Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free ebook copy of The Graveyard Apartment By: Mariko Koike in exchange for an honest review.
Short Review Summary:
Atmospheric, good tension, and slow building.
The first thing that drew me to The Graveyard Apartment is the cover, but the other thing that really caught my attention is that it was originally published (in 1986, the year I was born) in Japan. I enjoy Japanese horror and I feel like it's something that I haven't read/watched enough of. Boy, am I glad I gave this one a try because I really enjoyed it!
The Graveyard Apartment is an extremely atmospheric book. Due to the atmosphere, the mystery, the supernatural aspects, and the slow build I found it to be a bit gothic. I love stories that are a bit gothic and have a great slow building story, so this definitely was a big plus for me! However, this book is also psychological and pretty intense at times. The tension is really magnificently done in this novel. I'm a sucker for atmosphere and tension. I don't really have a lot to say about the characters though. I felt for Teppei, Misao, and their daughter Tamao in their situation, but I didn't really like any of them. It's not that I disliked them, but I definitely feel like this is a more of a setting/plot driven novel.
There are a few classic tropes, but they are very well done. Also, because it was first published in the 80s that is to be expected. I really enjoyed the tropes that were used and it didn't take away from the intensity of the novel. One part was so intense and then I had to go to sleep right after (since I couldn't keep my eyes open lol) and I really wanted to keep reading. It's funny because I dreamed about that intense part in my dreams that night. I couldn't wait to get back to it and finish the book the next day. I think that part will stick with me for a while. I love that.
Overall The Graveyard Apartment is a FANTASTIC horror novel and I loved it. I even love the ending that is equal parts awesomeness and frustrating. You'll have to read for yourself to see what exactly I mean by that though. I'm so glad I read this one. It's exactly what I've been in the mood for this Fall.
I recommend The Graveyard Apartment for fans of Shirley Jackson, The Ring, atmospheric/tense horror stories.