Book Review

Book Rant-view: Five Nights at Freddy’s – The Twisted Ones (part 2)


Hopefully, you’ve already read part 1 of this adventure and you’re ready to continue the saga of Charlie and company. I know I’m ready to keep dissecting it!

Once again, Charlie realizes she’s late to meet up with John, two hours late. “He’ll think I stood him up. No, he’ll think I’m dead,” Charlie reasonably thinks. Charlie shows up covered in dirt and blood, to find John still waiting, because he has no life. She tells him about what went down and they decide to go back to her father’s house. They putz around the incredibly hazardous house and find a secret basement room Charlie never knew about. Inside they find half of a different type of animatronic. One that’s covered in smooth plastic and has some transmitter that emits a high-pitched noise that makes John physically ill and somehow tricks the two of them into thinking the robot is covered in fur. It’s apparently made by Afton Robotics, aka Crazy Dave, not Charlie’s dad. The thing tries to kill Charlie, but they get away safely. They also find more graves.

I’m not a scientist (“No shit, Millie,” you say) and I’m not disputing that a high-pitched sound could fool your brain into seeing something that wasn’t there. That’s probably possible. I don’t, however, believe that technology existed in the 80s. The setting of this book and the tech Cawthon made up just doesn’t fit together. I’ll suspend my disbelief for haunted robots but not for the advanced technology that was used to make the robots.

Anyway, Charlie and John head back to her dorm and John is amazed by what a slob Charlie is. There are robot parts everywhere, even on her bed. He asks where she sleeps and she says there’s always room for her, even if it’s not much. “Yeah, but what about when you’re married?” John blurts in a rather Charlie-like manner. This is so that readers know he’s thinking about marrying Charlie someday. It makes it seem like he also thinks they’re going to live in her college dorm and sleep in her twin bed.

The two recruit Jessica – well, really she recruits herself – and they somehow figure out the animatronics are hunting Charlie. They’re traveling at night, taking victims (why they’re murdering random people is never explained) and burying themselves during the day to stay hidden. They team up with Clay once more to formulate a plan of attack. We get some compelling backstory about how Clay and his wife split including dialogue like, “If you think that, then maybe we’re not living in the same reality.” “Maybe we’re not.” “Maybe not.”

You really feel for Clay’s loss there.

The four of them track down the spot where the evil robots have buried themselves for the day. They evacuate the nearby apartments and dig up the weird robots. Then they sit around in Clay’s car and wait for nightfall and the kids take a nap. Naturally, the streetlight illuminating the graves goes out when it gets dark, so they lose sight of the robots, even though Clay specifically comments that he feels more alert when others are asleep. They chase them around in the dark and discover another victim, though this one survives being inside the living suits. The gang saves the girl so the robots get away.

We’re spared another pointless, awkward date between Charlie and John when Charlie decides she needs to confront the robots alone. Packing herself an overnight bag, she runs off to some model home that I guess she somehow figured out is their next stop. She opens all the doors of the model home, takes of her shoes, dives into bed and quietly waits for the robots to come after her. Zero idea what her motivation for doing this is, as it’s clear she has no plan and doesn’t understand what the robots want.

Charlie calmly allows herself to get swallowed by the upgraded Freddy model and is trapped in its torso while it travels. Clay, John and Jessica realize they have no idea how to find her now, so Clay fesses up that he’s been keeping the original bots in his basement. They visit their old friends and ask them for help and the bots wake up and set off to find the “twisted” versions. Clay and company follow. Meanwhile, Charlie’s survived the trip and subsequent burial inside Freddy. She breaks out and finds that Freddy buried himself in a patch of dirt inside a room.

What follows is another messy description of some sort of restaurant – again, a map would be helpful – and Charlie running around in a drug-like haze. Her friends find her and they all run into Springtrap, which is now what Crazy Dave aka William Afton is calling himself. There’s more running around and the original bots start fighting the twisted ones. Clay brought his gun, but only had three bullets, so he’s useless. Charlie lets go of a breath she didn’t know she was holding.

They confront Dave and that’s when he announces his name change. Jessica makes sure to tell him he smells bad. Charlie chases off after Sprintrap while her friends are stuck watching all the other robots fight each other. Then Springtrap explains (rather obviously) that he’s still alive, though of course, not how he’s still alive:

“I was imprisoned in that tomb beneath the sage, scarcely able to move, only able to see through the eyes of my creatures.” I assume those are his new robots? Not sure at what point he gained the power to see through their eyes. He lamely finishes with “But for all that I could see, I was trapped.” Yes, you just said that.

The tussle some more and Charlie again finds herself being choked by Springtrap. But she manages to elbow him in the gut and triumphantly announce that things have changed and she’s been doing sit-ups. See? See what they did there? That pointless, random utterance from the beginning of the book ties into the end. Gee, wasn’t that funny and clever? She stabs him, but he gets away yet again because her friends have helped set the building on fire and now it’s collapsing.

Everyone runs for their lives and they come out in the secret room in Charlie’s house. How this is possible, I have no idea. I still don’t understand the layout of the second restaurant Afton was planning – was it underground? It had a river and a cave; were they real? Did he not think that inviting kids to his creepy basement restaurant full of optical illusion robots wouldn’t scream murderer?

At any rate, they’re back at Charlie’s house and she can feel her connection to Sammy again. There’s some door in the room she’s trying to find, but now the house is on the verge of collapse too. John pleads for her to leave and follow him to safety. He says he loves her. This had the emotional impact of an ant crawling on a leaf. Charlie decides to go with him though, because, love.

But before she can get to safety, one of the twisted robots grabs her and sucks her inside his chest. He’s got no legs and I can’t imagine how she’d be fully trapped inside, but I really couldn’t picture most of what happened in the latter part of this book. Either way, it’s slowly closing up around her so her friends have time to scramble over and try to help her. But it’s no use, she’s somehow fully caged within the torso.

Turns out Clay called the cops – or more likely radioed, since it’s the 80s, remember? – and they show up in time to pull John and Jessica out of the building before it collapses. The robot makes a lot of clicking noises and flails around and then Charlie’s blood pours out. Right before the house and basement room turn into a pile of rubble, John sees who he thinks is Charlie’s aunt, kneeling next to the robot. Then everything falls in on itself. None of the other cops appear to notice and as we all know, Clay is never going to mention what he saw.

Charlie’s dead, but who cares? John and Jessica gather at a local diner and Arty invites himself to their table and tries to say he was dating Charlie. Marla shows up and John declares that Charlie was the “most fascinating, most amazing person” he’s ever known which is the most unbelievable crock of shit I’ve ever read. As the teens continue to commiserate – no clue how much time has passed since her death, by the way – a girl in a red dress approaches the diner and Marla runs towards her, thinking it’s Charlie. The book ends with John looking at Arty and declaring “That’s not Charlie.”

Color me underwhelmed.

I can understand that Cawthon was trying to up the creep-factor with these “twisted” animatronics, but they were described so poorly that the impact was diminished. I’ve seen playthroughs of the games, so I just decided to picture the bots from Sister Location, even though I get the feeling that’s not 100% accurate.


Oh well. Can’t wait to see what sort of mess the third book brings! Hopefully, you’ll keep reading, as I’m having a lot of fun writing these.

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