I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Night Parade by Kathryn Tanquary
Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on January 1st 2016
Number of Pages: 320
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Paranormal
Purchase: At Amazon
The last thing Saki Yamamoto wants to do for her summer vacation is trade in exciting Tokyo for the antiquated rituals and bad cell reception of her grandmother's village. Preparing for the Obon ceremony is boring. Then the local kids take an interest in Saki and she sees an opportunity for some fun, even if it means disrespecting her family's ancestral shrine on a malicious dare.
But as Saki rings the sacred bell, the darkness shifts. A death curse has been invoked... and Saki has three nights to undo it. With the help of three spirit guides and some unexpected friends, Saki must prove her worth - or say good-bye to the world of the living forever.
Saki behaved the way I’d expect a 13 year old girl to act, when dragged out into the middle of nowhere and forced to leave her friends behind. Which is to say, she was an almost unlikeable little brat. Which while realistic, wasn’t much fun to read about. Luckily, once the curse came into play, she started to grow up a bit.
I loved the kitsune the best of the three spirit guides Saki met. And I liked the tanuki the least. Which was kind of amusing because the kitsune tells Saki that everyone likes the third spirit (the tanuki) the best once they’ve met them. I didn’t dislike him, I just liked the kitsune and the tengu better.
I also really liked Saki’s grandmother. Her parents and brother didn’t speak to me one way or the other, but the grandmother made me wish we’d gotten to know more about her. The various spirits Saki meets were interesting, and I loved that there were a number of different types. From Kappa and Ogres, to objects that had been around long enough to earn themselves a soul.
I liked Saki by the end of the book, and I’m glad she managed to make a human friend. Though I do wonder what happened with her friends back in Tokyo. There was a plot thread that never did get resolved there.
There were a lot of Japanese folklore and myths that came to life in this book. Nothing I hadn’t heard of before, but I’m also a folklore addict. For those of you who aren’t, there will most likely be quite a few things new to you in this book.