Saturday, 23 July 2016

The Sequel by RL Stine Review

Zachary Gold wrote a bestselling debut novel about a doctor who experimented with his brain and accidentally gained superpowers. Now he’s finding it hard to write a follow-up and what’s worse is a strange man is claiming his book was plagiarised from him, word for word! But that’s only the beginning of Zachary’s weird journey… 

RL Stine’s The Sequel is another short story from the Bibliomysteries series, and it’s one of the good ones too. When I was a kid I was a huge Goosebumps fan which was a pre-teen horror series that was my gateway drug to Stephen King. In revisiting this author, I was pleased to see that RL Stine can write adult stories just as well as kid’s. 

And speaking of King, the premise of the creepy guy claiming that a novelist stole his book sounds exactly like that of Secret Window, Secret Garden from Four Past Midnight. It starts off that way but Stine takes you on so many twists and turns that by the end he’s created a completely original story even though he started with King’s setup (though for all I know King lifted it from someone else).

In fact, there are so many similarities to well-known stories, from King to that awful Scarlett Johansson movie Lucy to well-known fairy tales, that I wonder if it’s deliberate – a commentary on the derivative nature of storytelling. It’s even framed like a Twilight Zone episode with a Rod Serling-esque opening paragraph with the same unsettling tone throughout with the famous twist ending. 

The story starts slowly but builds up quickly to a fantastic finale that’ll leave you questioning which parts of the story were real, which were fiction, or whether it was all fake. Great fun, really entertaining stuff – check out RL Stine’s The Sequel if you’re looking for an unpredictable, exciting mystery that’ll fuck with your mind!

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