Saturday, 23 May 2015

Chain Letter 2 - Christopher Pike

Ok I was so hooked by the end of the first one that I had to read Chain Letter 2 straight after.

It's not just Chain Letter 2 either, it's Chain Letter 2: The Ancient Evil!
Oooooh spooky. I love it.
Again I'm calling Brenda out to be the killer. Again I'll probably be wrong.
Let's read!

This book begins a few months after the previous one finished, with our girl Fran checking the mailbox to find a letter from 'A'. Wait this isn't Pretty Little Liars! I mean the Caretaker! Silly me. But uh oh!
This one only has one column, titled "column III" and a box to its right.
So someone's finishing the the job? Brenda! Or maybe Tony, he spent a whole week with Neil as he was dying, maybe he's gone crazy!
The book then cuts to Alison and Neil, who are having a lovers tiff. Alison has suddenly been accepted late into NYU and plans on going, even though it's on the other side of the country to where UCLA is, where she was originally going to attend.
Tony doesn't want her to leave bc he loves her so much, but she wants to be selfish (and rightly so) and go for it. It was her first preference after all!
Tony storms out, and Alison heads over to Brenda's so they can go on a shopping date, hehe!
Brenda mentions a voicemail left my Fran to call her back urgently, so instead they go visit her on their way to the mall.
Fran shows them the letter which doesn't include Alison's name on the list at the bottom, and her task, written backwards in the Times as a code, which is to drown her new puppy. Wtf?!? This new Caretaker isn't messing around. I like it. Alison calls Tony and Kipp's houses but gets no answer so leaves a message to call Fran's house.
Tony goes to the mall for a bite before going to Kipp's after leaving Alison's place. There he meets a beautiful ginger named Sasha, who works at the local hospital. She notices his bad back (which is troubling him after years of football injuries) and offers to give him a deep tissue massage and leaves her number. Slut.
When he arrives at Kipp's we meet his little sister Lesley who's tending to an injured bird. Cute.
We also learn that in the first book, when Kipp was kidnapped and unharmed yet blood had been all over the room, that it was in fact Neil's blood, who'd been siphoning it for a while. Gross.
The boys listen to the message on the answering machine and call Fran's house, where Alison reads Tony the letter. They deduce that none of this 5 sent the letter, and Tony hangs up to call Joan, who's mother tells him Joan is backpacking in the mountains and won't be back for three more days, so it can't be her either. Uh oh.
Next we meet young adult Eric Valence, who dreams of being an investigate but couldn't pass the physical to get into the police academy due to being deaf in one ear and 50% deaf in the other one. He'll get there one day though!
His uncle is a cop though, albeit one that just sits behind a desk all night. Eric visits often and his uncle let's him look through all the murder files of the last 20 or so years.
Eric is doing just this when he comes across a file on Neil Hurly.
The case is closed, but Eric is a nosy little shit (I hate him after one chapter) and and noticed the file mentions that one of the main forms of identification was the emerald ring that Neil always wore (that Alison now has), which was left in tact.
Now Eric is super suss about this bc he knows all about emeralds on account of he was going to buy his now ex girlfriend one in a ring or necklace for her birthday, and remembers that emeralds are soft and easily damaged.
Ok in this situation I would just assume that it wasn't actually an emerald, but oh well.
Neil had no dental records, so the other form of identifying it as Neil's body was that his mother had said he was home alone when the fire happened.
Eric reads that the Hurleys hadn't always lived in the area so he calls some dentists in their old town and one of them sends through some X-rays of Neil's 13 year old teeth. Eric compares it with the X-rays of
The burnt body and realises they're 2 different people, and plans to drop by Mrs. Hurleys place and confront her with this revelation.
I LITERALLY HATE THIS GUY YOU'RE NOT A FUCKING COP you nosy shit you have no right to interfere like this, ugh what a wanker I really hope he gets killed.
On Friday night, 4 days after the letter was sent, Alison gets a call at 1 in the morning from Fran's mother who tells her Fran was in an accident and she needs a lift there bc she can't drive in her hysterical state.
Alison gets Tony to drive her mother to the hospital and Alison meets them there, where a doctor tells them Fran is dead.
