A couple of months ago I was at Waterstones and I was feeling a little spontaneous with my book buying. Which, for me, is very unusual. Normally I really research the books I buy, because I have very little money to devote to book buying, I try to make sure that I will really enjoy that book. Obviously my research method doesn’t always work but most of the time its great, I generally read books that I really enjoy. But as I was browsing in waterstones I just wanted to pick up a few random books that I’d never heard of and The Nightmare Factory was one of those books. I really liked the title and the premise sounded really interesting. But for some reason I just didn’t enjoy it. Summary from Goodreads :
When Andrew Lake and his twin sister Poppy are stolen from their dreams, they find themselves trapped in a strange realm parallel to our own. There, the evil Vesuvius rules over the Nightmare Factory with his army of Shadowmares, extracting fear from children to create nightmares all over the world. But Vesuvius wants more. He wants power. He wants Andrew…
A thrilling adventure story that will leave you gasping for more: compelling, exciting…and just a little bit scary…’
You see I have a massive soft spot for really well written middle-grade fantasy. And I really, really wanted to love The Nightmare Factory, but for some reason I just couldn’t. I thought that the whole concept of being trapped in dreams and the nightmare factory could have being explained a bit more. However, I was drawn in by the plot, I was worried about Poppy and Andrew and I wanted them to get out of The Nightmare Factory. But their brother sister relationship did at times seem slightly contrived. It just didn’t feel real.
The villian, Versuvius, was a typical villian. He was mad, power crazed and determined to hurt both Andrew and Poppy. He was very well written, and if I’d had met him as an eleven year old I would have being terrified.
I think the major issue I had with The Nightmare Factory was how convienient it was, things were tied up nicely and I never felt that Andrew or Poppy were in any danger – it didn’t have very high stakes. Again I think this bothered me in partiular because I am not in the age range that the author was writing for, and I would definitely recommend this book to children aged 9 – 12. However, The Nightmare Factory wasn’t for me – we just didn’t click!
Hope you are all having a great day.