Title: Go To Your Tomb – Right Now!
Author: Carolyn Crimi [Wing: What even is this weirdness, someone not Stine writing Fear Street. The horror. THE HORROR.]
Cover Artist: Mark Garro
Tagline: “Talk About Being Grounded!”
Summary: You Meet Some Weird People In The Fear Street Cemetery…
Like Luana. She just appeared there when Jack was taking a shortcut through the cemetery. She said she had powers. And she told Jack she could make him invisible.
Being invisible would be cool, Jack thinks. But he’s not sure he wants to go through with it. After all, how far can you trust a ghost?
[Wing: If you’ve read a single book or heard a single story about Fear Street, you would know that you can’t trust a ghost at all, JACK. Also, why do people keep hanging out in the Fear Street cemetery? You should all know better by now!]
My first foray into reviewing the “Ghosts of Fear Street” series, which is, as you could tell from the cover, “Goosebumps Meets Fear Street.” However, pretty much every book in the series was ghostwritten, and the publishing info before the title page informs you of the actual writer. I’m not familiar with Carolyn Crimi’s writing, other than she possibly ghostwrote “Fun With Spelling,” a Goosebumps short story.
I decided to pick a later entry in the series because no one ever reviews or talks about them. All the recaps I’ve found have only focused on the first ten or fifteen books in the series, so I thought it’d be more productive to shed light on the more obscure titles.
This is the first one to feature the redesigned logo and cover layout, with the title banner of haunted houses and ghosts similar to the revamped look the “Fear Street” books received. However, the new designed only lasted until the next entry, and then they were redesigned again with the CGI art up until the series ended. I have to say, the “Ghosts” series did a better job with the redesign than the Fear Street books did.
I didn’t expect to fall in love with this book the way I did because it’s so off the walls. I should mention for some reason the summaries given by the online book stores mention something about Luana really being a giant and I don’t know where that came from because nothing like that happens here.
Oh, Wing, you’re really not gonna enjoy the penultimate battle sequence. For about eight reasons.
[Wing: EWWWW WHY WHY WHY WHY IS IT ALWAYS THAT. (I really do appreciate your warnings!) I’d never even heard of this series until recently, and up until this moment, was tentatively excited, because I like Fear Street and Goosebumps (generally). NOT SO DAMN EXCITED NOW THOUGH, AM I.]
Jack Meyers is just having one of those days, man. The kind of day where everything that can go wrong will go wrong. See, Jack lives on Fear Street. He’s heard all the stories about ghosts, goblins, and creatures who haunt that street, and he knows the kids who HAVE seen them. So yeah, it’s made him a little superstitious, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, right? [Wing: So if you’ve heard all the stories, why do you take a shortcut through the cemetery? HUH? HUH?] He owns a rabbit’s foot, a fake silver bullet (would a werewolf be able to tell the difference?), and his silver ring designed in the shape of a spider, with eight glittering black stones for eyes. Jack believes in protection. Not like his best friend Connor the math wiz, who thinks there’s a logical explanation to everything. Connor’s cool and loose, he’s no fraidy cat.
[Wing: HOW IS THAT DAMN RING PROTECTION, JACK? HOW?]
Jack knew today would be a bad day because he forgot his spider ring at home, accompanied by the ominous herald of doom that was… getting served meatloaf at lunch. Connor doesn’t care, because he’ll eat anything, but Jack’s revulsion at the gray slab of “meat” on his tray makes him unaware Connor’s about to slam into him. Jack’s tray goes flying and *SPLAT*! Right on the chest of Mr. Lincoln, one of the teachers. Jack doesn’t care that his archenemy Penny Morris is laughing at him, but did Brittany Carson, the love of his life, have to see it too? After getting another serving, Jack’s distaste for meatloaf intensifies when it starts… talking to him? Now Jack’s hearing a voice claiming the meatloaf was made from one of the lunch ladies, and it begs Jack to avenge her death. Jack leans in and *FLASH*! Class bullies Mike and Roy Burger snap a photo of Jack talking to his meatloaf, with Penny revealing the walkie-talkie she used for the voice. As the Burger Brothers laugh at Jack and strut away with their incriminating photo, Jack promises to get Penny back the next day, but Penny’s not impressed and says she’s gonna fake being sick tomorrow. Things go from bad to worse. First Connor briefly trolls Jack into thinking Jack’s turned invisible. After lunch Jack learns the Burger Brothers made copies of the photo and posted them all around the school, with Penny putting some in the girls bathroom so Brittany Carson will see. Then Jack is unable to answer a math question during class, getting a lecture from his teacher about doing his work. Someone put this kid out of his misery.
