Last Vampire 6: Creatures of Forever by Christopher Pike
Title: The Last Vampire #6: Creatures of Forever by Christopher Pike
Summary: Alisa has fought every battle, against evil, against hate, and even against death itself. Now she nears the end of her incredibly long life and another unexpected force emerges to destroy her, or perhaps save her. But this force… is unlike anything she has experienced before. It seems to emerge from another place, another world, where demons are potential saviors and the future of mankind is already wrapped in the ash of a forsaken hell. This force, these strange beings, present Alisa with hard choices. To save herself, or to save others and risk losing even her own soul. These beings push alias into a place where even the perfect fear to tread.
Tagline: Now heaven spoke to her … and hell.
Once again, none of this seems familiar enough that I think I’ve read it before, and yet it sort of does at the same time. This was the last one published in the 90s, and I can’t actually imagine I wouldn’t have finished the series, but the past couple have felt familiar only in very small ways, so … I have no idea if I’ve read this before or not.
Doesn’t really matter, we’re going to have a wild time of it.
ALISA GODDAMN BEST IN THE WORLD PERN, THIS IS YOUR LIFE.
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Title: Ghosts of Fear Street #23 – “Why I’m Not Afraid Of Ghosts,” A.K.A. “Let’s Scare Oliver To Death!”
Author: Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Cover Artist: Broeck Steadman
Tagline: Boo Who?
Summary: The Ghosts With The Most!
Robbie and Dora are the spookiest ghosts on Fear Street. At least, they think they are.
Until Oliver Bowen moves into their house.
Oliver can’t be scared! The kid has an explanation for everything. The sheet rising off a chair all by itself? Only the wind. The howls and moans at midnight? His sister having a nightmare. The horrible face in the attic window? Just a weird reflection.
But Robbie and Dora have a plan. A plan to scare Oliver out of his socks – and out of their house for good!
I’ve had a recap in mind for this one since last year but I had trouble fitting it into the schedule. I managed to purchase this book back when there were a handful of “Ghosts of Fear Street” volumes still in-stock at Barnes & Noble. I remember ordering this one because it’s the only one that seemed interesting.
It truly is one of the best in the series because it’s one of the few books told from the point of view of the villains, even though Robbie and Dora aren’t really that bad. There’s a whole set of rules established for what they can and can’t do as ghosts that’s not really explored in the other books.
Nina Kiriki Hoffman is believed to have also ghostwritten two entries in the Goosebumps franchise, specifically “Return of the Mummy” and “Deep Trouble II,” even though Stine claims he wrote all of the books himself. I haven’t found any info that denies or confirms that info, but I do know she also wrote “I Was A Sixth Grade Zombie,” a later entry in this series which I also love and will be recapping in September.
Fair warning Wing, Oliver has a pet tarantula, but it doesn’t feature too heavily into the plot.
[Wing: Did Stine have a pet tarantula or something? They keep showing up in his books.]
Last Vampire 5: Evil Thirst by Christopher Pike
Title: Last Vampire #5: Evil Thirst by Christopher Pike
Summary: Alisa’s daughter, Kalika, a bloodthirsty monster with powers far beyond Alisa’s, is gone. It is Alisa’s task to track her down and destroy her.
Yet Alisa still has trouble believing her daughter is totally evil. She still hopes to save Kalika, even if it means risking her own life—and perhaps the lives of everyone in the world.
Tagline: She had the power of a demon.
I’ve been thinking about it, and I could have sworn I’ve read this one, too, but again, I have no recollection of what happened or where this is going. Also, I’m about to do some travelling and so have been writing a bunch of recaps so I can schedule them before I go; if I sound weird in this one, that’s probably why. Finally, I hope I don’t have to type that title too often, because I’ve already typoed it as Evil Thirsty. Twice.
Again, that cover looks super familiar, so if I haven’t read it, I must have owned it, but if I owned it, I would have read it — my brain my brain my brain.
Title: Graveyard School #13 – Tales Too Scary To Tell At Camp, a.k.a. “1001 Graveyard School Nights”
Author: Tom B. Stone, a.k.a. Nola Thacker, a.k.a. D.E. Athkins
Cover Artist: Cam De Leon (U.S. Cover), ???? (Lithuanian Cover)
Summary: Warning: Don’t Read This Book In Your Bunk!
These thirteen chilling stories will send you screaming for cover. From howling heads to shrieking stalkers to larger-than-life lice – read about the unnatural, the bizarre, and – worst of all – the unexplained.
