Book Review–Red Rain by R.L. Stine


This is the 63rd book from my 200 Book Reading Challenge.


Red Rain by R.L. Stine
Published October 1st, 2012

Travel writer Lea Sutter finds herself on a small island off the coast of South Carolina, the wrong place at the wrong time. A merciless, unanticipated hurricane cuts a path of destruction and Lea barely escapes with her life. In the storm’s aftermath, she discovers orphaned twin boys and impulsively decides to adopt them.

The boys, Samuel and Daniel, seem amiable and immensely grateful; Lea’s family back on Long Island—husband Mark and their two children, Ira and Elena—aren’t quite so pleased. But even they can’t anticipate the twins’ true nature—or predict that, within a few weeks’ time, Mark will wind up implicated in two brutal murders, with the police narrowing in


I’m not new to R.L. Stine’s work–I grew up with his Goosebumps books as well as the Fear Street series. I still read some of those books even to this day and was pretty obsessed with them as a kid. R.L. Stine was my favorite author growing up and part of the reason that I also grew to love writing as well as reading.

I was pretty excited to learn that my favorite childhood author had written a book geared more toward my current age–an adult novel. I love Stephen King books and enjoy some of Dean Koontz’s work (though he tends to be a bit too bizarre for my taste) so I couldn’t wait to read Red Rain.

Even though I’ve had the book on my Kindle for a while, I just got around to reading it. Seemed fitting since I was on vacation at the Outer Banks, which is sort of similar to the setting that Red Rain begins at.

This book made me feel conflicted. I wanted to love it because it was written by R.L. Stine, and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it like I’d hoped I would. I believe making a list of things I enjoyed and things I didn’t will get my points about the book across best.

***The next part of this review may contain spoilers. Proceed at your own risk!***

Things I Liked:

1. The Story.

I believe R.L. Stine was and always will be a superb storyteller. He’s got a pretty great imagination and does a wonderful job in bringing his ideas to life through his writing. The plot/story of Red Rain for the most part succeeded in sucking me in. I just had to know what happened in the end, even after reading the very first chapter. While the book contained elements and themes most readers have seen before, I felt the story was pretty original.

2. The Setting.

The setting used for the book in the beginning and throughout the rest of it worked very well with the story. I especially liked the beginning setting, though the other setting was also nice because it was easy to become familiar with.

3. The Descriptions.

Really enjoyed the descriptions in this. I especially liked the descriptions of the “red rain.” I feel sometimes horror authors don’t describe things nearly as well as I’d hoped they would, but Stine has no problems with that here.

4. The Plot Twists

Being familiar with Stine’s work, I’ve always enjoyed his plot twists for the most part. Even though the plot twist behind the twins was pretty obvious, I didn’t expect the one behind Lea and Axl. Stine still has his touch. I especially liked the one for Lea. I mean, wow!

Now, for the Things I Didn’t Like:

1. The Characters.

Typically I don’t enjoy a book if I don’t like the characters well. Sometimes there are exceptions, and Red Rain is one of them because I didn’t really like any of the characters. Lea, Ira, Samuel, and Elena were okay, but I honestly could have cared less about anyone else, especially Mark, Autumn, and the cop. Daniel was okay at times, but his repetitive phrases really got on my nerves after a while.

I probably would have liked Mark better if he hadn’t had an affair. He sort of redeemed himself in the end by playing the hero, but even with the plot twist, I still didn’t care for him. I wanted to like him because I enjoy characters who are authors as well, but I’m not a big fan of affairs and the whole incident just made me dislike him.

The cop just simply got on my nerves. I didn’t like Autumn for obvious reasons, though I did feel bad for her later on.

I think I would have loved this book much more if I could have liked the characters better. It’s not my story, but I feel it would have been better without the affair, without the cop’s POV, and without having certain phrases drilled into my head again and again.

2. Sex Scenes.

R.L. Stine, can you please just not write any more of these? Thanks. They weren’t the worst ones I’ve ever read, but there is a limit to how many times you can use “creamy.”

3. Writing & Editing.

The writing itself wasn’t completely terrible, but there were a lot of parts where I wondered if the book was actually being written for adults. The short and choppy sentences worked in some scenes, but in others they made me feel like the writing had gone back to Goosebumps.

I also caught several errors (mostly incorrect dialogue tags and such) that should have been caught in editing. This dislike wasn’t a huge reason I didn’t love the book, but it was a contributing factor.

Overall, R.L. Stine did a great job with the story, setting, and descriptions. He also did a good job at making the children creepy, but at the same time they weren’t as effective, in my opinion, due to the repetitious phrases. “I rule the school” was the most annoying. The characters themselves weren’t spectacular, but weren’t all terribly bad. Also, Stine, NO MORE SEX SCENES. Got it?




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