The Sleepwalkers

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Overview

A chilling and masterfully crafted teen horror novel guaranteed to keep the pages turning, the mind reeling, and the lamp on any reader's bedside table on long after midnight. Privileged and popular Caleb Mason is celebrating his high school graduation when he receives a mysterious, disturbing letter from his long-lost childhood playmate, Christine. Caleb and his jokester friend Bean decide to travel to his tiny hometown of Hudsonville, Florida, to find her. Upon arrival, they discover the town has taken a ...

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Overview

A chilling and masterfully crafted teen horror novel guaranteed to keep the pages turning, the mind reeling, and the lamp on any reader's bedside table on long after midnight. Privileged and popular Caleb Mason is celebrating his high school graduation when he receives a mysterious, disturbing letter from his long-lost childhood playmate, Christine. Caleb and his jokester friend Bean decide to travel to his tiny hometown of Hudsonville, Florida, to find her. Upon arrival, they discover the town has taken a horrifying turn for the worse. Caleb's childhood home is abandoned and his father has disappeared. Children are going missing. The old insane asylum has reopened, and Christine is locked inside. Her mother, a witch, is consumed with madness, and Christine's long-dead twin sister whispers clues to Caleb through the static of an a.m. radio. The terrifying prophesies of the spirits are coming to pass. Sixteen clocks are ticking; sixty-six murdered souls will bring about the end of the world. As Caleb peels back layer after layer of mystery, he uncovers a truth more horrible than anything he had imagined, a truth that could only be uttered by the lips of the dead.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.)
Suspense Magazine

Suspense Magazine (October 2011 Issue):

(check out the magazine! http://www.suspensemagazine.com)

'The Sleepwalkers' by J. Gabriel Gates:

For high school graduate Caleb Mason, life couldn't be better. He has the perfect girlfriend, college is waiting for him in the fall and he's leaving in a few weeks to spend the summer in Africa, writing about the Aids epidemic as a young journalist. But on the night of his graduation party, Caleb receives a strange letter from an old childhood friend, Christine, which prompts him to change his entire summer's plans.

Caleb and his best friend, Bean, take a road trip to Caleb's childhood home in Florida to see what Christine's letter truly meant. When they arrive, they find that things are not what they used to be. Caleb's father has gone missing and hundreds of people have disappeared, and somehow it all centers on an old asylum that's been reopened. As Caleb and Bean embark on a bone-chilling search for the truth, they uncover a conspiracy that could involve the end of the world.

I was extremely impressed with how vivid Gates' descriptions were. Every time I closed my eyes, I could easily see ghostly figures in white approaching—eyes tightly closed as though they were dreaming—or their demonic faces when they captured their prey. Gates begins this YA novel with a sense of foreboding that carries through the rest of the story and leaves you on the edge of your seat the entire way. 'The Sleepwalkers' is the perfect horror story to tell around a campfire or read on a stormy night—as long as you don't forget to leave the lamp or flashlight on when you go to sleep.

Review by Melissa Dalton for Suspense Magazine

— Melissa Dalton

www.readingwritingbreathing.com
"Overall, this is one of the most chilling books i've ever read. With a writing style that reads like a poem and characters that are so fleshed out i cried with them and screamed with them and felt anxiety with, THE SLEEPWALKERS is sure to be a fresh book on the YA shelves!"
--HD

Read the full reveiw at: http://www.readingwritingbreathing.com/2011/08/sleepwalkers-by-j-gabriel-gates.html.
— HD

www.themidnightreaders.com
"In short, I enjoyed reading this book as it was a step away from the usual YA fiction. I would recommend this for readers aged 15+ years who are looking for something more akin to classic horror tales. You won't be disappointed!"
--Sally

Read the full reveiw at:http://themidnightreaders.blogspot.com/2011/08/review-sleepwalkers-j-gabriel-gates.html.
— Sally

Goodreads.com

"Im not one for mystery books or even scary books... but this book seriously hooked me from the very first page. It wasnt to scary, thank goodness, or I would be having nightmares just like the main character Caleb-also known as Billy. The book is about Caleb going to Florida to see a childhood friend Christine. When he finds her, he pretty much checks her off as crazy-that is until things start happening to make him reconsider her level of crazy. And the big questions is: Is Caleb bringing about the end of the world? And if so, can he stop it? Talk about not seeing that plot line coming. This books is perfect, amazing, wonderful. Get it, and read it!!!"

--Felicia Warren

— Felicia Warren

Booklist
Class valedictorian Caleb's future seems pretty well mapped out, until he receives an unsettling letter from a childhood friend—now in an asylum—who pleads with him to come save her. On a hunch, he jets from Malibu to his birth home of Hudsonville, Florida, where he discovers a sinister psychiatric institution called the Dream Center, an unholy nexus from which spring an army of 'sleepwalkers'—possessed children and teens who seem to be doing the bidding of ghostly masters. Gates attacks this horror thriller with admirable vigor and a strong sense of style that, while not always applied consistently, makes this a work of notable ambition. There is so much going on that supernatural particulars—and there are a lot of them—get lost in the shuffle. But when Gates strikes upon a good character, he strikes hard, as with Ron Bent, a hook-handed Vietnam vet and ex-pastor; and an especially creepy villain who is part serial killer, part mystic, part rodeo clown. Could have been tighter, but at least there's plenty to sink your teeth into.— Daniel Kraus
— Daniel Kraus
NetGalley

The story starts of with a dream. From the past or just a random dream? That was my question. It was disturbing and made me wonder what kind of Sleepwalker am I going to encounter? It is obviously not the normal kind.