Alison goes outside to talk to a police officer and find out what happens, who tells her Fran ran into a a tree, was thrown through the windshield, snapped her neck on a branch, and somehow decapitated.
Ok I'm sorry but I don't think you'd be taken to the hospital for being decapitated would you? Wouldn't the police just come to your door and tell you of your daughters death, instead of giving her false hope and telling her she's simply been in an accident and is at the hospital?
That just seems so stupid and unprofessional to me like she was decapitated she would have been pronounced dead at the scene not when she got to the hospital! This book annoys me already, but I'm liking this death anyway.
The group meets the next morning to discuss their situation, including Joan but excluding the now deceased Fran.
Kipp has received the letter now, and his task is to burn his little sisters entire right arm. Wtf? These tasks are crazy I love it.
Kipp refuses to of course. But I say burn her. BURN HER! He decides to go away for a while, much like Fran did in the first book, and not tell anyone where.
Sometime later, I'm assuming the same day, Tony runs around the school track and passes out from exhaustion until 7 o'clock. I think this is super weird but he's had no sleep the last few days so ok.
When he wakes up from a nightmare he decides to call Sasha for a massage. Oooooh ;) hehe.
She tells him to come on over and they flirt for a bit before going out to a club.
Sasha, who also smokes (EW GROSS smokers breath) can tell something is wrong as he seems preoccupied and he tells her about Alison.
Sasha enquires whether he think Alison is with another guy at that moment and plans to drive by her house to see what she's doing, and the chapter ends there. Cooooooool.
Now we find out what Alison did after the park meeting, and all she did was drive until she stumbled across a beautiful lake. She meets a guy around her age, Chris, who is either a drug fiend or some kind of guardian angel, giving her advice on her situation. He knows about the Caretaker, telling her the chain letters are an ancient thing, and letting it slip that being in the box after the third column is worse than death. He says that love can free someone, and tells her that a friend will come to help and she must trust them, and to go where it all began, which is apparently two places, before disappearing and leaving Alison to feel as though it were all a dream.
On her way home she realises that the road where they hit the man was on of the places it began, and concludes that Neil's mind must be the second. So she goes to the remains of the burnt down house and finds NOT-detective Eric Valence who's trying to find Neil's mother, and suspects he must be the friend Chris mentioned.
Alison tells him everything over coffee and he wants to help, naturally, and takes her back to the station where they look up people matching the man's description on the computer files, bc Eric reckons that his identity is the key.
After a few hours they deduce that the man Alison and co had hit was James Whiting when they find an article about the missing businessman with his picture.
He was married with two kids and owned a record store that's still going, so they decide they'll go there in the morning.
Then Alison drives home with Eric driving behind her for protection (his idea). He's already a clingy cunt and they're not even together! He walks her to the door where she gives him a hug and a kiss on the cheek for being so sweet and OF COURSE Sasha and Tony are watching from across the road and I just know Tony will blow it out of proportion and Sasha will encourage it.
Their consensus is that she's a whore! Hahahahahahahahahahaha. Their words not mine!
Tony's a dick for calling his girlfriend a whore just bc he saw her hug another guy and kiss him on the cheek, like are you that insecure?
I hate him for now.
Sasha's the whore, offering "massages" around town. What a bitch.
They return to Sasha's apartment where she gives him a massage while he's naked. Slut. He falls asleep on the massage table and had a nightmare of Kipp at his Aunt's house, investigating a noise in the garage and being doused in gasoline and set on fire. Brutal.
Tony wakes up and decides to call Kipp's Aunt's place, and Kipp answers. Relieved, Tony hangs up after a brief conversation and returns to Sasha, who takes him to bed. Hey kids constantly but don't have sex, however he does tell her everything about the chain letters, starting from the very beginning, and including where Kipp is staying.
I feel like that was a big mistake! Fuck you Tony.
