Read an ARC from the publisher
Content warning: gore, blood
Cat, Phillip, Faiz, Nadia, and Lin are on a trip to Japan for a destination wedding that sounds idyllic on paper: a getaway to an old mansion. One problem arises, however, when the mansion already has a bride in its walls, plus the bones of other girls buried alive. It’s hungry and it wants more blood.
The thrills and chills in this novella are incredible. While there’s not too much going on as far as plot goes, there is a richness to the attention-to-detail as far the character studies and the atmosphere goes. I can feel every disturbing detail. No stone goes unturned which makes this some of the scariest under-150 pages I’ve ever experienced.
If you want to be delighted and disgusted by a ghost story that doesn’t flinch away from the bloodier and gorier details of how it all falls apart. In addition, there is also a meta-textual level where Lin and the narrator point out how quickly the group falls into horror story tropes. You watch it unfold. You tell them that they’re on the right path. But then you wince as it goes to shit anyway. It goes to show that even if you know “the rules,” the ghost house wants what it wants, and that thing is blood and terror.