Remember Me: A Christopher Pike classic

Remember Me by Christopher Pike science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsRemember Me by Christopher Pike science fiction and fantasy book and audiobook reviewsRemember Me by Christopher Pike

The idea of a ghost who has to solve their own murder from beyond the grave is a slam-dunk. I’ll read or watch any variation of this story, from Patrick Swayze in Ghost to all those early X-Files episodes. So having been a fan of Christopher Pike in my teen years, I’m not sure how Remember Me (1989) managed to slip my notice. But hey, better late than never!

Shari Cooper is dead, thrown from a balcony at a friend’s party. Now her ghost is stuck in limbo, able to see her friends and family, but unable to communicate with them in any way. What’s worse, everyone thinks she committed suicide, the police officer investigating her case is an alcoholic, and there’s a nightmarish monster chasing her through the afterlife.

But at only eighteen years old, Shari knows she didn’t kill herself — someone pushed her off that balcony. And it must have been one of her group of friends since no one else was in the house at the time. But which one?

Remember Me is a vintage Christopher Pike story, with a twisty story, sex-obsessed teenagers, eighties pop-culture references, and two needless sequels. There are also plenty of ludicrous moments, like when the police investigator interviews ALL of Shari’s friends at the same time, in the same room, without their parents, at the crime scene. Pike clearly didn’t know or care about due process.

But if you’re in the mood for a trashy teen horror/suspense, then this will scratch that itch. Shari is incredibly self-centred, but I kind of enjoyed that about her, and a lot of the plot developments kept me guessing. Pike even manages to explore some pretty hefty existential questions such as the nature of God and the meaning of life — not bad for a pulp horror paperback.

The trip down memory lane was a lot of fun, reminding me of how enjoyable these stories were to me and my friends back in the day. They’ll never win any awards, but the fast pace and interesting ideas certainly put Pike up there with R.L. Stine, Caroline B. Cooney and V.C. Andrews when it came to supernatural/Gothic horror for teens back in the eighties/nineties.

Published in 1989. SHE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND THAT SHE WAS DEAD. When Shari Cooper awoke at home after being at her girlfriend’s birthday party, her family acted like she wasn’t there. They didn’t hear a thing she said. They wouldn’t even look at her. Then the call came from the hospital. Her father and brother paled. Her mother started to cry. Shari didn’t know what was wrong. Not until she followed them to the hospital. There she found herself lying on a cold slab in the morgue. The police said that it was suicide. Shari knew she had been murdered. Making a vow to herself to find her killer, Shari embarks on the strangest of all criminal investigations: one in which she spies on her friends, and even enters their dreams — where she comes face-to-face with a nightmare from beyond the grave. The Shadow — a thing more horrible than death itself — is the key to Shari’s death, and the only thing that can stop her murderer from murdering again.

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REBECCA FISHER, with us since January 2008, earned a Masters degree in literature at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Her thesis included a comparison of how C.S. Lewis and Philip Pullman each use the idea of mankind’s Fall from Grace to structure the worldviews presented in their fantasy series. Rebecca is a firm believer that fantasy books written for children can be just as meaningful, well-written and enjoyable as those for adults, and in some cases, even more so. Rebecca lives in New Zealand. She is the winner of the 2015 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best SFF Fan Writer.

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