Spirits of the Noh (The Waking Series)

Spirits of the Noh (The Waking Series)

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by Thomas Randall, Christopher Golden
     
 

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Kara Foster is finally starting to fit in at her boarding school in Japan-after all, nothing bonds you with your classmates like having an ancient demon put a curse on you. Hoping life can go back to normal now that the monster has been laid to rest, Kara joins her friends Sakura and Miho in putting on a play for the Noh drama club. It's the story of the Hannya, a

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Overview

Kara Foster is finally starting to fit in at her boarding school in Japan-after all, nothing bonds you with your classmates like having an ancient demon put a curse on you. Hoping life can go back to normal now that the monster has been laid to rest, Kara joins her friends Sakura and Miho in putting on a play for the Noh drama club. It's the story of the Hannya, a snake demon who inhabits the body of a beautiful woman. When a few members of the Noh club go missing, Kara fears that the real Hannya has been awakened by the curse. Then Miho is abducted, and Kara must find her before the Hannya exacts her terrible revenge. But the demon is wily and may be hidden in the last place anyone would think to look.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Denise Daley
Since her mother's death, Kara and her father have been living in Japan. Kara has made friends and has become good at speaking the language, but strange things are happening and people are getting hurt. Kara believes it is because of the curse that was put on her and her new friends. They are members of the Noh club at school and the club's faculty advisor has selected a dark and tragic play that features a Hannya; a woman who transforms into a demonic snake. Kara and her friends know that the spirit of the Hannya has been awakened and it is seeking revenge on them. Several members of the Noh club disappear and another one of them is found dead. Kara and her friends have heard the Hannya's hissing and have even caught glimpses of it in action. Realizing they are unable to stop it on their own, they decide to tell the truth and seek help. But will anyone believe a group of teenagers that confess to being cursed? This book is not nearly as scary as it could be, but it is still suspenseful and intriguing. As members of the Noh club disappear and Kara and her friends desperately try to find them, the action in the story builds, leading to an exciting and gruesome climax. This is book two in "The Waking" series. Reviewer: Denise Daley
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Kara, an American expat attending high school in Japan, again finds herself pitted against a demon from Japanese mythology that has come to life and is threatening her friends. Despite this inventive and intriguing premise, the narrative is often bogged down by an overabundance of explanations about the characters' motivations. Moreover, heavy-handed foreshadowing in the prologue diminishes any sense of tension as readers immediately know who and what are behind the attacks, and are merely left waiting for the characters to piece together the puzzle. Although the writing, characterization, and pacing leave something to be desired, the author's attention to cultural authenticity brings richness and texture to the story. Details of Japanese school life such as osoji, the students' daily ritual of cleaning their school, are seamlessly integrated into the narrative, and the traditions of Noh theater, so integral to the plot, are outlined with clarity and ease. Also, the beautifully described setting of Miyazu, home to one of the three most famous vistas in Japan, allows readers to expand their knowledge of the Japanese landscape beyond Tokyo. The paranormal aspects of the story and the excellent portrayal of both traditional and contemporary Japanese culture will draw in an audience, especially among manga and anime fans.—Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews

With all the twists, turns and scares of a blockbuster teen horror flick, Randall's second offering in his Waking series rockets off at a breakneck pace through lingering curses, evil spirits and lush descriptions of Japanese culture.

Gaijin Kara Harper is assimilating nicely into her Japanese school and has closely bonded with the group of friends with whom she battled a horrible demon (The Waking: Dreams of the Dead, 2009). Kara and her friends belong to the school's Noh club, and they are thrilled to be preparing the school's first performance of a Noh play about the Hannya: a chilling tale of a snake demon that possesses a beautiful woman. However, when members of the club begin disappearing, Kara and her friends quickly realize that evil has again found its way into their school. Randall provides enough back story to give new readers an adequate jumping-in point, so familiarity with the first installment is not necessary. Fans teetering on the edge of the cliffhanger ending will delight in the knowledge (and short wait) that the final volume in the trilogy is slated for later this year. Using all the usual horror elements, Randall constructs a fine teen chiller complete with mean-girl drama, a dash of romance and the angst of teens who believe that adults do not understand them.

A darkly spooky whirlwind of a read. (Horror. 13 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781599902517
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
06/07/2011
Series:
Waking Series
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
793,681
Product dimensions:
5.21(w) x 7.79(h) x 0.71(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

THOMAS RANDALL is the author of the popular children's fantasy series Adventures in Strangewood. He frequently vacations in places that exist only inside his own head.
www.thomasrandall.net

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