Review

PUBLICATION DATE: JULY 1, 2010

A

s the child of two famous paranormal investigators, little scared Maia Peters.  Due to her background, she knew what was true paranormal activity and what was manufactured entertainment.  So when the face of her friend Jordin Cole appeared at the end of the haunted house ride at the wildly popular Ghost Town amusement park, Maia had a pretty good idea it was real as well as the haunting message she received—“the nightmare is coming.”

Shortly after her experience at Ghost Town, Maia learns Jordin has indeed disappeared.  Convinced something supernatural has happened to her, she and Jordin’s fiancé Derek begin searching for answers.  The clues lead them right back to Ghost Town and its mysterious owner.  However, more scary and disturbing than any of the company’s attractions is what really happened to Jordin and numerous other college students who mysteriously disappeared—horrific doesn’t begin to describe it.

In the realm of fiction, not much disturbs me.  After all, it’s not real.  Nightmare is one of two or three books in which I’ve questioned the wisdom of reading right before bed.  I hesitate to use the word scary, because I don’t think it is.  However, it has a few chapters that can certainly activate the imagination and the picture that’s painted is rather disturbing.  Sensitive readers beware.

This is a great book.  Okay, it’s better than great…it’s excellent.  It’s got some of my favorite aspects in fiction—a bit of history, fantastic suspense, intelligent plot, and gives the reader something to really think about.  Up to this point I’ve spent little time contemplating ghosts and the paranormal, but this book has changed that. Nightmare provides some nice food for thought as well as a balanced perspective of both sides of the debate.  The various aspects of the paranormal and questions surrounding it are presented through excellent dialog that keeps the story flowing and intriguing.

Flashbacks to the different haunted locations that Maia and Jordin visited the year prior to her disappearance are presented throughout the book.  Every other chapter provides the details of their travels and greatly enhanced the story.  These sections added a wonderful historical background, and it was an ingenious way of including the scientific portion of paranormal study.  I loved these parts and Parrish executed them to perfection.

I was very impressed with how this story was pulled together.  As mentioned earlier, has an intelligent plot.  It’s fiction, so what is described has not happened, but it had a realistic feel that made it seem plausible.  Additionally, what Parrish proposes as happening is horrifying and appalling.  Fortunately, this is just fiction, extremely well written fiction, but thankfully fiction.

I loved Nightmare, but like all books, it’s not for everyone.  It does not gratuitously depict violence nor are there detailed descriptions of blood, guts, and gore.  The disturbing parts of this book are mainly in the realm of the what ifs and the imagination of certain events.  It’s a great book and Parrish’s best to date.  I’m glad I read it and recommend it to all who enjoy great suspense, nice thrills, and can handle some chills.