Monday, August 2, 2010

Reading History Part I: Christopher Pike

Reading History Part I: Discussion of Christopher Pike

Books have been a very large part of my life. In this post I will discuss my history with reading Christopher Pike novels, as well as favorite and least favorite novels that I like. The outline shall be like this; history of reading Christopher Pike's novels, then discussion of favorite novels and then discussion of least favorite novels. 

My earliest memories of reading Christopher Pike emerged at the time I was a preteen reading R.L Stine books. I recall that during or before 1997 I heard mention of him from my sister's friend's older sister who had a collection. There was an encouragement that I should try him out. 

Possibly around the time I became a teenager I checked out two Pike books from the library, See you Later and Whisper of Death.  At the time, or perhaps because they were very different from Stine's novels, and also due to alien nature in See You Later, immediately I was warned off from Pike. The second novel, Whisper of Death, was one I could never forget. I also got a few novels throughout the years; one is Spellbound and another is Last Vampire. Maybe at the time I wasn't ready, so I haven't touched his novels at all. Whisper of Death, however, continued to haunt me and I often thought about the book, although I remember that I only recalled the basics of the book, and nothing else. I cannot remember what I remembered back then.

Years passed since I tried reading Christopher Pike and by then my very first boyfriend broke up with me. I remember that it was around this time that I got my hand on almost all the Christopher Pike novels that I could, and eventually I finally got Whisper of Death, which became my top Christopher Pike book. Even though my first breakup happened in 2003, I still re-read his novels every year pretty much. (One can do the math pretty quickly,). These novels are something that I would want to pass them on to my future children. (One other Pike fan that I spoke with felt the same way.) 

If someone was to ask me to list favorite Christopher Pike novels, I would be pretty hard-pressed because there are many that I enjoy, and there are many that fall in between and some that aren't as good. My two favorite novels would be Whisper of Death and Scavenger Hunt followed by Spellbound. The ones that are so-so would be Monster, The Lost Mind and The Eternal Enemy. The ones that I disliked intensely were The Star Group, The visitor and possibly Execution of Innocence

For one reason or another, each time I read Whisper of Death, I always feel that I am back in eighth grade, and my crush is sitting ahead of me. I would feel like I was keyed in to his ex-girlfriend or something of the kind. The feeling Whisper of Death gives me is hard to describe. One thing about it is that its the only book that completely creeps me out. I would be sitting down and reading the novel, then shivers would go up, adrenaline would start rushing and if anyone makes a sudden noise or movement, I would be pretty startled. One time I read the novel at night and I was so scared by the ending that half the time I expected to find the antagonist in my room with the sewing sticks in her hands ready to kill me. Scavenger Hunt I enjoy because of the unexpected twists and turns, I think there is also something profound in the novel, something that begs for the sequel. Spellbound is similar reasons I think, or perhaps I enjoy the endings to the novels which would be labeled bittersweet, and many questions about life that Pike doesn't answer. Something else I enjoy in his books are the plants for the future stories I believe. One example would be is in the first Remember Me, the guy named Peter wrote a story about a character named Ann who discovered a VCR that recorded from the future, a basis for Eternal Enemy. 

However, there are some books that aren't good in my opinion. Those books would be the latest ones from Pike such as Star Group, The Visitor, Execution of Innocence, and, sadly enough, The Starlight Crystal. Starlight Crystal had big potential to be entertaining and be good if not better than Whisper of Death. It's a story about the lovers that were forced to part and wouldn't be together for billions of years. I think what spoiled this novel for me were some plot twists which added confusion for me. Since then, I have tried to read it fully, but alas I cannot. The Star Group was too short and book summary was very misleading. There were too many plot-holes and loose ends. The Visitor was interesting in beginning but became boring in the end. Execution of Innocence, I can barely remember that book. 

One book series that were completely ruined for me was Remember Me. I loved the first book and personally feel that he should have ended it right then and there. However, he decided to write two sequels which were very disappointing. I think it was around that time he was going too deeply into paranormal. In previous novels he inserted paranormal but for me it felt normal and acceptable. However, when the paranormal became too dominant, that's when I began to dislike the novels. Not to mention there was no intelligence to the later novels and I could guess a lot easily. (Not a good sign if I can guess everything easily.) 

For those who are not familiar with Christopher PIke and the novels, do not worry, I eventually will give all of them reviews, which I will post here so everyone can check out the books and see if he might be right for you. 

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