Title: The Twisted Tree
Author: Rachel Burge
Publication date: 10th January 2019
My rating: ★★★☆☆
Goodreads rating: 3.95
Genre: YA, Norse Mythology, Fantasy, Horror
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.
Overall opinion of the book:
The Twisted Tree was such an interesting book, one I thoroughly enjoyed. Burge is a brilliant writer who is great at creating suspense and building the scenes. Her descriptive language was beautiful and she clearly has a vast knowledge of Norse mythology, which is prevalent in the book. Norse mythology is a topic I’ve always wanted to delve into and explore but never got around to. This book is deeply rooted in this and it was so intriguing to read. The overall plot was enjoyable and held my attention throughout.
The Twisted Tree is currently a stand alone book, but I’d love for there to be a sequel as I could quite happily read more about the characters and this topic. Without giving the plot away, the ending leaves the plot open ended and I was intrigued by what was revealed and what to know more!
I loved that this book oozes female empowerment and it was so much fun reading about the main characters ancestors coming together to form one strong entity. I love a good horror story and there were certain parts in this book that definitely spooked me, maybe rethink reading this one before bed if you want a good night’s sleep! Burge is fantastic at creating an eerie and creepy atmosphere!
I liked the main character, Martha. She was strong and determined throughout and wasn’t afraid to question other character’s motives. She’s honest, open and Burge emphasises that she has body confidence issues which resulted from an accident she had. Quite often YA books portray female protagonists in a flawless, girl next door type of way, but Martha pushes the boundaries of what is seen as stereotypically “beautiful” and I LOVE this. Having a YA character that feels self conscious is important, not because I think we should feel self conscious, but it takes characters off an unattainable pedestal. It emphasises that nobody’s perfect and everyone is beautiful in their own, individual way. It was honestly refreshing to follow Martha’s own personal journey with finally accepting and loving herself. With Instagram and magazines shoving ridiculous beauty standards down the throats of readers, it’s more important than ever for fiction to normalise people’s differences and celebrate diversity.
Overall I found The Twisted Tree so compelling and interesting, it was such an interesting concept that Martha could read people’s emotions by touching their clothing! The one niggle I had was that there was a little bit of insta love between two characters. The two characters fell in love a little too quickly for my personal preference as I typically prefer for this to happen a little more slowly. I know so many readers love though and it is tough when you have a book that needs to be a certain length. I enjoyed reading about their relationship and it blossoming even more as the novel progressed however. I was definitely rooting for them towards the end – you’ll know what I mean if you’ve read the book! I’m so interested to know about the boy’s previous relationship, this is why I want a sequel to happen, I need to know what happened – it would be brilliant!
The Twisted Tree is the perfect book if you enjoy mythology, fantasy and horror – it combines them all so well. The writing is absolutely fantastic and Burge creates an epic, eerie atmosphere and setting. It’s jam packed with a suspenseful plot, intriguing characters and a great story. I can’t wait to read more of Burge’s books in the future.
If you would like to purchase this book, you can do so here:
Have you read The Twisted Tree? What were your thoughts on the book? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to know! 😊