Five Nights at Freddy’s (the game) is a pretty popular survival-horror hit, something of a modern cult classic. Personally, I have not played the game but when I saw there was a book I thought, “Hey, I could use this to get into it.” Unfortunately, the book had its fair share of issues. If anything, it did more to deter readers who are not already familiar with the franchise. That in and of itself may have been a key issue though; maybe the book makes the most sense if you have already played the game. It is not that the story could not be followed standalone, but maybe knowing the other story from the game would have made it flow better. Although author Scott Cawthon has said the games and book are not in the same continuity.
Scott Cawthon is, you must remember, a game developer. He is not a full-time, professional author. That being said, you should not expect The Silver Eyes to be on par with Stephen King or Anne Rice. The writing here is…ok. It is not bad (there are certainly worse books out there) but books and video games are very different mediums. In game form, the story of Five Nights at Freddy’s is probably told much better considering the popularity of the franchise.
The characters here are fairly bland and, for the most part, fairly stupid. So, they fit the role of teenagers in pretty much any standard horror story. If the characters have the proper amount of IQ points, it is not really horror. But The Silver Eyes did feel very “not horror” for the level of danger presented to the characters. The video games seem scary because if you mess up your character is brutally murdered. The animatronics were threatening, but not that threatening in the book. It felt a lot more R.L. Stine than anything else.
There were a bunch of unanswered questions in The Silver Eyes as well. I know that the video games leave a lot to speculation so maybe the book was trying to emulate that? It is never really clear if the animatronics are just malfunctioning robots or if they are haunted. From what I have read up on regarding the games, it seems like they are supposed to be haunted. Up until the very end though the book does not convey this and even then, it seems sketchy. Oh well, maybe the game is better.