Posts Tagged ‘Twisted’



Publisher: Self-Published

Length: 370 Pages

Release Date: December 15, 2014

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Michaelbrent Collings latest novel, Twisted, focuses on the Douglas family as Blake, his wife Alyssa and son Mal eagerly await the arrival of the new addition to their family. The family has fallen on hard times as of late, but the impending arrival of the baby has the family bursting with hope and optimism for their future. However, things quickly take a turn for the worse as they learn their daughter was born with a rare condition that threatens her life and strains the family. As they head home and try to cope with their new lives, a sinister entity that has been slumbering in their home for centuries awakens and feeds off of the stress and sadness that hangs heavy throughout the Douglas household.

As they begin to experience terrifying supernatural occurrences, they each begin to feel the pressure of their circumstances. Blake struggles to maintain his sanity and control and periodically slips into fits of anger that bring his childhood fears to the surface. The Douglas family decides to temporarily move into an antique-like home in an attempt to get some peace. They breathe a sigh of relief at first, thinking they are safe. However, it isn’t long until the family realizes the evil that lurked in their home has managed to follow them. What follows is a series of horrific events that strains the sanity of the Douglas family and forces them into a showdown with the entity that has been terrorizing them.

Collings incorporates a pretty creepy element to this book with the inclusions of excerpts from a fictional book on the practice of memento mori, the practice of taking photos of the dead. While this is creepy to us, in the past it was a common practice as a way to celebrate the dead. Collings uses this chilling practice as a basis for the events that play out over the course of Twisted. There are excerpts of journal entries detailing the practice and notes from scholars who unearthed them and published them as a first-hand examination of the process. These excerpts seem out of place until a photo album of similar photos is discovered in the antique house the Douglas family seeks refuge in.

Collings does a great job of building up his characters in this novel, particularly Ralph Hickey, a bike messenger with an extraordinary gift (or burden if you listen to him). His arms are filled with odd tattoos like hearts and teddy bears. He has the special ability to see spirits and they frighten him.  That is why he takes a job as a bike messenger and he is so fast, he is attempting at every turn to outrun them and avoid facing his reality. I loved his character, but he was introduced sort of randomly into the story and we never get a really good back story about him.

Although Collings does a great job with his characters, the story often hits lulls with too many point of view shifts and many of them are long. It does help build up the novel and explain the events through the eyes of the characters and how they deal with the strange occurrences that plague them, but it often takes the reader right out of the story. Although there were a few style choices that didn’t quite work for me, Twisted is a unique spin on the haunted house genre and Collings manages to craft some truly creepy moments. There is one scene involving centipedes that will absolutely make your skin crawl! I definitely recommend checking out Twisted if you enjoy a good ghost story and I am looking forward to reading more of Collings work in the future.

Rating: 4/5


Michaelbrent Collings Official Website

Purcahse Twisted on Amazon