The FanFic’d Ones

Very randomly, I received a promotional email from Amazon about an upcoming book: The Freddy Files, which seems to essentially be the Five Nights at Freddy’s bible. I clicked on the link, because I’m interested in all things FNAF, and it was there that I found the biggest surprise…

There is a second FNAF novel.

I had no idea at all! I’ve been so out of every loop since I stopped frequenting Talking Time. But that’s besides the point. I read and enjoyed the first FNAF novel, The Silver Eyes, on the very day that it became available. The sequel, The Twisted Ones, has been out for a couple months now and nobody told me about it. How rude!

So long story short, I bought it and read the whole thing last weekend. It’s not a long book by any metric, and the target audience is tweens, but I think it’s still pretty impressive that I polished off a whole novel in a single weekend. I’m a terribly slow reader, and even though I do love to read, it always gets lowest priority of all my hobbies. It’s a little sad that FNAF is one of the few things that really, truly excites me any more.

If you aren’t at all familiar with the Five Nights at Freddy’s lore, the games are about bipedal, animatronic animals that come to life at night and kill any unfortunate security guards that they might come across. There’s also something about how said animatronics are possessed by the vengeful spirits of murdered children, looking for the pink/purple/phone guy(s) who may or may not have murdered them. The lore goes deep, is what I’m getting at, but that doesn’t really matter because the novels take place in an alternate continuity.

While I did like the original book, and the second is by no means bad, The Twisted Ones almost comes off seeming like FNAF fan fiction. It was written by Scott Cawthon, creator of the games, so it can’t be fan fiction. But it feels like it. There are a lot of really weird story conceits and maybe pushes certain ideas a little too far. This is not unusual for the franchise; it’s built on weirdness and FNAF4 absolutely tried too hard in some of the same ways. But it’s easier to ignore that kind of stuff in a video game. I expect better from books, I guess.

Anyway, if you’re a big ol’ FNAF fanboy like me, you can’t go wrong with The Twisted Ones. It’s got its share of issues, but it’s definitely a step above The Silver Eyes in writing quality and it is significantly more focused from a storytelling perspective. Just don’t expect it to knock your socks off. This is Young Adult literature, after all. Still more interesting than Harry Potter, IMO.

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