Friday, 24 February 2012

Reviewed by Jen: Oliver Twisted by J.D. Sharpe.


Product details:
Publisher: Egmont.
Release date: February 6th 2011.
Paperback, 274 pages.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Ages: 11+
Source: Received from publisher for review.
Reviewed by: Jen

“FLESH, the woe-begotten moaned at Oliver, baring teeth which were ragged and black.

“FLESH,” came another moan, and he turned to see two more woe-begottens behind. They began to shuffle towards him, barefoot – toes blue from cold, arms outstretched.

The world according to Oliver Twisted is simple. Vampyres feed on the defenceless. Orphans are sacrificed to hungry gods. And if a woe-begotten catches your scent it will hunt you for ever. When a talking corpse reveals that Oliver will find his destiny in London, he sets out to seek the truth. Even if it means losing his soul.


A long, long time ago when I was in high school my Brit. Lit. teacher tried to get me to read a book by Charles Dickens.  Let’s just say that the previous unit on Jane Austen hadn’t gone so well and there was no way on earth that I was going to even try to attempt Oliver Twist.  Besides. I already knew the story.  I’d seen the Disney movie where Oliver and his cronies were portrayed by cartoon cats and dogs who sang songs written by Billy Joel.  Isn’t that close enough? Apparently not because it seems that debut author J.D. Sharpe has accomplished the unthinkable, she has made me read and LOVE Oliver Twist!  Or at least her hellish version of it, aptly named Oliver Twisted.

Oliver Twisted is the first mash-up I have ever read and it was a blast!  This book is so much fun, even if you have never read the original (or saw the Disney movie).  Sharpe’s take on Dickens story is dark and malicious with just about every supernatural creature you can imagine thrown in for fun.  In fact, there are a few creatures that are from Sharpe’s own twisted imagination just to keep things interesting.  The plot follows the original story quite well (I know this because I checked Spark Notes), while taking on a whole new life of it’s own.  The world that Oliver Twisted lives in is filled with death and depravity due to the fact that the gates of hell have been opened and have spewed forth a mass amount of chaos on earth.  It is not until Oliver has a conversation with a talking corpse that he realizes his destiny may not have to revolve around starvation and abuse and maybe he could actually make the earth a better place.

As Oliver journeys to London he comes to the realization that he possesses a great power.  Unfortunately, it is this power that has made Oliver an invaluable asset to the Brotherhood of Fenris, an evil group of men who sacrifice children for kicks.  Throughout the book Oliver is conflicted about his true nature as Fagin, a soul stealer who has gained control over Oliver’s free will, attempts to convince him that he is indeed evil. 

Oliver Twisted is a must read for anyone who loves a good zombie, vampyre, werewolf, swamp goblin, warlock, soul stealer story.  In other words, if horror and gore are your thing, then this book is for you!!  From the first pages I was totally captivated by Oliver Twisted and could not wait to find out how it ended. The problem with that, of course, is that the story ends.  But in the author bio J.D. Sharpe says that writing horror is her calling.  I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

On a side note: I still have my original stuffed Dodger dog from the Disney store.  He’s much too cute to part with!

9 comments :

  1. LOL you are so right! I think that schools choose the worst books for teenagers to read in class sometimes! x) If only they would choose more modern novels to study, then more teenagers would read for sure! ;)

    Awesome review, Leanna! I've never read Oliver Twist either or Oliver Twisted, but if I had to choose, I would pick this one any day! It sounds SO cool! All those supernatural creatures in one mash up? Definitely going to pick this up!! :)

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  2. Whoops! I meant Jen -- oh my gosh, I'm really sorry! *smacks forehead* I'm a little ditzy today!

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  3. Fab review - I'm dying to read Oliver Twisted, I just love the idea of Oliver Twist with monsters hehe :D

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  4. These mash-ups can be really fun--glad to see you enjoyed this one! FLESH.

    And so cute that you still have your Dodger plush. :)

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  5. Lol, you checked Spark Notes! :p Spark Notes saves lives, honestly. I wouldn't get anywhere without that website. Anyway, I think you have convinced me to read this one. I've never read Oliver Twist (after Great Expectations and David Copperfield, I've been put off Dickens for life), but Oliver Twisted sounds really darkly humorous and fun, and so I think maybe a mash-up like this would make me more interested in the story! Great review, thank you :).

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  6. Jennifer Sternberg25 February 2012 at 21:34

    No worries :-)  My daughter and I totally agree with you about having kids read more interesting books in school.  That is why she is in the process of begging her reading teacher to let her class read Oliver Twisted.  Unfortunately, I don't see her winning this battle, but I'm glad she tried.  As for my students, they can't wait to get their hands on my copy :-)

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  7. Such a great review! I read this recently too and I loved it. I haven't read Oliver Twist, but this one actually made me want to pick it up! :)

    New to your blog - love the name!
    StephanieMy Latest Post|Enter my Giveaway

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  8. Great review, Jen! I'm glad you loved this one! You'll have to let me know if your daughter succeeds in her mission! :)

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  9. hahah I love this review... a tutor at uni tried to force me to read Bleak House and he got the the same reaction yours did... I am never going to read a Dickens novel.... but I really want to read this one! :D 

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