Series: Goosebumps #3
Published by Scholastic
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Evan is not too happy staying with his weird Aunt Kathryn - she gives him the creeps. But at least he has found a friend, and they have discovered a great toyshop, selling really cool things - like monster blood.
Well, that was a slow read.
It may have only been 128 pages but it took me about a week of stopping and starting to read it. And it’s not that there was anything particularly wrong with the writing, that’s the one thing that sets Stine’s Goosebumps works apart from his adult endeavours, Goosebumps is actually well written, even when it’s bad.
And this was…. well, let’s just say it continues the homage to classic sci-fi horror started in the previous book. This time our protagonist is another pre-teen suburbanite by the name of Evan. He is sent to stay with his Aunt Kathryn and is bored out of his mind. He goes to a funky old toy store and buys a can of Monster Blood…
In reality, when they open the can it’s that crappy alien sticky slime crap all kids from the 90’s ended up with at some point. It’s fun, it’s messy, it’s bouncy… it’s gloop. But this one is different. This one grows, exponentially. And terror ensues.
OK, that sums up the gist of the story. There’s a dog, there’s a friend, there’s a cat, there’s bullies who happen to be big metal heads (Why is it they’re always the bullies in this thing? It’s bloody offensive and piss poor generalisation). But other than that this book is so painfully an homage to the 1958 Steve McQueen classic The Blob. Except in that the goo is alien… Basically the same things happen, people get swallowed. The goo grows and attacks people. It’s pretty generic stuff.
Actually, think the evil sentient slime from Ghost Busters 2. That’s essentially the monster blood. And honestly, I can’t say I’m impressed. Even by 1992 sentient goo that eats people is old hat, and this instalment got sequels! This was never my favourite of the series, and on re-reading I realised why. Nothing actually happens until about the last 15 pages or so. And even then it’s predictable and boring. The plot progresses with about the pace of molasses on a cold morning.
I can’t recommend this book, and I can’t for the life of me see why it got as many sequels as it did, hopefully it’ll be one of the rare cases where the sequels are superior to the original… But I’m not holding my breath.