Title: Suicide Forest
Author: Jeremy Bates
Publisher: Ghillinnein Books (2014)
I’ve had this book on my shelf for a while now, and I was saving it specially for an creepy October read! I’m glad that I waited, I think this book made perfect October reading and I’m glad I picked it up!
This book is set in the real life place of Aokigahara forest in Japan. This sprawling forest is at the base of mount Fuji and is known as ‘suicide forest’ due to the high volumes of people that take their lives within the trees. It is rumoured to be a chilling and haunting place. You can immediately see why this is a great place for a scary novel to be set!
In suicide forest, a group of friends have to delay their climb up mount Fuji due to bad weather, and when they meet Nina and Ben who are going to camp in Aokigahara forest, they decide to join them. They enter the forest to explore and camp, but they get more than they bargained for!
My favourite thing about this book is the atmosphere – Jeremy Bates has created an amazing, tense and chilling feeling within the book and I had an overwhelming sense of foreboding while reading. Knowing that the setting is a real place also adds to the creepy element!
The plot was a little slow to begin with, and I didn’t love all of the character flashbacks, but things really did pick up once I was a few chapters in and I whizzed through the book in just a few days. The ending had a great twist – very unexpected!
This felt like a character based novel – each person really felt like they belonged in the story and the dialogue and interactions within the group made it very genuine and believable.
Overall, this was a 4 star read for me – I very much enjoyed reading Suicide Forest and will be checking more work by Jeremy Bates.