by Rin Chupeco
I thought it was going to be ALL about Okiku. Thankfully it wasn’t. It was also largely Tark’s story. I honestly don’t think it would have worked as well if it had been all about Okiku 24/7. There was a good balance that really helped take the book to the next level.
I loved every. Single. Character. Ok, that’s not entirely true, I wasn’t a huge fan of Tark’s dad. He wasn’t really there, he cared, but it didn’t really seem like he did. His actions felt conflicted. (I also wasn’t a fan of the lack of parents all around.)
Tark was adorable. I felt for him. I didn’t feel super-duper connected to him or anything, but I really did sympathize with him and I really enjoyed him.
Okiku was definitely my favorite, but I feel like that was because I got to know her best out of all of them. I loved how she was used as an unreliable narrator and the way she is so conflicted. Her struggle is so beautiful and she just makes you feel all the feels.
Callie was a really cool character she was kind, strong, and independent, and really a great role model. However, she wasn’t setting standards insanely high. She was very normal and expressed human emotions and reactions to the situation like not trusting the creepy, murdering, ghost girl. Common sense folks, this girl had it. After a while I was kind of annoyed with her distrust though. Okiku had already proved she was trying to do the right thing. She’d always come through for Tark and Callie and their loved ones, she was helping souls, and the only people she hurt kind of deserved it. Yet Callie still won’t trust or believe that Okiku won’t do something crazy like posess them or murder her and Tark in their sleep. I get that she does some bad stuff but by the end we’ve pretty much established that she won’t ever hurt them. However, that may just be because I am biased and love Okiku. I do understand Callie’s distrust, I just was pretty much over it by the end, and I wanted her to be over it too.
Miscellaneous things I loved:
-Plot. It was very suspenseful and mysterious. This one is a page turner. It was a bit heavy, but I still wanted to devour it.
–Revealing. The mystery was unparalleled. Chupeco did such an amazing job of dropping little hints and giving just enough information that it wasn’t confusing, but you still didn’t really know the whole picture. She didn’t reveal it all so slowly that it was painful, and it never all came out in a big section of word vomit and info dumping.
–Writing/Style. The feeling of the writing and just everything about it from the perspective to the style was cool and creepy and intense. Not many books are written like this one let alone achieve that same chilling and suspenseful feel.
One last issue:
–The ending. I was so ready for a killer ending. I wanted it to be resolved but I wanted my heart to still be racing by the end. I wanted to be holding my breath and to have my heart twisted. None of that happened. It was resolved, but maybe a little too much so. It was like everyone, or almost everyone rode off into the Disney sunset and all was right with the world again. It wasn’t a bad ending, I just wanted it to be a bit more gritty, and more bittersweet after all I went through to get there. There was such build up then it just ended.
Last Thoughts: This book may or may not have claimed my soul. It was one of the creepiest and most successfully suspenseful and mysterious books I’ve read. Tastefully freaky, it will get under your skin and once it does, there is no stopping until you’ve read every word.
Four and a half or five stars, I can’t decide. Either way it receives my highest recommendation and my utmost devotion. 😉