Hmmm… I’d respectfully disagree, but then again I think I might be in the minority here.
I’m not a livid FNAF fan, but I was curious about the origin story for this game so picked it up. I walked into it fully expecting it to be cornily written and possibly not scary at all.
I kept in mind that Scott is playing around in his headworld and juggling many different plot ideas, and decided to put many of those ideas into something a tiny, concrete and linear plot with a very short amount of pages, told through the lens of a totally new character the audience needs to familiarize and empathize with in order to feel any ounce of fear. Linearity and clarity in itself will always minimize mystery, and mystery is what makes a story scary, I was not expecting to be thrilled at all. I was expecting to be amused, mostly.
I also kept in mind that the series is aimed for kids, and since it was an easy read novel, I doubted it would either go places or use the right language to envoke it, but I feel the writer pulled it off. I enjoyed the long development set up of the characters. There were cliches that you will find in any dime novel, which is to be expected, and none were enough to bother me because the plot kept moving at a steady pace. Plus it’s a horror book. I’m walking into it expecting cliche. I also wasn’t certainly wasn’t going to be expecting jump scares nor atari hallucination dreams. Writing in suspense and horror is most impactful with investment in character, and I do feel like it was pulled of okay, for a something that’s meant for kids to read. Again I was walking into this expecting a train wreck, and it wasn’t, and I feel many walked into it expecting it to be the bible codex to the games and were disappointed.
The reveal and concept of Dave the serial killer seemed perfectly horrifying, and especially with context with Sister Location of what “Dave” really is and his role in working with the original creator of the animatronics, and his own line of robots. It puts all the games into very interesting perspective, who he was before he became “the purple man”, how he became him, what he did afterwards. To me it added plenty of intrigue, and all of the games make sense. I’m still not fully understanding what “canon inconsistencies” it leaves, but then again haven’t time stamped every single scrap of evidence games leaves us, but gleaned what I thought to be canon. Altogether, paired with the book, the game and the book complement each other pretty well and I can accurately interpret why all the things happen in all the games, where and who is depicted in them.
So- a review as someone who has enjoyed the games, interested in the lore, and just plain want to enjoy a written story about it, it isn’t bad, but it is something to enjoy for the enjoyment of reading. I’d say it was written especially well for someone who really is not into FNAF and somehow managed to pick up the book for the first time, which is really as it should be. A book shouldn’t be pandering to “fans”, leaving jumping the gun and leaving new readers in totally the dark to the suspense. The book stands on its own and I think it has a right to do so, or else it wouldn’t have been as impactful to a new reader.
A quite from Scott himself I found quite fitting: “Read the book for the sake of enjoying the book, and don’t try to ‘solve’ anything. If you go into it with that mindset, I think you will really enjoy it.”
In short: lower your standards and get off the high horse. It’s a quaint, horror book that follows the elements Scott laid out in his games, and that made it a fun read on my coffee break.
Of course, I have plenty of criticisms for this book too, but you’ll find them most of them anywhere. …. most of which is that I do feel that there were an unnecessary amount of characters in this book… lol.