Today, I am excited to be sharing my review of Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw with you all.
A group of thrill-seeking friends in search of the perfect wedding venue plan to spend the night in a Heian-era mansion. Long abandoned, and unknown to them, this mansion rests on the bones of a bride, and its walls are packed with the remains of the girls sacrificed to keep her company.
Their night of food, drinks, and games quickly spirals into a nightmare, as the house welcomes its new guests. 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.
Before picking up Nothing But Blackened Teeth, I had been seeing it all over my social media, and everybody seemed to have amazing things to say about it. As someone who loves a good paranormal horror, and Japanese culture, I was desperate to read it. The cover alone was enough for me to say “YES, TAKE MY MONEY” because look at it, it’s stunning! But when I did actually pick it up, I was disappointed.
From the very beginning, with the introductions of the friends, it became very obvious that they had some serious issues and were clearly not that great of friends at all. There was a lot of tension between them all, particularly between Cat and Talia. There was also clearly something more to Phillip and Thalia’s relationship too. There was a lot of drama between them, and I love a bit of friendship drama. The whole group seems to be one big confused love triangle, well more like a love pentagon than a triangle! Although I did enjoy reading this, it wasn’t what I wanted from this book. The focus of the story seemed to be more on who was arguing, who was jealous of who, and who was sleeping with who, rather than the actual horror elements of the story.
Of course there were creepy moments along the way, but I just wanted more of them. The imagery of the bride was so well written that I could visualise her so clearly, and the author was brilliant at creating an eerie, tense atmosphere in the lead up to her appearances. I think that this book could have actually benefitted from being a little longer, so that there was more explanation and context to some of the things going on, but also more time for action. It did ramp up a little towards the end of the book, and there were some very unexpected moments that I thought were great. If there had been more of this throughout the story, I definitely would have enjoyed it a lot more.
If you’re looking for a proper horror, that’s really going to get under your skin, then this isn’t it. However, if you have been wanting to read it, I would still say to give it a try, because it’s not a bad book, and lots of people loved it, maybe the problem was that I had just set my expectations way too high.
I give Nothing But Blackened Teeth a 3 star rating.
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