Sleepwalker took me to a world where no YA has taken me before, scary enough to render an 7/10 horror scale in my book. My nerves were rattled, I kept wondering what the hell is going on? Too much psychological play. Dreams, hallucinations, satanic rituals, kids with pale faces in dark tunnels, and more. Is is a super natural element or images from a deranged mind of the characters? If you do not mind getting confused and love challenging yourself to find out what really is happening in this book, this one is perfect for you.

--Pat Ortin

— Pat Ortin

goodreads.com

A chilling and masterfully crafted teen horror novel guaranteed to keep the pages turning, the mind reeling, and the lamp on any reader's bedside table on long after midnight. Privileged and popular Caleb Mason is celebrating his high school graduation when he receives a mysterious, disturbing letter from his long-lost childhood playmate, Christine. Caleb and his jokester friend Bean decide to travel to his tiny hometown of Hudsonville, Florida, to find her. Upon arrival, they discover the town has taken a horrifying turn for the worse. Caleb's childhood home is abandoned and his father has disappeared. Children are going missing. The old insane asylum has reopened, and Christine is locked inside. Her mother, a witch, is consumed with madness, and Christine's long-dead twin sister whispers clues to Caleb through the static of an a.m. radio. The terrifying prophesies of the spirits are coming to pass. Sixteen clocks are ticking; sixty-six murdered souls will bring about the end of the world. As Caleb peels back layer after layer of mystery, he uncovers a truth more horrible than anything he had imagined, a truth that could only be uttered by the lips of the dead.

Warning: This book will give you nightmares! This book is full of suspense at every corner and will have you on the edge of your seat!

My Rating: 5 of 5 This book is really great!

My Cover Thoughts: The cover is what drew me to read the book. It is a picture of a girl in a white dress standing in a door way. When you look at it you wonder if it is a ghost or something else more sinister.

My Thoughts/Review: WOW this book had me on the edge of my bed the entire time I was reading it. It was full of suspense and at times something out of a horror movie!

Caleb has just graduated from high school with his best friend Bean and they are celebrating at Caleb's house. Bean is harassing Caleb because he is going to Africa to write about the AIDS epidemic instead of staying home for the summer and surfing and hanging out. Caleb and Bean have been best friends for years and Bean does not want Caleb to go to Africa because he wants to hang out before they go off to college.

At the party everyone is having fun and they want Caleb to give a speech but he says no way let's eat cake. While he is getting a second piece of cake he wanders over to the table where the gifts are. He sees a lot of envelops and gifts and while he is trying to balance his second piece of cake he drops it right on the envelope. He is trying to clean it off so his mother won't get mad and that is when he sees then envelope does not have a return address but it is addressed to him by his full name. He is curious so he cleans it off and opens it up. Once he opens the letter all his nightmares that he has had as a child come flashing back to him. He shows the letter to Bean and asks for his opinion. It is decided he will not be going to Africa but to his childhood home to see his best friend from childhood.

Once they get there they find that the town that Caleb grew up in is no longer how it was. There are children missing and people missing and no one in the town seems to care. That is when Caleb and Bean go to see his best friend Christine and find out that kids go missing all the time and that they are locked up in this place and no one helps them get out. Caleb swears to Christine he is going to get her out of that place and help her because he owes her that. The only thing that Caleb does not realize is that he is in for a serious journey when he tries to free Christine. Will they make out of alive or will they die trying?

This story has lots of twists and turns and will have you at the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. J. Gabriel Gates is the next Stephen King with this book!

Advice: CREEPTASTIC READ! You will not be disappointed once you start reading this book you will not be able to put it down.

--Taneesha Freidus Rodriguez
— Taneesha Freidus Rodriguez

Goodreads

It's rare you come across a YA book that can deftly manage the horror genre. Most attempts I've seen either go so far into gruesome details that they stretch into adult territory or they are so juvenile that no teen would want to read them. In this grey area – in between Goosebumps and Stephen King – there is an entire window of opportunity for YA authors but until Sleepwalkers, I've never seen it done. The characters balance each other perfectly with serious and comedic moments, the author gracefully balances suspense and horror with moments to sit back and take a breath to even your heart rate. This is a wonderfully done book and, honestly, fills such a hole for our library. I'll be recommending this left and right to the teen boys (and the girls who prefer this type of novel) as it really is the only book of its type in this genre worth recommending.

--Linda Green

— Linda Green

blogspot.com

Creepy, suspenseful, with a Stephen King like quality, J. Gabriel Gates' "The Sleepwalkers" will keep you up all night, so enthralled you have to reach the end and too frightened to close your eyes and sleep. Utterly brilliant.

