The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher – A Book Review

The Twisted Ones


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.


Author: T. Kingfisher

Publisher: Titan Books

Pages: 416

Release Date: 17/03/2020

My Chosen Format: Paperback

My Rating of ‘The Twisted Ones’: 4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon UKAmazon US



I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I heard so much fanfare about this book what with it having done so well in the US before making its way to our shores over here in the UK. It had been a while since I’d picked up something creepy and this seemed to fit the bill. The only thing that gave me slight concern was that T. Kingfisher is the pen name of a children’s author. Thankfully, there was nothing kiddie about this book.

The concept of the Twisted Ones is fantastic and it really gives the reader that ‘folk horror’ feel that I haven’t really had for a long time with my reading. It’s also written in the first person perspective, so you get to live the creepiness through the eyes of the character rather than just given an overview by some unseen narrator.

It’s not the sort of horror I see too much of. With the usual stuff there tends to be a lot of blood, gore or in your face ‘scares’/dark stuff to try and get the idea across that the author is writing horror. This one kind of just eases you into the unnaturalness of the woods and what lurks within them.

A lot of people I know said that it was very creepy/scary, but to me it was more a case of ‘this would be horrific if it happened to me’ but it didn’t really creep me out whilst reading. I could just be a bit more thick-skinned to that kind of thing due to having grown up on horror and dark fiction since the age of ten. I also feel that it was way creepier before you know what’s actually going on. When the big reveal happens, all creepiness kind of ebbed away from me. But, to an extent, that’s pretty unavoidable with any horror.

The novel goes along at a strange pace. When the creepy stuff in the woods is happening it rockets along but, when it’s just Mouse going about the daily grind of cleaning her dead grandmother’s house out, it kind of drags. I honestly feel this book went on for longer than it needed. It you cut out the mundane bits of moving bags of rubbish out to the truck or how often the dog needs to stretch or just do general doggy stuff, then it kinda feels like you could cut out a lot of padding. It’s not even like a lot of the downtime is used for character development. It’s primarily used for Mouse to vaguely guess at what might be happening whilst moaning about the state of the house or the smell of her dog every time it farts.

That little annoyance aside, it’s a good, unique (to me) setting and one that I enjoyed overall. I actually found myself liking the secondary characters (even if they are a tad stereotypical) more so than Mouse. Not that that’s overly negative as far as drawbacks go. I still liked Mouse, just not as much as I expected to.

Overall this is a solid, enjoyable folk horror novel and I’m glad I read it. It left me with some creepy thoughts about that sort of scenario and that’s what I expect from and hope for when it comes to horror (way more so than being scared of it whilst reading. So in that, The Twisted Ones did good).

17 thoughts on “The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher – A Book Review

  1. Great review! Sounds like you enjoyed this one, and the folk elements surely add to the atmosphere. I’m not one for horrors, but I do appreciate reading your reviews of them 😄

    Liked by 1 person

      1. NZ is for now not much affected, thankfully, and takes lessons from Northern Hemisphere countries, so there’s hope we’ll weather the virus reasonably well 😉
        As for Piotrek in Poland, I can only say that the situation is worse, as expected from a country in the middle of a highly affected continent – but still, as far as I can judge from news and information from my friends and family, manageable. Here’s to hope it will get better soon!

        How are you doing in UK, Aaron?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I thought you both lived either together or close to each other. Good to hear NZ is doing well.

        Our prime minister refuses to close pubs or anything like that. Wish he would to help stop the spread. The man’s about as pointless as a set of nipples on a breast plate. He advises people not to go to social gatherings but people in England appear to be too stupid to listen.


  2. Nice review man! I liked how you talked about the horror part of the book! It actually gave me some chilly feeligns! i have been trying to read only thillers for the last months and this might be another one to add to the pile! thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It is quite an experience haha I have read a few but I got a mood block so I changed a bit for this one time xD

        When you get to read the others after that you feel different and all xD

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Loving the sound of folk horror here. It’s also great to hear about the author not falling back on his child fiction talents and dilute this one. I too find that I can stay quite calm and composed reading horror and it would really take special writing from a special author to get me impressed. This one sounds promising nonetheless. Great review as always, Aaron. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. And that’s exactly how I felt too — minus the thick-skinned part. I was creeped out early on when she glimpsed stuff running across the yard but didn’t know what it was only because I think something like that could happen at my house. I thought the narration was very chatty and it took too long for her to accept the weird shit that was happening so I got annoyed and wasn’t scared anymore. I was also hoping for a more definite end…a little more explanation or something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea, it just kind of left a bit to be desired at certain parts.

      I know what you mean. To anyone that has a house with a similar yard or to anyone who enjoys hiking in woods on their own, this would have a bit of a long-lasting creepy feel to it.

      Liked by 1 person

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