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 neutralise 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?
About the author:
Gandalf taught me how to be a spirit wrapped in flesh. Aragorn taught me how to be a man. Frodo taught me of perseverance, and Samwise of loyalty. Along the way I learned of the power of the written word, the gift it could give by slipping past our defenses to show us the best and the worst in ourselves. So who is Stephen B. Pearl? He is a lifeguard, husband, mystic, science enthusiast, home handyman, backyard mechanic, and writer. Like most of us the face he wears changes with the company and the season. His three cats know him as pride alpha, I like to think so, though servant might be more accurate. Who am I kidding? My wife runs the pride; I just try and stay out of her way. At any rate, I am a man of middle years who lives in a house in Ontario, Canada with three cats, a wife and a sincere hope that you will enjoy my book.
Stephen B. Pearl
Stephen B. Pearl
What is a Nukeubi? I guess in order to understand the story, you need to know what it is.
By day, Nukekubi appear to be normal human beings. By night, however, their heads detach at the neck smoothly from their bodies and fly about independently in search of human prey. These heads attack by screaming (to increase their victims' fright), then closing in and biting.
While the head is detached, the body of a Nukekubi becomes inanimate. In some legends, this serves as one of the creature's few weaknesses; if a Nukekubi's head cannot locate and reattach to its body by sunrise, the creature dies. Legends often tell of would-be victims foiling the creatures by destroying or hiding their bodies while the heads are elsewhere.
By day, Nukekubi often try to blend into human society. They sometimes live in groups, impersonating normal human families. The only way to tell a Nukekubi from a normal human being is a line of red symbols around the base of the neck where the head detaches. Even this small detail is easily concealed beneath clothing or jewelry.
With that said, author Stephen B. Pearl has brought a folklore into an reality to Ray McAndrues, who most people when they look at him, see nothing special or out of the ordinary. Little is known but Ray can sense certain energies and perform magic. He has probably used his special talents before, but not in life threatening situations, but for sport or maybe just in goofing around with the girl who has his eye, Cathy, who herself is a mystic.
There is what the papers are saying, a drug that is taking lives on the city streets, and it's called Terror. It appears to cause the person to die a horrendous death. Ray, happens to witness a friend die to 'Terror's' effects.
Ray then realizes this is no drug that is taking lives, but what is called a Nukekubu or a Japanese goblin. And it is killing and feasting on people he cares for. He feels deep down he is the only one that will be able to conquer it, and extinguish it forever.
Ray has help come over from Japan who are willing to help him in his endeavor. Ray is grateful he does not have to do this alone.
Take a journey of magic and 'terror' with Ray, Cathy, Kama, Kunio and Toshiro. When you are done, you will look at what is considered 'folklore' in a different way. The next time you are told something is a folklore, make sure you think twice.
I was absolutely spellbound by this book and I applaud the imagination and creativity the author put in this book. I look forward to reading more by him.
I give this book five stars *****
Nora Chipley Barteau
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