--Skyla Hannah

— Skyla Hannah

goodreads.com - Taneesha Freidus Rodriguez
A chilling and masterfully crafted teen horror novel guaranteed to keep the pages turning, the mind reeling, and the lamp on any reader's bedside table on long after midnight. Privileged and popular Caleb Mason is celebrating his high school graduation when he receives a mysterious, disturbing letter from his long-lost childhood playmate, Christine. Caleb and his jokester friend Bean decide to travel to his tiny hometown of Hudsonville, Florida, to find her. Upon arrival, they discover the town has taken a horrifying turn for the worse. Caleb's childhood home is abandoned and his father has disappeared. Children are going missing. The old insane asylum has reopened, and Christine is locked inside. Her mother, a witch, is consumed with madness, and Christine's long-dead twin sister whispers clues to Caleb through the static of an a.m. radio. The terrifying prophesies of the spirits are coming to pass. Sixteen clocks are ticking; sixty-six murdered souls will bring about the end of the world. As Caleb peels back layer after layer of mystery, he uncovers a truth more horrible than anything he had imagined, a truth that could only be uttered by the lips of the dead.

Warning: This book will give you nightmares! This book is full of suspense at every corner and will have you on the edge of your seat!

My Rating: 5 of 5 This book is really great!

My Cover Thoughts: The cover is what drew me to read the book. It is a picture of a girl in a white dress standing in a door way. When you look at it you wonder if it is a ghost or something else more sinister.

My Thoughts/Review: WOW this book had me on the edge of my bed the entire time I was reading it. It was full of suspense and at times something out of a horror movie!

Caleb has just graduated from high school with his best friend Bean and they are celebrating at Caleb's house. Bean is harassing Caleb because he is going to Africa to write about the AIDS epidemic instead of staying home for the summer and surfing and hanging out. Caleb and Bean have been best friends for years and Bean does not want Caleb to go to Africa because he wants to hang out before they go off to college.

At the party everyone is having fun and they want Caleb to give a speech but he says no way let's eat cake. While he is getting a second piece of cake he wanders over to the table where the gifts are. He sees a lot of envelops and gifts and while he is trying to balance his second piece of cake he drops it right on the envelope. He is trying to clean it off so his mother won't get mad and that is when he sees then envelope does not have a return address but it is addressed to him by his full name. He is curious so he cleans it off and opens it up. Once he opens the letter all his nightmares that he has had as a child come flashing back to him. He shows the letter to Bean and asks for his opinion. It is decided he will not be going to Africa but to his childhood home to see his best friend from childhood.

Once they get there they find that the town that Caleb grew up in is no longer how it was. There are children missing and people missing and no one in the town seems to care. That is when Caleb and Bean go to see his best friend Christine and find out that kids go missing all the time and that they are locked up in this place and no one helps them get out. Caleb swears to Christine he is going to get her out of that place and help her because he owes her that. The only thing that Caleb does not realize is that he is in for a serious journey when he tries to free Christine. Will they make out of alive or will they die trying?

This story has lots of twists and turns and will have you at the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. J. Gabriel Gates is the next Stephen King with this book!

Advice: CREEPTASTIC READ! You will not be disappointed once you start reading this book you will not be able to put it down.

—Taneesha Freidus Rodriguez

Goodreads - Linda Green
It's rare you come across a YA book that can deftly manage the horror genre. Most attempts I've seen either go so far into gruesome details that they stretch into adult territory or they are so juvenile that no teen would want to read them. In this grey area – in between Goosebumps and Stephen King – there is an entire window of opportunity for YA authors but until Sleepwalkers, I've never seen it done. The characters balance each other perfectly with serious and comedic moments, the author gracefully balances suspense and horror with moments to sit back and take a breath to even your heart rate. This is a wonderfully done book and, honestly, fills such a hole for our library. I'll be recommending this left and right to the teen boys (and the girls who prefer this type of novel) as it really is the only book of its type in this genre worth recommending.

Linda Green

blogspot.com - Skyla Hannah
Creepy, suspenseful, with a Stephen King like quality, J. Gabriel Gates' "The Sleepwalkers" will keep you up all night, so enthralled you have to reach the end and too frightened to close your eyes and sleep. Utterly brilliant.

Skyla Hannah

Suspense Magazine - Melissa Dalton
Suspense Magazine (October 2011 Issue):

(check out the magazine! http://www.suspensemagazine.com)

'The Sleepwalkers' by J. Gabriel Gates:

For high school graduate Caleb Mason, life couldn't be better. He has the perfect girlfriend, college is waiting for him in the fall and he's leaving in a few weeks to spend the summer in Africa, writing about the Aids epidemic as a young journalist. But on the night of his graduation party, Caleb receives a strange letter from an old childhood friend, Christine, which prompts him to change his entire summer's plans.

Caleb and his best friend, Bean, take a road trip to Caleb's childhood home in Florida to see what Christine's letter truly meant. When they arrive, they find that things are not what they used to be. Caleb's father has gone missing and hundreds of people have disappeared, and somehow it all centers on an old asylum that's been reopened. As Caleb and Bean embark on a bone-chilling search for the truth, they uncover a conspiracy that could involve the end of the world.

I was extremely impressed with how vivid Gates' descriptions were. Every time I closed my eyes, I could easily see ghostly figures in white approaching—eyes tightly closed as though they were dreaming—or their demonic faces when they captured their prey. Gates begins this YA novel with a sense of foreboding that carries through the rest of the story and leaves you on the edge of your seat the entire way. 'The Sleepwalkers' is the perfect horror story to tell around a campfire or read on a stormy night—as long as you don't forget to leave the lamp or flashlight on when you go to sleep.

