Five Nights at Freddy’s is a simplistically designed video game that has enraptured the online gaming community since the release of the first installment in August of 2014. FNAF is an inventive new game that adds to the survival horror genre with a cryptic story of child murder, paranormal revenge, and haunted animatronics. Throughout four games the Five Nights at Freddy’s series has become beloved for its ingenuity as well as the small bread crumbs players are given to solve the mystery of what really happened at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. Because of the numerous gaping holes left in the overall plot, many members of the community have been rage debating specific details, timelines, and even the idea that this is all a dream sequence. Additionally, channels on YouTube dedicated to video game related content have tried their hand at solving pieces of the puzzle by furiously analyzing different aspects of FNAF by breaking down numerous screenshots, and even sounds that play in the background of the game.
After the release of the latest game in the series, FNAF 4 on July 23, 2015, Scott Cawthon announced that he would release a book in December of the same year that would answer questions about lore that fans have been lusting over. Naturally, being a superfan of FNAF myself, I waited impatiently until December 22nd and bought Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes for my Kindle. Now, I wasn’t expecting a Stephen King or Clive Barker masterpiece that would leave me shivering under my covers begging for my mother to tuck me in. However, I was trying to be fair by not being too critical of what is probably the man’s first novel, but good night, I feel like I wasted my time.
First of all, the basis of the video games centers mostly around the player being a night guard, but the book focuses on one teenage girl….and her seven childhood friends…who she hasn’t seen in ten years….who reunite over the death of one of their friends when they were all between the ages of six to eight. I can hardly remember being six, let alone if someone was felled by a tragedy when I was that young and I can’t tell you any of the people I even knew at that age. But, I digress.
I am terribly impatient, so I will allow some leniency here, but seriously…I was in this book for murder, robots, and death, not for sappy moments between these teenage characters. None of the characters in the book are necessarily unlikable, but I didn’t but the book to read about them. I get that they want to relish in nostalgia and unite over the anniversary of their friend’s death, but who cares? Yeah it is sad, but this is not the first boy to be killed chronologically and even if the death is the first mentioned it accompanies four other deaths that are hardly discussed! I want to know about Fredbear’s Family Diner, I yearn to understand the killer’s motives, what happened to the setting in FNAF 3, and who is the kid in FNAF 4! I don’t care that Charlie (the main character) feels guilty for not writing her friends more and feels awkward around a girl that makes her feel self-conscious! Welcome to being a teenager, play some My Chemical Romance and cake on black eyeliner like a normal adolescent.
So, basically, precious time is wasted on character development and not getting to the meat of the story. The only relationship the reader (and fan!) should even care about is the one between Charlie and her father, who was the owner of Freddy Fazbear’s and the creator of the animatronics! There are brief moments discussing these two, but not enough to be satisfying or even give a sense of closure. Oh and then there is the weird detail of Charlie’s father committing suicide, via one of the robots? Then said robot is sad about it, but according to the lore and this book, the robot shouldn’t have a soul haunting it. The only remotely satisfying part of the book is when the killer, who is painfully obvious, is murdered by the teens.
Anyway, you catch my drift as to why this book is a confusing addition (if you can even call it that) to the franchise. As I mentioned before, there are entire YouTube Channels dedicated to the story of this game and everything that we were supposed to find out was already ‘revealed’ on a channel called The Game Theorists. Seriously, the second theory video from this channel about FNAF is basically this entire book . If one guy (or one channel) explained the big secrets of this tome in a single video then why does this book even exist? Is it setting up for a sequel?
You can get your copy of Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes now but I would recommend passing on this one.