Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Reader's Diary #1010- James Howe: Bunnicula Strikes Again!

Last month when I reviewed the 4th book in James Howe's Bunnicula series, I remarked that I was surprised that an end didn't seem in sight. Oddly, in Bunnicula Strikes Again! the series did seem to end— odd because there's still one book left in the series.

Plot-wise, Bunnicula Strikes Again starts off seeming like it will be just more of the same. One small beef that I had with the beginning is when Howe breaks the fourth wall by having Harold, the narrating dog, defend his taste for chocolate to fans who'd wrote in saying that it can be harmful to a dog's health, by basically saying, "I'm fictional, get over it." The concern, just as it may have been, could have been handled without this sudden breaking of character.

Another beef, that turned out not to be a beef in the end, is Chester. Chester, despite the name of the series, has always been the antagonist. A suspicious, over-imaginative cat, he's the one who's always driven the action. However, he'd always been somewhat lovable despite it all. In Bunnicula Strikes Again, Chester's relentless Bunnicula paranoia deteriorates into downright hostility and he becomes even unlikeable.

Trying not to give too much away, Chester is redeems himself at the end and everything seems wrapped up nice and tight. In fact, there's even mention of Howie, the dachshund puppy, considering writing his own series (which does eventually happen with Howe's Tales From the House of Bunnicula). So with no loose ends and the spinoff already in the works, why did Howe feel the need to add a seventh book, Bunnicula Meets Edgar Allan Crow to the series? Guess I'll just have to find out.

I should also mention that Howe's allusions to other horror greats that I've been enjoying so much, took a more contemporary turn in Bunnicula Strikes Again! as R. L. Stine's widely popular Goosebumps series is lampooned on more than a few occasions.

No comments: