voice which suits the setting of rural North Carolina perfectly. Mouse is an editor who was asked by her Dad to clean out her grandmother's house. When she gets there she realizes her grandmother is a hoarder and stuff is stacked everywhere, blocking doors and stairs and windows. This is going to be a huge job!

During the cleanup she finds her step-grand
Oct 09, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: horror
I know I’m dnf-ing books left and right, but I’m on page 80 and the only thing that happened so far is that the MC is cleaning out her grandmother’s house.. 80 pages of that.. so scary.
Jessica Woodbury
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
3.5 stars. Southern folk horror with a smart, playful protagonist and voice.

Mouse has the dreaded job of cleaning out her grandmother's house after her death. No one really liked Grandma all that much. And Grandma was, to Mouse's dismay, a hoarder. As she gets to work cleaning out the house and seeing if it can be salvaged, she stumbles upon some unusual writings from the long-dead second husband of her grandmother that hint at some strange and supernatural things. Mouse doesn't think much of i
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
4.5 stars - Bone Chillingly Good!...

I absolutely loved the originality in this story! It was a nice change of pace from the usual everyday horror tropes. It is somewhat of a slow burner in the beginning as the main character, Mouse, is cleaning out her deceased grandmother's house but, there were plenty of creepy encounters and suspenseful dialogue throughout this process to keep my interest piqued and my mind on full alert. I was actually over here wishing that I could help her sift through some of that shi
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up, because I had such a blast during the first three quarters of the book.

The 'hero' team of this novel is one of the most entertaining I've encountered.

We have 'Mouse', a mid-thirty freelance editor who only wanted to clear out the house of her dead grandmother, but stumbles into a slowly creeping horror mystery. The story is told from her POV and isn't sparing with self-deprecating insights in a vivid tone (including several times addressing her vet).
Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)
I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley from the publishers at Saga Press. Trigger warnings: death, animal death, gore, blood, violence, rape (implied), abduction, guns, fires.

When Mouse agrees to clean out her dead grandmother’s house in rural North Carolina, she has no idea how bad it is. Her grandmother was a borderline hoarder, and the house will take weeks to clear out on her own, with no internet, a sketchy cell phone signal, and no close neighbors other than a nearby hippie
Brianne Reeves
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shivers. Blankets over head creepy
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
You have to clean out the house of your "mean as a snake" hoarder grandmother whose place just happens to sit in an isolated area right beside a deep forest.

What could possibly go wrong?

Solid folklore horror.

Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-read-nov
3.5 stars really creepy fast paced horror read.
Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)
I really wanted to love The Twisted Ones but I have to admit that I struggled a bit with this one. 🙁

When Mouse’s dad asked her to clean out her grandmother’s house she never imagined the problems she would encounter. First, her grandmother was a hoarder and the place was a horrible mess. Second, there is something spooky in the woods.

While Mouse is cleaning her grandmother’s house she finds her stepgrandfather’s journal and it sounds like the rambling of an old man who ma
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Insanely, effectively creepy. 4 solid, scary stars!
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was creepy. I don't generally read horror, but I like T. Kingfisher's work a lot (both the adult fare and her children's books as Ursula Vernon) so it was a no-brainer that I'd read this book.
The story was a nicely eerie, with genuinely frightening parts. I liked the seriously weird, odd and frightening Twisted Ones, and there are scenes when Kingfisher had me thinking I'd take a break from the narrative; what kept me reading was the author's humour. The main character Mouse's narration wa
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
I think my reaction really boils down to "I can't visualize." The horror is largely visual and was just lost on me. The ending got a little more creepy for me, but it still just . . . ended.

And it was really long. I mean, not ACTUALLY that long, but I think it would've worked better as a short story.
Rachel  Drenning
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC of this book. This was a great, mysterious tale. The book pays homage to Arthur Machen's short story The White People. It was definitely a page turner. A lot of humor in this one. The main character's personality I adored. Definitely recommend.
I was expecting horror, and The Twisted Ones does deliver on that, with a pervasive, folksy-gothic atmosphere and some seriously unsettling moments. I was not expecting such a fresh, sarcastic narrator voice and so much humor weaved into the story, but both only added to my enjoyment.

The story starts with our narrator, a thirty something (maybe forty something?) single woman called Mouse and her adorably dumb dog, Bongo, heading into backwoods North Carolina on a mission. Mouse’s mea
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the scariest books I have ever read. It is also one of the funniest books I've ever read. Somehow that combo totally works. The humour doesn't temper the horror instead it makes it feel more real. The first two thirds of the story were incredibly terrifying. When we get a bit of an explanation for the horrors it became less awful for me. I like to know what I'm dealing with, even if it is an alarming, menacing weirdness. This book started as pure horror and ended up reminding me o ...more
☾ h a d e e r ☽
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
This book is nightmare fuel. The premise is so simple - woman clears out grandmother's house and discovers weird shit - but it somehow managed to be one of the more compelling, entertaining, and unsettling books I've read all year. The narrator of this book is one of the best things about it; she's got a very witty monologue going on that turned what could have been a dreadfully boring book into a delight. Because here's the thing, this book is slow. It ratchets up the tension slowly, and for a ...more
Wendy Wagner
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, dark-fantasy
The voice of this novel is just an absolute joy to read! The main character is always adding some wry little comment that made me laugh more than once. The humor made a nice balance to the ever-increasing creepiness in this book. I hit the halfway point and found myself jumping at the least little noise!

A delightful read.
Oct 26, 2019 rated it liked it
The first half of this book is creepy folk horror. The second half gets closer to dark fantasy. The shift in gears didn’t quite work for me, but the great narrator carried me through. A+ dog too.
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T. Kingfisher is the vaguely absurd pen-name of Ursula Vernon. In another life, she writes children's books and weird comics, and has won the Hugo, Sequoyah, and Ursa Major awards, as well as a half-dozen Junior Library Guild selections.

This is the name she uses when writing things for grown-ups.

When she is not writing, she is probably out in the garden, trying to make eye contact
“If dogs had religion, Satan would be the UPS guy.” 4 likes
“Bongo is an excellent watchdog, by which I mean that he will watch very alertly as the serial killer breaks into the house and skins me.” 4 likes
More quotes…