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The Night Parade Hardcover – January 5, 2016
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From School Library Journal
"[A] marvelous original debut novel, inspired by Japanese mythology and spookily reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's terrifying "Coraline."" - The Buffalo News
"A suspenseful middle-grade fantasy debut evocative of Neil Gaiman's Coraline and classic films like Jim Henson's Labyrinth and Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away...This dark adventure serves as a terrific introduction to Japanese legends, with the weird and wondrous on full display.
" - Shelf Awareness
"An entertaining mix of Japanese folklore and teen angst" - School Library Journal
"This adventurous story perfectly mixes Saki's tech-savvy tendencies with ancient Japanese customs, nicely illustrating the connections between the past and the present." - Bookish.com
"Tanquary excels at creating a world where both Japanese beliefs and cosmic mythology are real and co-exist" - TeenReads
"This has significant shades of Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away, and it will appeal especially to readers with an interest in adventure stories and Japanese folklore." - Booklist
"This story will be a hit for those who are fans of The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, with its interesting characters and creative plot" - School Library Connection
Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately this book was not for me. It held a lot of promise from the blurb and cover… but I found it a rather slow paced and long winded tale that took a long time to actually get on with the story.
To give it to the book some positives – as it deserves them – I did love the setting, story concept and plot. It was well written and painted a vivid picture for the reader. It was just a slow read for me.
I do wonder if the fault lay with this particular reader? As much as I enjoy YA work… perhaps this was a little too young for me and that is where the main fault lies? Then again, I can’t see my almost eleven year old enjoying the book either as the paces was very slow and I feel she would grow bored of it and not finish. I could be wrong, but to me the slow pace really killed it for me.
From the amount of positive reviews others have given this book, I really do feel I just didn’t gel with it as much as I hoped and do hope others get more out of it if they choose to read it.
Would I recommend this book to others? Possibly. Because of the unique setting and theme I know a lot of young girls my eldest daughter’s age who might like to give it a read as they enjoy a lot of the old Japanese tales. But I would worry they would give up half-way through as it takes so long to get anywhere… so not too sure.
Would I buy this book for myself? Sadly no. It held a lot more promise than what it actually delivered. I commend the author and publisher for producing such a unique tale… I just wish it wasn’t so sluggish in its pace.
In summary: A well written, if not slow paced story. Possibly better suited for a younger mind as the setting, plot and descriptions deserve a big thumbs up. This book was just not for me.
Saki behaved the way I’d expect a 13 year old girl to act, when dragged out into the middle of nowhere and forced to leave her friends behind. Which is to say, she was an almost unlikeable little brat. Which while realistic, wasn’t much fun to read about. Luckily, once the curse came into play, she started to grow up a bit.
I loved the kitsune the best of the three spirit guides Saki met. And I liked the tanuki the least. Which was kind of amusing because the kitsune tells Saki that everyone likes the third spirit (the tanuki) the best once they’ve met them. I didn’t dislike him, I just liked the kitsune and the tengu better.
I also really liked Saki’s grandmother. Her parents and brother didn’t speak to me one way or the other, but the grandmother made me wish we’d gotten to know more about her. The various spirits Saki meets were interesting, and I loved that there were a number of different types. From Kappa and Ogres, to objects that had been around long enough to earn themselves a soul.
I liked Saki by the end of the book, and I’m glad she managed to make a human friend. Though I do wonder what happened with her friends back in Tokyo. There was a plot thread that never did get resolved there.
There were a lot of Japanese folklore and myths that came to life in this book. Nothing I hadn’t heard of before, but I’m also a folklore addict. For those of you who aren’t, there will most likely be quite a few things new to you in this book.
(cross-posted to my blog)
What I think I enjoyed most about this book is the imagination that went into it. This is something I would like to recommend to my friends' children (only because I don't yet have my own!) because it's smart and thoughtful and ultimately has a good message without feeling preachy.
Saki (middle-grade) is forced to spend several days during her precious summer vacation in the village where her grandmother lives, preparing for the annual Obon ceremony (honoring the dead), rather than with her friends in her big-city Tokyo. She is, as expected, sullen about the retreat, spending the time with her family, and being without good signal on her cell phone. Looking for any way to have some real fun during this antiquated ritual time, Saki agrees to go with several local kids (typical troublemakers) to her family's property and dishonors it in an attempt to prove both her bravery and her coolness. Saki unknowingly invokes a death cure and opens the door to the spiritual world.
In the nights that follow -- the nights of the Night Parade -- Saki is guided by various spirits, meets good and evil spirits, and learns a lot about the village, the importance of the rituals and honor, and herself.
I thought Saki was written beautifully. She is a complex character, accurately depicting that pre-teen/teen angst, apathy, anger, care, and innocence all at once. She is frustrating and endearing and ultimately tries to do the right thing. I like that the path was not easy, that things were not always what they seemed, and that little efforts made big differences, both good and bad.
The book is pretty and soft and gentle, while addressing big and hard and deep issues.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Saki did not like the fact that she had to spend her summer vacation with her parents at her grandmother's village in the mountains of Japan. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kathleen M. Lucey
I love to read , and I read fast . But it took me forever to finish this novel . The heroine isn't relatable and the story drags into oblivion . Read morePublished 1 month ago by James Reeves
I am halfway through The Night Parade now, and I am so taken with the author's lyrical writing, I'm leaving a five-star review now. It's THAT good! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Bart King
What do you think when you can't use your cell phone? Do you get mad? Saki doesn't want to visit her Grandma for the Obon ceremony. Read morePublished 3 months ago by S. Mahaffey
The book was very well written and held my interest until the very end. I would purchase this book for gifts and would love to see
it in the school libraries throughout the... Read more
See full review @ The Indigo Quill . com
Thank you to Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest... Read more
I adore the premise of this book, which the author's agent described as "Studio Ghibli-esque" (what magic words! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Colette Bennett
you people are crazy! i hav this book in hard cover and this book is really good it shows life of spirits and everything has a life so this book is awesomePublished 6 months ago by james f hubler
I received The Night Parade from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is a quick reading middle grade novel that follows Saki who, on a trip to her... Read more