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Twisted by Michaelbrent Collings
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Twisted by Michaelbrent Collings

The Douglas family wants to have the normal life,(they have) two children and want happiness. But they find they have a ghost in their house and the ghost is very angry. Soon bizarre things begin to happen and they are about to find out the ghost is after the children.

A well written tale of terror. There is a physiological twist to this story, which makes it more interesting. A lot of vivid details makes you want to check under the bed at night. A very original story line, and surprises along the way. I strongly recommend Twisted to horror-story lovers. ( )
  SheriAWilkinson | Mar 11, 2016 |
The Douglas family just recently had their second child. Money is tight, really tight. And now it looks like there is a malevolent force haunting them. It wants their torment and their blood. The Douglas family may not survive this darkness.

Blake and Alyssa are trying very hard to make a happy family. Their son, Mal, is perhaps 8 years old. Baby Ruthie was just born and already she has a severe medical condition that has both parents deeply worried. But there are centipedes to exterminate. Yep. A swarm of centipedes popped out from the crawl space beneath Mal’s bed. Ugh! Why did it have to be centipedes? I am an insect lover… but that warm fuzzy feeling I have for bees, butterflies, beetles, and even tarantulas does not extend to centipedes. So right away, I am a little freaked out, which is what any good horror tale should be doing.

Blake has ghosts of his own that are raised from the past because of all the stresses he is under… and perhaps that malevolent force has something to do with it too. He came from an abusive household and while he has never done anything harsh to his family members, he constantly worries that he is a bad parent or husband. This aspect of Blake made him very human to me and easy to connect with. The guy hasn’t put his past to rest and this recent bought of crap he has to deal with brings it all to the forefront. Just where the evil ghost who is haunting them wants it.

Alyssa is the quiet, subtle hero of the tale holding the family together even as she feels beaten up and torn (literally from the recent birthing). She reassures Blake often that he is a decent human being and tries very hard to hold her own emotions in check to keep the kids reassured.

We also get to see a good chunk of the book through Mal’s eyes. He does a good job of being a kid but also observing all the stress signals his parents are giving off. He tries very hard to be a good brother to Ruthie. I found that some of the scariest scenes were seen through his eyes because he’s just a kid and shouldn’t have to deal with ravenous centipedes or malevolent ghosts.

The plot had some nice twists and turns. There’s some turn of the century photos of dead kids, a few journal entries from a case file on a serial killer, a bike messenger with an interesting paranormal ability, and plenty more. The ending caught me off guard. Even though I was hoping this story wouldn’t have a happy ending (a statement that probably makes me look a little deranged), I wasn’t prepared for how it did end. Yet, once it was laid out before me and all the connections drawn out, I felt that it all made sense and that was really the only way this tale could end. Additionally, Collings provides a personal note at the end about his missionary work and domestic abuse that was a very nice touch. I will never look at ‘I Love Mom’ tattoos the same way again.

I received this audiobook from the narrator (via the Audiobook Blast Newsletter) at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: Scott Thomas has a remarkably creepy voice! And he put it to very good use in this book. He had nice voices for the Douglas family, and passable female voices. Then he had a deeply disturbing voice for the malevolent ghost. There were also times in the narration where something tense and spooky was going down and his voice would reflect that. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Jul 19, 2015 |
ABR's original Twisted audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

YAY! A creepy one! Seriously! Twisted is a great name for this because it is, all the way through.

First of all this family knows a bit about creepiness. The author added in little details in the beginning, but it is normal stuff. Like their son not wanting to look under the bed because that little swatch of darkness seems to be an abyss. Space seems to expand in the darkness and children watch with a growing dread as it gets larger, almost like it is reaching out to grab them or coming for them. And Mal wants so badly to be a big boy and to be good for his family who just brought home a newborn. He wants to be a smart, big boy, and big brother and being afraid of the dark just isn’t any of those things!

Blake and Alyssa try so hard as the story continues, to keep their thoughts together. Blake especially has some serious issues! There are some twists closer to the end that really brings these issues to the forefront but he fights them. The psychology behind the characters is fantastic. What I wanted more of though, is of the characters. There is so much of the “Twisted” portion and I do not think there was quite enough to get to really know them prior to the twisted parts. Sometimes that is not a bad thing, exactly, and here it did not deter from the horror that was happening. But there was a little something missing and I think it was the addition of some normal happenings going on with the family.

Although, even saying that, I listened to this one quite quickly because it was just so good! The narration was spot on! I am curious how Scott Thomas’s voice really sounds. He adds a level of creepiness to his tone that changes up as things move along. First he narrates and you can tell there is something sinister in that voice but there is not enough to go on and you want to trust him, really. Then the horror start to edge into his voice and it was almost like I wanted to start backing away slowly! Loved listening to him and I would love to hear more of his work! He was a great addition to this and kept the creep factor notched up! The entire audio was fabulous and made me feel like I was really listening to a dramatization. What I loved most though, was the ending.

In short: I cannot wait to read more from MichaelBrent Collins. This was my first but it will not be my last!

Audiobook provided for review by the narrator via AudiobookBlast dot com. ( )
  audiobibliophile | Jul 7, 2015 |
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