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The Waking: Dreams of the Dead by Thomas…
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The Waking: Dreams of the Dead (edition 2010)

by Thomas Randall (Author)

Series: The Waking (1)

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896268,074 (3.92)3
After her mother dies, sixteen-year-old Kara and her father move to Japan, where he teaches and she attends school, but she is haunted by a series of frightening nightmares and deaths that might be revenge--or something worse.
Member:TPA_Library
Title:The Waking: Dreams of the Dead
Authors:Thomas Randall (Author)
Info:Bloomsbury USA Childrens (2010), Edition: Second, 304 pages
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Dreams of the Dead by Thomas Randall

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
It's seriously creepy but so enticing that it's hard to put down. (Though if you scare easily I would suggest reading it only when it's light out). Good writing style and a wonderful plot with twists. If you like horror, suspense and anything Japanese, I would definitely suggest picking up this book. ( )
  TheBigNerd | Nov 21, 2012 |
Reviewed by Ashley B for TeensReadToo.com

Kara Foster and her father just moved to Japan to follow their dreams after the death of Kara's mother. She is the American girl, an outsider. Then she meets Sakura, another outsider at the private school.

Sakura is haunted by her sister's death that happened during the previous school year. Then, Kara starts having nightmares. Other students turn up dead. But who is killing them?

The story went on pretty slow from the start. Being a supernatural book, I was confused about it until it really picked up the pace, which was actually not until the last few chapters. That being said, I wish the book had been paced differently to make it more interesting.

However, I was interested in the Japanese culture included in the story. I enjoyed the characters, though sometimes I did not understand Kara. DREAMS OF THE DEAD ended on a cliffhanger that intrigued me enough to want to know what will happen in the next book in the series. ( )
  GeniusJen | Dec 4, 2009 |
I found out about The Waking: Dreams of the Dead through Lenore who had a Bloomsbury contest going on, which I was lucky enough to win. Before I found out about that, and the second I saw the book in the contest post, it was put into my TBR pile. The book sounded interesting to begin with, and then I went to the site to read the prologue, and that first sentence of the prologue coupled with the end of it, dragged me in completely.

“Akane Murakami died for a boy she did not love.”
The Waking:Dreams of the Dead, Prologue

“The whole of Miyazu Bay seemed comprised of her tears. Even the sky wept as she died.
For a boy she did not love.”
The Waking:Dreams of the Dead, Prologue

The prologue of Dreams of the Dead was one of the best and most intriguing, vividly detailed, introduction chapters I have ever read, not to mention tremendously heartbreaking. That very first sentence is what pulled me into Dreams of the Dead, and the imagary, culture and folklore is what kept me until the very end. Dreams of the Dead was amazing, simple as that.

The plot is original, the characters are likable (or not likable, depending on who you’re talking about…), and there’s so much Japanese culture. I loved learning about the schools and customs that are used there that resemble nothing we have in the US. As well as the lore and beliefs about the dead that the Japanese have. The only problem with learning these things however, is that I have no outside personal knowledge of any of those things, so I have to take the authors word for it, unless I want a couple hours of research ahead of me!

Not to mention, it’s scary. Not ‘OMG gonna pee myself’ scary, but ‘holy mother of baby Jesus what is going on’ scary. And Thomas’ vivid descriptions of everything just intensifies that ten fold. I’ve heard a few reviews say that the book was slow for them, and might be for major horror fans, but it wasn’t for me. Not even a little bit. It was gripping and thrilling, and I read the entire thing in one whole sitting. I did stop to eat dinner, but the entire time, I was sitting there thinking about what happened next, I didn’t even finish eating, I wanted to get back to reading it so badly!

A few of the names and places in the book are slightly confusing to me, which is why it’s rating is lacking 1/2 a star. I remember a few times Thomas would mention something, and the only thing that would go through my mind was “what in the world is he talking about?” Which I would then have to look up the words for, but it doesn’t hinder the story very much, even if you don’t want to look up the words, it’s very easy to move on from them without it effecting the story at all.

I LOVED the twist in the plot as we got nearer to the end and figuring out who or rather what was tormenting Kara, her friends, and the school! I did not expect it to turn out the way that it did, but when it did turn out that way I loved learning about it! And that is all I can say about the matter, because even with that I’m on the verge of giving something away!

Overall it was an incredible book, bursting at the seems with Japanese culture, folklore, a great plot, original settings and wonderful characters. I really cannot wait for the sequel The Waking: Spirits of the Noh out in May of 2010! ( )
  annamariie | Nov 21, 2009 |
Kara and her father are spending her junior year of high school at a prestigious private high school in Japan. Moving to Japan had been something they’d worked for since even before Kara’s mom died in a car accident, but Japan is not all that she expected. The Japanese customs are difficult to remember, even when Kara constantly reminds herself of them, and some of her classmates are not at all friendly to the gaijin—the foreign girl. Even scarier is the fact that just several months ago a girl was murdered on the slopes behind the school, and no one has found the killers yet.

One of Kara’s only friends at school, Sakura, happens to be the dead girl’s sister, and when strange things begin to happen—Kara and others begin to have frightening nightmares, students begin dying in eerie ways—Kara suspects that Sakura may have something to do with the deaths. Is Sakura taking revenge for her sister on her sister’s killers, or has the dead girl actually come back to finish the deeds herself?

DREAMS OF THE DEAD is a well-written novel that combines the fascinating ways of Japanese life with your typical horror story. It may satisfy young horror fans’ appetite for creepiness, but others may find it difficult to stay engaged with the slow-moving plot.

Perhaps most brilliant about this book are its endless depictions of Japanese customs. Either the author has done his research well, or he has actually lived in Japan before, because we truly get to experience Kara’s discomforts, difficulties, and simultaneous fascination with Japan. The author makes us always aware of the language his characters are speaking even though everything is written in English, and reading DREAMS OF THE DEAD was like effortlessly taking a semester abroad in Japan.

The slow plot often hinders the horror component of this book. Much remains a mystery as Kara experiences her nightmares and is forced to observe her classmates’ deaths, and while this was suspenseful at first, it quickly grew too prolonged to hold my attention. Honestly, not enough interesting and horrifying things happen to justify the number of pages it takes to get to the sadly rushed ending.

That being said, there aren’t that many straightforward, classic horror stories anymore, and so DREAMS OF THE DEAD fills a welcome deficient spot in the YA genre. Pick this up to experience a slightly creepy story in a fascinating foreign world; it’ll make you want to move to Japan yourself—though not for the horror part. ( )
  stephxsu | Sep 28, 2009 |
The Waking: Dreams of the Dead is a fascinating book. Take your typical teenage girl and transport her to an exclusive Japanese school where a still unsolved murder has recently taken place. She becomes friends with the murdered girl's sister, whose grief and anger has caused an old Japanese legend to come to life. A fantastic story! ( )
  ZareksMom | Sep 22, 2009 |
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For Fiddlesticks best friend, Allie Costa
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Akane Murakami died for a boy she did not love.
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"Thomas Randall" is a pseudonym for "Christopher Golden"
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After her mother dies, sixteen-year-old Kara and her father move to Japan, where he teaches and she attends school, but she is haunted by a series of frightening nightmares and deaths that might be revenge--or something worse.

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