Series: Shadow Watch #1
Published by Angry Robot Books on June 5, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Urban Fantasy
*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.
It's Men In Black meets The Sandman.
Meet the fine men and women of the NightWatch: a supernatural agency dedicated to hunting down rogue nightmares that escape from other realms when people dream about them, while ensuring that other dream-folk are allowed to live among the regular, human population… as long as they play by the rules.
Your nightmares brought to life
In the world of Night Terrors – people’s dreams can become reality. When this happens they become Ideators and their dreams that are given life are called Incubi. There is a realm that exists alongside ours and it is aptly named Nod. Get it – the land of Nod? Har har *wink*
The story follows Audra an Ideator whose incubi in a maniacal clown named Jinx. They are a team that work for the Night Watch rounding up rogue Incubi on Earth as well as in Nod. Generally just keeping all havoc from being noticed too much on Earth. They get some pretty cool high tech toys and can pass from Nod to Earth via Doors that only Incubi are supposed to be able to find.
Once you become an Ideator you can no longer sleep like a normal person…you just don’t sleep. So it seems many of them get hooked on different forms of pharmaceuticals – yes that’s right Audra is a bit of a workaholic as well as junkie. To be honest, I’m never keen on when main characters are substance abusers. Back to the story – this duo is out to catch an Incubi assassin who has been loose on Earth killing humans. They catch him only to have him escape and the story precedes from there with them trying to figure out some bigger plot behind things and for Audra to bump into an old familiar face from her past.
It sounds good, but it could have been great.
Obviously I thought this was worth finishing and it kept my interest enough so for me to do just that. But unfortunately while it was OK it wasn’t great. It might waffle somewhere between a 2 and a 3 for me and I’d be willing to give this author another chance because I found the world fascinating and I loved the descriptive writing and world building. However the speed at which the story moved allowed little to no room for the reader to build an attachment to the characters, and indeed the main character Audra fell very flat. There has to be some fine balance between moving the action and plot along at such a pace that still grips the reader but also allows them to develop a connection to the characters – which I just never did. Audra didn’t receive much in the way of character development at all. The dialogue between her and Russell got to be quite repetitive during their early scenes and some of that was just overly convenient and I just couldn’t see her running with the situation the way she did. As for her relationship with her incubi Jinx, I can see what her boss was saying about there being no Bond…there just wasn’t. I wasn’t feeling it. I’m sure that was the intention after all but I was instead disinterested in them and instead found the world itself and it’s descriptions more interesting then the story. There was however promise in the story but the overall package left Night Terrors feeling lackluster.