Book Recommendation – “The Twisted Ones” by T. Kingfisher

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Best Horror Books Best Of Featured

The Twisted Ones by T Kingfisher has some suggested reading before you dive in. You will want to go back to the 1890’s when the short horror story “The White People” was first written. This line, which will inevitably haunt you, “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” comes directly from “The White People.” The White People” is a short horror story by Welsh author Arthur Machen. Written in 1899 and first published in 1904 in Horlick’s Magazine, then reprinted in Machen’s 1906 collection The House of Souls.

The Twisted Ones carries forward this haunting tale. The original story was influential on some of the horror greats including H.P. Lovecraft.

“Machen’s narrative, a triumph of skillful selectiveness and restraint, accumulates enormous power as it flows on in a stream of innocent childish prattle”

H. P. Lovecraft

You can read “The White People” free here on Puzzle Box. It is a public domain work at this point in time.

The Twisted Ones Synopsis

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.

The Twisted Ones Review Quotes

This folk horror book has some great reviews.

Innovative, unexpected, and absolutely chilling, T. Kingfisher isn’t just breaking into the horror scene, she’s breaking it down.  With a hammer.

Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Mira Grant

Laden with cosmic fright, The Twisted Ones connects the foreboding of ancient folklore with the horrors of modern life. But it does so with a sharp, witty voice and a compelling first-person protagonist who finds herself precariously straddling worlds she never knew existed.

Jason Heller ― NPR Books

We loved this book so it is our recommended read for this week.

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The Twisted Ones book cover featuring a spooky house in dark woods

Book Recommendation – Jennifer Strange

Categories
Best Horror Books Best Of Featured Horror Books Indie Horror Reviews

Puzzle Box Horror’s book recommendation of the week is Jennifer Strange by Cat Scully.

Cat Scully is the author-illustrator of the queer young adult horror series Jennifer Strange, pitched as Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark meets Evil Dead. She’s best known for her world maps, which have been published with Random House, Simon and Schuster, and Sourcebooks. When she’s not writing and illustrating books, Cat works in video game development for the Deep End Games on their next title Romancelvania.

Cat Scully author photo

Synopsis

Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Strange is the Sparrow, cursed with the ability to give ghosts and demonic spirits a body – a flesh and blood anchor in the mortal world – with the touch of her hand. When a ghost attacks her high school and awakens her powers, her father dumps her unceremoniously in the care of her estranged older sister Liz, leaving only his journal as an explanation. Drawn to the power of the Sparrow, the supernatural creatures preying on Savannah, Georgia will do anything to receive Jennifer’s powerful gift. The sisters must learn to trust each other again and uncover the truth about their family history by deciphering their father’s journal…because if they can’t, Jennifer’s uncontrolled power will rip apart the veil that separates the living from the dead.

Reviews

“JENNIFER STRANGE is a gruesomely fun, demon-infested YA romp in which two teenage sisters learn and ply the family’s secret demon-fighting trade. A promising debut.”

Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Survivor Song

“This debut novel is overflowing with sardonic wit and memorably feisty (and satisfyingly angry) female protagonists…It’s clear this is a story that has more to come, and horror buffs will happily anticipate the next volume.”

The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Wow, I had SO much fun with this book! There’s an element of mystery to it right from the beginning, but then it also turns fairly gruesome and horrifying very early on. It reads like a typical YA book, so I was actually caught off guard (in the best way) by the brutality and pulse-pounding scares of our protagonist’s first major paranormal encounter. It’s violent, it’s instantly memorable, it lasts for three glorious chapters, and it instantly hooked me into the book. From that point on reading this was pure bliss.”

Ben Long, reviewer at @reading.vicariously

To read the full review, click here!

Jennifer Strange by Cat Scully is available now at Horror Hub Marketplace

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