Hello, Spongey here.
We’re now in the home stretch of the HorrorLand reviews. We only have two books to go until Arc 1 is done. We started in freaking 2012, so I’ll be glad to get it down.
Our finale is split into two books…for some reason. Spoilers, there’s not much reason for this book to exist. Good or bad, they could have had the last book be a bit longer, as all this book does is get them to the villain.
The rest is pointless. They could have made this 11 books or make one extra book before the finale, but ah well. Doesn’t matter if this book ends up being good. When we last left off, some kids have vanished, and we found out about another park that they must escape to.
Oh and Luke and Lizzy appeared, but they are not trusted because the girl with mind powers says she’s bad. I’m interested to see how that turns out.
So let’s jump in and see how the penultimate chapter of this Arc turns out.
This, is Escape From HorrorLand
The book opens were we left off, with everyone ganging up on Luke and Lizzy. Lizzie is our protagonist, which I find quite fitting.
“I know I know, that’s a strange way to start my story’
Whoa, getting meta again.
She tells she was in HorrorLand one year ago, which opens up questions about the timeline but whatever. A Horror emailed them about creepy things going on, and long story short, they wanted to help the Special Guests, as they have reason to think going to Panic Park is a bad idea.
Not much reason so far, but reason nonetheless! The kids say that if this is all true, then their 8 friends who made it to PP are in danger and need to be saved. Shit, that’s actually logical.
Also, how did Luke and Lizzy get here? Did their parents take them or what?
Anyway, we know something is up with Jillian saying she read their mind, as we are now in Lizzy’s POV and it would be weird for the hero to be bad somehow. But Jillian was good in her book so…eh.
Bryon shows up before they can really do anything to them, and he tells the kids to come with him. He takes them a building full of Mirrors and then randomly vanishes. That’s not suspicious at all.
They go through a mirror and after a filler chapter, end up in Panic Park. Well, that was quick. This thing is 132 pages, by the way. They notice that the whole black is Black and White, and peek around,
They spot a little girl who cries and asks “Can you find me?”. Lizzie’s hand goes right through her. Huh, that was actually decently creepy in it’s execution. The girl tells them that the park vanished and they are what’s left. They are only shadows.
An incredibly conveint newspaper tells them that this is true, the park was shut down due to weird stuff going on there. It’s dated 1974. This is creepy and all…but they are in a black and white world stuck in the past.
…Is this the same world from Haunted School? Could be, even though that was the 50′,s and this is the 70’s.
They manage to find a park guide, and through all of this, Jillian keeps being a bitch and accusing Lizzy and Luke of being bad. They do have a point about her forgetting about their friends stuck here, but it’s still annoying.
Randomly, they find a dummy in the Info both, which a card says is named…Rocky. Wait, is this Rocky from Night of the Living Dummy 3? The description doesn’t sound like him but…still.
They push a button and the dummy spews out worms and shouts “THE PARK IS CLOSED”. The kids run away. And….that is never mentioned again. Yes, that whole bit is complelty pointless and adds up to nothing.
So it comes out of nowhere, doesn’t make much sense, and after it happens, no one ever mentions it again. …Haven’t done this in while so here you go.
They decided to look for the missing kids, and find Billy and Sheena on the top of this mountain. They try to get up there but find that it just gets bigger the more they try to climb it. Strange.
But they fix that by having Jackson and Jillian float them to the ground. Huh, that was easy but I can see why they didn’t of it, since I do forget they have powers sometimes.
They explain they got lost and climbed the mountain to find the others. How it let them get up there is anyone’s guess. Billy says they got lost while in something called the Tunnel of Hate. I love this book now.
‘Let’s go for a boat ride”
That is not as badass as you think. They go there, and it’s pretty much a Tunnel of Love, but it makes you hate the people you are with. Most of today’s youth must go on this ride a lot.
After some amazing argue, they are able to make it through…and finally stumble upon Molly, Britney, and the other missing kids! The only problem is all the time in the tunnel has turned into rabid mindless dog monsters. Whoops.
While it is a bit hard, they manage to get the rabid kids out of the tunnel, and this magically turns them back into to normal. I thought it might take longer to wear off, but okay. Once they clear their hands, they finally get to ask Molly and Brit what the hell is going on. However, they seem to hazy memories, and don’t even remember how they ended up at the arcade that one time.
Which is a fancy way of saying Stine was too lazy to figure out any reason for that stuff to happen, as it was just a Red Herring.
