Author: J. Gabriel Gates
Publisher: HCI Teens
Find it here: Amazon, Goodreads
Source: ARC compliments of Netgalley and HCI Teens
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.
The Sleepwalkers is the first scary book that I have read this fall and it is really super scary! It has all the perfect elements to make a book truly horrifying: a podunk, middle of nowhere town, a old, reopened mental institution, missing children, a ten year old mystery, a man who sold his soul to the devil and children that kill people in their sleep! Le me tell you, I had trouble sleeping at night while reading this book.
The whole book is pretty much centered around a man who has made some deal with the devil to collect a certain amount of murdered souls and Christine's twin sister who disappeared into this abandoned mental institution about ten years ago. Anna, the twin, seems to be the first child to go missing which lead to many other people disappearing.
I immediately fell in love with the character Bean. He's so smart and funny and he seemed to be the perfect sidekick to Caleb. He is also a loyal best friend and followed Caleb into this really scary situation. He had it right every time he said it was time to leave and go back home! So image my dismay when, not half way through the book, Bean gets caught by one of the sleepwalkers and turns into one himself! I was so sad. Now Caleb is left on his own to figure out the mystery behind the mental institution and these creep sleepwalking people who kill in their sleep! I could literally hear the creepy music from old horror movies in my head while reading.
In the synopsis when it says that Christine's mother is a witch, I don't think it was meant for her to be someone who does witchcraft. In the book, she was drunk all the time and always mistook Christine for her twin sister Anna after all those years. My most favorite creepy parts were the little glimpses into Christine's counseling sessions with the "therapist" at the mental institution. They really made me second guess the character's state of mind.
The ending really threw me for a loop and left me pretty much speechless and stunned. The Sleepwalkers really got me into the mood of fall and Halloween and made me want to pick up other scary books! It's a great horror book that I would recommend to other hard-core horror fans!