Horror Mondays! Book Review: The Sleeping Dead by Richard Farren Barber

August 4, 2014 Blog, Horrific Monday, Horror 0

Horrifying MondaysHorrifying Mondays is all about what scares us. The horror behind the curtains that we refuse to open, the creatures in the dark, and sometimes those creatures that are in the open!

Each Monday will bring a different horror… to help you cope with the horror that is Monday with the horrors that are in the fantasy world.




Horror for Today: Another WTF! Not zombies but don’t ask me what it is!

The Sleeping Dead The Sleeping Dead
by Richard Farren Barber
Published by DarkFuse on August 12th 2014
Genres: Horror
Pages: 214
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley

Don’t listen…

When Jackson Smith attends an interview to escape his dead-end job, he witnesses a man jumping to his death through an office window. But this suicide is only the first of many he encounters. All around him, men and women begin taking their own lives. These seemingly random events make little sense to Jackson until he hears voices urging him to join the others.

Don’t look…

As Jackson fights the desire to self-destruct, he flees through a mad city where the river and streets pile high with bodies of the sleeping dead, those who have simply surrendered to the strange voices.

Don’t hope…

Jackson’s only chance is to find an escape to this madness before giving in to the strange voices in his head.


The Sleeping Dead

My Thoughts HorrorThis one was really strange! Creepy is totally this book’s middle name. I could feel the intensity that Jackson was feeling but more at the beginning of the story than the end.

First Jackson is just having a regular day and trying to get to a job interview. There’s this one guy on the bus that seems really weird. Like not the normal weird that you know is ok but really weird like they may kill someone soon! He gets off the bus but stops long enough to tell the bus driver that something is just NOT right with that guy. Sadly, Jackson didn’t leave the weirdness behind him but walked right into it!

I really enjoyed this. The writing was intense and kept that intensity throughout. People are running around killing themselves, and the people around them, without any sort of explanation. That’s just creepy! The deeper Jackson gets into this storyline the more worried I become for his safety. There is just no where safe and being alone makes that worse.

I think the story progressed nicely but what I didn’t love was the ending. Everything was leading to something somewhere and the ending just felt kind of blah. Like eating your last cookie  while watching television so you don’t actually realize it’s your last cookie until you look down and do not remember eating all three cookies but you know you can’t go get anymore! You just ate three!

It was sort of like that… I either wanted to remember the intensity at the ending or I wanted there to be like some horrific thing that happened. Or maybe some answers to why this is happening!

In short:  this reminded me of The Happening by M. Night Shymalan. Creepier than the movie but with less answers in the end.


Horror Meter: 3.5/5

Gore: 2/5

Shock Factor: 3/5

Emotions: 4/5

Total Scare: 4/5

The Author HorrorRichard Farren Barber was born in Nottingham in July 1970. After studying in London he returned to the East Midlands. He lives with his wife and son and works as a Development Services Manager for a local university.

He has written over 200 short stories and has had short stories published in Alt-Dead, Alt-Zombie, Blood Oranges, Derby Scribes Anthology, Derby Telegraph, ePocalypse – Tales from the End, Gentle Reader, Murky Depths, Midnight Echo, Midnight Street, Morpheus Tales, MT Biopunk Special, MT Urban Horror Special, Night Terrors II, Siblings, The House of Horror, Trembles, When Red Snow Melts, and broadcast on BBC Radio Derby and The Wicked Library.

Richard’s novella, The Power of Nothing was published by Damnation Books in September 2013 and his next novella, The Sleeping Dead will be published in August 2014 by DarkFuse.




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