nothing but blackened teeth cassandra khaw
Book Review / Cassandra Khaw

Cassandra Khaw | Nothing But Blackened Teeth

nothing but blackened teeth cassandra khaw

The Book: 

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw
Published October 19th 2021 by Nightfire
Date read: October 18, 2021

The Characters: 

Cat
Talia, Faiz, Phillip

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Buy it on Bookshop.org | Amazon


The Plot (from Goodreads):

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. 

Click here for book spoilers for Nothing But Blackened Teeth
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Nothing But Blackened Teeth, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist: 

Talia is captured by the dead bride, and the others have to draw on their knowledge of horror tropes to get her back. Faiz finds a book explaining the required sacrifices, although no one else can see the words. Faiz accidentally stabs Phillip, and Cat realizes there’s no way to get him help in time and ruthlessly sacrifices his fresh organs. Talia is returned to them and everyone else makes it out alive.

The Review: 

Thank you to the publisher for a gifted copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I read this creepy little novella before bed last night, because what’s more fun than creeping yourself out before you go to sleep?

I loved the setting of a creepy old mansion in Japan, known to be haunted. The characters in this book are a group of friends who have fallen out. They’ve reunited for the wedding of two of the group, who wanted to get married in a haunted house. They all seem to love ghost stories and ghost hunting, until everything goes wrong.

Every time I read a novella, I finish it wishing it was longer. I definitely think this could have been a full-length novel, since there was clearly so much backstory between the characters. Things were hinted at, but I really would have liked to go deeper! All we know is that they’ve all slept with each other or wanted to, and there’s a lot of jealousy over this. I would have rather seen more about Cat’s breakdown for example than all of the relationship jealousy.

I enjoyed that the characters kind of poke fun at traditional horror tropes within the book, saying things like “this is when I would die if this were a horror movie”. That the book was a little bit self-aware made it even more fun to read.

My only complaint here is that the author used a lot of Japanese words for the monsters, but never explains what they are. I liked the use of the Japanese words and thought it really added to the atmosphere, but I think the book would really benefit from brief descriptions of what they mean, perhaps in a glossary in the beginning so the flow of the story isn’t interrupted. The main draw of horror for me is the creepy imagery, so I definitely lost a lot by not being able to picture these monsters. I try to keep my phone out of reach when I read so I’m not distracted, but I did have to get up and google a few things here.

Nothing But Blackened Teeth is the perfect quick read for Halloween. At just 120 pages, you can easily speed through it in one spooky sitting!

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nothing but blackened teeth cassandra khaw
nothing but blackened teeth cassandra khaw

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