Author: Mizuki Nomura
Illustrator: Miho Takeoka
Konoha receives a telegram from Tohko, book-club president and book-eating goblin girl, stating she has been kidnapped and demanding that he come rescue her . . . which he blatantly ignores as any sensible person would. Shortly thereafter, a well-dressed chauffeur shows up at his door and kidnaps him, with his mother’s permission, whisking him off to their friend Maki’s mountain estate where Maki and Tohko are waiting. What he finds at this dark mansion is an almost perfect re-enactment of events from eighty years ago . . . events that, at that time, led to the brutal murder of five people in that very same mansion. Needless to say, Tohko is freaking out.
Book Girl and the Undine Who Bore a Moonflower is the sixth of the Book Girl series of light novels, and I must say, it’s my favorite of the ones I’ve read so far. The literary tie-ins are fantastic, pulling from Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”, Fouqué’s Undine, and Kyōka Izumi’s “The Surgery Room”, The Grass Labyrinth, and The Demon Pond (which is the primary inspiration for this story). There’s a definite story-within-a-story feel, particularly as events in the story are also linked to events which happened in the story’s past (if that makes any sense at all); it works really well and adds a nice thematic feel. The elements of suspense and humor are combined nicely, and the characters and interactions are really well done. I love the relationship between Tohko and Konoha–sometimes I really wish it would grow into something more, but the sweet, platonic relationship they have is beautiful and fun also! And as always, one the the nicest touches of the Book Girl series is getting to hear Tohko describe books in epicurean terms–hearing a story broken down and compared to a sandwich or a nice French meal truly opens one’s perspective, I find. I would definitely recommend Book Girl and the Undine Who Bore a Moonflower to book lovers everywhere, even if you aren’t familiar with the rest of the series.