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By Kevin Hoskinson

Contributing Reviewer

The Goosebumps series has been going strong since it hit shelves in the summer of 1992. Shortly after the books were introduced, a television show was produced, PC games followed, as well as comic books and toys. A couple years ago saw the release of the “Goosebumps” movie, which was a huge hit and introduced a whole new generation of young adults to the twisted world created by author R.L. Stine.

The wonderful story telling tradition continues in “Goosebumps: Monsters at Midnight.” While visiting their grandmother’s house, sisters Ginny and Mia risk sneaking out, making a late night visit to the local bookstore. While there, the girls get more than they bargain for when they step through a shadowy doorway, and find themselves in a scary amusement park called HorrorLand. To make matters worse, the park is over run by monsters led by the sadistic talking dummy, Slappy; who is determined to make this a visit the girls will never forget.

This issue continues where the first left off. The girls are trapped in HorrorLand, and the trouble they are facing becomes more apparent.  Mia, the older of the two, is racked with guilt; she knows they should have stayed at grandma’s house, but she let her little sister get the best of her. They meet the runt of the monster group, a cute little guy named Irk, who may be their only hope to escape this nightmare, but will he help them? The bigger question is, is there any escape at all?

This is a really fun book. It was entertaining throughout, and it leaves the reader wanting more. The art and colors (by Chris Fenoglio & Brittany Peer, respectively) are great and it feels like a Goosebumps novel come to life. The character designs are whimsical and colorful, and there is a feeling of dread that surrounds them. Writer Jeremy Lambert captures the spirit of Stine’s voice perfectly, It’s terrorizing when it needs to be, but also very funny at the right times.

While the movie captured the spirit of the books, there is something about reading Goosebumps, and seeing it at the same time, that makes sense. The original series of books hit when I was 12 years old, just the right age to jump in and get lost in the world. Reading “Monsters at Midnight”, the feeling of nostalgia kicked in, and I loved every part of it. This series is off to a great start, and I look forward to reading more.

Rating: 9.0 out of 10

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