A demon catches four young teens on Halloween, intending to turn them into monsters.
This middle-grade series kickoff features teens Beth, Kellen, Luke, and Nicole, white except for Asian-American Nicole. Kellen yearns for childhood friend Beth, Nicole seems to have a crush on Kellen, and Luke cares only about cracking jokes. ’Tis the season, and Dr. Hysteria arrives in town with his Hall of Horrors, supposedly holiday entertainment for the town. But Beth takes a wrong turn inside the attraction and realizes that the monsters are real. When she stumbles on the titular cabinet, she finds not only a girl who went missing a year ago from another town, but also many others, some in historical clothing. She realizes that Dr. Hysteria is a demon and that he has trapped her friends…and perhaps also has trapped her. Adapting the book from the screenplay for the 2015 film R.L. Stine’s Monsterville: The Cabinet of Souls, Ferguson keeps the creep factor high and the originality factor low. Befitting its status as a movie tie-in, the book contains glossy photos of the characters in a four-page inset. While the story starts with some unrequited romance, it quickly begins to focus on suspense and horror, with beautiful, blonde Beth as the star trying to save herself and her friends.
Fans of the movie may enjoy it. (Horror. 8-12)