Tag Archive: Halloween


I’m super late with the review this week. This is unfortunate and I am sorry. It’s been a rough week and I’m having to deal with the side effects of plans not landing quite right.

That said, Halloween is still happening and I am still super excited to share this year’s run of Halloween reviews. So, where am I going with this? Last year’s run of reviews were all about nostalgia for me, the trilogy that made baby me quit mid-book out of fear.

How do I match up to that this year? This year I’m jumping into the World of Darkness. Well, more so than I already have. See, World of Darkness is a table top rpg set in a world very like our own, except the things that go bump in the night are very real and it would be very dangerous for a normal human to run into one of them. Depending on which rule books you’re using the player could be anything from a vanilla human stumbling into this hidden world and subsequently trying to dig deeper or escape it to one of the things that make the dark dangerous. Be a werewolf, or a vampire, or an embodiment of primordial nightmares, if you’re willing to do a little digging you can even be a hunter. Ultimately though, whatever you are, the challenge is to find what’s going on and to survive long enough to try and impact it.

At least that’s how it plays for my game group.

Given how much I enjoy the game and that I’d seen a few novels while looking for more source books, I figured I’d check them out. So, that’s what we’re doing for Halloween.

Given that the books I could find were pretty scattered, I’m going to be covering the ones available in The Essential World of Darkness omnibus.  These are also all based on the old World of Darkness source books, so some of the things covered may be unfamiliar for me. That’s all part of the fun though.

That’s about it for right now. If you like what I’m doing, you can buy me a coffee or leave a comment. Enjoy!

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The Burning

Happy Halloween everyone! I’m wrapping up the weekend’s festivities with the last Fear Street Saga novel today. This is actually the one I wimped out on last time. I admit the last thing I’d remembered from it was a lot earlier in the book than I’d thought. Bonus, the Jonesy cat seems to like Oxenfree and has been cuddling her whenever I’m in the room with both of them. It’s cute. Anyway, on to the review!

 

Over a hundred years ago Benjamin Fier framed an innocent girl for witchcraft and burned her at the stake. Over a hundred years since his brother Matthew robbed the girl’s grieving father. Over a hundred years since everything began, but just two since the curse was reawakened and Franks Goode murdered the Fier family in cold blood. Only two years since Simon Fear changed his family name and forswore good. The chain is completed, and the end is beginning.

The Burning is the third and final book in the original Fear Street Saga by R. L. Stine; it’s also the first of the three to give us a villain protagonist. That’s actually a thing that I appreciate about the book. Having Simon as both our starting protagonist and, ultimately, the antagonist of the book ties things up nicely in a way that the previous two books didn’t. The reader has known that the Fear Mansion was going to burn down at the end, leaving Nora Goode all alone; it’s just been a matter of getting there.

The big down side here is that I feel like the first half of the book was really rushed. Pacing has been a problem throughout the trilogy, so it isn’t a huge out of nowhere thing. It’s more another example of needing to get things in place for what comes next and not having the room for much build up. There’s some out of nowhere stuff that I would have liked to have seen more support for, but it’s par for the course at this point.

I can’t say that The Burning is the strongest of the three books, which probably still goes to The Betrayal, but it does pretty well for itself. While rushed in a lot of ways, I feel like a lot of the things that are rushed could or would probably be hand waved with the curse if the extra space had been taken to go further in.

There’s really not a lot for me to say here. The Burning has its points that work, and work well, but it also shares the same weak points that the rest of the series has. It also has an unfortunate side effect, since the reader knows about how it ends and that Fear Street is ultimately still cursed, of not having a really satisfying ending. It’s just kind of done. So, at the end of the day I think it earned a three out of five. If any single part of it had been a touch better it would have been a four.

I mentioned figuring out what I was planning to do here for Halloween earlier, so I figured I should talk about it a bit.

