Cover Image: The House of Tongues

The House of Tongues

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Member Reviews

This creepy novel spans a period of thirty years and effectively reveals its horrifying secrets a little at a time. The story swings between events that happened to our protagonist, David, as a teen and how those events come back to roost as an adult. 

There are beheadings, dead bodies found throughout a swamp, and plenty of psychological horrors that will get your goosebumps rising. A huge twist near the end changes the game in ways you can't fathom and you'll be turning pages as quickly as possible to find out what it ultimately means as the past meets the present for a terrifying conclusion. I highly recommend it!
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I really wanted to enjoy this story more than I could, and I really did enjoy a lot about the storyline and its pacing, Unfortunately for me, I am too much of a true crime enthusiast that I am all too aware of the real life Peewee Gaskins, and his many horrible crimes. I could not get past the fact that one of the main characters was not only Peewee himself, but also his son?

Quite a shame, because otherwise I feel I would've been fully invested in the overall story.

2.5/5
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A man who fights against the secrets of his past, of family, of loyalty and vengeance, of fathers and sons, of memories hidden and vivid.
Set in the murky flood waters, of swamps and plastic bags. 
At first, the book was reminiscent of King (in a good way!) but the story came truly into its own.
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4.25 stars

First of all I loved the Maze Runner series, and that was my reason for requesting this book. I went in blind, not knowing at all what to expect. This is a great horror book. Much darker than I expected. I loved the duel timelines and the unexpected (to me) twist.
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Darker read than usual from Dashner. Longer story with a surprising ending. The creepy factor is high with this one.
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In The House of Tongues, Maze Runner author James Dashner brings us a gruesome horror story for adults.

And it is definitely a dark tale.  Told in two timelines, Dashner weaves a tale of a small town beset by horrific murders and a twisted family legacy that continues to haunt it.

I did find myself primarily interested in the more current timeline, but the older was relevant and definitely served to add to both the atmosphere and the horror of the book.  I was deeply invested in our current little family and was hoping against hope that they would all survive.

The surprise…wasn’t a surprise.  I won’t say more than that – just that it was anticlimactic for me.

However, I did enjoy the book.  The author brought me firmly into his world and didn’t let me go until the end!

•	ARC via Publisher
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I am still not entirely sure what I thought of this one. On one hand, I enjoyed the creepiness and the haunts. On the other hand, I disliked the ending but not enough to hate the book as a whole. So, I think four stars is good. It's gripping and a fast read, but I do not think it's the best read.
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An incredible read about family pacts and secrets. David knew something terrible happened when he was younger but his mind kept him from remembering what had happened. When his son goes missing, David begins to realize that the secrets are beginning to unravel. The past and the present begin to collide as David discovers the secret that his family has been involved in for hundreds of years. It comes down to what David will do in order to stop “the curse”.  This novel was spellbinding as well as horror filled. Just perfect for those who like to read occult and supernatural.
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It is my first time I am reading a book by James Dashner. I had high hopes with the book, The House of Tongues. Although, the plot opens up with a strong narrative of death and madness. The story slowly moves itself upwards with some interesting characters. But, when I reached halfway it seemed like some things were unnecessarily injected which failed to hold my interest in the book. Although, the climax was like one of the psychopath movies, but by that time I lost interest. May be the book was not for me.

I would like to give the book 3 stars. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me an opportunity to read and review the book.
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This book is VERY wordy. Half the time I forgot what I was reading before I finished a sentence. It seemed unedited if that makes sense. The plot/overall story wasn't bad; it just tool way too long to get there.
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TW: Murder, gory scenes, child death, toxic relationships

