Thursday, September 3, 2015

ARC Review: The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

Title: The Girl from the Well (The Girl from the Well, #1)
Author: Rin Chupeco
Published: April 5th 2014 by Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult
Rating: 4 Stars
I am where dead children go.

Okiku is a lonely soul. She has wandered the world for centuries, freeing the spirits of the murdered-dead. Once a victim herself, she now takes the lives of killers with the vengeance they're due. But releasing innocent ghosts from their ethereal tethers does not bring Okiku peace. Still she drifts on.

Such is her existence, until she meets Tark. Evil writhes beneath the moody teen's skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. While his neighbors fear him, Okiku knows the boy is not a monster. Tark needs to be freed from the malevolence that clings to him. There's just one problem: if the demon dies, so does its host.

My Thoughts
Recently I've developed a love for Asian horror stories and movies. So when I found The Girl from the Well on NetGalley which is based on the Japanese ghost legend of Okiku I was very happy.

The legend varies a bit but in each version poor Okiku ends up dead in a well, having been murdered. The Girl from the Well takes place over 300 years after her death as she roams around the world killing those that have taken the lives of children and boy is it gruesome when she gets to work. Even with those scenes you can't help but come to love Okiku and understand how her spirit could end up that way and after she finds Tarquin you get to see the other side of her, more of what her human side was.

Overall, I really loved The Girl from the Well. It was both scary and beautiful and part of the book was spent in Japan which was interesting. Chupeco's writing kept me glued to my e-reader and I'm excited to find out what happens in the next book. So if you enjoy a creepy ghost story or legend then you should check this one out!

About the Author
Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She's been a technical writer and travel blogger, but now makes things up for a living.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Book Spotlight + Giveaway: The Suffering by Rin Chupeco

Title: The Suffering (The Girl from the Well, #2)
Author: Rin Chupeco
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Breathtaking and haunting, Rin Chupeco’s second novel is a chilling companion to her debut, The Girl from the Well.
The darkness will find you.
Seventeen-year-old Tark knows what it is to be powerless. But Okiku changed that. A restless spirit who ended life as a victim and started death as an avenger, she’s groomed Tark to destroy the wicked. But when darkness pulls them deep into Aokigahara, known as Japan’s suicide forest, Okiku’s justice becomes blurred, and Tark is the one who will pay the price…

Praise for The Suffering:

"Rin Chupeco's The Suffering is a horror lover's dream: murders, possessed dolls, and desiccated corpses. I cringed. I grimaced. You won't soon forget this exorcist and his vengeful water ghost."
--Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood

“Chupeco deftly combines ancient mysticism with contemporary dilemmas that teens face, immersing readers in horrors both supernatural and man-made. The Suffering is a chilling swim through the murky waters of morality.” 
--Carly Anne West, author of The Bargaining and The Murmuring

About the Author:
Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She's been a technical writer and travel blogger, but now makes things up for a living.

Website | Twitter |

Excerpt from The Suffering:
It’s still early morning when our group is given clearance to enter. Aokigahara is a deceptive forest. It has all the hallmarks of a popular tourist destination: narrow but well-­maintained hiking trails with a surprising amount of litter, not to mention strips of tape and ribbon wrapped around tree trunks. The leader explains that hikers use them as markers to maintain their bearings. Later on, one of the other volunteers whispers to us that some of the tapes were left by those who came here to kill themselves, in case they decided to change their minds. The revelation horrifies Callie.
A few miles into our hike, anything resembling civilization disappears. Roots crawl across the hard forest floor, and it’s easy to trip if you’re not constantly looking down. We’re outside, but the trees make it feel claustrophobic. They reach hungrily toward the sun, fighting each other for drops of light, and this selfishness grows with the darkness as we move deeper into the woods.
It’s quiet. The silence is broken by the scuffling of feet or snapping of dry twigs as we walk. Every so often, volunteers call back and forth to each other, and rescue dogs exploring the same vicinity that we are will bark. But there are no bird calls, no sounds of scampering squirrels. We’re told that there is very little wildlife in Jukai. Nothing seems to flourish here but trees.
This deep into the woods, any roads and cleared paths are gone. At times, we’re forced to climb to a higher ledge or slide down steep slopes to proceed, and there’s always some root or rock hiding to twist an ankle.
And yet—­the forest is beautiful. I like myself too much to seriously think about suicide, even during my old bouts of depression, but I can understand why people would choose to die here. There is something noble and enduring and magnificent about the forest.
That sense of wonder disappears though, the instant I see them. There are spirits here. And the ghosts mar the peacefulness for me. They hang from branches and loiter at the base of tree trunks. Their eyes are open and their skin is gray, and they watch me as I pass. I don’t know what kind of people they were in life, but they seem faded and insignificant in death.
Okiku watches them but takes no action. These are not the people she hunts. They don’t attack us because they’re not that kind of ghosts. Most of them, I intuit, aren’t violent. The only lives they had ever been capable of taking were their own.
I’m not afraid, despite their bloated faces, contorted from the ropes they use to hang themselves or the overdose of sleeping pills they’ve taken. If anything, I feel lingering sadness. I can sympathize with their helpless anguish. These people took their own lives, hoping to find some meaning in death when they couldn’t find it in life. But there’s nothing here but regret and longing.
And there’s that tickle again, so light it is nearly imperceptible. Something in this forest attracts these deaths. It lures its unhappy victims with its strange siren’s call and then, having taken what it needs, leaves their spirits to rot. A Venus flytrap for human souls.
Something is wrong here, and suddenly, the forest no longer looks as enticing or majestic as when we arrived.