Walking home from school with Connor, Jack moans what a miserable day he’s had, and Connor tells him he can’t let Penny and the Burger Brothers get to him. Connor says Jack has to stop being so gullible and superstitious so people won’t have an easy time tricking him like that. Jack decides to listen to Connor and declares he’s the New Jack Meyers, and he doesn’t believe in ghosts. At which point Connor suggests they take a shortcut through the Fear Street Cemetery, and Jack balks. Well that lasted, what, five seconds? Connor nags Jack into proving he’s turned over a new leaf by walking through the cemetery, despite how creepy it is. Connor’s going to prove there are no ghosts, so Jack goes with him. [Wing: … well damn, that is actually a believable reason for him to go through the cemetery. NEVER MIND.] Once inside, the two boys come across a rather large mausoleum, and Jack suddenly feels as though someone’s watching them. A rustling noise alerts Jack to unexpected company, and just as Connor warns him, something pounces on Jack! Thankfully, it’s a stray dog, but it seems something gave it a bad fright.
Connor wants to stick around to check out the mausoleum, and discovers an inscription underneath the carving of a girl’s face on the tomb door.
So this is the story, all about how
My life got flipped, turned upside down
Oh sorry wrong tomb.
For years and years
I’ve lived in stone
But you can set me free
Kiss my lips
To bring me back
That is my only plea
Connor dares Jack to kiss the lips on the stone face, because apparently the New Jack Meyers is into french kissing cemetery decorations. Jack asks if the Burger Brothers are gonna take his picture if he kisses the stone, to which Connor takes offense. Jack admits as much as Connor teases him, he wouldn’t go out of his way to publicly humiliate him. Deciding he wants Connor to stop his needling about being brave, Jack kisses the stone lips, and then quickly backs away when he realizes they’re warm and feel like actual human lips. Connor touches them and reports they’re cold. Disappointed in the New Jack Meyers, Connor decides it’s time to leave when Jack is sure he heard the tomb door open. Sure enough, once their backs are turned the boys suddenly hear a girl’s voice asking them not to go. They turn around, and a blonde haired girl in a blue dress is now standing in front of the mausoleum.
The girl says her name is Luana, and she’d been trapped in that tomb for centuries before Jack freed her. Connor’s not convinced, thinking Luana’s full of shit and is probably helping Penny and the Burger Brothers prank Jack again. Luana insists she doesn’t know anyone by those names, and tells the boys her story. Centuries ago, Luana and her family worked as servants for a powerful, evil sorcerer. Luana, despite knowing how dangerous it was, secretly read the sorcerer’s books and learned to cast spells of her own. Outraged, the evil sorcerer trapped Luana inside the mausoleum hundreds of years away from her family. Luana begs Jack and Connor for help to get back to her parents. Jack somewhat believes her, but knows from the look on Connor’s face Connor believes she’s making it all up. Connor tells Luana to prove she’s got magic powers, and Luana asks what they’d like her to do. Jack teases he’d enjoy turning invisible after the day he’s had, and Luana takes him up on the offer. Casting some words and moving her arms, Luana promises Jack and Connor will spend the next day totally invisible, from sun rise until sun down. Jack and Connor are unimpressed and depart the seemingly crazy girl. Jack dwells on Luana’s promise all throughout dinner, ignoring his older sister Carrie’s teasing before going to sleep with his lucky ring on so he doesn’t forget again. Come morning, Jack sequesters himself in the bathroom before his sister can hog it, but something’s wrong with the mirror. Jack can’t see his reflection, and that’s when he realizes Luana really did turn him invisible!
Carrie starts banging on the bathroom door to be let in, so Jack decides to fuck with her head first. He makes as much noise as possible while brushing his teeth, and then slowly unlocks the door to let Carrie in. Carrie is not amused, searching the bathroom and trying to figure out where Jack went. Jack sneaks into Carrie’s room and decides to have some fun with her antique porcelain doll. As soon as Carrie enters her room, Jack pretends the doll is talking to her. He moves the doll around, calling Carrie “dummy” and “idiot” and saying it wants new clothes. Terrified Carrie hops on her bed and calls for help from Mrs. Meyers, but she only thinks Carrie’s trying to get out of school. Jack does his best not to burst a gut laughing before he heads back to his room, where he learns any clothes he puts on automatically become invisible too. No naked misadventures for him. Jack figures Connor should be invisible too and walks over to his house, but makes the mistake of saying “Hi” to Connor’s mom when she opens the door. Mrs. Craig searches the front porch demanding to know who was talking to her, and Connor’s dog can smell Jack and tries to jump on top of him. Jack gets into Connor’s house and bumps into him. Connor says he’s been playing all kinds of pranks on his family, and Jack gets Connor to eat some humble pie by admitting the supernatural really does exist. Guess Jack’s not so gullible, is he?
