Author: R.L. Stine
Genre: Horror (Adult, recommended 18+)
See it at Goodreads
Travel writer Lea Sutter finds herself on a small island off the coast of South Carolina, the wrong place at the wrong time. A merciless, unanticipated hurricane cuts a path of destruction and Lea barely escapes with her life. In the storm’s aftermath, she discovers orphaned twin boys and impulsively decides to adopt them. The boys, Samuel and Daniel, seem amiable and immensely grateful; Lea’s family back on Long Island—husband Mark and their two children, Ira and Elena—aren’t quite so pleased. But even they can’t anticipate the twins’ true nature—or predict that, within a few weeks’ time, Mark will wind up implicated in two brutal murders, with the police narrowing in.
Red Rain by R.L. Stine was perhaps one of those books that everyone and anyone wanted. I mean, come on, it’s Stine. Most of us grew up reading Fear Street and Goosebumps. I devoured those books when I was in my preteens, watched the old Goosebumps television specials, and was insanely excited when I heard he was releasing this book for adults.
Here’s the problem though: I found it really bad. So bad, I feel insanely guilty. I wanted nothing more than to love this book, but I just couldn't bring myself to enjoy it. This is probably the most guilt I’ve carried in a long time for not liking a book by a cherished author. Does this mean I’ll never read anything by him again? Of course not! I’ll always pick up anything he releases and give it a try. But Red Rain was a major disappointment and it made me so sad. Unfortunately, there are times when even some of our favorites have their misses for us, and I think this is one of those times for me.
It started off interestingly enough. I was drawn into the story, trying to figure out what was going on, but after a short while, I found myself still confused. Elements were thrown in that seemed too cliché and cheesy. Think bad B-horror movie that just tries way too hard and falls short. And for it being the great Stine, the writing was quite…irritating. It was choppy, often slow, and telling. Actions often became either too boring, or too predictable. There was a lack of logic and hardly any originality throughout, and a lot of annoyingly horrible characters that I didn’t like. For me, this didn't feel like the Stine that I've grown to love reading. Though I understood it was for an older audience than he usually wrote for and knew the writing might be a bit different, there's also a "signature" readers are used to I believe, and I still feel like those traces of him were missing from the writing. Like I was reading a completely different author.
A sad disappointment from Red Rain, but still a much-loved author. Bring on his next book either way. :)