Monday, December 21, 2009

Superstition Part Deux, or "Most Badass Campus Cop is Given a Minor Role"

Alright, here is the second posting of Superstitious, ooh so excited to see how it ends! Scroll down to catch up on the first posting if you missed it, or click here.

Part 4

Liam proposes to Sara, and wants them to get married immediately. She gets him to wait a few weeks, until Thanksgiving, so her family can be there. Margaret comes by the next day to congratulate her. Margaret is looking younger, and gorgeous, and Sara wonders how she hadn’t noticed before. Marg tells her she’ll try to stay out of her way once the baby arrived, then leaves quickly. Sara’s all, whatever, but I’d be a little more concerned how involved my sister-in-law was in her brother’s sex life and potential children.

Sara is in heaven, so she doesn’t really notice anything. Until, she’s walking home one night, and hears footsteps behind her. She runs, but something grabs her. It’s … Chip, her ex and former stalker, also would-be drowner. If I was Sara, I’d keep on running. Chip insists that she come back to him, and grabs her.

Another murder has happened. The victim is Devra Brookes, a professor in the college who also knew Liam from his days at Chicago, where he lived before Freewood. She may or may not have been fucking him. Regardless, she didn’t survive the acquaintance. Her eyeball was ripped out and stuffed in her mouth. Ick. So, all three victims were women connected to Liam O’Connor, and all were to varying degrees sexually promiscuous. What could this mean? Devra’s body has fingerprints on her, but they are not human fingerprints.

The college is aroar about the murders, but Sara can’t think much beyond her upcoming nuptials. And then, about the four bloody rabbit feet that were sent her in the mail. For luck? Oh ya, and Liam owns a rabbit, or did own a rabbit. Interestingly enough, his rabbit had to be put down that very day. Because she no longer had feet, maybe?

Sara and Liam fly off to Indiana for him to meet her mother. Sara’s father passed away a few years ago, otherwise I’d assume that her dad might have something to say about the very-quick engagement. Her mother, brother and sister in law are all nice and warm, and Liam is his charming self. That is, until the black cat jumps on his lap, and he freezes in horror. Guess the cat broke a superstition. That night, something rips the head off the cat. Hmmm.

The day of the wedding, Liam is getting ready, making sure every superstition is followed. The event is happening at Milton’s estate in the woods, outside on a cold snowy day. Milton was very generous to offer his house, but is probably still angling to somehow screw Sara. As Liam dresses, his brown eyes turn blue, and he freaks. A purple forked tongue falls out of his mouth, and he barely gets it back in in time for Milton to miss it.

Part 5

The wedding goes off without a hitch. Everything is beautiful and perfect in the sunlit snow. The newlyweds try to leave the party for the honeymoon, a weekend out in the country, but there are so many well-wishers that Milton sneaks them out the back, after propositioning Sara again. Liam freaks because they didn’t leave the same way they came in, and makes them go back in and leave again.
At the inn they’re staying at, they make love in the light of 16 white candles as Liam chants. Nothing gets me in the mood like some sexy chanting. He tells Sara he wants to have a baby, and she tells him she wants what he wants. Ya, that’s healthy.

A witness comes forward to the police, tells them he heard a scream the night of the latest murder, and saw someone in a monster costume with glowing eyes and long teeth. I wonder if it had a purple forked tongue?

Sara and Liam’s marriage starts off rocky, largely because of all his superstitions that Sara has to follow now, which would be irritating, and the fact that his sister is living with them, always hovering over them. One night, Chip accosts the three of them, drunk, telling Sara Liam is too old for her, and he knows the REAL reason Liam had to leave Chicago.

Liam finally explains to Sara that he had to leave Chicago because a woman he had an affair became obsessed with him and had to be hospitalized. There are a lot of obsessive stalkers in this book. Sara suspects this woman of threatening her about Liam.

Milton has a dinner for them at the local pub. Liam breaks a superstition by taking soap from another person and starts to turn into a monster, but he gets a hand on it. Chip, meanwhile is lurking outside the pub, drunk once again, trying to get up the courage to go in there and tell Sara Liam’s secret. That is, until he is attacked and slashed apart.

Garrett is upset that his police force is being replaced by the Feds, but thinks it’s probably justified. He thinks something different killed Chip because he was slashed apart with a weapon, not ripped apart by something with inhuman fingerprints. He’s going house to house questioning people. He speaks to Liam, and discovers that Liam knew all four victims. Coincidence? Garrett doesn’t think so, but doesn’t know how the sensitive professor could rip people apart with super strength. Liam becomes the number one suspect.

Sara gets a call from a woman named Kristen, who claims that she used to be with Liam, and she had to warn Sara. Sara thinks she’s just jealous that she ended up with her hunk of a man.
Garrett questions Milton about Liam, who of course thinks the allegations are ridiculous of course, but just in case he checks with the dean of Liam’s former school in Chicago. Apparently, there were gruesome murders there too, and Liam knew all three victims. Milton freaks out, because knowing seven of the seven victims was just too much of a coincidence. He goes out to warn Sara.

Sara meanwhile has done some “accidental” snooping and discovers a pictures of a sexy woman in Liam’s desk. On the back is written “Love Kristen”. She confronts Liam with this, but he charms her as always, telling her it was Margaret’s picture. He then gives her a present of a human hand, and they make love in candlelight next to the hand. Okay, what the fuck? How delightful, I’ve always wanted my own disembodied human hand? Honey, you shouldn’t have, take me now. I can’t see this actually ever happening.

Garrett is still doing house to house work. He is attacked by a creature that bites his ear off. Garrett punches into the creatures mouth and rips out its throat. Okay, Garrett is bad ass.
Sara inspects her new human hand, which supposedly belonged to a mannequin. But she finds in fact it used to belong to Chip. Okay, honey, time to get out of this relationship.

Part 6

Sara goes to MB, freaking out, and tells her about Kristen. MB tells her that Kristen is the name of a woman who had just been found butchered. Sara irrationally wants to talk this one out with Liam. Surely her friend will convince her that going to discuss her husband’s murdering ways with said husband is a bad idea. Unfortunately, MB has a flight to catch, so she LEAVES Sara. Like, what kind of friend is that. Who does that? Sorry, you’ll have to deal with your impending murder on your own. And Sara is just plain stupid.

Sara goes home to find Liam in bed with Margaret, his sister. Things just keep getting bad to worse. An incestuous murderous husband is such an inconvenient thing to have around. She breaks the mirror in the bedroom (seven years bad luck …) and runs into the cold. She realizes soon enough that she’ll have to go back for her wallet, etc. So she goes back, to find the house empty. Well, almost empty. She does find Margaret’s corpse, still naked, impaled on the shower nozzle. Ugh, what a way to go.

Sara runs, goes to Milton’s house because she still has his inappropriate house key. Liam is already there, unfortunately, and Milton did not make it, is torn open. Liam attacks her, then holds her down to “explain” everything.

Margaret was always his wife, not a sister but the neighbour girl from Ireland. They ran away to America to escape Liam’s curse. They needed to have a child, but he didn’t want to do that to Margaret, because he loved her. Apparently, Liam is cursed by all the demons of superstition, that are released when superstitions are broken around him. The demons would be passed on to a child of his if the child was born in wedlock, so he had to get another wife preggers. Apparently bigamy is allowed. Liam had actually tried to warn Sara away, he was the one who made the threatening calls. Of course, he didn’t actually stop himself from marrying her and trying to impregnate her, so I'm still not seeing him as a stand-up guy in this one.

When others started to ruin the plan, Margaret stepped in. She was the one who killed Chip and Kristen, which is why they were slashed and not ripped apart. Liam believes that Margaret and Milton were killed by demons released when Sara broke the mirror, so this really was her fault. Sara breaks all the mirrors around them to prove him wrong.

Bad news. A demon that looks like runny eggs with two tongues crawls out of Liam’s mouth and attacks her. Liam pulls the demon off her and the demon breaks his back, killing him. All the demons pour out of his mouth and chase her. Sara runs outside, falls and hits her head, proving she is entirely useless as a heroine.

Sara wakes up in the hospital. She survived the demon attack for no apparent reason! A smiling nurse tells her not to worry, because not only was she alright, but so was the baby! Sara screams.

Good start, but poor finish, R. L. I mean why did Sara survive? The having people go unconscious is the oldest trick in the book, and it is just plain lazy. And this whole monster crawling out of mouth thing was a bit lame. I wanted to know more about Garrett, who was by far the coolest person in the whole book. What happened to him after he punched out the monster's throat. Superstition might have been marginally better than your average Fear Street, but loses points for being so effing long, meaning I couldn’t read the whole damn thing in an hour. 30 runny egg monsters out of 43.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Superstition, or “Don’t Have Sex with Superstition-Addled Professors”

Okay, Fear Street fans, it's been, ahem, awhile since I've posted. Oops! To make it up to you, I have reviewed the longest R. L. book, like, ever. This is his very adult novel, Superstitious. I had to break this blog up because it is the longest blog ever, and I don't want you guys to get bored, or read this so long that your boss discovers what you're up to and you get in trouble at work. This would be not good. So here is Superstitious, part one:

Charlotte wakes up in bed next to a repulsive one-night stand again, trying not to feel disgusted with herself. It’s hard to not feel disgusted for her when her charming gent clearly has a wedding band mark and asks for a blowjob on her way out. Delightful. Charlotte gives herself a pep talk as she walks home. She just got a new job as secretary for the mysteriously handsome Irish professor Liam O’Connor, connoisseur of Old World legends and superstitions. Charlotte starts to cheer up, until something grabs her in the dark, rips her scalp off, rips her eyes out and breaks her spine in two.
And just like that does Superstition start. This book, Stine fans, is a holy hell of an adult novel, if that intro has anything to say for it. Blowjobs? I feel a little dirty reading this, and totally cannot wait for the rest of it. Superstitious is supposed to be the most scariest of all R. L. works, so lets see what he has in store for us, shall we?

Part 1

Sara is enjoying herself at a bar with her friend Mary Beth. Sara and MB were old college chums, and now are back together again at Moore State college (in the fictional town of Freewood, Pennsylvania) – this time MB is working there as media director, and Sara is working on her graduate degree in psychology.

