REVIEW: Nothing but blackened Teeth (2021)

A Book by Cassandra Khaw

The saying always is “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, which usually means something is beautiful on the inside but not on the outside. This book happens to be the exact opposite – I think the cover looks amazing, but I did not like this story very much. I should have known better, considering books like this are not something I generally go for, but it couldn’t be helped. Luckily, Nothing but blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw is fairly short.

“Cassandra Khaw’s Nothing But Blackened Teeth is a gorgeously creepy haunted house tale, steeped in Japanese folklore and full of devastating twists. 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.”

I seem to be one of the few that couldn’t get into this book for whatever reason. I guess I’m more of a fan of gothic horror stories, because most contemporary ones fall flat on me. I will say that Khaw has a knack for writing dialogue, but I feel there was too much of it – when I got halfway through the rather short book, The ghost had only made one brief appearance – this time was instead filled by needless bickering amongst all of the characters. It reminded of why I was rooting for the Swedish death cult in Midsommar as they killed that cast off – none of the characters were very likable to me. I also roll my eyes whenever a book takes place in a foreign country randomly, but is made up of American characters that go on a trip or live in some pocket where it’s all ex-patriots that liver there i.e. (The Grudge American Remake for example). I get you wanted to use the Asian ghost trope, but why not just have the cast be Japanese? This wasn’t for me.

NOTE: I received a free preliminary, and likely unedited copy of this book from Netgalley for the purposes of providing an honest, unbiased review of the material. Thank you to all involved.

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