Taking inspiration from the Great God Pan, The Twisted Ones is folk horror that is at times harrowing and others hilarious.
It feel like a strange mix, but author Ursula Vernon aka T. Kingfisher certainly carves out a unique mix which will be lapped up with folk horror and dog lovers alike.
When a young woman clears out her deceased grandmother’s home in rural North Carolina, she finds long-hidden secrets about a strange colony of beings in the woods.
We follow the journey of Mouse and very much live in her head for 400 pages, as she and her dog Bongo (the book’s MVP) become embroiled in potentially ancient and evil happenings near her gran’s home.
The Twisted Ones does take its time to get going but once it hits stride it becomes such an immersive tale that Vernon has clearly attempted to be like nothing you have ever read before.
As I suggested there quite a bit of light-heartedness for such a dark tale, but sometimes this does knock the horrific moments a bit too much and they lose their edge.
The Twisted Ones isn’t subdued though, and gives us a strong, yet sometimes insecure lead in Mouse who is quite relatable plus when twinned with sassy neighbour Foxy they prove an unlikely odd-couple.
It must also be commended for creating original monsters that have more depth than your average snarling demon.
The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher is available now in paperback and on Amazon Kindle.