Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Summer Reads: Goosebumps Slappyworld: Escape From Shudder Mansion by R.L. Stine

Scholastic; $6.99; 154 pages; Amazon

Many children's books from the 1990s have quickly fizzled and disappeared, but that isn't the case for the popular Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine. Since 1992, Mr. Stine has been scaring young readers with his Twilight Zone-like tales. The fifth book in the Goosebumps SlappyWorld spinoff series, titled "Escape From Shudder Mansion," just arrived in paperback last month.

The book centers around Riley Shiner, a twelve-year-old who is obsessed with the video game "Escape From Shudder Mansion," which he believes is based on an actual haunted house in his neighborhood. Though the house looks exactly like the one in the game, nobody believes him, not even his twin sister, Scarlet. He's seen the horrors in the game, so he wants nothing to do with the real house.

Unfortunately for Riley, he has to get over his fears of Shudder Mansion when his teacher splits his class into groups and gives them an assignment which involves the kids making an adventure documentary. Riley is paired up with his sister, along with Danitia, Carter, and Cheng. What is their assignment? There assigned to spend the night inside Shudder Mansion.

Despite objections from Riley, he follows his sister, her new weird friend Mia, and their classmates to Shudder Mansion. While their parents stay on the first floor, the kids take their GoPro cameras and explore the upper floors of the mansion. Riley is the only one who has played the video game, so he already knows what horrors are awaiting them.

Final Thoughts

I'm a big fan of haunted house stories, so naturally I was excited to read "Escape From Shudder Mansion." Like the other books in the Goosebumps Slappyworld series, the book opens up with an introduction by the #1 Goosebumps villain, Slappy, but then the book focuses on the main character Riley Shiner, a twelve-year-old who's afraid of the old mansion in his neighborhood that resembles the house from the video game Escape from Shudder Mansion. Of course the boy has to face his fears when his teachers assigns him, his sister, and a few classmates to make a documentary about the house. Like your typical Goosebumps book, things don't go as planned, resulting in a very twisted ending.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Goosebumps Slappyworld: Escape From Shudder Mansion. The characters are likeable and there are plenty of scares throughout the story. The only complaint I have with it, is that the ending twist is a little confusing. I guess the readers will have to use their imaginations to make sense of everything. Nevertheless, it's still an intriguing read.

About the Author

R.L. Stine's books are read all over the world. So far, his books have sold more than 300 million copies, making him one of the most popular children's authors in history. Besides Goosebumps, R.L. Stine has written the teen series Fear Street and the funny series Rotten School, as well as the Mostly Ghostly series, The Nightmare Room series, and the two-book thriller Dangerous Girls. R.L. Stine lives in New York with his wife, Jane, and Minnie, his King Charles spaniel. You can learn more about him at

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