It is a dark and stormy night and time for revenge of the nerd, Friday the 13th style. Teddy Bateman is Buzzy the Bee, Carville Hornets’ team mascot. He has a crush on Summer but has never had a girlfriend. This short, geeky senior is understandably angry about being the target of bullying.
He’s on the way back from a football game with the players, cheerleaders and coach that contribute to his misery. Good on him for being the one who finds the mask. It’s a pity the mask wearer usually winds up a corpse in this series. Jason himself is still a no show.
“You’re going to die”
The potential Voorhees victims in this book:
Carville Hornets (a school football team):
Coach Wardell – if you don’t play sports then you’re of no interest to Coach, unless he’s taking out his frustration on you.
Russ Johnson – linebacker star on the field and boyfriend of Belinda off the field.
Slick Chambers – top receiver and the fastest player. He’s a serial cheater and doesn’t say ‘no’ to drugs, so not even his “sexy eyebrows” will be enough to save this player.
Dave Myers – quarterback and captain of the team, who also does drugs. Dave has put a limit on the amount of times his ditzy but loyal girlfriend is allowed to tell him she loves him each day, so I’m not sure we‘re cheering him on to survive.
Billy Raymond – centre. He travelled back on the bus so, although we’re briefly introduced to him, he’s irrelevant to this story.
Tommy Bartlett – kicker. He took the bus as well. Therefore, he’s irrelevant too.
The Cheerleaders (there are ten but we’re only introduced to four):
Missy Lowe – cheerleading captain. Missy is tall and blonde. She’s enthusiastic, especially about her love for Dave (who she knits for) but we constantly reminded how dumb she is.
Summer Stone – has four older brothers and is a cynic. She’s tall, with dark hair and blue eyes. Her weakness is Slick, who has no doubt cheated on her a lot more times than she knows about.
Belinda Karras – a control freak, Belinda is short and pretty.
Arlene Kerdell – the top girl of the cheerleading pyramid, Arlene takes the bus, so we didn’t really need to learn her name.
The Trooper – for someone who plays a larger role in the story than I initially expected, I thought he had earned a name. I was wrong; he’s the Trooper the entire time. Although law enforcement don’t usually fare well in horror stories he does warn some randoms about the town’s history, so there’s a slim chance he’ll survive.
Tina – other than being the trooper’s wife, the only other piece of information I have about this woman is spoilery in nature. She’s unlikely to survive.
Cliff – an architect and the trooper’s best friend. His character is essentially only there to help tell Tina’s spoilery story so we may as well dig his grave now.
Donny Borelli – as far as I can tell, Donny and his friend, Stu Bergman, served their purpose in this book as soon as they introduced the trooper, the cave and the vampire bats.
Mr Morrisey – bus driver. It appears they are smart enough not to take the Crystal Lake detour.
“You’re going where?”
While I wasn’t invested in any character enough to hope they lived (or died) I did have to give most of the characters some credit. Other than Donny, Stu and the locals, no one actually planned on spending any time in Voorhees-land. The Carville Hornets are actually the only ones in this series so far that didn’t reserve their death day in advance.
With spelunking, strange hybrid vampire bats, cheating partners and too much time spent at the football game, this is definitely not my favourite slaughter fest of the series. The mask has once again added more magic to its repertoire, with a newly found ability to remotely operate a car, even before it’s attached to someone’s face. The introduction of the cave, especially minus a backstory, felt like a weird choice although it did provide a semi-legitimate reason for the inclusion of the vampire bats.
A series of unanswered questions relate directly to the bats, the most pressing of which is: What is their backstory and why are we not told about it?
It took quite a while for the hockey mask action to commence. This is a short book, yet it wasn’t until page 96 that someone put the mask on and the first kill by the person wearing the hockey mask didn’t happen until page 116! Even then, one of my biggest disappointments of the third book was repeated here: the hockey mask guy wasn’t even directly responsible for about half of the kills.
The Death Toll: a spider, bat and somewhere between 9 and 11 people.
The spider got squished by a car in the prologue and then I had to wait around for a while before I got to the first human kill.
Of those not killed by the person possessed by the hockey mask, three people were shot (Tina, Coach and Cliff), Slick was sucked dry by vampire bats and Teddy got roasted. The hockey mask guy was only directly responsible for four deaths (unnamed trooper, Missy, Belinda and Dave).
I think one of our two spelunkers (Donny and Stu) was dispatched via vampire bat and the other was never heard from again, but I may be wrong about these guys. It didn’t seem overly specific at the time.
“You’re the world’s biggest fungus brain”
Kill of the Book: Missy, who was skewered with her own knitting needles, which were attached to the stinger on the mascot’s head.
There are some racist, sexist and homophobic comments and enough discrepancies between the text and cover image to tell me that the artist didn’t read the book. The uniforms on the cover are blue and white but in the book they’re orange and black. The kid in the hockey mask is supposed to have dark, curly hair and the blonde girl is supposed to have her hair in a whole pile of braids. The killer doesn’t wield a machete in the book, the van is supposed to be white and, as I’ve already said, the massacre takes place on a dark and stormy night.
If you are planning on reading this series you should probably read them in order. The second book follows on from the first and the events of the third book are mentioned in this one.
Once Upon a Blurb
When the football team van swerves off the road and crashes after the big game, everyone blames Teddy, the class nerd and the team’s mascot. While his tormentors take shelter at Camp Crystal Lake, Teddy trades in his mascot suit for Jason’s hockey mask – and makes this a night his classmates will never forget.