From the Fear Street series

Despite a strong start, the book doesn't stick the landing, but it’s still suitably scary for fans.

A teen babysitter encounters monstrous demons as the nightmares on Fear Street continue.

Lisa Brooks is new to Shadyside, but she's been able to make friends and form romantic entanglements pretty quickly. When a devastating car accident leaves her with nightmarish hallucinations, Lisa's world is turned upside down, her only respite her babysitting job. Her charge, Harry, is sweet and adorable. He only comes with one rule: Harry absolutely cannot stay up late. Unfortunately, Lisa's problems seem to follow her to the boy's house, with grisly murders and creepy creatures on her heels. Stine's macabre sensibility and threadbare narrative approach are on full display here. After a successful return to Shadyside with Party Games (2014), Stine wastes no time continuing to wreak havoc on the horrifying town he knows so well. Longtime readers will chuckle and squirm at all the right places, only rolling their eyes at the melodrama Stine seems to feel is obligatory. Why should readers care that Lisa kisses a boy who isn’t her boyfriend when her father is dead and a bloodthirsty animal is on the loose? Stine also stumbles a bit when it comes to the explanation for the monster, which is weird and gross but comes about 50 pages too late.

Despite a strong start, the book doesn't stick the landing, but it’s still suitably scary for fans. (Horror. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-05162-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin’s Griffin

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2015


Who can't love a story about a Nigerian-American 12-year-old with albinism who discovers latent magical abilities and saves the world? Sunny lives in Nigeria after spending the first nine years of her life in New York. She can't play soccer with the boys because, as she says, "being albino made the sun my enemy," and she has only enemies at school. When a boy in her class, Orlu, rescues her from a beating, Sunny is drawn in to a magical world she's never known existed. Sunny, it seems, is a Leopard person, one of the magical folk who live in a world mostly populated by ignorant Lambs. Now she spends the day in mundane Lamb school and sneaks out at night to learn magic with her cadre of Leopard friends: a handsome American bad boy, an arrogant girl who is Orlu’s childhood friend and Orlu himself. Though Sunny's initiative is thin—she is pushed into most of her choices by her friends and by Leopard adults—the worldbuilding for Leopard society is stellar, packed with details that will enthrall readers bored with the same old magical worlds. Meanwhile, those looking for a touch of the familiar will find it in Sunny's biggest victories, which are entirely non-magical (the detailed dynamism of Sunny's soccer match is more thrilling than her magical world saving). Ebulliently original. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: April 14, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-670-01196-4

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011


From the Peculiar Children series , Vol. 4

Not much forward momentum but a tasty array of chills, thrills, and chortles.

The victory of Jacob and his fellow peculiars over the previous episode’s wights and hollowgasts turns out to be only one move in a larger game as Riggs (Tales of the Peculiar, 2016, etc.) shifts the scene to America.

Reading largely as a setup for a new (if not exactly original) story arc, the tale commences just after Jacob’s timely rescue from his decidedly hostile parents. Following aimless visits back to newly liberated Devil’s Acre and perfunctory normalling lessons for his magically talented friends, Jacob eventually sets out on a road trip to find and recruit Noor, a powerful but imperiled young peculiar of Asian Indian ancestry. Along the way he encounters a semilawless patchwork of peculiar gangs, syndicates, and isolated small communities—many at loggerheads, some in the midst of negotiating a tentative alliance with the Ymbryne Council, but all threatened by the shadowy Organization. The by-now-tangled skein of rivalries, romantic troubles, and family issues continues to ravel amid bursts of savage violence and low comedy (“I had never seen an invisible person throw up before,” Jacob writes, “and it was something I won’t soon forget”). A fresh set of found snapshots serves, as before, to add an eldritch atmosphere to each set of incidents. The cast defaults to white but includes several people of color with active roles.

Not much forward momentum but a tasty array of chills, thrills, and chortles. (Horror/Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7352-3214-3

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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