Saturday, October 18, 2008
These Christopher Pike novels have such great cheesy covers. I love the neon colors.
So, this was my first supernatural Christopher Pike novel, and I'm not sure I picked the best one, but it was okay. Jean, a nice 18-year-old girl from California, goes to Hawaii with some friends. On the way there, she witnesses the violent death, by apparent seizure, of the boy sitting next to her on the plane. However, that is soon put behind her when she lands in Hawaii. They meet some hot SCUBA instructors and go for some dives. Jean feels strangely pulled to a spot far away from the usual dive places. Although she'd only been on two dives before, she dives far down, into a dark underwater cave, and finds a skeleton. Freaked out, she barely makes it out of the cave, and is rescued by one of the hot guys.
Whose skeleton was it? Why does she keep having these creepy dreams, full of blood, and moonlight underwater caves, and why does Mike, the guy she watched die on the plane, keep coming back to her in her dreams? Was he really on the plane at all? Or is he... a ghost?
Well, it's a SCUBA diving murder mystery, and the ghost of Mike is there to help her solve it.
I know the point of these novels is to suspend belief, but I had a couple problems with it. The most unbelievable part was when Jean, suddenly suspected of murdering her best friend (wha??), somehow escapes from the police and decides she's got to get back out to that skeleton to prove what really happened. I didn't exactly follow the logic there, but whatever. A series of completely unbelievable events happen, including Jean knocking out one of the cute guys, taking a wave runner miles out into the open ocean, putting on all her gear herself, etc. etc. Right. She's 18, weighs 110 pounds, has dived twice and never used a wave runner, and she manages all these things. Whatever.
I am also struggling with the sophistication of the kids in these novels. Again, the difference from the novels set in the 70s and these, set in the 90s, is striking. In the 70s, 18-year-old kids mowed lawns and worked on their cars, and maybe smoked some pot in the woods. In the 90s, three girls fly alone to Hawaii to spend a week in a fancy hotel, drinking beer, meeting hot guys, going SCUBA diving. I had trouble convincing my mother to allow me to go on a camping trip with some friends the summer after I graduated from high school (which was, after all, 1992 -- a year after this book was published!), let alone fly to Hawaii. Of course, I did fly to Finland later that summer, but that was different. We were in the hands of Rotary, not just some kids flying out to Hawaii to meet cute diving instructors.
I guess it's all part of the fantasy of the story, right? Oh, and the other thing about the Pike novel -- kind of gross in places, but not scary. The ghost was a cute guy, how scary is that? Anyway. It wasn't terrible, it just didn't make very much sense.
I have one more Pike novel in my stack and I don't know if I'll read it or not. I have a Charles de Lint teen novel waiting for me which I think I might like better. And then, on to The Terror.
Posted by Daphne at 10/18/2008