I’ve just finished reading R.L. Stine’s Red Rain because I wanted to get the feel of a R.L. book again for my future children's stories. I’m going to reveal the plot so if you haven’t read it, although it's 2-3 years old by now, there are spoilers ahead.
It starts off all fine. Lea Sutter is a travel blogger, arriving on the small island of Cape Le Chat Noir off the banks of South Carolina. She’s there to blog about the island and all of its haunted history. Sunken Spanish ships, dark-magic rituals and stories of the dead walking amongst the living.
Whilst there, Lea watches a ritual, amidst Hurricane Ernesto, called Revenir which is French for “to come back”, which is part of a practice called Mains Magiques, or magic hands. Lea is staying with Macaw (yes, a character is called Macaw) and Pierre Henders who own the little Starfish House hotel. While Ernesto is tearing the island apart, she boarders with Martha and James Swann, who she’d been communicating with about visiting, and met up with Martha on the island.
They survive the hurricane but Lea goes off wondering and ends up seeing too many dreadful things. Dead bodies, dying people, Starfish House is in ruins and Macaw is dead with a nail through her eye, blech. I won’t go into it in any more detail. She ends up on the beach with millions of dead starfish all washed up on shore, and then, in the distance, sees two little blue eyed blonde boys walking along. She becomes addicted to them and ends up taking them back home to Sag Harbour where she lives with her husband and two children Ira and Elena, and Mark’s sister Roz and her two year old Axl.
At first you’d think all is well, but then the two little angelic boys start their murder spree and hypnotise the town’s children, including Ira and Elena. Mark is arrested for those murders, since one happened in his driveway, another was a school mate of the kids, and the third was Autumn, Mark’s assistant who he had a quick fuck over his desk with.
As it turns out, by chapter 26 I wanted to punch the fucking shit out of Lea. During the book we realise the boys had hypnotised her but seriously, she never said no to them, made excuses for them, argued with everyone over them and was the biggest bimbo of the book. I hated her guts and wanted her to die by chapter 26.
Well, it turns out the psycho twins kill a few more people and burn a few houses down, but because of an email and skype chat Lea had with Martha, she found out the kids had actually died in 1935 in the last hurricane, and because the Revenir had been performed on them, although too late, had returned with evil inside of them.
Well, and here’s the spoilers, Mark managed to save his own kids plus all of the others in the school where the twins had them holed up (they killed the chief of police and tried to kill another officer who got into the school), but Mark smashed the twins heads together to make them stop, thus ending the hold over the other kids, but Lea had to save Mark from the dastardly blond duo who tried to kill him.
While Mark, Lea and the psycho twins are standing on the wharf, the dumb as shit Lea just stood there while the twins tried burning Mark alive. They blew up cars, burned down stores, and killed other people before dumb as shit Lea finally did something. She grabbed the twins in a choke hold and turned Samuel’s eyes to hers. Samuel had the heat, basically Superman’s burning vision. Daniel had the anger and the ability to get inside other people’s minds and hypnotise them to do whatever he wanted them to. In the end, Samuel burnt her and by her hanging onto them and not letting go, all three went up in flames.
Turns out, not only were the twins actually dead, but so was Lea, who died in Hurricane Ernesto as Martha and James had run and gotten the priest to perform the ritual. Martha had taken photos and eventually sent them to her.
At the very end of the book, Mark and Roz are out back in the garden with baby Axl when Axl shows signs of the heat that Samuel had taught him. Not sure what they’re going to do with a killer of a two year old now.
My thoughts on this book.
R.L. says he watched Village of the Damned, Children of the Damned and Island of the Damned as inspiration, as well as doing research into the phenomenon known as Red Rain. He pondered over it after someone suggested it and eventually, once the idea formed, wrote it.
It’s supposed to be for adults, for me I’d say it’s teen/young adult like his Fear Street books as it’s written in the same style. There is sex, but there’s also 12 year olds saying fuck a few times so take your pick on the age group. It was very easy to read, albeit 369 pages long in a 6x9 inch size book. It took me a few hours but I did skim across many pages due to characters annoying me (Lea) and just a big bunch of bullshit going on. And I wasn’t even half way through when I wanted to jump to the end just so it was over. But, you miss stuff when you do that so I skimmed quickly and came to the end then thanked God it was over.
Not the best book I’ve read. While I haven’t read Stine’s books for a good couple of decades it’s very much like his others, although I do remember the Fear Street books being more adult. The concept has been used before, evil kids, not sure the red rain concept has so putting them together is interesting but that’s where it stops. The kids are annoying, Lea is annoying, Mark is a cheating cock, Roz says nothing when the twins call Axl a chimpanzee, ugh, so many things I wanted to smack characters in the head for.
If you love R.L. give this a go whether you’re a young or old adult or love strange concepts. For me, it wasn’t fantastic and the reviews on Amazon are telling that it's not his best, but I am going to steal the title for a short story!