"Lanterns burned at each end of the hall, where smokelike smudges resembling human shadows blackened the walls."
If you dig that line, you will love Jennifer Loring's CONDUITS. Loring writes with a unique flair and love for language. You will find no boring repetition or meandering descriptions here. This author knows what she's doing, and does so with aplomb.
I'm a huge fan of Japanese culture. I'm also a big fan of Japanese horror. I get it from my grandmother, whose home was always decorated with fans and masks and backlit paintings. The back story of the horimono miko is as tragic as it creepy. I was whisked away during the more surreal aspects of this book, and, at times, was blissfully confused. I love a book that you have to read carefully, that if you skim you'll lose the thread. It makes what the author wrote worth while. If your writing is nothing more than a bunch of words tossed on a page so as to get from point A to point B, you're doing something wrong. Loring does everything right with CONDUITS, writing with such beautifully haunting and mysterious prose that the reader must slow down and take everything in. Yes, this book is the literary equivalent of a speed bump. Slow down, and no one gets hurt.
Oh, and by the way, this joker is seriously scary. Full-on goose-flesh-rising, nail-biting, hair-tugging scary.
In summation: If you enjoy Japanese horror in the vein of A TALE OF TWO SISTERS or THE EYE, definitely check this out. If you enjoy fantastic writing, look no further. I will devour everything Jennifer Loring publishes. Believe that.
*This book was offered to me in return for my unbiased review, which you have just read. Unbeknownst to me, Jennifer Loring works for one of my publishers, Red Adept Publishing, and as far as I know, we've had no contact, so this has not changed my view of the work, either. I only found out after reading the author's bio. Thank you to DarkFuse and NetGalley for providing me with this ARC*