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The Sleepwalkers

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for The Sleepwalkers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    2.5 stars Wow. This guy has serious talent! - That was one of my first thoughts when I started reading The Sleepwalkers. The opening scene scared the living daylights out of me. It sent chills down my spine, just as the author intended. The prose stunned me with its beauty, too. I must have marked at least ten different sentences in the first chapter alone. Understandably, it all raised my expectations, which, sadly, weren’t met later on. I'll start with the good parts, and then get to the thing 2.5 stars Wow. This guy has serious talent! - That was one of my first thoughts when I started reading The Sleepwalkers. The opening scene scared the living daylights out of me. It sent chills down my spine, just as the author intended. The prose stunned me with its beauty, too. I must have marked at least ten different sentences in the first chapter alone. Understandably, it all raised my expectations, which, sadly, weren’t met later on. I'll start with the good parts, and then get to the thing that really bothered me: I couldn’t predict where the story was going at all, and since I’m usually able to see everything coming from a mile away, that was a huge plus in my book. Even though Caleb wasn’t instantly likeable, I warmed up to him soon enough. As his estrangement from his father started coming to light, it gave me a better understanding of him, making me willing to forgive him for some of his actions, especially the ones I particularly disliked. Bean, on the other hand, I loved right away. He’s the character that brings humor into the story, so that part isn’t surprising at all. I could have done without his whining later on, but overall, I felt that he was a well-built, complete character. I admit that I normally tend to shy away from horror stories and that I’m rarely in the right mood for one, but I WAS in such a mood when I picked this book up, and still, The Sleepwalkers failed to impress me. It wasn’t because of the prose, which was strong and evocative, although uneven at times. It wasn’t because of the characters, the plot, or even the occasionally clumsy dialogues. So what went wrong? Just one very important thing: pacing, pacing, pacing! As much as I appreciated the well-developed characters, in many ways, reading Sleepwalkers was a slow (and I do mean slow) torture at times. The pacing remained unchanged throughout the first half, it rarely sped up or slowed down. If you want your scary parts to really BE scary, you have to give your readers some downtime, insert a few lighter moments that will make them relax, and then surprise them with something intense. In the first 40% of the book, the pacing was completely monotone, and quite frankly, it bored me to tears. Things did get a little better later on, but it took me a while to readjust and I’m afraid my overall enjoyment was diminished. Perhaps I should have waited a while to pick this up after reading The Repossession. Both books are about missing kids no one is really bothering to look for, but to me, The Repossession was infinitely better and far more convincing. Nevertheless, I will go back to my first sentence: J. Gabriel Gates is a man of enormous talent. Even though this didn’t work for me, I feel that he showed tremendous potential and I can’t wait to see what he does next. For this review and more, please visit The Nocturnal Library

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    “This is no vacation. A cruise is a vacation. Cancun is a vacation. This is some goddamned Hardy Boys shit.” Initial Final Page Thoughts. I feel like I'm a sleepwalker right now. High Point. BEAN… seriously, I love this guy, every word that came out of his mouth made me chuckle to myself and want to marry him. And.. um, Caleb.. yeah he was OK too, I guess. Small towns where nothing happens, well except all the HORROR. And no one can hear you scream. Genuinely creepy, definitely not one for bed times “This is no vacation. A cruise is a vacation. Cancun is a vacation. This is some goddamned Hardy Boys shit.” Initial Final Page Thoughts. I feel like I'm a sleepwalker right now. High Point. BEAN… seriously, I love this guy, every word that came out of his mouth made me chuckle to myself and want to marry him. And.. um, Caleb.. yeah he was OK too, I guess. Small towns where nothing happens, well except all the HORROR. And no one can hear you scream. Genuinely creepy, definitely not one for bed times. Spectacular writing. I know some people, for whatever reason, are morally opposed to present tense but I’ll tell you, itreally works in this book. Mr Gates has a tremendously visual writing style and it’s so affective….and HORRIFYING. White noise. Sleepwalkers. Nightgowns. Dream centres. Underground sewers. Witches. Mention of cake (always a high point). Best friends. Satanic rituals. Psychopaths. And that end sentence… *shudder*. Low Point. There is a lot going on in this book. When I read books, I often find myself coming up with questions that I’d like to ask the author… whether it’s just out of curiosity or whether it would clear something in the plot up for me. When I ended up with about 20 questions about the ending alone, I knew something must be a bit off. Even I can’t be that dim. Debatable, I know. But come on. The whole idea of the book was so original and exciting but it often seemed that Gates had so many good ideas running through his head that he felt compelled to include every single one of them into the story, sacrificing coherence in some places. But saying that, I’d rather a book be confusing than dull. And this book was definitely not dull. This book also terrified the living crap out of me…. So yeah, there’s that too. And… um. EVIL CLOWNS. Yeah thanks for that, mate *twitch* Love Interest. Oh Christine, sweet, beautiful and potentially psychopathic Christine. I don’t really want to say anything about her because it’s best to leave things unsaid…. But I’ll say one thing. Managing to be irresistible to a boy while wearing a nightgown and crazy eyes? Brava, Christine, brava. Best Friend. Bean. Be still my beating heart. In Mr Gates’ own words… “The kind of guy you end up drinking with, laughing with, running naked laps around the block with, stealing people’s garden gnomes with until seven in the morning- when you had no intention of drinking in the first place. Bean is that guy.” Read: Bean is my guy. You will probably notice that I have missed out one of the major subjects here… but I don’t want to talk about it just in case they come and get meit’s for the best. TRUST ME. Theme Tune. Enter Sandman-Metallica. “Sleep with one eye open.” Or… y’know….NEVER SLEEP AGAIN. Angst Level. 8/10. Man, this book put me through the ringer. I’m not sure whether it was because I had no idea what was going on for large sections so I was constantly on edge waiting for sweet, sweet clarity but… yeah. My neighbour deciding that this weekend would be a good time to use effin’ POWER TOOLS sporadically did not help this matter either. My nerves are in shatters. There were a few long pages full of Caleb feeling sorry for himself and generally doing the jitterbug...But considering what kind of mental things are happening around him…. I think I can let this one slide. Recommended For. People who like psychological thrillers. People who like original ideas. People who don’t mind being completely confused by a story. People who once woke up in the middle of their school field with a bottle of Jagermeister next to them and wondered what the eff just happened. People who think they could work it in a floor-length nightgown. People who would eat cake off an envelope if they dropped it on, too. People who would just close the door if they saw a racoon in their bath and go and make a sandwich. People who wouldn’t think twice about approaching a crazy naked lady performing satanic rituals in her garden. People who think that grinding their teeth at night is strange… just you wait,'enry 'iggins, just you wait. I received a copy of this book from the publishers. You can read this review and lots of other exciting things on my blog here

