Christopher Golden

The Waking Dreams of the Dead by Christopher Golden and Thomas Randall


The Waking: Dreams of the Dead

Kara Foster thinks the hardest thing about moving to Japan will be fitting in as an outsider. But dark secrets are stirring at her new school. When Kara befriends Sakura, a fellow outsider whose rebellious nature sets her apart from the crowd, she learns that Sakura's sister was the victim of an unsolved murder on school grounds. And before long, terrible things begin to happen.

It starts with nightmares - strange, otherworldly dreams that wake Kara in terror every night. Then more students start turning up dead, with strange marks on their bodies. Is Sakura getting revenge on those she suspects are responsible for her sister's death? Or has her dead sister come back to take revenge for herself?

Read an excerpt.

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Published August 31st, 2010
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The Waking Spirits of the Noh by Christopher Golden and Thomas Randall


The Waking: Spirits of the Noh

All the evil of the ages will plague you, until my thirst for vengeance is sated...

Kara Foster is finally starting to fit in at her boarding school in Japan -- after all, nothing bonds you with your classmates like having an ancient demon put a curse on you. Hoping life can go back to normal now that the demon has been put to rest, Kara joins her friends Sakura and Miho in putting on a play for the Noh drama club. It's the story of the Hannya, a snake demon who inhabits the body of a beautiful woman. When a few members of the Noh club go missing, Kara fears that the real Hannya has been awakened by the curse.

Then Miho is abducted, and Kara must find her before the Hannya destroys her. But the demon is wily, and may be hidden in the last place any of them would think to look...

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Published June 7th, 2011
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The Waking A Winter of Ghosts by Christopher Golden and Thomas Randall

The Waking: A Winter of Ghosts

Kara's life in Japanese prep school has been a whirlwind of terror, as a demon's curse keeps waking up ancient, evil creatures to torment her and her friends. When a student goes missing during a visit to a mountain forest, Kara and her friends are sure the curse has struck again. This time, it's a demon of winter, whose power is more chilling than anything they've encountered so far.

And then it gets worse: the demon kidnaps Kara's boyfriend, Hachiro, with whom she's just starting to fall in love. Desperate to save him, Kara ventures back into the snowy woods, where dark forces await her . . .

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Published January 20th, 2013
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Critical Praise for The Waking: Dreams of the Dead

Named one of the NYPL Books for the Teen Age

"The Waking: Dreams of the Dead starts as the dream of everyone who has ever wanted to travel to an exotic, far-away country to start again, and weaves a nightmare based in rich Japanese culture and myth.  I can't wait until it is released and I can recommend it to my readers." - Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, author of In the Forests of the Night and Persistence of Memory

"Newly transplanted to Japan, 16-year-old blond-haired, blue-eyed Kara Foster is a gaijin, or outsider. Kara is eager to assimilate into Japanese culture, although when she is bullied by a group of popular girls she quickly learns that her new school has the same clique issues as its American counterparts. When mysterious, supernaturally tinged deaths start to occur, it becomes very clear to Kara how different this school really is. Drawing upon Japanese mythology and Noh plays...[and] including such tropes as sleep-deprived students plagued by horrible nightmares, teetering on the brink of madness...Dreams of the Dead incorporate[s] many elements of contemporary Japanese culture and thus may appeal to those with an interest in it, especially manga fans." - Kirkus Reviews

"Kara Harper and her father have moved to Japan, following the tragic death of Kara's mother, and are trying to settle into a new school, and a new culture. While living in Japan has been a dream for both of them, Kara is finding the reality of life as a 'gaijin girl' a little tricky. She discovers that her school holds dark secrets, including a classmate's sister's mysterious and brutal death, and that the dead girl seems to be just one of the supernatural presences on the campus. Will Kara and her new friends (and enemies) survive long enough for this 'bonsai' to prove she can thrive in her new location? A great book for fans of fairy tales and dark fantasy from non-European cultures." - Maryelizabeth Hart, Mysterious Galaxy

"Two years after her mother dies in a car wreck, 16-year-old Kara Harper and her father move from America to Japan because of a love of the country and to start a new life. But death is all around them at Kara's new school: a student named Akane was murdered there several months earlier, and as Kara befriends Akane's sister, Sakura, other students begin dying under mysterious circumstances. Sakura is sure that Akane has risen from the grave to avenge herself, while Kara and their friend Miho guess that a demonic entity from Japanese legend is responsible. Randall fills the story, first in the Waking series, with details about Japanese culture and evocative descriptions ("Miyazu Bay reflected back the blue sky with a purity that made her breath catch... leaving an American suburb behind for natural beauty such as this was like waking up in some magical kingdom"), while slowly building tension and winding the plot ever tighter, weaving together current threats and age-old mysteries. Regardless of readers' level of familiarity with Japan, the horror-tinged story should fascinate and thrill. Ages 12 & up." - Publishers Weekly

"Randall links an effectively worked horror story with the traditions of Noh theatre; readers get a healthy dose of cross-cultural insight and understanding while being thoroughly spooked by a demon much older and more malevolent than the tame, sparkly vampires of recent fame." - BCCB

"The manga craze has hooked many a teen on Japanese culture, and Randall weaves much Japanese language, mythology, mores, and etiquette into this fast-paced opener to the Waking series." - Booklist

"Randall describes the scenery, the culture, the characters, even their clothing, with heartfelt details. The story has suspense, mystery, and horror. It will be a great hit with fans of manga, anime, or Japanese culture." - School Library Journal

"A well-structured tale of ancient spirits who exact revenge upon humans. A brisk Japanese adventure." - VOYA

Reader Reviews

"5 out of 5 stars. Evocative and deliciously spooky, Dreams of the Dead is the first in a trilogy about ancient myths, long-sleeping demons, and being a stranger in a strange land... The myth that is used brings to life the stories that one hears and makes you feel as if you can touch them. I felt as though I was on the edge of my seat reading this. I loved all the intrigue with in the story and can’t wait to read the next one in this series." - Lyra Rose

"The Waking is a beautifully written piece of young adult literature." - Galleysmith

"I really enjoyed this story! The surreal world of dreams merging with reality is haunting. For fans of The Ring, this is sure to be a hit."  - Kim Baccellia, YABooksCentral.com

"With a mix of murder, myth and an ancient Japanese evil, this book will have you reading with the lights on!" - Library Lounge Lizard

 

A message from Christopher Golden:

Thomas Randall does not exist.

He began life as the fictional protagonist of my novel STRANGEWOOD, a children's author whose imaginative creations come to disturbing life and intrude upon the real world. Years later, I was in the process of making a deal for a trilogy of horror stories set in Japan, but at the time I was under contract with another publisher who had an option on my next "teen or YA" novel. The option specified that it was for work written under my own name, thus the deal for this new trilogy required a pseudonym and I thought it would be amusing to be Thomas Randall for a while. Even the bios inside the books noted that Randall was the author of the bestselling children's fantasy series Adventures in Strangewood...which doesn't exist. So that's where Thomas Randall comes from.

Read an exclusive excerpt of The Waking: Dreams of the Dead.

The Waking: Dreams of the Dead Blog Tour

Check out the author's archived blog tour:
Monday, September 28th: An interview with Little Willow at Bildungsroman
Tuesday, September 29th: Author Q&A with Courtney Summers
Wednesday, September 30th: The Mind of a Girl at readergirlz
Thursday, October 1st:
Strange Girl in a Strange Land at lectitans
Friday, October 2nd:
An interview at Sarah's Random Musings
Friday, October 2nd:
An interview at Steph Su Reads
Monday, October 5th: The Cold Open at Books By Their Cover
Tuesday, October 6th: Author Q&A with Kim Baccellia
Tuesday, October 6th: An interview with BookChic
Wednesday, October 7th:
An interview at Presenting Lenore
Thursday, October 8th:
An interview at GalleySmith
Friday, October 9th:
An interview at Just Blinded Book Reviews

 


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