Review: Parasomnia

By JC Bratton
Genre: Mystery? Thriller? Definitely a short story
Rating: 3 Stars Fiction


Recent divorcée Alex Anderson suffers from hypnopompic hallucinations, parasomnias that take place between REM sleep and wakefulness. The hallucinations consist of rapid moving still images that appear before her eyes while closed. She encounters a still image of the most perfect man she has ever seen in her life. She later learns that this man was a real person, Dr. Scott Collier, who tragically died in a car accident. With the help of her friends, a psychologist, and clues left behind by a mysterious young woman, Alex learns that Scott may not be her “dream man” after all; instead, he could be her biggest nightmare


I sat down to read Parasomnia by JC Bratton last night. I picked it up at 10pm and was finished by 10:30pm; it is a very short story…and I found myself why it was so short. I don’t say that because I think it should be some long novel, I think short stories are fun. It’s nice to be able to sit down when I have limited time and read a story from beginning to end. I say that because it feels like there is more to this story that’s not being said.

When I selected this story I was led to think that it would be a thriller, that it might scare me or at least give me the creeps. And, while it was interesting and I enjoyed what I read, I was never scared or creeped out. I feel the author missed an opportunity here to give the reader more back story. I for one had never heard of “Hat Man,” so I would have loved more information to go with the story.

Also, when it came to our main character recognizing the man’s picture from her dream…I couldn’t help but think that the character visits the site regularly, she walks past that spot at the mausoleum regularly…she probably subconsciously noticed the photograph and he wound up in her dream. That’s the skeptic in me that wanted more development for our main character to get to her OMG moment where she realizes who he is. A bit more story development with the characters speaking in her dreams before she reaches that point would have really helped develop that plot-line to have me saying OMG right along with her.

And then the end arrives, very quickly and very abruptly. Leaving me going….huh? Where’s the rest of the story?

I’m NOT trying to tear this story down, I did enjoy what I read, that’s why I gave it 3 stars (for those of you dubious about that rating, 3 Stars mean “I liked it”.) This story just feels incomplete; a little more work would have it at a 4 star for me as far as a short read goes.

But hey, if you have Kindle Unlimited it is free for you to read. If you have a few minutes and want to read something from beginning to end that may entertain you (it could be a fun pool-side read) then pick it up, read it an let me know your thoughts as well.


Growing up loving horror and mystery tales, JC Bratton’s short stories pay homage to the Point Horror novels she would read as a kid: stories such as Slumber Party by Christopher Pike and Twisted by RL Stine. Some of her biggest influences are Alfred Hitchcock, Lois Duncan, Stephen King, and Richard Matheson.

Once JC wraps up the Trilogy of Terror (her nickname for the three short stories released in 2020), she will camp out in front of Netflix’s Silicon Valley headquarters until she can land a movie deal… Then, she’ll go back to writing a new set of macabre tales that will keep you up at night. 

JC still has her day job and lives in the heart of Silicon Valley: San Jose, California.


About Anita Dugan-Moore

This blog gives me the opportunity to talk about the book covers I create for some wonderful authors and share my thoughts on movies and books that I love. Who knows...I may even share some of my own writing on here...or whatever else happens to pop into my mind.
This entry was posted in book reviews, Horror/Thriller, Mystery, Reviews, short stories, Thriller and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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