Jolly Good Bookie: Ghouls Gone Wild


Hey guys it’s Sam, and I’ve decided to take a break from all of this game talk. I have a lot of segments I do here, and every day a new post idea pops into my head. Anyways, there was one idea I got from a night-and-day evaluation, and that is known online as Jolly Good Bookie. I’ve decided to bring it back, especially with a book tribute to that ghoulish day of the month. Today’s book is, as seen above, is the fifth of R.L. Stine’s (Goosebumps, Fear Street, etc.) Mostly Ghostly series, Ghouls Gone Wild. (April 2005)

HOME, SWEET, HAUNTED HOME

Max’s parents are planning to sell their house and move the family far, far away. Max has to stop them! He can’t leave Nicky and Tara, the two ghosts who live with him. They need him. He’s the only one who can help them become real kids again! But Max has another problem right now–a figure dressed in black, with a face hidden in shadow. It’s a boy–or is it? That’s what Max needs to know, because this shadowy figure is following Max. Watching him. Waiting for him…

…………..

If you haven’t read the MG series (which is surprisingly good, hands down), this is what you need to know about it: there’s an 11-year old kid (by book 6, he turns 12) named Max E. Doyle. He’s an amateur magician with a buff meat link and a scrawny bird of a dad and mom, and Colin the buff brother who literally eats child abuse for breakfast. Apparently starting from book 1, he becomes haunted by two young “orphaned” ghosts, Nicky and Tara. They say they have no idea how they became ghosts, and they have no idea where their parents are. Max is the only one that can see them, which proves for a lot of mislead antics in the series. Why is Max the only one? That is revealed in book 3, but for now I must keep it under wraps.

He’s also haunted by another much more unfriendly ghost, named Phears (assuming that it’s pronounced “fears”). Apparently he knows how to get his hands on a Berserker ghoul (courtesy of book 2) and cannot quench his limitless thirst of destroying Max, Nicky, Tara, and parents once and for all. Even if he has to turn his dog inside out and drill his teeth in!

Anyway, this book may be the fifth, but it’s the fourth book I’ve read. It’s surprisingly good, on the bottom line, but some of Nicky and Tara’s antics do anger me. You see, when someone would laugh at a lame joke, I would anger myself over it. That’s why some of the worst books I’ve read are some of the worst books I’ve read. End of story.

1 out of 5 – Educational value – Max is known at school as “Brainimon”, being a good-brained, straight A student. Otherwise, there’s not really aspects worth giving points to even in school scenes.

0 out of 5 – Positive messages – Not really much.

0 out of 5 – Positive role models – Max does stand up against himself in problems even if he does it in a shade of fear.

4 out of 5 – Ease of readGhouls Gone Wild proves itself as an impressive age ranger for almost all ages. Its scares can revolve around jokes from a mile away, and besides being scary, it’s also impressively funny.

2 1/2 out of 5 – Violence – A mayor gets hit in the head with a trophy, and some rancid steaks do come to life and almost destroy Max.

1 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – Max has a crush on the school’s prettiest and coolest student, Traci Wayne.

1 out of 5 - Language – Colin fires all sorts of mean names at Max, including “stupid klutz”.

1 out of 5 – Product PlacementMostly Ghostly is one of R.L.’s many successful horror series.

0 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – This aspect is not featured.

CONSENSUS: Ghouls Gone Wild may anger the sensitive readers with its endless list of antics, but when it progresses, the skin of slow-downs unravels to find a terrific scream at its core.

Entertainment: A (5 points)

Fun: A (5 points)

Smarts: A- (4 points)

Style: B+ (4 points)

Read-Again Ratio: A (5 points)

Humor: A- (4 points)

Final score: 27 out of 30 (SO CLOSE!), 4 1/2 stars out of 5

……………………….

Best part: The best scene for me. Slap my rear and call me Paul Revere, was it funny! It started near the beginning of the book, the scene we all know as “Mayor takes the plunge”. This not only wins my award of “FUNNIEST SCENE IN A HORROR BOOK“, but it also wins the “MAYOR WITH THE FUNNIEST NAME” award (Mayor Stank). Max is chosen to give a speech to the mayor upon giving him a trophy, but Nicky and Tara sabotage his attempt and Tara clonks the mayor on the head with the trophy, sending him into the pool. The thing is, he can’t entirely swim, which makes it that more funny. In Max’s attempt to try and get him out, he accidentally takes off his pants! Har har har.

But I also give it points for its aftermath. You would expect Max to snap and yell at Nicky and Tara right? Well, that’s exactly what happened. This totally testified that part of the book, and not only was it justified, it was the truth.

RENT, BUY, OR SKIP?: Buy, buy, buy! If you like this, you should read the entire series, which is sadly eight chronicles long. You can fly over to Amazon and get it for, er, $7.00, or get it at Barnes & Noble for, er, $7.00.

This has been a shout out from the jolly good bookie, yours truly, and make sure to return two weeks from now, on Monday, October 31 at 1:00 pm, to witness Sammwak’s second annual Halloween special! Why didn’t the skeleton go to the prom?…He had no body to go with!

Jolly Good Bookie: Ghost of the Shipwreck


Hey guys it’s Sam, Tanzania’s typing terror, and if there’s one thing I do for a living, it’s read. Reading is the top support of my writing curriculum, let alone is it the most fun thing to do atop of it. Without books, I’d never have ideas for styling new comics. Speaking of books, guess who’s coming back to review another?…Yep, the jolly good bookie! Today’s book is the third of a companion series to Italy’s famed Geronimo Stilton…but it’s under Thea’s eyes now! Ladies and gentlemice, I present to you Thea Stilton and the Ghost of the Shipwreck.

