Series: Goosebumps #6
Published by Scholastic
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On Max's birthday, he finds a kind of magic mirror in the attic. It can make make him become invisible. So Max and his friends start playing "now you see me, now you don't." Until Max realizes that he's losing control. Staying invisible a little too long. Having a harder and harder time coming back. Getting invisible is turning into a very dangerous game. The next time Max gets invisible, will it be...forever?
I don’t know how I felt reading this.
No, really I don’t.
A mirror that turns you invisible is a good concept, but I don’t get why your reflection running around instead of you is a bad thing. I know that in the book they were the characters dark alter ego’s and that’s fine I guess but there was no real sense of dread in anything that these dark doppelgängers were doing.
Anyway yeah, Max and his brother Lefty, thus nicknamed because he’s left handed, original… find a weird mirror in a hidden room in their attic. They turn on the attached light and find themselves going invisible, and that’s about the entirety of it. They turn this into a game with their friends, seeing who can stay invisible the longest but there’s no real sense of dread at all in the tale.
I’d never read this one as a kid, so I was kind of hoping for an invisible kind of thing, which there were some scenes of featuring other characters, but the whole thing just seemed rushed, like Stine wanted to do both an invisible man and a haunted mirror story and somewhere along the way they blended into one thing that was neither one or the other. And that truly is a shame. I wanted to like this book. I wanted it to be an almost surreal dreamlike piece akin to Coraline by Neil Gaiman but it wasn’t, it was flat, it was dull… It was boring. Basically nothing happened and at least in the other books things happened this just felt painted by numbers.
If it were a more straightforward Invisible Man type tale then that would be better because imagine the possibilities, childish mischief but then they slowly fade away and have to try to fix themselves before they vanish completely. It’d be a hell of a story for children and could be used to highlight feelings of social isolation, anxiety and the pressures of being a child in an ever changing world where you can feel lost and alone.
But being rendered to an infantile “I can do it longer than you can” game with supposed dark mirror images missed the beat, for me anyway.
I do think that the writing itself is still strong for what it is, but if I have to read about a kid feeling light and floaty I’m going to kill the protagonist and put Slappy in charge.
*I turn and look towards Taneika and Nemo*
Book six done. What’s next?
*Nemo’s smile chills me to the core as she holds up book 7… Night of the Living Dummy*
*my curse is cut off as Slappy rounds the corner and cackles maniacally*