Since I frequent my local Half Price Books about every other day, I figured I'd start sharing the treasures I find in the form of book reviews. The cool thing about these books is that they are a bit older, so you may see something you used to have but was either lost to the depths of the basement, or your parents threw it away. Maybe one of these reviews will spark an interest in hunting down one of these so called "treasures" you used to own. I would also like to point out how amazing horror book covers were in the 70's, 80's, and early 90's. (keep an eye out for some awesome ones coming soon!)
First off in the Half-Price Horror Book Review series is "The Nightmare Man" by, Tessa Krailing. "The Nightmare Man" has the stamp of being a book in the Point Horror Series, which were just randomly released horror books with no on-going continuity or anything, however I don't see it listed on the wikipedia page for Point Horror. (Update: the wikipedia page says the list is incomplete so maybe I should it to the list) Here is the summary from the back of the book: " He's waiting........ Alex has seen that shadowy figure before-in bad dreams. But now that his family has moved into creepy old End House, Alex isn't dreaming any more. Now Alex knows that the dream is coming true. The nightmare man is real. And he wants Alex to share the nightmare......." (I'd like to have my editor check their grammar, haha)
The summary above is in no way shape or form indicative of the book itself. I'm not even sure where to begin with reviewing this thing. The first chapter actually started off with Alex seeing the nightmare man in the middle of woods, which gave me the idea that this book was going to be incredibly creepy. I was wrong. Eventually Alex sees the nightmare man one more, yes, you heard me right, ONE, more time before the climax of the book. After the forest scene which introduces us to Alex and his buddy, Alex gets word that he is moving into a new house. The house that Alex and family move into is a house that actually belonged to one of the criminals that Alex's dad incarcerated (Alex's dad was a cop). The weird thing is, this criminal who was also known as the The Raven, tried to kill Alex's dad. So the question becomes why would this criminal leave the house to the Mackay family (Alex's family)? Eventually a lodger moves into the house with the family which sets off some super creepy child stalker tones within the book. (If I am writing this review as if I have no formal writing experience, it is because I can't actually write coherently about something that was written so incoherently. As disjointed and abrupt as the sentences are in my review, the chapters in this book are ten times worse than that) Is there a connection between the deceased criminal "The Raven", The nightmare man, and the mysterious lodger? You'll have to read to find out, and if you happen to discern whether or not there is a connection let me know because what I'm assuming was supposed to be the big reveal or plot twist at the end was so obvious that it actually confused me a little bit. Was the rest of the book just one big red herring or what? There were some creepy parts in the book, like the first two encounters with "The Nightmare Man" and some of the interactions with the mysterious lodger, however it felt like most of the book was written just to shoehorn this creepy nightmare man vision into the story. In the end the book ended up just being a basic heist story. (this is not spoiling anything trust me, I'm still not even sure if I'm describing this right) I really thought this book had potential after reading the back and seeing the cover, however it flat out failed in my eyes. I never write an author off after just one poor outing so I will definitely pick up at least one more of Tessa Krailing's books just to see if it is any better but for now I'm going to go ahead and give this 1 Jolly Jack-O-Lantern out of 5.
"The Nightmare Man"
Author: Tessa Krailing
Publisher: Scholastic (1988)
Cover price: $2.95
Half Price Books price: $1.00 (clearance shelf)
Also keep your eyes glued to HalloweenOverkill this Friday because the A-Z blogging challenge begins. That's April 1st to April 30th (a post a day with Sundays being a "no post" day) The theme is actually still being decided over, with the two top candidates as "The A-Z of Halloween" or "The A-Z of horror movie murder weapons" If you wanna throw your opinion in let me know in the comments.