I don’t often read tie in novels, but when watching the extras for the Nightmare on Elm street Documentary Never Sleep Again (recommended) Christa Faust mentioned her Elm Street book and I figured I needed to check it out. I know Ms. Faust as a crime writer, and one that I really like, her book Money Shot has improvised me and lead to my having a bookcase of just books by publisher Hard Case Crime.
The plot of Dreamspawn is pretty straightforward, a group of girls at a high school in southern California who have been harassed, abused, bullied and dehumanized enlist Freddy Kruger to take out their tormentors. The main character is Jane the new girl in school. She’s smart, she is introverted and she just wants to get though high school. Having moved a couple of times over the years she has never really had any friends, and with her fathering having died several years earlier from cancer, home isn’t the happiest place in the world. However Jane quickly attracts a gang of other misfits and soon finds herself with a male suitor as well. Just as things start to seem ok, Rose the newest member of the gang is attacked and the girls’ call upon Freddy to avenge all of the wrongs they have suffered.
Faust is really good at providing a narrative drive along side character moments. She seems to know the torment of High School girls and at the same time have the distance to put those feelings in perspective. I really like that she was able to devote almost half of the book to talking about high school popularity, unpareneted kids, and girls body issues. She also mentions one of my favorite punk bands T.S.O.L. whose Dance with Me is one of the great Horror Punk records of the 80s, and describes a slumber party where the girls watch videos like Carrie giving young readers a mini guide of films about young women getting revenge.
Over all it’s a great pulpy tale that is more than just another tie in book. If you have read Money Shot, Hoodtown and her entry in the Hunt for Adventure series and need something to tide you over until Choke Hold arrives.. Dreamspawn is Faust in top form.
The FFB Round Up can generally be found over at Patti Abbotts blog HERE