Find Him Where You Left Him Dead

Tor Teen. Sept. 2023. 272p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250851123.
Gr 9 Up–Four years ago, Maddy, Emerson, Dax, Owen, and Ian went into a small cave near the banks of the Ohio River. Finding a deck of cards painted with kanji, Japanese characters, the five begin to play a game. Only four of them leave the tunnel, not really remembering what happened to Ian. In the four years since, the friends have gone their separate ways, but when they begin to see Ian again, they know they need to finish the game. As they begin to play Karuta, a simple matching game, the four friends descend through a mad world filled with yokai, oni, and many terrifying elements of traditional Japanese folklore. The story is soaked in mythology, but even readers unfamiliar with it will not find this element confusing, and the characters are multifaceted in a way that makes it easy to connect with them and their situation. A very fast-paced tale that never lets up, this book is perfect for the spooky season and beyond, giving readers a new kind of horror novel that will fly off the shelves. The end hints at a sequel.
VERDICT An excellent read, and one that is unique in the young adult section.

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