Buddy Reads & Rants: Stolen Tongues (Jonny Pongratz and Iseult Murphy)
Hello Blogging World!
I’m Iseult, and it’s really cold out here. Can I please come inside?
And I’m Jonny, lover of all things winter and spooky. Just try and scare me, I dare you!
This buddy read and rant is for Stolen Tongues by Felix Blackwell.
A romantic cabin getaway doesn’t go exactly as planned.
High up on the windswept cliffs of Pale Peak, Faye and Felix celebrate their new engagement. But soon, a chorus of ghastly noises erupts from the nearby woods: the screams of animals, the cries of children, and the mad babble of a hundred mournful voices. A dark figure looms near the windows in the dead of night, whispering to Faye. As the weather turns deadly, Felix discovers that his terrified fiancée isn’t just mumbling in her sleep – she’s whispering back.
Originally a contest-winning story on reddit.com’s horror community NoSleep, Stolen Tongues has received widespread acclaim and is now being adapted into a feature film.
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Buddy Read Book Rant:
Thanks so much for giving this book a go with me. I’ve been seeing this one all over Facebook groups lately and everyone really seems to enjoy it. What’d you think?
I’ve seen lots of people raving about this book too, and the creepy cover really drew me in. I can see why people love it. It has a real old school ghost story vibe to it, complete with lots of chilling scenes. I enjoyed reading it, but I found it disappointing overall. How about you?
Yeah, that cover is fire for sure! I agree with you on the ghost story vibe too. I had fun as well, but it got a bit repetitive and the ending was disappointing for me. What parts did you especially like?
The first night I started reading this I was home alone, and the scary wintry atmosphere of the cabin in the woods and all the greatly done chills gave me the creeps a little. Almost nothing affects me like that, so kudos to the author on that. The author also tried to include Native American folklore to an extent and I did appreciate it, though I didn’t feel it was successful in the end.
I can see why parts of the book gave you a scary vibe while you were home alone. Congrats to the author for that. There were a few scenes that I loved. Near the start of the book, there are several scenes of things surrounding the cabin and calling out to the main characters inside. I thought that really captured the nightmare feel perfectly. There is also a scene later on in the book where the main character is alone in the cabin and something is stalking him outside, and it again really tapped into nightmare imagery for me. I thought they were very effective. I also loved the story of Carrot, the parrot, who started saying ‘Knock, knock’ when no one was there. However, Carrot’s housing arrangements really concerned me!
I loved the Native American elements as well, however it led to one of my biggest rants with the book. I can’t mention the details, because spoilers, but the rules completely changed with the monster in regards to the Native American characters, and that annoyed me.
I’d love to rant about the ending as well. It didn’t work for me at all. What did you thinking of the ending?
Totally, it was pretty darn scary! It was written really well and pulls you in to where you feel like you are there.
Aw, Carrot! I loved that silly little parrot. That really was a great opening.
Oh, I agree with you on the Native American elements. The book probably could’ve done without it honestly. I just don’t think it was a fully realized idea on that front.
Of course! So I’m not gonna spoil anything, but it just didn’t work for me. It kind of betrayed the whole point of the book, and I ended up feeling like they didn’t necessarily have to go through all that they did.
Also, am I the only one who got annoyed with Faye after a while?
Haha! Her strawberry hair and emerald eyes got on my nerves (why did everyone in the book have green eyes?). I don’t think she had much of a character. We kept being told how feisty and beautiful she was, but she just seemed to be sleep walking and vomiting for much of the book. I think her family wanted to get rid of her, that’s why they sent her up to the cabin.
There were some things I liked about Felix. I liked the touches of him watching the X files, and that he had emetophobia.
There were loads of little details that kept pulling me out of the story though. Like Faye’s parents pay for them to fly out to Colorado to celebrate their engagement and then immediately send them off to a creepy cabin? Felix brings papers to correct on his first vacation in forever? What happened to their rental car they abandoned, is it still sitting in the snow outside the cabin? Will they get the security deposit back in their apartment after Faye has stained all the walls with her vomit?
You know, I didn’t notice the green eyes, but other than witty comebacks, she felt kind of devoid of personality given the setup of the horror. Haha, she vomited sooo much! After a while I got tired of her constant mood swings.
Overall, Felix was an alright character. Despite being somewhat intelligent, I felt he was kind of oblivious in spots, especially when certain family came to visit them. Oh, the emetophobia was pretty good I have to say. The way he described how it felt to him made sense.
Yeah, they had no real celebration of their engagement and it was just a dreary miserable getaway to that creepy cabin that had no wifi and a super nintendo for entertainment. I would’ve taken one look and just said take me back and let’s have a real party! I figured the car was just sitting there the whole time, but then the rental company would’ve railed Felix to give it back. So yeah, I guess it just vanished into thin air like they do hahaha!
You really bring up a lot of good points. The inconsistencies added up, and there could’ve been more variety to the scares.
Yes, I would have been out of that cabin before anything creepy even happened! Not a good way to celebrate your engagement.
It kept my interest and I read it pretty quickly. I think it’s a book that had lots of potential, but the inconsistencies, repetition, and the ending soured it for me by the time I’d finished. I’d read another book by the author though. How about you?
Couldn’t agree more. Friends and family make an engagement party more fun.
Well said. For me, despite the scares getting a bit repetitious, my dislike for Faye and certain family members, and the lame ending I still think this author has some serious potential. I liked their writing style and I’d love to give another book of theirs a try.
Thanks for reading this with me, Jonny. I love our buddy reads and rants.
Me too! I’m sure our next one will be amazing. ☺️
That’s A Wrap!
Thanks for joining us on our buddy read and rant of Stolen Tongues! We had a lot of fun, and hope you did too! We will definitely be doing some more buddy reads in the future, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, why not check out Iseult and Jonny’s other fun buddy reads?