I was clicking through Fear Street books, figuring out which one to read next, and I could not resist a werewolf story. Full disclosure: I love werewolves, which may affect my reading of this book. Also, spoilers, there are werewolves in this.
I actually adore this cover (pulled from GoodReads). I don’t think it’s necessarily a good one, but I like the girls in the middle, especially since they’re clearly based on the characters inside, down to her red dress, and the wolf howling behind them mimicking their singing. I’m a fan.
Nighttime is the right time for terror!
I like this one! It’s rhythmic, the addition of “for terror!” is good, and it doesn’t give anything away.
Did somebody say prologue! Danielle is in the grocery store with her Aunt Margaret and her little brother Cliff, talking about the band Danielle plays in. For some reason I thought this was a flash forward, but at no point does it come up later in the book, so I guess it’s a good old fashioned prologue. Aunt Margaret is super proud that her niece has taken a year off school to pursue this whole band thing, which to be honest should’ve been a major tip off that everything’s not alright here. Danielle wanders off on her own and is overcome by a feeling, and is disturbed from a waking dream by her little brother only to find she’d been chewing on fistfuls of raw meat.
Danielle and her band are driving to their gig. Her band includes Joey, who I think just drives them around, Mary Beth and Caroline, who I think are backup singers and play instruments, Billy, the manager, and Kit the roadie, as well as Dee, the megabitch lead singer who hates Danielle’s guts. I say “I think” for most of these because I couldn’t quite figure out or remember their roles. These losers have been playing all over the surrounding cities and don’t even have a flipping name, but they’re working on it. Danielle is new to the band, having been invited thanks to her songwriting skill and is now sharing the spotlight with Dee.
Danielle is haunted by violent visions of her parents’ deaths by car accident. She imagines the van going off the side of the cliff, and constantly sees violent imagery following her around. Everyone refers to these hallucinations as “fantasies”, which may be technically right, but isn’t quite the terminology I would use. I imagine Stine just didn’t bother looking up a different word (this was pre-Internet, after all). These nerds have been staying in nasty motels in between shows, and they arrive the night before their next gig and chill out in the club they’re going to play. Joey hits on everyone, especially Danielle, but Kit rescues her and they have a romantic moment until Danielle tries to bite his face off.
The next day they play, using Danielle’s newly written song “Bad Moonlight”, which they decide should be the name of the band. This guarantees a title drop every ten sentences, and at a certain point the use of the term “bad moonlight” just becomes comical. But they fucking kill it at the show, to the point that people demand an encore, and I cannot imagine a band who has not even decided on a name has too many songs in their repertoire, but it also seems like they rotate out people on occasion, so maybe they have some built up. Danielle is super hype about how well she did and goes running. She then imagines herself growing claws and seeing Joey before she blacks out.
The next day they’re packing up to go home. Kit is apparently super into Danielle now that she fucked up his face, and Joey is missing. His body is found shredded to pieces. No one but Dee seems any bit perturbed by this. They return home for a bit, where Danielle sees her therapist, Dr. Moore, who takes her through her hypnotherapy sessions. He thinks she seems fine, and Danielle writes some more songs about how she’s a werewolf. She writes one for Dee, and Dee flips out on her, trying to strangle her. They’re broken apart, and they arrive in town for their next show.
Danielle has more fantasies where she’s running on all fours and drinking rain water (disgusting), and they go play for what I think is hinted at being a gay club? Kit and Dee go missing, and Danielle thinks she sees Dee murdering him, but it turns out to be another hallucination. They perform to a sold out house and do great again. Dee continues to threaten Danielle, and we find out why later on. Honestly, knowing that Dee is trying to drive her away from the band for a good reason makes her even more cruel, especially when she could’ve just said ‘Hey, Danielle, these dudes are super shady maybe you shouldn’t be here anymore.’ Danielle sees Billy slumped over and thinks he’s dead as well, but he’s just drunk. The band leaves and heads back to Shadyside to relax for a bit before they have to play again.
Danielle keeps seeing Dr. Moore, and she suspects her aunt is keeping secrets from her. She finds an article of her parents’ death that mentions no car crash at all, just a mauling by a wild animal. Dee threatens Danielle one more time before up and leaving the band in a mysterious note left to Billy, who sneaks over to Danielle’s house in the middle of the night and then leaves. Finally they set up for one last show at a teen dance club, which is a thing in books and on TV but is nothing I’ve ever encountered in real life. Are their special clubs just for 18 and younger? I do not believe. Anyway, right before the show, Danielle finds the slashed up body of Dee, and the rest of her bandmates drag her away.
And then shit pops off.
Danielle tries to warn the others that Billy is a murderer, and everyone in the band transforms into a werewolf right in front of her. They all try to drag her back, but Kit shows up and rescues her. She manages to get away, lose Kit, but returns to her house, where her aunt reveals to that she’s not actually her aunt at all! Her parents and her extended family were brutally murdered by werewolves, because their werewolf master chose Danielle to be his bride! She runs to Dr. Moore’s house, but it turns out he’s Kit’s dad, and Kit is the werewolf king or whatever! So Dr. Moore has been implanting the violent fantasies, and Dee and Billy tried to warn Danielle before they were dealt with. Kit drags Danielle outside to get married right fucking there, but Danielle manages to transform into a werewolf, and she fucking murders his parts so good his limbs go flying off. Every single one of the werewolves are so happy to be free of his mind control that they raise her up, and the book ends about two seconds after that. Is Danielle still a werewolf? What will all her werewolf friends do now? Is the band still happening? If Dr. Moore was implanting the songs in her head, what will they do to write new songs now? Are there other werewolves out there? Who cares? R.L. Stine sure doesn’t.
“Know what I’m looking forward to?”
“What?” Billy asked.
Danielle grinned up at him. “Some bright sunlight!”
Fear Street Trends
Lots of skin tight clothes in red in this one, but it’s more symbolic than fashionable. Red Heat is the name of the teen dance club, which I know has shown up in other books, but I’m not sure if it’s named in the other ones.
I really enjoy a werewolf story, and it’s nice that something actually supernatural happens in this town (it seems like Stine saves those for the Superchillers), and I was a little surprised when EVERYONE turned out to be a werewolf. I’ll give it four bad moonlights out of five.