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Darkness on the Edge of Town

(Stranger Things Novels #2)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  158 ratings  ·  39 reviews
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
Hardcover, 417 pages
Published May 28th 2019 by Del Rey
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3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  158 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Mogsy (MMOGC)
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Darkness on the Edge of Town by Adam Christopher is the second official Stranger Things novel in a series exploring other side stories set in the world of the show. These stand-alone books are great for fans who will no doubt appreciate a lot of the references and Easter eggs scattered about the story, but technically you don’t need any prior knowledge to jump right in and enjoy it either. This time, we’re flashing back
Lauren Stoolfire
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Stranger Things is one of my favorite shows and I enjoyed the first novel so I was thrilled to get approved for this next installment. I think I actually liked Darkness on the Edge of Town a little more than Suspicious Minds. This novel primarily follows Jim Hopper, my favorite adult character in the series, at Christmas 1984 with Eleven as he tells her about his past as a detective in NYC 1977 with his wife and daughter. The brut
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
I'm a huge fan of the Netflix show Stranger Things.  I adore the characters, the small town mystery, and the creep factor.  The show relies on the nostalgia viewers have for pop culture and fond memories of their own childhood to make this a binge-worthy show.

I'm thrilled to see that Del Rey is beginning to release official Stranger Things novels that give fans of the show some character back stories!

Darkness on the Edge of Town begins at Christmas in 1984.  Police Chief Jim Hopper is enjoying a
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Actual rating: 2.25

Thank you NetGalley and Random House for this ebook.

While I’m a huge fan of Stranger Things, this book, which takes place between Seasons 2 and 3, read way too much like fanfiction. We get a semi-interesting look into Hopper’s backstory (his life as a homicide detective in 1970’s NYC with his wife and daughter), but it only served a limited purpose of going deeper into a character I personally don’t care enough about (sorry, but I don’t).

Sure, for the most part I didn’t hate
Jay Gabler
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you Random House for the free book.

Me: “There’s a new Stranger Things novel about Jim Hopper in New York City.”
Greta: “Sounds like erotic fiction.”

Not quite...more like a gritty cross between Ghostbusters and The Princess Bride, set against the real-life 1977 blackout.
Ryan Hixson
Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town by Adam Christopher is the second novel that takes place in the Stranger Things universe. I did not read the first one which was about Eleven's mother, but I wanted too and was very interested, but wasn't able to, so when this novel came available on netgalley i had to request it. I was super excited to receive it early for any honest review. I'm a big fan of the show and eagerly awaiting the third season of Stranger Things July 4th on Netflix. So ap ...more
Perfect light read to kick off summer. I was annoyed that this covered only a tiny part of Hopper’s backstory. Still fun though.
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fabulous book. It took me back to characters met on Stranger Things. Hopper tells Eleven about a case he worked when he was a New York homicide detective. I enjoyed learning more about Hopper’s past, and seeing the interactions between him and Eleven as he navigates being a father again is wonderful.

If you love Stranger Things and want to learn more about theses characters, you won’t be disappointed.
Renee M. P. T. Kray
3.5 stars.

Dad Hopper and Sassy El are still the greatest teamup ever.

The rest of it was just ok. Not great, but entertaining.
Michael Cook
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Stranger Things is returning to screens this summer for its third season and it seems that Netflix is pulling out all the stops to promote it. With multiple novels and comic mini-series, the Stranger Things universe just seems to be growing and growing. And, here's the thing: these Stranger Things novels are really turning out to be pretty enjoyable reads. I loved the first one, Suspicious Minds (written by Gwenda Bond) and I quite enjoyed this second one, Darkness on the Edge of Town. It's not ...more
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This heart-pounding mystery (sort of - you'll see) is a tie-in to the wildly popular Netflix hit Stranger Things. This was my first time ever reading a book that was written about characters from an already built world, and I was worried I wouldn't be able to get into it. Have you ever watched a movie that was based on a book, and then tried to read the book, but because you knew the ending it was spoiled for you? Probably not. I'm weird; I know. But this is why I ALWAYS read a book before I wat ...more
Liz (Quirky Cat)
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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 take
John Stanifer
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If I had to choose a favorite, I'd say Darkness on the Edge of Town is even better than the first Stranger Things tie-in novel, Suspicious Minds, which told the backstory of Eleven's mother, Terry Ives.

There are a few reasons for that judgement. Among them:

- Terry is a supporting character, so aside from her being Eleven's mother, we haven't had as much onscreen time to get attached to her as we've had with Hopper. Hopper is one of the stars, so being able to spend over 400 pages diving into the
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, netgalley
DNF @ 64%

I'll start by saying I've yet to watch the Stranger Things series (I am VERY behind on my tv backlog), which is likely a huge factor in my rating. Judging from other reviews, fans of the series will enjoy this book much more than I did.

Unfortunately, this isn't a book for a non-fan. It's not incomprehensible to someone unfamiliar to the series—there weren't really any references or callbacks that I couldn't immediately understand from context. It's simply a book that lacks a strong nar
Elle Rudy
May 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Wasn't sure what to expect from this Stranger Things novel. The only other one, Suspicious Minds, received mixed reviews from fans of the TV series. Darkness on the Edge of Town, however, is a backstory of one of the most beloved characters from the show, Jim Hopper, as a detective in the NYPD, seven years before he first meets Eleven. The majority of the text is set in 1977, but there are several intercut scenes in 1984, where Hopper is recalling the events of the story to Eleven. It's kind of ...more
Jason S Wrench
I had the opportunity to read Adam Christopher's new book "Stranger Things - Darkness on the Edge of Town" prior to its publication. Although I am grateful to the publisher for allowing me this opportunity, my review is my own opinion and not influenced by the publisher or the author.

