Cover Image: The House of Tongues

The House of Tongues

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Member Reviews

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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The House of Tongues by James Dashner is a horror novel.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Riverdale Avenue Books (Afraid) and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


My Synopsis:   (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions)
David Player is 44 years old, and his wife passed away two years ago.  He is raising his four children on his own.  Although three of them are adopted, they are a very close family.

Deciding to visit his parents may be the worst mistake he has made in ages.  What starts out as an exciting family trip, turns into the vacation from hell.  For his memories of events which occurred when he was 16 have left him, but when a stranger knocks on the door, the flood gates start to open.  The son of a notorious serial killer has come to call, and he intends to make sure that David and his family play his game.

Soon David will remember everything, and will have to fight to protect his family from a curse that has been passed down for 200 years.  It will eventually lead to an old tower in the woods, a place that David had not thought of in many years.  The House of Tongues.


My Opinions:   
I believe this is the first adult-based novel from this author, although he has had a lot of success with his Y/A Maze-Runner series (which I also enjoyed).

This was very good.  It held my interest from start to finish, as it was not just horror, but an entertaining mystery woven in.  The story is told through David's eyes only, and in two time-lines, one when David is 16, and one when he is 44.  The two time-lines somewhat mimic each other.

Yes, there was blood and gore, and yes, it was a little unbelievable, but....it is a horror novel, after all.  I loved the plot, and it was a fast and easy read.

I also loved the characters.  David, Andrea, and the kids were all likeable, and relatable.  The bad guys (even the one that wasn't supposed to be), were all clearly defined.  There were no real surprises there.

James Dashner has just proven he can write adult-based books as well as his best-selling YA books.
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“Life was no longer linear, but a loop of terrifying anticipation.”

I don’t normally gravitate towards novels that are categorized as horror, but I loved The Maze Runner series, so when I saw that this was by the same author I was intrigued.
The House of Tongues is a gripping page-turner, told in dual timelines by the main character David, set 30 years apart. The terrors that haunt his childhood come back to face him decades later, now widowed and father to four children.
Unfortunately, after the House of Tongues was introduced into the storyline, the rest went downhill for me. I felt that the remaining plot and the answers we were waiting for were just thrown together and didn’t really make sense. The ending alone knocked off a star for me.

Read this if you like:
- a story with a serial killer
- multigenerational rivalry between two family lines
- dual timelines where events in the past resurface in the present


[Spoiler]:
I would have liked to read what happened to Wesley the first time he was kidnapped - the readers never get told where he goes, or what he does for 3 whole days. 

[Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC]
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I've read and enjoyed some of James Dashner's popular earlier novels,  but now his newest,  THE HOUSE OF TONGUES,  is truly in a class by itself.  The writing is excellent,  the characters are metaphorically flayed to their core [by which I reference that not only can't they conceal themselves from author or reader, they cannot hide from themselves].


THE HOUSE OF TONGUES is extreme,  make no mistake. The novel is gore-suffused, but not without cause. What also suffuses it is puzzles and a wagon load of "Why?!!" throughout the novel as protagonists,  accompanied by readers, struggle to discover both what, why, and later also who, and the rationale is incredibly bizarre, yet in context,  somehow logical. Read and see!!
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House Of Tongues was such an amazingly gross, dark, and disturbing read. It exceeded any and every expectation I had. I must say, It's one of the best horror books that I've read all year with a mix of mystery within it. House Of Tongues is written in a Dual timeline which was very refreshing to me since it was the first dual timeline book I've read in a while. Thank you Netgalley, Riverdale Avenue Books, and Author James Dashner for the opportunity to read House Of Tongues in exchange for an honest review.
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PeeWee is that creepy local guy who drives around town in his old hearse and never goes anywhere without his shovel, which he sometimes strokes lovingly.  That's the public PeeWee.  One evening young David and his friend Andrea happen upon the private PeeWee in the woods...sawing away at someone's head.  PeeWee see's them too and from that moment on PeeWee focuses on David.  PeeWee's desire is to torment David, shame him, scare him, make his life hell.   20 years later David comes back to visit his parents, bring his 4 children.  PeeWee is dead.  It should be safe.  It isn't.   History seems to be repeating itself and once again David is terrified as he see's that his son Wesley appears to be the target this time.