The girls are just catching up when Sara is sprayed by salt, thrown over the shoulder of the man behind her. He is immediately all apologies, charm and flirt as he introduces himself as Liam O’Connor. MB already knows him, as it is a very small college. Liam is eating with his sister Margaret, and Milton, the Dean of Students. Milton immediately offers Sara a part-time job, which was only partly fortuitous because it is clear that Milton is a big fat pervert, deliberately pawing all over Sara and staring at her tits. (tee hee, R. L. said tits!) The only question on Sara’s mind was whether Liam is single and straight?

Garrett is getting ready for the late-night shift as cop in the campus town of Freewood, where not very much ever happens. He’s a loving husband and doting father to his one-year-old son, but he can’t quite stop thinking that he should be making more of himself for his wife, Angel. He leaves his home just as two students running home to their dorm find the gruesome mangled corpse of Charlotte.

Margaret is in their house, watching two girls running by their window, thinking that they’re not late enough to miss their curfew and aren’t curfews in modern college dorms ridiculous anyways. Liam is ranting about a superstition, something that never seems to get tiresome for him, when they get a knock on the door. It’s Andrea, the slutty single landlady, who stopped by to see if she could fuck Liam, but obstensibly to see how they were settling in. Margaret sends her on her way as Liam admits to being attracted to her cougarly ways, but nothing will happen because he’s in love with Sara. Hmm, that happened fast. They agree that she will “do nicely”, and both knock on wood three times.

Part 2

The rather incompetent campus police, lead by Garrett, try to deal with Charlotte’s murder, which mainly involves asking each other what they should be doing, and vomiting. Ooh, apparently she was disemboweled too. The quiet town of Freewood is all abuzz over the horrific murder, which three days later STILL hadn’t been solved.

Sara and MB are sitting around gossiping, when Sara decides to reveal happened to her since she last left the college. Up to this point, we’ve only heard that she was living in New York City, and MB saved her life.

While in NY, she was dating spoiled rich beautiful all-American boy Chip, while barely scraping by as an editorial assistant in a publishing company. He takes her to the Hamptons for the weekend, where she realizes she doesn’t love him, largely because he’s such a spoiled little rich boy. They do make love next to the ocean, with the waves euphemistically spraying nearby. Chip proposes and she says no, so of course he tries to drown her.

Charming! This is just like a Fear Street man, of course he would try to drown her. Also, he has dry lips. And, just like any awesome boy from a Fear Street book, he starts to stalk Sara. Sara is laid off from her job when her old college chum MB calls her, just at the right time. MB pulls some strings and gets her into the graduate program and “saves her life.”

Now Sara is getting into college life. She gets her job with Milton, and is kinda grossed out by him. He’s huge, but it’s actually not fat, but muscle. He’s like a big wrestler dean of students. He also obsessively works out in his office. Note: there is nothing sexier than hearing some guy grunting in his office. He also is the proud owner of an extensive knife collection. On the up side, Liam asks her out, so Sara finally feels things are going her way.

Andrea, cougar extraordinaire, heads over to Liam’s one night, done up like a harlot and high on coke, hoping to get lucky. Instead, Liam reads her a fairy tale about money. This guy sure knows how to have a good time, let me tell you. The two of them are interrupted by Margaret just as Andrea jumps him. Andrea goes home frustrated, with a headache and a blue box. (Is there such thing as blue box – like the female version of blue balls? Whatever it is, Andrea has it.)

Milton has a party at his estate. He creepily lives out in the middle of the woods, where he can polish his weapons in private. We see all this from Milton’s perspective, and learn just what a pervert he actually is. He graphically imagines what he would like to do with each woman he sees, and reflects on his masturbation habits. Polishing his weapon – get it? Liam and Sara are at the party, and he asks her to go to dinner. Then he absolutely freaks out because someone has left his hat on the bed. Sara thinks it’s cute how into superstitions he is. I think it would get old, like, real fast.

Flash to Andrea, cougar slash landlady, who is walking home bitter after showing a home to a potential buyer, when a large creature grabs her in the dark, and peels off all her skin while she’s still alive. She is also gutted. These are some pretty graphic murders.

Part 3

Sara gets a threatening call, telling her to stay away from Liam. She figures it must be a female admirer of Liam, and chooses to ignore the warning. Sara thinks the dinner with Liam went well, but she is starting to get unsettled by his obsession with superstitions. Thank god for that. One superstition was that they had to pour their tea together, his hand over hers. Hardly harmful, but I would get irritated by that all the time.

As Sara is getting ready for bed, Milton shows up late at her door, saying he was out jogging in the middle of the night. This guy has got to stop working out! He’s bleeding from a cut on his hand, apparently he didn’t notice getting cut in the first place. He gives her some office keys because he’s leaving unexpectedly for Atlanta. He also gives her his house key, in case, you know, she wants to come by and “surprise” him sometime. Sara can’t imagine anything she’d rather do less.
Awake after that little interlude, Sara looks up some superstitions. She discovers the pouring the tea together custom was for that a child would be born between the couple. Liam wants to knock her up? Sara is actually pretty stoked about this – I mean, he MUST like me if he wants me to be his baby mama, right?

Liam and Margaret are talking at their house. Liam is in a foul mood and Margaret reminds him he needs to focus on the Sara project. Ooh, nothing is sexier than being referred to as a project. They see a news clip about Andrea and Liam gets inappropriately upset. Margaret keeps on repeating “what’s done is done.” What an odd sibling pair.

Liam shows up at Sara’s door with flowers for their dinner date. They have a great time, and he charms the pants off of her, literally. They make sweet sweet love together. Thankfully, R. L. is never TOO graphic about these scenes, but it still makes me giggle to think about him writing about Liam moving inside Sara, and releasing suddenly. Hah. There should be way more sex in Fear Street novels. Once he’s done, Liam leaves, which makes Sara harrumph a bit, because she could have used more cuddling. She then gets another threatening phone call to stay away from Liam if she didn’t want to die.

Flashback to Liam growing up in Ireland. Life was hard when he was ten, as he and Margaret ran across the countryside. He had just lost his mother, and the soil in their farm had run out of luck. His father was a stern man, but a wonderful story-teller, and knew all the superstitions, ever. There is a horrific murder in town. His father grimly brings Liam to the scene of the crime and tells him it was his fault.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Darkest Dawn or "Seriously Jamie? Put On Your Logic Hat. COMMON"

Finally, the conclusion to what I believe is the LAST R.L. trilogy we had to review! Craziness, I know. Darkest Dawn was filled with some completely insane plot twists…and some plot twists that were incredibly easy to figure out. I wasn’t sure if the murderer was supposed to be a surprise or not. I wasn’t surprised. Maybe young children would have been? Pssshhh my university education completely prepared me for reading between the lines of R.L. books.

The book cover again, is nothing special, just has that annoying shiny factor. But the girls on the front are totally drinking RyePops! Ooooh, scandalous!

The intro of the book starts with “someone” creepily peering at Dana Fear and Jamie while they get ready for the Valentine’s Day dance. They talk about how geeky going to the dance is (Were high school dances geeky? At my school, they were the opportunity to get drunk, and slobber all over the cute boy from Math class. They usually got cancelled after the Christmas dance because of all the puke in the halls. Classy.) The creepster who’s watching the girls decides to sprinkle a little magic on their evening – in the form of maggots in their hair. We “discover” that the person watching them isn’t a person at all. It’s the one-eyed blackbird who grabbed the pendant at the end of the last book! It gave him a lot of power apparently. And now he plans to kill them one by one for looting his home on Fear Street. Gee. I wonder who it could be inside the bird’s body. (P.S. It’s never a good sign when the main antagonist of the book could be easily killed by a pellet gun.)

Part One
Jamie and her friends (boyfriend Lewis, Shark, Dana, her boyfriend Clark) are hanging out in Lewis’ new house. Jamie catches the reader up on what happened in the last two books: murders most deadly AND the fact she was unknowingly possessed for about a year by Angelica Fear. Jamie also thinks about how there’s been a wall between her and Lewis. He’s been different ever since that night they both fell into the pit with the two skeletons and she got possessed by Angelica but he was fine. :| Riiight.

Jamie is still a little bit paranoid about Angelica Fear though (understandably). She keeps seeing her everywhere she goes! Lewis convinces her that the only way to be SURE that Angelica is gone, is to try a spell out of her spellbook. This seems like a poor plan. But Jamie goes for it, and when nothing happens, she’s convinced that Angelica isn’t really around anymore. I don’t really understand the logic behind this whole situation, but okay, whatever, good for Jamie. Moving on is good. Except that while no one else is looking, the book’s letters spell out “THE EVIL LIVES”. Dun dun dunnnnn!

Part Two
Dana and Jamie are getting excited about a big pep-rally/bon fire for Dana’s boyfriend and the basketball team. Dana is less stoked about Nate, who she kinda dated last year, but things took a sour turn when he thought she murdered his girlfriend. They all go out to Nights that evening, which we all know by now, is the one bar in town. And only teenagers go there. Prrrretty cool!

So all the teens get smashed at the bar, and decided to steal a few bikes and race them down the street. This part is pretty pointless, but Dana’s boyfriend Clark crashes his bike and Jamie thinks he’s dead. He’s not, but someone called the cops so they all skatter. (seriously, that was like 6 chapters)

Jamie is on her way home, by herself, when she sees the one-eyed blackbird. Where is your slingshot when you need it!? She is of course uber afraid, even though it doesn’t attack her. Just kinda watches her. Like what normal birds do.

The next day, Jamie and Dana go to the Flea Market (in the school parking lot? Okay.) to take their minds off the crazy blackbird that Jamie thinks is following her. Jamie finds a bracelet however, that looks exactly like Angelica’s amulet! So not really taking her mind off anything. The bracelet is way out of her price range though, so she can’t get it. Uhhhh, WHY would she want to in the first place? Does this girl have a death wish? “Hey that looks JUST LIKE my old evil amulet! How much!?”

She doesn’t have to worry about the price for too long though, because Lewis steals it for her. Hmm, if my boyfriend stole me a piece of evil jewelry, I would assume it’s because he also wanted me dead. I’d be watching my back.

