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DREAMS OF THE DEAD by Thomas Randall


From the Waking series, volume 1

by Thomas Randall

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59990-250-0
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Newly transplanted to Japan, 16-year-old blond-haired, blue-eyed Kara Foster is a gaijin, or outsider. Excited to start a new life in an unfamiliar country, Kara is eager to assimilate into Japanese culture, although when she is bullied by a group of popular girls she quickly learns that her new school has the same clique issues as its American counterparts. When mysterious, supernaturally tinged deaths start to occur, it becomes very clear to Kara how different this school really is, however, and soon the young gaijin finds herself embroiled in terrifying circumstances of madness and murder. Drawing upon Japanese mythology and Noh plays, Randall (a pseudonym of Christopher Golden) delivers many elements typical to teen horror movies, including such tropes as sleep-deprived students plagued by horrible nightmares, teetering on the brink of madness. While a rather mediocre horror offering that tends to rely too heavily on plot to drive its action forward, it does incorporate many elements of contemporary Japanese culture and thus may appeal to those with an interest in it, especially manga fans. (Horror. YA)