Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Scream of the Haunted Mask

The Scream of the Haunted Mask by R.L.Stine

Series: Goose bumps- HorrorLand, 140 pages, soft cover, publisher: Scholastic India, Price: Rs 95/-

Reviewed by Kirk Lourenço

This story is the description of the life of a 12 year old named Carly Beth, whose life is as ordinary as anyone else throughout the year except during Halloween season when she gets herself possessed by a monster she purchases at a tiny shop that only opens once a year during Halloween. She ignores the shopkeeper’s warnings on Halloween Day and now may soon repent it.

The story is set in a little village about two seasons before Halloween.

I found Carly Beth’s and the Green Mask’s characters very interesting especially when she thinks the words – “She waited for the mask all this time so she could do more EVIL!......”

I find the creativity of the idea to scare people very interesting and I also found the beginning and the conclusion of the book very unorthodox and interesting. The front cover design and art by Steve Scott and Brandon Dorman is very colourful and attractive and I think it would attract a lot of attention specially to children. This book could be very useful in the field of encouraging young readers to read and write stories of their own.

The conclusion of the story was a bit puzzling and confusing. I think that it would be a little tough for a novice reader to understand the book as the important part is in the conclusion. I think the book could have been better if the ending was a little more clear and also by reducing the number of unwanted pages in the book.

“Carly Beth…Carly Beth….Was the whisper only inside my head? The sound of my own name sent shiver after shiver down the back of my neck." I enjoyed reading these lines of the book said by the green mask as it brought suspense and frightening thoughts to me.

“Am I doomed to be like this forever? To act and look like this” I asked myself. Is there no cure for me?” These sentences recited by Carly Beth just after wearing the mask towards the end of the book made me think that the story had come to an end, that she had become a monster. But it doesn’t end that way. Something else happens.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Kirk Lourenço

Std 9 – Loyola High School, Margao

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