[Wing: If they were just a tiny bit older, this book would go a very different way at this point.]
Jack and Connor brainstorm on what to do with their day, and Jack settles on making a visit to Penny Morris’ house. Seems Penny really did fake being sick to get out of class, so Jack wants to make good on his promise of payback. Inside Penny’s bedroom, they change the channels on her TV and blast music on her radio. Jack turns on her computer and sends Penny anon hate a decade or so before tumblr existed.
HELLO PENNY. ARE YOU REALLY SICK? OR DID YOU JUST WANT TO GET OUT OF THE MATH QUIZ TODAY?
DO YOU BELIEVE IN GHOSTS, PENNY? 🙁
Penny immediately freaks out and starts crying for her mom when Jack and Connor depart. Connor congratulates Jack on the computer trick, then says they should go to school after all. They can make sure their parents don’t find out they were absent, and they can have a LOT of fun.
At Shadyside Middle School, the first thing Jack and Connor do is remove their names from the absentee list in the front office so they don’t get in trouble. After erasing their names, Jack writes “Mike and Roy Burger” as revenge for the previous day. While making a pit stop in the boys room (oh God just imagine an stream of pee manifesting in front of the urinals), [Wing: OH SHIT DID NOT THINK OF THAT. I am dying.] the aforementioned Burger Brothers step in discussing how Jack obviously hasn’t shown his face after they humiliated him the previous day. Well, Jack HASN’T shown his face, so they’re kind of right. Jack and Connor decide to fuck with the brothers next, flushing the toilets and turning the faucets on the sinks at full blast. Nervously spook, the Burger Brothers are then scared shitless as toilet paper rolls float around them and wrap ’em up head to toe. The Brothers stumble out of the bathroom flat on their asses to the mocking joy of the student body.
Having officially avenged himself, Jack decides to get some lunch, but Connor suggests they check out the teachers lounge for some edible food. Disappointed at the lack of glamour in the teachers lounge, the boys are somewhat satisfied to see Ms. Parma brought some french bread pizza from home for lunch. Ha. Parma. Pizza. Wordplay. In the process of pinching Parma’s pizza (ooh that’s a tongue twister) Jack accidentally makes makes a mess on Mr. Lincoln. It provides Connor the distraction needed to swipe the food. Afterwards they cap off the day by starting a food fight in the cafeteria followed by convincing the band the auditorium is haunted. Bored with school, the two sneak into the indoor pool at the community center. Their water based shenanigans carry on until Jack notices that the sun has officially set outside. Remembering Luana promised the invisibility would last until sundown, Jack notices both he and Connor are still see-through, but thankfully their visibility arrives a few moments later. If only the boys hadn’t been caught by the building manager and some construction guys. Jack and Connor quickly try to scoop up their clothes and flee the building, wet and in their underwear. Cold and half naked, the boys head to their respective homes.
Jack says nothing of his invisible misadventures during dinner, and Carrie’s not saying anything at all, clearly still freaked by her dolly drama. It dawns on Jack that now he has to go back to the Fear Street Cemetery and fulfill his end of the bargain for Luana. Jack calls Connor later that night to discuss when they should meet Luana, but Connor wants jack shit to do with Luana. Connor points out he was already wary of her when they believed she was nuts, but since they know she IS magical, he’s fearful of what her powers are truly capable of. Jack protests they have to honor their deal, but Connor tells Jack the smart thing to do is forget all about her. Because even then, she said she needs help finding her family, and what can they do to accomplish that? They aren’t detectives or anything. Somewhat convinced Connor is right, Jack goes to bed thinking of Luana and begins to hear her voice calling his name from outside his house. He sees no one outside, but every time he closes his eyes he sees Luana in his mind and hears her voice. So much for forgetting the deal…
Jack goes to school the next day with his lucky spider ring, hoping it will help him get through the day without thinking of Luana. He makes a snide remark about Penny’s absence the previous day, but is otherwise unable to get Luana out of his head. What doesn’t help is that he’s seeing her face everywhere he turns. Connor tries to convince Jack this is a byproduct of his guilty conscience, and says he hasn’t been seeing or hearing Luana because he doesn’t feel guilty. [Wing: Or maybe it’s because you didn’t kiss the statue, Connor. And after seeing that she really does have powers, you now doubt that she might be supernaturally stalking Jack? Awesome.] Jack, for once, fully disagrees with Connor, and decides to meet Luana by himself to end his haunting. When classes end, Jack heads for the cemetery and the mausoleum to settle his business with Luana once and for all. Meeting Luana at the tomb, Jack insists he doesn’t know what she thinks he can do to find her family. Luana explains she doesn’t need him to find her family, but inside the tomb is something that can. She can’t steal the object herself because of a spell placed on it by the sorcerer who imprisoned her, but Jack can. The object in question is “A tiny, golden fly.” Jack figures that’s not such a big deal after all. Luana says she’ll make him invisible again in case of anything dangerous, but it won’t last as long as before because she needs to recharge her power. Rubbing his lucky spider ring, Jack fears he’s gonna need all the help he can get.
