It's been a while since my last review. I might as well get back into the swing of things with a sequel to one of the most popular Goosebumps books ever.
The Scream of the Haunted Mask (review)
(This is a review, not a synopsis. For a recap, check out this page.)
Prepare yourself for some really shocking news...
I really liked this book.
This is the first Goosebumps HorrorLand book that I'd feel confident saying that I loved. Carly Beth Caldwell, to me, is a very likable character. She doesn't seem ridiculously exaggerated like some characters in the franchise — like Bradley (from the previous book in the series).
The atmosphere of this book is so much fun, and the fall-themed descriptions are incredibly enjoyable. The overall tone of the book is much more somber than I expected. Other books in this series are a bit too wild, making it harder to suspend disbelief. The story here is pretty simple, but I'd say it's enjoyable.
As for critiques, I don't have many for this book. I might say that I'm a little sad that it is a retcon. This book takes place on the same Halloween as The Haunted Mask II, which means that The Haunted Mask II just didn't happen. Maybe it's a continuity error, or maybe it just slipped by.
I honestly didn't expect the twist regarding who the ghost was! The twist felt genuinely surprising.
I like how the book builds up the reader's expectation to think that the ghost is one character only to pull the rug out from under them and reveal that it was actually another character all along. I hate it when the ending twist seems "unfair" and random, but in this book it feels thought out.
Rating & Explanation
Probably the first book in the Goosebumps HorrorLand series that I full-heartedly recommend. I enjoyed it, and I think you will too. This book is easily the best in this series so far.