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The Suffering Paperback – September 8, 2015

4.6 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Girl from the Well Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—In this companion novel to The Girl from the Well (Sourcebooks, 2014), the avenging ghost Okiku now resides with her human counterpart, 17-year-old Tarquin "Tark" Halloway, whom she rescued from demonic possession in the previous novel. Tark and Okiku quell unhappy, venomous ghosts that linger on Earth to kill humans and this is no easy task. Okiku frequently goes solo to dispose of human murderers she senses on Earth but also assists Tark when he is wrestling an especially cantankerous spirit. This is the case when fellow Pembrooke High classmates seek his aid. Tark agrees to exorcise an evil spirit that his inexperienced classmates have conjured. The descriptions of the murderous Japanese spirit of an old woman he eventually wrangles into a doll with Okiku's help are startlingly graphic. Part temptress, part demon Okiku is more aptly developed in this installment. Tark serves as narrator, lending a smooth transition to the couple's eerie courtship. Action evolves swiftly and neatly. The pair is eventually drawn to an isolated "suicide" forest in Japan to rescue a fellow exorcist and an American ghost-hunting TV crew. Teens will savor the vivid portrayal of ghost exorcism as well as the action-packed adventure, romance, and drama of this tale. While a stand-alone, this volume would be best appreciated after reading the first title. VERDICT An exciting, unforgettable drama that echoes Stephen King infused with Japanese culture.—Julie Shatterly, W. A. Bess Elementary School, Gastonia, NC --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"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 manmade. The Suffering is a chilling swim through the murky waters of morality." - Carly Anne West, author of The Bargaining and The Murmuring

"Teens will savor the vivid portrayal of ghost exorcism as well as the action-packed adventure, romance, and drama of this tale... An exciting, unforgettable drama that echoes Stephen King infused with Japanese culture" - School Library Journal

"The Suffering is perfect for those into indie Japanese horror games, Japanese ghost stories and folklore, or just a really good, creepy story for late on a summer night when everything is quiet except for the sound of insects outside...It would be hard to imagine a better follow-up to The Girl from the Well" - SLJ Teen Newsletter

"Chupeco's writing has only gotten better, causing even Okiku's murder scenes to be darkly poetic. Readers
will be sucked into this twisted sequel of justice and terror, and they'll likely ache for more" - Booklist

"The prose still has a darkly lyrical bent...for those readers who do like their fiction dark and creepy, this is top-shelf stuff." - VOYA Magazine

""[A] startling, impressive sequel ...offer this to ghost and horror fans who appreciate sharp intelligence woven into their narratives"
" - Bulletin of the Center For Children's Books

"The story itself is very fast paced and creepy in a way that will definitely appeal to horror fans, especially those who love the Japanese take on the genre. There are terrifying ghosts, heart-pounding scenes, and a mystery which all add up to a read that you won't want to put down " - YA Books Central

"Chupeco draws the reader in with her expertise in Japanese mythology and culture. This and The Girl From the Well are great scary reads and I highly recommend them for older teens as well as adults who are fond of the genre. " - By Hook or By Book

"Another delightfully spine-tingly novel that skillfully blends historical Japanese folklore with modern day life...The Suffering is perfect for Halloween " - The Book Smugglers --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (September 8, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1492629847
  • ISBN-13: 978-1492629849
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the second half (I can’t imagine there being more in this series, though I could be wrong) of the story begun in The Girl in the Well. That story was narrated by Okiku, the ghost of a young Japanese woman abused and murdered several centuries ago, who developed an understandable if bloodthirsty taste for stalking and destroying the abusers and killers of children. She found herself attracted to Tarquin, a half-Japanese modern teenage boy, and became his companion after helping to rid him of an evil spirit that had haunted him since childhood. The present novel is narrated by Tarquin, and his voice places the book squarely in YA territory.

