If you haven’t checked out my previous Fear Street Sagas posts, the Fear Street Sagas is a Fear Street miniseries that follows the lives of various members of the doomed Fear family. I love when R.L. Stine takes a step back in time and I love origin stories and this series is the perfect combination of both. Each book is its own standalone chapter and takes you back to the lives touched by the evil of the Fear family, long before Fear Street even broke ground. So take a journey back into the past, and read about some of the lesser known Fiers/Fears. I promise they’re worth it! 😉
The dark power of the Fear family consumes all those connected with it. The Fears. Those they love – and hate. The entire town of Shadyside. All are tainted forever by the evil of the family’s curse. No one can escape…
“Fear Street Sagas #5 – This Hidden Evil”
Fear Street Scale: 4.5 out of 5 Fears
Timothy Fier has a story to tell. A dangerous story. A story that has power over anyone who listens to it. A story that has the power to awaken creatures best left sleeping; the power to summon the dead. It is a story of evil – the worst kind imaginable – the evil in the heart of a child. Come and listen to Timothy’s story – a story so terrifying only a Fier could tell it.
I admit that this book didn’t pique much interest before I started reading it. It was just one of the books I had to read in order to go on to the next. But this book was much better than I ever expected. The book is set up as a true ghost story being shared with a group of friends who want to hear a truly terrifying tale. Timothy Fier is telling his friends a story full of murder, mystery and ghosts. It begins ten years earlier (this book’s present day was 1858) when a young girl named Maggie Alston is accused (and later convicted) of murdering her father. But she has been framed! A constable feels strongly that she is innocent and helps her escape the jail the morning before her execution. She was an heiress, but now she is penniless and needs to get out of town to start over. She is the main protagonist in Timothy’s tale.
Maggie is quite spirited for a girl back then, let alone an heiress, so I loved her. It also helped that she was a fellow redhead playing the female redhead stereotype as though it was made up just for her. She goes to work as a governess for a wealthy family. Maggie is to take care of the man’s two young sons who recently lost their mother. But things get off to a rocky start when a few people warn her that she needs to leave and one of the boys seem deeply troubled – like in a homicidal kind of way. Garrett a.k.a. Mr. Trouble draws disturbing pictures of his last three governesses – all dead and being eaten by various creatures. After some dead animals and plenty of assaults and “almost accidents” that could have been fatal, Maggie knows she must speak to her employer because Garrett needs special care before he harms his brother or her or anyone else.
But this is also supposed to be a ghost story and that’s where Garrett’s mother comes in. Maggie keeps hearing horrible wails and crying in the night. Both boys are certain it is their mother, who wants to be let out of her sick room at the top of one of the house’s tower. It is the room she died in and it has been locked up ever since. Maggie doesn’t believe it at first, but when she starts seeing the ghost of their mother for herself she can’t help but wonder. So much is wrong and so much is being kept from her.
But remember this book’s title, the real evil is not what is right in front of Maggie but what she cannot see, and if she doesn’t figure the mystery of the manor, the boys’ mother’s death and what is going on with that one troubled boy – she is going to join the other governesses soon – six feet under!
For the most part I really liked this book. It had a kick-ass ending, the best in this miniseries so far, and a likeable character, not to mention a mystery full of plenty of twists. It is the second book in this miniseries, however that has no connection to the Fear family members we already know of, and for this reason, like I said in the third book in this series, I want to know how Timothy and his family are related to those Fears. Give me some kind of extended family tree! I also wished that I had actual answers to how Garrett’s mother died, who she was when she was alive and what her motivations were. I felt this was important to the story, and also one of the key mysteries, but the reader gets very few answers – just how she was, but not why. And I still am not sure how she died. Was she really sick? Did Garrett really kill her? Did someone else kill her? And while I can guess, I want to know why her ghost was hanging around besides causing the usual mayhem.
But again, I really liked this book. Even if it left me wanting for more that was only because it got me to care in the first place. And that doesn’t always happen! 😉
I think I am giving up on guessing ahead of time when a book is going to be great or not. I mean any book I was kind of, “Let’s get this over with,” like this book or the second book of this miniseries, “House of Whispers,” and they are the ones that kind of wow me. And the ones I am excited about don’t seem to live up to my hype. No more guessing – I’m just going to go with it, and enjoy the ride! 😛