The Silver Eyes

Graphix/Scholastic/. (Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Graphic Novel: Bk. 1). Jan. 2020. 192p. adapted by adapted by Claudia Schröder. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781338298482.
Gr 7 Up–Charlie returns to the town of Hurricane to catch up with some of her old friends, but all they can talk about is the old Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza restaurant that Charlie’s father owned and that they enjoyed as kids. Lingering trauma from a series of unsolved murders mixes with everyone’s relatively sunny nostalgia. Charlie’s seemingly scrambled memories suggest there’s more to the cold cases than everyone believes. This comics version of the novel adaptation of the jump-scare video game series offers a few compelling leads, including a serial killer, anthropomorphic robots gone wrong, and supernatural intervention. Unfamiliar readers will place their bets on the true cause of everyone’s unresolved grief, while fans of the games will have the ending pegged well in advance. Schröder’s illustrations escalate the horror, establishing with wide, clear angles the decrepit mall that’s been built around the abandoned pizza place. In the latter half of the story, characters are stalked down hallways and behind curtains in more tightly framed panels. A couple of characters bleed from injuries, with another dying on the page. Charlie and her friends, while visually distinct, lose the plot to the animatronic terrors, who take over as the main attractions. A chaste romance between Charlie and her friend John serves as little more than a plot device. The scares are tween and teen appropriate, culminating in a standoff worthy of viral urban legends.
VERDICT Worth a night staying up reading by flashlight, whether you know the games or this is your first time at Freddy’s.

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