Bites

865736Published: 1993
Publisher: Scholastic
Author: Website
Info: Goodreads

There’s something horrible happening in Fever Swamp. Something really horrible.It started with the strange howling at night. Then there was the rabbit, torn to shreds.

Everyone thinks Grady’s new dog is responsible. After all, he looks just like a wolf. And he seems a little on the wild side. But Grady knows his dog is just a regular old dog. And most dogs don’t howl at the moon. Or disappear at midnight. Or change into terrifying creatures when the moon is full.

Or do they?  (goodreads.com)

Okay, so not my favorite Goosebumps book but when averaging them out this still came in higher than a lot of the Fear Street books.

These books are pretty formulaic in that they take a lot of time to set the scene and then the horror part happens within the span of a chapter or two toward the end and then it’s done.  Whether there’s resolution or not is dependent on the book.  THE WEREWOLF OF FEVER SWAMP is no different.  I got some solid scene-setting here with the ambiance of a Florida swamp, how hot and muggy it was, all the bugs, the bog, the creepy noises (I should say different creepy noises).  It was a good, solid setting for what was to come.

The characters were solid too.  Grady, a bit petulant at times, is a good character who’s just trying to adjust to this move his family had to make.  He seems like he’s trying to make the best of the situation and he’s eager to explore the swamp.  He meets his fellow neighbor children and interacts with them.  They’re not all that developed but they serve their purpose.  His older sister appears to be a bit more substantial than just an annoying older sister but the parents are your standard middle grade/young adult book parents in that they really don’t serve much of a purpose beyond being parental figures.

The creep factor was a slow build with the introduction of the swamp hermit and then the howling plus the discovery of the dog/wolf thing hanging around outside Grady’s house whom he adopts.  Of course all signs point to his dog as being the culprit behind the random animal killings and the disappearance of one of their neighbors but, of course, that’s not the case.  Nothing is that easily solved.

I will say this book came with a typical Stine ‘out of nowhere’ ending that not only did I not see coming but it really wasn’t set up in the book.  It wasn’t explained all that much (pretty much not at all) at the end either so it was like BOOM.  Reveal.  Done.  It wasn’t the greatest wrap-up and it did end up a bit cheesy which is why I’m not as thrilled with it as the others but it was still okay.  I didn’t have any eye-rolling going on while reading it so that’s a big advantage.

So no, not my favorite Goosebumps but still worthy of a read.

3.5

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