Nukekubi by Stephen B. Pearl

Posted April 18, 2012 by Kate in Liked It, Review / 0 Comments

From ancient times nukekubi have haunted the land of Japan. Living as men by day, these beasts slip their heads free of their flesh at night and go in search of human prey. These hapless souls are driven into a terrified madness that results in their death.
Ray McAndrues, a modern-day wizard, must neutralize a nukekubi that is feasting on the people of Toronto. He is aided by Cathy, a sorceress of numerous charms, and Toshiro and Kunio, two, Japanese, martial artists who have made hunting nukekubi their lives’ work.
As the quest plays out, questions arise. Who is hunting who? How can you slay the beast that stalks the night without slaying the man who walks the day? What is the strange, millennia-old connection that binds Ray to the beast, and will it help or hinder the quest?

I was actually pretty interested in this book when it came across my desk for review. And the main reason why is because it involved Japan, a place where a lot of people I know have moved to and lived for quite sometime. The culture and history is very fascinating and to be honest I have only ever heard good things about the place. 
I have to say the concept is a pretty original one of an urban fantasy book. Most of the time when you pick up an urban fantasy book you expect to see a vampire or werewolves, or one of the other many different types of supernatural beings. So it was certainly refreshing to see an interesting and unique concept in a book. 
The pace of the book is pretty good, the author had to be able to introduce a new group/supernatural being in this book that most people aren’t familiar with, so I think that had to do with some of the slower parts of the book. While some small parts of the book didn’t have fantastic pacing, the story line behind it was good enough to continue keeping your interest. 
I thought the characters were pretty nice as well. I think this characters in this book work more as an ensemble than anything else. I wonder if some of the secondary character would have been as good without the other ones. I guess what I mean by that is they compliment each other more than anything else. 
I do also want to mention that the writing is really good as well. I felt like the author had a good control of language and sometimes as a reader we take that kind of thing for granted. But when I writer had  good control of language it’s easier to fall into the story and really enjoy the plot of the book. 
I myself thought the plot was pretty good as well. I thought the pace was good (as mentioned earlier), revealing just enough of the plot to keep you interested, but not so much as to give everything away. I enjoyed following along with the characters, and I really wanted everything to work out for all of them. 
Overall, I have to say that this book was a pretty solid book. I think just on the unique premise alone, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Urban Fantasy, after all a change of pace can be the perfect thing for readers. If you are looking for something more like paranormal romance I’m not sure this would be the best book for you, but anyone who likes urban fantasy should enjoy reading this book, like I did. 

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