Once inside the tomb, Jack has to descend down the stone stairs into the lower catacombs beneath the cemetery. It turns out the tomb is MUCH bigger below ground, as Jack has to navigate his way through a tunneling maze. His only light is an eerie, dark green glow radiating from the stone walls. Down one hall, Jack is nearly engulfed by a swarm of rats. The rats don’t see him so they don’t attack, but he can feel their fur and their claws scratching his legs as they scamper past him. The sight of the rats makes Jack decide to give up and head back, but learns he’s been turned around and doesn’t know which to go. Dreading he’ll be lost underneath the Fear Street Cemetery for life, Jack’s salvation arrives in the sound of a door opening and closing. Running in the direction of the sound, Jack spots something shining in the darkness up ahead. A golden door in the middle of the darkness. On the other side of the door is a huge room, with another door at the far end. But then Jack hears another sound. A hissing sound.
I could just make out two massive shapes on the other side of the room. They weren’t moving though.
I clenched my teeth. I head to know what they were. Maybe they had something to do with the fly.
I crept closer to get a good look at them.
My jaw dropped. Was I dreaming?
More like a nightmare.
In front of me stood two huge bugs. Or statues of bugs.
Each of them was ten feet tall, at least.
They were made of gold.
Giant, golden cockroaches.
OH FUCK NO. OH. FUCK. NO
YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW BADLY I LOST MY SHIT WHEN I GOT TO THIS PART.
IF THERE IS ONE THING I CANNOT STAND IT IS FUCKING COCKROACHES.
AND I LIVE IN NEW YORK SO IMAGINE WHAT THAT’S LIKE FOR ME.
Jack goes into description of what the roaches look like, but then witnesses to his horror an antenna move and learns THEY’RE FUCKING ALIVE.
Spitting and hissing, the gold roaches are sentries meant to guard the door, and it’s a good thing Jack’s still invisible. [Wing: THANKS LUANA FOR GIVING HIM SOME FUCKING WARNING.]
They walked on their hind legs, moving back and forth across the far end of the room. Their long, skinny feelers waved in the air. Their four front legs dangled.
It was horrible.
Jack tries as best he can to slip past the marching roaches so they don’t feel or hear him. Somehow slipping through the golden door on the other side of the room, Jack’s in for another surprise. Turns out Luana wasn’t exactly honest about the fly. [Wing: Or anything else!]
In the middle of a small, dark room sat a fly.
It was gold.
But it wasn’t tiny.
It was an enormous gold fly.
Bigger than the cockroaches. Bigger than a full grown elephant. So big its wings touched the walls on either side of it.
Not only that, but just like the roaches, the fly is alive, drool leaking from jaws big enough to snap Jack’s spine in two. Jack is at a loss wondering how the fuck is he supposed to bring THIS out THERE when, wouldn’t you know it, he becomes visible again. Almost immediately, the fly’s massive eyes turn in Jack’s direction. Jack tosses a rock at the fly’s eye, but doesn’t impede the fly as much as he’d hoped. Backed up against a wall, Jack tries to shield himself from the fly’s gigantic jaws when the fly suddenly starts backing away from Jack. Confused at the fly’s panic attack, Jack notices his lucky spider ring has started to emit a bright blue light. Jack knew it was lucky, but didn’t know it was magic. However, his supposed savior brings immense pain when he feels his body start to undergo a new transformation. No invisibility, this time coarse black hairs start to grow on Jack’s arms and legs, and four more legs burst out of his sides. Jointed legs covered in black hair, just like a… SEA LION!
