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Book Reviews: Die Softly + Monster + Slumber Party + God Save The Queen

Die Softly by Christopher Pike

He took a photo of death. From 1991, comes this tale of Herb the school nobody/excellent photographer who is egged on to photo the cheerleaders in the shower by his friend Sammie.

Herb likes Alexa Close but not her BFF Lisa Barnscull. He’s not really fond of Sammie as she is fat, mannish and gross. Pike makes sure to remind us on a regular basis that Sammie is fat, mannish and GROSS. So Herb comes up with a plan to see Alexa and Lisa naked by hooking up a camera to a VCR and hiding it in the school shower.

Then a car wreck leaves someone dead and Herb’s photos reveals something sinister. Herb being stupid does not know what to do. This is clearly inspired by ‘Twin Peaks’ as Herb uncovers all sorts of sleaze going on at his school involving car wrecks, guns, murder, drugs and crime. Sadly this was dull and derivative.

Best Lines:
“Catching people on film as they really were was not always flattering or desirable.”

“The rah-rah girls had all come off looking like out-of-focus hookers”

“Was that your vomit?”

“Some friends you have.”

“I am going to make you die.”

“All the kids in this town are crazy.”


~
Monster by Christopher Pike

They were no longer human. From 1992 comes this tale of how Angela Warner goes to a party in the small town of Point that will change her life. Angela’s friend Mary Blanc shows up at the party with a shotgun and kills two people and then tries to kill Jim. Angela helps stop her.

Mary claims her victims were no longer human. Angela does not listen and goes on a date with the emotionally dead Jim. All too soon, Angela realises Jim is a rotten little thing and that Mary was right. But it is too late for Angela as she is trapped in a cesspit of festering, twisted, ghoulish horror and a lurid maniacal endgame is in progress. This is a nice and creepy novel about a really toxic culture in high school.

Best Lines:
“It began with blood. It would end the same way.”

“You tried to kill Jim last week I can’t believe you’re jealous that I went out with him.”

“Your blood is as cold as the lake.”


~
Slumber Party by Christopher Pike

It was eight years later and it was happening again. From 1986 comes this tale of a group of mean girls on a ski trip. A storm is on its way and memories of a terrible slumber party when they were 9 haunt them. Add in skeevy guys, friends who don’t really like each other and fire.

This is okay but are we supposed to believe that a group of 9 year olds watched ‘Doctor Zhivago’ on a fancy projector and swooned over Omar Sharif?

Best Lines:
“Why you little tramp!”
“Why you bigger one!”


~
God Save The Queen by Kate Locke

This is Book One of The Immortal Empire. Xandra Varden is a member of the Royal Guard who protects the Aristocracy in a very different Britain. Queen Victoria has ruled for 175 years over a land where a vampire/werewolf elite dominate. The aristos are protected by their half-blood spawn, humans are overlooked and goblins are the despised underclass.

When Xandra’s sister goes missing, she goes looking for answers and uncovers some ugly secrets behind the Empire she has served so loyally. This is a very good, fast paced fun look at an alternate timeline. I’ll definitely read Book Two.

Best Line:
“An open mouth was an invitation to a goblin to stick something in it.”
Tags: 2nd hand book store find, book review
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