S-BOMB warning. That’s SPOILER-ALERT, for those less crude than I.
I’ve just set down the last book I’ll be able to finish before New Year’s, and it is a far cry different from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. In fact, I had put this particular book aside to read that one. Why? I was my usual distracted self and had read half of it ages ago and put it down, forgetting most of it. So once I finished reading Fantastic Beasts, I picked it back up. It’s not that the story is difficult to read, or slow and halting; I actually have an active interest in it. I just for the life of me have a hard time sitting down and reading with my enormous tablet (it’s quite uncomfortable). I often find myself going to bed instead of sitting there and reading, and this saddens me.
What is this mysterious book? For any of you who pay attention to let’s plays on YouTube or enjoy horror games, the name is likely a familiar one. It’s part of a particularly fast-moving and popular franchise–Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes. It is a co-authored book by the creator of the Five Nights at Freddy‘s game franchise. Now, I was prepared for the book to not be written particularly well, because I was being a negative nancy about the entire experience, but I still wanted to read it. As far as I know, it’s considered canon (though frankly if you follow the Five Nights at Freddy‘s timeline between the games, there’s some murky spots all over, and this certainly added a few to my mind). And for those of you who just read these posts of mine for the sake of reading them but don’t know the lingo, “canon” just means relevant or official information, so in this sense it means that the book’s plot should be considered part of the over-arcing story from the games.
If I’m not mistaken, the book was written after Five Nights at Freddy’s 3; at least, it makes the most sense given what heavily features in the book (much of the subplot and later on the plot itself revolves around the spring-locks featured for the first time in this game). Looking up the book info on Amazon, it claims to have been published in September of this year, but I bought it before then so I can only assume it was republished (so bear in mind I might not have read the most recent edition of it!).
Now, for the story itself! It takes place ten years after the abduction and presumed murders of five kids in the town of Hurricane. There’s a reunion taking place, one which our main character Charlie and friends are gathering for. Early on in their stay, they decide to revisit the old pizzeria’s site, only to find it’s still standing, an abandoned construction site built up around it. They sneak in multiple times, and the better part of the the book is their final trip into Freddy Fazbear’s, where most of the action and horror take place.
The story mostly follows Charlie’s actions, and with good reason I suppose. She is the daughter of the owner of Freddy’s, the man who created animatronics for a living. She’s a likable character, more complex than I expected of the book. It is a book following teenagers, after all, for a popular horror franchise. I couldn’t help but assume it’d be a bit of a boring read! But the humanity of her is well on display (she is a rather traumatized character, given the plot), between actions that do not make sense to her, false bravado, fear, and much more. We learn quite a few of the gaps in the games through her actions and memories in the book.
As usual, I must mention my favorite character in the book, and that would be John. He spent much of the book accompanying Charlie, with good reason. It is obvious he likes her, worries about her, and has a general curiosity for all things Charlie. But often (especially in the later half of the book) it is required of him to take action in the face of fear or confusion, to try and provide comfort to Charlie, even though oftentimes she does not accept it or quickly avoids him. Even the end of the book is him wondering what, if any, future they have, and Charlie does not give a straight answer. He’s a budding author, and I can’t help but wonder what his character would do with this terrible experience later in life, more so than the others.
All in all, it is a good read, particularly if you like the lore of Five Nights at Freddy’s. It fleshes out much of what we learned in the third game, answers many questions about that damned original pizzeria that we only knew faint whispers of before. But, and this is a good feather in the hat of the book, it doesn’t read as though one must have previous knowledge from the games in order to understand it all. I definitely recommend it as a teen horror and as a read for fans of the franchise.
Interested in Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes? It can be purchased here.