Review by Melissa Dalton for Suspense Magazine

www.readingwritingbreathing.com - HD
"Overall, this is one of the most chilling books i've ever read. With a writing style that reads like a poem and characters that are so fleshed out i cried with them and screamed with them and felt anxiety with, THE SLEEPWALKERS is sure to be a fresh book on the YA shelves!"
—HD

Read the full reveiw at: http://www.readingwritingbreathing.com/2011/08/sleepwalkers-by-j-gabriel-gates.html.

www.themidnightreaders.com - Sally
"In short, I enjoyed reading this book as it was a step away from the usual YA fiction. I would recommend this for readers aged 15+ years who are looking for something more akin to classic horror tales. You won't be disappointed!"
—Sally

Read the full reveiw at:http://themidnightreaders.blogspot.com/2011/08/review-sleepwalkers-j-gabriel-gates.html.

Goodreads.com - Felicia Warren
"Im not one for mystery books or even scary books... but this book seriously hooked me from the very first page. It wasnt to scary, thank goodness, or I would be having nightmares just like the main character Caleb-also known as Billy. The book is about Caleb going to Florida to see a childhood friend Christine. When he finds her, he pretty much checks her off as crazy-that is until things start happening to make him reconsider her level of crazy. And the big questions is: Is Caleb bringing about the end of the world? And if so, can he stop it? Talk about not seeing that plot line coming. This books is perfect, amazing, wonderful. Get it, and read it!!!"

Felicia Warren

Booklist - Daniel Kraus
Class valedictorian Caleb's future seems pretty well mapped out, until he receives an unsettling letter from a childhood friend—now in an asylum—who pleads with him to come save her. On a hunch, he jets from Malibu to his birth home of Hudsonville, Florida, where he discovers a sinister psychiatric institution called the Dream Center, an unholy nexus from which spring an army of 'sleepwalkers'—possessed children and teens who seem to be doing the bidding of ghostly masters. Gates attacks this horror thriller with admirable vigor and a strong sense of style that, while not always applied consistently, makes this a work of notable ambition. There is so much going on that supernatural particulars—and there are a lot of them—get lost in the shuffle. But when Gates strikes upon a good character, he strikes hard, as with Ron Bent, a hook-handed Vietnam vet and ex-pastor; and an especially creepy villain who is part serial killer, part mystic, part rodeo clown. Could have been tighter, but at least there's plenty to sink your teeth into.— Daniel Kraus
NetGalley - Annmarie Ager
". . . I started to really enjoy this book from the first chapter Caleb is a interesting character with a past that haunts him. Bean says some of the funniest stuff but you can see that there is another side to him with both Caleb and bean together it makes a great team for this story.

I found this book to unfold like a big puzzle with each chapter you get a new piece of the puzzle. It's exciting and at times scary there was some really weird and chilling stuff going on in this town and I found myself glued to the book needing to know what secrets were held within the pages.

All together this book was well written and the story itself was one of a kind different exciting and scary. I would recommend this book to others and would happily reread this book.

A book that leaves a ticking in your ears and a chill down your spin.

5/5

My favourite quote 'Dude, she's like the queen from Alice in Wonderland. Every time she comes around, my balls shrink up like they're trying to hide'"

—Annmarie Ager

NetGalley - Julie Witt
"I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Caleb Mason is graduating from high school, is one of most popular kids in his school, is dating Amber, also in the popular club, and is best friends with Bean, who is a likable jokester who complements Caleb perfectly. Caleb is taking a year off school, where he is planning to study journalism and become an investigative reporter, to go to Africa and work in the Aids community. At his graduation party, though, all that changes when he gets a very cryptic letter from a childhood friend back in Hudsonville, Florida, the little backwater community he lived in until he was 8. He has a bad feeling about this, so he takes Bean and heads back there to make sure Christine is okay. That is when life as he knows it changes completely, and he finds himself embroiled in discovering the truth to a terrible, deadly secret that the town is hiding.

I loved this book! It was delightfully creepy and suspenseful, and once you start it, trust me, you will not want to put it down until you reach the very last page! The writing is superb, the characters are very well fleshed out and three dimensional, and the big secret is a doozy indeed. This is a YA book, and as such there are only a few quick mentions of sex, basically in passing, and the cursing is kept to a minimum. There was nothing that I found offensive at all.

You really find yourself pulling for the characters, but you know that there is not going to be a happy ending for some of them, which is another thing that keeps the suspense level up.

In summary, I am giving this book 5 out of 5 stars because I loved everything about it, and I don't say that often!! As soon as this book is released, Get It!!!"

—Julie

NetGalley - Tracy H.
"The sleepwalkers is an eerie, creepy tale filled with mystery and some very horrific characters and images. While it was definitely a page turner, I did have some issues with this book. The most predominant being that the beginning read more like a movie script than an actual novel. And, because of this, I really had a hard-time fully connecting with these characters in the beginning. I did feel a change a quarter of the way in though, and really started to get into the story.

