The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford

Posted On 14 September 2017

Filed under Book Reviews
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thetwilightI read the Twilight Pariah a couple of weeks ago.  It’s a fairly short story (approx 180 pages) and is actually a very quick read with some really good elements.  I didn’t quite love it as much as I hoped but I can’t deny that it was an enjoyable read with an interesting premise.

The Twilight Pariah brings to us three young friends spending what is likely to be their last vacation together.  Maggie, Russell, and Henry. At the insistence of Maggie the three embark on a project out at an old mansion set within the woods.  An abandoned mansion with a curious history.  Maggie wants to dig up the outhouse and see what the three of them can find.  What they actually find defies explanation.  A child’s skeleton that actually appears to have horns is what they come across – now frankly, if that was me I definitely wouldn’t have been keeping that unknown entity but Maggie is determined to find out what it is and that’s when things take a turn for the worse.  Really – anyone knows not to disturb old skeletons don’t they!  Anyway, I guess it would have been a very short story if they’d just returned the skeleton and filled the pit.

After their discovery the three of them start to experience strange occurences.  Something is definitely pursuing them and it doesn’t take too long before somebody turns up dead.

I have a conundrum with this book.  It was an enjoyable read and it really had the possibility to give me the serious heebie-jeebies but it just didn’t quite succeed in creeping me out.  I thought the author’s style was good, I enjoyed the dynamic between the three lead characters, it was an interesting concept, but, for me it just fell short on the tension and the conclusion was simply too quick.  Given another hundred pages this book could have been a proper chiller with the sort of tension that you can cut with a knife – but that’s probably just me to be honest.  I can’t help wanting more, I’m just greedy I suppose but I would have liked that slow build up.  I would have liked a bit more about the friends and I particularly would have liked them to demonstrate a bit more fear in the face of what they came across.

As it is though this is very readable, I didn’t have any struggle whatsoever finishing it and I did find the writing persuasive.  It might not be the chiller that I was hoping for but if you fancy a quick read on a dark night this could be the perfect read.

I received a copy through Netgalley courtesy of the publisher for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.



12 Responses to “The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford”

  1. Tammy

    Most of the reviews I’ve seen for this book have been similar to yours, but I’m still going to read it soon. The premise sounds fantastic, so I’m ever hopeful…

  2. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    When we choose to read horror we want to feel the chills down our spine, we want to be afraid of dark corners and strange noises, and I can tell you did not find all that in this book. I’m sorry it didn’t work as you hoped….

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s like I said – it’s not a bad book, I didn’t feel aggrieved at reading it like you sometimes do when you spend time on a book and it doesn’t work out – but, it didn’t have that certain something.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Carmen

    Yes, everyone knows that you should not disturb old skeletons, or keep them. 😉 Anyways, I like the premise of this book; too bad it didn’t deliver the promised creepiness.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, it could have been a lot creepier – maybe it needed a few more pages.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I felt the same way about this. Loved the premise, but the execution…was not so great. For me it was definitely the writing style. There was just no “soul” there, if you know what I mean.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I know exactly what you mean – it was just something lacking that I couldn’t put my finger on.
      Lynn 😀

  5. sjhigbee

    The cover is wonderful – funnily enough, your reaction to this one is rather similar to my feelings about Taste of Marrow. I loved the world and the premise but felt it would have been better as a full-length novel.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, it’s a shame about this one – I feel like it’s something of a missed opportunity. It just lacks something – it reads a little bit like a pitch for a film and in fact it would probably make a really adaptation but in terms of reading it doesn’t have the meanie or creep factor.
      Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        Yes, I’ve read a few like that – and it is always such a disappointment:)

  6. Danya @ Fine Print

    What is it about abandoned mansions that always seems to appeal to semi-estranged groups of friends??? Hahaha. It sounds like this one was decent enough but didn’t quite reach its full potential with the creepiness factor.

  7. Jennifer | Book Den

    I’ve seen similar reactions to yours. The premise sounds so good! I’m sorry it didn’t deliver as much as expected.

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