A Shocker on Shock Street

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I love a good dark ride. Strap me into that little car and guide me through that pretzel-shaped track, thank you very much. And it doesn't have to be the level of Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Give me that State Fair cheese ride - either a tunnel of love or a haunted ride featuring copyrighted characters with modified names so no one gets sued.


Speaking of haunted rides, in A Shocker on Shock Street, two kids go on a prototype horror movie ride with all their favorite horror movie monsters. This sounds right up my alley - rides and horror movies. But by the end of the book, I was annoyed. It's going to be one of those reviews.


Erin and her best friend Marty are watching the sixth installment from the Shocker on Shock Street (minus the "A" from the book's title) cinematic universe. Erin's father owns the theater and has worked on the Fantasy Films Studio Tour making animatronics. Unfortunately, when the kids go to see him, he has some bad news.


Not really. It was a gag! He has some good news! However, there is some bad news - the whole book is going to be like this.


Anyway, Erin's father says that he's been working on the new Shocker Studio Tour and he wants the kids to test out the ride before they open to the public. I'm sure nothing crazy will happen and the book will just end with their pointed yet helpful criticism.


On the way to the ride, Marty pretends to bite Erin. Totally normal. Yep. There's nothing weird or off-putting about that.


They arrive and see a row of tramcars and a tour guide named Linda. The kids ride in the front and Linda explains one of the features of the ride: the Shocker Stun Ray Blaster, which can "freeze a monster in its tracks from twenty feet." Marty aims the gun at Linda and fires - and she freezes.


"Linda! Linda!" I screamed.


Marty's mouth dropped open. He let out a choked gurgle.


I turned to Dad. To my surprise, he was laughing.


"Dad - she's - she's frozen!" I cried. But when I turned back to Linda, she had a big smile on her face, too.


It took us both a while, but we soon realized the whole thing was a joke.


"That's the first shock on the Shocker tour," Linda announced, lowering the red blaster. She put a hand on Marty's shoulder. "I think I really shocked you, Marty!"


"No way!" Marty insisted.

Cool shock.


Anyway, the tram moves on its own and Linda doesn't go with them, so she's gone forever and inconsequential to the plot. This isn't a joke. She's gone now. No more Linda. She was there to explain something that the Dad could have and do that stupid freezing thing.


The first stop is a Haunted House. The tram barrels into the house and there are some spooky house shenanigans. Erin looks around and Marty is gone!

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