Book Review: The Nightmare Girl

The Nightmare Girl review

Man, I was trying so hard to get this is before midnight (darn lesson planning!). I promise I read this in January, albeit at the VERY end, in order to participate in “Janzuary”. Shoutout to @queensofhorrorbookclub for the cool theme and great idea to catch up on some titles by @jonathan.janz 🤘🏻

SUMMARY: When family man Joe Crawford confronts a young mother abusing her toddler, he has no idea of the chain reaction he’s setting in motion. How could he suspect the young mother is part of an ancient fire cult, a sinister group of killers that will destroy anyone who threatens one of its members? When the little boy is placed in a foster home, the fanatics begin their mission of terror. Soon the cult leaders will summon their deadliest hunters—and a ferocious supernatural evil—to make Joe pay for what he’s done. They want Joe’s blood and the blood of his family. And they want their child back.

Wow, this is only my second favorite book by Janz and I can already tell he’s going to be one of my favorites. He has such a clear, vivid, and easy writing style. Plenty of tension, scares, gruesome violence, and humor. If there were any deficits I blew right past them because I was having so much fun!!

The story immediately throws you immediately into the inciting incident and the craziness just continues to build from there. Basically our protagonist Joe stops a lady from beating her small child at a gas station. Said lady stalks him and eventually commits an act of self-immolation. Unfortunately for Joe she was tied up in a deadly fire cult, and now they have their sights on Joe and his family for their next “ceremony”.

The story is perfectly paced, with plenty of tense and creepy moments. The scene in the Black Chapel had me biting my nails. And it all leads up to an explosively violent and terrifying climax. Like seriously violent. Dismembering, maiming, bloody mayhem. Does it fit the tone of the rest of the book? I don’t really care, because it’s AWESOME.

Also the characters are fabulous. Joe is the father and husband I aspire to be, and his playful banter/budding friendship with the police chief is great. His wife Michelle is pretty awesome as well. And the rest of the cast sucks because pretty much everyone is a part of this freaky cult 😂 Also, unless I misread something Joe spends the torturous last chapters fighting for his life and saving a child from a cult-filled burning building…fully nude?? Now THAT is some serious dedication!

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️

If you want to learn more about Jonathan Janz and his work then check out his website ( or follow him on Instagram ( and Twitter (

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