Nightmare Ballad

Nightmare Ballad

by Benjamin Kane Ethridge


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One day, while instructing a swim class, Luke Rhodes hears a strange ballad in his head that twists reality. After a series of terrifying events, he escapes through a black curtain and leaves a living nightmare behind.

The ballad hasn't left him though. Pieces remain. And when the song surfaces... the nightmare returns. Joined by Luke's two wives and his miscreant friend Johnny Cruz, they resolve to discover the source of these "Lifemares," and, more importantly, how to escape them.

But time is against them. Innocent people are dying and these freakish disturbances are devastating the world they know.

Will Luke and his family find the singer of the Ballad before it's too late? Or will horrifying nightmares roam the world... forever?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936564835
Publisher: JournalStone
Publication date: 04/18/2013
Pages: 268
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.61(d)

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Nightmare Ballad 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
DelennDax7 More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading "Nightmare Ballad" by Benjamin Kane Etheridge. It was a good book - I'd probably give it 3.5 stars if I could do halves-but only cause it takes a bit to get the story "really" going. It starts off with the first "nightmare" within the first few pages & I was hooked from there, wanting to continue & see what all this stuff was about. And one thing that was really mind-boggling was that once the "nightmare" was over, ordinary people just "accepted" elements of the nightmare as being perfectly "normal" - i.e. There being "frogmen" in a school swimming pool was perceived as being completely acceptable. (No wonder people died, afterall there were frogmen in the pool!) But after that fascinating opening, I was a bit disappointed at the next 80 pages or so. There were four main characters throughout the book: Luke & Mara are a married couple who meet & fall in love with another woman, Maribel. The three form a 3-way marriage that they are very happy with-it's society who has the problem accepting them. The fourth character is Johnny, who is twice divorced & has a son, who doesn't live with him anymore. What disappointed me was that after the interesting beginning nightmare, the next 80 pages or so were just "regular" was Luke discussing his office & how it was difficult for people to understand the marriage situation he had chosen to be in. However, the book read "smoothly" interest didn't falter too much & it was easy reading. It's not that the personal stuff wasn't "interesting", I just was wanting to really get into the "juicy" nightmare stuff, and the long "interlude" of discussing the domestic situation left me feeling like the author should have done a whole book on THAT & saved the nightmare material for its own book. Well, finally when Johnny goes to a yard to steal some copper..boy, it "really" picks up then! And it gets progressively better & better! Once you get to the mid-way mark, there's no stopping you! The nightmares are so fascinating & it's about that point where the characters start talking to each other & comparing notes to try and figure out what the heck is going on?? Towards the end, it really gets interesting & the ending is totally unexpected! It made me want to go back & reread it to see how it all fits together! Now just to give some readers a "heads-up" on what to expect. All the places in the story involving Johnny have quite a bit of cussing, mostly the "F" word. Also, within the nightmares....let's just call it "Adult Material" and leave it at that. However, nothing really grossed me out or made me want to stop reading.
eheinlen More than 1 year ago
The book is well-written, but the story didn't grab me. I didn't find it interesting or engaging.
Scoshie More than 1 year ago
Luke Rhodes day started with a teaching a swim class that goes horribly awry. He keeps hearing this odd melody that causes him to realize that he is having a waking nightmare that is acutally changing the real world. Can he and his 2 wives, Dara and Maribel, and his best friend ,Albert "Johnny" Cruz, figure out what is going on before they disappear into the nightmare world? This is another excellent story by the author of Black & Orange. Surreal landscapes and odd characters abound and I for one can not wait to read the next book in this series. An excellent way to spend an afternoon in the sun!
dwatson More than 1 year ago
Everyone has nightmares but for Luke Rhodes, his two wives and Luke's friend Johnny Cruz, they happen during the day when they're wide awake. Everytime they think of a certain song, reality twists into a nightmare and people start to die. It all starts when Luke is teaching a swim class and hears a strange ballad, then a curtain drops and a group of frogmen appear and drown the swimmers. Luke manages to escape but the song is in his head and the effect is spreading to his loved ones. Luke must find the cause of the Nightmare Ballad and put a stop to it before the nightmares spread to the rest of the world. Nightmare Ballad by Benjamin Kane Ethridge is a very original horror tale, I can honestly say that I've never read anything like it. There are some true moments of terror in this book like when a young girl tells Luke that she just gutted her teddy bear and now she wants to see what it would be like to gut Luke. This book really gets into what each character fears the most and the things that they fear is what most people fear, which makes all the characters relatable. Nightmare Ballad doesn't have a lot of violence or jump scares, its more of a psychological horror story that looks at what truly scares us, such as having no control over a situation or being abandoned. One part of the book I really enjoyed was when Johnny goes to steal some copper from an abandoned building and end up being captured by some people who run a dog fighting ring. The scene was suspenseful without anything odd happening and then the Nightmare Ballad takes hold and takes it to the next level. The action just gets more intense from that point. The downside for this novel was that the story was hard to follow at points. It got a little confusing on what was real or not real but I still loved Nightmare Ballad for its originality. Also I liked how the author gets into his character's heads and makes you care for them. Nightmare Ballad is a surreal adventure that you won't want to put down and you may need to read it again to figure out what it all means.