Thursday, October 10, 2019

Book Review: Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich

Title: Teeth in the Mist
Author: Dawn Kurtagich
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 447
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Before the birth of time, a monk uncovers the Devil's Tongue and dares to speak it. The repercussions will be felt for generations...

Sixteen-year-old photography enthusiast Zoey has been fascinated by the haunted, burnt-out ruins of Medwyn Mill House for as long as she can remember--so she and her best friend, Poulton, run away from home to explore them. But are they really alone in the house? And who will know if something goes wrong?

In 1851, seventeen-year-old Roan arrives at the Mill House as a ward--one of three, all with something to hide from their new guardian. When Roan learns that she is connected to an ancient secret, she must escape the house before she is trapped forever.

1583. Hermione, a new young bride, accompanies her husband to the wilds of North Wales where he plans to build the largest water mill and mansion in the area. But rumors of unholy rituals lead to a tragic occurrence and she will need all her strength to defeat it.

Three women, centuries apart, drawn together by one Unholy Pact. A pact made by a man who, more than a thousand years later, may still be watching... 

This is the time of year when I usually start hunting for my next favorite horror book. The first Dawn Kurtagich book I read was And the Trees Crept in and it really wasn't for me. At first I was skeptical about picking up a second book by this author, but Teeth in the Mist sounded way too spooky to skip and I'm so glad I didn't!

Although this book is told in three different time periods following three different women, Roan is the main character and most of the story follows her. After the death of her father, Roan finds herself at the Mill House as a ward of its owner, alongside two others. The three of them don't know why they've been taken in, but accept the generosity nonetheless. Roan also has a secret she can't allow anyone to find out about, but she finds it harder and harder to keep it hidden as things spin more out of control.

Roan was an amazing, badass heroine and I absolutely loved the side characters as well! There is a bit of a romance in the second half of the book but it's very minor and doesn't overshadow the plot. Zoey from the present-day timeline was also fascinating and I loved the mystery in her part of the story. I didn't care a whole lot about Hermione, but definitely appreciated what her timeline added to the overarching plot.

The best thing about this book is the atmosphere. Mill House is a massive, centuries-old house set on a mountain that's often shrouded in storms and fog and it was chilling. The story is slow to unfold and was a bit confusing at the beginning, but the house itself made uneasy from the first page that it was introduced. By the time Roan arrives half the house is cordoned off and it's completely dilapidated in Zoey's timeline and it was so creepy! The house and the mountain itself with its caves and mist were almost characters on their own.

Like I said, Teeth in the Mist has a lot of layers and it can be confusing at times. I didn't realize until deep into the book that it was actually a retelling of a German legend and I immediately had to look it up upon finishing. This story is horrifying and absolutely gave me the chills I'm looking for in a good horror book.

If you're looking for something super spooky, but a bit more involved than your typical horror novel, you will probably love Teeth in the Mist! I have a feeling this will be a seasonal re-read for me and I can't wait to pick up some of Dawn Kurtagich's other books.