New in Paperback from this Author: The Girl From The Well
Title: The Girl from the Well (The Girl from the Well, #1)
Author: Rin Chupeco
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
The Ring meets The Exorcist in this haunting and lyrical re-imagining of the Japanese fable.
Okiku has wandered the world for hundreds of years, setting free the spirits of murdered children. Wherever there’s a monster hurting a child, her spirit is there to deliver punishment. Such is her existence, until the day she discovers a troubled American teenager named Tark and the dangerous demon that writhes beneath his skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. Tark needs to be freed, but there is one problem—if the demon dies, so does its host.
With the vigilante spirit Okiku as his guide, Tark is drawn deep into a dark world of sinister doll rituals and Shinto exorcisms that will take him far from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Japan. Can Okiku protect him from the demon within or will her presence bring more harm? The answer lies in the depths of a long-forgotten well.

Praise for The Girl from the Well:

“[A] Stephen King-like horror story.” -Kirkus Reviews           

“Told in a marvelously disjointed fashion.”  -Publishers Weekly STARRED Review                              

This gorgeously written story reads like poetry.” -Brazos Bookstore                                                                     
“Darkly mesmerizing.” -The Boston Globe

“A superior creep factor that is pervasive in every lyrical word.” -Booklist

Amazon | Barnes&Noble |

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Review: Sepherene: The Complete Chronicles by Daniel Beazley

Title: Sepherene: The Complete Chronicles (The Sepherene Chronicles, #1-4)
Author: Daniel Beazley
Published: August 9th 2015 by Daniel Beazley
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Religious, Adult
Rating: 4 Stars
In a time where religion has become no more than a convenient commodity and angels bask within their god-like existence upon the mortal planes, can Sepherene the fallen angel find the path to redemption and at what cost? She has chosen Lucius to journey with her but his past is hidden beneath a dark shroud and he carries troubles of his own. As he is drawn deeper into an ancient struggle between good and evil, will he be able to stay upon the right path or will darkness obscure the way?

The Sepherene Chronicles tell a tale of unity and righteous endeavour where the line between good and evil becomes ever more blurred. As humankind reaches out into the far corners of the universe and colonises extraordinary worlds along the way, the struggle for hope continues against overwhelming odds. With adversity lurking in every shadow, will the bond between man and angel provide the only path to survival?

I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks Daniel!

 My Thoughts 
I read the first part of The Sepherene Chronicles back in January and was blown away by Beazley's take on fallen angels. I have a hard time finding angel stories that I enjoy and these are the best that I have found. There's action and adventure, mystery and a cool futuristic setting.

There are also so many great characters besides Lucius and Sepherene including smugglers Iolaus, Shon and Cal who help them out quite a bit. Who doesn't love pirates, am I right? I especially loved the variety when it came to the fallen. We learned each one's unique history, no matter how small their part in the story.

Beazley's writing is beautiful and the descriptions of his future grand and truly creative. The fight scenes are absolutely epic with heads rolling and quite a bit of blood spilled.

Overall, Sepherene: The Complete Chronicles is a pretty serious story with wonderful characters and is a must-read for any sci-fi fan.

 Favorite Quote 

"The man's indifference had lit an anger within Lucius that he'd never been able to extinguish. As he got older, even the hard spirits and powdered spice hadn't managed to dampen the burn. His torment had always remained, even when the effects of the drug-induced oblivion wore off."

 About the Author 
Daniel Beazley was born and raised in the South West of England. He began writing in 1996 whilst spending some time in the sunny climes of Sicily. This continued periodically whilst working in the Army and then the Police; living in various parts of the country as well as overseas.
Daniel now lives with his family in the rural countryside of Devon.