“I think this is all a mistake. Us coming here. Us being here. I think we’re going to regret it. That’s all.”
Five twenty somethings have travelled to Japan for a wedding. Most of the group have dated one another at some point and although this is supposed to be a joyous occasion, the ‘friends’ spend much of their time re-examining past wounds.
The Heian mansion where they’re staying is rumoured to be haunted. The story goes that a groom died on his way to their wedding and the bride’s response was to ask her wedding guests to bury her alive. Totally normal request. The guests obliged her because … reasons? But the story doesn’t end there; some unlucky lady is sacrificed each year to keep her company.
“Like, this feels unholy.”
I loved the concept and was really interested in exploring some Japanese folklore. Given this is a novella, I had hoped the horror would be flinging itself at me from all angles but I spent most of the read wishing the characters would stop bickering amongst themselves so ghost girl could get on with her haunting.
I anticipated feeling dread or the need to look over my shoulder. Instead, I was frustrated to be spending time with characters I couldn’t connect with and confused as to why they were choosing to spend time with one another.
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Titan Books for the opportunity to read this novella.
Once Upon a Blurb
A group of thrill-seeking friends in search of the perfect wedding venue plan to spend the night in a Heian-era mansion. Long abandoned, and unknown to them, this mansion rests on the bones of a bride, and its walls are packed with the remains of the girls sacrificed to keep her company.
Their night of food, drinks, and games quickly spirals into a nightmare, as the house welcomes its new guests. For lurking in the shadows is the ghost bride with a black smile and a hungry heart.
And she gets lonely down there in the dirt.