  3. 5 out of 5

    J. Gates

    The Sleepwalkers is like a supernova of awesomeness blasting through your brain. Expect total mental annihilation.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tee loves Kyle Jacobson

    Warning: This book will give you nightmares! This book is full of suspense at every corner and will have you on the edge of your seat! My Rating: 5 of 5 This book is really great! My Cover Thoughts: The cover is what drew me to read the book. It is a picture of a girl in a white dress standing in a door way. When you look at it you wonder if it is a ghost or something else more sinister. My Thoughts/Review: WOW this book had me on the edge of my bed the entire time I was reading it. It was full of Warning: This book will give you nightmares! This book is full of suspense at every corner and will have you on the edge of your seat! My Rating: 5 of 5 This book is really great! My Cover Thoughts: The cover is what drew me to read the book. It is a picture of a girl in a white dress standing in a door way. When you look at it you wonder if it is a ghost or something else more sinister. My Thoughts/Review: WOW this book had me on the edge of my bed the entire time I was reading it. It was full of suspense and at times something out of a horror movie! Caleb has just graduated from high school with his best friend Bean and they are celebrating at Caleb’s house. Bean is harassing Caleb because he is going to Africa to write about the AIDS epidemic instead of staying home for the summer and surfing and hanging out. Caleb and Bean have been best friends for years and Bean does not want Caleb to go to Africa because he wants to hang out before they go off to college. At the party everyone is having fun and they want Caleb to give a speech but he says no way let’s eat cake. While he is getting a second piece of cake he wanders over to the table where the gifts are. He sees a lot of envelops and gifts and while he is trying to balance his second piece of cake he drops it right on the envelope. He is trying to clean it off so his mother won’t get mad and that is when he sees then envelope does not have a return address but it is addressed to him by his full name. He is curious so he cleans it off and opens it up. Once he opens the letter all his nightmares that he has had as a child come flashing back to him. He shows the letter to Bean and asks for his opinion. It is decided he will not be going to Africa but to his childhood home to see his best friend from childhood. Once they get there they find that the town that Caleb grew up in is no longer how it was. There are children missing and people missing and no one in the town seems to care. That is when Caleb and Bean go to see his best friend Christine and find out that kids go missing all the time and that they are locked up in this place and no one helps them get out. Caleb swears to Christine he is going to get her out of that place and help her because he owes her that. The only thing that Caleb does not realize is that he is in for a serious journey when he tries to free Christine. Will they make out of alive or will they die trying? This story has lots of twists and turns and will have you at the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. J. Gabriel Gates is the next Stephen King with this book! Advice: CREEPTASTIC READ! You will not be disappointed once you start reading this book you will not be able to put it down.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Savannah (Books With Bite)

    This is one of those books that you must read with ALL the lights on, your back to the wall, and someone else in the room with you. Once I started this book, I kept looking over my shoulder to make sure nothing was coming after me! This book reminded me of the movie House on Haunted Hill, but in a teen version. I don't why I continue to read scary books even though I know they scare me. But holy cow! This book is written amazingly and just creeped me out to the bone. I mean, it really shook my up This is one of those books that you must read with ALL the lights on, your back to the wall, and someone else in the room with you. Once I started this book, I kept looking over my shoulder to make sure nothing was coming after me! This book reminded me of the movie House on Haunted Hill, but in a teen version. I don't why I continue to read scary books even though I know they scare me. But holy cow! This book is written amazingly and just creeped me out to the bone. I mean, it really shook my up. Mr. Gates did an amazing job in scaring the begezzus out of me. And I am sure he will do just a fine job doing that to everyone else. His story line is filled with non-stop mystery, action, and plenty of raising the hair on the back of my neck moments. The plot line slowly creeps out on you as you read. Nothing is what is seems, but before you know it, Mr. Gates writing jumps out on you so fast! I loved that the reader is kept at bay from secrets, but also get secrets reveals little by little. There are some crazy parts in this book. Heck, it made me think I was crazy! The characters of this book are very well developed. I loved that they are smart, witty, and very fast to catch on to everything quickly. The main character Caleb is a fighter. As the reader travels with him, Caleb develops more. We seen him fight, uncover mysteries, and save a friend. Caleb is an easy going guy that everyone will love and fight for. If you love a good scary book, one that will have you looking over your shoulder read this book! Not only will if have you biting your fingernails off, you will be at the edge of your seat! Mr. Gates writing is easy to read and easy to get into. He captures the readers with one word, and does not let you go.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bern

    Ok. Breathe. I need to breathe. This... man, this was screwed up. Started out with heavy psychological horror, went from that to book version of a B slasher flick and then proceeded to become a crazy satanist cult God-can't-help-you-now sort of thing. It was crazy and at times terrifying and even though I was shocked and had my heart practically beating out of my chest, I loved it. J. Gabriel Gates should definitely write more, his visual style and his knack for psychological horror make for a gre Ok. Breathe. I need to breathe. This... man, this was screwed up. Started out with heavy psychological horror, went from that to book version of a B slasher flick and then proceeded to become a crazy satanist cult God-can't-help-you-now sort of thing. It was crazy and at times terrifying and even though I was shocked and had my heart practically beating out of my chest, I loved it. J. Gabriel Gates should definitely write more, his visual style and his knack for psychological horror make for a great combination when it comes to writing horror books, and honestly, I'd put him right up there with the likes of Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Debatable in terms of experience, of course, but hey, if he's this good now, imagine what chillingly terrifying books can come out of this guy's mind in the future? Some of the ideas were a little too out-there but honestly I haven't read one horror book that didn't have at least one or more ridiculous and/or senseless plot points, so this was obviously no exception. It's not that some of the things in this book were screaming "over the top!" like some other books do - I'm glaring at you now, The Vanishing Game - but it's like there were so many things the author tried to include that some of them ended up not going far. Not that it mattered, really. If ever horror book was as much of a blast as it was paging through this, I'd have read them all by now. And now to the only reason I'm not giving it a full five stars - because you must be wondering how is it I praised the hell out of this book and only gave it four stars, but there's a perfectly good explanation for it: Bean. I loved Bean. He wasn't the main character and I guess he was written with the purpose of being very likable, but "likable" just doesn't cut it. Bean is perfect. Honestly. If Bean was a real person, I'd stalk his facebook, loiter around his house and take pictures of his naked self through the blinded windows and then find a way of getting myself married to him so we could ride off gloriously into the sunset, him saying something snarky as he slipped an arm around my shoulders and me grinning at him and, for some reason, wearing a big ass sombrero. J. Gabriel Gates gets my eternal thanks for creating such a character, but as a vendetta for what Gates did next, I shall take away one meaningless star off his review because screw him, he's not the only douchebag around here...