Dana convinces Jamie that she needs to come watch Clark’s last practice in the gym before the team goes to Finals or State or whatever. Jamie is kinda confused, because she totally busted Dana making out with Nate the night before! Hooch! Jamie goes anyways, and Dana is busy trying to be an awesome girlfriend to make up for the fact that she’s a shitty one.

During the game, Jamie starts to feel all dizzy and lightheaded. She thinks she’s sick, (I think possession!) so she starts to go down to the washrooms. And just in a nick of time because the bleachers everyone is sitting on start to collapse! Mostly everyone jumps off in time…except for Shark’s girlfriend Nikki. Her face got smushed by the metal benches. That is…quite the way to go. At least you know your friends will NEVER FORGET that sight!

Part Three
After Nikki’s funeral, Jamie and Dana sit down to put all the pieces together. Even though Nikki didn’t go to Shadyside High, she was still killed. “OMG!” gasps Dana! She just remembered that Angelica TOLD HER WHY SHE WAS KILLING PEOPLE. Seriously? Dana FORGOT that kind of info? Angelica is killing the people who stole shiz from the Fear Mansion. They realize that they are all (except Dana, lucky bitch) in grave danger.

Jamie needs something to take her mind off of Angelica that night, so she sneaks out in the middle of the night to find Lewis. As she makes her way to Nights, on Fear Street, she gets a little confused. She’s ON Fear Street… but the mall isn’t there anymore. Instead, the Fear Street Mansion is BACK.

What? Yeah, I don’t know either. Jamie gets magically pulled into it and stumbles around in the dark. After endless chapters of her being freaked out and not knowing whats going on, she runs into: SIMON FEAR. But what is he doing there? Only Angelica escaped their grave, right? :|

Jamie somehow just runs out of the house at that moment. Lame spell, Simon. She goes to get Lewis and bring him back to the Fear Street Mansion. Of course, by the time they get there, everything is back to normal. Did Jamie not realize it was a spell? Simon Fear didn’t really tear down a mall, and rebuild his house in an evening. She knows that, …right?

Part Four

Jamie, Lewis, Shark, Dana, Nate, Aaron and Galen all go to this fantastic pep rally/bonfire extravaganza that Dana has been so pumped about it. Field + Fire + Teenagers + Booze? Sounds like every party I went to in high school. We just didn’t cheer. Apparently the bon fire, which hasn’t been lit yet, is made of 30 feet of hay. This seems like a bad idea. And it is!

As soon as the hay lights on fire, the whole bonfire collapses. Right onto a bunch of cheerleaders. Jamie and Dana get separated from the rest of their friends, and can’t find Lewis or Clark. (Haha! Historical reference!) They find Lewis first, who said he was helping the burning cheerleaders. Shark and Clark come running up, so they just need to find Nate, Aaron and Galen. They only find Aaron and Galen though…they’re shoved onto huge poles and stuff with straw like scarecrows. Again, you’re friends will never forget you! No matter how hard they try…

BTW: these were really secondary characters. Like, I guess they were mentioned when all the friends would get together, and Galen was the kid that lost his lips in the first book, but I don’t understand why Clark or Nate wouldn’t have been killed. It’s not like R.L. to shy away from killing main characters. Weird.

Jamie decides that since she is the only one who knows everything about these murders, then she is the only one who can stop them. She grabs her bracelet amulet and heads down to Fear Street at 4 am, chanting “Return, return”. She is apparently talking to the house.

The house is there when she arrives… as is Lewis. She’s all “What are you doing here, lover?” REALLY? You don’t get it yet, Jamie? Maybe it was a good thing you were held back a year. Lewis brings her to a back room where Dana, Shark and Nate are already gathered. He keeps on saying cryptic things like “Jamie will show you the way… OUT” and she’s still not getting it. She FINALLY understand when she sees that Lewis’ eyes are pale and silvery, instead of normal eyes. “YOU’RE SIMON FEAR!” Well no shit, Jamie. Common now!

Simon/Lewis tell Jamie she’s going to kill them all because they stole from him. Dana argues (don’t draw attention to yourself) that she wasn’t even there! Simon counters with a YEAH but you killed Angelica last year. Touche!

Jamie tries out the plan she had all along. She grabs her bracelet amulet and tries to recite a spell she learned from the book. Of course, since she’s not magic, nothing happens except Simon laughs in her face. Ooo, awkward. Simon then gives her the original amulet and tells her to kill her friends!

Of course, now that she has the real amulet, she actually is magic. Simon starts to leave Lewis’ body through a green gas… but that gas is pouring into the blackbird! Quickly Jamie recites the only other spell she knows and POOF! The blackbird explodes.

Seriously. Pellet gun. Probably could have ended this a lot sooner.

After the blackbird/Simon Fear has exploded, the Fear Mansion disappeared, and everyone but Jamie loses their memory. But they’re cool with not remembering, because they’re at the door of Nights! Hooray for teen alcoholism!

The End

Not the best trilogy (How could you top the 99 Fear Street series when it has ZOMBIES) but still pretty rad. Also, there was teen drinking, and sexual innuendos galore! And while I often wanted to shake Jamie so she would FRIGGEN UNDERSTAND, she wasn’t the worst heroine. I give Darkest Dawn 16 easily-killed one-eyed blackbirds out of 23.

P.S. I have good news for Shadyside lovers… after a THREE month hiatus (shame!) L.K. Stine has promised me she’s going to blog this week. So make sure to shame her into this, okay? GREAT!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Midnight Games or "Team Ada!"

The second book in this trilogy is actually a little better than the first. Which is unusual, I usually feel like the second anything in a trilogy is the weakest. For example: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? No thanks! The Empire Strikes Back? Snore. … Those are really the only two I can think of, but you get my drift.

But this Midnight Games… well it was full of gruesome and increasingly odd murders. This always equals AWESOME. These covers aren’t very interesting, though. They aren’t hilarious paintings, which is lame. And they have some weird shiny purple stuff all over it. I prefer my R.L. to be classic, but maybe that’s just me?

The book starts off from Nate’s point of view. He’s haunted by the thought that Cindy died, and she wasn’t even evil. (She was kind of a bitch though) To escape his terrifying nightmares, he goes to Nights, the new Fear Street bar. Where they only cater to minors apparently. On his walk over to the bar he gets attacked! Which sounds awful, but then we find out that he’s being attacked by a bird. With one-eye. Really? A pre-injured bird? It scratches up his face (a minor annoyance) and he races out of the woods…only once he gets out, he can’t remember what happened to him in there! He knows he was scared, and now his face is bloody, but he can’t quite remember… Personally, I blame all the underage drinking.

When he gets to Nights, he sees all his friends: Shark, Lewis, Jamie and his new girlfriend Ada! They ask what happened to his face, and he tells them he fell in the woods. Wouldn’t you assume you had some sort of concussion? I know weird things happen in Shadyside but cut head+lack of memory usually = concussion. Go to the hospital! Nate freaks his friends out even more when he sees the one-eyed bird appear at the door of the bar. He, of course, screams bloody murder even though he’s not sure exactly what he’s afraid of. It turns out it was a girl who walked into the bar, not a bird. The girl makes a beeline to their table and Jamie introduces her cousin…Dana FEAR! Dun dun dunnnnnn!

Part Two of the book is told through Dana’s eyes. She had to come live with Jamie after her mom died and her Dad didn’t want to take care of her. Needless to say, she’s a little bitter. Dana is ultra nervous about starting at a new school, so Jamie throws her a welcoming party so she can meet all of her friends. Dana has an insta-crush on Nate because he reminds her of her old boyfriend Dustin. When she hears that Nate is dating Ada, she decides she probably isn’t going to like her. Uhh…more like she isn’t going to like you, homewrecker!

The party basically consists of the Shadyside kids being creeped about because Dana is a Fear. That sounds… unfun. Dana and Nate bond alone, but he creeps HER out by asking way too personal info about her Fear family. And guess what? Ada sees them together outside, and shocking doesn’t like Dana! Things take a turn for the weird though, when Ada falls down a flight of stairs … and Dana’s at the top. Ada says that Dana pushed her but Dana conveniently can’t remember a thing!

The next few days/weeks are rough on Dana because she starting at a new school. And because a bunch of kids think she tried to kill Ada. It gets even more awkward when Dana tries out for chorus (which Ada and her bitchy friend Whitney are in) and it’s revealed that all three of them are trying out for a singing scholarship. After her tryout, Dana runs into Nate. Even though he hasn’t talked to her since Dana may have/may have not tried to kill his girlfriend, he asks her out to a skating party on Saturday. Dana says yes but asks about Ada. Nate charmingly says that Ada “doesn’t own him”. He cheats on his own accord! Dana tries to tell Jamie her good news but Jamie is busy in her personal pottery studio in the backyard garage. Jamie is super squirrelly about the studio and won’t let anyone in. As in when Dana tries to get in, Jamie gets enraged. Hmmm. Not normal.

Dana meets up with Nate and the boys at Nights again, and her and Nate are super flirty. Ada happens to walk in at an inopportune time; just as Nate is kissing Dana on the cheek! She proceeds to ream him out in front of the bar and Dana wonders what she will EVER do about Ada? Except you’re kinda the villain in this story, darling. New in town, trying to take her boyfriend AND her scholarship? I am totally Team Ada. I might even have a shirt made up like that!

Saturday arrives and Dana is late to the skating party. Nate and her take off for some skating/makeoutage across the lake but Jamie interrupts them to tell them that Ada arrived and is PISSED. Nate (again, what a gentleman!) tells her that he doesn’t need this and takes off. Unfortunately for Dana, she’s a shit skater and she gets taken down by Ada in a mad rage. Dana is getting choked by Ada and feels all woozy and blurry…

She gets woken up on the ice by Jamie, who comes back because she heard screams. They discover Ada’s body nearby…with a skate driven in her skull. BLERG. Dana again has to admit that while she’s innocent, she has no recollection of the accident. Does that excuse really work? Well, it is Shadyside. So yeah, it probably works 95% of the time.

