cover image The Sleepwalkers

The Sleepwalkers

J. Gabriel Gates. HCI Teens, $9.95 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7573-1588-6

Gates, coauthor of the Tracks series, presents a twisted horror tale hampered by choppy, overwritten, noir-style prose and a problematic plot. High school graduate Caleb Mason intends to become a journalist and call attention to the AIDS crisis in Africa. After receiving a bizarre letter from his childhood friend Christine asking for his help, Caleb changes plans and heads to his old hometown of Hudson­ville, Fla., along with his best friend, Bean. There they find that Caleb’s father is missing, along with hundreds of locals, all connected to the Dream Center where Christine is a patient, a hospital for sleep problems housed in an old asylum. While trying to rescue Christine and find his father, Caleb uncovers a grandiose plan that involves the devil, spirits that communicate over AM radio, and an insane man trying to bring about the end of the world. Horror fans willing to overlook the flaws will find chills aplenty, but with unsympathetic characters that lack chemistry and a plot with gaping holes, Gates’s story is salvaged only by the tension and creepy atmosphere. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)