Red Rain by R.L. Stine
Published by Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
From the publisher:
Before there was J. K. Rowling, before there was Stephenie Meyer or Suzanne Collins, there was R.L. Stine. Witty, creepy, and compulsively readable, his books defined horror for a generation of young readers— readers who have now come of age. In Red Rain, Stine uses his unerring knack for creating terror to tap into some very grownup fears. 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 through the island and Lea barely escapes with her life.
In the storm’s aftermath, she discovers two orphaned boys—twins. Filled with a desire to do something to help, to make something good of all she witnessed, Lea impulsively decides to adopt them. The boys, Samuel and Daniel, seem amiable and immensely grateful; Lea’s family back on Long Island—husband Mark, a child psychologist, 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 read a LOT of R.L. Stine when I was younger. I think I read every single Fear Street book that I could find at my local library, and before that I read most of the Goosebumps books. I was somewhat nervous about reading Red Rain, though, because I couldn’t imagine how Stine’s style would translate to an adult audience. And I have to be honest here and say that I was right to be worried – I didn’t enjoy this one much. I felt like I was reading a Fear Street book – it was written as if for a teen or even older middle grade audience, but with a lot of sex and swear words thrown in to maybe make it more of an adult book. I don’t know about you, but gratuitous sex and random curse words does NOT magically turn a book into one for adult audiences. For me, those elements were simply annoying and unnecessary.
Besides that, I didn’t love what Stine did with the story. I was somewhat interested in the concept, but once it got going I became frustrated with every one of the characters as they failed to see what was so blatantly in front of their eyes. Also, who randomly decides to take home a set of twin boys? It was just strange, and not at all realistic in my opinion.
I don’t want to rip the book apart too much, so I’ll stop here and just say that I’m sad to say Red Rain disappointed me. While I can’t recommend the book, perhaps certain readers who are really excited to read something new from R.L. Stine may want to check it out.