Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town: An Official Stranger Things Novel (B&N Exclusive Edition)

Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town: An Official Stranger Things Novel (B&N Exclusive Edition)

by Adam Christopher

Hardcover(B&N Exclusive Edition)

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Chief Jim Hopper reveals long-awaited secrets to Eleven about his old life as a police detective in New York City, confronting his past before the events of the hit show Stranger Things.  
Christmas, Hawkins, 1984. All Chief Jim Hopper wants is to enjoy a quiet first Christmas with Eleven, but his adopted daughter has other plans. Over Hopper’s protests, she pulls a cardboard box marked “New York” out of the basement—and the tough questions begin. Why did Hopper leave Hawkins all those years ago? What does “Vietnam” mean? And why has he never talked about New York?

Although he’d rather face a horde of demogorgons than talk about his own past, Hopper knows that he can’t deny the truth any longer. And so begins the story of the incident in New York—the last big case before everything changed. . . .

Summer, New York City, 1977
. Hopper is starting over after returning home from Vietnam. A young daughter, a caring wife, and a new beat as an NYPD detective make it easy to slip back into life as a civilian. But after shadowy federal agents suddenly show up and seize the files about a series of brutal, unsolved murders, Hopper takes matters into his own hands, risking everything to discover the truth.

Soon Hopper is undercover among New York’s notorious street gangs. But just as he’s about to crack the case, a blackout rolls across the boroughs, plunging Hopper into a darkness deeper than any he’s faced before.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593157060
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/28/2019
Edition description: B&N Exclusive Edition
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 9,481
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Adam Christopher’s debut novel, Empire State, was SciFiNow’s Book of the Year and a Financial Times Book of the Year. He is also the author of Seven Wonders, Hang Wire, and The Burning Dark, as well as these nonfiction books: Made to Kill, Standard Hollywood Depravity, and Killing Is My Business. A contributor to the internationally bestselling Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View fortieth-anniversary anthology, Christopher has also written the official tie-in novels for the hit CBS television show Elementary and the award-winning Dishonored videogame franchise, and, with Chuck Wendig, wrote The Shield for Dark Circle/Archie Comics. Born in New Zealand, Adam has lived in Great Britain since 2006.

