Friday, March 13, 2015

Point Horror relaunch already dead?

Back in 2013, I was quite excited by the announcement that there would be a new generation of Point Horror titles released. Point Horror basically got me reading when I was primary school and high school. I've got a very heavy Nostalgia Fondness for them. I have collected just about every teen horror book from 1986 to 1996, so I like to consider myself something of an expert on the genre, even if I still have over 100 (!) I haven't read yet. (Seriously, the publishing companies really churned them out. I'm still conducting internet searches for any that may have possibly slipped through the cracks).

So yes, the Point Horror relaunch had me bouncing off the walls as if I was 12 again. (I'm now 35). The titles published would be:

"Identity Theft" by Anna Davies
"Followers" by Anna Davies
"Wickedpedia" by Chris Van Etten
"Defriended" by Ruth Baron

As it turned out, they were all riffs on current popular technologies. Ironically, this will date them even more than the 80s and 90s entries.

The problems were quickly apparent. Once you read the actual book (or e-book), you discovered that half the events described in the book description were not actually in the book! Did the publishers write the plot summary before the writer wrote the book? Seriously bad publicity there. The "Wickedpedia" description even got one of the main character's names wrong!

The first one I read was "Identity Theft". It was shit. My review is on this blog. The next one I read was "Followers". It was shit. Possibly worse than "Identity Theft". If Point Horror is indeed dead in the water again, much of the blame should go to Anna Davies, who is a terrible writer.

"Wickedpedia" was quite decent, but with the usual problems - villain is ridiculously easy to figure out, main character spends inordinate amount of time pining over a girl who's clearly not worth it, etc. But it did manage to capture just a little of the spirit of the original thrillers. I haven't read "Defriended" yet.

The other problem - for me personally - was the use of first person in all three that I read. First person was used in the Point Horror titles occasionally, but third person was the norm. I think this reflects the style that is used in young adult fiction nowadays. They're all first person. And usually dystopian.

The first couple of books in the relaunch came in 2013. The next two came in 2014. I haven't seen any signs of more to come in 2015. So is Point Horror dead again? Thanks, Anna Davies.

Fear Street has also been relaunched! But if the inane and simplistic "Party Games" is anything to go by, I don't see that lasting very long either. Sigh. I'll wait until I read "Don't Stay Up Late" before I make any final assessments.

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