By Kenneth Buff
Author’s Website: http://www.kennethbuff.com
Review brought to you by OBS reviewer LizzyO
We all have nightmares, but not all of us have to live them. Johnathon Clarke did. His bullies beat him. They humiliated him. They stole his life. So at the age of 17 he took it away with a bullet from a gun. In Hell John finds himself working out his existence in the mailroom, until he’s given the promotion he died for—he becomes the forger of nightmares, the giver of bad dreams. With his new position, John makes his assignments feel the fear he’s felt his entire existence. He does this until he’s assigned a young girl named Danielle. Danielle’s not much younger than John was, and the circumstances surrounding why she’s been assigned are troubling. They’re troubling because he disagrees. Now John must decide between continuing this life of torture and scares, or using this dark gift for something else, something that could help this girl who needs him. (Amazon)
Bad Dreams was an interesting read for me. I found it difficult at first to get into the story as there were some grammatical errors and inconsistencies. At one point, there is a character named Barbara, who later is referred to as Barbra. However, the writer is very promising and was able to develop a character that I became invested in. I enjoyed the main character, Johnathon Clarke, and needed to see where his story went.
When John took his life as a result of constant bullying, and then ended up in hell because of the suicide, I confess that I was put off that this act of suicide led to John facing an eternity in hell as he was only escaping a broken life. But that was the catalyst that drove John to examine his actions and realize what he lost. I was fascinated to read about the task he was given in the afterlife regarding the conferring of bad dreams on bad people. Some of the dreams were cringe worthy and entertaining. Then the story evolved into a more character driven tale, where we get to meet a girl named Danielle, as well as her brother and her abusive father. It’s during this part of the book that my interest deepened, as John became a more fully evolved character.
I started finding myself for the first time rooting for John and Danielle. It is during his time tormenting Danielle with bad dreams that John realizes that Danielle doesn’t deserve these dreams and that the bullied are not the ones who should be punished. I’m glad that John was able to break free from hell in time to rescue both him and Danielle.
Overall, an enjoyable read and I would recommend this book but caution the readers about the lack of attention given to grammar and consistency.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*