Although Caleb was the main character, his best friend Bean really stole the scenes. Bean is this funny, snarky, often crude but deep down great guy. He is full of personality and just fun to read. They really are a great team, but on his own Caleb could have used a little more personality.

The relationship between Caleb and Christine was perfect, however. All to often in YA fiction you have these characters that fall madly in love within the first few pages and it is so unbelievable and quite frankly insulting. This relationship however, is very real and very natural. There could be some argument that the relationship is not believable due to the length of time these two were apart, but I disagree. I for one have had childhood friends who I have been estranged from over the years, who I have reconnected with and it felt as though we had never been apart. These are true connections - the ones that really matter. This is what Caleb and Christine have and I loved that.

I really feel that this book could easily be adapted to film and do very well. It is a very visual book. In the end, although the ending was somewhat predictable and slightly anti-climatic, I would recommend it. If you are looking for a creepy, bone chilling, page turner? You will find it within the pages of The Sleepwalkers. I am interested to see where the author, J Gabriel Gates, goes from here."
—Tracy H.

NetGalley - sweepingme.com
OK, I usually don't get too excited over books. I like some, I love some, I even hate some, but I usually don't get excited about them, so I was surprised that this YA book has done just that! I am usually a romance/thriller book junkie those have been my favorite forever.. until now! I am offically a YA fan.

In "The Sleepwalkers", J. Gabriel Gates spins a thrilling tale that is made for YA's. Why didn't I know about this author sooner? I guess it's because I just assumed that YA books were dull and filled with immature, little kid things. I know, that makes me sound old and sad. J. Gabriel Gates is a terrific writer and is better then I could have hoped for. I didn't need blood, guts, gore or anything of the sort for this book to grab my attention. What I needed, and this book provided so well, was its ability to make me feel like I was part of the story. The characters were believable and acted as I would have in the same given situations. "The Sleepwalkers" was riveting and had me hooked from page one. J. Gabriel Gates is now an author I will be looking for more from.

"The Sleepwalkers" takes its readers through the thrilling tale of Caleb and his best friend Bean. They have just graduated High School and are deciding their future when Caleb receives a letter from an old friend letting him know that she hasn't forgotten what happened in their youth and needs his help. Caleb puts his plans on hold and takes Bean to Florida where he grew up and a dreadful thing happened. They try to uncover what is going on and why Caleb's father has disappeared. Along the way, they find out many disturbing things and learn what has happened during all the years Caleb has been gone. This book is well written and a real page turner, even if you happen to be, like me, much older than the normal YA book demographic. You will love this thrilling tale.

I give "The Sleepwalkers" by J. Gabriel Gates 5 of 5 stars.

—sweepingme.com

NetGalley - Rebecca Foulks
Caleb is celebrating his recent graduation with his best friend Bean when he recieves a letter from a childhood friend who he hasn't seen in many years, asking him for help. When Caleb and Bean arrive in his childhood home in Florida, they find that many members of the community have disappeared, including Caleb's father. At the center of the strange happenings in the town is the Dream Center, an establishment where people get admitted, but never come out.

I was given the great opportunity to read this book through Netgalley, and I'm really glad I did. This book, to be blunt, totally kicked ass! It was an absolutely perfect blend of being terrifying and intense. The characters all felt very real to me and I had my breath held for so long while I was reading, just hoping everything would turn out alright for them in the end. There were many twists and turns while helped move the story along, and the writing was so descriptive and downright scary.

And the ending was just...chilling. That's all I will say here, because I don't want to give too much away! I really enjoyed reading this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a thrilling scary story.

—Rebecca Foulks

NetGalley - Pat Ortin
The story starts of with a dream. From the past or just a random dream? That was my question. It was disturbing and made me wonder what kind of Sleepwalker am I going to encounter? It is obviously not the normal kind.

Sleepwalker took me to a world where no YA has taken me before, scary enough to render an 7/10 horror scale in my book. My nerves were rattled, I kept wondering what the hell is going on? Too much psychological play. Dreams, hallucinations, satanic rituals, kids with pale faces in dark tunnels, and more. Is is a super natural element or images from a deranged mind of the characters? If you do not mind getting confused and love challenging yourself to find out what really is happening in this book, this one is perfect for you.

—Pat Ortin

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780757315886
  • Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/3/2011
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 710,129
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Gabriel Gates is a Michigan native and a graduate of Florida State University. He has worked as a professional actor, written several Hollywood screenplays, and coauthored the teen fantasy series The Tracks. Visit his website www.jgabrielgates.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Something in the ruins waits.

A daydreamy, hot Southern summer, the sky above like a great blue eye. Watching. Two little girls with laughter in their smiles. Two same smiles, giggling. They hug. They hit one another. Two sisters, and me. High, dry weeds, brown and scraping. We fight through them together. The forest behind is black liquid. Pathways through the weeds, a thousand pathways, a game of chase. Now lying amongst the long grasses, giggles give way to sighing.

Something waits.