  7. 5 out of 5

    rameau

    Where to start with this one? How about with the fact that I'm torn. How I felt about this book: 2 stars. What the writing deserves: 4 stars. I was expecting great many things from this book. I was expecting to be sucked in and be lost for few hours, maybe couple of days. I was expecting to be entertained with riveting action filled story and characters I could cheer to get through the horrifying events. I was underwhelmed. One thing I can't blame is the writing. It was short and to the point, an Where to start with this one? How about with the fact that I'm torn. How I felt about this book: 2 stars. What the writing deserves: 4 stars. I was expecting great many things from this book. I was expecting to be sucked in and be lost for few hours, maybe couple of days. I was expecting to be entertained with riveting action filled story and characters I could cheer to get through the horrifying events. I was underwhelmed. One thing I can't blame is the writing. It was short and to the point, and descriptive at the same time. The grammar was stellar and I love, love, loved the fact that majority of this book was written in third limited. He and she, as opposed to I, makes me swoon every time. The events were marched by in such a way that I could see them playing out vividly behind my eyelids - when I was paying enough attention - in a film like fashion. And therein lies my problem with this book. Was this a script that was rejected and then reworked into a book? I can't tell for sure, but that's how I read it. As something that belongs on the silver screen instead on the pages of a book. I've had this problem before with certain stories: What would make a great finish for a film or a series won't have the same emotional effect on a reader of a book. With The Sleepwalkers, though, it wasn't just the ending. Gates gave me plenty of reasons to like Caleb, Bean, and Christine, it just wasn't enough to reach me. There was something missing, and I suspect that something was the portrayal of a gifted actor. You'll notice I haven't said much about the plot, there's a reason for that. Although, this wasn't my cup of tea, it very well may be yours and I don't want to spoil you the joy of finding out for yourself. I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Aruskabomb

    Look. Don't read this book if you're one of those people who crap their pants and jump five feet in the sky when your best friend hides behind the door and whispers Boo. There are worse things out there. Like The Sleepwalkers. So, God help you if you actually get heart attacks from jump scares. I advise you to close this tab and crawl under your blankets and pray for your life. Because shhh, do you hear that? They're coming. The Sleepwalkers does not have the best writing you've seen in your life. Look. Don't read this book if you're one of those people who crap their pants and jump five feet in the sky when your best friend hides behind the door and whispers Boo. There are worse things out there. Like The Sleepwalkers. So, God help you if you actually get heart attacks from jump scares. I advise you to close this tab and crawl under your blankets and pray for your life. Because shhh, do you hear that? They're coming. The Sleepwalkers does not have the best writing you've seen in your life. It won't make you drool wishing you were ever that good but what it does have is a good plot and bomb-ass characters. Which is enough. The story will have you gripping the edge of your seat, your mind will be a mess trying to figure out what in the feckin' hell is going on and you'll enjoy the feeling. And if you don't, you have the permission to shoot my kneecaps. If there's anything I hate, it's horror books that end like fairy tails. No, that doesn't mean I want the characters lying in a pool of blood with their neck sliced. I like pink, confetti-filled happy endings but no need to drag the cheese in. J. Gabriel Gates wrote the most perfect ending for a horror book. It was amazing and I keep rereading last line to see if I hadn't dreamed the whole thing up. Then why didn't I give it five stars? Trust me, I'm tempted. In the near future, when I can't stop thinking about Caleb and Bean I will change my rating to five stars. Right now, I have all the this-part-was-written-in-a-rush and you-forgot-to-mention-that-again fresh in my mind. Praise God.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Finally, a young adult horror novel that is just the right level of, well, horrifying. Caleb, formerly known as Billy, receives a mysterious letter from a childhood friend and takes off from his home in California to the small Florida town where he grew up. He's accompanied by Bean, his best friend and comic relief, but the mystery deepens when Caleb discovers that his father has disappeared along with "hundreds" of others. (Which is odd, since the population of the town is 123--where did the hu Finally, a young adult horror novel that is just the right level of, well, horrifying. Caleb, formerly known as Billy, receives a mysterious letter from a childhood friend and takes off from his home in California to the small Florida town where he grew up. He's accompanied by Bean, his best friend and comic relief, but the mystery deepens when Caleb discovers that his father has disappeared along with "hundreds" of others. (Which is odd, since the population of the town is 123--where did the hundreds of missing folks come from? But I digress.) I literally had to walk away from the book at points because I got too nervous for the characters (reminding myself they weren't, in fact, real people) or reread parts because I blasted through them in my hurry to see what happened next. The characters are well-developed, the plot twists are surprising, and the writing is rich and engaging. I can't wait to recommend this book to the teens who complain that there are no "scary" books. And then I'll dare them to sleep with the lights off.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    The book as a whole reads as scattered and nominally disjointed as that blurb read, to me at least. I always get a little excited at the prospect of what sounds like a good horror novel. On first look, without reading the novel, I wouldn't think that blurb too bad. But in hindsight, everything runs into everything else, just like it does in the novel, and it doesn't make for too great of a read. I won't say I had high hopes for it. I just get excited to read horror. But I'm well aware of the pitf The book as a whole reads as scattered and nominally disjointed as that blurb read, to me at least. I always get a little excited at the prospect of what sounds like a good horror novel. On first look, without reading the novel, I wouldn't think that blurb too bad. But in hindsight, everything runs into everything else, just like it does in the novel, and it doesn't make for too great of a read. I won't say I had high hopes for it. I just get excited to read horror. But I'm well aware of the pitfalls of the genre, and how massive turds could be laid in the dark corners of it. While THE SLEEPWALKERS isn't a massive turd, it's pretty much a turd nonetheless. It was slow-going to start, taking it's sweet time getting into the meat of the plot. I didn't really mind like I normally would. So I waited. Some needless characters were introduced that didn't serve a purpose beyond the first couple of chapters. But when Bean and Caleb went on the road, that's really when the story started and things started getting weird. Bean I really could have lived without. I just found him horrendously grating in his incessant need to be obnoxious. I just felt the character was pushing for something that didn't feel natural at all. He just always grated on me. Caleb ended up being your classic horror hero, or anti-hero, as it were. I didn't really feel one way or another for him, which isn't really a good thing. He kept getting these unexplainable needs to stay when all signs pointed to get the hell out of there and that bugged me. Classic in horror, but it wasn't played very well here and he ended up with a lot of blood on his hands. Which he dwelled upon for about half a chapter and then it wasn't really mentioned again. So that didn't sit well with me either. I was fading from the plot and then quickly hooked back in once the sleepwalkers were introduced. I thought those things were pretty creepy and the idea of people so controlled, and possessed, like that while asleep is pretty terrifying. But it all jumped the shark once clown make-up and end-of-days prophecies starting showing their ugly faces. Once a horror novel (or movie) turns towards the downright silly, you can't really recover from that. And I don't mean making light of the moment, silly, but scoffing at the pages silly. Once I hit that point the book was lost to me. It could have had redeeming moments but it really didn't. It ended how I figured it would end, the telltale showdown came to fruition and I turned off my eReader and moved on to the next book. Ultimately I felt like THE SLEEPWALKERS was trying too hard to be horror. Instead of letting the creepiness of the asylum be it's down character and pull the reader in (despite how cliche that is, it can still work when done right), the door exploded in an orgy of horror tropes, as if the author were trying to cram as many of them into the pages as possible. Like Scary Movie but without the humor. I felt inundated by horrorness instead of horrified by it. I wanted to be afraid but wasn't. I wanted to be creeped out and for a couple of instances I was but they were few and far between. I didn't feel like the characters were real. They recovered from their ordeal far too easily for my liking and while it didn't really end on an up-note, it just felt too neatly tied into a pretty bow for me. I wasn't scared at the end of the book. I was just done with it. THE SLEEPWALKERS was a decent try at horror but I'd have to say less is more. Letting the sleepwalkers be sleepwalkers would have been more than enough. But throwing in the Joker and overcooked prophecies just doesn't leave enough room for anything else.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    Read the full review at Working for the Mandroid I’m a firm believer that kids can be the creepiest things in existence. They’re supposed to be all cute and innocent, and the next thing you know, they’re clawing your eyes out. It’s a common horror trope, but to add in the fact that these demon children are asleep when going on their rampages and don’t know what they’re doing upon waking up is even more freaky. The fact that Gates is able to tie this idea into a conspiracy-theory filled suspense s Read the full review at Working for the Mandroid I’m a firm believer that kids can be the creepiest things in existence. They’re supposed to be all cute and innocent, and the next thing you know, they’re clawing your eyes out. It’s a common horror trope, but to add in the fact that these demon children are asleep when going on their rampages and don’t know what they’re doing upon waking up is even more freaky. The fact that Gates is able to tie this idea into a conspiracy-theory filled suspense story filled with curveballs is impressive. Gates does wonderful things with cliché tropes, polishing them up and making them seem new again. The comedian best friend to lighten the mood? That would be Bean. Creepy kids? Many, many of those. A freaky, batshit insane clown? Yes, dear god, get it away from me! Our main character saving the girl? That happens a time or two. People hearing voices, telling them to do bad things? Yeah, that’s all over this book. The haunting voice heard through the static of a radio? Used wonderfully multiple times. Despite all these things, it still felt like a fresh and creative book. The dialogue felt natural and the characters were all intriguing. Best of all, not once did Caleb or any of the other characters do something so stupid that I started screaming at the book. Even the secondary characters were fleshed out enough that they didn’t seem like cardboard cutouts filling space. The shift in perspective between Caleb and other characters, such as Ron, the man searching for his missing daughter, and Margie, the beaten down waitress that just wants things to be normal, allowed for different perspectives that filled out the world more than if Caleb was our only point of view. The writing style also shifted a little depending on the perspective, though it wasn’t consistent. Sometimes Margie’s point of view would be told in southern slang and with a clear drawling accent, though it didn’t happen all the time. It was momentarily distracting the first time I noticed it, though it was a nice touch to the mood of the story at times. I just wish it had been used more consistently. All of these plot points are things I’ve seen many times on television and in books, and yet that only allowed me to see Gates’ storytelling more vividly and enhanced the creeptacular elements of the story. For some reason, I kept imagining Caleb and Bean as the two guys from Reaper, even though they were the wrong age and wrong appearance, but it still worked out. Putting familiar faces on to the characters helped me not have nightmares in the end. This is not to say that Gates doesn’t create characters that stand on their own because he does. I just found a similarity to the dialogue styles that brought those television characters to mind.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dusky

