Saturday, January 5, 2013

"Goodnight Kiss" by R.L. Stine

April Blair isn't too happy that her boyfriend Matt is spending their summer at the beach playing video games and watching horror movies. This makes her the perfect target for brooding vampire Gabriel "Gabri" Martins, who has just placed a bet with another vampire, Jessica, over who can 'turn' a person first. It involves three nips of 'nectar' from the intended victim to turn them into a vampire. While Gabri has his sights on April, Jessica has placed her sights on Matt's nerdy friend Todd.

Thanks to his knowledge of horror movies, Matt begins to suspect what might be going on with April and Todd when they lack energy and look so pale. The presence of lots of bats also help. He'd better start being a better boyfriend to April if he doesn't want her to take off with the handsome vampire and become one of the undead.

Goodnight Kiss is a Super Chiller from the Fear Street series, and not too bad for what it is. And by "Super Chiller" I mean it's only about 60 pages longer than your typical 160-page Fear Street novel. But it sets up a couple of neat surprises - particularly early on when we find out that Jessica is actually a vampire and not a helpless would-be victim of Gabri. Matt is a sympathetic lead and April is likeable enough to make us believe Matt would fight for her. Of course, I'm not talking deep characterisation here, but it was pleasantly diverting fare for the hour-or-so it took me to read it. Also, I'm pre-disposed to liking Fear Street books because I grew up with them and sadly nostalgiac. They're silly and empty, but they're also quickly-paced, very tame and blandly enjoyable.

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