You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.
A dead girl walks the streets.
She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.
And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.
Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.
Well, shit. That was a lot scarier than I had originally anticipated. I mean I was on page 4 and I was scared shitless. Page 4, people!
Japanese lore + creepy Asian ghosts = One heck of a great YA Horror book.
This book reads exactly how a horror movie plays out, a GOOD horror movie that is, with a good plot and even better scares. Reading this is seriously the equivalent of watching some of the scariest horror movies out there. I’m not exactly easy to scare either, watching horror movies from a young age has pretty much left me desensitized to scary things. But boy did this one give me the creeps.
The plot is pretty good, not anything super exceptional though. The pacing got a little slow in the middle but not really that bad, the lore and mystery around the ghosts is more than enough to keep you interested.
Speaking of which, the Japanese lore in this book is very neat. It was kind of surprising since I went in thinking this was a book all about creepy stuff and ghosts. The lore is very informative and relates to the story well, it’s also super fascinating. Probably one of my favorite aspects of the story.
People who scare easy, avoid this book. I’m telling you it is so creepy and scary that I spent three quarters of the book being terrified. But that last quarter was surprisingly emotional and touching, I loved it. It was strangely beautiful, something I was not expecting whatsoever and it was a pleasant surprise.
The writing was also perfectly creepy and really added to the overall scare-your-pants-off atmosphere. It was very descriptive, everything from Okiku’s kills to her following and watching people was explained in haunting detail. Lots of gore, lots of scares, and lots of chills. What more can you ask of a decent YA Horror book?
The ending did feel a little bit rushed though, but there’s a sequel so I can’t complain too much. Except to complain that I need the sequel now.
What I CAN complain about are the characters though. I found myself not really connecting or caring that much about them, Okiku (our ghostly narrator) was by far the most interesting and complex character. I mean she’s the vengeful 300 year old ghost right? What’s not to like?
Tark, Callie, and pretty much everyone else were pretty flat as far as characters go. They didn’t really CHANGE or DO anything except get themselves into trouble, they were just……meh. No complex characters here.
Sandra, a little girl in Callie’s 4th grade class, she can see the ghosts. She was amusing, cute, and horrifyingly creepy all at the same time! Nothing scares me more than a creepy little kid that knows more than they should, Sandra however was also cute so it helped. I liked her mostly though, even though she isn’t a major player she had more personality than Tark and Callie. She was still creepy as hell though.
So basically what this review is telling you is that a was a big wuss and was scared to death the entire time I read it.
I definitely recommend this book to anybody looking for a good scary book in time for Halloween! Or ya know….if you just like being scared (like me) then pick this book up too!