Published by Saga Press (10.1.2019)
Genres: Adult, Horror
Format: Audiobook, 400 pages
Length: 11 hours, 4 minutes
Narrator: Hillary Huber
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.
Holy CRAP this book was super creepy! This is my third Kingfisher novel, and by now I know 100% that I am a huge fan of her horror books. This one wasn’t *quite* as good as Hollow Places, but it was pretty close! I can’t believe it only has an average rating of 3.64 on Goodreads :(
Just like in Hollow Places, there was humor to this book that I wasn’t expecting out of a horror, which was a pleasant surprise! Hillary Huber narrates this one (same as Hollow Places), and she is FANTASTIC! She truly brought the story and the characters to life, and injected the right amount of sarcasm into her tone that fit perfectly with the humor of the book. *chef’s kiss* So good!
I loved our main character, Melissa, aka “Mouse.” She was sarcastic in the best way, and plucky without seeming overdone. I also adored her sidekick, Bongo the hound, and the endearing bond they shared. That was definitely a driving point in this book.
It starts a little slow, but again, just like with Hollow Places, I was never bored. The prose is very engaging and I loved the MC’s voice as well as Huber’s narration. Typically with a lengthy setup or backstory, I get bored. This book pulled it off, though! Everything about this felt credible to me and easy to picture (this should be a movie!!) – her grandma’s hoarder house full of junk, the forest, the world of the Twisted Ones…it was all so realistic in my head as she was describing it! Kingfisher has a way of telling stories that make you believe it actually happened, no matter how wild and outlandish and creepy things get.
And boy, was it CREEPY. It wasn’t scary for me (to be fair, I don’t really find anything “scary”), but it was definitely disturbing AF. The effigies were a solid hell, lmao! There were so many scenes that had me all –
I gotta hand it to Mouse, she lasted a hell of a lot longer than I would have in the same situation! View Spoiler »Although it was adorable closer to the end when she went back because she refused to leave Bongo behind. I love my dog and all, but I dunno if I’d have it in me XD « Hide Spoiler She was kind of a badass! I have to say my favorite though was probably Foxy Roxy. She was hilarious, and I loved how she just took everything in stride! There were some intense situations where Roxy barely batted an eyelash. I wish I was as unflappable as Roxy!
I usually hate when books like this are told in first person past tense, because the narrator obviously survives, which lessens the stakes. But it was never like that in this book for me. Knowing that Mouse ultimately survives to tell us the story didn’t lessen how harrowing some of the scenes were. I also don’t usually care for when a story is told or a book is read inside the book I’m reading, but even that was done just right. It was all pulled off so smoothly and tastefully that it actually did seem plausible that this was a real person telling a real recount of what happened.
If you haven’t read this, I highly recommend giving the audiobook a shot!
Writing style: 5/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5