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Nightmare City by Andrew Klavan

Nightmare City

by Andrew Klavan

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Would be a good book for a boy who does not like the typical horror book, but likes some suspense. Also deals with peer pressure. ( )
  TeamDewey | Mar 6, 2014 |
Originally Reviewed At:Mother/Gamer/Writer
Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers
Review Source: Blog Tour/NetGalley
Reviewer: Ariel

Nightmare City by Andrew Klaven was a unique read that I enjoyed all the way through. The story begins when high schooler Tom Harding wakes up to what he thinks is a normal day. Wrong. Tom quickly discovers that his mother is missing, and stranger is the fog that seems to be surrounding the neighborhood. The house is silent, and the only people that are around are the creatures in the fog, ready to kill Tom as soon as the fog consumes him.

Now, Tom must figure out how to get rid of the evil creatures – malevolents – and find where the rest of the people he knows are, all while trying to stay alive. Because if Tom dies in Nightmare City, he could die for real.

Tom was a great main character for me to follow. He’s a reporter for his high school newspaper and as such has a drive to find the answers and tell the truth, even when people don’t want to hear it. The most recent article he wrote about how the high school football team that won championship three years ago only did so because of illegal drugs has caused quite a stir, both among the students and the faculty. Tom knows that it isn’t always easy to tell the truth, but he is determined to do so anyway, something that I really admired about him throughout the novel.

His drive to find the answers is what helps to keep him alive throughout the novel. There are multiple points at which Tom almost feels like giving in, but there is always a force, whether external or internal, that pushes him to make it through and to not give up. I loved these moments because there was a real element of truth to them. There are definitely times in our lives when we are faced with an obstacle and it seems so much easier to just give up and move on, but some of the best things in life are also the things we have to work the hardest for.

The writing was done really well also. There was the right amount of internal dialogue, the right amount of description, and it kept me entertained throughout the whole story. Towards the end, especially, I had a really difficult time putting the book down. It was an adventure really well done, and with not a ton of characters which surprised me. I usually enjoy storylines with plenty of characters to follow, and while there were a few characters, whom we mostly got to know through flashbacks and memories, Tom was certainly the only character we got to know for the whole story.

The only thing in this novel that seemed a little off to me was that Tom’s voice sounded more like it was coming from someone younger than what he really is. I kept having to remind myself that he was in high school, not middle school. It could also simply be that I’ve never been a teenage boy, and I have no idea what they sound like in their own heads. Either way, it wasn’t enough to change how much I enjoyed the book.

I’m giving Nightmare City 4 out of 5 controllers. It was a great story, one that was really unique and kept me entertained throughout the whole thing. ( )
  momgamerwriter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Woot woot! Another great one from Andrew Klavan! ( )
  itsJUSTme | Nov 20, 2013 |
Aha, yes I got this book the day it came out...yesterday...and searched for the one and only copy for thirty minutes in the bookstore.. :]

Tom Harding, journalist for his school's paper, wakes up from a peaceful dream--about Heaven--when he hears his phone ring. The connection is bad, full of static, and there's a familiar voice on the other side. The female caller tells Tom she has to talk to him. It's important...please. And then he loses the connection. But things are only starting, now. His mom clearly is out of her room, but nowhere to be found. The kitchen hasn't been disturbed. The newspaper is still at the driveway. But what's worse is the fog. Dense whiteness is creeping down the road, blanketing Tom's vision. There isn't a sound outside--no birds, no cars, and no people. And something is out there, behind the mist, and it's coming for him. Andrew Klavan's new book is a fresh adventure of terror and a longing for truth in this surreal novel.

It took me less that 24 hours to read this thing. Even with the business at school, I hardly put it down. As I read it, I felt as though I was watching a Doctor Who episode. Things were normal, but completely terrifying. Nothing made sense, and in my head, I kept telling myself: There's a logical explanation. There's got to be something I'm missing. Tom and my mind became one as we both set out on a terrifying scavenger hunt for answers, all the while being chased by hunched things in the fog, shadows, and that face in the computer. Read this at night, if you dare!

His plot was so well done! He really SHOULD write a Doctor Who episode! There were so many twists in this story, it felt as if the book was bending backwards over itself. Although, after reading six of Klavan's novels, I was able to guess a little more of his surprises, it still held onto me and would not let go. Even though I was able to see some of the answers before I got there, Klavan kept the big ones in the mist.

Klavan's writing style was a little different this time too. When his other six novels were in first person, this was in third. Only that hardly makes a difference. The way he wrote it, you felt as if Tom was telling you the story. I wonder if Klavan forgot sometimes he had switched to third person.

The book was great, and I look forward to anything else Andrew Klavan comes up with.

Things to watch out for:

Romance: Two characters kiss; Tom seems to think a lot about what one girl thinks of him
Language: A few sentences like "it was a hellish scene"
Violence: Creatures in fog attack and try to kill Tom; death; semi-graphic scene with "pools" of blood
Drugs: Tom writes a newspaper story about how a football team used drugs to cheat
Other: Character wonders if God is deciding whether a character would go to Heaven or Hell; surreal moments and scary concepts ( )
  Jenneth | Nov 6, 2013 |
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Ditmore family--Michael, Rebecca, Nick, Catie, Morgan, and Jessie
First words
Tom was in heaven when the phone rang.
Now Tom was scared again, and not just a little scared this time. This time he was really scared.
Because his brother, Burt, went on talking quietly in the basement. And his brother, Burt, had been dead these six months past.
Remember the Warrior.
He stopped. That was it. The window.
The fog.
The truth will set you free.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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As a reporter for his high school newspaper, Tom is always on the lookout for an offbeat story. But from the moment he woke up this morning, his own life has been more bizarre than any headline could ever tell. The streets of his town are suddenly empty and silent. A strange fog has drifted in from the sea and hangs over everything. And something is moving in that fog. Something evil. Something hungry. Closing in on Tom.… (more)

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