Hello, Spongey here.
Finally time to close out 2017 for the blog, and once again we’ll do it with Slappy. For real this time. Yeah, I tried to do this review last month but the ASCII monster got it.
Don’t worry, I switched to a word processor that doesn’t sick balls.
Anyway, we move on with Most Wanted with another dose of Slappy. This time with a rather interesting concept. Spoilers, the title is a slight fib. I’m glad since the concept makes me think about things I don’t wanna talk about.
I remember really liking this one when I first read it. Does it hold up and how does it compare to other Slappy books? Let’s find out.
This, is Son of Slappy
The book opens with our lead, Jackson, giving us some advice.
“It’s a lot easier to be good than to be bad”
Yeah, I have to disagree. Trust me, it’s easier to be bad, that’s why we kinda need good guys.
Jackson is a good kid. As in, like an actual good kid. He’s nice to everyone and is more or less adored by his parents, and goes out of his way to do all these good things.
He isn’t stuck up about it either, at least he doesn’t seem like it to me. It’s rather interesting to see this kind of good guy in Goosebumps, even if it’s to make later events hit harder.
He even tells us he’s not perfect, so there’s that.
His sister Rachel has none of this, she’s kind of a bad egg who is always told to be more like Jackson. Yeah, I get she must not like that but she chooses to act out and trust me, she gets annoying in the first 60-ish pages alone.
What surprises me is that she tries to be like Terra from Cucko Clock of Doom where she frames Jackson for bad things, but no one falls for it. Now THAT is amazing.
So that’s our set up, should be interesting.
Jackson helps out at the Youth Center because of course he does. After a pointless scene there and a false scare, Mom tells them that they are going to their Grandpa’s for a bit.
It’s only for a few scenes, it’s not a visiting recitatives story. At least it’s something a bit new for Slappy.
Jackson tells us that Mom once was a Comedian which they hammer into this in this scene alone. Most of her jokes here are at Rachel’s expense. Mother of the year, everyone!
Oh, and we find Jackson really likes playing Angry Bi-I mean Chirping Chickens. I don’t know why I got them confused, this is just a game about making chickens fly at warthogs.
Totally different. Also, he plays it on his “portable game player”. Ah yes,. my favorite system.
We are told Whitman is a bit of a collecter and we see that up front when they get to his house. And of course, they bump into a dummy that isn’t Slappy to give us a false scare.
“This is Morty”
I hear you need a very High IQ to understand that dummy.
He shows them his actual dummy collection and of course, he has Slappy. Interestingly, he knows of Slappy’s bad history and his caretaker Edgar, is even afraid of him.
He jumps into the Slappy legend but says he isn’t scared…because this isn’t the real Slappy. He says the real one was destroyed a long time ago. Okay, when did that happen?
I assumed it was one of the earlier Slappy books but I question why someone would make this copy.
“I call him Son of Slappy”
So yeah, this one is a copy. So wil this actually be him or will the copy be evil too thus making the copy thing pointless?
One book version of a montage later, it’s time to leave. But not before Edgar creepily warns them, because the creepy looking guy is never right in these kind of stories, right?
When they get home, Jacksons finds Son of Slappy in his backpack, thinking maybe Edgar put it there. He shrugs it off and now it begins. Also, man is Rachael getting annoying.
She has a bit sympaethic side to to her I guess but she whines so much that it’s kind of snuffing that out.
Jackson then finds the infamous words in Slappy’s jacket thing. Okay, if you want the evil gone, why not burn the paper? Come on!
Thankfully, he doesn’t read the words out loud because he’s smart. But Rachael i9sn’t, so in the next scene she finds out about the words and reads them aloud.
And now she’s on my list, yay.
Nothing happens yet, so he shrugs it off and we move on. He goes to the Youth Center when the head person tells him that are running out of money and need to raise more to save the place.
That’s right, this is a Goosebumps book with a save the Youth Center plot. That’s ,,,,amazing.
Jackson wants to help out by contributing to a talent show, with Slappy of course. Well, I know where this is going.
After a pointless involving making a giant cake or something, we get a dream sequence. Two pointless scenes in a row! At last the latter had Slappy in it.
Later at the YC, they play music with the worst lyrics ever.
“Dance…Dance…dance to the music”
Although to be fair, it is playing for literal children.
Jackson Is doing some art when he feels something come over him. Some force makes him vandalize a bunch of posters…and he enjoys it. Yay, we got the interesting premise and we’re just only 70 pages in.
Once he clams down from his odd high, he lies and tells the people that some dogs did this and they believe him since he’s a good kid. Hey, that angle ended up playing a part in the Slappy formula!
Jackson was pretty much possessed by Slappy there, which is a rather interesting idea. Not sure he did it but we’ll see.
“I was the Son of Slappy”
I wish they didn’t say it earlier, this is a way cooler “And Roll Credits” moment. And yes, the Son part is only metaphorical. Booo.
Also, Slappy actually got to make a slave in a way!
He goes to school and tries to take his mind off all this, but Slappy creeps in and makes him take some test answers. My favorite part is when Jackson actually cackles evil-y and people hear it.
