Saturday, January 5, 2013

"Final Curtain" by Nicholas Adams

Jan Matthis has moved to New England with her divorced mother and is the new girl at Cresswell High. She decides to join the drama club, who have decided on "Dracula" to be their play for the year. Jan is highly attracted to school spunk Philip Devereaux, whose acting ability quickly lands him the role of Dracula.

Jan tries for the female lead of Mina, but the goes to school hottie Alyssa, despite the fact Alyssa can't act to save her life. It's probably a stroke of luck for Jan, considering the fact that anybody who tries to hold up the progress of the play winds up seriously injured or dead. Philip is really into the role of Dracula, and believes that Jan is the perfect Mina. But what are the possible consequences for plain-jane Jan if she takes on the role?

Ugh. In the early-90s hey-dey of teen thrillers, all manner of series hit the bookshelves. Final Curtain is number eight in the Horror High series, and thankfully the last. With a few exceptions, the books were largely lousy. Despite being better written than many entries in the short-lived series, Final Curtain fails to engage because Jan is a bit of a dolt. The book makes absolutely pathetic attempts at red herrings to try and convince us that Philip is not the psycho he totally appears to be, but they all fail miserably. If your female lead is so blinded by vacuous male beauty that she can't spot the freaking obvious, then she really deserves what she gets.

I'm not too bothered by the lousiness of Final Curtain because, let's face it, it barely took me a couple of hours to read it. It certainly wasn't as awful as Alex Kava's Hotwire - Kava should consider writing for teenagers, although even they would probably see through her pitiful attempts at plotting. Sorry, still angry about that one.

For me, the fun is in hunting these early-90s rarities down. They rarely live up to expectations, but hey, it's a hobby.

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