TITLE: The Twisted Tree
AUTHOR: Rachel Burge
PUBLISHER: Hot Key Books
GENRE: Thriller, Young Adult, Horror, Fantasy
RATING: 3.5/5 Stars
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...
What I Liked:
- Burge certainly had a lot of the spooky atmosphere and tension nailed. She made sure I was never bored, providing constant twists and chilling moments, and I appreciated that after a much slower read. I really liked the setting too, a Norwegian village cut off from the mainland makes for the perfect place for bumps in the night!
- I really liked the references to Norse legends, myths and culture! I'm a big fan of ancient history and folklore, so this was right up my alley! I loved the mentions of Odin, the Norns, the Draugr and Yggdrasil. They were exactly what I wanted from this book.
What I Disliked:
- This was quite a short story and as a result, it suffered from some pacing issues. I particularly found that the climactic end just passed by far too quickly, with too much crammed in. It meant that some of the wrapping up felt too 'good' to be true, while other parts seemed very unresolved.
- I didn't really take to Martha, the MC. I loved the disability rep in this book, as blind characters with facial deformities are hard to come by, but she was filled with so much self-loathing and we were constantly reminded of it. I think her whinging about her looks and lack of attractive features took up half the book to be honest.
I really enjoyed a lot of elements of this. The spooks, the atmosphere and the lore behind it were great to read and there was a lot of action plot-wise. I wish I could have become more invested in the characters and romance side of things, but the self pity was a little too much for me. Also, I hope there's a second book in the works, or else I'm very confused about some of the unresolved plot at the end.