Monday, 3 October 2011

Book Review: The Sleepwalkers by J. Gabriel Gates

THE SLEEPWALKERS by J. Gabriel Gates

Released:  3rd October 2011
Publisher:  HCI Teens
Review format:  E-Arc
Source:  Netgalley and the publishers - with thanks!
Pages:  360

A chilling and masterfully crafted teen horror novel guaranteed to keep the pages turning, the mind reeling, and the lamp on any reader's bedside table on long after midnight.

Privileged and popular Caleb Mason is celebrating his high school graduation when he receives a mysterious, disturbing letter from his long-lost childhood playmate, Christine. Caleb and his jokester friend Bean decide to travel to his tiny hometown of Hudsonville, Florida, to find her. Upon arrival, they discover the town has taken a horrifying turn for the worse. Caleb's childhood home is abandoned and his father has disappeared. Children are going missing. The old insane asylum has reopened, and Christine is locked inside. Her mother, a witch, is consumed with madness, and Christine's long-dead twin sister whispers clues to Caleb through the static of an a.m. radio. The terrifying prophesies of the spirits are coming to pass. Sixteen clocks are ticking; sixty-six murdered souls will bring about the end of the world. As Caleb peels back layer after layer of mystery, he uncovers a truth more horrible than anything he had imagined, a truth that could only be uttered by the lips of the dead.
I really liked the premise of The Sleepwalkers - a chilling teen horror, a strange letter from a childhood friend, an old asylum reopened and terrifying prophesies of spirits. Sounds just up my street and I really wanted to enjoy this book. I love spooky, creepy stories, but unfortunately, it just didn’t live up to expectations for me.

Granted, I did find the book pretty terrifying and the creepiness kept me awake a night or two whilst I was reading it, but I found J. Gabriel Gates style of writing to be very disjointed and I felt like I was constantly being dragged out of the story and found it hard to concentrate on what was going on, which is probably why it took me a whole week to finish the book.

Although I didn’t particularly gel with the main character, Caleb (or Billy as he was known when he was younger), I did like his sidekick, Bean. Bean was a funny guy with a very dry sense of humour. I enjoyed Christine’s character too, although her mother was really creepy.

Looking back on this book a couple of days later with the whole story in my head, I can say that it WAS a good story and the ending was superb. I think if the writing have flowed easier, I would have loved it! It was definitely different from the usual type of YA books I read.

My Rating: 3 stars


Gina @ My Precious said...

This one sounds great. I respect a good ending now, since so many stories I've read lately end on cliffhangers or just with so many elements unwrapped up.

Bungle said...

Sally read and reviewed this one over on our blog and she said similar things. She also went with a 3star rating.

Kelly said...

Thanks for the review. I love horror stories, so I was thinking about reading this one, but after hearing what you think about the writing style, I'm not so sure I'll be reading it after all. At least now I know that if I decide to read it, I'll be better off getting it from the library instead of buying it.