Summary: Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic is the sequel to the hilariously scary New York Timesbestselling novel Nightmares! by multitalented actor Jason Segel and bestselling author Kirsten Miller. You thought the nightmares were over? You better keep the lights on!
Charlie Laird has a dream life.
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. (Summary and image from goodreads.com)
Review: Charlie was so happy that his nightmares were finally his friends. After the whole mess a few weeks ago, he was relieved to finally sleep some, to have a better relationship with his stepmom and his brother, and to put the fear of trolls taking over the Real World behind him.
But then some dude wanders into his town from the neighboring town, buys a bunch of paint, and drives into a pole... all while asleep. Sort of. And things in the Netherworld aren't as they seem.
I don't know why I'm constantly surprised that Segel is such a good storyteller. This series is so imaginative and so much fun to read! Everything I loved about Nightmares! applies here. I love that Charlie is a real kid. Sometimes he's a jerk. Sometimes he's a genius. I love that his family is in a better place now, and that there's some agreement about taking care of the Portal.
I was so impressed that this story kept me on my toes. I thought I knew where it was going to go, but every time, I was pleasantly surprised. It's such a nice change to read a Middle Grade/Middle Reader book and feel surprise and freshness in the pages.
Rating: Four stars