*****SPOILERS*****
About the book:David Player has spent 30 years trying to forget the traumas of his childhood. The threats, the kidnappings, the murders. The imagined curses of a people born centuries earlier, passed from father to son, mother to daughter, generation to generation. Its climax came in human form, a monster of a man, one of the most notorious serial killers the nation has ever seen: Pee Wee Gaskins. And Gaskins had a particular hatred for the Player family, then for David, himself, who barely escaped those years with his own life intact.Now David is back, his four children in tow, visiting his parents' home, a place he has learned to cherish despite the evils that haunted his younger days. But no sooner does he return than a stranger visits their doorstep, the son of Pee Wee Gaskins. In a terrifying display, right in front of the kids, the man utters threats until he chokes on his own tongue, sparking a series of events that drag David and his family back into the days of curses and murders, onto a path of unimaginable terror, all too familiar.That path leads to an old gothic tower in the woods, a place David had blocked from his memory, a house of horrors both past and present. The House of Tongues.
Release Date: 10/29/2021
Genre: Horror
Pages: 301
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ (3. 5)

What I Liked:
• This book is creepy
• Keeps you on your toes
• The writing is really good

What I Didn't Like:
• Some parts kind of dragged
• The newspaper lady
• The ending
• The author was gulity of sexual harassment

Overall Thoughts: This book creeped me out so much. The story is written in a way I felt was easy to follow the plot and go with the characters as they learn and find out stuff.

Usually I have issues with teens in books but these teens were pretty okay.

I am shocked that the dude who The Maze Runner could pull this out of his brain. I am impressed!

It is a little weird how okay this town seems about a murderer running around and murdering people. There is an episode of Married With Children about a killer that bumps off tourist in the motel and the people are okay with. That's what this reminds me of.

There's even a cop killed outside the house and they just play Monopoly inside like it's nothing. It's ridiculous.

Final Thoughts: If you like My Bloody Valentine or The Town That Dreaded Sundown you should read this. There were seriously moments where I was freaked out.
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The House of Tongues is a book you read with all the lights on!   And even then you may not be able to sleep afterward!   David and his friend Andrea witness a terrible murder when they are teenagers and it changes their lives.   When David returns to his hometown years later with his own children the past seems come back to haunt him again.   Dark, creepy, the kind of book that stays with you long after it's read.
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This book held my interest from the beginning, I had to keep reading to find out how it all turned out. Great read!!
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This book was a really great read. The author gave interesting points that kept you on your toes and wanting to read more. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery. The ending is a great surprise, you would never believe who the culprit was all along. The author gives enough points to make the reader want to check out other stories that she has wrote. It leaves you wanting more!
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I must admit, first of all, that this is the first book by James Dashner that I have ever read, which seems crazy now that I look at his bibilography.  He's kind of a big deal but I had no idea going into this book.

Which is why I was so surprised at how good it was.

David Player went through some stuff as a teenager.  And I don't mean acne and peer pressure and first kisses. I mean witnessing murder, being abducted, that kind of thing.  A couple of decades later, he's tried his best to push all that out of his mind and have a normal life.  But when he brings his four kids back to the old home place to visit their grandparents, things get weird, fast.

When the son of the serial killer David helped put behind bars shows up at the farmhouse, attempts to speak and ends up swallowing his own tongue, David is understandably upset.  And when the murders start again and one of David's own children is taken, he gets downright angry.

Mixed in to all these murders and headless bodies found dumped in the swamp, is a centuries-old curse, a group of people David refers to as "Bagheads" due to their penchant for committing crimes with plastic grocery bags tied over their heads, and a place you really, really don't want to end up in: the House of Tongues.  Which is exactly what it sounds like.

To regain his memories, figure out the mysterious curse, and save his family, David will have to face his fears, face his enemies, and face the horror that awaits him once more in the House of Tongues.

My one complaint about this book is that I felt like there were still some unanswered questions at the end, but maybe that's done on purpose and maybe it's setting things up for a sequel.  Maybe it's just to keep the reader's mind going over and over the story trying to figure things out.  

That one thing aside, this was one of those stories that you pick up and don't want to put down.  The pace is steady but quick and in the last hundred pages it picks up more and more til you're skimming pages in your haste to find out what happens.  The absolute bizarre weirdness of the things going on in this little backwoods town will keep you turning those pages like crazy.  

