I am not a Five Nights at Freddy’s fan. I picked up a graphic novel a few years ago because I was curious about what it was about, but found out later that it was not the “real Freddy” but Goosebump-like stories about things that were spooky. Then recently, I picked up Five Nights at Freddy’s V02 The Twisted Ones in graphic novel form. Of course, I picked up book two and not one, but I thought since I knew I had read something that was designated as volume one, it made sense to get two, right? Wrong! It was another series I had started reading. The Twisted Ones are the real Freddy characters and are based on the novels of Scott Cawthon and Kira Breed-Wrisley. Well, I figured since I had it from the library I might as well give it a shot. It was okay, easy enough to follow, at least for an adult who hadn’t read book one. Yet, I do recommend reading The Silver Eyes first as there are things that rely on knowing who characters were, or events that happened, in The Twisted Ones.
Now the reason I was even thinking about reading another one of these books (and one that had creatures on the cover that made angler fish look cuddly) is because the last year or so my oldest nephew has gotten into the game or found a book or something. (He finds Chucky (the doll) scary, but is good with Springtrap?) I don’t play “video games” and I hadn’t been around my nephew as regularly as I would have liked, but circumstances changed and I was going to see him more, so I wanted to relate to his interests. I’m good on things like My Little Ponies, Frozen, Superheroes, Ninja Turtles and Transformers, but Freddy had escaped me. And probably rightly so. These are horror books. The graphic novel format of course, does add a physical graphic element, so you see blood, BFT (Big F’ing Teeth) that are razor sharp, bodies, people locked into animatronic suits, insane faces. You know, all that good horror stuff.
The stories are simple. In book one, we follow Charlie and her friends 10 years after something happened in their town dealing with kidnapped children and the pizza place that Charlie’s father owned. We see the now college age people coming back to honor one of the children who was kidnapped, only to find that there is still some creepy stuff going down. Book two follows them in college and Charlie trying to make sense of the nightmares she is having and there are now dead bodies being found around town that are somehow linked to the past and Charlie now. I would like to compare the graphics novel to the novel versions by Cawthon and Breed-Wrisley as there are pieces that feel like they are missing in both volumes of the graphic novels. The story arcs are heavy on the supernatural and yet, it is all set realistically with the characters in college, dating, remembering the past. There are elements that I wonder if they are foreshadowing to volume three,so I need to decide on how much more am I willing to try. I mean, no nightmares yet, but I am seriously not liking puppets or mascots right now!
Claudia Schroder’s illustrations in volume one are a little more lightly presented than Claudia Aguirre’s in volume two. Still, there is a commonality to things so you are not really realizing there is a new illustrator. Do not judge the books by the cover for what is inside, as things are more fleshed out with the illustrations, but they do set a tone. Details vary from panel, but they can be busy. There are a lot of dark, earthy tones and shadows. Sometimes it is hard to make things out as they are trying to give off a “feeling” of dread, fear, and spookiness. Both art and story can be a bit stereotypical, but then again, we are talking about a teen read and not Shakespeare.