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.
Title: Nothing But Blackened Teeth | Author: Cassandra Khaw | Publisher: Nightfire | Pub. Date: 2021-Oct-19 | Pages: 128 | ISBN13: 9781250759412 | Source: Publisher | Unstarred Review
Nothing But Blackened Teeth Review
After reading Cassandra Khaw’s Hammers on Bone, I knew I wanted to read more from this author. So, when Nothing But Blackened Teeth hit Netgalley, I snatched it up. The gorgeous cover (I want a copy for my wall) and description had me all aquiver. The fact that it was a short book (only a hundred and a quarter pages) was a lovely find as well. Not all books need to be doorstops.
Anyways, I dived in, and at first I absolutely adored it. Khaw has an amazing way with words and her turns of phrase in Nothing But Blackened Teeth were some of the best I’d ever read. But… then, slowly, my attraction to the book started to die as I realized how excessive the prose was (to me.) It was violently, unapologetically purple in fact.
While I am sure this will thrill some readers, it did not thrill me. I also found as the story progressed that it began to take me a bit longer to process some of the stranger ones, which took me out of the story. Also, when you add that to the fact that I really couldn’t bring myself to like any of the characters, the book began to nosedive. Luckily, because of the low number of pages and Khaw’s base story skill, it never became a read that I did not enjoy on at least some level.
Overall, I really do think some readers will absolutely love this book and my general disenchantment was much more a personal preference problem than a book problem.
Lilyn G is the founder of Sci-Fi & Scary, and leader of the Kali Krew. She does book and film reviews for both genres the site focuses on. Her tastes run towards creature features, hard science fiction, and lots and lots of action. She also has a soft spot for middle-grade fiction that rears its head frequently.
Though no longer involved with Ladies of Horror Fiction due to other responsibilities and a too-full plate, she was one of the original 4 co-founders.
Feel free to chat her up on Twitter as long as you aren’t hitting her up to review your book.
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