    This book is in the February 2012 Paranormal Addicts and Newbies Group book of the month. Wow. I finished this book just a few minutes ago. I read it in one sitting. Reading others reviews, I didn't want ti out it down, because I truly thought, 'this is going to get good and scary.' Guess what? It really didn't. The entire thing was a little creepy. But, i'll be honest, I am a wimp, I jump at shadows. But after reading this book, I was able to walk through my creepy 140 year old farm house (that This book is in the February 2012 Paranormal Addicts and Newbies Group book of the month. Wow. I finished this book just a few minutes ago. I read it in one sitting. Reading others reviews, I didn't want ti out it down, because I truly thought, 'this is going to get good and scary.' Guess what? It really didn't. The entire thing was a little creepy. But, i'll be honest, I am a wimp, I jump at shadows. But after reading this book, I was able to walk through my creepy 140 year old farm house (that I have always sworn is haunted) in the dark. It's just creepy. Not scary. But then again this is a YA story, and I haven't been that for awhile. And I was reading Stephen King at 10, so perhaps my definition of a scary book isn't everyone's. Also, the present tense was a little awkward, but I did get used to it. The point of view skipped around so much that it made no sense at all in some places. And there were a few times words seemed a little misplaced. But otherwise the writing was slightly better than okay. The story was decent, but confusing. He gets this letter and all of a sudden he feels like he's been living a lie? I can't see it. I don't see the evolution of even his entire thought process that makes him come to that conclusion. (view spoiler)[ Bean was great, but upon seeing Caleb/Billy's childhood home, he wonders if he ever knew his friend at all. That makes no sense to me. Caleb left there at what, seven or eight? Bean was such a good friend DYING for him, twice, but he asks that question? And even though Bean was funny, that thought wasn't. As for Bean's actual death, how could Caleb not know that he was going to run out and get himself killed so that he and Christine could get away? That was so obvious, and he let him go. So the CHANCE of saving her was more important than his best friends life? (hide spoiler)] The plot seemed very disjointed to me. Caleb was supposed to play a role, but he didn't bother finding out what it was. He had opportunities to ask, but didn't. (view spoiler)[ when they brought up him being the hero, I just KNEW he was supposed to kill the scary clown. When I heard the story of Johnny Morle, I assumed it was his dad. Then I wasn't so sure because I thought the chained bones was his dad instead - which we were led to believe, yet not told outright. So that was a good little twist. But still, he didn't ask what his role entailed. And killing him probably ended the world. Christine said that more than anything the spirits didn't want to be alone, yet she believed every word from her sister. Yet, Anna kept saying it had to happen or something along those lines, why didn't they wonder about her real loyalties? She was dead. (hide spoiler)] Overall, it was okay, I have a lot more thoughts than I have written here. I am going to take a bit to digest, and maybe I will be better able to write them. I won't be rereading this book. Though, I won't say the time spent reading it was a waste.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kerri

