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The Twisted Ones

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  595 ratings  ·  148 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
Kindle Edition, 399 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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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  595 ratings  ·  148 reviews

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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
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
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!

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 has a truly wonderful and loyal - if sometimes dimwitted - coonhound dog, Bong
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
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Sep 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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).
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/>
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Insanely, effectively creepy. 4 solid, scary stars!
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
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.
Wendy Wagner
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“You have trespassed into deep places, and the only way out is deeper still.”

This was a hell of a creepy read. Of course, it's to be expected by a book called The Twisted Ones. I immediately conjured thoughts of Uzumaki by Junji Ito in my mind and to be fair, I wasn't far off. If I had to compare this book to anything it would be a mashup of Uzumaki and The Blair Witch Project. Creepy woods? Check. Haunted ass effigies? Double check. Body morphing on its own into a caricature of unde
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OUT NOW! Thanks to Gallery / Saga Press and NetGalley for the ARC.

I blew through The Twisted Ones, and now I think folk horror is my favorite! T. Kingfisher's writing is so entertaining. The settling is vivid, the folklore is rich and fascinating, and the characters are complex and a ton of fun! And while there are some incredibly creepy (even horrific) moments, it's mostly a well told adventure with some solid scares. Something I appreciate the most about this book is its sense of humor. Mouse
Veronica Biegen
It pains me to say that I did not enjoy this book. I have loved everything else I've read by this author whole-heartedly, but this one, well. The worst part of it is, I'm not 100% sure why I didn't like it. The story was fine, the ideas were interesting, the characters were fine. Maybe it was the pacing? It felt slow, not completely like a slog, but definitely not a "need to turn the next page" either. I also didn't feel a sense of dread or more than a mild interest in the mystery of it all. Jus ...more
April A.  Taylor
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Twisted Ones is going to end up on a lot of “Best Horror Books of 2019” lists, and deservedly so. It’s definitely one of the most entertaining horror novels of the year, which is due in large part to Kingfisher’s brilliant blend of humor and horror.

I loved the characters, especially Foxy, the happy goth, and the dog, Bongo. The main character, Mouse, is also someone you can root for, even if she doesn’t always make the best decisions.

Making Mouse an editor gave this book a nice extra dimen
NhaughtyV says Damn the Zon Save the Reviews
3.5 Stars

“It’s a bit awkward figuring out how to sleep when there might be monsters outside. Do you sleep? Do you stay up all night and risk seeing them? Do you turn the lights on to scare it away or turn the lights off so that it thinks no one’s home?”

After the passing of her grandmother, Mouse has been set with the task of cleaning out her house. Set in the woods of rural North Carolina, Mouse is shocked to discover her not so well liked grandmother was secretly a hoarder. Boxes of rubbish and/>“It’s
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This was amazing. It seems so rare to find a horror story that has great characters, truly creepy monsters, and a satisfying plot, but this one delivers all three in spades. I loved Mouse as a narrator; she feels like a real person — smart, self-aware, and occasionally silly — and she's someone I really enjoyed spending the book with. Her reactions to bizarre and alarming situations felt spot-on, especially the often humorous little asides about the inane thoughts that pop into her head in tense ...more
Oct 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Twisted Ones did have some definitely creepy parts to it but I think I was expecting more of a scary factor to it. It's possible I just don't scare as much while reading because I think if this book was a movie it would be quite scary. There is a bit of humor to the text so that probably helped dampen the scary parts. The publisher describes this book as The Blair Witch Project meets The Andy Griffith Show - that's quite the description. Set in the woods of rural North Carolina, the main cha ...more
Matthew Galloway
This one is a bit of an odd duck. It begins with such a... normal feeling. Even a little bit humorous. Mouse is just a comfortable sort of person who'd be a lot of fun to spend time with. Some creepiness pops up... But backs off again for quite a while. In some horror stories I think this would be a pacing issue. In this one the humor and normality are such a stark contrast to the creeping dread that it's terrifying. Even better, halfway through I realized what this was -- the older story that w ...more
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How can you go wrong with a novel of supernatural horror that features a woman (Melissa aka Mouse) and her dog (Bongo) cleaning out her dead grandmother's house. In the backwoods of North Carolina. Oh, and one room is full of dolls and doll parts. That would be creepy enough if Kingfisher wasn't influenced by the likes of Lovecraft and Machen. Which means there is something deeply wrong going on in the woods.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this from the publisher in exchange for an
Sometimes I wish Ursula Vernon wasn't out to murder me, personally, with nightmarish deer effigies and wretched hoarder grandmothers made of malice and people that are haunted houses.

BUT thank god there's a beautiful stupid dog and NPR's pledge week and the pragmatic snark of being thirty-something and tired.

Couldn't put the book down and was viscerally afraid most of the time i was reading!! Very stressful, but extremely good.
Jennifer Snow
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy T. Kingfisher's writing, and this is no exception. I usually don't like horror as a genre, I find it too malevolent, but this novel doesn't devolve into hopelessness and instead gives a very modern take on a classic folklore tale.
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really connected with this book. The people and places felt real and familiar, but not in a bad way. Southern folk horror is not a genre that I have much experience with, but I still recommend it.
Becky Spratford
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review in the September 15, 2019 issue of Booklist and on the blog:

Three Words That Describe This Book: claustrophobic, psychologically intense, found book frame
Pete W
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pretty hyped about this book. Since it's in the genre that I usually had no interested in. As I am rather squeamish when it's comes to horror genre. This is probably one of the few books in that genre that I read. I have no references to compare this to.

I also read an article where they have horror book authors talk about other horror books that scared them. I think two of the featured authors listed this book. It was a fun article to read.

Anyhoo, onward to the book itself. I
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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
“Grandma had lived about thirty minutes out of Pondsboro, which is southwest of Pittsboro, which is northwest of Goldsboro, because nobody in the late 1700s could think of an original name to save their lives.” 0 likes
“If dogs had religion, Satan would be the UPS guy.” 0 likes
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