The main story focuses on Tarquin and Okiku’s search for their Japanese friend Kagura, a former shrine maiden, who has vanished after accompanying an American “ghost-hunter” TV crew into the so-called Suicide Forest in search of a mysterious village that is reputed to be hidden inside it. Kagura’s folklorist father had studied the village extensively and even claimed to have seen it himself, only to disappear when he attempted to return there, so Kagura hoped to find clues about what had happened to him by guiding the crew to the village. To rescue Kagura, Tarquin and Okiku must, in turn, locate the village and uncover its dark secrets. Bracketing this story is the question of what kind of relationship Tarquin and Okiku can have, given that she is a centuries-old ghost, and how that relationship might compare with a developing one that Tarquin has with Kendele, a girl in his high school.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is my new favorite author. I loved her first book, and I couldn't believe a second book in a series could be even better than the first. She tied in so many unique elements, such as the sorrow of the suicide forest, lost ruins and lost futures of new characters along with some of the same engaging characters from the first book. I look so forward to her next book or books. The characters are great, the story is suspenseful and I could not put it down.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

A gripping and daunting sequel to The Girl from the Well. I rated a 3-star for The Girl from the Well with a comment that the premise of the story is interesting, but the writing could have been better. I'm so glad the author showed a great improvement in her writing in this sequel.

Disclaimer: I'm invited to review this e-ARC which the copy was obtained from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange of my honest review.

After I finished reading the first book in the series, I didn't plan to read the sequel actually. And my verdict for the main plot of this sequel was wrong too. I'm thrilled by what is presented to me in this sequel.

First of all, the narrator has changed. I love the narration of Tark Halloway as his narration fits the voice of a YA genre. Unlike the first book, The Suffering is able to show the character development in Tark. Even though the story started with him exorcising a ghost, throughout the story, I'm able to see his inner struggle and fear when he encounters a spirit.

In the first book, Okiku is the one who seeks avenge in children killers. Tark joins her in the journey that he thinks he is doing the right thing until Okiku killed one of the schoolmates of Tark. I personally love the conflict between Tark and Okiku, it brings me a stronger emotional attachment for them. As the story progresses, Tark clarifies his thought on his bonding with Okiku which I found amusing and unusual.

The pace of the story is quite steady even though not much excitement in the first part. The whole atmosphere becomes tense and gruesome after Tark steps into the Aokigahara Forest. Every single scene is spooky and terrifying.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Best light reading book that I have read for a while. It has all the elements of fun reading. Romance (sort of), mystery, supernatural, and folklore. Everything one can ask for to escape from the mundane of life. Cannot wait to see what Rin is going to produce next.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved The Girl from the Well, but I may love The Suffering even more! I fell in love with the characters even more this time, and the humor was also great. Such a great story and Rin Chupeco is such a wonderful writer. I was engaged from the beginning to the end. Such a fun read and when I was done I was wishing for more.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I struggled through the first book and when I found out there was a second book I was hesitant to buy it but I decided to give it a try. I really liked the story and I liked that it was written from Tarks point of view and not Okikus so there isn't any of the counting that I found distracting in the first book. All in all I think it was a good read I'm glad I gave it a chance.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A story highlighting the extent to which people can go for power.

Opening Sentence: I’m no hero, believe me.

The Review:

This book was longer than it needed to be. As much as I love an author who knows what they’re talking about, I felt there was too much world-building than was necessary for this book. In fact, I just realised that this was the second book in this series so why it needed so much backlog I don’t know. It helped towards the beginning since there was a lot of Chinese and Japanese storytelling/myths involved, but towards the middle I began skimming through it, which doesn’t bode well in terms of enjoying the book. The names in particular confused me as I had a hard time matching the names in the diaries to the families and houses in the village and the associated dolls/ghosts.

Finding out about other cultures and their histories is always a good experience for me. So although there were definitely pieces to the sacrificial rituals that made me cringe, overall it was a brilliant concept, especially if there’s some truth to it. I can’t imagine what the villagers went through who were involved in such a drastic ploy for power, but when Tark found the village in the forest, I could see the beginnings of a horror movie panning out.

I liked but didn’t love Tark’s relationship with Okiku. I’ve read a couple of books recently based between a human and a spirit/ghost and this wasn’t necessarily the worst but there was something missing. I can’t get my head around the practicality of their bond in the long term, but that’s a cynic’s take on romance. Personally, their relationship was more habitual than romantic.
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