Thankfully no one cares and Jackson goes home where Slappy comes alive. I love he calls him Son, it’s creepy and funny. I do wonder why he calls him Son instead of just making a slave but it makes for a funny title.
Their talk is interpreted by some relatives coming over, which gives Slappy another chance to make Jackson do evil things.
You can guess what happens. Slappy makes him say bad jokes and just be a general asshole. Nothing special but it being Jackson does make enjoyable and interesting.
Slappy is very happy with his work and he tells Rachael all of what has been happening. At first she doesn’t buy but realizes Jackson never lies ever, and believes him.
Holy crap, him being a good kid basically makes us skip the “they don’t believe him” stuff. 10/10!
…And then he tries to prove it and this fails since Slappy won’t move. ..Nevermind, 0/10.
He tries to explain his behavior to his parents but before he can, Slappy chimes in. He basically just insults people in the same way he did before, but it;’s a bit funnier this time I guess.
He then tries to frame Rachel for something and it fails, which is an interesting parallel to what she always does. This book has something interesting things that I feel like it’s under using.
Jackson is grounded and can’t even go to school. I feel like being an asshole is different from an actual medical condition but whatever, I get it.
For some reason, Slappy stays silent during the grounding period. Perhaps to put people in a false sense of security I mean after he calms down, they let him go back to the YC, where I know shit will go down.
And I’m kinda right as right when Jackson leaves the house, Slappy makes him go crazy. After a small example, Jackson goes nuts he and his friends are making something for the YC Bake sale or something.
This is getting repetitive but at least we are getting new situations.
Jackson is nice and skips to the night of the big YC thing as he even admits nothing interesting happened before then. Nice.
Jackson has finally figured how to stop Slappy. See, when Slappy kicks in, he hears a chirp. He figures out that the chirp is coming from his game player. That’s right, that Discount Angry Birds was a plot point.
How Slappy used a game player to control someone, I have no idea. Don’t really care either.
He puts it away so he can sneak off to the YC thing. He also takes Slappy with him to use in the talent show.,..even though Slappy is still alive and just simply can’t control him.
Everything goes well despite that but then the Chirp comes back….from a Canary cage. …So any Chirp lets Slappy control him? How does that work?!
I’d get if Slappy did this through just sheer magic but it’s the Chirp itself that does it! Jackson also says that there’s no way no way to stop Slappy from talking.
I don’t get it, did the Chirp turn Slappy on too? I feel this isn’t explained well, if at all.
So of course, Slappy starts being an asshole to everyone. In the resulting chaos, Jackson tries to use the magic words to make him dead but the paper is blank.
You know, that slip of paper does more damage than Slappy ever will. If someone burned it, none of this would ever happen.
We then…cut to weeks later. Yeah, the “climax” is just over now. Jackson is now really hated to the point where he isn’t allowed in the YC anymore.
It’s kinda sad given how good Jackson is, you gotta feel bad for him at this point. But at least he locks Slappy away. He can’t throw him out cuz he belongs to his Grandpa and the parents won’t allow that.
Okay, that makes sense actually.
….But locking him up does nothing,a s later, he hears Slappy talking to Rachael~ Oh god, I almost forgot this ending.
Basically, we find out Rachel brought Slappy to life on purpose hoping to use him to get revenge and of course that all worked out. She even hid that paper so no one can make him dead.
Unless he’s destroyed normally like he has been before, at least.
Oh great, Slappy’s a parent of both. And yet I’ve still seen worse parents.
They hear Jackson out there and say they know how to deal with him.
“And then I heard a loud Chirp”
The end. Wait…what? Yes, that’s the ending. There’s no true climax with a happy resolution Just a whole bunch of misery for Jackson.
That’s…really interesting, especially what was revealed and not to mention that whole Rachel thing. But we’ll discuss that in.
This one was interesting. I used to love and I almost get why, but I think it could have been better. For a Slappy book, the set up is interesting.
We have a good kid who is forced to act out due to Slappy and this makes everyone not sure if they can trust him anymore. Then we have his bitchy-y sister who clearly just acts out due to being sick of being compared to Jackson.
It’s all pretty interesting but I feel its not used too well. Rachel becomes too whiny to like for most of it and the main thing gets a tad repeptive at times.
It’s not til the ending where it embraces the concept more and it was well done, especially for Goosebumps. But I feel like it would be better if they went all the with it.
I wanted Stine to develop the sibling realtionship more, like he did in Living Dummy 2. It feels like he keeps trying to do that again, but can’;t quite recapture it.
This comes close but isn’t perfectly done. He also does a piss poor job of explaining how Slappy can do this. There’s ways he could have done it but it feels half baked.
Overall, I will say I like it, but just barely. The concepts are interesting and the ending is really interesting for Goosebumps, which almost makes up for how these concepts are wasted otherwise.
It’s at least the first truly original Slappy book. Even the ones that did something new still had the same old tricks, while this was felt fresh. So for it’s flaws, it at least tried something new.
Yeah, I over hyped this in the past. Come back in 2018 as we will look at the lamest title pun in all of Goosebumps.