Starting off my reread of one of my favorite R.L. Stine series, I decided to delve into “Welcome to Horrorland: A Survival Guide”, and I’m so glad I did! This quirky companion novel is a joy to flick through, adding background and creativity to the already well fledged world of the Horrorland series. Stine is obviously an inner child himself, with no difficulties being imaginative and full of ideas. Horrorland itself is a clever idea; a twist on the classic theme park location that is less about having safe fun and more about having dangerous thrills.
The survival guide introduces humorously named employees of the park, like Clem Muncie or Doug Hisgrave. It not only goes over many of the different locations, such as the Werewolf Village and Vampire Village, or the lovely Staggering Inn. I love the details- which, I believe, make even more significance to adults than children- such as the maid, Linda, who only cleans the rooms “whenever she feels like it”.
R.L. Stine’s humor runs rampant through this book, all appropriate for children but just as amusing for adults, and with enough gag jokes to be interesting instead of boring. I also love that there is representation in his work- like including vegetarian dishes on the horrific menu, and little nods to the way the attractions work, like having to rent special shoes in order to sink faster in the quicksand.
Well thought out and a great representation of all the possibilities in the actual novels, this book makes you want to dive right into the series. My only complaint is, perhaps, the formatting and the number of advertisement pages. There was a good section at the end that I merely skimmed instead of fully processing, because it didn’t seem relevant to the rest of the book. Overall, though, a great little guide to start with and enjoy what’s to come.