Book Review: Suicide Forest by Jeremy Bates, Horror 31/5 Black Cats
This book is about a group of friends in Japan, mostly Foreigners, who originally plan to climb Mt. Fugi but end up visiting the suicide forest instead. For those who don't know about the suicide forest, Aokigahara forest, also known as the Sea of Trees, is a forest on the northwestern flank of Japan's Mount Fuji where many Japanese go to commit suicide. Around 50 to 100 people commit suicide in the Aokigahara forest a year.
I love all things dark and creepy so this subject really interests me. Why did the Japanese people pick this forest? People who have visited there say the forest is dead silent and they feel a strange sensation. The book does a great job of capturing this in the beginning of the book. I hope to visit the forest during our second trip sometime later this year so I can experience the feeling for myself.
I really enjoyed the writing style of the author and felt everything moved smoothly and was easy to follow. I also believe the author new his subject well and believe he has probably been to Japan before. At times in the beginning of the story the author was trying a bit too hard to show his knowledge, but that dropped off once events really got started.
I continued to really enjoy this book until the end started to develop. I won't go into detail but the end went in a direction I wasn't excepting, but not in a good way for me. There are going to be people who like the ending, but it wasn't the type of ending I was hoping for. I wanted something more like the ending of the movie The Forest, something more mysterious, unexplainable even.
Even though the ending wasn't for me, do read this book, especially if you are interested in Japan and the lore of the suicide forest.