I get up. I whisper to one of the girls. (This has happened before.) Her hair is long and straight. Eyes glitter. There are no sounds, as if this were a silent movie or something, but there is one word that bleeds through like a subliminal message: dare. Eyes glittering, this is a childish contest of pride. I smile my dare to her—I feel the smile on my face. She swallows once in fear, then giggles it away. The other sister says nothing, watches with sad, distant eyes. Long, straight hair. Through the weeds again now. Shuffling, we three. Biting burrs on white socks. A little hill. We reach the top and the air stops. There it is. Edifice. Eclipsing all. Empty. A thousand windows stare through us like blind eyes, black and shattered, the lights that once waited inside them now betrayed to darkness. Another word bleeds through: hospital.

Their momma told them not to go.

The dare hangs all around us. Two little girls, just alike. Dirty dresses and dimples. One stands still and scratches her leg.

The other, the Dared, has half crossed the clearing already. She's passing the swimming pond, sleeping mirror. Tiny girl, she blazes through the weeds on scabbed, bruised legs.

She keeps walking.

She'll show us she isn't afraid. But she's very afraid. She walks slowly. Keeps looking back. Acting brave. I look up at the too-many windows, and they gape at me like gnawing, starving maws. Suddenly, I want to call her back. My stomach aches, I want to call her back so bad. But I don't. I watch her. She sneaks under the chain-link fence, little dared one, catches her dress as she wriggles through but tears herself free. Crosses a patch of cracked, scarred cement; the heat waves from it dilute her for an instant; for an instant she seems almost to melt away, but she walks on, over old beer cans and fallen bricks, patches of grass poking through the cement. Up to the stoop. Up to the door.

The back door. A black hole. Her tiny feet follow each other forward, one after another, closer and closer, and she pauses at the threshold, looks back at us. Even from so far away there's no mistaking, no denying the meaning in her pleading silence: 'Take back the dare.' But she's already there.

Then it happens, too fast to be real. The little girl next to me screams, only her breath goes in instead of out and makes the words:

'Something in the ruins waits!'

And in the black square of the doorway, something jerks the other little girl backwards into the dark.

Forever gone.

The ceiling is blue. His first thought is that nothing is real. Nothing is to be trusted. He pushes himself up against the headboard and stares at the knob on his closet door, waiting for the feeling to drain out of him. The knob is glass. Antique. He half expects it to move, but it does not. Nothing moves. The room is saturated in stillness. When there's no sound, no motion, it's easy to see how flimsy everything is. Reality seems mushy. Liquid, almost, in this half-light. The little illumination leaking through the curtains is tinted with blue. It must be late. The clock says six o'clock exactly.

The hum of the silence is disconcerting. He keeps thinking he hears something. Somehow, the sound of the non-noise has the same quality of a real sound. It sounds like . . . what? He can't put his finger on it, but it doesn't go away.

He gets out of bed, twists his boxers, straightening them, and walks across the rug and onto the hardwood floor. It creaks under his weight and he's grateful; it chases away the non-sound for a moment. He opens his door, steps into the hall. Here, the stagnant air is filled with the same timid light as his room. Twilight. He walks over to the stairs and leans over the rail.

'Hey, what's for dinner?'

No answer, except for a barely perceptible echo. He walks back up the hall. His legs hurt. Shin splints. He walks into the bathroom, blows his nose on some toilet paper, pulls on a pair of jeans—the belt is conveniently waiting in the loops from the last time he wore them—and walks back down the hall, thinking about the dream. Trying not to think about it, actually, but reliving it in spite of himself. It won't leave. Even now, as he's going through the motions of life, performing all these normal actions, the fear still aches in his bones. He acts like he's ignoring it, but he cannot.

He crosses back down the hall, listening intently for some familiar sound—the chopping of vegetables for dinner, the mindless, chattering drone of the TV, the moan of the garage door as one of the parents makes an early appearance home from work. There are no sounds. The ache in his bones won't stop. He can't shake the dream. Hell, maybe he's still asleep; maybe this is just another hallway in the labyrinth of his subconscious. Maybe he woke to a world where he's the only survivor of a terrible cataclysm; maybe he's the last person left alive on earth.

Or maybe—and this thought really chills him—maybe this is where the door the little girl was pulled into so many years ago led—maybe, in some terrible metaphysical contortion, that black doorway leads here, to the shadowed foyer of his own empty house.

As that thought seeps through his mind, dripping from the land of fleeting fancy into more primal regions, it almost freezes him in his tracks. It's a horrible idea, the kind that keeps coming back to you, like the image from a video he saw in history class of the Buddhist monks who burned themselves to protest the war in Vietnam. When you turned away, when you closed your eyes, the sight remained.

He's made his way downstairs now. He passes the coatrack in the hall, trips over the shoes he shuffled off an hour earlier, before his nap, and continues toward the kitchen. It's getting deeply dark outside and here, away from any windows that might leak in the last residual rays of the dying sun, the blackness is almost total. He fumbles with his hand—here's the table, here's one of the doilies his mom insists on draping over everything, even though it looks archaic and lame—and here's the lamp. He traces his hand up the smooth brass shaft of its neck, without seeing it, bumps the shade with his elbow, finds the switch with his clumsy, still-waking fingertips, and twists. There's a click and a flash. He gasps.

Eyes.

Someone there? The hairs on the back of his neck are standing up. It's dark again—the light has burned out. His body is tense, his back pressed against the hallway wall.

