Title: The Sleepwalkers
Author: J. Gabriel Gates
Publisher: HCI Teens
Publication Date: October 3, 2011
Genre: Young Adult/Horror/Paranormal
Pages: 360 pages
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.
First off I have to say as a teenager I loved to read Dean Koontz and John Saul. They were great storytellers to a young girl. I can recall staying up late (as I still do now) trying to figure out the ending and wanting to find out what happens. As I was reading The Sleepwalkers by J. Gabriel Gates my mind kept thinking I was in the middle of a John Saul book. Suffer the Children, Cry for the Strangers, The God Project, and Nathaniel all great books that had me in the grips of chills and The Sleepwalkers was the same way. This is a good thing in my opinion. John Saul is a great writer.
Caleb Mason has just graduated high school and has big dreams of becoming a newspaper editor for a large newspaper or magazine. To do this he is going to go to Africa and write about the AIDS crisis. His plans, however, change when he recieves a letter from an old childhood friend, Christine. He makes his way to his old childhood hometown of Hudsonville, FL with his best friend, Bean. Planning to stay with his father who he hasn't seen in years, he is suprised to find his old home uninhabited and his father missing. Now he has a mystery on his hands in finding his father and helping Christine. From here things just get creepy. People have been disappearing for years and no one seems to care and if they do then they disappear too.
It seems an evil entity is working on bringing about the end of the world and ruling it but must have sixty-six murdered souls. Caleb, Bean, and Christine have to stop the people in the Dream Center because that seems where all the evil is coming from. They have the help of Anna, Christine's twin sister who is dead, speaking through an a.m. radio and Ron, a man who is searching for his daughter that has disappeared like so many other.
My favorite character was Bean. He was funny and always lightened the mood. Bean's humor and Caleb's seriousness compliment each other. The ending was a huge shock. I didn't see it coming. The Sleepwalkers kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading it and I thoroughly enjoyed being creeped out!