    WARNING: You should sit with your back to the wall when you read this book as you never know what might be lurking in the dark behind you. Seriously this is one eery book. Caleb Mason has just graduated from high school when he receives a "mysterious, disturbing" letter from his long-lost childhood playmate, Christine. Caleb talks his best friend Bean into accompanying him to visit his old hometown of Hudsonville, Florida to find Christine. What they find when they arrive there is even more myst WARNING: You should sit with your back to the wall when you read this book as you never know what might be lurking in the dark behind you. Seriously this is one eery book. Caleb Mason has just graduated from high school when he receives a "mysterious, disturbing" letter from his long-lost childhood playmate, Christine. Caleb talks his best friend Bean into accompanying him to visit his old hometown of Hudsonville, Florida to find Christine. What they find when they arrive there is even more mysterious and disturbing. This book by J. Gabriel Gates is definitely more for the older YA reader. I liked that this book was not your typical YA book that is being mass produced right now by every writer (vampires, werewolves and every other paranormal creature possible.) This is a dark horror story aimed at getting your heart racing and your fingers speed turning the pages and as much as I believe that it does accomplish this - I also found I was disappointed at parts. I found the beginning read more like a script for a play than a story and though it was refreshing it also kept the reader at a distance. I found that the main characters with the exception of Bean lacked depth. I never felt that a real connection was ever made between Christine and Caleb. They did so many things that I found myself shaking my head and asking why??? Why don't they just leave? Why are they going there? Why are they doing that? Why? Why? Why? and by the end of the book I never found out why. Finally I really don't like when there are no parameters - ie. the bad guy in this book can do anything at anytime to anybody it seems so how then does anyone have a chance against him? Bottom line - I just don't usually like books that are so dark and eery and devil-related. Because of all of the above I am giving this three stars. I still believe that those of you who like an action-packed thriller - you will probably like this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

    Caleb has dreams of becoming a journalist. After graduation, he plans to travel to Africa to write about the AIDS crisis. Right away we see how grown-up Caleb is. His best friend Bean is the comic relief. The two together complement each other very well. Their future plans get put on hold when Caleb receives a letter from a childhood friend, Christine, in Hudsonville, FL. She asks for him to come to her. Caleb remembers the all the fun he and Christine and Christine’s twin sister Anne. Until the Caleb has dreams of becoming a journalist. After graduation, he plans to travel to Africa to write about the AIDS crisis. Right away we see how grown-up Caleb is. His best friend Bean is the comic relief. The two together complement each other very well. Their future plans get put on hold when Caleb receives a letter from a childhood friend, Christine, in Hudsonville, FL. She asks for him to come to her. Caleb remembers the all the fun he and Christine and Christine’s twin sister Anne. Until the day Anne disappeared. After arriving in Hudsonville, Bean is ready to turn back. He feels that the whole town is “dead” and the people that are there are acting mysteriously. They find that a lot of people have been disappearing and the law is not doing anything about it. Caleb also finds that his father has vanished leaving all his belongings behind. The mystery seems to center on the Dream Center that has set up shop behind Caleb’s childhood home. Christine is there and so it seems a lot of people are. Nightmares may be a normal phenomenon but in Hudsonville it is a one-way ticket into the Dream Center and once you’re in you never leave (or so you remember). Now it is coming to an end. The Director of the Dream Center has brought Caleb here along with a man named Ron Bent to complete his ultimate goal. He has created sleepwalkers who are his own personal army. This is what nightmares are made of. Creepy, sleeping children that turn into rabid dogs bent on killing whatever is in their way. What is even more scary is the Director wears clown makeup! Loved the classic horror story vibe that Gates brings. I found it very suitable for the YA horror genre. It definitely had me wishing I read it during the day instead of at night. This one will get you wondering what that scratching noise is at your window. Is it just a tree branch or has a sleepwalker come to take you away?

  15. 4 out of 5

    Julie Witt

    I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Caleb Mason is graduating from high school, is one of most popular kids in his school, is dating Amber, also in the popular club, and is best friends with Bean, who is a likable jokester who complements Caleb perfectly. Caleb is taking a year off school, where he is planning to study journalism and become an investigative reporter, to go to Africa and work in the Aids community. At his graduation party, though, all tha I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Caleb Mason is graduating from high school, is one of most popular kids in his school, is dating Amber, also in the popular club, and is best friends with Bean, who is a likable jokester who complements Caleb perfectly. Caleb is taking a year off school, where he is planning to study journalism and become an investigative reporter, to go to Africa and work in the Aids community. At his graduation party, though, all that changes when he gets a very cryptic letter from a childhood friend back in Hudsonville, Florida, the little backwater community he lived in until he was 8. He has a bad feeling about this, so he takes Bean and heads back there to make sure Christine is okay. That is when life as he knows it changes completely, and he finds himself embroiled in discovering the truth to a terrible, deadly secret that the town is hiding. I loved this book! It was delightfully creepy and suspenseful, and once you start it, trust me, you will not want to put it down until you reach the very last page! The writing is superb, the characters are very well fleshed out and three dimensional, and the big secret is a doozy indeed. This is a YA book, and as such there are only a few quick mentions of sex, basically in passing, and the cursing is kept to a minimum. There was nothing that I found offensive at all. You really find yourself pulling for the characters, but you know that there is not going to be a happy ending for some of them, which is another thing that keeps the suspense level up. In summary, I am giving this book 5 out of 5 stars because I loved everything about it, and I don't say that often!! As soon as this book is released, Get It!!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Peace Love and Reviews

    The story starts of with a dream. From the past or just a random dream? That was my question. It was disturbing and made me wonder what kind of Sleepwalker am I going to encounter? It is obviously not the normal kind. Beware that there are words / scenes rarely written in YA. If you are a YA reader, this might come to you as darker than usual and bolder, braver. That being said and as an adult reader I love the Sleepwalkers. It is already creepy enough that Caleb's childhood friend Christine, wh The story starts of with a dream. From the past or just a random dream? That was my question. It was disturbing and made me wonder what kind of Sleepwalker am I going to encounter? It is obviously not the normal kind. Beware that there are words / scenes rarely written in YA. If you are a YA reader, this might come to you as darker than usual and bolder, braver. That being said and as an adult reader I love the Sleepwalkers. It is already creepy enough that Caleb's childhood friend Christine, who he hasn't talked to in ages since he left Hudsonville suddenly wrote him a letter with a mysterious message. Going there with his best friend Bean to venture the unknown, I think it is fair to expect creepier scenarios. Then mix it up with an adult named Ron who seem to came out of nowhere but is heading to the same direction as Caleb and Bean and to top all of that there seem to be a deranged doctor/directro in the Dream Center named, Barnett DeFranklin, who seems to know what is happening this is creepy small town; the plot thickens. Sleepwalker took me to a world where no YA has taken me before, scary enough to render an 7/10 horror scale in my book. My nerves were rattled, I kept wondering what the hell is going on? Too much psychological play. Dreams, hallucinations, satanic rituals, kids with pale faces in dark tunnels, and more. Is is a super natural element or images from a deranged mind of the characters? If you do not mind getting confused and love challenging yourself to find out what really is happening in this book, this one is perfect for you.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kitty Honeycutt

