Review: GhostCityGirl

GhostCityGirl by Simon Paul Wilson (Not A Pipe Publishing 2020)

Serial killers, starvation cults, and spicy noodles −  just another day in Nihon City.

It’s been one hundred years since Tokyo was ravaged by a ghostquake and talking about the supernatural was forbidden. To escape her unhappy family life and mundane job, Kichi Honda spends her days off visiting Mister Tanaka, an old man who tells her illegal tales of haunted Japan. But when Kichi gets stranded on Level One, she meets an impossible girl who claims to have come from Tokyo.

Kichi learns the truth about what really happened all those years ago … and discovers history is about to repeat itself.

My Review:

This is a ghost story (of the gory variety) and also a heroic origin story. Kichi Honda is a young woman with not much life to speak of. She lives with her mother, a VR TV addict, in an extremely high highrise apartment and works in the meaningless position of mall greeter. But Kichi finds joy where she can, in spicy food, old pop music, and the ghost stories shared by her elderly friend Mr. Tanaka. “Spook talk” has been forbidden by the Department of Paranormal Activity since the Tokyo ghost quake a century before, but Mr. Tanaka is able to keep their conversations secret. Kichi has never seen a ghost and isn’t sure she wants to, but she loves the stories. Then she meets Miaka, a girl who has escaped from Tokyo on a mission to prevent a recurrence of the ghost quake. Kichi and Mr. Tanaka team up with Miaka to stop the world from ending, but the clock is already ticking and things are getting weird.

Kichi is an appealing companion in a story that goes from quirky to spooky to straight-up terrifying. Although frustrated with her home life and government restrictions and surveillance, she retains curiosity, compassion, and a snarky sense of humor. Her interest in a local serial killer and encounters with creepy cultists end up being central to the apocalyptic plot. This is the first book of a trilogy; the cliffhanger ending hints at an even more heroic role for Kichi in future volumes.

I received an advance review ebook from the publisher.

Order your copy today from your local independent bookstore. Find it using IndieBound.org.

Available on Amazon HERE.

Available on Amazon UK HERE.

Available on Barnes & Noble HERE.

Available on Kindle HERE.

Available on Kindle UK HERE.

Square Pig in a Round Hole-August 8, 2020

Square PigNaming a band is an act of concentrated creative expression. Square Pig in a Round Hole exists to reward five favorite band names each week. Winners are (usually) listed alphabetically.

Selection is wholly unscientific and subject to whim, with a bias toward wordplay, humor, and local flavor. In most cases, I won’t know anything about the bands at the time of selection. Thanks to the Seattle Times nightlife listings for abundant source material!

SQUARE PIG IN A ROUND HOLE PANDEMIC EDITION #21

What a waste of a cool August weekend! It would have been tolerable to go out to a crowded club, but the choice to go out or not go out is not yet ours to make. Fortunately, I have a generous trove to share of summer-themed band names from the past. Be safe, wear your mask, and please buy these bands’ music and merch while we wait for a better day.

Long Shorts

(July 20, 2019) I love a good oxymoron. On the one hand, which is it? On the other hand, sometimes you don’t want to show your knees, even in summer.

Melt-Banana

(July 4, 2015) It’s so hot, even the fruit is melting! [Serendipitous update: this band gets a name-check in GhostCityGirl by Simon Paul Wilson (coming from Not A Pipe Publishing in October 2020) that I was advance reading mere days after I selected this one for a retrospective post.]

Mustard Plug

(July 4, 2015) This is one of those band names that shines a spotlight on a mundane or annoying object, elevating it to the hilarious sublime. It’s also a fitting name for a summer weekend of picnics and barbecues.

Pop Sickle

(January 11, 2014) The quiescently frozen confection that kills it every time.

PORCH

(October 24, 2015) I’m a fan both of singular monosyllabic nouns as band names, and also of porches. Porch season is over for another year, but it’s a great place to make music on a warm summer night. Also, somebody get these guys on a bill with Square Pig faves Pouch!

 

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