Title: Graveyard School #7 – Slime Lake, a.k.a. “Protect The Environment! Or I’ll FUCKING KILL YOU!”
Author: Tom B. Stone, a.k.a. Nola Thacker, a.k.a. D.E. Athkins
Cover Artist: U.S. – Cam DeLeon, U.K. – ??? [Wing: That UK cover is something else!]
Tagline: “You’ve Been Slimed!” (U.K. Version)
Summary: Don’t Go In The Water!
Marc and his twin sister, Terri, are excited about spending the summer at their uncle Nicholas’s lake house. Even though their uncle is an old grouch, Marc and Terri enjoy the lake and their summer friends in Grove Hill.
But this summer is different. Suddenly the once placid lake has motorboats, fishermen, and crowds. Even worse is the gross green slime that’s been popping up on boats and docks and swimmers. When Terri goes for a swim and doesn’t return, Marc wonders what exactly is lurking under the water…
Hey Wing, so a little good news/bad news for you. The bad news is this book doesn’t have werewolves. The good news is it’s got your other favorite thing, twins!
(Terri and Marc by zackdoesalotofstuff)
[Wing: I think you may be overestimating my excitement for twins at this point, thanks to Sweet Valley, but Terri and Marc are super cute!]
This is the first and only book in the series to have twins as the main characters, and it’s also one of the books that heavily feature a message about environmentalism.
Slime Lake was previously referred to in the last book, “Camp Dracula,” but now we’re gonna find out just how gross it really is!
Continue reading »
Title: The Last Vampire #3: Red Dice by Christopher Pike
Summary: Alisa and her former FBI partner, Joel, learn of a government plan to capture them in order to steal and analyze their vampire blood for the purpose of duplicating it, and when Joel is caught, Alisa risks her life to free him.
Tagline: This time the world hunted her…
I remember nothing about this book. I know I’ve read it. I’ve probably even read it multiple times, though not since my early 20s, if not even before that. But I have no idea what the plot is here, or even who, besides Alisa, is around.
ALISA NEVER GONNA DIE BECAUSE I’M GODDAMN PERNE IS BACK.
Let’s do this.
Title: Last Vampire #2: Black Blood by Christopher Pike
Summary: Believing that she and her partner, Ray, are the last remaining vampires, five-thousand-year-old Alisa is stunned when she learns about a series of brutal murders in the United States that can only be the work of their own kind.
Tagline: The wave of death spread like a plague…
I know I’ve read this one before, but I have no memory of what happens. Apparently, my memory, like the last book, ends in that cliffhanger of whether Alisa will live or die. I mean, I’m assuming she lives, considering there’s still a number of books to go, but I suppose Ray could be the new last vampire. But I doubt it.
Reminder: Last book ended with Sita: breaking her vow to Krishna and making another vampire; blowing up Yaksha, her creator; accidentally getting impaled by a piece of wood; and potentially dying in true peace because she realises she didn’t actually break her vow to Krishna.
ALISA I’M BETTER THAN ALL Y’ALL PERNE ROUND TWO.
Title: Graveyard School #6 – Camp Dracula a.k.a. “The Purple Bear Jamboree”
Author: Tom B. Stone/Nola Thacker/D.E. Athkins
Cover Artist: Barry Jackson
Summary: Camp At Your Own Risk!
Welcome to camp – Camp Dracula, as Jeep Holmes jokingly calls it. [Wing: JEEP.] Jeep may be joking, but he isn’t laughing. He can’t take this weird new summer place! Never mind that the counselors always wear dark glasses and the activities are all at night. What bothers him most are the other campers, a bunch of sickly-looking creeps who like to keep bats in the bunks! Why did his parents send him to this horrific place? Will Jeep make it through the summer without going batty?
And now we get back into the chronological order of things (at least for a little bit), but hey, this is a vampire book, and what goes better with February than vampires?
This is the first book in the series to take place outside of the school and Grove Hill, and the first summer-themed story. I mentioned there were only two camp-related books, and it’s interesting it would involve vampires since they’re nocturnal by nature and camp tales take place mostly during the day. This is also the first to have a protagonist who can be genuinely grating on the reader. It’s admittedly one of the few books I haven’t reread as much.
But you’d be surprised at the use of Dracula references.
[Wing: I love summer camp stories and vampire stories and Dracula references, and that cover is adorable. I’m excited.]
Title: Graveyard School #26 – Little School of Horrors
Cover Artist: Mark Nagata
Summary: It’s The Most Horrifying Time Of Year In Grove Hill – Back-To-School Time!
Back to school.
Ghouls rule. Teachers drool.
Dead things walking are nothing shocking.
Blue is new at Graveyard School. But he knows right away that he’s going to class at Creep Central. Just look at the teachers. The principal. Even the janitor. But worst of all, look at the kid who wants to be Blue’s best friend. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
Welcome to Dead Kid 101.
[Wing: This summary made me laugh. I’m delighted.]