I should start by saying that this book has little to do with the Netflix television series Stranger Things. If you think you are going to get a story similar to those seen in Stranger Things, you will be very disap
Mark Adkins
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book will mostly appeal to fans of the show "Stranger Things", but non fans can still enjoy the book as the references to events in the show are fairly minor and more like Easter Eggs for the fans.

The books takes place in two time periods, modern day (for the show) December 1984 and spends most of the time in flashbacks to 1977. The modern scenes are of Sheriff Jim Hopper telling Eleven a story of when he was a New York city Detective in 1977. The scenes in 1977 are that of then Detective H
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, scifi
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.

Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I liked the first Stranger Things novel but I’ve been really looking forward to reading this one because Hopper.

I really loved how this book started in Hoppers cabin, with Hopper and El, in Stranger Things present day and while mostly in the 70’s due to Hopper relaying his story, we got regular glimpses of them and their interactions.

I thought Hoppers life, before Stranger Things, as a homicide detective in New York was fascinating. I kept waiting for a demogorgon to pop up and although it was
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, libraries, audio
I really enjoyed this. Hopper is such a mystery in Stranger Things. Sure, we get glimpses of his past and life before becoming Cheif of Hawkins but there is still so much we don't know. This book delves into his past. We get to see him at his prime (as a detective in NYC with a loving wife and daughter). It was interesting to see this side of Hopper. The book is set up as Hopper telling his past to El one winter night and I didn't mind that set up at all. We got short little breaks with El picki ...more
Unseen Library
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of Stranger Things: Darkness on the Edge of Town from Penguin Random House Australia to review.

With the third season of the sensational and entertaining television show Stranger Things fast approaching (4 July cannot come fast enough), another tie-in novel, Darkness on the Edge of Town by Adam Christopher, has been released and offers another intriguing look into the wider Stranger Things universe. This story heads back into 1970s and focuses on the life of Hawkins police Chief
Chris Wermeskerch
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
One thing I loved about Gwenda Bond's Suspicious Minds was that it played up some elements of the Stranger Things franchise really well - it stayed within the familiar Hawkins, IN, using the same psychic phenomena, alluded to the Upside Down, etc. etc. Darkness on the Edge of Town uses familiar characters, Hopper and Eleven, to tell a crime story. On the face of it? The story is fairly well done, and the ambiance feels at place in the Stranger Things universe. You feel the weird stuff going on c ...more
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Now, to be fair, I came into this book already loving Hopper, so I may have a small bias when it comes to actually reviewing it. All of that considered, I did enjoy reading about Hopper's New York days and learning more about how he came to be the Hopper we know from Stranger Things. Adam Christopher writes as if he's creating an episode of Law and Order, and I'm not upset about it. This book has a compelling plot and is incredibly well paced (albeit a bit predictable). I do feel that the tie ba ...more
Melinda Anders
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you are a fan of Stranger Things like I am you need to get this book. This is my fix until the next episodes come out in July. While I was reading it was like I was watching an episode. I hope this is just the first of many of these books.
Hopper is telling Eleven about his past when he was a detective in New York City. He knows the subject matter is too advanced for Eleven but she is no normal girl. His story helps Eleven better understand Hopper and his past. It helps her understand his ded
Jun 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
This was a "Stranger Things" novel which, strangely, had nothing to do with Stranger Things except for a static, one-dimensional Hopper and an underutilized, interstitial Eleven. Adam Christopher's prose reads like watered-down Stephen King. The pace of the uninspired plot is broken too often by chapters that are too short, and the longer chapters do not end quickly enough. I don't want to be mean, but this one made Gwenda Bond look like Claudia Gray.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
DNF at 71%
What a disappointment. I am a huge Stranger Things fan and Hopper is my fav character. After reading Suspicious Minds I couldn't wait to dive into this prequel about my fav character.... However, this story was so dull and boring I simply could not continue. I tried.I really did. But I had to throw in the towel. Overly descriptive with no real substance. It is time for me to move on.
Nathaniel Darkish
Jun 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
An uninteresting police procedural serial killer story with a thin gene of Stranger Things on top of it, as tonally convincing as cheap laminate wood. This is the kind of tie-in book that makes people hate tie-ins.
Jun 02, 2019 marked it as dnf
I'm setting this one aside for now. I've been reading it for a week, and not having much luck with getting invested. I read a little over 100 pages, so I gave it a shot, but it's not working for me. I adored the first Stranger Things novel, though, so it sucks I'm having a hard time with this one.
Elizabeth Fensin
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Much better than “”Suspicious Minds”— probably because Hopper is such a great character. Only slightly paranormal. Hopper tells Eleven about the time he investigated a cult behind the 1977 NYC blackout.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nice read before season 3 starts. Hopper is one of my favorite characters so it nice to see some more backstory on him! At moments the writing gets too “fan-fiction” but other than that it’s a good mystery and read! Even if you don’t know what ST is you can still enjoy it for a detective mystery.
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Adam Christopher’s debut novel EMPIRE STATE was SciFiNow’s Book of the Year and a Financial Times Book of the Year. The author of MADE TO KILL, STANDARD HOLLYWOOD DEPRAVITY, and KILLING IS MY BUSINESS, Adam’s other novels include SEVEN WONDERS, THE AGE ATOMIC, and THE BURNING DARK.

Adam has also written the official tie-in novels for the hit CBS television show ELEMENTARY, and the award-winning DI

Other books in the series

Stranger Things Novels (3 books)
  • Suspicious Minds (Stranger Things, #1)
  • Stranger Things: Runaway Max