I’ve made it very clear in the past that I’m British and still in the early stages of learning Japanese. But thanks to translation apps, I decided that I just had to read this middle-grade novel, despite being Japanese. Obviously, a translation app won’t translate perfectly, but despite that, I was still able to really lose myself in this story. I had the opportunity to read this book as an e-arc from NetGalley.
This book follows Michito and his father as they travel across the world for a series of paranormal incidents. All these incidents have been talked about in real life, so it could really strike something in the kids who read this. They’ll have plenty to look into if they want to.
One of the things I loved best about this book is the use of real photos. They pop up on various pages with a few notes as to how they relate to the topic of the chapter. One of the stories was actually very familiar to me and it definitely made me go small world as it was so unexpected. This book also has an illustrator and I loved the art. I liked the character designs and could definitely spend a lot of time with this book.
If I’d have had this as a kid, I’d definitely have been obsessed.
With so many different mysteries popping up in this one volume, it’s obvious that you don’t spend much time on each of them. But I appreciated the use of characters for each and I was definitely intrigued by each one. I do wish that maybe we’d had a couple of chapters on each rather than just one, but it was still plenty of fun.
Admittedly, the gaps between the stories at first were a little jarring. At first I wasn’t sure if it was because of translation issues but after going over it a few times, it did really just jump from one mystery to another in a new chapter. I think a few more in-between bits could work better. It would mean covering fewer mysteries in one book, just as lengthening the amount of time with each case, but it would feel a little more solid.
That said, the later mysteries did draw more back on characters we saw in earlier books and I liked that. I wanted to see more of these characters and I’ll be looking out for the next book in this series too. Yeah, I’ll be buying and reading an actual Japanese book series. It’s going to wind up being expensive but I really want to read on.
I genuinely think that this is a great book for kids. This sort of story is one that kids love. I think the mix of photos and illustration make it a lot more fun.
This is a book that I genuinely hope gets translations in the future as this book really could do well worldwide.
Title: セカイの千怪奇1 幽霊屋敷レイナムホール
Author: 木滝りま・作 太田守信・作 先崎真琴・絵
Age Range: Middle-Grade
Release Date: 30/9/2022