Stay near the campfire. The scariest creatures of all might be right behind you!
As thanks for putting up with my depression last month, I’ve chosen to do recaps focusing on some of my favorite books which means another short break from the chronological order. I just wish I had some commissions to add to this one.
“Tales Too Scary” is special in the Graveyard School series because it’s the only entry that’s an anthology of stories. Unlike the “Tales To Give You Goosebumps” books, this one has a framing story encompassing the first and last chapters, and a features an eclectic grouping of the GS cast including my favorite, Jordie “The Human Computer” Flanders. The situation’s a cross between “Hansel and Gretel” and “1001 Arabian Nights” which of course captured my interest right away.
One of the stories is interesting because it’s told in three parts by three different storytellers.
You wanna believe I began the draft for this last year after I was officially made a recapper by Wing? I couldn’t wait to share this with all of you.
Also, I simply had to include the Lithuanian adaption’s cover artwork because I can’t tell if it’s horrible or amazing.
As a head’s up Wing, there IS a story with bugs, but it doesn’t include spiders.
[Wing: Thanks for the head’s up. I personally adore the Lithuanian cover, though that doesn’t really answer the whole horrible or amazing question, because either, both, whatever, I would still adore it.]
Title: Goosebumps – The Ghost Next Door
Author: R.L. Stine
Cover Artist: Tim Jacobus
Tagline: There’s a strange new kid on the block…
Summary: “How Come I’ve Never Seen You Before?”
Hannah’s neighborhood has gotten a little-weird. Ever since that new boy moved in next door.
But when did he move in? Wasn’t the house empty when Hannah went to sleep the night before? Why does it still look so deserted?
Shes not getting any answers from her new neighbor. He just keeps disappearing in the oddest ways. And he’s so pale…
Is Hannah being haunted by…
…the ghost next door???
[Wing: Adorable summary.]
Now we’ve reached one of the true classics of the original series, the tenth of the first twenty books back when Stine was still establishing the trends and style of the franchise. For those who’ve read the early books, you know already a number of them had an atmosphere that hasn’t been properly revisited in any of the later works. They seemed to carry with them a sense of real despair and fear before Stine began to realize the books might’ve been too scary for kids. [Wing: Which is a shame. Kids are better at scary things than adults want to give them credit for handling.] I think he’s mentioned if he got the chance he’d rewrite “Welcome to Dead House” to make it funnier. Which I hope he never does.
This one’s got a twist in it most people might already be familiar with considering it was adapted for the trading card series, the TV show, as well as the movie. Well, I’m not spoiling it for new readers just yet, and since I don’t have any commissions related to this one I’m gonna be scanning the three trading cards depicting certain scenes. Luckily they were illustrated by Walter Velez, who provided some of the best artwork for the card series.
This is also going to be the last post in my series of discussions on my best friend’s death, and I feel like I dragged the discussion on for too long beyond “Magic Fire.” I’m sorry.
Title: Shivers #24 – The Ghosts of Devil’s Marsh
Author: M.D. Spenser
Cover Artist: Eddie Roseboom
Summary: BIG GHOULS DON’T CRY…
Samantha should keep smiling. Otherwise, tears of fear might ruin her summer and probably her life. But the summer was already bad news. There she was on the coast with her cousins. Boy cousins, always around, acting like—well, boys. But cousins can be cool!
Especially when you might need them to save your life. Is that cozy coastal town they’re on really haunted? Could be! That might explain all those strange things Samantha sees and hears.
It gets stranger and stranger when Samantha discovers the shocking truth behind the terror. Will all the cousins stay safe and sound or is it the beginning of the end for everyone?
LISTEN FOR THE VOICE OF DOOM!!!
You guys will remember the previous “Shivers” recap as one of the darkest books I’ve reviewed so far for this website. While this book isn’t necessarily as dark as “Weirdo Waldo’s Wax Museum,” I chose it because its primary theme is regret. And with the theme I’ve worked on for April 2017, an attempt to do some self-analyzing about my best friend’s death, the regrets in this book obviously hit close to home, otherwise I wouldn’t have chosen to recap it.
The villain in this feature has got to be one of the most understandable and relatable villains I’ve found in these books. Saying anything further would spoil what comes next.
Last Vampire 4 Phantom by Christopher Pike
Title: Last Vampire #4: Phantom by Christopher Pike
Summary: After five thousand years she was again mortal.
The dead alchemist’s experiment has worked. Alisa is no longer a vampire, but a frail and confused human. Not only that — she is pregnant. The baby grows in her at supernatural speed. As the stranger watches. The stranger from the past.