I mean A SPIDER!
Jack’s ring has transformed him into a giant spider, the same size as the fly. Because hey, you can’t have giant roaches and flies without spiders.
The fly gets the drop on Spider-Jack, biting his shoulder, but once Jack remembers spiders eat flies his new arachnid instincts take over and Jack attacks. Sweeping the fly off its feet Jack quickly sinks his new jaws into the fly’s back. The fly tries to free itself but after a while it loses its energy and passes out from the pain. The fly then shrinks down to the size of a normal fly, and as it does Jack loses his spider form and reverts to normal. Pocketing the subdued fly, Jack now has to get past the cockroaches and find his way back to Luana. Without his invisibility, the roaches immediately see Jack and scuttle towards him. Jack shakes his ring to see if it has extra power but it’s bone dry so he calls Luana’s name. Nothing. The first gold roach pounces on Jack, but a good kick to the roach’s front leg snaps it off at the joint… and sprays black roach blood in Jack’s face.*shudder*
The second roach tries to attack, but another swift kick incapacitates the bug. Jack goes ballistic on the two bugs, kicking the shit out of them, breaking their legs, and snapping their feelers off with his bare hands. Jack’s too angry to be scared anymore, and bolts out of the room leaving the two bleeding, giant roaches before they recover. Jack tries to figure out the path he took before, briefly intercepted by a gray rat before darting back up the staircase and into the cemtery. He’s free! Jack’s super pissed off Luana lied about the fly’s size, but Luana doesn’t care. All she wants is the fly. Jack would like to tell her to go fuck herself, but he doesn’t know what else she’s capable of so he gives her the fly. Luana thanks him… and then throws it away! What the fuck?!
Luana reveals the fly was never important. Her only interest was in getting Jack to use up the power in his ring. Jack doesn’t understand what she means, and Luana realizes Jack really doesn’t remember her. You know that evil sorcerer she mentioned, the one who entombed Luana to begin with? Turns out he had a son named Jacobus. Jacobus was a lazy, spoiled little bastard who never bothered to practice or develop any magical abilities like Luana did, and he treated her horribly. He’d lock Luana in closets for days just for saying “Hello” to him, he’d order she have nothing to eat but breadcrusts, he was a piece of work. Jack doesn’t understand what Luana’s saying, but her words stir up faint traces of memories, and suddenly Jack’s thinking Luana deserved what she got for being so cheeky. After the sorcerer trapped Luana inside her tomb, Jacobus tried to follow her because he was envious of her power. The sorcerer wasn’t sure just how strong Luana was, and since Jacobus had no magical powers, he tried to protect his son… by rewriting his memories and creating a fake family for him, by giving him a ring with a limited amount of magic to protect him. See where this is going?
[Wing: WAIT WHAT. GIANT SPIDERS AND SURPRISE FAMILIES?]
Luana dramatically declares Jack is really Jacobus, son of Arlin the sorcerer, and Jack’s body begins to change. His muscles bulge and he grows a foot taller, his features become harder and more severe. Jack is gone, and Jacobus is here. Luana says the spider ring was like a beacon to her, even trapped in stone, so she used what power she had to set up the maze and make Jacobus exhaust the ring’s power. Jacobus is pissed off at what nerve this wretched serving girl has, but then this serving girl has enough strength to push Jacobus into the tomb and lock the door shut! Jacobus bangs on the stone door and demands Luana free him, but then his anger turns to begging when he realizes the cockroaches have recovered and are coming for him. Luana assures Jacobus she’ll protect him, and suddenly Jacobus is finding it very hard to keep his eyes open…
One day, Penny Morris and Brittany Carson take a shortcut through the Fear Street Cemetery, and discover an old mausoleum. The face of the boy carved on the tomb door reminds the girls of Jack Meyers, the boy who one day vanished along with his entire family. Penny teases Brittany for secretly liking Jack, and dares her to kiss the boy’s face like it says on the inscription. Brittany leans in… but decides not to do it, thinking it’s dumb. Despite Penny’s whining, Brittany just wants to get home. You never know who or what you might run into in the Fear Street Cemetery.
This book went off the fucking charts from what the summary made me expect, and that’s why I love it. It turns out Jack should’ve listened to Connor after all, or he wouldn’t have become trapped in the tomb like Luana was.
I hope Luana found her family though.
Also: FUCKING COCKROACHES.
[Wing: This was fucking AMAZING, despite terrible final battle choices. What a weird, strange adventure. Cheers to you, Luana, for kicking ass.]