The series beginning in April 2009 with The Dragon’s Code, this book follows the storyline that has been part of series lore for 2 years: Thea is Geronimo’s brother, and his polar opposite: when Geronimo is such a ‘fraidy mouse, Thea loves embarking on adventures across the globe! The story begins at Mouseford Academy, Thea’s school when she was young. She had a such a good time there that she returned to teach a journalism class. In this era, she met 5 special students: Nicky, Pamela, Colette, Paulina, and Violet. They all became great friends faster than a Cheez-It. They even named their group after Thea, and since, they have been known as the Thea Sisters. Isn’t that cute?

This following installment to The Mountain of Fire follows the Sisters to the discovery of a mysterious shipwreck off Whale Island during a marine biology lesson. Legend has it a diamond of all sorts of rarities called Jasmine’s Heart was aboard the ship when it sank. But that’s just the start. Professor van Kraken, biology teacher, vanishes, and the five must find him and the priceless jewel. And when they think it’s all over, they get an invitation to China for yet another lost treasure hunt! To make a long story short: someone must really like Clash of the Titans.

So the series’ first-ever double feature does follow the “villain is the least expected” format from a lot of books, but it garners what I call that Geronimo touch, rebalancing all the writing, illustration, and perspective to their most colorful. And Ghost of the Shipwreck isn’t half bad for a Geronimo-like book. I don’t even believe I have any flawing points to chew this book out for!

3 out of 5 – Educational value – Each mouse originates from a real-life country. Nicky is Australian, Colette is French, Paulina is Peruvian, Violet is Chinese, and Pamela (best for last!) is Tanzanian! And you may think all they do is sit around filing their nails, but actual facts come from the different places they trek into, such as learning undersea facts, and not just a taste, but a mouthful of Chinese culture.

2 out of 5 – Positive messages – Perseverance?

2 1/2 out of 5 – Positive role models – The Sisters do find a way out of aspects of trouble, and almost always find a way out of any bad situation. These are what people call “superthinkers”, the people that can rely on their mind to find a way to save their life.

5 out of 5 – Ease of readGhost of the Shipwreck is obviously a book all ages can enjoy. It doesn’t show any severe signs of violence whatsoever, it’s funny, informational, and the ultimate friendship. Amongst setting the blog record of scoring a perfect 5!

1 out of 5 – Violence – Some henchmen do interrupt a juggling show, so they get bombarded with eggs, fruit, and veggies.

1 out of 5 – Romance (love cannot be too inappropriate) – At the start of the book, Violet bears a “mega crush” on Professor van Kraken.

0 out of 5 - Language – Believe it or not, this is not shown here.

1 out of 5 – Product PlacementThea Stilton is a 2-year old companion series to Italy’s most famous “mouse author” 7-year old series, Geronimo Stilton.

0 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – This aspect is not featured. However, the mice do enjoy tea, which relates to coffee, and coffee…never mind, this aspect is not featured.

………………………………….

Entertainment: A+ (5 points)

Fun: A+ (5 points)

Smarts: A (4 points)

Style: A+ (5 points)

Read-Again Ratio: A+ (5 points)

Humor: A (5 points)

Final score: 29 out of 30 (EVEN CLOSER!), 5 stars out of 5

CONSENSUS: Ghost of the Shipwreck must be read, because it’s a perfect mix of every emotion rolled up into one, plus it’s peppered with undersea and Chinese-cultural facts that always keep the book going. If there’s a chart of 2010′s top 10 books, #3, #2, and #1 would all be Ghost of the Shipwreck.

FUN FACTS, GOOFS, AND OTHER SILLY STUFF: On page 108, when Madame Hu is trying to get her paws on a lacquer box, Colette says, “Paws off, cheddarface!”, which is coincidentally the name of Geronimo’s sixth book. Also, on the cover, you see that Colette (the blonde at the bottom) has a blue scuba wetsuit. But in the book, it is pink. I feel so guilty taking off that point for Smarts.

PRICE: Interested in getting the book? Swim over to Amazon and get it for 8 dollars (plus the new and used prices of $4.00 and 30 cents), or scurry over to Barnes & Noble for the same big price, but save 75% getting the marketplace version of just $2.

RENT, BUY, OR SKIP?: Brother, you shouldn’t even be asking that question after all this. YES, OF COURSE BUY! I’ve no doubt that this needn’t be skipped, or my name is not Sammwak!

………………………………..

So if you haven’t had the chance to read this series, don’t wait any longer! Go to the library, get one of their books, and embark alongside their adventures!

- Sam

p.s. If there’s one thing I have a habit of doing, it’s starting new blogs. After several failed experiments like Gamers United League, Sammwak en Espanol, and vice versa, I have settled on my legitimate companion blog…2Sam2Mwak! Named after Potter Puppet Pals creator Neil Cicierega’s 2nd channel (2Neil2Cicierega), and honoring several famous YouTubers’ second channels (freddiew2 and finebros2, for instance), I’ll have even more juice that goes more behind-the-scenes than ever before! Stay tuned for the world premiere of 2Sam2Mwak on October 28, the nearest I could ever get to the Halloween special without intersecting into it!