Then he smiles, realizing. There's no one there: he just saw himself in the hall mirror. He exhales a snorted laugh. What a jackass. What a baby. The lightbulb popped and he saw himself. Good ol' scary Caleb, a skinny eighteen-year-old guy. He probably couldn't scare a 7-Eleven cashier with a ski mask on. His body relaxes. A car approaches outside, its headlights shining through the stained glass windows flanking the front door, casting everything, fleetingly, in an eerie glow. Then it passes. He snorts again, laughing at himself. What a baby. . . . Can't shake a wittow scawy dweam. He takes a step forward, toward the kitchen door, then stops dead.

Something behind the door moved.

A scraping sound. Tiny. Real. No light shines around the doorjamb. The room beyond is dark. He realizes he's shaking. He tries to breathe, tries to still his limbs, but cannot. Something is really there.

Courage . . . this is your house, right? Not a dream, right? And you're eighteen now—supposed to be a man.

His teeth clamp together, eyes narrow, fists clench. His hand rises up from his side and tentatively rests on the wood of the swinging door. Only a push now. Why's he so scared? Why can't he shake that dream? Okay, one . . . two . . .

Another sound, almost too faint hear at first. But there. His mouth falls open and he shivers, leaning closer. Voices. A thousand, whispering, clamoring, lisps mingle and seethe over one another, creating a sound that is almost like silence—but isn't.

He feels his heart pounding, man or not, but steels himself against the rising tide of his fear.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    sad but good

    Definatley a really interesting book, it had a lot of sad parts but I think I will dip into the next one!

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  • Posted October 22, 2011

    Bringing back a little classic horror!

    Never heard of J. Gabriel Gates till I seen this book at Netgalley, but it sounded like a good October read. My first initial thoughts was its strange, but not real creepy, but then I got farther into in and it got super creepy! Thank you J. Gabriel Gates for bringing a little old school horror back to the genre!

    Caleb had his whole life planned, he knew exactly what he was going to be doing with his life, but then he got a letter from a old friend. This letter changes his whole life when Caleb and his friend Bean go back to where he use to live. The town of Hudsonville is really strange, kids are disappearing, but nobody does anything about it. The sheriff acts as if nothing is wrong but Caleb knows things are not what they seem. His dad is missing, his friend is at a place called The Dream Center and there are a bunch of scary teens walking around at night killing people!

    Caleb calls them sleepwalkers because they look just like a person who is sleepwalking, they have their eyes close, but they can still find you. Caleb knows he should leave and just forget about everything but something just keeps pulling him back. Even if his childhood friend is crazy, he just can't leave her their, and it could cost him his life.

    Caleb is a interesting character, at first you think he seems to be a kid who has it all together. He is going to go to Africa and write about AIDS and save the world. Then he gets a letter and in a instant he makes a totally irrational decision to go help his childhood friend who he hasn't had any contact with in years. He is a strong character though as he faces a lot of things not many people could go through and come out with some sanity.

    Christine was interesting because you really never quite new if she was crazy or sane. One minute you think she is crazy, the she does something and its like well maybe she isn't crazy. She went through a lot of things in her childhood, then getting taken to the dream center. They did weird things to her their so it had to affect her sanity a little bit, but she always loved Caleb.

    The Sleepwalkers was a very creepy, insane read that I was glad I decided to read it. I have been trying to find something spooky, that could really creep me out, but I have been having a hard time finding it. Nobody writes like Steven King anymore (not that I want all that detail), but nothing has seriously creeped me out like his work did when I was younger. The Sleepwalkers really brought back that classic horror feel and is definitely something you want to read with the lights one.

    I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants to get spooked. Its a great Halloween read!

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  • Posted October 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Classic Horror Story Vibe

    Caleb has dreams of becoming a journalist. After graduation, he plans to travel to Africa to write about the AIDS crisis. Right away we see how grown-up Caleb is. His best friend Bean is the comic relief. The two together complement each other very well. Their future plans get put on hold when Caleb receives a letter from a childhood friend, Christine, in Hudsonville, FL. She asks for him to come to her. Caleb remembers the all the fun he and Christine and Christine's twin sister Anne. Until the day Anne disappeared.

    After arriving in Hudsonville, Bean is ready to turn back. He feels that the whole town is "dead" and the people that are there are acting mysteriously. They find that a lot of people have been disappearing and the law is not doing anything about it. Caleb also finds that his father has vanished leaving all his belongings behind. The mystery seems to center on the Dream Center that has set up shop behind Caleb's childhood home. Christine is there and so it seems a lot of people are. Nightmares may be a normal phenomenon but in Hudsonville it is a one-way ticket into the Dream Center and once you're in you never leave (or so you remember).

    Now it is coming to an end. The Director of the Dream Center has brought Caleb here along with a man named Ron Bent to complete his ultimate goal. He has created sleepwalkers who are his own personal army. This is what nightmares are made of. Creepy, sleeping children that turn into rabid dogs bent on killing whatever is in their way. What is even more scary is the Director wears clown makeup!

    Loved the classic horror story vibe that Gates brings. I found it very suitable for the YA horror genre. It definitely had me wishing I read it during the day instead of at night. This one will get you wondering what that scratching noise is at your window. Is it just a tree branch or has a sleepwalker come to take you away?

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  • Posted October 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!