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Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town: An Official Stranger Things Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous 12 months ago
It's Christmas 1984 in Hawkins, and all Chief Jim Hopper wants to do is have an easy quiet holiday with his new adopted daughter, Eleven, but she has other plans. After unearthing a box marked "New York" from the basement, Eleven starts asking questions about Hopper's past. Why did he leave Hawkins? And why has he never mentioned New York before? Hopper would rather face off against the Demogorgon again than open up about his past, but Eleven won't budge. Thus begins his tale of being a NYPD homicide detective in the summer of 1977. After returning home from two tours in Vietnam, Jim Hopper is looking to start over with his wife and young daughter. He takes a job as a detective in New York, so the family packs up and leaves Indiana in hopes of starting fresh in the Big Apple. Soon, Hopper and his feisty partner Delgado are assigned a series of unsolved brutal killings that seem almost ritualistic. Their investigations are halted once a group of shadowy federal agents swoop in and seize all their files. Hopper, not one to let anyone take away his things, decides to take matters into his own hands by going undercover into one of New York's most dangerous gangs. Just as he seems to be closing in on the truth, a blackout hits and Hopper and the boroughs are plunged into a darkness the likes of which have never been seen before. Jim Hopper is one of my favorite characters on Stranger Things, so I was immediately drawn to this story. Anything about his background and life before he became the grizzly grump we all know and love is right up my alley. It was so interesting reading about his life outside of Hawkins, and I would love it if the show touched upon it as well. What I loved most though were the little snippets in between the story of Hopper and Eleven. I absolutely love these two together. Their dynamic works so well, and you can really feel the fatherly love Hopper has for her. This was such a fast paced, action packed glimpse into Hopper's backstory and a must read for any fan of the show.
Kamisha 9 months ago
I was slightly wary going into this story because my history with book adaptations is not always the greatest! And Stranger Things has such a magnificent nostalgic vibe I wasn’t sure how it would translate on the page, but Darkness on the Edge of Town honestly ended up being a really enjoyable read for me! In this book, we start out with Hopper and Eleven trying to occupy themselves during their first Christmas together. Eleven finds a box that ends up raising questions about Hopper’s past and he precedes to tell her a story about his old life as a detective in New York City. It’s 1977, and New York City is going through a dark time; plentiful street gangs, serial killings, and other criminal activities are beginning to overwhelm the city. Hopper and his new partner begin their investigation of a suspected serial killer when unannounced federal agents show up and seize their case. As Hopper and his partner attempt to continue their investigation on the sly, they begin to realize that what is happening is even darker than they first assumed. Even though I was worried that this book wouldn’t carry the same nostalgic vibe with it as Stranger Things does, I was not disappointed in this book's ability to evoke nostalgic vibes, albeit much darker ones than even Stranger Things! I really enjoyed the way the author was able to capture New York City at the height of this gritty, dark period. The serial killer plotline, the creepy semi-cult involvement and the noir detecting all spoke so heavily to my little murderino self! (They even throw in a Son of Sam reference!) This was a fun, quick read for me and I really enjoyed spending more time in the Stranger Things world, even if it was an earlier, darker era. I would recommend this to fans of the show, and people who haven’t watched the show as well. There is very little reference to the plot of the show itself aside from the beginning and it would be pretty easy for someone who has never experienced the show before to still enjoy this story. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
QuirkyCat 11 months ago
Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town is the second novel written as a tie in to the Stranger Things Netflix series. Like the first novel (Suspicious Minds) Darkness on the Edge of Town is a prequel. Unlike the first novel, it doesn't occur in Hawkins. Well, most of it doesn't at least. Darkness on the Edge of Town tells the story of Jim Hopper. Everything takes place well before the adventures in the TV series yet. In fact, this happens before Hopper settles back in Hawkins. Before that he was a homicide detective in NYC. Yes, you read that right. This novel occurs after Hopper's time in Vietnam, but before his daughter became ill. Just to give you an idea of where this fits in the timeline. Don't go into Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town expecting it to read exactly like an episode of Stranger Things. Jim Hopper is there, yes, and there are even cameos from Eleven. But that is the extent of the connection. This novel could be best described as a procedural crime novel, with hints towards the supernatural (but even then they're fairly slim, as they would be in any crime novel). If you go into this book expecting a crime drama, I think you'll enjoy the read. Or if you're hoping to learn more about Hopper. But if you're hoping for more along the lines of Stranger Things (or even Suspicious Minds), I think you'll be disappointed. Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town was a fun read, on the whole. I really enjoyed learning more about Hopper's past. I knew that he had gone through hell, but I don't think it really hit me just how much he had actually gone through. So this novel did a great job of reminding me that this character had a life and past well before the events in Hawkins. I enjoyed seeing Hopper back in the days where he seemed to still be truly invested in doing good. When he still had hopes and dreams for his career. It's a refreshing change (though one can argue that this spark was reignited for Hopper as the Netflix series went on). The way they tied Hopper's past and present was really quite clever. This whole novel was essentially Hopper telling El about his past. Which is cute, when you stop and think about it. Though admittedly sometimes the breaks for El to talk did break the immersion. The crime elements in this novel were fun and made me realize I should read more along the lines of this plot. I'm not sure if somebody that read a lot of crime novels would love or hate this novel. But I think it held up. My only complaint would be that it got a little meta in places – bringing real life events into the plot and trying to take credit (or blame?) for them. I really liked Hopper's partner. In a way I think I would have loved to see the whole novel from her perspective. Okay, not really. I enjoyed Hopper's side of things. I just mean that she was a really interesting character, and a good mirror for Hopper's character. I still maintain that you need to be aware of what type of novel Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town is. Because your expectations will set your experience, especially here. So please keep that in mind before picking this one up.
Katie Oleksy 11 months ago
Just after Christmas 1984, in Hopper's cabin, Eleven finds a box labeled "New York." Within this box contains Hopper's memories from a particular time in his life when he worked for NYPD as a homicide detective. Eleven begs Hopper to tell her the story behind it and he reluctantly agrees to. The story takes place between the kitchen table in 1984 in Hopper's cabin and his time in 1977 solving a bizarre string of murders in New York and hops back and forth as Hopper relays the story to Eleven. When compared to Suspicious Minds, I feel this is a stronger, original story. It doesn't feel like an already existent episode of Stranger Things drawn out over 400 pages. There is mystery, crime, and quite a bit of action. The middle does feel a little like it is filled with some fluff. I lost some interest in the middle. There is also an attempt to bring in some of the supernatural elements and science fiction that Stranger Things is known for but I feel like they don't totally commit to it. They mentioned a few odd things that happen, and mention the MK Ultra project in one conversation, and suggest that the main antagonist may have some special powers, but that idea is completely forgotten by the end. Sooo.... did he have abilities like Eleven? Or was he just suffering from PTSD and had delusions and formed a cult? Kind of unclear. Overall I would probably give it a 3.5 because I thought it was better than Suspicious Minds but felt a little forced to fit into the Stranger Things world. Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read and advanced copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.
thoroughlymodernreviewer 12 months ago
This novel, like Suspicious Minds, focuses on the backstory of one of the characters of Stranger Things. This time, it's James Hopper (played by David Harbour in the series). The novel opens on the day after Christmas, 1984, with Eleven asking Hopper to tell her a story about his past. After some persuasion, he eventually relents and tells this story. The majority of the novel is the story itself, a case that Hopper worked on while in New York, and the case ends up being pretty interesting. It starts out as a serial killer committing oddly ritualistic murders and quickly morphs into something much bigger and a bit weirder. Don't go into this novel expecting any grand revelations about Hopper's past. We don't learn what happened to his wife or his daughter in this book, two characters noticeably missing from the TV series but given decently-sized roles in the novel. Unlike Suspicious Minds - a novel that set out to reveal all the secrets behind Eleven's mom's past, Darkness on the Edge of Town is content with simply telling the story of one of Hopper's past cases and this isn't really a bad thing because the case it tells is a damn interesting one. Written like a crime novel, the mystery at the heart of Darkness on the Edge of Town unfolds at a decent pace. The audience is thrown into the case several weeks after it began - a wise decision from author Adam Christopher - and the pace never slows down from there. This mystery isn't really one that could be figured out by readers as they read it. It's less of a whodunnit and more of an insight as to how Hopper operated as a detective. Even so, it's a lot of fun watching the various elements of the case come together at the end, with everything getting explained in a pretty satisfying way. I do wish the mystery had done a bit more with some of the weirder elements that were initially introduced - this is a serial killer who kills people in a ritualistic manner in order to bring about something called "The Day of the Serpent" and then the book never really goes as far as you'd like it to with that element of the story - especially when considering it's set within the Stranger Things universe. This isn't really a big problem, though; just more of a personal taste. Overall, it's a well-written mystery that unfolds in an engaging, surprising, and satisfying way. Darkness at the Edge of Town is another deeply enjoyable entry in the growing series of Stranger Things novels. While it's significantly more grounded in reality than the previous entry and doesn't contain as many massive revelations as that first book, it's still a great exploration of a fan-favorite character. At the heart of the story is an interesting, well-written character in James Hopper and an engaging, surprising, and satisfying mystery. It's a well-written, well-paced, fast read and it should easily please fans of the series who are craving any new Stranger Things stories.
casey710 12 months ago
I love the televised series so was excited to read a prequel to some of those events. I was not disappointed! The characters differ somewhat from the series but not in a bad way. Very well written and kept my interest from start to finish. This is not a true mystery in the traditional sense of the word but it’s a great combination of sci-fi and mystery and even if you’ve never read sci-fi before you will enjoy this one. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy for review.