Thank God we have a good Fazbear Frights book again. The Cliffs is horrifying, sad, and intense, and is such a better book than Blackbird. Gumdrop Angel is similarly proving itself a strong contender—so we can finally get back into positive reviews.
A word of warning before I start: this is the most intense book in the series. Yes, really. The gore is extreme, the topics adult, and the endings brutal and disturbing. I still hold this is not for kids, but at least this is a good horror book for adults. So, for those of you my age, let’s get into this nightmarish novella.
Section 1: “The Cliffs.”
I was not kidding about that warning. “The Cliffs” is about depression, child endangerment, and suicide. The topics come one after the other, painting a bleak story about a man being pushed to dark, dark places. It’s not a story I would recommend reading if you’re not in a good headspace to handle it. What makes it even more extreme is how down-to-Earth the whole thing is with what happens. The Fazbear Entertainment connection is relevant but more realistic than a lot of Fazbear Frights tales. It’s just a glorified baby monitor and even seems like a real toy someone would want to buy. This also might be an instance of an animatronic not being evil, but that depends on your interpretation of the message the bear says. It’s unclear if the bear is trying to help him or convince the main to commit suicide. And the fact that’s ambiguous is honestly a brilliant bit of horror storytelling.
Section 2: “The Breaking Wheel.”
And here’s the goriest story. I don’t know how they get away with depicting this happening to child characters, and how they justify how far they take it. But it’s also my favorite of the stories in this book because of a stellar bit of writing: an effective jump scare. Causing a jolt in a reader is difficult, but this story might get someone to scream out loud. The tension and suspense are palpable and maintained for most of the story. I question the logistics of how this scenario works (how did the boy get to their house?), but it’s nightmarish and gristly in all the right ways. If you wanted to read this series for genuine scares, this is the one for you.
Section 3: “He Told Me Everything.”
Body horror, body-swapping, and a disturbing twist reminiscent of “To Be Beautiful” or “Lonely Freddy“? Uh, yes please. This story has a weird energy and plot progression and a very eccentric main character, but it pulls off the charm that initially drew me to reviewing Fazbear Frights. It seems weird within the lore, but you can’t prove it isn’t happening in the background. Regardless of its connections, though, “He Told Me Everything” has strong Twilight Zone energy and is genuinely sad when you think about its implications.
I’m so glad Fazbear Frights is back in the swing of things. I eagerly awaited Gumdrop Angel, and the first story is already proving to be as twisted as that cover would imply. With just four left (three not released yet), we’re coming to an end of this insane review project. I’m looking forward to seeing where the series goes and finally reading and reviewing all the epilogs I’ve been stockpiling.
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