Nightshade’s Requiem by Anthony Hains follows young Cole Nightshade after his life spirals downward when his Grandmother passes away. A short stint in foster care ends when Cole is put into Saint Edwards Mental Asylum. The mental institution is a terrible place with a dark history, and some of that dark history still lingers. Able to see ghosts, Cole fights for someone to believe him. Feeling something evil stalking him, Cole learns of a enigmatic creature known as the Creeper.
I found Nightshade’s Requiem to be a riveting psychological thriller filled with haunting descriptions of a grimy asylum. I think this is essentially a ghost story, and with any books in this genre it really comes down to the characters and the twist, of which Anthony Hains is able to setup both with a unique flair all his own.
We’re almost instantly empathizing with Cole, a young teen who is unfairly committed. One part that I like about this story is how readers get inside Cole’s head, akin to the internal dialogue of The Hunger Games. We know that he is innocent, but others have a different interpretation of him, this sets up readers to root for our character the whole time. Hains does an incredible job describing Cole’s emotions and inner thoughts. Even though she has such a small part, I was able to connect with the Grandmother, the one person who connected with Cole, believing in his supernatural abilities. While I enjoyed Cole’s character the most, all the characters have in-depth personalities, especially the other kids in the asylum.
Startling twists and unpredictable turns take this story to unforeseen places making this book a fun read from beginning to end. At times, the story reminded me of Stephen King’s, The Shining. The section where Cole speaks to Lambert, the handyman of the asylum, their conversation about seers made me think of Danny and Mr. Halloran’s talk about the shining.
I could read this story again. Nightshade’s Requiem is a book for horror fans or anyone who enjoys a good supernatural thriller. This is book one in the Nightshade Chronicles. Book two has some big shoes to fill.
Pages: 199 | ASIN: B083B5YY2T