Dana is upset…mostly because Nate didn’t call. Really? After everyone (but the police) think you murdered his girlfriend, you’re SURPRISED he didn’t call? She sees him at Nights and while their talking they get confronted by Whitney (bitchy friend of Ada’s who sings). Whitney tells Dana that they know what happened to her boyfriend back home! Say whhha? Yes, apparently Dustin, who Nate reminds her so much of, drowned in Dana’s pool a few years ago. Hmm that doesn’t help her story of “innocence” so much, does it?

The next week, Dana and Whitney compete for the very prestigious singing scholarship which I can’t be bothered to find the name of right now. Dana sings first and takes her seat afterwards. Whitney starts to sing…but keeps violently sneezing! After a few sneezes she pulls a feather out of her nose! And keeps pulling out feathers until they turn red with blood and the blood pours down her face and she screams out that “Dana FEAR is doing it!” Yeowza! That would be dramatic. I would totally believe Whitney in this one too. I think I just don’t like Dana…

The kids have some more fun out at Nights and Nate freaks everyone out by hallucinating one-eyed birds again. This part is kinda dull. No one cares Nate!

But then we get to the good stuff again. Dana goes to watch a bunch of people play basketball, including Nate…and Whitney. Whitney does the mean girl thing, where she throws the ball at Dana and then claims it “slipped”. Ugh I hate that! Just punch her in the face. Get it out in the open. After the game is over, Dana is waiting for Nate to come out of the showers and Whitney is working on her jumpshot. Dana starts to feel woozy and blurry again…

She gets woken up by Nate this time. And looks over to see Whitney’s body on the floor…and her head in the basket! Nice! Sports themed murders!

Somehow the police STILL don’t detain Dana, even though there is a clear pattern here: Other girls up for the singing scholarship. Dana can’t sleep well that night, so she goes to wake up Jamie to talk about her problems. Hmmm. That’s never a very welcome idea. But when she goes to Jamie’s room, she sees her rocking and chanting around…and her face isn’t her face. It’s an old woman’s face! Dana creeps back to her room only to see Jamie come in a few minutes later. Jamie/old woman chant creepily again and pour powder all over the clothes Dana picked out for the next day (who does that by the way?).

Dana decides she needs to get out of that house! Unfortunately for her, her dad still doesn’t care about her and won’t come get her immediately. And worst of all, he calls Jamie’s mom to tell her that Dana accused Jamie of poisoning her! Ooo now Jamie hates Dana too. Jamie’s family starts to prepare to cart her off to the mental hospital, which I think is a little harsh. They make her stay home from school that day, but it works out perfectly because Dana can now search through Jamie’s room! She finds the spell Jamie was casting the night before. It was to make someone forget things! She figures out that Jamie was the one killing the girls but can’t imagine why.

Dana goes to confront Jamie that afternoon. She picks Jamie’s studio, I suppose for the drama. Against the backdrop of the burning kiln (aka hell) Dana sees three sculptures of the dead girls heads: Candy, Ada and Whitney. When she gets close, she sees it’s the girls heads FOR REAL! Ooo Jamie was out grave-robbin’!

Jamie transforms in front of Dana’s eyes to…you guessed it, Angelica Fear. She explains to Dana (so helpful!) that she’s been killing everyone who took her things from the Fear Mansion all those months ago. But I guess Angelica isn’t too picky, considering Dana wasn’t around back then…

Angelica tries to push Dana into the kiln, but due to some fancy footwork, Dana actually pushes HER into the fire! Angelica screams and lots of green and red smoke billows out. Then the door opens, and Jamie emerges. Unscathed? Apparently! Jamie doesn’t remember anything since her accident when she fell into a pit full of skeletons. Dana tells her the whole story, which kinda sounds really unbelievable. Especially if you don’t remember any of the incidents. Like, if you woke up next to a kiln, you’re burnt, you’re surrounded by decapitated heads, and you’re cousin that you haven’t seen in years is bending over you, telling you that you did this while being possessed by a spirit? I would kinda just BEAT IT. Dana totally looks guilty.

The book ends on a creepy note when the three decapitated girls re-animate and start to chant “The evil lives! The evil lives!” Does it? I guess we’ll find out in… Darkest Dawn!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Moonlight Secrets or "Nate is Surprisingly Cool With Cockroaches"

Fear Street Nights Series! These little gems are pretty fantastic, mostly because they were written in 2005. What? I know! They have cell phones and everything. (Sidenote: Anyone read the updated Sweet Valley High books? They have cell phones too… which makes everything super tricky, because most of the shenanigans those girls got into could easily be solved by having a cell phone. So the story would always have to have a line about their phones being dead, or I think one time a cell phone flew out a car window? Classic!)

Anyways, R.L. must have realized that high school kids aren’t really the goody-goodies by day, mass-murders by night that he had been portraying them for all these years. So he has added…underage drinking! Dum dum dummm!

Moonlight Secrets doesn’t really have an interesting cover, just a girl mid-dance(?) and a picture of a BAR. Which is called “Nights”. Again with the terrible names for people and things. This has Bobby Newkick and his “Bad to the Bone” band disaster allll over it.

The book starts from the perspective of our friend Lewis. He and his girlfriend Jamie start sneaking out after midnight to have the town to themselves. They call themselves “The Night People”. UGH, really? Like 17 year olds would call themselves something that lame. Anyways, more and more kids start hanging out with them, wandering the streets at night. They would often end up on…FEAR STREET.

Since this book takes place a couple of years later, we find out that most of Fear Street has been torn up (that’s a bad idea if I ever heard one). They are getting rid of the neighbourhood to build a huge shopping complex. Soo, soon there will be Fear Streets about a haunted shopping mall? I feel a sense of déjà vu…

The last building to be torn down is the Fear Mansion. Lewis and Jamie and their friends start hanging out in the abandoned mansion, drinking beer and hooking up. Hey… that actually seems like something normal teenagers would do! One night, one of the juniors that hangs out with them, Shark, takes a tumble and discovers a hidden room! It’s full of jewelry, gold, expensive clothes and books on the occult. Since the building is about to be bulldozed, they figure it doesn’t count as “stealing” so they all loot the place.

It turns out that Lewis’ girlfriend Jamie is kinda obsessed with the occult. Her cousin died a few months earlier, and this girl promised Jamie to reach her from the dead. Hey. That is a promise that I want NO ONE to make to me. Any of you die? Don’t promise to come creep the fuck outta me later. I don’t want that. But Jamie was really into it, so she makes Lewis go back to the mansion after its been torn down, because all the ghosts will have been disturbed. Sounds about right.

They bring a tape recorder, and while they don’t hear anything at first, when they listen to it back in Jamie’s room, they realize they recorded a voice. FROM BEYOND. The voice says “If you took what’s mine, you’ll pay”. They have no clue what that could mean. REALLY? After raiding that same spot like 2 days previous? They couldn’t put these pieces of the puzzle together? UGH. I would be shoving the shit I took back into the smoldering wreck of a mansion as fast as I could.

They decide go back for more creepy voices since Jamie is convinces her cousin would try to contact her there. They don’t hear any voices but they do find a pit. Full of bones. Yikes! Instead of hauling ass outta there, Jamie decides that she really wants to see this cool silver pendent with blue stones on it…. (o we know what that is!)

Jamie predicatablly falls into the pit of bones. Surprisingly though, the bones come to life and start to strangle her! Ah! I see we have a “supernatural” Fear Street as opposed to the “regular, crazed murderer” Fear Street. Good to know. Lewis tries to fight the skeletons off Jamie, but ends up being choked too. The chapter ends with the pit collapsing on Jamie and Lewis, most likely killing them both.

One Year Later

Here, I’ll do you guys a favor and tell you up front that we’ve changed perspectives. Now the narrator is Nate, a senior at Shadyside. R.L. didn’t let the reader know this lil fact, so I read like 2 chapters thinking it was still Lewis and being ultra confused. (Although that I’m looking back, I realize that they were called the character Nate, and it’s my fault I didn’t catch on sooner. Whoops!)

Anyways. Nate is at the new Shadyside bar called Nights. Built right over top the Fear Mansion. Nate is friends with Shark and goes to hang out with him in the back booth. But before he can, Nate needs to kiss the picture of Simon and Angelica Fear. Apparently it’s tradition that everyone kisses it. Blech. I would so not kiss that thing.

Nate kinda gets us up to speed with “Nights”. The bartender Ryland knows that they all have fake IDs but he doesn’t care as long as there’s no trouble. And him and all his friends (The Night People) sneak out every night and come drink there WITHOUT permission from their parents!

Jamie comes into the bar, which I guess means she survived her brush with skeletons! She walks with a limp, and doesn’t remember the accident, but besides that both her and Lewis are fine. Which I guess is pretty lucky! She sits with Shark, Nate and this HAWTie Nikki and Shark tells the table how he screwed over his ex-girlfriend. I guess this girl, Candy, dumped Shark and then wanted him back. So he told her to meet him at the movies, but never showed! Ha.Ha.Ha. Hilarious. No one has ever stood up a date before.

Oooh, he also changed his voicemail to “Have a nice day, Candy, you slut.” Which is actually pretty brutal because everyone else who called him would get that message too! After he finishing telling this story, guess who storms into the bar? No other than our lovely lady Candy. She is mega pissed off. Jamie momentarily destracts her by asking about her cool pendent necklace! Candy says she got it at a store, and then goes back to being crazy. She exacts revenge by…making out with Shark? O wait, its so violent that she basically rips off his lips and has blood running down her face. Blech. When she takes off, Shark and Nate go outside and throw bricks at her car. Nate’s smashes in her back window and she vows revenge. Never a good idea to get into a revenge-match with a woman with blood running out her mouth…

Candy makes Nate and Shark pay for her broken window (did she have to pay for Shark’s medical bill?) because she threatens to tell everyone’s parents about The Night People. I’d call her bluff. No one would willingly piss off that many people. Shark pays for it though and decides to exact MORE revenge! This time by putting Candy’s face on a pic of a pig and sending around the school. Really? Is this the 1890s? I’m sure Shark has some sexting photos from Candy on his cell phone. Common now.