I found this book to be bumpy ride without a seatbelt.  Even though I kept thinking, "take your kids and go home", I still enjoyed the creepy story telling and visuals.   As I read the book I had no idea that there was a real PeeWee Gaskins in South Carolina who also drove a hearse and was apparently a really inventive killer.  It would be interesting to know if the author grew up during that PeeWee's time and weaved his childhood nightmares of that scary guy into this story.    
Thank you #Netgalley for allowing me to read and review #HouseofTongues
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The story transfers you through back and forth on years that I clearly enjoyed because you get to know the backstory of what occurs to this character as he goes through horrible events that woken up later in life. It leads you to a downward spiral of terror, mystery, suspense, hoping it all came to an end. One character, in particular, torments the living hell out of this person, causing a living nightmare no one would want. To have it again was torturous and even betrayed by someone very close. I read many horror books, but this one hit the right spot of a true horror tale. I really love the whole storyline and I will admit, it freaked me. Just the way I love it when reading horror. It's a must-have and a must-read. Excellent horror to give off goosebumps.
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I  was way more than impressed than I expected. This story had small town gothic vibes that I thoroughly enjoy.This story is quite interesting and with a fast pace, it's easy to read and very well written and I really enjoyed how the tension grows while we get to know the events of David's childhood and current life in a dual timeline. Highly recommend for anyone who loves this type of story.
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This is a story about staring into the abyss.

The good: if you enjoy serial killer horror, this is a well written & compelling.

The less good: I enjoy a dual timeline horror, but this one lost me towards the end.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️. 💫 

Thank you so much Netgalley & Riverdale Avenue Books for this eArc.
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I really enjoyed the Maze Runner series so I decided I wanted to give this new book a try and I’m thrilled I did. While the Maze Runner was geared towards the YA crowd, this book is most definitely for the Adult crowd. The story alternates between David Player as a youngster who along with his best friend, Andrea witness a serial killer at work. Before being captured, this killer terrorized David on more than one occasion. Now, 30 years later, while visiting his parents in his childhood home, the murders are beginning again and David’s own children are being targeted. An excellent, dark and twisted thriller.
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David Player has spent most of his life trying to forget the traumas of his childhood: Pee Wee Gaskins, an unstoppable serial killer, was obsessed with his family and with David in particular. 30 years after the son of Pee Wee seems to be just as obsessed and starts tormenting David's children. Why are the Gaskins so fixated with the Players? Who is behind all the murders?

It's been years since the last time I read anything written by James Dashner. If you don't know him, he's the author of the Maze Runner series, which I enjoyed, but The House of Tongues is something completely different. It's a proper horror story, with a creepy (very creepy) serial killer and lots of family secrets. The Maze Runner had its dark moments, but this novel is just on another level.

The story is quite interesting and with a good fast pace, it's easy to read and well written and I particularly appreciated how the tension grows while we get to know the events of David's childhood and current life in a dual timeline. Unfortunately there are a few major elements that are fundamental to the story that I didn't like or understand: I found the reason behind the murders and the history between the Players and the Gaskins a bit weird and didn't make much sense to me, it could have maybe worked if the novel was set 100 years ago but not in 2017. Also there's a revelation / plot twist that was quite predictable and therefore didn't surprise me much.

The House of Tongues is a good horror story, it's not perfect but I surely enjoyed it.
3 stars.

* I'd like to thank James Dashner, Riverdale Avenue Books and NetGalley for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Not knowing what to expect going into The House of Tongues, I was way more than impressed. It had small town gothic vibes that I love. Switching back and forth between past and present allows the reader to learn little bits of the story at a time. I definitely will be recommending this to customers at work!
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House of Tongues is a thrill for the imagination. This book was written by the author of The Maze Runner…yes I said that correctly. chock full of serial killers, kidnappings, deep south traditions, and strong family bonds. 

