Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Awakening Evil, or "In the Beginning"

A historical Fear Street – one of the sagas. You know it’s going to be super gruesome, because the historical ones always are. And often don’t end well for anyone. This is the story of Sarah Fear, so I thought I would read it right after the Cheerleaders series. Especially to see if what was said in the Cheerleaders books about Sarah Fear was actually true. At this point, I doubt it. We know, at least, from the VERY beginning that Sarah Fear is going to die, so things probs won’t end with a cheesy joke.

So, we start off with beautiful young Sarah Burns, on her wedding day. She has long red hair. But of course she does. Maybe she had dozens of children and populated all of Shadyside, which is why half of everyone has beautiful red hair. Anyways, she has never met her husband to be, Thomas Fear, or knows what he looks like. She gets lost in her carriage and meets a man along the road who takes her to the church. Turns out, strange man is Thomas Fear, and he didn’t want to tell her in case she didn’t like him. Weird. Isn’t it bad luck to see the bride before the wedding? Apparently, because at the wedding, everyone is dressed up as for a funeral. Things aren’t going to go well.

Fast forward 6 months, and Sarah Fear is lonely in her mansion. She feels like she hardly knows her hubby, who is always busy at the bank. He surprises her one day by bringing his niece and nephew home to take them rollerskating. They’re having fun, and he makes a comment about starting their own family. Sarah Fear blushes, and since this is Fear Street, I honestly don’t think they’ve consummated this relationship yet. Then Thomas knocks his nephew out and starts to giggle, so maybe that’s okay. He claimed he had no control over his body – now where have I heard THAT before.

Sarah starts to hear disturbing rumours about the Fears, and how they are cursed. She sees it herself when Thomas gives her a knife set for a late wedding gift, and the knives jump up and try to kill her. The guest she’s with at the time has his leg severed. Ouch. Then Thomas falls into a cistern of boiling water at his mill. He survives, but is all blistered and pus-y. I like the boiling water connection, well done R.L. Apparently this gives him pneumonia. Around this time, Sarah discovers her best friend died on a boat to London, the same time she was on her honeymoon to Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls? How quaint. Perhaps they actually did get a little naughty for Fear Street. Not that we talk about that.

Just then, a man walks through the door. Sarah freaks out, then said she just hired him as a driver, lying through her teeth. His name is Jason Hardy, and he is from her past. Interesting. According to one of the Cheerleaders, this man is apparently her lover. They meet up in the cemetery later, and we discover he’s her stepbrother. So … not her lover? Anyways, he calls her Jane – the name of her friend who died going to London. They switched identities, taking each other’s places. Jane (now Sarah Fear) seemed to have gotten the better end of the stick, not being IMMEDIATELY dead. Jason used to court Sarah (now dead), the one he’s not a stepbrother to, so maybe that’s were the whole lover thing comes in.

Jane gets a premonition that something is wrong, and runs to Thomas’ bedside to find him vomiting blood, then dying. Jane goes crazy with grief and spends the next few months in bed, slowly dying. Then, one day, she’s better! And different! And manic! She runs around hitting people with pillows. She starts doing and saying things she doesn’t want to, and hears a strange woman’s laughter in her head. She tries to find a mirror to see herself, and when it does her eyes turn green and her reflection speaks to her. She realizes she’s possessed, as her bed starts levitating and throwing her around. Very exorcist-like.

The evil spirit starts talking to her, telling her she was the one who had her recover from her illness. She had been haunting her since her honeymoon, because she was the spirit of the true Sarah Burns, drowned at sea in place of Jane. She returned to ruin Jane’s life in a jealous rage, and she was the one who killed Thomas, poisoning him with arsenic. How melodramatic.

Evil Sarah takes over, and they go snap an old woman’s neck with a clothesline, for gossiping about her. Meanwhile, the spirit is torturing Jane whenever she doesn’t do what the spirit wants, like making her stick out her tongue until she retches, or pulling out her teeth. Then they go to the mill, and grind up the foreman’s head under the wheels. Fantastic, this is remaining consistent with the Cheerleader books. And also, ick.

A constable comes to ask her some questions, and they have tea next to a large pot of boiling potatoes. Then … Sarah blacks out and wakes up in bed. She goes back to the kitchen, to see what she had done. And smelled some delicious meat smells coming from the pot of potatoes. Apparently the constable ended up as dinner.

Evil Sarah goes after Jane’s stepbrother Jason, then. But Jason brings Jane back to the front and she tells him what’s going on. Of course he immediately believes the evil spirit of his ex-flame is possessing his stepsister. They think at this point it’s all over, and rejoice by going sailing with her niece and nephew. Big mistake. Evil Sarah takes over and tries to kill the children, and Jane fights back. She jumps overboard, in an attempt to drown herself and evil Sarah. The boat overturns in the fight, but Jane manages to stay down.

The epilogue is evil Sarah looking out of Jane’s eyes at the funeral. Kay, I will NEVER be the same at an open casket funeral again! Then having the coffin placed in the ground, and hearing the earth being shoveled onto it. Oh, ick. And she plans revenge …


Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. So not only was the trilogy of evil caused by a relatively normal Fear Street incident, but the evil never, in fact, "lived in Sarah Fear." This doesn't strike me as very epic, but then again, I think there were three Silent Nights. Still, isn't there another one? "The New Evil" or something like that?

LAK said...

This book seems like a goldmine!

Was maybe RL making a bit of a VC Andrews reference with the whole "I am your brother" thing with Jason?

And cannibalism? Cool! Not enough of that on Fear Street.

And a honeymoon, to Canada's own Niagara Falls? I bet they just held hands and drank tea though. None of that 'icky' stuff at all.

Because why mention the naughty when you can be cannibalistic or pervy?

L. K. Stine said...

I was totally going to reference VC Andrews, because that was the first thing I thought with the whole "I am your stepbrother/lover" thing!

Chad Walters said...

I just finished reading this, and I have some questions and comments:

Where were Simon and Angelica Fear during all of this? The mansion didn't burn down until 1900, and this takes place in 1898-99, so they should be around, right?

I think the thing about Jason and "Sarah" having plans to go to the theatre and therefore being implied as having something on the side is what led to their being known as lovers.

When was Sarah Fear born? In The First Evil, the gravestone says "1875-1899", in The Awakening Evil it says "1877-1899", and on the family tree in The Burning, it says she was born in 1878. So I can't tell which one is the right one.

One last thing: Sarah Burns gets trapped because she can't move Jane's dead body, but in The First Evil, she is TOTALLY moving Jennifer's dead body. What's up with that?

Deathycat said...

I think it's very fitting that the evil turns out to BE Sarah Fear. I'll have to actually read this one. ^_^

sexy said...



Tayyab said...

The opening line of the comment by Anonymous, "Let me get this straight." always reminds me of the song A Day Late.

Keeley said...

I recall someone trying to saw some wood, and then the saw hits a knot and they lose a hand? Or something?

I remembered that as being from the same book as the grindstone death, although I thought there was also a historical one where a guy gets boiled in the water around the grindstone, which is only hot one day out of the week. Or something.

Harper said...

She definitely murked Clara the maid with the knife from the old lady's house too! I'm surprised you missed that! ;) She was burying her when the constable rolled up wanting to ask questions at the Fear mansion.