Friday, December 6, 2013

Book review: "Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns" (Goosebumps series)

This Goosebumps book is a good example both of what author R.L. Stine does well and not so well.

Stine has a real talent for setting up weird, unusual and sometimes frightening scenarios that lure in readers and keep you guessing. This is certainly true in "Attack of the Jack-o-Lanterns," where a simple night of trick-or-treating grows increasingly scary and bizarre.

I read these books with my son (he reads some, I read some) and we were eagerly turning pages to see how it would turn out.

But one of Stine's weaknesses in the Goosebumps series is that, having set up these intriguing situations, he sometimes seems not to know how to end them.

This may be most true in this particular book, where the ending comes so completely out of left field that it's jarring. It seems like Stine had painted himself into a corner and had to desperately scramble for a way out. We had hoped for some clever conclusion, but this one is just disappointing.

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