The Ooze book coverLike all of the Ghosts of Fear Street books, The Ooze is fairly basically written, with no real flair of style, but it stands out a little from the pack due to the very fun idea at the centre of its plot. Al and his friend accidentally create an ooze that makes anyone that it touches stupid – even animals. Of course, Al himself is dumbified by the ooze, along with several of his classmates, which leads to a fun scene involving a poorly-contested Science Bowl at his school. Young readers are sure to enjoy the premise and the effect the ooze has on its victims, along with the secret to its defeat.

Less enjoyable, however, was Roos’s portrayal of Al’s parents. They are completely focussed upon ensuring he lives up to his sister’s academic example, to the point of ignoring his needs. A lot of times, such characterisation in books is offset by the eventual revelation that the parents are being seen through the child’s biased eyes, but here the parents are truly awful and, I think, the true villains in The Ooze. Not fun to read about at all.

Overall, though, this is definitely one of the better Fear Street books. The plot is original and enjoyable and there is a lot of humour to be found in Al’s struggles with his loss of intelligence. One that young readers that should enjoy.