Looking at the cover Wing you can guess why I picked this for your b-day month, and lucky for you this is also one of my favorite books in the series.
What’s weird about it is this book has got some world building shit going on, and the way it reads you’d THINK it would’ve been the first in the series. It gives a much better sense of how big the sixth grade class is, even for a small town, which puts it at odds with the Fear Street Seniors series for how it only focused on a handful of the 12th grade class and then made sporadic, frustrating references to all the OTHER kids in the graduating class.
But this is frustrating for me because this was the third to last in the line, and none of the other kids introduced in this book appeared in “Here Comes Santa Claws” or “The Spider Beside Her.” I can’t help but wonder what Thacker might’ve had planned for this series if #28 wasn’t the last. God knows I still have some notes from way back in high school on ideas I had for stories with these guys.
And we also get a look at racism through the eyes of a kids horror book!
[Wing: I do love the surprise on that cover, thank you! It’s strange that this isn’t the first book in the series, or that the world building here wasn’t included in the first book, at least. Though, I did like the pacing on the first book, and this information might have slowed it down.
No matter what, I’m super excited about this!]
Title: Goosebumps Series 2000 #17 – The Werewolf in the Living Room
Author: R.L. Stine
Cover Artist: Tim Jacobus [Wing: That is one of the creepier werewolves I’ve seen in cover art, and that includes on adult horror novels.]
Tagline: Home sweet horror.
The creature had the face of a wolf. And the back and chest of a man.
He stared at me with those black, gleaming eyes. He curled back his thick lips. I stared in horror at long, curved fangs.
Then – before I could run – the werewolf leaned back on his haunches.
Raised his head in a fierce howl.
And sank his fangs deep into my skin.
Surprise, Wing! It’s your favorite thing! WEREWOLVES. I know you mentioned reading “The Werewolf of Fever Swamp,” but I decided to go with one of the books you were less likely to have read before. At least, I hope so. [Wing: Good call! I’ve never read this one before, and I am so, so excited about it.]
The Goosebumps 2000 books were Scholastic’s attempt to revitalize the series for the new century, even though they were published three years before the actual millennium. [Wing: … strange.] The books definitely have a tone and feel independent of the original series, but overall were a bit disappointing compared to the first 62 books. They were more heavy on stuff like blood and vomit, and many of them were broken into separate parts. They got two Slappy books, an official sequel to “One Day at Horrorland,” and a spiritual sequel to “Ghost Camp.” Two books, “Bride of the Living Dummy” and “Cry of the Cat” were adapted into TV episodes, and “Invasion of the Body Squeezers” got a follow up under the “Give Yourself Goosebumps” line. The last book in the series, “The Incredible Shrinking Fifth Grader,” was cancelled before it got released, and R.L. Stine re-purposed the script for a separate book. Thankfully, Tim Jacobus sent the Goosebumps wiki the unused but completed cover art.
The 2000 books as a whole have largely been ignored following the revitalization of the franchise, with one or two exceptions. The Body Squeezers, the Haunted Car, and the Graveyard Ghouls were featured in the movie, so the books including the latter two got reprinted in the “Classic Goosebumps” line. Meanwhile, “Creature Teacher” got a sequel in “Goosebumps Most Wanted.”
So why did I choose this for you, Wing? First off, admittedly, it’s a seasonal thing. One winter a couple of years ago I began acquiring more entries in the 2000 line, this one, “Full Moon Fever,” “The Haunted Car,” “Horrors of the Black Ring,” and it sort of, I dunno, I get comfortable reading them during the last week of December and the earlier weeks of January. Beyond that, well, before you walk into this unwarned, there’s plenty of talk about how one of the characters is crazy. I know you won’t like that, but I really think you’re gonna love the implications of the ending.
[Wing: We will see. I am damn excited about the werewolves, though. I’ve never read any of the Series 2000 books.]
Title: The Last Vampire by Christopher Pike
Summary: Alisa Perne is the last vampire. Beautiful and brilliant, she hunts alone, living among humans, living off humans. But someone is stalking her. Someone wants her dead. And Alisa has a choice to make – to keep a long held promise or protect the mortal she seems to be falling for.
Tagline: This time someone is hunting her…
Oh god, here we go. Five years into recapping on Devil’s Elbow, and I’m finally spending an entire year focused on my favourite of the 80s and 90s teen horror authors, Christopher Pike. I’m saving my absolutely favourite books for the end of the year, but first, I’m taking on The Last Vampire series, which is significantly longer now than the first time I read it.
Note: There’s a lot of religion throughout this, particularly centered around Krishna and Vishnu. I do some basic research as I read, but I have very little knowledge here. My guess is that Pike’s taking a ton of liberties. I think that reading this as an adult, it’s going to smack of cultural appropriation, so keep that in mind when you read the book and this recap.
I loved this series growing up, especially the first book, but oh my god, does it get weird. So weird. Complicated and twisty and fun, but weird.