    Book Title: "The Sleepwalkers” Author: J. Gabriel Gates Published By: HCI Publishing Age Recommended: 14+ Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard Raven Rating: 5 Review: WOW! What a book! This book really had me enthralled from beginning to end. When Caleb Mason receives a letter from an old childhood friend, Christine, on the day after his graduation from High School, he is disturbed and a little worried. For some reason he is compelled to travel to his childhood home in Hudsonville, Florida and forego his plans Book Title: "The Sleepwalkers” Author: J. Gabriel Gates Published By: HCI Publishing Age Recommended: 14+ Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard Raven Rating: 5 Review: WOW! What a book! This book really had me enthralled from beginning to end. When Caleb Mason receives a letter from an old childhood friend, Christine, on the day after his graduation from High School, he is disturbed and a little worried. For some reason he is compelled to travel to his childhood home in Hudsonville, Florida and forego his plans of a summer of traveling abroad and helping with catastrophic causes in foreign lands. What Caleb does not realize or even begin to understand, is he is headed into a far greater catastrophe than he could ever imagine. His hometown has become a desolate wasteland of nightmarish caliber and as memories begin to come back from his childhood, so does a voice from the past he thought he’d never hear again. Caleb is forced into a position that requires him to face his fears and figure out how to save not only his childhood friend but the entire town… and even his own father. With a surprise twist of an ending and plenty of heart-pounding moments, “The Sleepwalkers” by J. Gabriel Gates, truly delivers!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    3.5-4 Stars I am going to be honest, I don't read a lot of horror books. I went through a Stephen King phase in high school and then for what ever reason kind of gave up the genre but, with the upcoming Halloween season I decided I would give this book a go. Why? The synopsis sounded so good, I just knew I needed to try it. And this book was good. Creepy good in fact. I admit, I got goosebumps in parts and found myself looking over my shoulder and listening for noises that weren't there and, well 3.5-4 Stars I am going to be honest, I don't read a lot of horror books. I went through a Stephen King phase in high school and then for what ever reason kind of gave up the genre but, with the upcoming Halloween season I decided I would give this book a go. Why? The synopsis sounded so good, I just knew I needed to try it. And this book was good. Creepy good in fact. I admit, I got goosebumps in parts and found myself looking over my shoulder and listening for noises that weren't there and, well, suffice to say I think I remember now why I gave up the genre. I. Am. A. Chicken. This book was pretty suspenseful and intense at moments. It definitely had me turning the pages wondering what in the world was going to happen next. Wondering if the whole town was crazy or if it was just a select few. Wondering about the mystery of it all and who was whom and what was what. Overall I was pretty satisfied with the ending, although it kind of was a creepy ending too, I mean, what happens next? Is it over or has it just begun? I don't want to give anything away but I will say this, if you want something fun and different and something that will keep you on your toes then try this book, you won't be disappointed.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Reagan Smith

    When I was first given this book and asked to read it I was a little apprehensive. I'm not into scary books and movies AT ALL. I decided I would give it a try and as soon as I started reading it I couldn't put it down. I became almost obsessed with reading it. I wasn't going to read it at night worried that it would give me nightmares but I had to keep reading. The story keeps you wondering whats going to happen until the very end. What you expect is not what happens and it doesn't make complete When I was first given this book and asked to read it I was a little apprehensive. I'm not into scary books and movies AT ALL. I decided I would give it a try and as soon as I started reading it I couldn't put it down. I became almost obsessed with reading it. I wasn't going to read it at night worried that it would give me nightmares but I had to keep reading. The story keeps you wondering whats going to happen until the very end. What you expect is not what happens and it doesn't make complete sense until the end. I find this to be part of the reason this book was so addicting. The writing style and voice throughout the book made it easy to picture. I can honestly see this as a movie one day. The plot keeps your mind reeling and constanly thinking what the end will be. I couldnt stop turning the pages and it kept me up late nights trying to finish it. This is the best book I have read in a while. I see GREAT things to come from this author.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kelli

    I've never really read anything in the horror genre before and honestly I went into this book knowing I wasn't going to like it. It was a book club read so I was just going to struggle through it and that was going to be that - except that's not how it ended up going at all. In romance there is a formula and I'm sure the same can be said somewhat of every genre but what was so great about reading this book was I really didn't know where it was going to go, or how it was going to end. I mean, com I've never really read anything in the horror genre before and honestly I went into this book knowing I wasn't going to like it. It was a book club read so I was just going to struggle through it and that was going to be that - except that's not how it ended up going at all. In romance there is a formula and I'm sure the same can be said somewhat of every genre but what was so great about reading this book was I really didn't know where it was going to go, or how it was going to end. I mean, come on, this is a genre where it might be perfectly okay to go ahead and kill off the protagonists. It's been awhile since I've read a book that really kept me flipping pages, kept me wondering. I read this very quickly and I really enjoyed every twist, every turn, every blood curdling scream... Gates is a fantastic writer and storyteller. I was absolutely blown away by this piece and I'm sure I'll pick up another J Gabriel Gates book sooner than later.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leisa

    I was pretty excited to see that this author is from Michigan, so I had high hopes. I have no idea why this book took so long while reading it. Felt like forever. Like I had to drag myself to finish it. There was a really great concept and storyline going on here, but the first half of this book dragged along for me, all the while waiting for something epic to happen, then finally, Finally, it started to pick up. The ending however flopped for me. The conversations between the characters seemed for I was pretty excited to see that this author is from Michigan, so I had high hopes. I have no idea why this book took so long while reading it. Felt like forever. Like I had to drag myself to finish it. There was a really great concept and storyline going on here, but the first half of this book dragged along for me, all the while waiting for something epic to happen, then finally, Finally, it started to pick up. The ending however flopped for me. The conversations between the characters seemed forced and made me shake my head and ask, uh, why in the midst of all this, is there a lame attempt at a romance? Shoulda left that out. It was pretty awkward. Finishing this was like having an awesome balloon that was going to whip around the room as you release the air....but it never did. It was more like, really? that's IT? For me, Sleepwalkers snoozed.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Thea Liwanag-Mabulay

