book review, buddy read, horror

Stolen Tongues by Felix Blackwell

To celebrate their daughter’s engagement, Faye’s parents fly her and her fiancé out to Colorado from California, and promptly send them up the mountains to the family cabin for some alone time.

Despite the cabin belonging to the family for decades, Faye has only been to it once before and doesn’t remember it. After finding some creepy things in the woods, she settles in for a quiet evening while Felix, her fiancé, grades some papers.

However, the creepiness continues and escalates, haunting Faye and Felix’s dreams as well as their waking lives. What does the sinister entity want? Is there a way to thwart it, or is death the only way to escape?

There is an atmosphere of creepiness throughout most of this book that is quite effective. Some of the ideas in the scenes are very good, and the author has a firm grasp of how to effectively use nightmare imagery.

The style of narration reminded me of an old fashioned ghost story, in which the author is relating the story to the reader as if it really happened. I believe this is exactly what the author intended, as he named the main character after himself. This choice didn’t work for me, but I can see it proving effective for other readers.

Despite the ease of reading and creepy scenes, I found lots of little details kept pulling me out of the story. At the beginning of the book we are introduced to an African Grey Parrot named Carrot. While the story around Carrot was clever, I couldn’t get over the fact that this medium sized bird was constantly kept in a cage small enough to fit on a woman’s knee in the passenger seat of a car. I hate to think what state such an intelligent, sensitive bird would be in if it were kept in such barbaric conditions.

Then there is the rental car Felix drives to the cabin and abandons, never to be mentioned again, although I like to think of it sitting under the snow at the front of the house.

In fact, there’s a long list of strange descriptions, abandoned objects, contrived coincidences, bizarre behaviors, inconsistent rules, and cliched deaths that continually drew me out of the story.

However, it is the ridiculously contrived catalyst to the story, combined with the groan inducing denouement, that almost drove this story down to two stars. It’s only because I read it quickly, liked some of the character quirks, and admired a few of the scenes that I decided to keep my higher rating.

An easy read, this is definitely a book where you enjoy the journey more than the destination.

I award Stolen Tongues

Stolen Tongues is a buddy read with Jonny Pongratz. Click here to read his review, and click here to find out what we thought of the book in our read and rant.

4 thoughts on “Stolen Tongues by Felix Blackwell”

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