They bump into Byron, who claims that “they” lied to HIM and that’s how this happened. He doesn’t go into further detail, of course. But Jillian says he is telling the truth, so I have no reason to be suspicious now.
He takes them to The Midnight Maze, which leads to the only exit. He stays behind because he says he wants to make sure no one follows you. I’ll give them this: I genuinely don’t know if he’s good or bad, even though it should be obvious.
After a pointless quicksand scene (didn’t we have one back in Book 2?), they bump into eggs, that are a lot like the ones Micheal saw back home. And just like those, monsters come out of them, butt Micheal knows what to do.
He eats some yolk to become a monster once again, so he can fight them off. Now that is badass. After he’s done with them, the monsters lying done are described as “lifeless”.
…Did he just murder several creatures?
Once he’s done, he eats more yolk and turns back. Then they move on like nothing happened. This has kind of a reason so it’s not a BLAM. When they come to a fork in the maze, someone suggests splitting up, but they agree that it’s a dumb idea.
Whoa, logic is back!
They them bump into a monster from their past, The Haunted Mask. And just like Micheal, Carly Beth decides to be a badass, and puts on the mask in order to become strong enough to take out the other Masks. Yeah, others popped up too for some reason.
But going back to normal isn’t as easy as it was for Micheal. Remember, it takes a symbol of love. Sabrina mentions this, so she ….kisses Carly Beth on the cheek. And this works.
The symbol of LOVE was Carly’s very Female friend kissing her on the cheek. ….I’m not touching that one, let’s just move on.
They figure out that their enemies are randomly here for revenge. This is proven to be true as they next bump into Captain Ben, in his sheep as there is just now a lake in the middle of a maze.
A Rowboat happens to be there, so they try going around the ship, but of course something forces them towards the ship. They are taken aboard and formerly meet Ben again.
“The Menace promises us revenge”
That is somehow the dumbest and most awesome villain name ever.
Being a pirate, he forces them to walk the plank, which actually makes sense in this one. They all go overboard, but through complex stuff I don’t feel like recapp, they end up being spat up on the other side of the big maze lake.
Wait a minute, this happened due to some tunnel under the lake. Dio Ben know of this? If so, why does he want them on the other side? We do find out why the Meanace wants them here, so…eh?
Either way, they really can’t wait to get out of here so their lives can go back to normal.
“When we get home, we’ll spend all our time watching SpongeBob and the Disney Channel”
I approve of this plan.
With that, they make it to the exist and see a HorrorLand sign. Well, book over I guess!
But of course there’s a twist. A few Horrors are here, but it’s all in black and white still. Jillian tries to read their minds to figure out what is going on, but says she can’t as they are not human.
Hey, wait a minute. Earlier she could read By-
“You told us you could read Byron’s mind-remember?”
Great, characters are stealing my job again.
But yeah, now something is odd. They start fighting, and a creepy dude in black shows up to egg them on. Before he can enjoy his catfight, he tells them that was all a test, and he likes the fear they showed.
“My name is Karloff Mennis. Most people call me the Menace”
I can’t imagine why. Also, possible Boris Karloff reference?
He says he made this park and just needs one favor.’
“I need you to stay here in Panic Park…forever!”
The end. Now that’s a solid cliffhanger that makes you want to read the next one to finally find out what is going.
It is a bit abrupt and highlights the main problem, but it’s still cool. That review went by shorter than expected.
There isn’t too much to say here. In general, this was decent. The mystery is still strong, there’s some fun scares, and them facing the villains was pretty cool. The cliffhanger was cool as well.
However…this book was honestly pointless. Think about it. They get to Panic Park, see it’s evil, try to leave, but just end up trapped. In other words, they end up back where they started!
There were some cool things, but nothing here really mattered. Very little factors into the finale, outside if the villains being here for revenge. We could have cut this and just started the final book with them going to PP and meeting the Meance.
That doesn’t make this one bad, just pointless. It’s fun in the moment but once the read the final book, there’s no reason for this one to exist. I can let some of this slide, it was Stine’s first time doing a story arc like this, but it’s still a mistake.
So in the end, the book is enjoyable but if you were to skip it, you wouldn’t miss much. Still I won’t let that prevent me from enjoying it fine. It has enough fun to make it worth it, but it’s nature makes it skipable.
That was quick. Well, tune in June as we finally wrap up this super long saga. See you sometime for this all to end in The Streets of Panic Park!