Book Review: The Twisted Tree – Rachel Burge

Book Review: The Twisted Tree – Rachel Burge


Series:
The Twisted Tree #1
Release Date: September 27th 2018
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages: 256
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I bought a copy of this book online
Rating: 4.25/5 stars

Synopsis

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.

Review

The Twisted Tree is the first instalment in a creepy horror mystery series from Rachel Burge. The story follows Martha, a young girl who has the ability to sense things about someone by reading their clothes. Determined to understand her abilities she runs away to visit her grandmother in Norway. When she arrives she discovers her grandmother has passed away and a strange boy is squatting in her house. As the snow leaves them cut off from the outside world, Martha has no choice but to let the boy stay, but as the snows get heavier they get the sense they aren’t the only ones there.

This was such a fun read and I ended up reading it in one sitting! It’s really fast paced, with a terrific sense of setting. I loved the remote Norwegian setting and Burge really brought to life the cold, icy landscape. The Twisted Tree is full to the brim with atmosphere and there are some really creepy moments in this story. I liked the way Burge weaved a horror and mystery story with norse mythology – it made for a really unique and engaging read.

I really liked Martha as a main character and I loved learning more about her mysterious powers. The idea of reading someone from their clothes was so fascinating and something I’ve never encountered before. I also quite liked Stig, who was a really mysterious character. The pair work really well together and I enjoyed seeing them learn to trust one another to save the day.

The Twisted Tree is a wonderfully atmospheric read and is perfect reading for a cold dark night. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to read it, once you start reading you won’t want to put it down.

Book Review: The Crooked Mask – Rachel Burge

Book Review: The Crooked Mask – Rachel Burge


Series:
The Twisted Tree #2
Release Date: September 17th 2020
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Pages:  278
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis

Deep in a forest in Northern Norway lies the Circus of Myth & Mayhem.

Martha is certain that unsolved mysteries are hidden there – and talks her way into getting a job as a psychic.

She soon learns there’s something very strange about the circus. Costumed performers re-enact stories of the Norse gods wearing masks, which move and change expression, yet no one notices but her. And then there’s the creepy jester who invites her to ‘play’.

When an old friend shows up at the circus Martha is thrown into turmoil. Is he there because he misses her or because he wants to stop her discovering the truth? And he isn’t the only liar she has to worry about. Loki has taken an interest in the circus and Martha finds herself drawn into a dangerous game of the gods. She must look behind the mask and see what’s really happening . . . before it’s too late.

Review

The Crooked Mask is the sequel to Rachel Burge’s The Twisted Tree. Following on from the events of book one the story follows Martha as she ends up working at the Circus of Myth and Mayhem in an attempt to uncover the truth behind Nina’s death. When she discovers there is much more going on in the circus than she first thought, she is drawn into a dangerous game with the trickster god Loki, but can she uncover the truth before it’s too late?

I really loved The Twisted Tree so I was super excited to dive into this second instalment. The story is just as beautifully written and Burge’s writing really brings to life the wintry landscape and the magical setting of the circus. Burge writes really great scary moments and there were definitely some scenes where I felt a shiver up my spine. Like the first book the story is pretty fast paced and I found myself racing through The Crooked Mask just as quickly as I did The Twisted Tree.

I really liked Martha as a main protagonist in book one so I enjoyed following her again in book two as she continued to learn more about her powers and her family history. Burge has created a really fascinating world in this book and I loved the way she weaved this ghost story with Norse mythology. There were quite a few twists I didn’t see coming in this one and I loved how it all ended.

If you’re a fan of creepy stories and Norse mythology this is definitely a series to get reading. I enjoyed every second of this one and really hope there will be a third book in the series!

Book Review: Wilder Girls – Rory Power

Book Review: Wilder Girls – Rory Power


Release Date:
February 6th 2020
Publisher: Pan Macmillian
Pages: 368
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: I picked up a copy of this in my local bookshop
Rating: 3.75/5 stars

Synopsis

Everyone loses something to the Tox; Hetty lost her eye, Reese’s hand has changed, and Byatt just disappeared completely.

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put in quarantine. The Tox turned the students strange and savage, the teachers died off one by one. Cut off from the mainland, the girls don’t dare wander past the school’s fence where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure as the Tox takes; their bodies becoming sick and foreign, things bursting out of them, bits missing.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her best friend, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie in the wilderness past the fence. As she digs deeper, she learns disturbing truths about her school and what else is living on Raxter Island. And that the cure might not be a cure at all..

Review

Wilder Girls is the strange and compelling story of the pupils at Raxter School for Girls, which is put under quarantine after the island becomes infected with the Tox. Affecting every student and teacher differently, Hetty loses an eye, Reese loses a hand and many of the teachers have died off one by one. When Hetty’s best friend Byatt goes missing, Hetty breaks the rules to search for her discovering the truth behind the mysterious disease that is affecting her classmates.

I wanted to love this one. There was so much hype around it that I think I might have built it up in my expectations just a little too much. It was a really enjoyable read but it wasn’t particularly scary and I think I was expecting that shiver up your spine kind of feeling. I really liked Hetty and Reese, they were great main characters and I really liked watching their relationship blossom. It was an enticing read, drawing you deeper and deeper into the reasons for this horrible plague.

I really liked Power’s writing style, the island and the setting beautifully described and the horror of the tox was highlighted in a really visceral way. The plot was pretty fast going and I read the first half of the book pretty quickly, but I did feel a little let down by the ending. It felt a bit on the rushed side and just wasn’t the type of ending I was expecting.

Overall Wilder Girls was a really enjoyable read and if you’re looking for a YA mystery with a touch of horror thrown into this mix this could be exactly what you’re looking for!