    This is one of those books that you must read with ALL the lights on, your back to the wall, and someone else in the room with you. Once I started this book, I kept looking over my shoulder to make sure nothing was coming after me! This book reminded me of the movie House on Haunted Hill, but in a teen version.

    I don't why I continue to read scary books even though I know they scare me. But holy cow! This book is written amazingly and just creeped me out to the bone. I mean, it really shook my up. Mr. Gates did an amazing job in scaring the begezzus out of me. And I am sure he will do just a fine job doing that to everyone else. His story line is filled with non-stop mystery, action, and plenty of raising the hair on the back of my neck moments. The plot line slowly creeps out on you as you read. Nothing is what is seems, but before you know it, Mr. Gates writing jumps out on you so fast! I loved that the reader is kept at bay from secrets, but also get secrets reveals little by little. There are some crazy parts in this book. Heck, it made me think I was crazy!

    The characters of this book are very well developed. I loved that they are smart, witty, and very fast to catch on to everything quickly. The main character Caleb is a fighter. As the reader travels with him, Caleb develops more. We seen him fight, uncover mysteries, and save a friend. Caleb is an easy going guy that everyone will love and fight for.
    If you love a good scary book, one that will have you looking over your shoulder read this book! Not only will if have you biting your fingernails off, you will be at the edge of your seat! Mr. Gates writing is easy to read and easy to get into. He captures the readers with one word, and does not let you go.

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  • Posted October 4, 2011

    Great YA Horror!

    I'll be honest, I read a lot of adult horror, but not a lot of young adult horror. That's partially because I haven't come across very much young adult horror that is actually horrific.
    This book was phenomenal. But, before I start gushing about how much I loved it (and I don't normally gush) I'll give some brief background on the story.

    Caleb, formerly known as Billy, has just graduated high school and has high hopes of becoming a journalist. However, during his graduation party, he receives a letter from a childhood friend that prompts him to take an impromptu trip back to his hometown in Florida with his best friend, Bean. It doesn't take long for them to discover that a lot had changed since Caleb moved away and there are hundreds of people missing, including his father. So of course, they set out to find out what is really going on.

    This book was like watching a horror movie with subtitles. I could envision everything exactly how it was happening, the writing was very descriptive. If this book was ever turned into a movie, I would definitely watch it!
    The characters were very real and well developed, which made it even better. And the suspense! There was one point where I was literally biting my knuckle wondering what was about to happen! That hardly ever happens to me. I'm the type that I can generally guess what is about to happen in a book or movie so it doesn't really phase me. Not the case with this one, at all. Not only was it suspenseful, but the supernatural element in it made it actually scary. I was finishing this book up during a thunderstorm and lets just say that I was scared to turn out the light for a little bit.

    Overall, this was a fantastic book. Fantastic cover, characters, suspense, and the ending! I won't give anything away, but it was just fantastic. If you're looking for a good, scary read for the month of October, I HIGHLY suggest that you pick this one up. I promise that you won't regret it! A full 5 out of 5 stars!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very creepy, atmospheric read

    Caleb Mason, newly graduated from high school in California, has practically forgotten about his early childhood when he went by the name Billy and he lived with both his parents in Hudsonville, Florida. At his surprise graduation party, however, it all comes back to him when he receives a cryptic letter from his former best friend, Christine. Wanting to help Christine and suddenly realizing that he hasn't heard from his Hudsonville father in years either, Caleb enlists his buddy Bean to join him on an impromptu trip to Florida. There they encounter mysterious even after mysterious event. Why does it look as if no one has lived in his childhood home for years? Where is Christine? What has happened to put her mother over the edge? What's going on with all the clocks in Gabriel's father's attic? Just what exactly is the Dream Center? And...don't look behind you now...but what's up with the army of children who look like they're sleeping but...aren't?

    Gates' novel unfolds piece by piece, with readers and Caleb slowly coming to realize what--and who--is behind some of the things that are happening in the sleepy Florida town. The end doesn't quite answer every question, but it does satisfy most. A fun book to read in the dark by flashlight--or maybe not....

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  • Posted August 4, 2011

    A must read!

    Caleb life comes crashing around him when he gets a letter from his old best friend Christine begging for help. Caleb and his mate bean travel to the town Caleb once lived in only to find it's taken a turn for the worse. Christine is locked up in the old mental institute. His dad has gone missing leaving his family home untouched. The children in the town are disappearing but no one will take about what going on. Will Caleb and bean find out what's going on our will they vanish like everyone else.

    I started to really enjoy this book from the first chapter Caleb is a interesting character with a past that haunts him. Bean says some of the funniest stuff but you can see that there is another side to him with both Caleb and bean together it makes a great team for this story.

    I found this book to unfold like a big puzzle with each chapter you get a new piece of the puzzle. It's exciting and at times scary there was some really weird and chilling stuff going on in this town and I found myself glued to the book needing to know what secrets were held within the pages.

    All together this book was well written and the story itself was one of a kind different exciting and scary. I would recommend this book to others and would happily reread this book.
    A book that leaves a ticking in your ears and a chill down your spin.
    5/5
    My favourite quote ''Dude, she's like the queen from Alice in Wonderland. Every time she comes around, my balls shrink up like they're trying to hide''

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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