Somehow they track the picture down to Nate’s computer, and rather than rat out his friend, Nate takes the blame. And Candy’s wrath. She confronts him at Nights but Nate isn’t very apologetic. He should have been. Cindy watches him from another booth which smiling and playing with a pendent around her neck. With blue stones… And then Nate starts pulling cockroaches out of his mouth. BAH! Again with the cockroaches! He leaves the bar and pukes cockroaches everywhere…

The next day he seems fine though… did he forget what happened? He doesn’t even bother to explain it. He, Shark, Jamie and their friend Ada decide to skip a class and go down by Onononka River to hang out. It seems fun, until they try to leave. Then when Nate tries to back out onto the road, the car will only go forward. And the brakes won’t work! So they take a lil dip in the good ol’ Onononka! Ada, Nate and Shark all manage to get out, but Jamie has a little more trouble. As in she’s trapped and they have to go back to rescue her lifeless body. They actually manage to revive her, and she of course, doesn’t remember anything. Jamie decides that Candy is a witch that has put a curse on Nate. I would stop hanging around Nate.

Suspecious things continue happening around Nate. Candy extends an olive branch to him and Shark, and invites them to a party she’s having. Right after they laugh in her face and say no way, blood starts spurting out of both of Nate’s ears. Splashing Shark and Ada and everyone else around. Blerg. Also, when they’re friend Galen comes into Nights to tell Nate that he’s “figured it out” his lips get stuck to the portrait of the Fears. Like to free himself, he rips off his lips and they STAY ATTACHED TO THE PORTRAIT. That might be the grossest part of the book.

When he’s finally able to talk again, Galen tells Shark and Nate how Candy has been doing all this legitimately evil witchcraft. He found a pic of Angelica Fear and she’s wearing the same pendent that Candy wears! Unfailable proof of eviltude, for sure!

The next night, Shark, Nate and Nikki (the girl Shark is kinda dating) decide that they have to break into Candy’s house and steal the necklace so she can’t be evil anymore! That’s not really the kind of date I’d want to go on with someone I was casually seeing. It’s oddly easy to break into Candy’s house, as there is a ladder leaning up against the side. It’s like they’re asking for it. All goes well for our young robbers, and they manage to get the necklace from Candy’s room. Unfortunately… she wakes up. And is pissed off at the Break and Enter! She and Shark struggle for the necklace. Candy manages to grab it back… but unfortunately takes a tumble down her stairs. (I’m always telling you guys. Never lunge at the top of stairs/cliffs! You always go over!)

Candy breaks her neck on the way down. She also broke…the pendent. Turns out it was just a cheap metal and plastic knockoff! It wasn’t really evil magic at all! The book ends with our three thieves and now accessory-to-manslaughterers fleeing the scene. And realizing that Candy wasn’t to blame… O and then Nate finds a slaughtered pigs head in his bed. TO BE CONTINUED!

So this one was good right? I always enjoy a good supernatural one.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Sitter or "A Lame, Long-winded Version of The Babysitter Series. With Sex."

Many apologies to our Shadyside Fans! It has taken me absolutely FOREVER to read this book. Apparently October is a crazy busy time for me. Who knew? I also blame The Sitter. This book was ridiculous, three times as long as a Fear Street and with itty bitty print. I swear, it was like R.L. was punishing me for all the things I’ve said about him in the past year. I said them out of love!

So yes, this book was about ANOTHER babysitter. WTF is up with R.L. and his love of torturing babysitters? You know this didn’t sit well with anyone who came over to look after little Matthew. But The Sitter is hugely different from Fear Street books, mostly because it’s pretty much an Adult book. Or a pretty racy YA book. R.L. not only mentions sex, but ORAL sex as well as having an almost gratuitous sex scene! Yewoza. I know. You’re picturing R.L. writing a sex scene, aren’t you? You perv.

The book centers around Ellie, a troubled young woman, looking for escape. From her shitty job, from her offensive ex-boyfriend, from her mother, etc. Her best friend Teresa gives her the idea to get a job in the Hamptons for the summer. While in town on a different job interview, Ellie runs into a woman named Abby, who immediately gives her a job as a nanny. No references or anything. Well. That seems …unusual.

She meets the kids, Brandon and Heather, pretty soon and moves into the Harper household. The husband, Chip, is consistently drunk and constantly hitting on Ellie. Great work environment. Also: a few months previously, Brandon, who is four years old, became mute. He pretty much just stares and nods creepily. Ellie thinks that luckily Heather, who is two, is very cute. Yeah. Except she’s TWO and two-year olds are never cute for long. Then they’re snotty and cry-y.

Remember how I mentioned Ellie was a troubled girl? Well we find out why. When Ellie was 17, she was in a car wreck with her high school boyfriend Will. While she made it out pretty unscathed, Will was killed. Ellie has spent the last seven years blaming herself for Will’s death. Except she wasn’t driving, so that seems pretty self-involved. Or, maybe that’s just how people react, I wouldn’t know, I rarely kill people.

Unsurprisingly, creepy stuff happens around the house, mostly centered around Brandon The Mute. He shows her his pet chick, but squeezes it to death in his hands. Which, okay, has probably happened before. But most kids don’t throw their heads back and laugh manically after doing so… Also, when Brandon and Heather are playing down at the beach with a big group of kids, Brandon The Mute STABS a wounded bird. That’s certainly traumatizing.

Ellie’s day doesn’t get much better when she gets sent flowers in the mail. O I know, flowers sound so lovely! Just the thing to pick up your day! Unfortunately for Ellie, these flowers were spray painted black and were full of COCKROACHES! (Sidenote: Blerg, I have only seen one cockroach in my life and it was SO GROSS. I was in Jamaica, and my instinct reaction was to stomp on it as hard as I could. Only after did I think “Well thank GOD I’m wearing shoes right now!” Lack of foresight.) Ellie seems to think that it might be a sick joke from her obnoxious ex-boyfriend, Clay. He still calls her all the time, trying to get back together. So obviously, he thought the Flowers of Death would do the trick!

Later that week, Ellie runs into an elderly woman, Mrs. Bricker, who was the nanny before Ellie. She warns her away from the family. Mrs. Bricker also forces Ellie to have tea with her and listen to her ghost stories about the Harper place. Basically, about a 150 years ago, this crazy old sailor build the Harper guest house out of materials stolen from coffins. That’s never a wise idea. The old sailor’s wife left him, and he began sleeping with the nanny, Ann-Marie who became like a mother to the sailor’s son, Jeremiah. Then Jeremiah caught Ann-Marie having an affair with good looking Italian (who was probably not old and crazy like the sailor). Jeremiah (who was four, BTW) decided to heave a whaling harpoon at the nanny and Italian while in flagrante, only it killed the Italian instead of Ann-Marie who he was aiming for. Oh and all this happened in the guest house made of coffins. Now Mrs. Bricker thinks that Brandon is possessed by the spirit of Jeremiah. You know, usually I call shenanigans on ghost stories, but that one might actually convince me. A house of COFFINS?

We find out a lil more about our poor Ellie. She meets a handsome fella named Jackson at the bar one night, but while out with him, she sees Will (her dead ex) and takes off after him. That’s kinda hard to explain to a date, dontcha think? It turns out that when Ellie and Will were in this horrible accident, Ellie had actually grabbed the wheel before they crashed. Well, now her guilt makes sense! She is totally responsible for Will’s death. Not just self-involved! Whew.

Even the high of meeting a new guy can’t keep our poor Ellie happy for long though. The next day is her birthday and she gets a cakebox in the mail! She thinks it’s from her mom, even though her mom is totally insufferable. Except… whoops, looks like someone sent Ellie the hand of Mrs. Bricker as a present! Let’s certainly hope that’s not from her mother.

Most unfortunate events happen to the Harpers and Ellie. Brandon tries to drown Heather in a lake (isn’t that how most siblings play?) and Ellie’s ex-bf, Clay, comes to the Hamptons to win her back. And by win her back, I mean shows up belligerently drunk. And get in a fight with new guy Jackson. And then tries to run Jackson and Ellie off the road with his SUV. He IS a catch!

The day after almost get driven off the road by Clay, Ellie actually sees him in town. He’s all “Hey! Sorry I was so drunk the other night, that was embarrassing!” After getting over the shock of how PSYCHO this guy is, Ellie loses her shiz on him. She yells at him about the flowers, and fighting Jackson and running them off the road and yes, she even suggests she cut off poor Mrs. Bricker’s hand! (BTW, Mrs. Bricker survived. Pretty badass, if I may say so.) Clay looks confused about everything. He also points to how his SUV is undamaged, and wasn’t even in town during the whole Ms. Bricker-hand debacle. So Clay is pretty much in the clear. Still crazy, but not hand-cut-off crazy.

Soon comes the final straw for Ellie. She had gotten her mom to send her Lucky, her childhood pet. She comes home one day, and sees the carrier on the doorstep. So excited, she opens it… and it’s only Lucky’s head. Someone decapitated the cat! (One pet murder – check!) Ellie slowly realizes the only person home that day was… Chip, the pervy father! She checks his SUV and yup, it’s all damaged, probably from attempting to run people off the road. She does some more sleuthing (which she or THE POLICE should have really done early) and notices that both the flowers, and the cakebox which had the hand were both sent to her by CHIP HARPER. So, she goes home to pack her bags right? Or just hops on the next bus outta there, right?

NOPE. First she confesses all to Abby, Chip’s wife. Abby is all “Aww, not again!” Say what?? Yeah, Chip isn’t taking his “meds”. Abby asks Ellie to stay a few more days, while she makes arraigments for Chip. You know. For the kids. Abby promises that she’ll protect Ellie. From the man that has already decapitated a cat and MAIMED A WOMAN! Of course Ellie agrees. Because she is an absolute fool.

She decides to compound her foolishness by bringing Jackson back to the GUEST HOUSE OF HORROR after a date and having sex with him there. REALLY? (FYI: this is also the oral sex scene. Bah!) Of course they get interrupted by the pitterpatter of little feet. Only then does Ellie decide it’s “creepy”. Ugh. Ellie deserves whatever is coming for her. When she goes to check on Brandon, it get’s creepier. He speaks for the first time in months. He says “I saw you.” and “Don’t call me Brandon. My name is Jeremiah” in a creepy, raspy voice. Yup, that seems about right. Oh and the next day, he doesn’t remember, or talk, but he does uncover a skeleton in the backyard! It was just a dog skeleton, but seriously, HOW is Ellie still there?? She can’t be doing it for the kids because they are UBER creepy!

