Oct 3, 2011 by HCI Books
Source: Net Galley
Genre: YA Horror/Supernatural
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.
The sleepwalkers is an eerie, creepy tale filled with mystery and some very horrific characters and images. While it was definitely a page turner, I did have some issues with this book. The most predominant being that the beginning read more like a movie script than an actual novel. And, because of this, I really had a hard-time fully connecting with these characters in the beginning. I did feel a change a quarter of the way in though, and really started to get into the story.
Although Caleb was the main character, his best friend Bean really stole the scenes. Bean is this funny, snarky, often crude but deep down great guy. He is full of personality and just fun to read. They really are a great team, but on his own Caleb could have used a little more personality.
The relationship between Caleb and Christine was perfect, however. All to often in YA fiction you have these characters that fall madly in love within the first few pages and it is so unbelievable and quite frankly insulting. This relationship however, is very real and very natural. There could be some argument that the relationship is not believable due to the length of time these two were apart, but I disagree. I for one have had childhood friends who I have been estranged from over the years, who I have reconnected with and it felt as though we had never been apart. These are true connections - the ones that really matter. This is what Caleb and Christine have and I loved that.
I really feel that this book could easily be adapted to film and do very well. It is a very visual book. In the end, although the ending was somewhat predictable and slightly anti-climatic, I would recommend it. If you are looking for a creepy, bone chilling, page turner? You will find it within the pages of The Sleepwalkers. I am interested to see where the author, J Gabriel Gates, goes from here.
Rating: 3 stars