Friday, July 29, 2016
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.
Review (previously posted on Goodreads):
If you have ever thought to yourself while watching a slightly clichéd but entertaining horror movie, "Wow, I wish I could *read* this slightly clichéd horror movie," then this is surely the book for you. It has many of the qualities of your average horror flick: the dialogue is pretty wooden, the characterization mostly shallow and only what is necessary to tell the story, and the plot is intriguing enough to keep your eyes glued to the screen (er, page) for a few hours.
I liked the character and backstory of Okiku, the titular avenging ghost girl from the well who is determined to punish all those who kill innocent children. But unfortunately the book is actually less about her and more about a couple of American teenagers who I just couldn't bring myself to care about very much. I also was distracted by said teenagers' very unusual names. The guy's name is Tarquin (you know, like the Roman emperor, obviously, 'cause that was one of the top baby names in 2002) and the young woman's name is Calliope Starr. There is a serial killer whose name is Quintilian Saetern, but that turns out to just be an alias... his real name is Quintilian Densmore. Good job with that alias.
There are some interesting scenes with creepy, possessed dolls and again Okiku is OK. I think she had the potential to be more than OK and a downright fascinating character if The Girl from the Well was actually about Okiku, the girl from the well. I also enjoyed learning a little about Japanese folklore. But overall, I kind of wish I'd just rewatched The Ring or The Grudge instead.