The Last Story by Christopher Pike
Again, Spoilers. All of them.
So at the end of the last book (book two in a three-book series), Shari/Jean was pushed from a balcony by Peter/Lenny. But she survived. In this book, she’s become a best-selling author, and is about to start shooting the film version of one of her hit books. She’s still a Wanderer, and she’s still getting guidance from mystical people from Southeast Asia, so that part’s still culturally appropriative.
What else. Well, here’s the thing – there are some genuinely interesting parts of this book. And then there is another story within a story, which is totally out of place and not really what I’m interested in reading about. There are sharks and shark attacks, obvious villains, and a story about aliens attacking the Earth. Mr. Pike is trying to do too much, which ends up meaning he does none of it really well.
Also, he refers, repeatedly, to a character in a wheelchair as a cripple. Really? In what world is that acceptable?
This one, apparently. At least in Mr. Pike’s version of it. I commented on this and my husband asked when the book was written, and I at least got an answer about why this book and book two seem so much … worse, really, than the first book. The original book, Remember Me, was written in 1989. I’m guessing that there was no real plan to write a sequel; maybe Mr. Pike wanted to write something about the meaning of life and figured he’d just tack it onto this one? Unclear. But either way, book two wasn’t published until 1994; this book was published in 1995.
I really don’t think either needed to be published. As I said, there are parts that are okay, but mostly the book meanders and tries to tell more stories than the book can.
I think I’ll still seek out some of the old Christopher Pike books to see if I really was deluded in thinking they were fun, entertaining books, or if more of them have the subtle bigotry, ableism and xenophobia I’ve seen in these books.