News & Events Nightwhere : A Book Review

Nightwhere : A Book Review

John Everson’s chilling new “Nightwhere” (Samhain Publishing) can only be described as the stuff of nightmares! This book is definitely not for younger readers, nor for the squeamish. That said, all other horror lovers absolutely must check this one out. It’s definitely different than anything you’ve experienced before (I hope – if not you have bigger issues)!

We descend into a BDSM alternative lifestyle on steroids, going far beyond swinging sex clubs and fetishism. There is more pain being doled out in Nightwhere than any Cenobite conjured by a puzzle box ever dreamed of. Everson paints these scenes with such crystal-clarity that it’s impossible to un-see these images even after closing the final cover – it’s like these scenes are forever scarred onto the psyche.

(I must admit, the Crowgrrl was cringing with my hand over my mouth in shock many times while reading this spine-tingler).

One does not find the exclusive sex club Nightwhere – it finds you. It’s never held at the same place nor at the same time. Admission is by invitation only – a red envelope that shows up on the doorstep unexpectedly with a distinct logo of an ouroboros (a snake swallowing its own tail). It is run by a cabal of folks known as The Watchers, a term that means more than just mere voyeurs.

Rae & Mark are regulars on the swinger’s scene, but insatiable Rae is looking for something more. One day, the infamous red invitation shows up at their doorstep.

“The Blue” is the outer ring of the club, for the fetish fans into what we guess are the milder forms of BDSM. There is a bar, live band and dancing -- outside of the obvious abandon, pretty much like any other nightclub. Mark never goes beyond the Blue, and even in the Blue, spends most of his time at the bar run by the salacious Sin D.

Rae, however, develops a lust for more and more extreme pain, and eventually gets her invite to the next level of the club –verboten to everyone not expressly invited – “The Red”. This is where things start to really get disturbing. Let’s just say “The Red” is aptly named – and even the walls are painted in blood.

One night, Rae gets a Nightwhere invitation that instructs her to come alone – apparently Mark is no longer invited. She does, and never comes back. However, Mark gets an anonymous warning that Rae is in danger of not only perhaps losing her life, but her very soul if she takes the next step from “The Red” into the even more vile “The Black”. Mark finds himself in a race against time to save Rae. But how is he even supposed to find her when Nightwhere is invisible to anyone not invited?!

Of course, we also have side stories of other Nightwhere attendees whose lives become intertwined with Rae’s, so that we have a well-rounded insight into the other denizens of “The Red”. All the characters, main or small, are well developed, giving “Nightwhere” even more levels of frightening realism.

The love Mark has for Rae –no matter what – and the extremes he goes through to try to save her are commendable! I haven’t seen that much devotion since Eric Draven came back from the dead to avenge Shelly Webster in “The Crow”.

Again, The Crowgrrl highly recommends this book to adult horror aficionados. It’s definitely a tale you won’t soon forget!

~Athena Schaffer