Five Nights at Freddy’s The Silver Eyes – Scott Cawthorn and Kira Breed-Wrisley (SPOILER FREE)

So I have been in love with the gaming series of Five Nights at Freddy’s for a long time, and also amongst those who are in a constant state of theorising the story, so I figured why not give the first novel a go? A decision I could not even think of regretting… Read more to get the full gist of my thoughts

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Good god this book is brilliant!! Admittedly I haven’t read a good book in a long time (university issues) which may make me a little more enthusiastic than usual but still; this continuance of the Five Nights at Freddy’s games series is phenomenal! I thoroughly enjoyed it 🙂 It is wonderfully written and really brings new knowledge and crack-pot theories to the popular series. I did find in the beginning the plot was a tad slow and dreary, however it is an understandable construction as the character Charlie, whose perspective we’re following, has gone through several traumatic indictments in her childhood which though she tries desperately to repress it; finds herself confronted over and over again during the entire books processes..

During the narrative we follow the exploits of Charlie and a group of 6 other kids, all of whom knew each other before the incidents at the pizzeria, they have reunited for a memorial service ten years after the disappearances of 5 children, one of whom was named Michael, and was a friend of theirs. The seven teenagers feel distant with each other but somehow still connected through their childhood memories, giving the book an opening scene of bittersweet remembrance which sets the book up quite nicely.
Charlie herself as the main protagonist goes through quite the personal growth as well, she goes from trying to deny her past and refusing to let anyone in, while still feeling like a scared little girl; to a protagonist I can feel proud of!
She faces her fears and discovers (along with the help of John) many key plot points to the franchise and the book itself, by going to the locations that have the most frightening memories, in order to discover the unfiltered truth of her past, however, I did find that some of the methods used to set up the flash backs, for instance Charlie’s method of mentally checking out and pouring through her memories to be a tad unbelievable.. Nonetheless, the discovery of certain clues really peaked my interest and certainly got my brain coming up with some seriously wild explanations. Charlie also, learns that it’s okay to let others in and especially does so with John, a character who was almost set up to be her childhood friend if not crush. Furthermore, she also takes on an in-the-action leadership role which would make any strong independent woman proud, when in the climax of the book she takes -almost superhero like- action and makes sure her fiends get out of there alive.

Altogether, while there are some aspects of the books which were a tad shaky, for it to come anywhere close to being a top-notch book it was still a thoroughly enjoyable read, which I’m happy to recommend to anyone.. and I’m looking forward to picking up the sequel 🙂

Jurassic Park & The Lost World- Michael Crichton (Spoiler Free)

The book series, turned movies that fascinated a generation with dinosaurs.

Jurassic Park and the Lost World are an interesting new perspective on the consequences of science and getting involved in the competitive market of the biochemistry industry. These two tales follow the sequence of events that follows when a company called “In-Gen” succeed in their endeavour to bring the extinct race of Dinosaurs back to life, and to features these creatures in a theme park that is believed will enrapture millions. Michael Crichton takes utterly believable scientific theory to create this utterly enchanting and horrifying world. However, amongst the creating of this story and following the plot line of the movies we all know and love; he gets caught-up in what I call the “World-Building” of his novels. See in my -admittedly somewhat unsupported- opinion there are three main ways in which an author writing a novel that has rules outside of reality can express how their world of fiction functions.

The first is the ‘Sporadic Approach’. The ‘Sporadic Approach’ as the title would suggest is when the author/writer introduces the audience to the rules of this reality as the time for such knowledge approaches. This is usually done through plot devices, and expressed in short bursts of a large amount of information being introduced with long gaps in-between in which the rules of this reality remain stagnant and applied to all characters. Then as the plot finds it necessary these rules are either challenged or applied to. This is commonly seen in TV shows such as Teen Wolf, Vampire Diaries and Once Upon a Time. It is also found in books such as, Vampire Academy, Mortal Instruments and Harry Potter. It can be useful in cases which the world being introduced has a lot of differentiation from reality, in order not to overwhelm the reader and allow for some semblance of understanding to occur gradually along with a relationship with the characters.

The second approach is called the ‘Gradual Scheme’. The ‘Gradual Scheme’ is essentially like a steady flowing river of information, where instead of small clumps of world building occurring throughout the book, there is an underlying plot line introducing the inner-working of the world. This is usually revealed through the eyes of a character new to the situation, in most cases the main character. It is also useful when there are organisations or small groups with a hierarchy involved directly in the plot. For instance, say the story is about a rebellion against a higher ‘evil power’. The rebellion would have its own hierarchy of people in power and its own inner workings of operations along with people important to 1) the main character or 2) important to the overall plot line. The ‘evil power’ would probably mirror this design. The main character who we as an audience learn through, would probably view these places as alien terrain and as such would observe things that someone who was used to this environment would glaze over. These details often give us an idea of how things work. Also, other characters might take time to explain things and events to the main character which is another method to introduce the situation. This method is commonly seen in Shatter Me, Star Wars, Divergent, Twilight and Avatar: The Last Airbender. It is a useful method to employ in story wiring when there are multiple plot lines and character developments to consider whilst still making sure the world structure makes sense.

The third and final method, which is employed by Michael Crichton is called the ‘Info Dump’; and again with a revealing name we can gather what it means. The ‘Info Dump’ is when during the story, usually at the beginning, the author takes the time to build the world before falling into the main plot of the story. This usually occurs when the main characters are other wise occupied and the plot has not even begun. It condenses all the rules and structure and in some cases the history before the event into one section so that there is no need for it later and there can be more focus on the action occurring. This is usually done in a round-about way in which the main character is not particularly involved at all. In the case of both Jurassic Park and The Lost World, Crichton takes the time to offer some opening history of the goings on before anybody really goes anywhere near the dinosaurs. Int he first book, most of the beginning chapters centre around the science of bio-engineering and how it is a competitive industry for people who set out looking for ways to profit from science. It also goes into the history of bio-engineering and a introduction into the company that is In-Gen and its competitors. Whilst it is sometimes essential for this information to be out there, in this case I believe it took away from the book.

While the science explored in both book is fascinating and something I wouldn’t mind reading about in a different context, it does indeed take away from the books in terms of its ability to keep the reader’s attention. What was revealed in the ‘Info Dump’ was important to the story as a whole and if told during the action sequences would’ve slowed down the book. But I can’t shake the opinion that this information could’ve been better revealed, perhaps through plot devices such as, speech between characters, the observation of other, an argument, or causal mention even. The biology could’ve also been implemented into the plot in a bit more of a subtle way that just was given. Nonetheless, it was a good book. I really enjoyed it and was quite surprised about the underlying scientific theory and how it played into the book as a whole which i didn’t realise until the end. Once the main plot line got started everything was smoothed out and became quite enjoyable; and even though I have seen the movies numerous times i still found myself loving the novels despite how closely in the beginning they aligned with each other. They were truly unique and i only wish that Crichton had considered writing some more to add to the series, though I suppose I can be satisfied with his involvement in the movies that followed.