*I received a free ARC of this novel, with thanks to Bonnier Zaffre and NetGalley. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: 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.
The Twisted Tree is a quick, dark read that had me hooked from beginning to end!
The characters are interesting and believable and I could feel the cold beauty of the setting in stark contrast to the cosy warmth of Mormor’s cabin.
It is the plot that really entranced me though: a compelling blend of modern YA adventure/romance with Norse mythology, some classic horror elements and a distinct Gothic flavour. I love how Martha’s injury is both modern, in her concern about how boys react to it, and steeped in the mythology around which the tale is woven.
The horror elements are more psychological than gory, with shadows and symbolism everywhere, and the very primitive dreads of death and darkness which have obsessed humanity since stories began.
Highly recommended for older teens upwards, and personally one of my favourites so far this year! My only criticism is that I need to know what happened with the mysterious Nina and so have everything crossed that a sequel is forthcoming soon!
I close my eyes and instantly I’m back in hospital: waking up to blackness. Just remembering the feel of the bandages on my face makes me shudder. Maybe it was the shock, but after I came round, I couldn’t stop shivering. Mum draped her jacket around my shoulders and then… even now I can’t explain. Something wrenched apart inside me, as if a gust of wind had banged a door open. I saw myself under the tree, my blonde hair caked with blood, and then I felt a rush of emotion: fear mixed with guilt and love. Feelings that I knew weren’t mine.
At first I was convinced I must have imagined it – until it happened again. After the operation they weren’t sure how much of my sight had been saved. When the doctor unfurled the bandages from my eyes, his jacket sleeve brushed my cheek. As soon as the material touched me, I saw an image of a bearded man in a reflection of a hearse window, his face pale and drawn. The man’s father had died and left everything to his new wife. My heart twisted with jealousy. I could almost taste the bitterness he felt. The doctor removed the last of my bandages and I blinked in disbelief – he was the man I had seen.
– Rachel Burge, The Twisted Tree
The Twisted Tree is available on Amazon now and from all good booksellers!