by Christopher Golden
What a story! I love this world where vampires, witches and magic are public knowledge. While that certainly isn’t a new idea, it is done so well with a gritty, more realistic edge than some of the other book worlds I have read. Golden uses a third person narrator that follows one person around in each chapter. So while the narrator isn’t omniscient, the reader can get inside many character’s heads and actually begin to empathize as they watch the people they love fall prey to the insanity that has awoken in this town. This is the 5th book following Peter Octavian but the first one I have read. While I can appreciate that many of these characters have back story that I am unaware of, it doesn’t really matter for enjoying this book and the author does give an overview of the trials Peter has gone through to get where he is in this story. In this novel Peter is brought to the town of Hawthorne by Keomany, his friend and a witch who has a vision of doom, to stop a chaos storm from spreading. Something has awoken in Hawthorne and it is up to Peter and Keomany to stop it.
Waking Nightmares is an appropriate name for this book. The things that go bump in the night and that keep you under the bedcovers shaking in fear are walking around for all to see. Golden lets the reader know and then root for the people trying to survive this chaotic hell on earth, which is a tough emotional investment at times. It is creepy and scary and not a book I would recommend for reading while soaking in the tub. It was also a little difficult reading at night as I personally began to imagine what might be staring at me through the windows from the dark outside. One character mentions that his mother used to tell him when he was little that, there is nothing in the dark that isn’t also there when you turn on the light. After watching some of the mayhem he then wonders if his mother knew she had lied. Scary!! There are a lot of creepy crawlies in this book, eating souls and wreaking havoc and seemingly unstoppable. But, hopefully this doesn’t spoil it for you, the world doesn’t end in this novel, and some semblance of order is restored, but not without a lot of change and loss.
All in all a great read and I look forward to reading the other Peter Octavian novels.