Wednesday, 12 May 2021

[Review] - Goosebumps SlappyWorld: Monster Blood Is Back by R.L. Stine

Available on AMAZON.

If you're nearing 40, as I am, then more than likely, you grew up reading the Goosebumps books written by R.L. Stine (author of the popular teen Fear Street series). Just in case you don't know what I'm talking about, let me give you a history listen. Goosebumps was a hugely popular children's book series throughout the 1990s. From 1992 to the end of 1997, R.L. Stine published 62 Twilight Zone-like stories that gave every young reader nightmares. Goosebumps quickly became a brand name, starting with the Fox Kids television series that ran for 74 episodes. Spinoff books soon followed, such as Give Yourself Goosebumps, Tales To Give You Goosebumps, and Goosebumps 2000, and a slew of merchandise (bookmarks, games, toys, etc.). As fans became older, they moved on to other things, which resulted in the downfall of the franchise. After a hiatus, R.L. Stine returned to the world of Goosebumps with the spinoff series Horrorland in 2009, followed by two other spinoffs, Most Wanted and SlappyWorld, and two film adaptations, Goosebumps and Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween.

Goosebumps SlappyWorld: Monster Blood Is Back is the newest entry of the ongoing franchise, which brings back the popular green ooze which first appeared in 1992's Monster Blood. It centers on best friends Sascha Nelson and Nicole Hilliard, who landed a spot on the favorite TV show Kids' Big Chef Food Fights. Sounds like fun, right? Not really. The girl's nemesis duo, Ashli and Nathan, are also contestants in the cooking competition. They have cheated on several occasions, which means Sascha and Nicole have to step up their game, which involves them using Monster Blood as their secret ingredient.

As you can probably guess, things don't go well for Sascha and Nicole.


Final Thoughts

I had to read Monster Blood Is Back twice because I didn't know how to wrap up my final thoughts. For me, it feels like two entirely different stories re-edited to make one complete tale, which in the end felt a little uneven. There's the cooking show plot, and then there's the Monster Blood plot. The two don't mix well with me because of how the protagonists, Sascha and Nicole, find the Monster Blood. The girls visit the Very Evil Toys shop and stumble upon the Monster Blood, which they both agree would make a great birthday gift for Sascha's younger brother. It's a separate plot that comes into play later during the cooking competition, but it has already been used countless times in Goosebumps' books. Maybe it's because I'm older than the average Goosebumps reader, but the plots are becoming a bit redundant.

The cooking show competition part of the story is a first for the Goosebumps franchise, and for the most part, it does work. The protagonists were likable characters until they decided to use Monster Blood. The bullies in this tale are the typical Goosebumps bullies. The ending twist is generically surprising. I expected more of a shocker. Instead, all we get is whimper.

Overall, Goosebumps SlappyWorld: Monster Blood Is Back is an average entry in the series. Was I disappointed with it? Yes. Was it fun? Sure. If you don't nitpick every single thing, then it can be an entertaining read. I'm sure younger readers will enjoy the story. There's a sneak peek at the next book, Fifth Grade Zombies, and it looks like it'll be a bit more exciting, so keep your eyes out for it.

1 comment:

  1. This brought me back to my childhood! I totally remember Monster Blood, and I'm glad it made a comeback. My daughter and I read the first Slappyworld book and she loved it, so we might have to check the rest out. Thanks for sharing!


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