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Publisher's Summary

Cassandra Khaw's Nothing but Blackened Teeth is a gorgeously creepy haunted house tale, steeped in Japanese folklore and full of devastating twists.

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 venue for a group of thrill-seeking friends, brought back together to celebrate a wedding. 

A night of food, drinks, and games quickly spirals into a nightmare as secrets get dragged out and relationships are tested. 

But the house has secrets too. 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. 

Effortlessly taking the classic haunted house story and turning it on its head, Nothing but Blackened Teeth is a sharp and devastating exploration of grief, the parasitic nature of relationships, and the consequences of our actions. 

A Macmillan Audio production from Tor Nightfire

©2021 Cassandra Khaw (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

An Indie Next Pick!

An October LibraryReads Pick!

A Most Anticipated Read on Goodreads, Tor.com, Crime Reads, BookRiot, and The Nerd Daily 

“Khaw’s prose oozes dread.... Horror readers and folklore fans will find this tale of terror to be brutally satisfying.” (Publishers Weekly) 

"Readers looking for bite-size horror on a stormy night will appreciate Khaw’s twisted tale.” (BookPage)

“If Guillermo del Toro directed The Ring, it might play out something like this engaging thriller. Japanese mythological creatures come to life in this dynamic, unique tale that will satisfy horror readers eager for fresh blood.” (Booklist)

Featured Article: These Authors of Color Are Revolutionizing Horror—Listen If You Dare!


Fortunately, authors of color have revolutionized horror, enriching it with their voices and gifts of great storytelling while using the conventions of the genre to unpack the traumas of racism, sexism, classism, and more. The writers collected here are game changers, their mastery of the craft extraordinary. Whether you’re listening at home or on the go, you might want to make sure the area is brightly lit...and that there’s nothing lurking in the shadows.

What listeners say about Nothing but Blackened Teeth

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

overly ornate prose smothers story

I'm sure some people will find the needlessly baroque writing hypnotic. However I found it cumbersome and distracting and repetitive. worse it didn't allow for tension to build and kept what should have been a scary intense story from being either scary or intense. The narrator did their best and I'd say preformed the story well but overall I'm left feeling very blah rather than chilled.

3 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

Not to beat a dead horse but the other reviewers have it: unnecessarily verbose. But, I also couldn’t really get into the narration either. She seems to try to differentiate between the characters voices but it vacillates mostly between dudebro and valley-girl. I found it very hard to listen to and I often struggled to tell who the characters even were. If there was a scary point I missed it.

2 people found this helpful

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Writing is pretentious

An interesting premise lost in ridiculously flowery writing. When every single thing from a smile to each and every inanimate object is described in poetic detail the writing begins to feel heavy and pretentious. This was a tedious listen that I would not recommend wasting a credit on.

2 people found this helpful

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Too short

Too short! The story had enough meat to expand into a really good read. It left too many unanswered questions. I would have liked to get more insight into each character; it felt like we only saw a surface glimpse into who they were.

2 people found this helpful

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Don’t waste a credit on this

Not what I was expecting. Japanese words were butchered. Would not recommend. I wish I didn’t spend a credit on this.

2 people found this helpful

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Terrible

Terrible story. Not put together well. Should of also explained some of the Japanese words used.

1 person found this helpful

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Pretentious prose combined with childish character

This was difficult to listen to. The narrator is fine for the most part though sometimes she speaks a bit too fast which destroys what little atmosphere the writer is able to create.

The problem is the writing itself. It's so dense with metaphor and pretentious that the actual story drowns under it. Unfortunately the story itself isn't great either, since it comes down to a group of childish, insecure people who have all dated each other in a haunted house.

The author isn't great a setting the scene either. A fifth of the way through the story and I've been treated to excessive and repetitive metaphor laden descriptions of the characters in all their insecure, petty, childishness, but still have no idea what this old Japanese mansion actually looks like, or what time of day it is, or even how these four people got there. First calls tickets, yeah, okay, but how did they get there from the airport, apparently separately only to arrive at the house at the same time? It's a basic lack of scene setting that makes the whole story feel unmoored.

If that's not bad enough, the premise is silly. The narrator spends this whole bit thinking about how all these girls were buried alive within the walls of this house to keep it standing with their bones as though it isn't common sense that a rotting body inside a building would have the exact opposite effect.

In other words, the story is dumb and doesn't realize how dumb it is. And even if it wasn't dumb, at only two and half hours long, it's not worth a credit. That's expensive for so little entertainment.

1 person found this helpful

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This was not scary. I struggled to stay awake..

The Narrator was very sleepy talking not creepy, at all. the story was not was the tid bit sounded like. it sounded better just from that lil bit, I read so I wanted this book. I struggled to stay awake for the whole book it felt like forever...I finally finished it out in 4 days, not a book I would share.

1 person found this helpful

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loved it

a ghost story but completely aware of tropes and playing with them.

I wish it had been a little longer as the ending felt a little rushed honestly but otherwise fantastic

1 person found this helpful

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Tries too hard to be meta, really flops in the end

Characters are so self aware of being in a horror situation that it really takes away from the fact that I should take the book seriously. It tries so hard to be like the movie Cabin in the Woods and absolutely does not succeed.

It really just reads off as someone who is very into Japanese mythology and figured that it would make it more interesting to include them. This leads to my biggest flaw to this book; Do not mention a yokai by name without a description about it. I've got a general idea of what most of the yokai mentioned are, but for anyone who doesn't, or for a very niche yokai, naming it means nothing but hitting a character limit... Most of the story itself is just arguments and drama between the main characters, who are very hard to distinguish from one another. I don't think anything really happened until half way through.

Overall, the performance of Suehyla El-Attar is really well done. If the book were written better, I'd say it would be a great performance. There's a lot of "fucking fucks" in the dialogue and, although I get it's realistic of a 20-something's vocabulary, it really came off as a shit attempt at trying to be edgy on top of the horror trope self-awareness.

I'm very hesitant to take any more reading suggestions from TikTok, as they're becoming more and more obviously promoted by the publishers.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-29-21

not as good as I though it be

not as good as I though it be
not very scary kinda got board of it