Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: September 8, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in The Girl from the Well series
Source: eGalley through NetGalley.com
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I really enjoyed The Girl from the Well and was excited to see that there was going to be a sequel to that book. I got a copy of this book to review from NetGalley. This ended up being a very well done and creepy ghost story with a lot of Japanese mythology throughout. I enjoyed it a lot.
It’s been two years since we left Tark and Okiku. Tark and Okiku have continued to work together hunting down child murderers and releasing the innocent souls of the children bound to them. It’s been a solitary life for Tark but him and Okiku are very good at what they do. Then Tark receives word that one of his friends in Japan, Kagura, has gone missing. Kagura agreed to lead a TV crew from the US TV series, Ghost Hunters, to the mysterious Japanese forest of Aokigahara (also known as “suicide forest”) in search of a mysterious village rumored to exist deep in the forest.. Unfortunately neither Kagura or the crew of Ghost Hunters has returned. Tark, Okiku, and Cassie journey to Japan to search Aokigahara for this secret village and hopefully find Kagura.
The story takes a bit to get going, but once Tark gets to Japan and enters the Aokigahara forest things really get creepy and move fast. I am kind of a wuss about scary books, but although this book is creepy it never got too scary for me. It does get kind of gorey at points and there are definitely some creepy scenes, but it never gets to the point of being terrifying.
I enjoy Tark and Okiku and their interesting ghost/host relationship. They have both grown a lot since the first book and learned to work well together. Okiku is a ghost strong in water element (since she died in the water) and faces a lot of changes in this book because the ghosts of the secret village are earth-based ghosts.
There was some crazy Japanese mythology and history in here that I enjoyed a lot. The story was very engaging and interesting to read about. There is a lot of action, some mystery, and of course a lot of creepy.
My only complaint is that some of the dialogue between the characters is a bit awkward at times. There are many times where Tark and Cassie are talking or Tark and Kagura are talking where the dialogue sounds stilted or staged…it just doesn’t sound natural. I did read this as an ARC, so hopefully the final book will have dialogue that flows better.
Overall I really enjoyed this creepy supernatural horror story. I love the characters, the eerie Aokigahara forest, the creepy ghost scenes, and the action. This book is a bit gory and creepy but never totally scared me. I enjoyed the mythology and history throughout. The book is left open ended, so I could see there being future books with Tark and Okiku (although I haven’t heard of a third book being planned). I would recommend to those who enjoy creepy and somewhat gory ghost stories. If you are a fan of books with excellent creepy ghost stories for the middle grade and YA crowd I would also recommend the Lockwood and Co series by Jonathan Stroud; I like this series a lot and highly recommend it.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge