Author: Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller
Genre: Middle Grade, Paranormal
Series: Nightmares! #2
Hardcover, 368 pages
Publication: September 8, 2015 by Delacorte BFYR
Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Charlie Laird has a dream life.Segel and Miller once again enchant young readers as they return to their wholly creative and entertaining world of Nightmares! in the latest sequel, The Sleepwalker Tonic. When we last left Charlie and the gang, we learned that nightmares exist in a place called the Netherworld and Charlie, his brother Jack and their stepmom Charlotte are the last guardians tasked with protecting the portal between the Netherworld and the Waking-World (our world). As we begin The Sleepwalker Tonic, the kids are out for summer vacation and everything seems to be going quite well. Everyone appears to be sleeping soundlessly; as there are no more terrifying nightmares plaguing the residents of Cypress Creek. Or so they thought. All the while in the nearby town of Orville Falls, the populace is all suffering from sleep deprivation due to nightmares. And just as the sleep deprivation worsen; a mysterious shop appears in Orville Falls promising a tonic to help them sleep peacefully…no more nightmares. The tonic not only takes away people’s nightmares but it also takes away their ability to dream. And without dreams, the people of Orville are turning into sleepwalking zombies! Once again, it’s up to Charlie and his friends to figure what’s going on…or there won’t be a Netherworld, Waking-World or Dream Realm.
1) He has a weirdo stepmom who runs an herbarium.
2) He lives in a purple mansion with a portal to the Netherworld.
3) Since they escaped from the Netherworld, he and his best friends have been sleeping like babies.
But Charlie can’t shake the feeling that something strange is afoot. Charlotte’s herbarium used to be one of the busiest stores in Cypress Creek. Now her loyal following is heading to Orville Falls for their herbal potions.
Weirder, though, Orville Falls is suddenly filled with . . .zombies? At least, they sure look like the walking dead. Rumor has it that no one’s sleeping in Orville Falls. And Charlie knows what that means.
Things are getting freaky again.
In the first book, readers got an in-depth look of the Netherworld, and while we’ll explore more parts of the Netherworld, most of the action takes place in the Waking-World as Charlie and his friends tries to find a cure for the sleepwalkers. They’re chasing clues and mysterious shop keepers all over Cypress Creek and Orville Falls but not without a little extra help. The new President of Netherworld, Medusa, lends 3 of her scariest nightmares to cross over to help find a supposed 2nd portal.
The Sleepwalker Tonic is just as fun and engaging as the first book. Everything I loved about the Nightmares! was present plus more. I like how Segel and Miller incorporated nightmares in the plot this time around. I was wondering how the two would keep up with their nightmare theme with the second book…but who would have thought to use sleepwalking and zombies together? I found the concept amusing and fresh...I'm positive kids will get a kick out of it!
In my review for Nightmares! I was hoping that we’d get to see more of Jack and Charlotte, and I’m happy to say we do! We saw plenty of Jack since he basically stole the show for the entire book, playing a bigger role in The Sleepwalker Tonic than before. There’s also a new baddie in town, and boy, was I surprised at the end. I didn’t see it coming! While the main problem of the book was solved, there’s still a tiny plot thread left loose and the baddie(s) will be a bridge into the final book in the trilogy. I can’t wait to see what happens next when The Lost Lullaby releases next year! Overall, The Sleepwalker Tonic was an excellent sequel to Nightmares!. Fans new and old will no doubt be delighted. There's plenty of mayhem and hijinks abound, great characteers, and valuable lessons to be learned! Again, if you or your kids haven’t read this series yet, you need to A.S.A.P! You won't be disappointed!