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Review: The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Girl from the Well
Rin Chupeco

Genre: YA FantasyHorrorMystery
Hardback: 267 Pages
Publication: August 5, 2014
by Sourcebooks Fire

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret - one that would just kill to get out.


Okiku was brutally murdered 300 years ago at the age of sixteen. Since then, she has preyed on people who hurt children and sent them to painful and horrific deaths. While Okiku is chasing down a serial killer, she encounters Tark Halloway, who is covered with mysterious tattoos that seal demon on his back. For the first time in 300 years, she is compelled by the desire to help somebody, and she seeks to help Tark before the seals on his body fail and to protect him from the evil that wishes him dead.

The story is told from the perspectives of three characters: Okiku, Tark, and Callie. This is made more complex with how the plotlines are interwoven with Okiku's past and the present. I like the author’s intriguing writing style and how the story shifts point of view narration not just from Callie to Tark to Okikubut also with a pronoun shift within Okiku’s own narrative.

Okiku is a very interesting character. She is a terribly vengeful ghost. Instead of wrecking havoc on the general world, however, she only punishes those who deserve it. Okiku is a child protector who takes down the evil children killers to set free the souls of all the children that these killers have victimized. I like how Okiku upholds a set of moral standards instead of wrecking havoc on the general world.

I feel for Tark. His mother tattooed the markings on his body to bind a demon to him. Since then, his mother has tried to kill him many times and has been institutionalized. Though Tark is sad, lonely, and yearns for his mother’s love despite everything she has done to him., he does not wallow self-pity. I like to see how he tries to stay strong through the rough situation he's been put in. His friend Callie, the third narrator, is sweet and so protective of Tark. I love her determination to protect and help Tark adjust to school and friends, and also to help him survive the demon that threatens his existence.

Chupeco bases her modern horror story on integrating Japanese folklore, culture, and horror elements. This is made darker through the mystery behind Tark's dark spirit and the man who stalks him. Some scenes are so terrifying and vivid that I had to sleep with the lights on. This entire book has been a rollercoaster of fear and excitement. I highly recommend The Girl from the Well to horror fans looking for a good scare.

An ARC was provided by Sourcebooks for review

Rating: 4 stars

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1 comment on "Review: The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco"
  1. Ooh, sounds really dark! Horror's not really my thing (too much of a chicken) but definitely intriguing. I feel terrible for poor Tark! Sounds like he's had a really crappy childhood and a horrible mother.


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