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The Ancient Evil (1992)

The Ancient Evil (1992)

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3.43 of 5 Votes: 4
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0671745069 (ISBN13: 9780671745066)
simon pulse

About book The Ancient Evil (1992)

I'll try to keep it brief; this is honestly such a bad book that I felt frustrated reading it. I had to rush through the pages to just get it done and over with. The bad characterisation is still there and only gets worse. Kipp, Fran, Brenda and Joan now barely have much of a presence in the book because of course the focus is now mostly on Tony and Alison, but if you're going to keep a certain number in your cast don't just push them aside and just mention their involvement in the book for like, three sentences. Those two new characters? Introduced with little to no structure to hold them up; it's like they were just dumped on the story rather than presented to the audience. I'm going to put a warning here for some spoiler content: I've disliked Tony since the first book, but in this sequel his jerkass personality really comes to light. Not only does he get mad at Alison for daring to be interested in a different college than his (long distance relationships can be hard, but seriously?), but once he sees some hot new girl and chats her up, it takes him A NIGHT to dump Alison for HNG just like he did with her and Joan in the previous book, and calls her a whore to her face because he saw her hug and kiss a guy on the cheek. His issues of having lustful thoughts over HNG and spending time with her behind Alison's back before he even saw her with this other dude clearly do not spell "cognitive dissonance" to him. Clearly, he is great boyfriend material who has no trouble in maintaining a stable relationship. The plot, if even possible, is just as bad, or even worse, than the characterisation. I was actually excited to see that the threats spelled out in the new letters were actually very scary and violent -- finally, we were going to get some action here! But alas, my hopes were grinded to a fine dust when the result was just some slapdash explanations of "oh would you look at that? They didn't carry out the orders and just died, oops!" No exciting tension here, just characters getting killed off one by one in the span of a few paragraphs. To top it all off, the book absolutely reeked of right wing Christian hysteria, or at least really came off sounding like it. I honestly wouldn't have pegged Mr Pike as a suscriber to those crazy late night televangelist shows had the book not cobbled together some hasty explanation of how some satanist cult was responsible for the events of the previous book and was some terrible gateway to drug use, animal abuse, and bizarre ritual sacrifices that I'm sure real life satanists don't perform -- much easier to use The Evil Satanist stereotype rather than take the time to craft a good villain and not retcon your old one, I guess. The baddie really does sound as though she's come straight right out of those hysterical ramblings of there being "dark things afoot." Of course the HNG was the villain, because she was a tramp, a seductress who poisoned poor little Tony's mind to come to her side and encourage him to belittle Alison to her face (and, as said before, was just dumped into the plot with no exposition. Ergo, obvious baddie). Let's face it, the guy will never be blamed for being unfaithful in these kind of books, because being a bad boyfriend is somehow excusable but being a hot girl isn't --and those old religious men know alll about how a good figure somehow means having command over Evil Powers, no? Furthering that absolutely terrible villain introduction is more tedious pages detailing how she uses sex to control him and convince him to go after Alison before she discovers the secret in the desert. By this point HNG is openly referred to as a witch and was somehow able to cause all of the other deaths in the book even though it's never explained how she came into contact with her other victims, because Evil Powers somehow work that way. The whole Christian tropes thing really gets unbearable towards the climax once HNG is revealed to be the host of some Ancient Evil --such an obvious, uninspired stand in for the devil-- which, not surprisingly, takes the form of a black snake (Get it? Snakes? Women? Sexy women and snakes and sin? Yes you do). The Christ-like figure which had been visiting Alison in her dreams for like, two paragraphs, had advised her to use "love" to fight that evil and she takes it as a go-ahead to blow her own brains out. What do you know! Tony is distraught and declares that He Does Love her After All. No apologies for being a possessive jerkass or insulting her or being terrible at being a faithful boyfriend; all it took was his girlfriend to seriously injure herself before he somehow remembered that he was supposed to support his girlfriend and love her. The story ends with the Christ figure stopping the snake, The Power of Love heals Alison, THE END. That's it. I didn't think a sequel to the last book would be so bad, but this really proved me wrong. Between the characterisation that somehow got worse, the continued bashing of the female characters, and the plot that become even poorer and more rushed than the last, the only thing I can say is that I would never wish the horror that is this book to be part of some poor unfortate soul's bookcase.

In the second book of the Chain Letter Duology, the remaining members of the gang receive another chain letter a few months after the events of the first book. But this time the Caretaker is asking them to do some unimaginable things and the consequences are grave, deadly.First off, let me start by saying I would have been perfectly happy if there wasn't a second book in the series. I just want to erase the memory of it cause I loved the first one but this one didn't live up to it. The book starts with Tony and Alison, my favorite couple, fighting about going into different colleges while on the other side of town the chain letter is being discovered by its first victim. I thought that after they found the chain letter, they would put their differences aside and try to survive this Caretaker, but no such luck. There was a lot of teenage drama. Tony was turning into an insecure jerk and I just wanted to punch him. Besides the drama, there was this whole cult, satanic theme that was so uncalled for. It felt like it was there just so the author would have something more to write about.Now, on to what I did like. Eric, a new character, who is kind of a PI, not exactly really but he was pretty awesome. Smart and curious, just how I like them. He was the one who help Alison discover the mystery behind the man in the desert and well, everything else after that. He was my favorite character in this book. Since Tony had turned into a jerk and Alison didn't have the spark she did in the first book.Another think I enjoyed about the second book is what happened when someone broke the chain, made it so much more serious. But still I prefer the first book, with all the mystery, real mystery, and the action scenes in the end. This one's ending felt a little bit rushed to me, not much action or horror movie scenes.

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This book picks up a few months after Chain Letter ends. Neil is dead and everyone believes that he was the Caretaker-the evil behind the letters they had all received. The book begins as Fran receives a letter telling her she must drown her new puppy or she will be killed. She ignores the letter and is beheaded. Allison and Tony lose faith in each other and one falls prey to an evil force.I remember reading the first book, Chain Letter when I was in eighth grade and loving it. Christopher Pike was always a reading staple of mine, but this was not enjoyable. The main themes of this were satanic worship and evil coming to life, which are not topics I find fun.

Well, I was disappointed. I was wondering how Chain Letter could of had a sequel, and now I really wish I didn't... The Ancient Evil takes place a few months after Chain Letter leaves off. Neil's dead and now there are only six of them. One day Fran (once again) get's an envelope in the mail. And oh no, the games have started all over again. But this time they're forced to do incredibly awful things or they die a horrible death. I was sort of interested after seeing the first task. Oh good! Something that will actually be interesting and hard to do. But basically they all (view spoiler)[pick death or try to defy the Caretaker (hide spoiler)]

Okay let's get this out of the way. The second book was... not very good (that's me being nice)Where in the hell a satanic ritual came in to play, I'll never know. The characters had lost all their personality in this book,things were unrealistic; for example how Eric was so quick to believe anything Allison said and how Brenda so easily cut her finger off. The dreams were stupid and the fact that the books were decent until somehow, satanic rituals actually work!!!! just a big no onn this book

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