Review: Night Terrors by J. A. Pitts

Night Terrors coverNight Terrors by J. A. Pitts from WordFire Press is the fourth Sarah Beauhall novel. Not having the pleasure of reading the first three installments, there is always a bit of apprehension when delving into a book series late. Burt rest assured the angst is ill placed in this case. The author has done a decent lob of allowing the reader gradually catch up without having to endure a lengthy rehash of the previous works.

This book is a decent jumping in point if you’re new to the neighborhood, but if you feel the need (and curiosity) to go back and experience the other adventures before tackling this installment or inclined to do so after completing this one, they are still easily accessible. Black Blade Blues (Tor Books, April 2010), Honeyed Words (Tor Books, July 2011), and Forged in Fire (Tor Books, July 2013) can all be found through your favorite bookseller. As an added bonus, Pitts also penned a short story titled Sarah Beauhall and the Bivalve Beatdown for the January 2015 Issue 3 of Urban Fantasy Magazine, which you can enjoyed at the magazine’s website archive here. If you’re apprehensive about a commitment of time to a series like this, this little snippet should prime your interests.

Sure there is a lot of untold backstory that readers my find intriguing, but this story moves quickly enough to keep the pages turning. Though this book is filled with fantastical worlds and magical creatures hidden in macabre dreams, the driving force behind the story inevitably falls upon the strong cast of characters developed by author Pitts.

When the Bowler Hat man is finally introduced, his presence can be categorized as the archetypical villain. He is a murderer who died long ago who finds his way back to begin gathering an army of evil beings from ancient lands just as deadly. At first this sounded a little like that Lord Voldemort guy from that popular witching school children’s series, but the Bowler Hat man character will quickly evolve into something completely different.

Sarah Beauhall is our story’s hero and competent narrator. She is complex character with many unique skills which play handily throughout the book. Not only is Sarah a monster hunting dragon slayer, she is also an established blacksmith which in turn lends nicely to her other convenient occupation of being a props manager on low budget B movies. Admittedly a bit of distraction for this nerdy fan, the mention of film titles the protagonist is involved with like Cheerleaders of the Apocalypse does pique one’s interest. The hope for a little more about the fictional works would be a welcomed addition to the otherwise heavy tension.

It is understood that Kathryn “Katie” Cornett has been a part of many of Sarah’s nightmarish journeys, but her presence as the hero’s lover plays a much larger role as an emotional distraction to our hero here. There is a lot going on, and Sarah’s devotion to Katie is expressed through tight passionate prose that leaves readers with little doubt about their feelings.

Night Terrors by J. A. Pitts will take readers into a nightmarish dreamland of evil spirits in this fourth installment to the Sarah Beauhall stories. This is an ideal starting point that is sure to pique your interest in the other chapters.

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