That same day, Ellie is looking out the window when she sees someone who she thinks is Jackson. Then she thinks she sees Chip, running towards Jackson, and suddenly, Chip stabs Jackson! (And THAT is why you don’t hang around foolish girls). Ellie runs outside to save Jackson. Chip is already gone, and Jackson turns out to be…Clay. So while sad, not really that sad. Because Clay was still a crazy stalker.

Ellie looks around to find Chip (why) but instead finds a pretty big shock. Inside the guest house is: Will! Who survived the car accident, albeit with some pretty hideous scars and now lives in the Harper’s guest house? And carries some pretty big resentment against Ellie. I guess he blamed her for the crash too! Looks like Will and Abby are secret lovers, and Chip has no idea that Will has been living in the guest house for months. She asks if he’s been torturing her the past few months. He seems surprised, saying that he just wanted her out of his life forever. He wasn’t doing the crazy things. So that leaves…

Abby. Okay it gets confusing here. Abby comes in, taking credit for all the evil stuff that’s been happening to Ellie. Apparently, Abby and Will were high school sweethearts until Ellie came along and stole Will away from her. And to add insult to injury, Ellie didn’t even recognize Abby the whole time! So that pushed her a lil over the edge. Abby and Ellie start grappling, while Will watches, kinda confused. He said didn’t know anything about Abby’s plan, but you’d think he’d lend a hand. To either of them!

As they’re wrestling, creepy Brandon the Mute comes floating in the guest house, and picks up a whaling harpoon. Then he transforms into a creepy ginger kid (of course the evil kid is a Ging), who I’m guessing is Jeremiah. Brandon/Jeremiah heave the harpoon and spear Abby! Abby rolls off, injuried and the Ging kid turns back into Brandon. Who can suddenly talk normally and is very confused. Ellie asks Brandon to get help for his mommy, and Brandon tells Ellie that Abby isn’t his mommy, but his NANNY. WHAA?

So Chip finally comes around. (BTW, Abby stabbed Clay. So Ellie just has the WORST people recognition skills. Ever.) It comes out that he and Abby had an affair the year before and his wife Jenny caught them. Abby told him that Jenny had run off after catching them. Yeahhhh, that was a lie. Turns out, Jenny is buried right underneath that dog skeleton! So Abby’s been crazy for a while then?

Let’s recap. Abby and Will have been together since the crash. Abby becomes the Harper’s nanny, has an affair with Chip, kills his wife and convinces him to marry her. While she’s with Will. And this is ALL before she even saw Ellie. So when she saw Ellie, she immediately decided to hire and torture her. While Will lives secretly in the guest house?

Questions: Why would Abby kill Jenny the year before? She had no idea Ellie would be coming into their lives. Also: Why don’t Abby and Will just live happily ever after? I mean, I know it sucks that he has a scarred face. But people with scarred faces can have normal lives, they don’t need to live in creepy guest houses like a low-budget version of the Phantom of the Opera.

And why did R.L. feel the need to combine a good old fashioned revenge murderer plotline with a convoluted ghost plot line? I guess maybe since this was an “adult” book, he felt he needed it to be more confusing.

All in all, this book took FOREVER to read. I wasn’t a fan. And I also never want to read “And then, still holding each other, we were on the bed, and I lowered my lips down his body…” in another one of R.L.’s book again. EVER. You know where it goes from there. I give this book 12 poor decision to stick around out of 31. FAIL.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Heart of the Hunter or "A Lesbian Fear Street?! ... No... Not At All..."

Ahhh the Sagas. Can I just say that I am so glad that this is the last Saga I ever have to read? As someone who enjoys historical fiction, these are seriously killing me. FOR REAL. I’ve developed some sort of sniffle while reading this. I choose to think of it as an OMG-how-many-effing-sagas-did-R.L.-write cough. All in all, this book was kinda insane/great but I am DONE.

This one varies slightly from the formula because it’s told from the perspective of a boy, although his name IS Jamie. (Sidenote: For the first chapter I thought Jamie was a girl. And then I read about Jamie’s crush on Laura. And for the BRIEFIEST of moments, I thought R.L. had written a lesbian Fear Street. Then I came to my senses, since Fear Streets don’t even effing DRINK, they certainly don’t experiment with their sexuality. But how great would that have been!?) Heart of the Hunter though, is also about werewolves! Kinda! And Indians! (for our Canadian readers, let me just make it clear that Indian is apparently NOT an offensive word. Still. Aboriginals!) And pioneering! So really, I shouldn’t be complaining. At least it isn’t about Vampires (cough*L.K.*cough)

The cover depicts our hero’s second love interest, Whispering Wind. Which is funny, since she’s in like 6 chapters in the middle and then gets horrifically murdered. Maybe Fear Streets with icky boys on the cover don’t sell? P.S. I love her dress. And hair. I think I might have a crush on Whispering Wind…

The book starts with Jamie FIER and his parents on the road (in a caravan of covered wagons! I don’t know why that excites me…) to Kentucky in 1792. His mother desperately didn’t want to leave their home in … Eastern what-was-to-become-the-U.S. but Jamie’s father, John, made them, since they were starving. Jamie’s mother keeps saying they’re gonna die in Kentucky since the Fier’s are cursed! (So where does it matter that you live then?) On the road, Jamie voices-over his extreme lust for the beautiful Laura GOODE and how much he’s annoyed by her younger sister Amanda. Lucien Goode, their father, hates the Fier’s because they’re good at rationing, and therefore still have food and everyone else doesn’t. What’s the reasonable plan then? Well, Lucien wants to kill John and his family for the food, so John whips out his gun to protect his stuff… and predictably shoots his wife. Whoopsie!

So John and Jamie continue on the trail, sans mother/wife, while John slowly goes crazy. Eventually, their wagon breaks but no one will help them fix it or let them ride with them. The Fier men are abandoned. To add to their bad luck, John wanders into the woods that night and gets MURDERED by a wolf! (So… worse for John, still bad for Jamie). Not even eaten though, just cold-blooded murdered. Wolf ripped his throat out and left the delicious man-meat.

After Jamie discovers his poor, crazy father’s remnants, he’s promptly captured by some Native Americans. I give R.L. some props because the tribe, the Shawnee, actually did live in the area that is now Kentucky! I was almost expecting him to create a fictional tribe called the “Shawfear Streetnee”. Which would have been awesome. The warriors take him to see an elderly woman named “Whithering Woman”. Who hurriedly drinks his blood and proclaims him to be the “chosen one.” Wayyyy to give Aboriginals a bad name there, R.L. By “chosen one”, this means he’ll be the one that will find the buffalo herd, and save the tribe from starvation.

Except… he’s not really good at that. The next few chapters are about how Jamie gains acceptance into the tribe by competing in something called the Warrior’s Gauntlet. Where he needs to run through a group of them and avoid their tomahawks. Easy! He obviously passes and over the next few months becomes a member of their tribe. He also falls in love with Whispering Wind. But since she is all in love with the chief of their tribe (who wouldn’t be?) he doesn’t really stand a chance. Until the crazy old Whithering Woman offers him a solution.

She tells him that she has a way to make Whispering Wind fall madly in love with him. The price? HIS SOUL. He oddly agrees rather quickly… The solution also involves drinking blood (he wonders whose blood it is, but then decides it doesn’t matter. It ALWAYS matters whose blood it is!) and again, there are very few reservations. In a few moments he begins to transform…into a wolf! Whithering Woman tells him that now, as a wolf, he’ll be able to find the buffalo herd, and impressed Whispering Wind (seriously, that was the plan all along? Impress her with buffalo?) She also adds in the warning that he’ll only be a wolf on the full moon nights, but if his true love ever sees him in this form… he’ll be a wolf forever! Way to come through with the fine print after the deal is done there, Whispering Woman. Jerrrk.

Anyways, Jamie finds the buffalo, and thank GOD Whitering Woman’s plan worked, so Whispering Wind falls in love with him. They get married immediately (as you do) and live blissfully… until the next full moon. Where Whispering Wind follows him outside, sees his transformation, and goes to tell the tribe! Jamie is in such an animalistic rage (get it?) that he rips out her throat. Not soo funny. He doesn’t, however, stay a wolf. Whithering Woman laughs at him, saying that Whispering Wind wasn’t his true love, because there was magic involved (OBVS)!

Jamie pitches a fit and leaves the tribe. Over the next while, he lives off the land and slowly becomes more wolf-like after every full moon. Eventually he stumbles upon a familiar smell: Lucien Goode! He decides to take revenge for his parents, and for the shitty life he leads now (although I think its kinda his fault since he traded in his SOUL and all).

For a few months, he tortures Lucien by killing his animals and making sure his family starts to slowly starve. After Lucien posts a notice saying he’ll pay $500 in GOLD to anyone who can stop the wolf that’s been hunting on his property. Jamie goes to the Goode’s house, where Amanda remembers him (and still Luuuurves him) and Lucien and Laura don’t want him around. Jamie says he’ll kill the wolf for Lucien… but he wants one of his daughters for marriage instead of the gold.

So here’s Jamies plan. Make Amanda think he wants to marry her, because she has some school-girl crush on him. Kill some other wolf, tell Lucien it’s the wolf that stalking him, and then when he offers one of his daughters, Jamie will choose LAURA. Since Laura hates him, she will be miserable, and so will Amanda because she will be heartbroken. Then he’ll kill Lucien, and take all his money. And maybe kill Laura and Amanda, he really goes back and forth on that idea.

Jamie pretty much pulls this plan off! Kills wolf, marries Laura, and on their wedding night, kills Lucien. All good right? Except… when he investigates the house after murdering Lucien, he notices that Laura is DEAD too! She died after being poisoned by Amanda! Man, Amanda does not like lose hey? Amanda finds him, and confesses that she’ll always love him, even after what he did to her. Even though she killed her father. And she killed Laura. NUTTERS.

Jamie starts to panic since it’s the full moon (of COURSE it is) and he’s about to change into the wolf! If his TRUE love Amanda sees him, he’ll be a wolf forever! He charges out of the house… and into a cage. Apparently, Amanda knew all along that he was a werewolf since Whithering Woman used to be their housekeeper when she was little (random). Jamie changes into a wolf in front of Amanda, and knows that he is trapped like that forever. Amanda says that it may not be the way she imagined it, but at least they get to spend the rest of their lives together! Do you think she knows that wolves only live around 20 years?