On Sunday morning Eric calls Alison and tells her that the record stores new owner wouldn't be in until Tuesday, but that the new owner is also James Whiting's brother. Hurrah!
Alison had tried to get a hole of Tony all weekend but to no avail.
He didn't even show up for Fran's funeral. Cunt.
After the funeral Alison goes back to that lake and finds the cabin where he sat with the mysterious stranger empty and covered in dust. She knows her encounter was real though!
At home later that night Brenda calls to tell her Tony had called her and told her Kipp was dead, describing the same circumstances that had happened in Tony's dream.
Honestly I reckon Tony is the new Caretaker now, deranged and vengeful about his best friend Neil's death.
Perhaps he has these dreams that offer hints to where his victims are and how to dispatch of them! We'll find out 😎
Alison calls Eric and tells her about Kipp and of her plans to try host a meeting tomorrow, which he plans on showing up to so he can help.
He's gonna go to the post office to see if he can suss out who's sending the letters, and the record store, before the meeting though.
She then tries to call Tony, who just breathes into the phone (freak) and hears a girl whispering in the background. THAT MASSEUSE SLUT SASHA!
At the meeting Tuesday, Brenda reveals her task which is to cut off her trigger finger and forward it to Joan along with the letter before Eric shows up and of course Tony is super rude to him. Tony reveals he knew where Kipp had been and won't say if he told anyone before storming off, Alison close behind.
He calls her a whore and tells her he saw her and Eric the other night, also revealing he was cheating with Sasha, who's in his car, watching.
Tony then SPITS on Alison and storms back to his car. THAT IS SO FUCKING DISRESPECTFUL please can Tony be killed or be revealed as the killer he does not deserve a happy ending.
I'd hate to have a boyfriend who jumps to conclusions and ignores me so I can't explain anything.
What a cunt. Literally.
Alison notes Sasha's weird green eyes (I know this will have something to do with that emerald ring or something similar) and the evil that she radiates before Eric arrives, telling her the other 2 girls are too unstable for his information, so he tells just her.
He didn't find anything out at the post office, but James Whiting's brother was suspicious and Eric reckons he knows something, and he managed to get James' wife's number.
I'm kind of thinking Sasha is one of James' kids out for revenge!
Eric and Alison visit James' wife and Alison tells her all about what happened to her husband the night of the concert, but not about the letters.
To their surprise, Carol, the wife, tells them he was already and she knows who killed him before telling them the whole story about how her husband had fallen in love with "Charlene" a regular customer whose real name was Jane, who turned out to be part of a cult and wanted James as a sacrifice so she could become immortal. She'd killed James by sticking a large needle through his skull before dumping it where the gang then ran over it, before returning home, telling her parents she killed someone and would now be immortal, and throwing herself on a knife in her bedroom as part of any other satanic ritual, killing herself in the process. Her body then went missing from the morgue before it could be buried. Ooh spooky. Maybe Jane did become immortal and is now Sasha!! Ooooooh.
The pair gets the address of Jane's parents and Eric is keen to go there right away but Alison wants to check up on Brenda first. At Brenda's, Alison finds her friend drunk off whisky and missing her right index finger.
Eric and Alison then head to Joan's, who isn't home.
Finally they head over to the Jane's parents' house, and her father greets them. His wife died not long after Jane while dusting her room dropping dead of a heart attack.
Looking at photos around the living room, Alison recognises a photo of the blonde haired Jane, who has stunning green eyes. IT'S SASHA! Of course it is!
Alison grows hysterical and starts shouting about how Jane is alive and Eric drags her out of the house. Then she realises that the mysterious "Chris" she'd met at the cabin by the lake was a reincarnated version of Neil, that's why he'd seemed so familiar! The cabin was where Neil had died!
The pair decide to go the desert to dig up Neil's body. 
Meanwhile Tony is at home having yet another nightmare about this weird realm, but this time he's trapped in a box. He is confronted by a witch-like Brenda who tells him he needs to open her heart, by stabbing her in it. He refuses and she tries to stab his heart instead, but he ends up getting her in defence and she dies.
Then he's in Neil's room watching him get rejected after asking Alison on a date over the phone. Poor Neil.
Then he's back in the box, which is really hot, and is now confronted by Alison who wants him to open her heart too. She lunges for him and he trips her, where she falls on her own knife. Then Alison materialises into Sasha, who tells Tony this isn't the box (that the letters talk about) but just a warm up, and leads him away.
He wakes up from his nightmare and finds Sasha asleep nearby. He notes that she is still wearing her blouse, something she's NEVER taken off.
Yeah, bc she's really JANE who has a hole in her chest from the knife!
Tony has been having sex with a dead body, eeeewwwww.
Maybe if he wasn't such a dick he'd know about his dilemma but whatever. He also notes that she's very cat like, sleeping in a cat like position and scratching him constantly during sex.
Sasha wakes up and he tells her about his dream after he realises the power she has over him. She tells him she met Neil two months after they hit James Whiting, putting flowers over the grave. She tells Tony she helped Neil, and Tony realises that Sasha was the one Neil was talking about when he said there was a voice in his head telling him to do what he did. It's obvious now that Sasha has a similar power over Tony, and maybe he's not such a dick after all!
Joan arrives at the door and hands Tony a bag with a gun, Brenda's finger, and his task to "blow Alison's brains out". So Alison isn't on the list bc she is suppose to die before it can get to her turn!
Joan doesn't reveal what her task was, simply telling Tony she did what she had to do and got here as quickly as possible. It's implied her task was to bring Tony the gun (which was her father's). She notices Sasha and seems to recognise her, and Sasha tells her she'll come for her later before slamming the door in her face.
They check the gun revealing it to be fully loaded. Now she gets into Tony's head, encouraging him to go kill Alison, revealing that she and Eric are digging up Neil's grave in the desert (where they'd originally buried the man) right now. Uh oh!
Eric and Alison are digging in the makeshift grave and just discover Neil's body when they're interrupted by Sasha and Tony, who is under her spell. Alison gets the upper hand and runs off to her car at one point before Sasha smashes through the passenger window and grabs a fist full of her hair. The window lacerates Sasha's arm a bit and she bleeds not blood but embalming fluid.
Alison starts the car and speeds off, ripping heaps of her hair out in the process before reversing over Sasha's body.
But Sasha is still alive and rips the car door off, and Alison decides she must have been in the car when Fran crashed if she could survive that and decapitated her herself!
Sasha forces her over to where Tony has the gun pointed at Eric, and throws her to his feet. She reveals that the chain letters are an initiation to prepare them for the box. It's not entirely made clear what this means. Tony moves the gun towards Alison now, who's warm words of love make him hesitant. She manages to wrap her hands around the trigger and shoot the gun herself into her chest, and collapses.
This breaks Tony from Sasha's spell and in a fit of rage he presses it to her temple and shoots, killing her.
As Tony and Eric mourn a dying Alison, a figure appears out of nowhere, slightly resembling Neil, and tells the boys it's over, Tony is saved from the box with Alison's act on love. The figure kills a snake like figure that escapes Sasha's mouth and lunges for Alison, and Tony pleads with the stranger to not let Alison die.
The man then reveals that Joan took so long completing her task bc she filled the gun with blanks, not real bullets. You go Joan!
So while both Alison and Sasha were shot at point blank, the bits of paper were lethal as they impaled Sasha's temple whereas Alison's chest wound isn't fatal.
The figure then leaves, and this is the end.

Ok so it's not made clear what the purpose of the chain letters were so I'm just making assumptions and I'm still pretty confused.
The tasks of the chain letter become crueler and harsher with each column until you're in the box, in order to prepare you. I think once you're in the box, you become a Caretaker, or your body can be possessed by one (which is why Sasha wanted Tony in the box), which is a fate worse than death, thus creating a never ending cycle of Caretakers. If they were all put in the box, they'd all become Caretakers?
I have no idea this book was stupid and focused way too much on Tony and Alison and not enough on my girls Brenda and Joan!

3 of Brenda's severed fingers out of 10

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