But what child will Alisa’s seed produce?
A demon or an angel? Alisa does not know.
But the stranger does. He nows everything that ever was.
And he knows everything that is to be.
Tagline: The monster might be an angel.
Again, I remember nothing about this book, though I’m almost certain I read it. (It’s possible I didn’t, but I know I read book #3, even though I didn’t remember anything about it, either, and there’s very little chance I didn’t pick up the next book after that cliffhanger.) If the trend from the earlier books continues, this will be weirder and more entertaining than ever. (Also, I remember this cover, if nothing else about the damn story.
Title: Goosebumps Live On Stage – Screams In The Night, a.k.a. “Hello, Slappy!”
Author: R.L. Stine (Based on stage play by Rupert Holmes)
Time for another long lost Goosebumps treasure, though this one’s slightly better known than “Haunted Library” and “Surprise on the 13th Floor.”
In the late 90s there was briefly a Goosebumps stage show, though I was barely aware of this since I was like 8 or 9 at the time. I’ve never seen a performance, and I don’t know how long the show ran. Hell, I’m not even sure how I got this book. I think it originally belonged to my sibling back in elementary school, but like so much of their shit, it ended up in my possession because they stopped caring about it.
There are four stories in this book, a wraparound tale and three short stories that feature the same cast of characters. The first and third stories are weird, the first coming across like a rehash of “Stay Out of the Basement” and the third some prototype for the “Goosebumps Horrorland” series. I prefer the second story out of the bunch.
The book came with some illustrations by Tim Jacobus. Unfortunately, due to the size and spine of the book I’m unable to make scans without doing serious damage.
[Wing: I’m still boggling over it getting a stage show. What I wouldn’t give to see it today!]
Title: Driver’s Dead by Peter Lerangis
A rather prolific author, Peter Lerangis has been writing for decades, although if you go to his website the farthest back you’ll find is his The Watchers series. No mention of his Point Horror writing that I can find. Seriously. Not even his Wiki page goes beyond his Watchers series. Don’t worry. I believe I’ve found them. Titles include DRIVER’S DEAD, THE YEARBOOK, and X-ISLE. Seems like he doesn’t want the taint, maybe? Or it’s just that his various other series have done so well there’s no need to put that retail work on his resume any longer. [Wing: Those the books I’ve found by him, too (with X-Isle being a two book series). He also ghostwrote some of the Baby-Sitters Club books.]
Anyway, he has a weird thing for the Vietnam War in this book, and I don’t know why. The premise seems to hinge on a “crazy” Vietnam vet and one of the characters being a refugee from the area and trying to find his parents. It’s just the date seems really off. The book was published in 1994. That’s a big, lingering gap for Vietnam relevance. It was just weird. It didn’t necessarily seem forced, but the timing was off enough that it really stood out.
Also every. Single. Chapter. Ends on a cliffhanger. All of them.
Nightmare – dead ahead.
Kristen’s not a very good driver. And the driver’s ed classes aren’t helping. No matter how hard she tries, she just can’t get the hang of being behind the wheel.
Rob’s a very good driver. And he wants to give Kirsten a few tips on how to improve her driving. But after the first session, Rob turns up missing.
Kirsten is beginning to realize that this class may be a little more than she bargained for. A class that may drive her crazy – or to death.
That is . . . Really bad. One, it’s vaguely relevant to the plot. It just leaves out a whole shit ton of applicable details like Rob being a shitbag, the fact that he doesn’t turn up missing, but dead, and the story actually doesn’t center around the class itself. Driver’s ed precipitates a lot of the events, but the class is really more of a passing thing. The contest is really the driving force behind this (pun intended), along with, you know. Being haunted by a dead kid that’s screwing with her head.
Title: Mermaid Saga Part 3-4 – The Village of the Fighting Fish
Author/Artist: Rumiko Takahashi
This immediately isn’t one of my favorites stories in the series. While two of the characters are pretty cool, it doesn’t really have the same horror feel as the other tales. The tone and setting comes across similar to Takahashi’s other series, “Inuyasha.”
It also seems weird she’d do a story about Yuta’s past, long before Mana was in the picture, as the immediate second tale after the opening two parts.
I’m not sure how you’re gonna feel about this one, Wing. I don’t think you’ll like the ending, but I do think you’ll like the bad guy.
[Wing: It does seem like a strange choice to do a backstory so soon after the series begins.]
Evil twins, Wing and Dove, and their friends recap Point Horror and other teen genre fiction.
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