And be sure to keep your mouth closed.
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A perfect example of a surprise read! When I first started this I struggled to understand the appeal. The writing was lacklustre and pedestrian , the pacing plodding and it just had no spark to it. I persevered, marginally so I could have enough context for a review but also because the premise (which had attracted some to the book in the first place) still intrigued me. I’ve seen plenty of films & the shows featuring fictitious representations of real life killers but never in a book. Abit of a true crime fan I wanted to see how Dashner would handle the infamous and barbaric Pee Wee Gaskins and would it manage to scare me. I can safely say Yes it did! As soon as Andrea & David discovered Gaskins wooded secret the pace ramped up and I was delighted to find myself genuinely creeped out at many scenes. Once the pace lifted I found myself ploughing through this book intrigued at what next misfortune was going to be sprung on our protagonists. 
I enjoyed the duel timeline story and the allusions between the fates of father & son but My biggest disappointment was the introduction of the curse & supernatural elements at the end. It felt unnecessary and poor explained so ended up feeling sloppy and an after thought. The terror of the man was enough, we didn’t need the added “spooky”
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This book started off really strongly for me - serial killer, dual timeline, small town - to me this book was going to be a solid 5 stars.  

Small town serial killer torments 2 young 16 year olds who spot him in the woods cutting off his victim's head.  David tells his horrifying and traumatic story from events that happened to him at 16 and also 30 years later, as a widow and father of four children.  A definite page turner, clues were dropped here and there to make you turn the pages even faster. 

However, the ending was crazy and unbelievable.  Coupled with many overly descriptive passages (I mean, 2-3 pages of how David kisses each of his four children goodnight - individually? ) meant there was lots to skim over.  This book could've been way shorter, with a slightly more believable and cohesive ending, 3 stars for the first half and the excellent pacing.
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As usual, Dashner did NOT disappoint.  One of the most accurate sentences in a book, "Fair warning, this is a dark tale."  I give 4 stars to this read, which means I really liked it!  If you've read The Maze Runner series, put any expectations you have for a similar story / set of circumstances aside because The House of Tongues is on a whole other level.  Dashner was quickly becoming one of my favorites / go-to authors, and he has clinched it with this one!
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Creepy from beginning to end, which is a good thing. There’s a nice twist that I didn’t see coming and the characters actually have a good reason to go into the creepy basement.
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David Player has spent 30 years trying to forget the traumas of his childhood. The threats, the kidnappings, the murders. The imagined curses of a people born centuries earlier, passed from father to son, mother to daughter, generation to generation. Its climax came in human form, a monster of a man, one of the most notorious serial killers the nation has ever seen: Pee Wee Gaskins. And Gaskins had a particular hatred for the Player family, then for David, himself, who barely escaped those years with his own life intact.

Now David is back, his four children in tow, visiting his parents’ home, a place he has learned to cherish despite the evils that haunted his younger days. But no sooner does he return than a stranger visits their doorstep, the son of Pee Wee Gaskins. In a terrifying display, right in front of the kids, the man utters threats until he chokes on his own tongue, sparking a series of events that drag David and his family back into the days of curses and murders, onto a path of unimaginable terror, all too familiar.

That path leads to an old gothic tower in the woods, a place David had blocked from his memory, a house of horrors both past and present,The House of Tongues.

Wow this was definitely a change of pace for Dashner… but I like it! 

Creepy and atmospheric from the start Dashner creates a cast of characters with their own special brand of messed up! From the crazy Gaskins family who feel like they have stepped right out of some old school Texas Chainsaw Massacre cult family to the protagonist David who is tormented and traumatised by his past, you are definitely kept busy trying to figure out just what is going on and who will be next’! 

The perfect amount of mystery coupled with the right amount of violence, gore and mayhem makes The House of Tongues a perfect read for any horror or crime fiction fan. Not for the faint hearted though!
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