David is a widowed father of four just trying to keep his life going and keep his children happy and healthy. He has not only endured the loss of his beloved wife but has suffered so much trauma in his past that it’s a wonder he can get out of bed at all. Thirty years earlier as a teenager David and his best friend Andrea were tortured, kidnapped, and almost killed by an infamous now dead serial killer. Although he has worked through most of the events that happened he knows that something’s buried should always stay that way.         When visiting his parents back in the small town where he grew up and all of his heinous memories occurred it seems that what was in the past has come back. 

I really enjoyed this dual-time lined story, he has a way of developing these characters so well that I could imagine everything so perfectly. Each chapter jumping back and forth from his past horrors to the present ones. I loved the descriptions of the area where he lived as I have never visited the Carolina’s I was unfamiliar as to how swampy some areas actually were. 

I will admit that it did take me a good while to get into the story, for some reason at the beginning I felt like it just jumped around so much I couldn’t tell what was always happening. Once things started to focus in and really get down to the business at hand I was hooked. I didn’t put it down from about 30% in until I had finished it. I love when stories are set up in a way that you just have to know what is going to happen to the characters. I can’t wait to recommend this book to my horror book fans and will definitely be quick to caution anyone on eating during the ending of this book :)

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Riverdale Avenue Books for this ebook in exchange for my honest review.
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It all began at the age of seven when David met a man with a shovel and a hearse. Then at sixteen David was followed by a serial killer after witnessing him in the woods. From that moment going forward the killer had a sick interest in David. There’s a serial killer loose who’s playing mind games with David, the sixteen year old witness. After thirty years, David and his four children are in harms way when he comes back to visit his parents.

This is a dark horror story. For some unknown reason I was in disbelief about the things David witnessed. For this reason the story didn’t live up to what James plotted. 

I wanted to like this story, but I was confused trying to understand what James Dashner was trying to communicate to the readers. I think the idea of this book got the better of him because it read like it was difficult to describe what he was trying to convey to readers. Seems like the idea was too big to put into words. This was a wordy story with much to say, yet saying too much. 
The story alternates between the sixteen year old David and the forty year old David. As each chapter is written and read the reader simultaneously is given pieces of the puzzle.

The story doesn’t necessarily follow the life of a serial killer nor does it follow a procedure of investigation. It’s simply not that type of story. It’s a grueling tale of darkness that involves David and Pee Wee. As quickly as the scare between David and Pee Wee started it also ended until thirty years later when his son starts where his father ended.

James Dashner set out to write a horror story about a serial killer who dumps bodies in Pudding Swamp. David was sixteen when he witnessed Pee Wee Gaskins severing the head of a man. As the story alternates between the sixteen year old David and the forty-six year old David the reader learns more about this man who worked at the mortuary and the impact of what David encountered as a young adult. Thirty years later David brings his four kids back to the place where his nightmares began. The horrors continue as David is once again faced with trauma in the swamps. 

James conjured up dark words, yet when combined with other words they lost that scary grueling feeling. His words didn’t evoke any sense of fear in me. I read the dark grueling words just as I do any other word but it didn’t have the desired affect. 

James set out to remind David of his memories one chapter at a time. As the memories came flooding back the reader gets to fit the puzzle pieces together. The darkness remained buried inside these characters for thirty long years until David’s oldest son turned sixteen. I didn’t buy into this grueling tale. I kept hoping it was all a ruse. Not to mention David wasn’t hindered by any of these nightmares as a teenager. He too carried on in life as if what he witnessed was some illusion. Fir this reason it just didn’t scare me. 

James Dashner is the best selling author of The Maze Runner series. I for one read those books as well as watched the movies. While I enjoyed his writing voice in that series I didn’t find the same writing style in The House of Tongues.
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As others have said, I am unable to download this book. Once the author has allowed me to access the book I am more than willing to review this book.
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Although it seems as the book is put on netgalley for review  they didn’t actually provide the book so can’t review. But as the author is James dashner I have high hopes for when I read the book .
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*****Downloading and/or reviewing is currently not possible for this title. This could mean the publisher has not yet provided the final content, or the content has been removed.*****
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was not able to download book, but would be happy to do so if it became available. was not able to download book, but would be happy to do so if it became available.
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