Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 272 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eGalley through NetGalley
Rating: 5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley. I really enjoy ghost stories and thought this sounded like a wonderful one. This was such an engaging story, so well done, and so hard to put down. I loved it!
Okiku is a vengeful spirit who avenges murdered children. That is until she sees Tark, there is something about Tark that grabs her attention. Tark has some sort of dark spirit looming over him. Tark’s cousin Callie is concerned about Tark and can also sense the darkness around him. The three of them get involved in a dark quest to remove a Tark’s curse.
Wow this was an incredibly gripping and engaging horror novel; I could not put this book down. Parts of this horror book are very graphic and gory, so just a heads up.
There is a lot of Japanese mythology and discussion of Japanese ghost stories in here that was fascinating. All the characters were incredibly complex and interesting. The plot was very well done and had some excellent twists and turns in it.
Okiku is a very interesting character and very much an anti-hero. She is a terribly vengeful ghost, but only to those who deserve it. In a twisted way she has her own set of noble morals.
Tark is a dark and brooding pre-teen, but he has reason to be. His mother has tried to kill him multiple times and he has a dark spirit that has loomed over him since he was very young.
Callie is a perfectly normal and well adjusted teacher’s aid, she loves teaching kids. She has been Tark’s sister more than his cousin, helping him through many dark times in his life. She gets drawn into this whole mess out of a simple need to help Tark.
The plot starts out creepy and ends creepier. There are two stories here. One is of a man who seems to be stalking Tark for unknown reasons. The second is the mystery behind Tark’s dark spirit. Woven in between these two plots is Okiku’s story. We see both into scenes from her past and the present.
The story starts from Okiku’s point of view but we also hear from Tark and Callie. The switch in points of view worked wonderfully for this book.
I absolutely loved hearing Okiku’s history and the legends surrounding her. I also really enjoyed all of the Japanese mythology throughout. The book ties everything up really nicely.
I really really loved this book. I am not a huge fan of horror books, I am too much of a wuss about being scared. However, this book had just the right amount of creepy couple with a lot of interesting Japanese mythology. The plot was absolutely engaging and made the book impossible to put down. The characters had a lot of depth and were incredibly interesting. I highly recommend this book to fans of creepy or horror-type mysteries with fantasy elements. Actually I recommend it to everyone, it was a great book.