Nothing but Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw // Book Review

This tiny novella packs a punch with ghostly brides, haunted houses, and human sacrifice. The perfect Halloween read (or any time of the year if you’re like me).

Here’s more about Nothing but Blackened Teeth

A Heian-era mansion stands abandoned, its foundations resting on the bones of a bride and its walls packed with the remains of the girls sacrificed to keep her company.

It’s the perfect wedding venue for a group of thrill-seeking friends.

But a night of food, drinks, and games quickly spirals into a nightmare. For lurking in the shadows is the ghost bride with a black smile and a hungry heart.

And she gets lonely down there in the dirt.

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My thoughts

Ok this is a legit horror story perfect for Halloween weekend. Of course, I’m posting this review after Halloween, but if you’re looking for something for next Halloween, consider adding this one to your TBR. It’s a novella, so it’ll be a super quick, but super spooky read.

The story follows a group of tourists in town for a wedding and they rent out an old haunted house as a wedding gift for the happy couple. Creepy tastes, but we’re not here to judge the characters. The story follows Cat, one of the members of the group as she’s haunted by the ghost who lives in the house. She sees her from the corner of her eye or within the reflection of the mirror. But once you learn more about the ghost and why she haunts the house, then it starts to get really freaky.

The atmosphere alone will get you. With the decaying walls, dark vibes, even the scene when one of the characters put on the wedding dress of the dead person, so creepy. The darkness in the story, the anticipation of something hanging out in the corners, it really gave that shock value. I was bracing every single time Cat was seeing something she didn’t want to see. The action is quick-paced and the ending really surprised me.

I really liked this story, but there were many parts that I didn’t like. This story had so much potential. Honestly, I loved the spooky Japanese house and the aloof young people celebrating their marriage there. But the rest didn’t make sense and really didn’t add anything more to the story. I wasn’t really interested in the relationship Cat had with the rest of the people at the house. It almost didn’t make sense to include it unless it somehow would play a role in the story further down the line, but I didn’t get that either. I wish there was some relation because despite not making sense with the story, it does paint a view of who these people are and how they relate to each other. I wanted to dive into that, maybe have it come up as the hauntings got worse.

I felt like there was so much that needed to be explained or really explored to get the full horror scope. It was so quick-paced making little room for explanation. I’ll admit, it was spooky but it wasn’t enough for me to just be spooky. I really wanted there to be more.

Overall, this will definitely spook you and make you think you see things from the corner of your eye. Thanks to Netgalley for the gifted copy.

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