Review: Night Terrors by Tim Waggoner

August 6, 2014 2.5 stars, Book Review 27 ★★½

Review: Night Terrors by Tim WaggonerNight Terrors by Tim Waggoner
Series: Shadow Watch #1
Published by Angry Robot Books on June 5, 2014
Genres: Adult SFF, Urban Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

*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.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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27 Responses to “Review: Night Terrors by Tim Waggoner”

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      I agree on that point. I don’t think I have a fear of clowns…though honestly for a doll collector you’d think I’d own a clown doll and I don’t. This clown unfortunately didn’t give me any chills at all. I didn’t find any part of it scary. Course I don’t know if the author was going for a creep factor or not, it was more like campy B horror/urban fantasy that didn’t get pulled off well.
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    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Yeah I do have to give it that – at least I was interested enough to finish it. I felt like it had a solid base but everything about the way it was written was just slightly off and hard to put my finger on why sometimes. The cover is awful isn’t it!? I almost didn’t grab it because of the cover but I was like hey nightmares brought to life this could be so cool. I was so wrong lol.
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    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Staying away was a good idea. I actually almost didn’t grab this one as well because of the cheesy cover but thought hey nightmares brought to life could be fun. But it was like campy B horror without any of the horror and everything slightly off such that it was such a big miss for me. I didn’t find the clown scary at all =(
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  1. Mogsy

    My thoughts exactly, with all these cool ideas in here this book should have been amazing! But it never stepped up to become great. I’ve never read this author before I read Night Terrors, but from another reader who is a fan of Tim Waggoner who also reviewed this, he said that he reused a lot of elements here from his older books. Blah.
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    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Yes – that was Rab that said that right? I remember reading his review – him saying like the guy that pulls chunks off of himself and feeds it to people was reused and various other things. Personally that is a really BAD idea to do something so obvious like that because your readers who read all of your work WILL notice and be upset about it.

      I haven’t read his other work either I own Nekropolis (I think that’s his other series) but I still haven’t read it and its been on my shelf for years.

      I wonder if I can find the book thats been on my shelf unread for the longest time lol.
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  2. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    meh … I have to admit to not having interest in this one when I saw it. I’m a harder sell for contemporary/urban and it just seemed a bit to … I dunno ‘weird’ maybe? I think I like my urban stuff a bit more creepy and a bit less clown-y. And a workaholic junkie? Really? I can understand your substance abuse deterrent, but have to point out Taniel in Promise of Blood is amazing, despite being a gun-powder snorting junkie.
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    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Cool I’ll have to check out Promise of Blood then – I already own it too lol. Sometimes the junkie angle isn’t so bad I can totally get past that. But only if they have a decent personality as well – this chick did not.
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  3. Mary @ BookSwarm

    It really does sound sound like it has so much potential. Boo that it doesn’t quite work. That cover REALLY squicks me out. Clowns… *shudder* The only story/series that features a substance abuser that worked for me is Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts. So. Good. But otherwise, yeah, I don’t usually like it.

  4. lynnsbooks

    I do like the look of it so it’s a shame it doesn’t work – the idea of your dreams becoming real – pretty scary. Although i suppose it depends what your dreams are like – mine are a bit Stephen King so I don’t want them manifesting!
    Oh well!!
    Thanks for the review.
    Lynn 😀
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