Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco


I picked up a few creepy tales from B&N a few weeks ago and finally managed to read one of them. I'll confess I've been starting books, then picking up another one, over and over this month so far and not making progress on too many of them. Super restless reading-wise this month. However, I stuck with this and after a few "I'm not so sure about this one" moments, it clicked and wow, this was a great read. Just enough spooky to make you sit up and take notice, but not so much that you can't sleep at night. At least, for me it wasn't so scary. 

This novel is actually the first in a series about Okiku, a three hundred-year old spirit of a young woman who was brutally murdered in Japan. She was tortured, then tossed down a well, breaking her neck. She died upside down. So now, she spends a lot of time upside down, hanging from ceilings. She can look pretty gruesome, too. But sometimes she reverts back to what she looked like as a servant girl all those years ago. Her mission is to seek and destroy (yes, kill) people who murder children. She's pretty brutal about it, too. These serial killers carry the souls of those children with them--literally these souls are chained to these people (who are completely unaware of them). But Okiku can see them, and the only way to free those poor souls is to kill the horrible person who keeps them trapped. 

So, Okiku has been doing this for hundreds of years. Now she's taken an interest in Tark, a young teen boy who moves to a new community with his father. Tark has something strange about him--he has black tattoos covering his arms, chest and back. These tattoos look like they move, which is a bit freaky. Tark's mother gave those tattoos to him when he was five years old, and they are a symbol of something truly horrible living in Tark and trying to get out. Okiku sees what that horrible creature is, and is strong enough to defend Tark against it, but a final showdown can only come about if Tark and his father travel to a special shrine in Japan and undergo a dangerous ritual. 

Tark's cousin Callie can see Okiku, too. Freaked out a bit by her, but eventually gets a little more comfortable once she understands Okiku is there to protect Tark. Callie joins Tark in Japan and together they uncover the story of Okiku and the horrible spirit that lives inside Tark and is desperate to be free and kill, kill, kill. 

Sounds dark, right? It is actually a really well written story, full of Japanese mysticism, ritual, and legends. Fascinating look at how other cultures deal with death, spirits, and the afterworld. Okiku is even referenced as the inspiration for the movie The Ring. Her story continues in the next novel: The Suffering

This novel was published in 2015, so it's not new. Wow, it really was a gripping read. If you're easily queasy, don't read it. It's not super gory, but it has some moments. I'd read more of Rin Chupeco's novels any day. 

Rating: 5/6 for a truly creepy read, based in Japanese folklore and mysticism. Took me a bit to get into it, but BAM! it suddenly became unputdownable and I got completely sucked into it. 

Available in paperback, ebook, and audio.

**“As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made through links on this site.**

No comments :

Post a Comment