Author: Rachel Burge
Published by: Hot Key Books
Publication date: 10/01/19
My rating: ★★★★★
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Part ghost story, part Nordic thriller – this is a twisty, tense and spooky YA debut, perfect for fans of CORALINE and Michelle Paver.
Martha can tell things about a person just by touching their clothes, as if their emotions and memories have been absorbed into the material. It started the day she fell from the tree at her grandma’s cabin and became blind in one eye.
Determined to understand her strange ability, Martha sets off to visit her grandmother, Mormor – only to discover Mormor is dead, a peculiar boy is in her cabin and a terrifying creature is on the loose.
Then the spinning wheel starts creaking, books move around and terror creeps in . . .
Set in the remote snows of contemporary Norway, THE TWISTED TREE is a ghost story that twists and turns – and never takes you quite where you’d expect.
I received a copy from Hot Key Books in exchange for an honest review.
I absolutely adored this! It’s deliciously creepy, mixing horror with Norse mythology. It’s the book I didn’t realise I needed until I had it.
The Twisted Tree follows our protagonist, Martha after an accident left her blind in one eye. Ever since she has been able to feel people’s emotions when their clothes touch her. Knowing the only person who will give her the answers she seeks is her grandmother (mormor), so Martha gets a plane there instead of going to her dad’s house. Upon arriving, Martha finds out Mormor is dead, and finds a strange boy squatting there instead. It’s not long before things take a strange and dark turn and the truth of what lurks in the old tree in Mormor’s garden is revealed.
Have I mentioned how much I adored this book?! I love how Rachel has taken elements from horror and Norse mythology and woven them together into a brilliantly dark and intriguing story, which I just couldn’t get enough of. The plot and character development and relationship between Martha and those around her was brilliantly well written, especially between Martha and her mother, who don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things. This whole book sent chills down my spine, the fear of not knowing what was prowling outside was real. It takes a lot to scare me and although it wasn’t horror as such, I spent a large chunk of this book clutching our puppy for comfort and protection from the unknown. Whether this was Rachel’s intention or not, playing on people’s fear of the unknown by keeping the monster out of sight until the right moment really paid off. The ending was satisfying, though I’m all for a sequel, I’d love to know what happens next.
It’s a short book so I won’t say anything else in case I spoil it, I can’t recommend it enough! I know this isn’t my best written review, it’s hard to put into words properly how much I loved it. I really hope you give it a try, you won’t regret it!
The E-book is available to buy now, the paperback follows in January.