Author: Rin Chupeco
Series: The Girl from the Well, #2
**I received a copy of this book through NetGalley which does not affect my review **
It’s been two years since a dark spirit was exorcised from Tark Halloway. Okiku, the ghost girl who protected him, has been his constant companion ever since and together they’ve been putting a stop to those who’ve taken the lives of innocents. But Okiku’s nature is hard to temper and as much as Tark feels connected to her, the powerful spirit sometimes has plans of her own. When Tark receives a message from Japan that a friend has disappeared while aiding a team of ghost hunters, he and Okiku return to the place that holds so many dark memories to save her.
Rin Chupeco’s The Suffering takes the horrors of The Girl from the Well and multiplies them tenfold. From decomposing murder victims that cling to their perpetrators to bone-chilling exorcisms, this novel is sure to frighten. The opening scene of the novel had me contemplating the wisdom of beginning the novel at night. I don’t scare easily, but Chupeco’s horrifying scenarios will have me avoiding dolls for the rest of my life. The history surrounding the Aokigahara forest where Tark’s friend goes missing has its roots in truth, making the setting for this novel all the more chilling.
Since Tark spent most of the first book in Japan, haunted by an evil spirit, it was nice at the beginning to see Tark at school, surrounded by his peers. However, I found most of the minor characters to be clichéd. Dumb jocks abounded and while some of the cheerleaders were revealed to be more than empty-headed groupies, they still lacked enough personality and their own storylines to be relevant.
There’s a real struggle between Tark and Okiku, especially when it comes to who they should be allowed to exercise justice against. Several ethical questions come up for Tark, but there is one moment at the beginning of the novel that I felt needed to be explored more. He is faced with the reality that these murderers aren’t like the evil spirits he exorcises, but people. As noble as Tark and Okiku’s work is, neither deeply questions whether it is their place to hand out punishment and I felt this needed to be explored.
There is also an ongoing book giveaway for The Suffering that you can enter here if you are interested: a Rafflecopter giveaway