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“Where Do You Get Your Ideas?” + Review and Giveaway of Nightmare City

“Where Do You Get Your Ideas?” + Review and Giveaway of Nightmare City

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Welcome to Mother/Gamer/Writer for the Nightmare City Blog Tour. For today’s tour stop, please enjoy our review of this fun and entertaining novel, a guest post from author Andrew Klavan, and enter to win one of 3 Print Copies!




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I received this book for free from the mentioned source in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

“Where Do You Get Your Ideas?” + Review and Giveaway of Nightmare CityNightmare City by Andrew Klavan
Published by: Thomas Nelson Publishers on November 5, 2013
Genres: YA
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon

Review Score:
About the Book:

What should have been an ordinary morning is about to spiral into a day of unrelenting terror.

As a reporter for his high school newspaper, Tom is always on the lookout for an offbeat story. But from the moment he woke up this morning, his own life has been more bizarre than any headline could ever tell.

The streets of his town are suddenly empty and silent. A strange fog has drifted in from the sea and hangs over everything. And something is moving in that fog. Something evil. Something hungry. Closing in on Tom.

Tom's terrified girlfriend Marie says the answers lie at the Santa Maria Monastery, a haunted ruin standing amidst a forest blackened by wildfire. But can he trust her? A voice that seems to be coming from beyond the grave is warning him that nothing is what it seems. "Only one thing is certain: with his world collapsing around him, Tom has only a few hours to recover the life he knew - before he, too, is lost forever in this nightmare city."





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Nightmare City by Andrew Klaven was a unique read that I enjoyed all the way through.  The story begins when high schooler Tom Harding wakes up to what he thinks is a normal day.  Wrong.  Tom quickly discovers that his mother is missing, and stranger is the fog that seems to be surrounding the neighborhood.  The house is silent, and the only people that are around are the creatures in the fog, ready to kill Tom as soon as the fog consumes him.


Now, Tom must figure out how to get rid of the evil creatures – malevolents – and find where the rest of the people he knows are, all while trying to stay alive.  Because if Tom dies in Nightmare City, he could die for real.


Tom was a great main character for me to follow.  He’s a reporter for his high school newspaper and as such has a drive to find the answers and tell the truth, even when people don’t want to hear it.  The most recent article he wrote about how the high school football team that won championship three years ago only did so because of illegal drugs has caused quite a stir, both among the students and the faculty.  Tom knows that it isn’t always easy to tell the truth, but he is determined to do so anyway, something that I really admired about him throughout the novel.


His drive to find the answers is what helps to keep him alive throughout the novel.  There are multiple points at which Tom almost feels like giving in, but there is always a force, whether external or internal, that pushes him to make it through and to not give up.  I loved these moments because there was a real element of truth to them.  There are definitely times in our lives when we are faced with an obstacle and it seems so much easier to just give up and move on, but some of the best things in life are also the things we have to work the hardest for.


The writing was done really well also.  There was the right amount of internal dialogue, the right amount of description, and it kept me entertained throughout the whole story.  Towards the end, especially, I had a really difficult time putting the book down.  It was an adventure really well done, and with not a ton of characters which surprised me.  I usually enjoy storylines with plenty of characters to follow, and while there were a few characters, whom we mostly got to know through flashbacks and memories, Tom was certainly the only character we got to know for the whole story.


The only thing in this novel that seemed a little off to me was that Tom’s voice sounded more like it was coming from someone younger than what he really is.  I kept having to remind myself that he was in high school, not middle school.  It could also simply be that I’ve never been a teenage boy, and I have no idea what they sound like in their own heads.  Either way, it wasn’t enough to change how much I enjoyed the book.


I’m giving Nightmare City 4 out of 5 controllers.  It was a great story, one that was really unique and kept me entertained throughout the whole thing.



My Rating


rate 4

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Where Do You Get Your Ideas?


Another question I get asked a lot — that every writer gets asked a lot — is where do you get your ideas.  And the truth is: I don’t really know.  I became a writer BECAUSE I get ideas that I have to write down, but I don’t know where they come from.


I do know that some of them come to me in the form of “what if?” questions. Like, when my daughter was a baby, I used to go in and check on her in the middle of the night. I would leave my bedroom, walk across the living room, and peek into the nursery to make sure she was all right.  So one night, I got up and left my bedroom and while I was walking across the living room, I suddenly thought, “What if she’s not there? Like, what if I look in at her crib and it’s just empty?”  That was such a scary idea, I wrote a book about it called “Don’t Say A Word,” where the father looks in on his daughter one morning, and she’s gone; she’s been kidnapped!


With Nightmare City, the start was pretty similar.  I live in southern California. I love the outdoors and I’m particularly fond of birds.  I work in this cabin in our backyard, and every morning, I go outside and the finches are singing and the crows are cawing and sometimes hawks are screeching as they sail around the sky.  And I remember one morning I walked outside and I thought, “What if it was just silent?  What if no birds were singing and you couldn’t hear the freeway traffic and everything was absolutely still?”


It’s a very creepy idea.  So that’s what happens to Tom Harding at the beginning of Nightmare City.  He wakes up and his town is silent.  And it gets a lot, lot creepier after that.


By the way, asking these “What if?” questions is not always such a great idea. Once I was fishing in a rowboat on a lake, and a fog came in and surrounded me so I couldn’t see anything. And I was sitting in the fog and I thought, “What if a skeleton hand came out of the water and grabbed the edge of my boat?” And the idea spooked me out so much, I had to row into shore until the fog passed!






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About Andrew Klavan

Andrew Klavan is a best-selling, award-winning thriller novelist whose books have been made into major motion pictures. He broke into the YA scene with the bestselling Homelanders series, starting with The Last Thing I Remember.He is also a screenwriter and scripted the innovative movie-in-an-app Haunting Melissa.