Dreams of the Dead
by Thomas Randall
Kara Foster thinks the hardest thing about moving to Japan will be fitting in as an outsider. But dark secrets are stirring at her new school. When Kara befriends Sakura, a fellow outsider whose rebellious nature sets her apart from the crowd, she learns that Sakura's sister was the victim of an unsolved murder on school grounds. And before long, terrible things begin to happen.
It starts with nightmares - strange, otherworldly dreams that wake Kara in terror every night. Then more students start turning up dead, with strange marks on their bodies. Is Sakura getting revenge on those she suspects are responsible for her sister's death? Or has her dead sister come back to take revenge for herself?
I think I should start off with telling you, dear reader, how I very much love horror stories, be it in books, tv or movies. I should also add that my favorite kind of horror stories are Asian ones. So, I might be biased in reviewing my latest read.
This story begins with Kara and her father moving to Japan after the death of Kara's mother. With the worries of attending a new school in a new country comes the eerie feeling of something not being quite right. The sudden unsolved murder/death of a student a few months before has some people on edge. Little does Kara know that the school she's attending and the people within have many secrets to hide.
I haven't read many reviews about this book because I figured someone would ruin it for me. In my opinion, I think that many people do not understand or enjoy Asian horror stories. Maybe they find it too fantasy-like or gruesome, but I love the darkness of the stories. Many of them are about revenge and I think that's a topic we tend to gloss over in our fiction. Dreams of the Dead is a quiet book and that helps the tone for suspense concerning the plot. When I say quiet, by the way, I mean that it's slow and steady in parts which helps build the thrill. I can see how some who are used to action-filled horror stories or movies might be turned off by this, but the Japanese books I've read so far do a really good job at letting the suspense build slowly. I quite enjoy it.
I wish parts of the book had been a bit more detailed and the book longer, in general. Regardless, I enjoyed it and would recommend it to any horror/suspense fan.
The book is a part of a trilogy called The Waking. Both other books are already out, but I have only been able to find the third in ebook form...which makes me very sad. If anyone knows where I can get an actual copy (if it exists) please let me know!
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