Mx3 Review: Red Rain by R.L. Stine

October 11, 2012 Horror, Murders, Monsters, & Mayhem, Review, Touchstone Books 7

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (October 9, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1451636121
  • Source: Publisher

Lea Sutter is a travel writer, struggling to make a name for herself. She heads to a small, isolated island off the coast of South Carolina. The island, Cape Le Chat Noir, isn’t visited much by outsiders. It’s history is dark; the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 decimated the island, killing hundreds of innocent people. Rumor has it that people returned from the dead to help survivors rebuild.

Lea finds herself on the island just as it is about to be hit by yet another hurricane. Reluctant to accept the inevitable fate, Lea prefers to believe history will not repeat itself. Unfortunate, it does. The devastation is incredible, bodies (and parts of bodies) strewn all over the island. Lea is traumatized, never witnessing an event so incredibly upsetting. As she takes in the destruction around her, she sees two blonde, angelic-looking twin boys on the island. Twelve years old, Daniel and Samuel have lost their parents and home to the hurricane. Lea sees hope in the two boys and takes them back to New York with her…”adopting” them in the loosest sense of the word. Her husband, Mark, and friend, Margaret, warn her that she’s acting on emotion, acting hastily. Yet from the moment she saw the boys, hugged them, she was smitten.

Lea and the twins return back to New York and introduce the twins to the rest of the Sutter family, including Lea and Mark’s two teen children and Mark’s sister, Roz. The twins are certainly unique characters, using terminology far beyond their years. Reluctant to sleep in the attic bedroom Mark has created for them, they instead opt to sleep in the guest house out back. It isn’t long before tragedy strikes again when a brutal murder occurs in the Sutter’s driveway. The death count continues to steadily rise, each victim horrifically burned. The police suspect Mark is the one behind all the murders for how could two beautiful angelic boys, already victims of tragedy themselves, be behind it all?

Let me start out by saying I absolutely love R.L. Stine, a fan since I was a pre-teen myself. When I learned he was publishing a horror for adults, I was thrilled! While I found Red Rain to be entertaining, I didn’t find it to be incredibly terrifying. To me, it was very reminiscent of the books I loved and adored as a child, yet with a few adult scenes thrown in. Also, as you have to do with many of Stine’s books, you pretty much have to dispel all inklings of believability or probability. Additionally, more detail could have gone into some aspects of the novel, including the island’s dark past and the twins…powers.

If I were to compare this novel to Stine’s past work, I would state this is one of his best. That said, if I were to compare this to another adult horror, it would pale in comparison. So, if you are reading this novel to reunite with a favorite author from your youth, you’ll be pleased. If you are going into this novel to be terrified…not so much. Don’t misunderstand me, I did really enjoy this book on the merit of the author’s talented storytelling. I’ll continue to recommend it, just as I did before I even had the chance to recommend it, but with a bit of explanation behind my recommendation.




7 Responses to “Mx3 Review: Red Rain by R.L. Stine”

  1. Becky
    Twitter: BeckyLeJeune

    Jenn, I am dying to read this! I read Stine and Pike exclusively as a kid — until I ran out. It’s a shame this one doesn’t truly terrify the adult reader, but I’m just as pleased to return to my childhood fave and see what he’s up to!

  2. harvee
    Twitter: BookDilettante

    I have this one on my shelves and may pick it up when I’m in the mood for a good horror novel.

  3. Bob
    Twitter: guildedearlobe


    I have never read anything by RL Stine


    I really didn’t get into horror until I was like 15, and I jumped right into King/Koontz/Matheson. Before that I read mostly Agatha Christie, and my sisters Daniel Steele and VC Andrews books when she wasn’t paying attention.

  4. Alison's Book Marks

    I finally finished writing my review for RED RAIN…as someone who does not read horror the way you do (Miss Monsters and Mayhem!) RL Stine scared the pants off me! I thought it was scary in that fun way that gives you butterflies while you watch Nightmare on Elm Street. So, while horror fans might feel like it leaves them flat, rookies (like me) will love it!