Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Review of Spellbound by Christopher Pike

Name of book: Spellbound

Author Name: Christopher Pike

ISBN: 0-671-68793-X

Publisher: Archway Paperback Novel

Type of book: Young adult

Year it was published: April 1988

Summary:

They found Karen Holly in the mountain stream, her skull crushed. There was only one witness to the tragedy, Karen's boyfriend, Jason Whitfield. He said a grizzly had killer her. But a lot of people didn't believe him. They thought Jason had murdered her in a fit of rage. And now weeks have passed, and Jason has another girlfriend, Cindy Jones. And there are the new kids in town. Joni Harper, the quiet English beauty that Cindy's brother, Alex, cannot get out of his mind. And Bala, the foreign exchange student from Africa, the grandson of a powerful shaman. Together they will return to the place where Karen was killed. Some will die. The others will come face to face with a horror beyond imagining.

Characters:

Although the characters seemed to be two dimensional in my view, they were still interesting. Aside from Bala, whom I'm not sure about, they aren't stereotypical. Cindy is either on drill team or cheerleader. (What does song squad mean anyways?) yet she's average looking and is described best as girl next door. Her brother, Alex, is an athlete yet he's serious and intelligent. Pam and Ray act as comic relief, and Bala is the wise man. Joni is the mystery. For those who are into reading about strong female characters, then this book will be for you. Cindy and Joni are the ones that changed the world so to speak, not the male characters.

Theme:

I think there are a few that I can come up with: everything is chaotic, there is much more to people than just bodies and souls. I think Pike really hit a nail during the scene when Joni questions the teacher about if the hemorrhaging creature's resurrection.

"If you put all the blood back in," Joni said suddenly, "and sewed the animal together, and had everything just the same as before, it wouldn't get up and walk away, would it? "

"If I could get the hamster to do that, I'd be preparing my Nobel prize speech right now," Magnuson said, taking his hands away from teh bloody mess and givng Joni more of his attention. "The main obstacle to bringing about that miracle is the sensitivity of the animal's brain cells. Like our own, tehy can only survive for a few minutes without oxygen. When you take away the blood, you take away the oxygen."

"But if you could fix each of the brain cells?" Joni asked.

"I still don't think the animal would get up and walk away," Magnuson said wistfully. "Something would still be missing. Some sort of precious ingredient. You could call it life itself." (Page 24)

I used to have a christian fanatic friend, and sometimes he and I would discuss heaven and all the things. One thing that always puzzled me is soul and brain. That is, its the brain that causes us to feel emotions. I always imagined soul as something that made us like or dislike things or how we react to things rather than emotions themselves. With that said, my question then goes on to this: If a human dies, the brain dies as well, and since the brain is the one that gives us pain or pleasure hormones, how do we take that part of the brain into "christian heaven?" How would we experience happiness above?

Plot:

This is written in third person point of view, with Alex and Cindy at the center. With the exception of police and what they will say to them, I think Pike has covered his bases well and leaves very little to resolve, aside from the future and what happened to the characters.

Author Information:

Christopher Pike wrote 30+ novels mainly for young adults, the most famous or well known one is The Last Vampire Saga, Final Friends and Remember Me, and his real name is Kevin McFadden. One of his books, Fall Into Darkness was created into a movie. Unfortunately he doesn’t have a website, but there is a fan club that is devoted to him. (http://www.christopherpikefanclub.com/ )

Opinion:

If I'm not mistaken, this might have been the third Pike I read. I found it to be a gripping story, as well as an interesting one. I'm not sure if Pike uses any stereotypes by writing about Bala. I did like the chemistry between him and Cindy though. This book is almost as good as Whisper of Death. This is probably one of his stronger novels I think. The only part I was dissatisfied with, and noticed, is the lack of reality consequences for the characters, but I will not go into spoilers.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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