My taste in books usually lean hard to Sci-Fi/ Fantasy. One week, I will binge hard on YA fantasy, the next I will be firmly planted in Science Fiction or Dystopia-Land, and I’ll not want a single thing to do with the former genre until I am over my current binge. So reading/ listening to Teeth in the Mist while in the middle of a heavy Sci-Fi kick, and actually finishing the book says a lot about how much I liked this story.
This book has multiple story lines, spanning centuries of time. In 977 AD, a monk used a arcane book to dares to speak the Devil’s Tongue. The bargain that was struck between the devil and the monk will have far reaching consequences that span generations. This book is told from three points of view, and each narration is unique in its own way.
Hermione Smith is a young bride in the year 1583 on her way with her new husband to build a mill in the mountains of Wales. Her story is told from multiple diary entries, and the tone slips from newlywed bliss to paranoia and madness as her husband’s obsession with the mill grows from ambition to utter obsession. She begins to notice disappearances, undergoes horrible miscarriages, and starts to see that the new mill is the start of something more sinister.
In 1851, newly orphaned Roan arrives at Mill House along with two other wards. It becomes apparent that Roan is not a typical seventeen year old girl, and houses dark secrets that she cannot share with others. The other two wards are an Irish brother and sister who have been brought to Mill House, and away from the impoverished lives that they had lived in North Ireland. Roan, who has spent her entire life isolated from most of the world slowly learns to love and appreciate the people in Mill House who have become more of a family than the one she had back in London. As Roan begins to open up, she also begins to dream, and knows that Mill House and the mountain that it was built into is much more than it seems. Roan’s story becomes the backbone of this book.
Zooey lives in modern day England, and ever since her father succumbed to madness while investigating Medwyn Mill House, she has become obsessed with figuring out what happened to him while he was there. She, along with her friend Poulton, run away from home with their cameras and set out to find the answers that she desperately seeks, at all costs. It becomes readily apparent that there is something off about the mansion, and there are much heavier things at play. Her story is told through journaling and camera footage, as Zooey feels that she can only see the truth if it is photographed.
Teeth in the Mist is an excellent gothic horror story. It has all of the elements that make for a great rainy day read/ listen. Without a doubt, there is A LOT to pay attention to and unpack, but both the written and audio versions of this story carry it out in lush detail. I ended up with both the written and audio versions because I wanted to continue the story, but audiobooks don’t really work when screaming toddlers and Daniel Tiger are my backgrount noise. Hence, the written book. I am honestly so glad that I got to read/ listen to both of them, because they both tell the story wonderfully in their own way.
The book is written with heavy emphasis to denote moods and actions. Knocking on doors becomes LOUD, LOUDER, LOUDEST. This style is reminiscent of the oh-so-popular 90’s sleepover favorite “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark”. The different narrators have different styles of text as well. Some of it is written in reverse, some in journal format, and there are various symbols drawn on the pages.
This is a tough book to translate to audio. There is so much going on in the text, but the production of the audiobook does the book justice. With a full cast complete with sound effects, the storytelling becomes very immersive. To be honest, the audio kind of reminds me of the serial shows that used to be on radio. It is a very difficult book to stop listening to once you have started.
My favorite character in this book is the the mountain where much of the story takes place. The mountain is given life whenever it is described. It feels, it breathes, it acts, and it thinks. This is no mere allusion saying that this mountain is “like” a character; no, the mountain is definitely a character, and the mystery in this story is figuring out what the mountain is, as well as what it wants. The environment is a huge element in this story, and it always accompanied with the sensation of feeling unsettled, or creeping dread. In fact, I would say that the overall tone of this book left me feeling like there was an impending doom, or undoing for the characters in this book.
My biggest concern with this book is whether or not it will get a sequel. The ending overall seemed anti -climactic to all of the buildup. This story was unique, and very well told. However there are so many loose threads that I have trouble believing that the author had planned on this book being a stand alone. And for my sake, I really hope that’s true.
4 out of 5 Big Mills
You can purchase Teeth in the Mist in both audio and written format through Amazon/ Audible here: