Raise your hand if you have ever heard of Aokigahara? Aokigahara is located at the Northwest base of Mt. Fuji in Japan.  The forest is dense with trees and greenery.  Covered with hidden caves where if you’re not careful, it could be the last place you will stumble upon. The forest ground is also made of Volcanic Rock that is difficult to penetrate.  And to complicate things even more, compasses are rendered useless by the rich deposits of magnetic iron in the area’s volcanic soil.  So unless you know the land or have a guide, you can easily and very quickly lose your way.

But the main reason it is well known is because of its other name “Suicide Forest.”  It is the second most popular place in the world for suicides.  It is said that the forest is filled with Yurei, the restless angry spirits of those who committed suicide there or those that were abandoned by their relatives who were unable to care for them.

Aokigahara Forest- You can see ribbons hikers hang so they don’t lose their way.

Well, now that I have given you a little history lesson, on to the Novella that was inspired by this dark place:

Sea of Trees- Robert James Russell

Swirling mystery permeates Sea of Trees as Bill, an American college student, and his Japanese girlfriend Junko traverse the Aokigahara Forest in Japan—infamous as one of the world’s top suicide destinations—in search of evidence of Junko’s sister Izumi who disappeared there a year previous. As the two follow clues and journey deeper into the woods amid the eerily quiet and hauntingly beautiful landscape—bypassing tokens and remains of the departed, suicide notes tacked to trees and shrines put up by forlorn loved ones—they’ll depend on one another in ways they never had to before, testing the very fabric of their relationship. And, as daylight quickly escapes them and they find themselves lost in the dark veil of night, Bill discovers a truth Junko has hidden deep within her—a truth that will change them both forever.

Now maybe this is me being bias (I am just fascinated by Aokigahara and have been for a while) but Sea of Trees is an amazing book that tells a fiction story of a couple who decide to venture into this somber place.  The best part though, is that Robert not only wrote the book about this couple but he incorporated the final moments of others who ended their lives in Aokigahara.

The Cover:

Sea of Trees Novella

I see this front cover and I feel the loneliness of the forest.  It’s such a beautiful place tainted by the deaths of those who came but chose to never leave.  Really, I believe their is no better way to compliment the cover.  It’s perfect in my opinion. 5/5 Stars.

Aokigahara is just another forest in Japan.  It’s beauty admired by many.  I guess that’s the reason why people chose here to end this life.  One last beautiful image.  Sea of Trees is very detailed and  well written.

If you are a history buff/horror/paranormal fanatic like me, then this a book you should get today.  You won’t be disappointed.  If you want to get your copy, I listed the links below to help you!

Image result for robert james russell
Robert James Russell-Author



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