    I hate this book. And yet I also love it. I honestly don't know if this book belongs in my YA shelf. It has too much intensity for a young adult book. Too much so that I am left reeling and utterly disturbed. So I'll just try to make this review as short as possible. Hair-raising factor - check Mystery - check Lingering spookiness - check Heart-breaking moments - check Fast pace - check Cliff hanging ending - CHECK There you have it. Personally, I wouldn't mind not getting to rea I hate this book. And yet I also love it. I honestly don't know if this book belongs in my YA shelf. It has too much intensity for a young adult book. Too much so that I am left reeling and utterly disturbed. So I'll just try to make this review as short as possible. Hair-raising factor - check Mystery - check Lingering spookiness - check Heart-breaking moments - check Fast pace - check Cliff hanging ending - CHECK There you have it. Personally, I wouldn't mind not getting to read a sequel, if there is any. I believe the ending nailed it perfectly.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Rogers

    **ARC Courtesy of Netgalley I got to page 255 and lost my interest. Was it weird? Yes. Was it scary like I thought it would be? Nope. The writing was choppy in the beginning, but then smoothed out a few chapters in. All the POV changes made my head spin, including a POV from an adult, which you don't normally see in YA. There were also A LOT of sexual and religious references, which surprised me. I'm not sure if vulgarity is supposed to add edginess or what, but some lines were just TMI. Overall, **ARC Courtesy of Netgalley I got to page 255 and lost my interest. Was it weird? Yes. Was it scary like I thought it would be? Nope. The writing was choppy in the beginning, but then smoothed out a few chapters in. All the POV changes made my head spin, including a POV from an adult, which you don't normally see in YA. There were also A LOT of sexual and religious references, which surprised me. I'm not sure if vulgarity is supposed to add edginess or what, but some lines were just TMI. Overall, it didn't make me want to sleep with the lights on. :(

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melliemcguire

    Okay, so let me put this out here right now: THIS BOOK WILL SCARE YOU, THRILL YOU, AND MAKE YOU PEE YOUR PANTS AT TIMES. So now that I got that out in the open let me be real. Gates is a genius, besides the fact that he gave me nightmares (yes, Gates I forgive you) the style of his writing is gorgeous. The ending leaves the reader with a tingling sensation that there may be a sequel (crossing my fingers) and there is hope on the horizon and that the world is screwed, but the just will be okay. P Okay, so let me put this out here right now: THIS BOOK WILL SCARE YOU, THRILL YOU, AND MAKE YOU PEE YOUR PANTS AT TIMES. So now that I got that out in the open let me be real. Gates is a genius, besides the fact that he gave me nightmares (yes, Gates I forgive you) the style of his writing is gorgeous. The ending leaves the reader with a tingling sensation that there may be a sequel (crossing my fingers) and there is hope on the horizon and that the world is screwed, but the just will be okay. Please Gates, keep writing awesome thrillers, cannot wait for more!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Erica Warren

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I highly recommend this book for anyone searching for a page turning mystery with a twist. It was hard to put down : )

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I really enjoyed the eerie atmosphere in this book, this feeling of something going on but not knowing quite sure what. The fact that there was an asylum thrown in (well technically a former asylum turned sleep centre) made it all that much more interesting to me. I read a few comments complaining about the pacing but didn't really bother me. In fact, I liked the beginning of the book, which had a slower pacing, more than I liked the action-packed ending. Somehow the threathening vibe this story I really enjoyed the eerie atmosphere in this book, this feeling of something going on but not knowing quite sure what. The fact that there was an asylum thrown in (well technically a former asylum turned sleep centre) made it all that much more interesting to me. I read a few comments complaining about the pacing but didn't really bother me. In fact, I liked the beginning of the book, which had a slower pacing, more than I liked the action-packed ending. Somehow the threathening vibe this story gives off in the beginning, without something dangerous actually happening made me appreciate the story more. Atmospheric horror, yes please! Sadly for me at least (and also a bit atypical of me) things started speeding up in the second half of the story with lots of things happening one after the other. This destroyed the eerie atmosphere it had going and it was the main reason why I in the end dropped my rating to 4 stars instead of the full 5 stars. Also, full out crazy isn't as scary as subtle crazy, though I better explain this with an example: psychopathic but in-control-of-himself doctor is way creepier than psychopathic completely bonkers clown (and as somebody who for some strange unexplained reason hates clowns that is saying a lot). It's a bit like Dr. Hannibal Lecter being scarier than zombies or ghosts simply because at first sight he appears normal. Another thing that I kind of missed in this story was a better explanation. How are the people controlled? how does it work? why 66? Does that truly mean anything? A semi-logical explanation for these things would have made this feel more like a clear-cut psychological thriller, now there was this paranormal vibe lingering at the end of the novel. It didn't really influence the story a lot, but it was not the nicest feeling hanging around after finishing. But to end on a positive note: I liked the plot twist. Not going to say more because spoilers, but yes plot twists. Anyway, still enjoyed this a lot and would recommend to anyone enjoying a bit of psychological horror.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Titan

    Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the morn. From the deep and darkest water great Lucifer is born. When six and sixty souls are dead he'll blow his mighty horn. And hell is marching on. The minute I read the first line--Something in the ruins waits.--I knew I enfolding myself in a real thing to behold. I didn't anticipate that I'd enjoy the flourish and timing as much as I did, but the literary aspect of Gates' writing fucking floored me. Here's a man who knows how to build a sto Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the morn. From the deep and darkest water great Lucifer is born. When six and sixty souls are dead he'll blow his mighty horn. And hell is marching on. The minute I read the first line--Something in the ruins waits.--I knew I enfolding myself in a real thing to behold. I didn't anticipate that I'd enjoy the flourish and timing as much as I did, but the literary aspect of Gates' writing fucking floored me. Here's a man who knows how to build a story, and take his time doing it, not just tell a story. He constructs corners that the reader wouldn't even think of otherwise. I seriously appreciated it. (Though he could've reined it in a little with the head-hopping. Just a little.) And the characters! Caleb is my favorite thing, like, ever. He and Christine together remind me a lot of how I feel about Cas and Anna from Anna Dressed in Blood (Kendare Blake) in the way that, even though you know they can't really do too much good together, and everything seems destined to yank them apart, I still feel it deep in my bones that they need to be with one another or I'll just fall apart somehow. Guess I got a little attached. But I can't help it. The horrors these kids suffer, and the conspiracy they're steeped in--betrayed to--wrenches at me with even the thought. "Sixteen clocks are ticking; sixty-six murdered souls will bring about the end of the world." The premise of an impending doomsday coupled with the privileged outsider poking around in a small-town mystery didn't promise near as much as it delivered with its imagination, population, execution and resolution. This spoiler tag is seriously a huge spoiler. Like, regretfully, but I have to state my inquiry. (view spoiler)[Morle only needed 2 more deaths to make 66 when he took Ron and Margie. When Ron took out the sheriff, the two of them plus Margie and the nameless black girl all drowned (or, in the sheriff's case, fell dead into the water), right? So wouldn't that put the body count over 66? More like... 68? And in addition to Morle at the end would be 69, wouldn't it? Or was Morle (or the spirits controlling him) so manipulative that he knew there'd be extras in the body count and adjusted accordingly? (hide spoiler)] Probably just overthinking it on my part because it's totally plausible. The writing was almost definitely my favorite part of the book, so, I provide, the genius: "[...] I'm going to go flirt with your mom and see if I can make Bob jealous. Wanna come?" "Yeah," Caleb says, "right after I get some of this bomb-ass cake. Page 15 Massively girthed live oak trees line the sides of the drive like huge, ancient sentries. Their arms reach out over the rutted dirt path, interlocking, forming a thick canopy above. It's like passing through a tunnel, except this tunnel is alive. Tendrils of wispy Spanish moss hang from the gnarled branches above, floating above their passing car like a host of drifting ghosts. The air is very still all around. Bean wants to say something, but when he breathes in, it doesn't feel like there's enough air to fuel his words, so he closes his mouth again. There's something creepy about the trees. Like they're watching. Page 25-26 Caleb does want to go back. And not even just back to his dad's house, but back to Malibu. back home, to surf and go for runs on the beach every morning, to get ready for college, read some good books, to meet Amber at a hotel in Santa Barbara and screw her and bask in the secret thought that he doesn't really care about her anyway. To do some writing, maybe even finally get something in the LA Times. These are all things that Caleb understands. Here, he understands nothing. Page 69 No one knows what real darkness is until they experience it. This isn't like a moonless night or a room with the door shut and all the lights out. In real life, there's always some kind of light—a crack in the curtain, a distant streetlight, even one solitary star. This isn't real life. But this is real darkness. It vibrates. It chases itself in circles. It wraps itself around you like a python. It lives. Page 116 Kneeling in a field of stars, this might be the night the world was made. Crickets chirp, the night breeze rustles leaves overhead, and all else holds its breath. In the dark, two childhood friends embrace. This might be Adam and Eve in the Garden. This might be the beginning of the world instead of the end of it. Page 267 They help each other off the dew-soaked ground. The Spanish moss hanging from ancient, dying oak trees, the strangling kudzu, the serpentine tendrils of mist creeping from the forest all around them: everything is a shroud. Hiding the truth. Hiding the future. Hiding any chance they might have had at a pleasant life full of denial and the appearance of happiness, a normal life. Now, even if they perform a miracle and somehow make it out of this ghost town alive, they'll be forever haunted. Page 267 Yeah, I was a little spooked at night a time or two while reading The Sleepwalkers. And that's hard to do.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Raye of Sunshine

    I so wanted to love this book because it sounded amazing. The first part scared the hell out of me and I was excited to read but it did not really live up to its potential. I didn’t hate it but I also didn’t love it. Bean is definitely the best character. Christine is unlikeable from the get-go. Something about her just turned me off and Caleb is not the best either.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joy Landers

    Only reason I chose this book, apparently, was because it had someone who was committed to an asylum. Not much else to recommend it

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    After what felt like years, I finally finished this book. I could say many things about this book, which I intend on doing, but to sum it all up in one word it would be "disappointing". I read other reviews of this book & they were all saying how "spooky" and "creepy" and "scary" the book was. I didn't feel that AT ALL. I was actually more annoyed with the book more than anything else. It didn't start getting interesting until about 30% into and then once I got to the middle of the book it went r After what felt like years, I finally finished this book. I could say many things about this book, which I intend on doing, but to sum it all up in one word it would be "disappointing". I read other reviews of this book & they were all saying how "spooky" and "creepy" and "scary" the book was. I didn't feel that AT ALL. I was actually more annoyed with the book more than anything else. It didn't start getting interesting until about 30% into and then once I got to the middle of the book it went right back to being a book that was painful to read. I didn't enjoy reading it, but I did it anyway since I had already wasted time reading it. I wasn't interested in finding out things, since none of it really helped with the point of the book, which I am still wondering the answer to. What was the point of this book? Someone, please tell me. I understand that it's meant to be that one person wants to end the world... but why would he want to end it? What's his motive? Turns out he wants to die but can not kill himself so he works out a deal with the dead. Ok, but what is the purpose of that and why HIM of all people? I can't pinpoint exactly what it is that I don't like about this book because there are really so many things wrong with it. The writing style, while it is not as bad as some books, it is lacking in something. It doesn't take hold of the reader & take them somewhere. It's like it's dragging you and barely holding on and just saying "Well, as long as you can see where I'm at you can just sit there..." Sometimes there were too many words, too many phrases that came out of nowhere & had nothing to do with the current topic or situation. It was as if the author wanted the reader to feel a certain way, so instead of expressing it in a way that would flow with the prose of the book, he had to stop and spend two paragraphs telling you in an even weirder way how to feel it. Does that make sense? Because I feel I read this book and now part of my brain was removed. The main character, Caleb, has two names. Sometimes he is called "Billy" which is his childhood name that Christine called him, and he has his name Caleb, which he made sure to tell Christine, when he was mad at her for all of 10 minutes, that "people call me Caleb now." The author, however, would still call him by the same name, to make sure you knew who he was talking about. You never get a clear cut explanation as to why the author chose to make that ignorant choice other than to try and cause a bit of mystery and suspense in the first chapter that quickly fades once he explains it in the next sentence that comes up. Caleb as a whole really upsets me, I did not like him or feel for him or feel connected to him at all. I didn't get his personality or feel like he had one. Another time time in the book, Anna is called "Annie" over and over again in one chapter, and then from then on out, her name is just Anna. Why? I don't understand why the name changes have to happen. I do not like how the mother of the two daughters is called a "Great Witch" but literally does nothing but drink, vomit on herself and ramble on and on. She is apparently a follower of "the director", but nothing is explained as to what's in it for her to be this devout follower. She constantly calls Christine "the bad daughter" but it's never explained as to why she is the bad daughter. The author never explains about the "Sleepwalkers" & how "The Director" even knows how to make the children sleepwalkers or why he uses them. The whole plot line and "The Director" are so absolutely horrible & a waste of time. The idea's of why things happen and how someone found out how it would happen (like with the clocks) and the whole "connection" of things are so ridiculous, I don't understand why someone would think this was a good book. I was going to rate this 2 stars, but the more I think about how much I dislike the book, I have to rate it a 1. I even tried to explain the book to my husband and he didn't want to listen to it and I wasn't even past the first few chapters. (view spoiler)[ the whole time, the director was Calebs missing father! (hide spoiler)]

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