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The Twisted Ones

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  7,521 ratings  ·  1,485 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. That wo
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 <3…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 3.65  · 
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 ·  7,521 ratings  ·  1,485 reviews

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oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for BEST HORROR 2019! what will happen?

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 im
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
**4.5-stars rounded up**

When Mouse's Father enlists her help cleaning out her recently deceased Grandma's house, she happily agrees.

Her Dad has had some recent health troubles and wouldn't be able to do it himself. Mouse figures she'll feel good about helping and how bad can it be?

As it turns out, pretty bad.

Her Grandmother was a hoarder, never throwing anything out, including an entire room of creepy old dolls. These really have no bearing on the story, I just get freaked out by dolls.

Like, r
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Heads up for a giveaway of this book on FanLit!

The Twisted Ones is a modern twist on an old horror classic, and it exceeds the original in my opinion. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

The Twisted Ones begins with mild consternation: Melissa, who goes by “Mouse,” has the thankless task of taking a trip to backwoods North Carolina, with her loyal redbone coonhound Bongo for company, to clean out her late grandmother’s home. “It’ll be a mess,” her
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Oh I loved this book!! I was lucky enough to get it from our tiny library but I’m going to get myself a physical copy!! Thanks to my horror group or I might have missed it!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Allison Hurd
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)
Nov 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
What a massive read! Melissa, nicknamed Mouse, is to clear out her grandmother's house. There she comes across the mentioning of a hidden (by her evil grandmother) book , The 'Green Book', owned by her step gradfather Cotgrave. While clearing the house strange things happen. Behind the house she finds a hill with uncanny carved stone and in the manuscript found white people are mentioned. Who are those 'Hollering People' and what is Melissa's role? The story is written as first person narration. ...more
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
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 of "is this s
3.5/5* (Rounded up to 4 for Goodreads.)

THE TWISTED ONES was a nice take on folklore and an homage, (or is it a sequel?) to Arthur Machen's THE WHITE PEOPLE.

I loved the narrators of the story, (both the protagonist and the narrator of the audiobook), which went a long way towards my enjoyment. I think if I had read this, instead of listening, the repetition of certain phrases and certain behaviors regarding the protagonist and her dog would have gotten on my nerves a lot more.

I enjoyed THE TWIS
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I didn't realize how much I needed more folk horror in my life until reading this, but wow. This was so enjoyable, though the ending did go off the rails for me a bit (enough to knock this down to a 4-star rating, but it's still a VERY HIGH 4 stars, maybe even closer to 4.5!). Full review coming soon, but I highly recommend this one!

update: Screw it. I've been thinking about this book all damn day. 5 stars.
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
I knew I was going to read this book someday so I avoided all of my friends reviews and went into it blind. I was expecting it to be good but I wasn’t expecting it to be such a perfect book for me! One of the main characters is a redbone coonhound which is same breed as my pup, the plot is genuinely unnerving and some scenes are chill-you-to-the-bone and seep-into-your-soul scary but the best surprise was the humor. I was not expecting humor and I appreciated the humor so much. So many books I r ...more
K.J. Charles
A modern take on the Arthur Machen 'weird things in hills' story. It's exceedingly creepy and vividly weird, but since this is T Kingfisher there is also a streak of stubborn humour and a sense of human kindness and decency to balance the evils of which people (human and non) are capable. A horror novel I could cope with emotionally, which is not to be sneezed at in these trying times. And of course lovely writing and beautifully constructed.
Rachel (Kalanadi)
This was scary and funny and if I hear something tapping on my window at night I will freak out.
Dannii Elle
Mouse returns to her grandparent's rural home, after the death of both, to find a horde of possessions spilling from the house's seams. In amongst the chaos she finds a diary which details the ramblings of one old man's demented mind. Or does it? The nonsense he focuses on starts to infiltrate Mouse's days, but her nights are kept for horrors more vivid than could be conjured from one overworked imagination.

