Firmly following the paths forged by Goosebumps so long ago, Camp of No Return, the fourth entry in J.H. Reynolds’ Monsterstreet series, is a short read that packs more wild twists and turns than most books twice its size.
Harper is among the lucky kids chosen to attend Camp Moon Lake, a legendary, exclusive and secretive summer getaway. She’s looking forward to getting away from her parents, who may be getting a divorce*, but also because the camp boasts every attraction and activity a kid could dream of — suggesting more a theme park than a campground. But once they get there the campers are met with a thick fog that envelopes the campus, and Harper, along with pop culture enthusiast and spooky storyteller Brodie, will soon find that there is something far more sinister hidden under the gloom.
This is the first of this series that I’ve picked up, because summer vibes, so I can’t speak as to the quality of the other books (which, luckily, seem to be standalone stories and can be read out of order), but Camp of No Return is a goofy, fun, simple tale that, while it breaks no new ground, it proudly holds up the tradition established by Goosebumps and all the other middle grade horror series that haunted the nineties. It’s evident just how much of a blast Reynolds had writing this, and his enthusiasm is infectious. It’s meant to be read in short, quick bursts late into the night, like a story being told around a campfire. Which is exactly how I went about it.
* Curiously, the second camp-themed book I’ve picked up that features a protagonist with parents going through divorce.