Thursday, August 19, 2010

Review - Nightmare

Robin Parrish chills and thrills in his latest book

A few weeks ago I used Nightmare, the new book from suspense author Robin Parrish, as a springboard into a discussion about the boundaries of Christian fiction. Since then, a discussion has taken on a life of its own (others started talking about this at the same time).

I got caught up in this debate, but in the meantime I finished Nightmare. So what is this book about, and does it "fit" in Christian fiction?

Nightmare is the story of Maia Peters, a college student who had an unusual upbringing - her parents were ghost hunters on a famous TV show. Maia grew up on the paranormal, so there wasn't a lot that could scare her. When her friends drag her to the latest in theme parks, "Ghost Town," she isn't impressed.

That is, until a familiar face and voice form out of a mist and warn her, "The nightmare is coming."

The face belongs to Jordin Cole, a rich orphaned classmate who has a fascination with the supernatural. Jordin had hired Maia to explore several "known" hauntings to explore these phenomena, but Maia hadn't seen her in months. She didn't know that Jordin had disappeared.

Now Jordin's fiance is looking for her and asking for Maia's help. The pair retrace Jordin's steps, trying to find the nightmare before it comes. However, messing with the supernatural may have a heavy price to pay...
The Good
Robin Parrish is one imaginative fellow. He has come up with some amazing tales in his writing career. Nightmare does not disappoint. The plot alternates between Maia's search for Jordin and the adventures Jordin and Maia have seeking out haunting hot spots. You can tell Robin did his research, as the settings are actual sites of reported paranormal activity. There's an added bonus of grainy pictures in front of these sections. The pace doesn't let up, and he has a gift for keeping the pages turning frantically. This was the type of book I'd pull out of my backpack in between work assignments to read "just a little more."

Several reviewers commented that this was a book to read with the lights on. There was one section that seemed a little creepy to me, but nothing that was excessive. I can see how some people might get freaked.

Finally, that cover ROCKS! Best one I've seen this year.

The Critique
Robin is also very intelligent, and he writes with a specific voice and a fluent vocabulary. After reading all of his books, I feel his characters sound too much alike. Maia didn't seem to be too feminine (which was her character), but I never felt she had a "female" voice. Then again, Robin always seems to have very intelligent characters, so perhaps this is natural. Not a big deal, but something I noticed in this book.

The "Huh?"
I think every book has a "huh?" moment. Robin is proud of his geek cred (since he blogs for ForeverGeek). So I was pretty shocked when I came upon page 259. There is an otherwise excellent Star Wars reference, but "Wookiee" is misspelled! Don't worry Robin, I blame it on the editors.

The Verdict
As far as Nightmare goes, it is a very entertaining, suspenseful read. It also makes one think about some mysteries in our world in regards to the paranormal. The book doesn't spell it out for the reader - we get to think about it. I recommend this book to any fan of suspense, paranormal, or horror fiction.

Now where does this book belong in the library of Christian fiction? Well, *looking at his watch* we've run out of time. Check back next time with my thoughts on this...

No comments:

Post a Comment