I adored this cast of characters. Mouse was interesting but her four-legged companion sto
Schizanthus Nerd
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.
I’ve been trying to get my hands on this book for ten months and I couldn’t wait to enjoy the creepy. Unfortunately the gap between my expectation and reality turned into a chasm and I still don’t entirely know what went wrong.

Melissa (but you can call her Mouse) is about to undertake the potentially icky and smelly task of clearing out her grand
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 chills didn
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 to use that

i added this to my TBR is June of 2019 and went on about my business. when it won a group read in November, i saw that i had marked it as to read and now was the time to read it. i didn't really remember what it was about but that's ok. OMG guys, this book!! I love Mouse and Bongo! i love how she talks to him and how much she cares about that old hound dog. I love Foxy, she's great and i could picture her exactly. The characters in this book were so realistic and easy to care about.
The set
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 fantasy
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror
This is a contemporary horror novel inspired by Arthur Machen's The White People. To me, it was considerably scarier than the source material, although I seem to have been alone in not finding that especially creepy.

This isn't the most horrifying horror ever, but if your familiarity with the author comes from her short stories or Summer in Orcus or The Seventh Bride, just be prepared for less fantasy and more scares.

Moral take-away: Don't be so helpful.
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Mouse and her dog Bongo have come to her recently passed grandmother's house in North Carolina to clear it out and get it ready for sale. It's an enormous job because Mouse's grandmother was a hoarder. All the time in the remote house has Mouse noticing some seriously disturbing things about the woods surrounding the old house. As Mouse investigates, spurred on by a journal from her grandmother's late husband, a mysterious other world begins to intrude.

And I twisted myself about like the twisted
Oct 09, 2019 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Sonja Arlow
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: creepy, 2020-read
2.5 stars

I have a complicated relationship with horror stories. I think I broke that thing inside me that is supposed to be scared as a teenager reading too many Dean Koontz books. I was also reading it as South Africa was preparing for its 21-day Corona Virus lockdown and real life is most definitely scarier than any stick and stone effigies in a forest.

The story starts off with a young woman needing to clean out her grandmother’s cabin after the latter passed away. Grandma was a mean old lady
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
Kelli Wilson
Closer to 2.75 stars.

This book started out interesting, and the main character is pretty funny. Unfortunately it went downhill quickly, after the halfway mark. It became "silly" scary and not in a good way. I want to say this is more of a creepy read than a horror read. I laughed more than I felt frightened. If you're looking for a good scare I wouldn't recommend this one.
Lisa Wolf
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rounding up from 3.5 stars.

The set-up of The Twisted Ones hooked me from the start. Freelance editor Mouse heads off to her dead grandmother’s isolated home to prepare it for sale, but upon arrival, discovers it’s stuffed to the rafters with newspapers, coat hangers, clothing, and all sorts of useless junk. If it were me, I probably would have made a run for it at soon as I pushed open the front door and saw the mess waiting inside, but Mouse decides to stick it out. After all, she can work anyw
Frank Phillips
I noticed this book was on the 2019 Goodreads Best Horror list, so immediately sought it out in audio format, anxiously waiting for it to arrive from my library. When it FINALLY arrived last week I was thrilled beyond words and immediately started listening. I enjoyed this horror novel for the most part, however, the actual 'monster' in this one was a little too far-fetched IMO (and a little silly to be honest) and so that took away from the creepy factor I was hoping for, bringing this to 3 Sta ...more
Nov 29, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
OK, I'm calling it. DNF'd at 32%.

What a disappointment.
I had put this and a few other horror novels on my shelf last month in the spirit of Halloween, and then waited until I was really in the mood for them. The mood struck, and this was the one I grabbed.
I wish I could remember where I saw a recommendation for this one so I can discount that source going forward.

The Twisted Ones reads like it was written by a high school student. The writing is terribly juvenile, especially where the cutesy pa
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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 with butterflies

Articles featuring this book

A sinister institute for "extranormal" children. A couple whose dream home attracts unsettling guests. A woman who becomes...
120 likes · 61 comments
“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.” 14 likes
“If dogs had religion, Satan would be the UPS guy.” 8 likes
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