Retro Reading: Mother's Day by Eric Morse
Welcome back, Mrs. Voorhees
When the ending credits rolled for Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, you knew that wasn't the ending of the horror franchise. In fact, eleven months later a series of young adult horror novels popped up.
I found them playing around online while looking to read the original movie tie-ins. There were only four that were published, but I have to say, they were pretty interesting. The idea behind them is pretty original as well.
Starting with Mother's Day, an unlucky hunter is out in the woods by Crystal Lake and stumbles over a raised stone. It turns out to be a crude grave marker and buried is Jason Voorhees' infamous mask. Soon he starts to hear a woman's voice and the rest they say is history.
Back in the city a few hundred miles away, Billy Boone and his friends are preparing to leave for a weekend at the deserted Camp Crystal Lake. Billy persuades Carly McDonnell to come along and after protesting, finally gives in.
The group stops at a gas station, then continue on to the camp. Unlike the films, author Eric Morse creates the soon-to-be-slaughtered teens by actually giving us backgrounds of them. They're your typical teens of 1994.
Since there's no electricity, Morse adds a lot of suspense in his description of the camp at night which may or may not give you goose bumps. For a young adult reading it, possibly. Okay, I did stop reading when I heard a noise. I admit it (and it was daylight to boot)!
While we know what happens at the camp, there's no need to get into the murders, but Morse takes the teens out of the camp when trying to escape, which is something the films don't always show. Plus, we join the campers prior to their weekend, the first night and into the following night.
I think what gives it that creepy feeling is the murders don't only happen at night and knowing that you're alone in the woods during the day with death all around you adds to the suspense.
Since these books are geared toward younger readers, the kills are a little graphic but tame. Anyone with a vivid imagination can fill in the gaps.
If you have a child who likes to read and enjoys a good scare, then this first installment may be something he or she would enjoy. While I thought it was a good start, I eagerly awaited the next installment.
The books are marketed under Camp Crystal Lake if you're looking for them.