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The Secret

7 Ratings: 3.9
A book by R. L. Stine

The saga of the feud between the Goode and Fier families begins during the witch hunts in Massachusetts in the late seventeenth century.

Author: R. L. Stine
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date Published: September 01, 1993
1 review about The Secret

The Fear Street Saga: The Secret

  • Dec 28, 2006
Rating:
+3
Pros: Ghosts, murder, and revenge – get your popcorn.

Cons: Oh so short.

The Bottom Line: Things to be learned from this book: 1.) Don't live in a village with plague, 2.) Don't trust drifters - ever, 3.) Don't wear amulets that make you see fire.

Hi, and welcome to R.L. Stine’s Fear Street, the series meant for young adults and not people like me who happen to be in their 20s, unless of course, you’re aiming for a bit of nostalgia (something I’ve seem to have awakened in my reviews of these books). If you aren’t familiar with the series and a friend or accidental discovery has lead you here, know that there are different pieces to the series. Most don’t need to be read in order. Trilogies and sequels however, it’s a good idea. Currently we are in the middle of finding out just why so many bad things happen on Fear Street in Shadyside. As this is book #2, I say you turn right around and look into book #1 – The Betrayal – before going on.

Nora is still telling the story of how the hatred began between the Fiers and the Goodes. After what Ezra Fier witnessed so many years ago, he is now on his own search for the Goodes, desiring to destroy them all and bring revenge to his family. He drags his wife, two daughters, and son Jonathan with him. They return to Wickham, only to find dead bodies and no Goodes. But their search will still cost them dearly.

Jonathan vowed to bring the feud to an end. To stop searching for the Goodes and let the evil die. But 100 years later it rises again. Elizabeth and Kate have fallen in love with a drifter the family has taken in. There is something amiss in the house – will Simon Fier be able to stop it and put a halt to his family’s destruction?

As an older reader, I do so wish Stine had taken his time with this. With the whole saga, actually. He could have brought in so much more detail and just…well, more of everything and made it into a really good novel for a wider audience. But alas, that is not the case and instead we have 147 pages of brief entertainment.

In that respect, it’s good. Plenty more creepy things going on. I liked the deal with Abigail and her friend Hester the most. Effectively creepy. Ezra’s obsession was nice, though I think it would have been a cool touch to add in what the Goodes are doing all this time. I can’t complain much about that either though, as this is the story of the Fiers.

The two things I have issues with are rather mild, but still enough to point out. First off, Jonathan buries the amulet with his father and suddenly there is this 100-year break concerning the feud and everyone is hunky-dory. So is that because the amulet was buried or because Jonathan quit looking for the Goodes? I ask this because once the amulet pops up again, so does the feud. Because of this mysterious amulet that’s supposedly been in the Fier family for years, I’d love for Stine to go back even further in time and tell us just how the first Fier received said amulet. It’s obviously not any mere trinket.

The other thing was the disappointment with how the latest Fier family was getting bumped off. The ax-murderer style attack is just so cliché. I don’t care what year we’re in. Lizzy Borden already did it, okay? The way the guy kept saying how he was going to destroy the family one by one through betrayal, yadda yadda, I was hoping for a slow destruction of them one by one. Not one mysterious death and then a killing spree. That’s no fun at all.

But those are my only hiccups. The four stars comes in mainly because of the speed. It does feel a little fast and you have to quickly adjust to where you are in time and the names of the new people you have to learn. Even if Stine was never going to make this a longer novel, he could have eased up a little on how fast things were moving. It's only 147 pages - not even the length of a regular book from the series. Come on man, take your time. Freak us out properly.

With what you get, you still never know what horrific events are going to fall upon the Fiers and those around them because of their curse. Plenty of twists to keep you interested, and it is refreshing to be back in the 1700s and such as opposed to present day with people always saying the same thing (I now hate the words “bod,” “so,” and “really”) and getting into the same situations. You can’t go wrong with a family feud, curse, well drowning, horse trampling, and haunting. Ready for the next section?

After all, we’re all dying to know how and why Simon Fear’s mansion burned down.

NT

My Book’s Info:
Price: The spine says $3.99
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Inc.
ISBN: 0671868322
Format: Paperback
Pages: 147
Date Published: 1993
Cover Art: Bill Schmidt

Fear Street Series
The New Girl
The Surprise Party
The Overnight
Missing
The Wrong Number
The Sleepwalker
Haunted
Halloween Party
The Stepsister
Ski Weekend
The Fire Game
Lights Out
The Secret Bedroom
The Knife
The Prom Queen
The Cheater
Sunburn
The Dare
Bad Dreams
Double Date
The Thrill Club
One Evil Summer
The Mind Reader
Wrong Number 2
Truth or Dare
Dead End
Final Grade
Switched
College Weekend
The Stepsister 2
The Perfect Date
The Confession
Killer's Kiss
All-Night Party
Cat
Fear Hall: The Beginning
Fear Hall: The Conclusion
Who Killed the Homecoming Queen?
Into the Dark
Trapped

Fear Street Super Chillers
Party Summer
Broken Hearts
The Dead Lifeguard
Bad Moonlight
The New Year’s Party
High Tide
Goodnight Kiss
Goodnight Kiss 2
Silent Night
Silent Night 2
Silent Night 3
Cheerleaders – The New Evil

Fear Street Cheerleaders
The First EvilThe Second EvilThe Third Evil

99 Fear Street: The House of Evil
The First HorrorThe Second HorrorThe Third Horror

Fear Park
The First ScreamThe Loudest ScreamThe Last Scream

The Fear Street Saga
The Betrayal

Recommended:
Yes

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