Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: Red Rain by R.L. Stine

Title: Red Rain
Author: R.L. Stine
Publisher: Touchstone Books
Date of Publication: October 16, 2012
Source: purchased, hardcover, 384 pages
Genre: Adult fiction, horror
Get Your Copy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

R.L. Stine, New York Times bestselling author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street series—the biggest selling children’s books of all time—delivers a terrifying new adult horror novel centered on a town in the grip of a sinister revolt.
Before there was J.K. Rowling, before there was Stephenie Meyer or Suzanne Collins, there was R.L. Stine. Witty, creepy, and compulsively readable, he defined horror for a generation of young readers—readers who have now come of age.

Travel writer Lea Sutter finds herself on a small island off the coast of South Carolina, the wrong place at the wrong time. A merciless, unanticipated hurricane cuts a path of destruction and Lea barely escapes with her life. In the storm’s aftermath, she discovers orphaned twin boys and impulsively decides to adopt them. The boys, Samuel and Daniel, seem amiable and immensely grateful; Lea’s family back on Long Island—husband Mark and their two children, Ira and Elena—aren’t quite so pleased. But even they can’t anticipate the twins’ true nature—or predict that, within a few weeks’ time, Mark will wind up implicated in two brutal murders, with the police narrowing in.
For the millions of readers who grew up on Goosebumps, and for every fan of deviously inventive horror, this is a must-read from a beloved master of the genre.
-goodreads summary
My Thoughts:
Cover design- Everyone knows I do love a good cover.  One that conveys the theme of the book, while hooking us with the descriptive imagery that it plays upon the mind.  This cover design does just that.  The red drops of rain is on the forefront but hidden in the background is small shadows that have a huge impact in the story.  What can I say?  Anything that has to do with that much blood-like things and scary little child size shadows gets my blood pumping.
Character Development- I remember when Mr. Stine was explaining a little about this novel, he said he wrote the adults as very trusting, very mature, and yet not very smart.  This is so true!
Lea, the travel writer and mom of our main family, is nerve-wracking to me!  She was the complicated one for me.  She is well educated, successful, and dedicated to her family..most of the time.  But she had this ability to let her emotions play too strong a part into her life which caused her not to think at all.  Half the time I wanted to scream at her, the other half I had to refrain from speaking out aloud, "I told you so."  Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate her; I just felt sorry for her.
Lea's husband, Mark, was also not the brightest adult out there. Actually, Mark was more of a contradiction than anything else.  He was charismatic, though, and brought a lot to the story, even if it was at his expense.  You just can't help but expect more from him, especially being a psychologist, but there are times he actually did try to get the right point across to his wife.
The secondary characters all add more to the story to help us enjoy it more.
Oh my goodness the villians?  These guys are the most cruel, persuasive, and cunning antagonists that has been introduced in a long while.  I don't want to talk too much about these guys and give anything away but just let me tell you that R.L.Stine can write an evil character very well.  He is able to convey the very wrongness of the twins, from very early on, and yet because they are beautiful and look angelic, you try to fight your instincts.
Plot Development- This is a chaotic novel of terror, mystery, horror, and underneath all of this, love.  Yes, there is love in there somewhere; it is more the love of a mother and the love of a wife that blossoms out.
There were times it felt like I was amassed  in a swirling black hole of chaos but this idea actually fits the central theme of the novel.  There is chaos but it does have a point.  There is so much that is going on in the story but everything ties together and you are left speechless at it all.  I felt like this story put much emphasis on appearances.  What we see on the outside could be far different from what we find on the inside.

I loved Red Rain very much, however, I did feel like R. L. Stine was trying too hard.  Maybe trying too hard to make it a very mature adult novel.  For example, I have no problems with cursing in a novel.  In fact when it is called for I think it adds to excitement overall.  But I found myself wishing he would have toned it down a bit. The curse words seemed to be tossed around easily and freely in almost every other paragraph.  It was surprising that this would bother me but it just felt like it wasn't needed in some places and could have done without it.
Other than that, R. L. Stine did a great job of scaring the adults instead of the kiddies this time. Red Rain was a frightful thrill ride mixed with gore, sinister children, and more twists than you can imagine!  The twists alone will have you completely rocking side to side in shocked awe.
I gave Red Rain four hearts.

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