Publisher: Speaking Volumes | Publication date: 7th July 2015
Is this real life, or is it just fantasy? The Sleeping 12:07 is the point at which the two realms cross-over to create the stuff of nightmares.
It’s a play on psychological fantasy with an element of terror, incorporating a certain character regularly bending over at a filing cabinet in a highly suggestive manner. There’s also the deep and meaningful question of God vs Satan throughout, with a surreal battle of paranormal rivalry on the cards.
The characters include an elderly, sardonic soulless man who just keeps coming back, a enigmatic nun with more than a few odd habits (excuse the pun), two ladies, who I can’t recall whether they were ever fully clothed during the entire episode, then there’s Lance, Mr Night-Terror himself, enjoying himself quite regularly outside bouts of trippy torment. He’s aided by his poor, long suffering wife, who seems to have acquired a firearm during her role in this story. If I were her, I’d have used it to good effect on my cheating husband’s alter ego (James) long before I’d been dragged into his very own personal hell.
Anyway, the thread of it is: this unfortunate chap called Lance Lewisham, despite practicing psychiatry and trying to help other people with their ordeals, is finding he’s got major issues of his own. He’s been waking in a sweat at 12:07 a.m. after being visited by something terrifying called The Sleeping. He’s felt their presence since childhood, namely recalling an early visit by the mysterious Mr Green, who creepily has just moved next door to him and his wife.
Still with me? Good!
It appears that Mr Green’s role is primarily one of mediator between lance and The Sleeping because baby Lance was unwanted and subsequently given away. One of the roles of The Sleeping is to claim ‘the unwanted’. But Lance mustn’t give in no matter how bleak life seems, or he won’t be long for this world. A spectacular meeting of good vs very, very bad will aim to release him from his miserable existence one way or another.
In principle the story was intriguing and I was curious to know how it all panned out. It involved a continual build-up to a crescendo of a finale. To get to that point, however, I found I was trawling through moments of erotic content that would occur at any given moment. While content of that nature is usually attributed to stories of this genre, personally I’d have liked to have seen the disturbing horror element being expanded upon much, much more.
All-in-all I’m honoured to have been given the opportunity by the author to read his work and I can appreciate the incredibly hard toil that was clearly poured into writing it, particularly as he has suffered from episodes of sleep paralysis himself – all credit to him for having the courage to write this book, as that itself takes some guts.
While it wasn’t quite as horrific as the cover had suggested, if you’re an fan of the ‘strange and unusual’ then it’s certainly worth a look.
(My thanks to the author for generously providing a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
12:07 THE SLEEPING
THE SLEEPING have always come for The Unwanted… James would fight for his life many times – always winning and yet always fearing that anytime soon, it might be his last.
THE SLEEPING are guardians of the underworld who feed from the tormented souls sent there. In our world, they haunt those whom they believe belong in Hell.
THE SLEEPING enter our realm to claim their victim, until the wrongly-given soul is taken.
When The Custodian of ‘The Room of Truth’ is asked to perform a ritual of worship, loyalty to God and The Messenger are in conflict. The lives of The Unwanted, The Protector, The Messenger and 2 Pretty Things are assembled by divine invitation.
You know when they’re here… you can feel them. Remember; stay awake, because when they come for you and take you, there is no going back. If you give up fighting, then you might as well give up living…
The Unwanted – A person not created from want.
The Protector – The shield made from love.
The Custodian – The keeper of sins inside ‘The Room of Truth’.
The Messenger/The Key – Is someone who is at the bidding of The Sleeping. A soul for a soul.
The Pretty Things – Beauties of either gender.
L. Sydney Abel is the pen name of Lawrence Abel. He was born and raised in Kingston upon Hull, England. He is married and has two grown-up children. He has written and illustrated several books for children and young adults, including Timothy Other: the boy who climbed Marzipan Mountain. L. Sydney Abel has recently ventured into the world of adult fiction, where experiences of the supernatural kind have stimulated his imagination.
His latest novel 12:07 The Sleeping, is based on personal experience of Sleep Paralysis or Old Hag Syndrome. This book reveals a creature with human shape, draped in death’s black, shrouding a white skull face; its eyes are hollow depths to hell. Lawrence calls this creature The Sleeping, as it comes for him whilst he sleeps, yet he feels wide-awake.