Goosebumps: Cuckoo Clock of Doom by R.L. Stine is a time travel adventure in reverse. Cuckoo Clock of Doom is Goosebumps book 28 in the original series order. This is one of the least scary goosebumps books. It has one of the most obnoxious characters in Tara. The story is more of a morality tale that is done for laughs, it reminds me a lot of Goosebumps book Be Careful What You Wish For where it is the lead character’s choices that get them in trouble. I can remember the Goosebumps episode for the Cuckoo Clock of Doom which was one of my favorites. In the episode you can feel the ticking clock running out, the story finally gets tense the last 30 pages or so. The story idea is really good it could have been executed a lot better. The final twist is the most sinister so far from goosebumps, and saves the book from being 2 stars. I have a sister that I used to read to and I remember reading that last line and it is a bit terrifying, this book is a reread but I could not remember the story at all, it has probably been 25 years.
Plot Summary: Michael has just turned 12 and it was the worst thanks to his little sister Tara the Terrible. Just days before his birthday his dad gifted himself with an old cuckoo clock. Michael is always getting in trouble because of his little sister he wishes he could redo his birthday knowing all of Tara’s pranks. Michael finds away to get even with Tara as she has become obsessed with her dads new cuckoo clock and has already been yelled at once. Michael thinks if he keeps getting blamed for what Tara does she can get in trouble for what he does, so Michael waits and until the cuckoo bird pops out then twist the head backwards. The next day a strange thing happens it his birthday, his 12th birthday again, did he get his wish? Or did something else happens, when Michael’s wish turns into a nightmare.
What I Liked: The Time aspect was pretty cool. The idea for the plot is a really good idea. The final twist is so sinister and one of the best twist that was forecast from the beginning. Stine did a good job of setting up interesting dates through out the day, that make the reader remember exactly which one and how he can avoid it. I liked the little thing about the door lock not working and getting fixed and what that sets up.
What I Disliked: The lack of tension and hurry, if I knew time was running out I would not sit calmly in school. Tara is the most annoying character so far in Goosebumps, but this one does play into the final twist. The plot could have been a lot tighter and the dates could have had more meaning.
Recommendation: This is a goosebumps you can skip. It’s not really scary and set up more as a comedy like Be Careful What You Wish For. I would recommend you checking out the Goosebumps Tv episode for the Cuckoo Clock of Doom it is tension filled unlike the novel. I rated Cuckoo Clock of Doom 3 out of 5 stars. Here’s my full ranking of the 28 Goosebumps books that I have read in order to my favorite to least favorite: 1) A Night in Terror Tower, 2) Stay Out of the Basement, 3) Ghost Beach, 4) Piano Lessons Can Be Murder, 5) The Haunted Mask, 6) One Day At Horrorland, 7) Night of the Living Dummy, 8) Welcome to Camp Nightmare, 9) The Phantom of the Auditorium, 10) The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, 11) Say Cheese and Die, 12) Let’s Get Invisible, 13) The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight, 14) Welcome to Dead House, 15) Monster Blood II, 16) The Girl who Cried Monster, 17)Deep Trouble, 18) The Ghost Next Door, 19) My Hairiest Adventure, 20) Be Careful What You Wish For… , 21) Return of the Mummy, 22) Why I’m Afraid of Bees, 23)Attack of the Mutant, 24) Go Eat Worms!, 25) The Werewolf of Fever Swamp, 26) Cuckoo Clock of Doom, 27) Monster Blood, And 28) You Can’t Scare Me!