I Needed a Nightlight After Reading The Suffering by Rin Chupeco
The Girl from the Well #2
Publication Date: September 8, 2015
Genre: YA Horror
Over the last year I've gone against faceless women, disfigured spirits, and grotesque revenants. Some people keep dangerous hobbies; skydiving and driving at monster truck rallies and glacier surfing. Me? I cast my soul into the churning waters of potential damnation and wait for a bite.
It’s been two years since Tark Halloway’s nightmare ended. Free from the evil spirit that haunted him all his life, he now aids the ghostly Okiku and avenges the souls of innocent children by hunting down their murderers. But when Okiku becomes responsible for a death at his high school, Tark begins to wonder if they’re no better than the killers they seek out.
When an old friend disappears in Aokigahara, Japan’s infamous ‘suicide forest’, both must resolve their differences and return to that country of secrets to find her.
Because there is a strange village inside Aokigahara, a village people claim does not exist. A village where strange things lie waiting.
A village with old ghosts and an ancient evil – one that may be stronger than even Okiku…
Review copy provided by Sourcebooks thru NetGalley
When the story opened and I read the first few paragraphs, I was surprised. I expected Okiku's point of view. It was jolting at first since I expected Okiku's narration. I was used to her mind, the way she thought, the bizarre way she views the world... It took some time to get used to Tarquin's voice.
I also worried about the fact that the books seemed to be following a path I've seen before in YA horror books. Typical, mundane, predictable. Even though Tark was possessed by a girl, who reminded of a certain other girl who crawled out from a well, and was hunting bad people with the ghosts of the children they murdered clinging to them, I thought I was going to be resigned to the fact that I wouldn't be as scared and fascinated as I was with the first book.
I was wrong. It just took for Tark to visit Japan's famed 'suicide forest' on a rescue mission.
I first Aokigahara when my friend asked me if I was familiar with the place given that my master's degree focused on Japan. I was embarrassed to admit that I didn't know of the place. I researched like hell after she mentioned it to me. Aokigahara might be a scary place but the pictures were breathtaking. I can only imagine, just like what was in the books says, that the unearthly beauty of the forest is what draws people there.
Despite the beginning, The Suffering delivered the ghost story I wanted and at par with what I loved in the first book, The Girl in the Well. The stakes may not be as high or as personal (in my opinion, though the last chapters were) as the first, but as spine-chilling as ever.
I may need that nightlight.
I've been doing some calculations and if Hiroshi Mikage established Aitou village in the mid-1800s and The Suffering is set in the present day... When does that leave Kagura's father? Was Mikage just long-lived? Was the village in some kind of time-dilation?