So, back in the nineties and early aughts R. L. Stine’s Fear Street novels were the slightly more mature option to the Goosebumps books if you were a kid and wanted to read horror novels. For the most part they were pretty good, kind of formula after awhile but not unforgivably so, and genuinely fun to read to boot. So of course, as a kid, when I had the chance to read the origins of Fear Street I jumped at the chance. I never actually finished the Fear Street Saga trilogy back then, I wimped out.

That’s a lie. I got so scared that I quit reading the trilogy and split the books apart so that they couldn’t scare me any more. I gave one to a friend that I haven’t talked to in forever. Another I donated to the library of a school I wouldn’t attend until much later. As to what happened to the last book, I don’t remember in the least. It could be on a shelf at my parents’ house waiting to be opened and to allow terror to spill forth once more.

Alright, got a little purple prose-y there, but point made. Right? This trilogy scared my child self to pieces in ways that no other book I’d read at the time had been able to. So badly that I apparently decided that a fantasy novel approach to a mass market printed book was the most logical thing possible.

And the nature of fear fascinates me, especially my own. So what to do about a series like that? Read it as an adult of course. I want to see what freaked me out so badly and if it still does. So, for Halloween, I’m reading the Fear Street Saga trilogy!

A Thought

So, coming up on Halloween, it occurs to me that I am fascinated by fear, my own in particular but also just as a general thing.

The thing going on now with the clown attacks is a great example. See, I visited my folks recently and there’s this great woods behind there house, I ran around in it all throughout my childhood and even now will when I get the chance on a visit. Even knowing that the small town I grew up in is unlikely to have random clowns, even knowing that the chances of my running into one was functionally zero, I couldn’t convince myself to go out.

It was kind of the same thing a few years back with Slenderman. I’d read a bunch of stories or blogs or watch videos, and I’d freak myself out and be looking over my shoulder pretty consistently. Then a day or so would pass and I’d be right back to it because I enjoyed that little riff of fear.

I think it’s always been like that. I’m not a big fan of horror games because they either rely on jump scares too heavily and I’m not a fan of those, or because I get into it too much and psych myself out. Horror novels and fiction though, I’m here for that. Let me build the thing up in my mind. Let me let my thoughts run rampant, turning little details into signs and portents. Guide me though a character’s fall from normalcy.

So, tell me, what scares you? What makes horror work?

Weekly Housekeeping

Right, so eight days later and still no review. It is coming, hold ups are largely due to a recent move and trying to get organized after that. I’m working on getting back in the swing of things and we should be up and back to business as usual some time this week.

I’m also still trying to figure out what I want to do for Halloween here. Maybe a couple horror story reviews or something to that effect. Let me know if you have any thoughts on it, the comments are always open.

Alright folks, lets do this thing.  Halloween is in three days and I’ve got a couple of books ready to find new homes.  This is a short one, three days two prizes, and the usual two ways to win.

Prize one is a once read review copy of C. Aubrey Hall’s Crystal Bones, a teen fantasy novel.

Prize two is a new copy of E.S. Moore’s Blessed By A Demon’s Mark, the third Kat Redding novel.

To enter, follow my blog and comment on this post telling me which prize you want and something that you really enjoy about Halloween.  For a second entry you can follow me on twitter @Tymp3st.

Contest will end at midnight Standard time on the 31st.  I’ll have winners posted on the first.

Remember folks, may the odds be ever in your favor.

Word for Teens Book Spooks

Seeing as we are coming up on Halloween and seeing as this is a book blog I figured that this would be a pretty decent place to post this.

Follow this http://www.wordforteens.com/ and you’ll be able to enter the first contest for a chance to cast your favorite villain and enter for a chance to win either a copy of The Body Finder or an arc of Desires of the Dead.

 

Villain: Jael, Doubleblind The Sirantha Jax series book 3

Cast: Probably Alexander Skarsgard

Why: Jael is a pretty boy, harmless looking merc with a cold cold heart and tons of charm.  As Eric Northman,  Skarsgard has that same charm and the same undercurrent of danger.