Though I’ve reread a lot of my Pike books often, this is not a series I read more than the first couple books obsessively, so I’m excited to go through the entire thing again.
2018: The Year of Christopher Pike. Let’s do this.
Title: Graveyard School #22 – Boo Year’s Eve
Summary: A Scary New Start To A New Year…
It’s New Year’s Eve. As Jordie and Jessica Flanders are coming home from a visit to their grandmother, their bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Ordinarily Jordie would be bummed. But she’s been invited – and forced to go – to perfect Polly Hannah’s New Year’s Eve party. Compared to that, the middle of nowhere isn’t so bad!
The passengers take refuge at the nearest house – an old mansion. At first Jordie thinks it’s cool, but when she stumbles onto a party of ghosts, she’d do anything to get out and get to Polly’s party – alive!
There was no way on God’s green Earth I was gonna wait two years to recap this book. A lot can happen in two years and, with that blowdryed, spray tanned serial rapist xenophobe in control of nuclear launch codes… shit I made myself sad.
This has long been my first and foremost favorite entry in the entire series. I’ve saved this one and several others in a box that’s ready to pull out in case of a fire, because chances are I will never find another copy anywhere. I got lucky back in 2004 and was able to purchase this separately of the bulk lot I found on eBay. It’s my favorite for a number of reasons:
(Jordie Flanders by Nanihoo)
Jordie’s another kind of little shit I love, and she’s forced to deal with someone who exhibits her worse traits. Now granted, there’s some of that “Crazy Means Dangerous” shit, I’m not gonna lie, but I love how tense the climax is. And that ending!
[Wing: Not looking forward to that part, but Jordie sounds amazing so far, and I can’t wait.]
Title: Spinetinglers #7 – Snow Day
Author: M.T. Coffin, a.k.a. Robert Hawks
Cover Artist: ???
Tagline: The Weather Outside Is Frightful…
Summary: LET IT SNOW!
The kids all cheer when the bus driver tells them the schools have just been closed because of the snow. But the bus can’t make it through the blinding blizzard, and soon they are trapped in the freezing cold school bus. Through the wind and the snowflakes, someone sees lights on in an old farmhouse – and it looks warm and cosy. But what they find inside doesn’t make them feel safe at all! Strange portraits with glistening red eyes stare down at them. And when the kids go to the kitchen for something to eat, they have to pull open the heavy steel door of the freezer… and that’s just when the lights go out!
Here we have another of the supposed Goosebumps knock offs I mentioned, but much like Shivers the Spinetinglers series is much more darker and slightly geared towards a more older audience than the Goosebumps books were. I found out about this series when searching through Mark Nagata’s website and discovered one of the covers he did for this line. The first entry I ever bought was “Camp Crocodile,” but I’ve only read that book once. I have a modest number of books from this series, but “Snow Day” is currently my favorite.
M.T. Coffin is a pen name shared by a number of different authors, though.
I got this book in 2008 as a Christmas gift alongside “Weirdo Waldo’s Wax Museum,” which was appropriate because this is also one of the darkest YA horror novels I’ve ever read. I was instantly drawn to this book because, snow days and haunted houses, I live for those kind of stories, but that summary didn’t prepare me for the true horror behind it all. And none of you are prepared either. You think I’m being cute for drama, but I am NOT.
Thankfully the book isn’t all plot. A lot of it is geared towards the characters interacting with one another and their responses to the situation they find themselves trapped in. But that means this can be a slightly difficult book because you need to really focus on reading it. The author went through a lot of trouble to make sure the readers paid attention to what’s going on.
Just so you know, even if you can see the ending coming, that doesn’t make it any less horrible.
And it begins, appropriately enough, with the apocalypse.
[Wing: I’ve never heard of this series, either, but it sounds amazing so far.]
Title: Class Trip II by Bebe Faas Rice
Summary: Hallie and her friends are lost, stranded in Holyoake—a small town deep in the mountains. A town isolated from the rest of the world. A town that time has forgotten.
At first, Hallie is charmed by Holyoake’s odd customs and old-fashioned ways. [Wing: LIES.] The townspeople are warm and friendly, and they’re eager to make Hallie and her friends feel right at home. They want to make sure that Hallie and her friends stay in Holyoake. Forever.
Tagline: Pack your bag…
Way back when I first recapped Class Trip, I talked about how I’d read Class Trip II and really enjoyed it, but had never read the first book. Had never even considered finding the first book, despite the fact that Class Trip II is very clearly the second book in a series.
So finally, years later, I read Class Trip. I enjoyed it — sort of. And now I’ve come back to Class Trip II, which I loved when I was a teen. Here’s hoping it holds up. (I’m reading an updated version, I think, so who knows how that will compare.) [Wing: Note from the future, I didn’t actually notice any differences, because I was so enthralled.]
Evil twins, Wing and Dove, and their friends recap Point Horror and other teen genre fiction.
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