What really happened to Charlie? It’s the question that John can’t seem to shake, along with the nightmares of Charlie’s seeming death and miraculous reappearance. John just wants to forget the whole terrifying saga of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, but the past isn’t so easily buried.
Meanwhile, there’s a new animatronic pizzeria opening in Hurricane, along with a new rash of kidnappings that feel all too familiar. Bound together by their childhood loss, John reluctantly teams up with Jessica, Marla, and Carlton to solve the case and find the missing children. Along the way, they’ll unravel the twisted mystery of what really happened to Charlie, and the haunting legacy of her father’s creations.
Title: Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Fourth Closet | Author: Scott Cawthon and Kira Breed-Wrisley | Publisher: Scholastic Inc. | Pub. Date: June 26th, 2018 |Pages: 352 | ISBN13: 9781338139327 | Language: English | Source: Gift | Starred
The Fourth Closet Review
I am somewhat torn on this series. I really loved the first book. The second one left me a bit cold. The Fourth Closet I am mixed on. I did feel comfortable giving it a Starred rating because I did enjoy it while reading it. But. Well, let’s get into that.
First the good.
It might just me being an adult reading them but my favourite character was Clay, Carlton’s father. He, by far, had about the biggest character arc and progression throughout the series. I did like that in The Twisted Ones and The Fourth Closet he believes the kids. He doesn’t pawn off his suspicions or theirs as weird or wrong. Unfortunately, he’s not in The Fourth Closet throughout the whole book but he was a pretty large character in the second one. Which is fair. This book should be about the kids’ progressions and revelations.
I call them kids but they’re supposed to be at least first or second year of college-aged adults. I think that’s where the writing style kind of hurts the book a little but I honestly don’t know how they could have fixed it. It’s written for a certain age demographic and bracket and I realize that I am outside (well outside) at least one of these. So that didn’t play into my rating at all. Their manner of speech and some of the actions they take strike me as younger, like sixteen or so instead of early twenties.
The characters are pretty much consistent in this book. Marla and Jessica play a bigger role than in the second book. Well, Jessica does, at least. Carlton just seems kind of…there. He really doesn’t have much to do besides ogle New Charlie, crack a few jokes and that’s about it. His character does get a major upgrade in the last few chapters and it’s done well. The actions feel like something Carlton would do. He’s not just a prankster who’s suddenly a hero. It feels earned.
The plot, if you’ll excuse me, is kind of a mess. I really get a strong impression that they wrote the first book, Silver Eyes, without any plans for a follow-up. The Silver Eyes feels so tonally different and some things don’t match up. I feel like they also retconned a lot of information so that parts of the first book would make sense. Such as Charlie’s twin brother. Especially since, if I’m recalling correctly, the first book came out way before Sister Location and the animatronics from that, especially Baby, play a huge role in this book but at the same time are retroactively fit into the first book.
The villain at this point is just ridiculous. Yes, in the first book you have haunted animatronics but it at least felt plausible. In the second book, it’s mostly about the tech Charlie’s father first invented and Afton later twisted to his own evil purposes. The scene where Charlie is slowly disengaging the spring-locks is very tense and I think I actually held my breath. In The Fourth Closet he’s an alchemist trying to infuse himself with pieces of the murdered children from a hunk of molten animatronics. So he can live forever? I’m not entirely sure. But it feels like they knew they had to have a villain and were like “Well, let’s just throw everything we have in there.”
So, with a nonsensical villain and a plot that’s a bit of a mess of retconning why is it Starred? Because when they do the action scenes they do them damn good. The distorted animatronics chasing Jessica through an empty Chuck E. Cheese-esque playground is tense, exciting, and riveting. The scares are just enough to be interesting and yet not too gory for younger readers. Fake Charlie and John squaring off in the restaurant had some great moments and the scene at Aunt Jen’s house was tense and, I’ll confess, had me on the edge of my seat.
So, yes, there were some scenes that felt very convenient to the plot and some where you could actually feel the retcon taking place but in the end it was a fun, fast-paced book that didn’t drag overly much and had some great action scenes to flesh it out.
If you have a younger reader that loves the games then I would definitely recommend the series as a whole.
You can find my reviews for The Silver Eyes and The Twisted Ones at these links
You can purchase a copy of this book via your normal retailer, but please consider purchasing it from a local indie bookshop instead. It can be found here at Indiebound or at Bookshop. Please note the Bookshop link is an affiliate link and each purchase you make through it helps to support Sci-Fi & Scary and keep the site running.
GracieKat was the first co-host of Sci-Fi & Scary, Lilyn’s partner-in-crime, and sub-head of the Kali Krew. She reviews horror books, movies, and games for the site. She also does a weekly Focus on the Frightful feature, and is the site list-maker. She is also in control of the Sci-Fi & Scary podcast which will relaunch soon.
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