If you are a coulrophobic, or deathly afraid of clowns, put this review out of your mind and back away slowly. If the idea of a terrifying and psychotic clown is your idea of a partner in crime, by all means stay with me. Tim Waggoneer’s book Dream Stalkers is what so few books dare to be; the second in a series that is just as wickedly imaginative as the first.
Dream Stalkers is the follow up to the book Night Terrors. It follows the adventures of Shadow Watch officer Audra Hawthorne and her incubus partner, the terrifying and insane clown Jinx. Audra and Jinx are now well known in the Land of Nod for their takedown of Fata Morgana, one of the most famous members of the Lords of Misrule. Now with trainees under their care, Audra and Jinx are horrified when an extremely powerful sand monster named Montrose busts up trainees Melody and Trauma Doll (as creepy as she sounds) during a routine raid against a mysterious drug. Though Audra and Jinx are offered a promotion to monitor the wandering nightmares of New York City and leave Chicago behind, Audra insists that she and her dreamed up partner stay behind to close their case. The case goes far deeper than any thought possible.
In Dream Stalkers Tim Waggoneer has written one of the most imaginative, disturbing books I have ever read. Each page is filled with nightmare creatures such as an assassin made of Gingerbread, creature made entirely of random organs stuck together, porcelain dolls that break as they walk and instantly heel, rabid ferret monsters and an entire organization of murderous clowns. Jinx himself is terrifying. While his basic design is regular clown, he keeps acid in his boutonniere and a giant sledgehammer (one he has lovingly named) in a magical giant pocket, along with a collection of other horrible weapons. Jinx is chaos incarnate, yet so protective of Audra that his humanity shines through. Waggoneer’s detailed world is so intricate the reader can imagine almost every tangible detail of the Land of Nod, picture the incubi hospital known as the Sick House, and even mentally conjure vehicles such as the Death Mobile.
For kids who grew up with The Addams Family, The Munsters and other twisted fare Dream Stalkers will feel right at home. However, if you have a sensitive stomach and a dislike of all things wacky I’d recommend staying away.
Dream Stalkers is now available from Angry Robot Books.