|Release: 1995, Pages: 154|
Okay, I'll admit, I've been ultra slack on the book and video game reviews. I've been busy watching movies and taking action figure photos, that any time that would normally be spent on reading or playing games, is nil. That's all changing today though, as I just finished reading a book, titled Freddy Krueger's Tales of Terror: Twice Burned, the fourth book in a serious of young adult novels. I may be reaching my 30's, but you're never too old to read a young adult horror novel (or as I like to call them, a more mature Scooby-Doo), especially one that has Freddy Krueger's burnt face gracing the covers. So, let's crack into this review and see if it's any good...
Short nitty-gritty plot description from the back cover is as follows: Springwood High sophomore, Colleen Martini is plagued by a recurring dream...of being burned at the stake. When a psychic tells Collen that she was Joan of Arc in a previous life, she beings to suspect that her history book report on the same topic is more than just a coincidence. Fueled by fear, Colleen desperately searches the library to find the truth. Engulfed by an inferno of mysterious accidents, she soon hears a death knell summoning her. Knowing she must solve this mystery before her fate is sealed, Colleen comes to understand that sometimes the line between truth and fiction can be deadly.
The Freddy Krueger's Tales of Terror novels, like I said before, are a bunch of young adult novels, six in total, released in 1994/95, by two different authors, two from Bruce Richards and the reminder from author David Bergantino. The idea behind the books are very much in line with the Freddy Krueger TV series, that was only on for two seasons, Freddy's Nightmares. The beginning of the book has Freddy opening it up, similar to how the Crypt Creeper in Tales From the Crypt would, with cheesy jokes and all. Freddy leads you into the story, based on teens living in the infamous town of Springwood. Once the book wraps up, you have the epilogue with Freddy quipping a few jokes, before wrapping everything up.
Twice Burned (written by David Bergantino) is no different, in that you have Freddy making jokes before telling us a "terrifying" tale. The story behind the book, is about Colleen, a Springwood high schooler, who is plagued with nightmares of being burned alive, much like Joan of Arch. Besides having these awful nightmares, she has to deal with bullies at school, mainly Vicky, a punk chick with a serious chip on her shoulder. Colleen's friend, Kirk has a crush on Colleen, but she isn't interested at all, mainly do to the fact that he is chubby (how rude!) and she is dating Kirk's awesome cousin, Lance, a much older college student. Things are going okay for Colleen, until a bunch of strange murders start happening to the people close to her. The nightmares of the burning, along with a mysterious hooded scarred figure, are getting worse and time is running out for Colleen. At any moment, she or her friends could be the next victim.
So, the Tales of Terror novels are definitely written for the young adults (i.e. teenagers), but I'll admit, I actually enjoyed Twice Burned. The writing is quick and smart, never pandering to you, or making you feel dumb. It's also a good length, coming in a 154 pages and never over stays it welcome, although the ending comes up a little too quick in the last 30 pages. However, as for it being an actual Freddy Krueger book, no way. Besides the little Freddy prologue/epilogue, Springwood setting and quick little nod to Freddy in the ending, the book could easily be put out as a standalone novel. I guess in a way, that's a good sign that the story is well written. As for the story itself, the whole idea of Colleen's past life as Joan of Arch, is a big wasted opportunity and amounts to a whole lot of nothing in the end.
David Bergantino did his job, he kept me interested all the way to the end and has me wanting to read the other ones. The Freddy tie-in might seem like a quick cash grab and honestly that's all it is, but for the story by itself, it was interesting and did a great job at having me guess who or what was doing all the killing. So, I'm old enough and mature enough to admit, that I really enjoyed Twice Burned, even with all it's teeny-boopy, high school drama. Now, maybe I should crack into the first in the series and see how that one goes and I promise, I won't be months reading it.