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Tommy Nightmare by J. L. Bryan

Tommy Nightmare by J. L. Bryan
Book Name: Tommy Nightmare
Author: J. L. Bryan
Publisher(s): Self-Published
Formatt: Paperback / eBook
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance / Science Fiction / Horror
Release Date: April 9, 2011

And he did something that he later wouldn’t believe he had the courage to do. He kissed Esmeralda, the mysterious Latin girl with the supernatural power, right on the lips. Then slipped the gold Indian-head coin into her hand.

She stared at it.

“That’s for you,” he whispered. “I love you.”

As one could see from viewing the Amazon page for Tommy Nightmare, the book is the sequel to Jenny Pox (which was reviewed here on Fantasy-Faction), and is the second book in the Paranormals series. Since I enjoyed Jenny Pox, I was contacted by Mr. Bryan regarding the other books that he has written, and I have agreed to review each of them. Please note that, though these books were given to me for review purposes, I feel that honesty is the best policy and this review accurately reflects my true feelings regarding the book.

That being said, I feel that Tommy Nightmare is a fantastic continuation of the Paranormals series. The beginning of the book starts out with the introduction to Tommy, a young boy who is able to spread fear and induce nightmares with his touch. Living in a small town in Oklahoma, Tommy is a foster child who lives with three other children, his foster parents and his foster grandfather on a farm in the middle of nowhere. Growing up in this family, Tommy has been abused for years and bullied by his foster siblings for a power that he cannot control.

One night, his grandfather passes away. Shortly thereafter, Tommy’s mother hires a girl who can speak to the dead to find out some information about a hoard of money the grandfather had been hiding. Tommy overhears this conversation, steals the money, and slips away into the night. The money allows him to live somewhat freely, until it runs out and he ends up going to jail.

As he grows older, his ability makes it possible for Tommy to coerce anyone to do anything that he wants, as long as he is able to touch them. The people he touches are so afraid of that they will do just about anything he requests so that he will release the contact. It takes him months to figure out how to break out of jail, but once he does, he’s on the run again, searching for Ashleigh Goodling, the love-charmer from Jenny Pox, after seeing her on a television broadcast.

Mr. Brian brings us back to the town of Fallen Oak, where the gruesome events of the Easter weekend are just clearing up. With over two hundred dead, and the Centers for Disease Control coming in to assess the situation, Jenny doesn’t feel that there’s anything for her to do other than turn herself in for murder. Instead, Seth convinces her to wait, and see what happens, before doing anything rash. Eventually, they meet Tommy and figure out that he’s the opposite of Ashleigh; instead of spreading love, he spreads fear and he’s just as ruthless as Ashleigh was about swaying people over to his side.

This book also introduces us to two other “paranormals”; Esmeralda, who has the power to speak with the dead, and Alexander, who has the power to control the dead. Flashbacks to previous lives, through the form of dreams, are also a constant. The reader is able to learn more about Jenny and the other paranormals, and who they were during a specific time in ancient history.

The climax of this book, called the “Jenny trap” by Ashleigh, had me racing to find out what was going to happen, and it did not disappoint. I also found that enjoyed the ending of this book more than Jenny Pox; while not exactly a cliffhanger, I was more engrossed and wanting to continue the story, so I immediately opened up Alexander Death and continued reading.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Tommy Nightmare. I thought that it was a fine sequel to Jenny Pox, and that it did a wonderful job of continuing and deepening the story of the Paranormals. I’m looking forward to seeing what Alexander Death has in store for the series finale.

Tommy Nightmare is available through the Amazon Kindle, in paperback format, Smashwords and a mutitude of other formats. You can see the whole list here.



  1. Avatar Khaldun says:

    What would be the easiest novel (or series of novels) to compare this to?
    If we haven’t read the first one, is it still possible to read this one (and enjoy it)?

    • Avatar Kit says:

      I’m not sure that there’s anything that I can think of to compare this series to, Khaldun. I suppose, in the paranormal genre with young adults who have mysterious powers, it could be compared to something like Kelley Armstrong’s “Darkest Powers” series.

      I would not read this one before reading the first book in the series, Jenny Pox. Not to say that you wouldn’t enjoy it, but there are a lot of things going on that may confuse the reader, especially if they don’t read the first book. Jenny Pox is available for free through Smashwords, for any type of eReader device and online, browser-based reading.

  2. […] into the actual continuation from the story in Tommy Nightmare (a review of which can be found here). Jenny, the plague-bringer, has been whisked away to Mexico by Alexander, the controller of the […]

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