Is the roller coaster really haunted?
From the back cover:
I mean, The Beast was one awesome ride! My cousin Ashley and I had never been on anything like it. And then we heard about the ghost that was supposed to ride it at night after the park closed. A ghost on a roller coaster? Yeah, sure. I didn't believe it, of course.
Then one night after the park closed, we found ourselves on The Beast. Was I shocked when it started to move! But that was just the beginning. Because, you see, we weren't alone...and the guy with us wasn't exactly human!
I thought One Day At HorrorLand was a huge letdown, but compared to this Stine book it's worthy of Stephen King because The Beast is horrendous.
Years ago when I spent the weekend at my cousin's house, she had this book lying around and I read the first few chapters, but I was too busy to finish it. So I've been looking forward to reading The Beast all these years. Judging by the cover (I know, I know, I shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but you do when you're a kid) The Beast looks terrifying. It shows a ghost, claws (from the coaster's logo) and a roller coaster (I've been scared of amusement park rides my whole life and didn't go on my first roller coaster until I was almost 19). Even the title "The Beast" sounds freaky. But it isn't even the slightest bit creepy.
What the back cover doesn't tell you is that the ride on The Beast sends the two kids back in time, to 1931. But they don't even change anything in the future! In all time traveling books/movies, they always change something, for better or worse (just look at Back to the Future or The Butterfly Effect). But these kids don't affect anything, which makes the entire book pointless.
And nothing even remotely creepy happens. The ghost is friendly and most of the book is comprised of the kids trying to figure out how to get home. The carnival freaks were a little unsettling, but they're only in the book for one chapter (three pages).
The Beast also somehow spawned a sequel, but I probably won't be reading that. Next week I'll continue with my carnival/amusement park theme and read Escape From the Carnival of Horrors.
PG gore: He wrapped his cold, slimy hand around my hand. His arms and legs felt soft and rubbery, like jelly. His grinning face was inches from mine. His breath smelled sour.
"I'm the Jelly Boy," he chanted. "I'm a good boy."
"Nice to meet you," I choked out. "My friend and I - we're leaving now."
I tried to slide my hand free. But he held on. His hand was so wet and cold, I had shivers running down my back.
"I'm the Jelly Boy. I'm the Jelly Boy." His grin never moved.
Published in: 1994
Evident by references to: Day-Glo orange shorts
Next week: Give Yourself Goosebumps: Escape From the Carnival of Horrors