And END OF SAGAS! Woot woot! Now that these are done, I’m really excited to start on the seniors and some of the other rando Fear Streets we’ve collected. Heart of the Hunters was pretty fun to read, to be honest, and who doesn’t love a good pioneering book? I give this book 35 wolf-murders out of 49. Not bad!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Taste of Night, or “Undead Bar Stars”

I seem to be continuing on my vampire theme for the next little bit. The Taste of Night is the sequel to Dangerous Girls. Click here to catch up on what those naughty quasi-vampire twins have been up to lately. I just have to say that this book is NOT written chronologically, but builds suspense by giving away the ending first. Ooh, R. L., way to use the big guns in this one. Maybe it’s because it’s not a Fear Street, and he wanted to be a bit fancier with this.


Destiny is all sad that her sis, Livvy, chose to become a vampire, instead of being a good little girl like her. She is also sad that Livvy stole her boy of choice and made him a vampire too – how very rude of her. Her dad (Dr. Weller) has been working into the night to find a cure for vampirism, because he is (rather randomly, I think), the “Restorer”. However, he really wears two hats in the community, because he is also the chief vampire killer in town. Lately, Dr. Weller has been feeling that his two roles conflict with each other, and has decided to concentrate on only one of them – killing. The vampires in town have been getting out of control, and the good townspeople have decided to ambush them in their apartment building, the morning of the full moon. (Sidenote: everyone knows the vampires live in this one building? Why don’t they just go burn it down? C’mon guys, think!)

The morning after the full moon, the vampire hunters go into the building to stake all the sleeping vampires, instead of doing something sensible like torching it. Dr. Weller finds his other daughter, Livvy, asleep. He’s all sad about the sacrifices he has to make, but is determined to kill her to. He goes to kiss her goodbye, but she wakes up and throttles him.

One Month Earlier

Vampire Livvy is hanging with her vamp besties, Suzie and Monica, in their apartment. They are going out clubbing that night, and getting ready, like all girls do before they go out clubbing, only without the use of mirrors. It is the night of Livvy’s graduation, and she’s kind of spun about it, but she won’t admit it.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Destiny is being a mopey suck at graduation about staying in town to go to community college instead of going to Dartmouth. She feels she can’t leave her father and brother in the state that they are in. She goes home with her boyfriend, Ari. When they get to her place, they find all her walls are painted with images of black demons. Apparently, her little brother, Mikey, really lost it when Livvy became a vampire, and is convinced alternately that he is a demon, or is catatonically terrified of everything. Delightful little guy. D is convinced she needs to find Liv, to bring her home to provide some closure for her family.

Ari and her go out to a nightclub that night. Ari used to be a big fantasy nerd, but apparently finding out he was right about all that stuff snapped him out of it. Now he’s cool, and uses a fake ID to get beers. Destiny tries to have fun, but is still a huge Debbie downer. She’s so dull Ari gets drunk and leaves her to go have fun elsewhere – namely all over some cute redhead. D is now both mopey and pissed, and leaves the club.

Meanwhile, in same nightclub, Livvy realizes that Suzie has her vampire claws in Ari, and thinks it’s kind of funny. She is all over some hot college guy named Patrick. The vamp girls’ mantra is: The hotter the guy, the richer the blood. So, they are like total undead bar stars. Livvy decides that Patrick is too hot to die, and that Ross, her former lover she turned into a vampire, is history. She goes outside to wait for Patrick, and bumps directly into her twin.

D pleads with Liv to come home, while Liv tries to get her to fuck off. Eventually, she just goes to bite D, which gets through to her as she flees her undead twin. Patrick comes out then, and Livvy puts on her sexy face. They go to the woods and Liv goes for the bite – only to discover that Patrick is a vampire too. That must be a majorly embarrassing mistake for a vampire. Patrick tells Livvy he likes her, and he’s going to shake things up in town now. Liv is interested.

Destiny starts her new sad-girl job as a waitress, at a diner on the college campus. She gets even more depressing there. I really prefer her bad-girl twin. Seriously, D needs to lighten up. She goes to apologize to Ari after work, for being depressing I guess. She gets a pretty big shock, though, since Ari was found dead the night before, his body drained of blood. Destiny wonders whether it was her sister.

Two Weeks Later

There’s a new short order cook and the diner, Harrison, and he is HOT. He’s a sophomore at the college, and they immediately start seeing each other. Not everything is looking up, though, since Dr. Weller tells Destiny he’s going to kill all the vamps in town, including Livvy. D must do something, so she heads to the vampire apartment (that everyone knows about) and tries to warn Livvy. Instead, she runs into Ross. Ross is pretty depressing too. He hates being a vampire, and wishes he could see his family again, because he’s homesick. Awww. Destiny and Ross reminisce about the good old days – then she warns him that he and Livvy have to leave the apartment.

Livvy watches D leave, and is suspicious of what she was doing there. Actually, she thinks her twin is having an affair with her vampire boyfriend, until she goes to their room and finds his stake-riddled corpse (or, whatever it is that vampires have when they die). She’s pretty mad at D, and ready to go riddle her with stakes, until she runs into Patrick. They make out a bit, which is appropriate in the circumstances, I think. They plot revenge. Livvy spies on D, as a mouse in the diner. She gets lusty feelings for Harrison, and decides to turn him into a vampire to get back at her sister.

At a party at Harrison’s, Destiny is having an awesome time, thinking college won’t be so bad. Until Harrison is gone for awhile, coming back with the beer she had asked for, but hadn’t actually asked for. Dun dun DUN! Realizing Liv is at the party, she goes to talk to her, only to see a bat flying away. Livvy returns to her apartment, to find Patrick waiting for her. He tells her she will never be truly immortal until she can get rid of her human feelings. She must get over her love for her sister, and he has the perfect plan – he’ll turn Destiny into a vampire. So that he can have the hot twins to himself! I’m surprised that Livvy goes along with this plan, but he encourages her to go after Harrison, so she’s okay with sharing.

The next morning at the diner, Destiny meets a cute but intense TA from the college – named Patrick. He asks her out for Friday, and makes D feel all floaty and weird until she agrees that going out on Friday would be excellent. That same Friday night, Livvy goes out with Harrison, pretending she’s Destiny. She’s having more fun than Destiny, who has to break her date with Patrick because her brother’s babysitter cancelled. Patrick forces her to agree to go out on Sunday – the night of the full moon, the only night someone can become a vampire.

Saturday morning, Harrison comes skipping into work, raving about their awesome date last night. Destiny sees the pinpricks on his neck, and knows he saw her sister instead. It must sting a little that her sister got her boyfriend so worked up. I mean, she’s already stolen one guy from her, right? But there must be something to it – I suspect Livvy is way more fun to be around.

Saturday night, Livvy finds her friend Monica staked in her apartment. Patrick and Suzie are struggling, fighting to the death. Livvy watches in horror as he stakes her, for being weak like the rest of them. Liv immediately realizes that Patrick killed Ross all along. The plan to turn Destiny and Harrison is to test how bad she really is. If Livvy doesn’t go through with it, she’ll likely be the next to wake up with a stake in her heart.

The night of the full moon, Destiny stands Harrison up at the movies – he goes to her house to see what’s up. Meanwhile, Destiny is out with Patrick, dancing at the club. They decide to go on a romantic moonlit walk through the park. Patrick eagerly bites her, then reels back – it’s actually Livvy! She tries to stake him, but they struggle and he’s stronger than her. She transforms into a bat, then transforms back lightning quick to get the jump on him and stakes him.

On to Dr. Weller, killing vampires in the apartment. He sees Livvy, and goes to kiss her one last time, but she wakes up and grabs him. It’s actually Destiny – she took her twin’s place in order to save her life. Although, wouldn’t it have been better if neither of them had been in the apartment, so neither would have been in danger? No matter – the girls saved each other’s lives that night, because love is more powerful than death and vampirism.

The next night, Livvy comes as a blackbird to see Destiny. Mikey comes in to see her – Liv lies and tells him there’s no such thing as vampires, she just ran away from home. Destiny wants her to stay, but Livvy has had a taste of night, and can never go back. She flies away. Destiny and Harrison are reunited, with much explaining as to what happened. They live happily ever after, or at the very least hopefully a little less depressing.

Okay, I appreciate what R. L. did here, teasing us early with Livvy attacking Dr. Weller. I wouldn’t call it masterful, per say, but I like where he was going with it. Destiny is like the worst character ever, and would probably be much better off if she just loosened up a bit. Taste of Night did not live up to Dangerous Girls at all, I thought. I was kind of bored, and wanted the girls to get over themselves and do something interesting. Well, that’s a sequel for you – never as good as the real thing. I give this 23 richly-blooded hot guys out of 38.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

One Last Kiss, or “Another Generic Vampire Love Story Have We Not Have Enough Of These Yet”

Let’s take a look to analyze this cover, shall we? I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume this book is about VAMPIRES. I’m comfortable with this assumption. What I can’t get over is what is going on with this girl’s teeth? Girl is probably Eleanor Rawlin, who (according to backflap) just wants an ordinary life but is pulled into a life of vengeance against all vampires. Has Eleanor been eating dirt? Why are her teeth all grey and nasty. She makes me kinda queasy, and her necklace does not go with her dress. I don’t like her.

Shadow Glen, Colony of Virginia, 1730

Poor Eleanor, life is very hard for her. Her mother was murdered by vampires when she was very young, she doesn’t even remember her. Now her and her father flee vampires, moving often, never long enough for Eleanor to make a friend. And her father makes her wear a necklace of garlic, to boot. To top it all off, Eleanor doesn’t even believe in vampires – she thinks her father was driven mad with grief after his wife’s murder, and now thinks monsters were behind it.

Shadow Glen is where Eleanor was born and her mother was killed. Eleanor has made a friend, Annie, and has been invited to a ball at the Fier Manor, so she’s pretty unhappy when her father forbids her to go, and tells her they have to move once again. Poor Cinderella, cries herself to sleep because she can’t go to the ball.

