No one thought it would return because the only way to defeat it forever lay hidden in Sarah Fear’s grave.
“Turn The Key And Die…”
While I truly love the Goosebumps Series, I also have a love for the YA series that R.L. Stine did titled Fear Street. There are many terrifying tales of woe that stemmed from Fear Street, I wanted to review the series that drew me in and made me want more.
Ladies and Gents I introduce The Cataluna Chronicles. A tale that flows between time and leaves a trail of bodies in its wake. We will start with the first book in the series, The Evil Moon.
“Having Fun Boys?”
The book series goes back and forth between 1995 in a town called Shadyside and 1698 in West Hampshire Colony. In 1995 we watch a joy ride in the luxurious white sports car with blood red leather seats called the Cataluna end in a bloody mess after a voice comes on the radio. Not a scratch to the beauty of steel and chrome. This leads us back to 1698.
Bad Luck Catherine. In West Hampshire Colony this is what young Catherine Hatchett is called. Catherine, a young lady of 15 who has a distinctive, crescent moon-shaped birthmark on her right temple, has watched as in the last year nothing but growing bad luck befall her village. Animals getting sick, crops failing… it all just keeps getting worse. Everyone avoids or humiliates her, until one day Joseph Parker steals her heart with what seems like love and kindness.
Catherine’s problems seem to melt away from a single kiss. But once home those hopes are dashed, her parents tell her that a town hall meeting has been called about her being banished. Being born under a bad moon has the villagers blaming Catherine for all of their woes. Poor Catherine listens as not only her neighbors blame her, but even her parents join in saying that she was not theirs, but left as a babe on their porch after they had lost their own child.
Heavy stuff right? We will come back in just a bit.
Hot Oil Spill
Meanwhile in 1995 Shadyside, we meet Bryan Folger. Bryan is under the Cataluna’s spell. Ever since he saw the vision of beauty sitting in the used car lot his mind has been made up that it must be his car. It calls to him and called is almost too gentle of a word. The Cataluna has invaded his mind, causing obsession. Something that his girlfriend Misty has picked up on as well as his best friend Alan.
Bryan is letting his obsession get the best of him. He loses his job, it is interfering with his relationships, he is even finding himself doing things he would have never done…all in the name of owning the Cataluna. He doesn’t even see the red flags for what they are.
Going in for a test drive seals his fate though. He hears a woman’s voice talking to him, though no woman is there in the car and the radio is off. The choice still resides with Bryan though, will he let the Cataluna consume him? Or is there still hope?
“I shall never rest until I kill you. Catherine. Cat of the Moon. Cataluna!”
Meanwhile in the past, Catherine has run from the town hall, stricken with grief. She has just heard accusations and being told she can either be banished from the town…or hang. Running to the only place she has felt acceptance she goes to Joseph’s house. Not only does she find him in the arms of another girl but he acts as though nothing has ever happened between them, he treats her like everyone, including his father the magistrate did.
Broken and scared as a mob has struck up Catherine runs. She runs to the old woman who lives in the woods, the only person who has never caused her harm, the place she feels peace. It is here that Catherine learns the identity of her real mother and that she is a shapeshifter. This is how she takes her revenge on the Parker family and earns her lifelong nemesis in the youngest son William Parker.
The Cataluna Chronicles: Evil Moon gives us a wonderfully braided story that crosses time periods. It is the first in the series so of course not all answers are given to us just yet. We see the pain of Catherine Hatchett and the malice of a car whose voice is familiar and yet unknown. Though between the red crescent on the fender and knowing Catherine has a distinctive, crescent moon-shaped birthmark on her right temple it is hard not to just make predictions.
R.L. Stine does a masterful job of balancing out the braided tales sent in the past and present, for when the book came out back in 1995. While the story of Catherine Hatchett is a constant through this book series, the subplots are easy to follow as well even though they are like little short stories. Going back and reading the story was just as good as it was the first time, fully engrossing and impatience as the last of the story was gone. I would still give it an 8 out of 10 for nostalgia sake alone.
This concludes this review, drop me a line with your favorite Fear Street tale and I will see you next time for The Cataluna Chronicles: The Dark Secret!