THE LAIR EXPERTS
Matt: 'The Mask Of Jason Voorhees' was the hardest to read out of all five Eric Morse novels. I can certainly appreciate William Pattison's effort and dedication to the project, as it took him a total of seven years to write. And I am also very grateful for being mentioned by him in the dedication section. That's something I won't ever forget. I will always hold him in high regard. However, this novel was a mess, far from the polished final product I was expecting.
I think William tried to do too much with his final 'Friday The 13th' work. He tried to link the film series with the TV series and his book series, tossing in elements of the four other novels he'd originally planned to do following 'Road Trip'. The end result was a bloodbath, and not in a good way. First off, why is Sheriff Landis in this? He was killed in 'Jason Goes To Hell', accidentally stabbed by Jessica with the infamous dagger. That was a huge error that shouldn't have happened, along with naming him Lloyd Landis. His name in the film was, in fact, Ed. There was also confusion in the character of Steven Freeman/Ryan Dallion throughout the book. It was hard to discern between the two at times, even though they were one and the same. Hardcore fans will really be lost. He should have referred to him as Steven with a mere mention that he used to be Ryan Dallion. That would have cleared it up a bit.
Another drawback to the novel were the killings. Pattison was always very creative and original in the past when it came to the death scenes, but in this novel, he was far from it. He relied too heavily on beheadings with a machete, and WAY too much on tent spikes. How many tent spikes could Jason possibly have? I was disappointed in that regard as well. Jason has always been a master of improvisation, able to kill with what's around him, or even his bare hands. That element was clearly lacking.
The tributes in the novel were a nice touch, but I think Pattison overdid it at times. He made basic errors at times, including one where he referred to 'Gleason's Bait And Tackle' from his 'Jason's Curse' novel, when in fact it was called 'Tuck's Fish And Bait'. The visions at the end of the novel were enjoyable, but I don't quite know why he included material from the 2009 remake, as it just does not fit in this time frame for Jason. Given that it was a remake, it should have been omitted, as it would have taken place before these events. And what was all that futuristic stuff after the 'Jason X' vision? That never occurred, not even in the 'Jason X' novel sequels, so I am really not sure why that was put in there. I was confused trying to figure out where it came from.
Sheriff Landis states in Chapter 21, "Oh no, not that supernatural crap again". As I read on, I couldn't help but feel the same way. Fans of the film series will be turned off by the supernatural element of the novel, and the inclusion of the TV series characters, as they may not be familiar with that storyline from the early 1990s. On the same token, fans of the TV series may not be all that thrilled with the inclusion of the elements of the film series. Some things do go together well. Peanut butter and jelly. Ham and cheese. But not the two worlds of 'Friday The 13th'. They are like water and oil. In the end, some things are best left separate. It was a valiant effort, but it just doesn't work for me. 2 out of 10.
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