ARC Review: Find Him Where You Left Him Dead by Kristen Simmons

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on August 21, 2023 | 0 Comments

ARC Review: Find Him Where You Left Him Dead by Kristen SimmonsFind Him Where You Left Him Dead by Kristen Simmons
Published by Tor Teen (10.10.2023)
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 272 pages
Source: NetGalley

4.5 Stars

Four years ago, five kids started a game. Only four survived.

Now, at the end of their senior year of high school, the survivors—Dax, Maddy, Emerson, and Owen—have reunited for one strange and terrible reason: they’ve been summoned by the ghost of Ian, the friend they left for dead.

Together they return to the tunnel where their friendship ended with one goal: find Ian and bring him home. So they restart the deadly game they never finished—an innocent card-matching challenge called Meido. A game without instructions.

As soon as they begin, they're dragged out of their reality and into an eerie hellscape of Japanese underworlds, more horrifying than even the darkest folktales that Owen's grandmother told him. There, they meet Shinigami, an old wise woman who explains the rules:

They have one night to complete seven challenges or all of them, Ian included, will be stuck in this world forever.

Once inseparable, the survivors now can’t stand each other, but the challenges demand they work together, think quickly, and make sacrifices—blood, clothes, secrets, memories, and worse.

And once again, not everyone will make it out of Meido alive.

My thoughts

What a wild ride!!! This was the book I didn’t know I needed. I’m a huge fan of Japanese culture, so love Japanese fantasy; which are unfortunately few and far between (and it can be hard to find a good one). And let me tell you, this one was epic! I think this is one of my all time favorite bookish worlds! Kristen knows how to write unique stories, and this was no exception. Think Jumanji, but if it were an anime that takes place in hell. Sounds awesome, right?!

This 10/10 needs to be an anime. It felt like a book version of an anime, which I’ve only ever felt with one other book – Shadow of the Fox. It’s also disturbing AF, and I was totally here for it! I loved how creepy and twisted the world of Meido was. Kristen’s world building is top knotch, and I had zero issues picturing everything (even the things I didn’t really want to picture, lmao) in my head. I really loved the backstory of Izanagi and Izanami!

My goldfish-short attention span loved the fact that this picked up almost immediately and never let up. The action was non-stop, and there was never a dull moment! From start to finish, this book had me on the edge of my seat. Every single scene was more disturbing than the last. Just when I thought the trials couldn’t get any worse, they did. A few scenes had me all

and I adore books that can disturb the shit out of me. (Not sure what that says about me….) The tone and setting were both gloriously dark and ominous. The atmosphere of this book was a tangible thing!

I never knew what was going to happen next. There were a couple of twists I didn’t see coming, either! View Spoiler » And THAT ENDING!!!! That was just plain rude. I neeeed the next book *cries*

The only complaint I have about this is that I never really connected to the characters the way I would have liked to. They were realistic, fleshed out, and well written; but I didn’t forge much of an emotional connection with them. (I really think this is a me issue because I’m not usually a huge fan of third person narrative.)

P.S. I can’t waaaait for the audio of this book to come out, I’m desperately hoping it will have a separate narrator for each character!

Overall Assessment

Plot: 5/5
Premise: 5/5
Writing style: 5/5
Originality: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
World-building: 5/5
Pace: 5/5
Feels: 3.5/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5

Jessi (Geo)

Posted in: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , ,

Subscribe to Novel Heartbeat to get more posts like this!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.