Five Nights at Freddy’s better know as FNAF to fans started out in 2014 as an indy survival horror game by game designer Scott Cawthon. It became a huge hit on YouTube with creators such as Markiplier and MatPat of GameTheory played and created video’s about the game. The game quickly became a sensation spawning multiple sequels and hundreds of videos on YouTube. In the game you play as a night security guard at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza which unbeknownst to you the animatronics that move around at night are attempting to kill you as they contain the souls of the children the went missing/were murder at the pizzeria years ago. The goal of the game is just to survive the night as the game get progressively harder.
In 2015 Five Nights at Freddy’s The Silver Eyes was released as the first book of the new FNAF book series which I will need to briefly talk about to review books 2 and 3, so there will be some spoilers as this review goes on. Also the books tell the events of the game in a different way so you don’t have to know much about the game series to understand the books but you will catch things faster if you have.
The Silver Eyes starts out in 1995 when our main protagonist Charlotte “Charlie” returns to her home town of Hurricane, Utah to attend a ceremony about a scholarship created in the honor of her childhood friend Michael who along with four others were murdered at Freddy’s, the business that Charlie’s father helped run. Charlie with her friends Jon, Jessica, and Carlton decide to visit the old pizzeria and find that an abandoned shopping mall was built around it. From there its murderous animatronics and finding out what really happened at Freddy’s all those years ago. Overall, book one is not the best written book but the story is solid and it can be read as a stand alone. It would be a good introduction to kids or younger teens that are interested in both the books and the games without the jump scares and horror more prevalent in the games.
To review books two and three, I will have to spoil somethings from book one and the ending of book two. If you want my overall thoughts to the series please skip to the second break at the end of this post.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Twisted Ones starts a year after the end of book one with Charlie now at college and taking classes on artificial intelligence and robotics. After the events of the previous year that happened at the old pizzeria and the death of William Afton, Charlie is experiencing nightmares about the animatronics and the kidnapping of her twin brother, Sammy. When a body shows up with the same attach marks as previous victims of the animatronics Charlie, Jon, and their friends are drawn back into the world of Freddy’s. It turns out that Afton Robotics created other animatronics that were not the same as the originals from Freddy’s and they can change one’s perception of them. While finding out what is going on with these different robotics companies it turns out that William Afton is not as dead as everyone thought he was and confesses that he didn’t take Sammy but Charlie. The book ends with Jon believing Charlie is dead but then she shows back up on the very last page.
Book two is much more gory than book one and is intended for an older audience but the writing still felt younger to me. This is really where the books started to lose me. I love the lore behind this series but this book took some of the worst and most confusing elements of the games and did them worse as they take the forefront of the story.
Finally, book three Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Fourth Closet. Book three is much more Jon’s story than Charlie’s as we start off a few months from the end of book two with Jon still believing that he witnessed Charlie die that night but there’s someone who looks like Charlie and isn’t really acting like her is around. The entire story focuses on Jon and the others attempting to find out what really happen to Charlie and putting to rest everything about Freddy’s. It become very clear early on that Charlie is not really Charlie and we are given more of her families back story. Somehow, once again Afton is not actually dead and he mainly wants to find out how Henry, Charlie’s father, was able to essentially give a soul to an animatronic. The plot twist, which is very predictable, is that Afton killed Charlie years ago and that the Charlie in the story is a robot. The ending creates a clean slate as all the animatronics are destroyed and Afton is finally, truly killed but the story is very confusing and looses any emotional connection. I only finished these books because I like the lore of the games.
As for my thoughts on whole series I feel like it’s very average. I give the series three out of five stars only for the fact that I like watching people play the games and I enjoy the lore. However, as a book series the first one is the best as the story is fairly simple. As the series continues it takes some of the most confusing elements from the games and doesn’t do well explaining things or making a cohesive story. I would only recommend these books for fans of the games or those wanting to know the base story of the games without either watching and playing the games.