She is woken by a carriage pulling up to their house, and a strange man slipping into their garden. She sneaks into her father’s study to eavesdrop. The man tells her father he’s not safe, there’s no way he can take on the vampires. Eleanor is shocked this man believes in vampires and seems to hate them more than her father. The man sees Eleanor and their eyes lock. The handsome young stranger decides Eleanor is too pretty, the vampires will be after her for sure.

Eleanor scoffs at him, until strange man is introduced as Trevor Fier. Eleanor then hopes her invitation to his ball won’t be taken away. But, he thinks she’s cute, and they (obviously) fall in love. After Trevor leaves, her father warns her to stay the hell away from Trevor.

Eleanor intrigued that someone other than her father believes in vampires, so she reads the journal Trevor left behind, supposedly containing everything he knows about vampires in it – The Journal of Richard Fier, an ancestor of Trevor’s.

Wickham Village, Massachusetts Colony, 1624

Richard Fier has just become a vampire, and is writing about the experience. He met a beautiful woman last night, and she ate him up. It’s an age old story.

Eleanor wakes up, having fallen asleep over the journal. Her father comes in, shouts a bit, then tells her he’s inviting Trevor over for dinner. So Eleanor pops into town to pick up a turkey, where she runs into her friend Annie, an indentured servant from Ireland. Annie tells her she believes in vampires, and Eleanor does some more scoffing. Until she’s walking home at dusk, and the wind starts whispering her name. Actually, the “wind” calls out: Eleanor Rawlins, you cannot escape us. So, probs not the wind, Eleanor, just a heads up. Once again that night she sneaks into her father’s study to read more of Richard Fier’s journal:

Wickham Village, Massachusetts Colony, 1625

Richard finally gives in and feeds on another man. His beautiful vampire lady friend, Gwendolyn, serves up a terrified miller for him to snack on. But Richard refuses to take his life, and runs for it. He comes upon a wild board and drinks that instead. He cries at his fate, even if vampires have no tears to shed. Wah wah wah, whiny vampire.

Eleanor falls for it, feels she is falling in love with the sensitive vampire who refuses to eat humans. Swoon, how romantic … wait, have I read this somewhere else? Hmmm. Also, isn’t in convenient that she is falling in love with the man who wrote the journal, an immortal, while also feeling naughty feelings for this immortal’s “descendant” of 100 years later?

Trevor Fier comes to dinner and asks her to invite him in. Yup, Trevor is totally the vampire. Also, he won’t eat the dinner she prepared. Because he wants to snack at her neck, I’m gonna guess. Trevor and Eleanor’s father get to business about vampires. Dad wants to know how to kill them. He realizes his daughter is miserable, and just wants the vampires dead and be done with it so they can lead normal lives. Trevor says there is no way, that Eleanor will die if she stays in Shadow Glen, just like her mother, then storms out of the house.

Eleanor rushes out after Trevor, only to immediately get lost in mist. So, Eleanor is fairly useless. Someone grabs her, but it is only Trevor. He is all brooding and lonely, then starts making out with her, then runs away. Sigh, how romantic. No, wait, actually who would want a boyfriend like that? Eleanor goes home all hot and bothered, only to find her father had been staked and lies bleeding to death on the floor. His last word is “Trevor…”

Trevor runs into the room, and Eleanor assumes he killed her father – no more of this vampire crap. Somehow, within a page, Trevor convinces her vampires are real, they killed her father, that they had been after her since her mother died, and were waiting for her to grow up. Basically, she’s screwed. That’s a lot to take in in one page, but Eleanor does remarkably well. It only helps that Trevor spends the night to protect her (ooh la la!).

She’s woken the next day by the Reverend – Trevor took care of all the funeral arrangements for that afternoon. Only her friend Annie shows up for the funeral, and most of the town makes it clear they’re happy the crazy man is gone, suggesting it would be better for her if she were to disappear too. Pretty callous bunch in Shadow Glen. Also of note: Trevor does not show up for the daytime funeral he arranged.

That night a devastatingly beautiful woman breaks into Eleanor’s house. She’s Priscilla Fier, the hostess of the Fier ball. Priscilla brought Eleanor some food stuff to help her get by. In the middle of the night, like a normal person. Priscilla is very sweet, and insists that Eleanor, little pauper that she is, move to Fier Manor. Ooh, nothing’s going to go wrong THERE.

Eleanor moves in that night, to the palatial manor that is more like a prison. There’s tons of servants around, and Eleanor’s poor head is turned by all the luxury. Once settled in her room, she feels safe for the first time in the long time. She doesn’t wake up until mid-afternoon. Trevor is shut up in his study and can’t be disturbed until dusk. “Study” totes means “coffin.” She is given breakfast at dinnertime, which is really the best dinner ever anyways. Mmm, breakfast for dinner. She passes the time reading Richard’s diary.

Wickham Village, Massachusetts Colony, 1627

Richard is needing more and more blood, as Gwendolyn brings over more people to the darker side of night. Richard continues to kill only animals, although he is mocked for it. Richard tries to kill himself by staying out in the morning sunlight, but is too much of a pussy for that. So instead he gets up in the middle of the day and stakes Gwendolyn. Oops, I totally thought Gwendolyn was Priscilla now, guess I was wrong about that. Anyways, Richard is all torn up about murdering someone, vampire or not.

Eleanor is saddened by what she reads and runs to find Trevor in his study. She finds the room dark and empty, but she also finds a mysterious secret passageway behind the bookshelves. So cool, I’ve always wanted one of those. The hallway is narrow, dark, and covered with slime and foul odours. It leads underground the manor, to a small chamber with one coffin in it. Guesses as to who’s in it?

Poor little Eleanor is shocked, shocked, when Trevor wakes up in his coffin and pronounces he is actually Richard Fier. But we already knew that, so no surprises for the reader. Eleanor’s candle goes out, and she’s left in the darkness with a monstrous (but hot) vampire. Richard/Trevor gets all sexy with Eleanor’s neck, and asks her if she wants to join him … in immortality.

She freaks, and he jumps away, lighting a candle. He tells her he only got all sexy with her to prove he could hurt her – but never would. Oh, swoon. Who doesn’t want a potentially abusive boyfriend? Eleanor, walk the hell away. Of course Eleanor doesn’t walk away, but tells him he’s so sensitive and wonderful. I wonder if he sparkles? Eleanor then tells him she’s going to find her father’s murderer and kill them. Trevor lunges for her and starts shaking the hit out of her. Then he proclaims his love for her. Jesus, it didn’t take long for that abusive behaviour to start, did it? He tells her he didn’t kill her parents, and they make out for awhile.

They get back up to the study eventually, and Priscilla interrupts them. She realizes Trevor is in love with Eleanor, so they must marry immediately. Priscilla decides to throw them an engagement party. Eleanor’s kind of like – wait, what? I’m marrying a vampire? Oh, but I luuurve him, and he’s sooo wonderful, this will be fine!

At her engagement party, everyone comes dresses as a vampire, because they are “all the rage in Paris.” Priscilla claims she doesn’t believe in actual vampires, despite living with one. It’s all just a masque. The punch is blood-flavoured, which is nasty. Maybe that’s how her teeth got all stained and gross on the front cover. Eleanor is creeped out by everyone there, sensible girl. She goes outside to find Trevor, who confesses his eternal love, then goes to hunt. Eleanor goes into the hall, and stumbles over the body of a heartless man. As in, someone has removed his heart.

Trevor and Priscilla get really mad, demanding their vampire-obsessed guests to leave. I mean, don’t they know how rude it is to gore up the help? Trevor picks Eleanor up, claiming he’ll do anything to protect her, although admits it looks like the Fier Manor might have some security issues. She gets a little freaked by him, but he assures her he didn’t kill the man, and she would have to trust him. So she does, la la la. He brings her into the kitchen and leaves her again. Eleanor finds the heart roasting in the coals of the oven.

She finally flees the manor in the daylight to find her friend Annie. Unfortunately, she finds Annie under a bridge, frozen in the river, as a storm blows up. Trevor finds Eleanor as night falls, and gets them, and the corpse, to shelter, then heads out into the winter storm to get help – leaving Eleanor alone with Annie’s corpse. Not for long, though. Annie wakes up.

Annie the vampire tried to drink Eleanor’s blood, claiming immortality is awesome. Eleanor pushes her into the sunlight, and Annie finds immortality to be very quick indeed. The Fier’s driver comes to rescue Eleanor. She realizes she must see Trevor again, and goes down to his coffin room to visit his corpse. Only, the coffin is empty! Priscilla finds her there, and is all – what the fuck is this place? Getting over that pretty quick, Priscilla asks Eleanor to help fix the hem of her dress, but when they go to the mirror, Eleanor sees only her reflection.

Priscilla the vampire gets all seductive, and tries to turn Eleanor. She runs away, only to be grabbed by a massive bird who takes her to the roof. Only the bird is actually Trevor. Eleanor gets all mad at Trevor for bringing her close to another vampire, but then she learns the truth … Priscilla is her mother! Priscilla loved being a vampire, and was in charge of this whole operation. She had been waiting for her little girl to grow up to turn her. Trevor was the lucky vampire with the mission to turn her, but he fell in love with her instead. Priscilla is more powerful than him, and she joins them on the roof. She goes to drink Eleanor’s blood, but Eleanor fights her off and pushes her off the roof – to be staked on an iron stake. That just makes her kind of mad, and slows her down some.

Trevor wakes up, but is weak. He tells her to kill Priscilla, and takes her to her mother. His last message to her is: I have always hated what I became and I will always love you. They try to force Priscilla into the sunlight, but she manages to stake Trevor. Eleanor goes into mad rage and tackles her vampire mother, who tries to drink her blood again. Trevor gets up enough strength to take down Priscilla, as they both burn up in the morning sun. As Trevor’s flesh is burned away, he pulls Eleanor in for one last kiss. Hot.

Kind of a gag-worthy romance, wasn’t it? Eternal love, blah blah, I’ll die for you, blah blah. I kind of love that Priscilla was Eleanor’s mother, and was a bad ass vampire the whole time. And it was good that Trevor died in the end, big heroic sacrifice, these eternal love stories are always better with poignant endings, dontcha think? 10 flesh-decayed kisses out of 14.