Everyone in Shadyside knows the stories about the Fear family. Their ancestors practiced black magic, the whole family is cursed, and the ancestors haunt the Fear Mansion on Fear Island. The stories alone would keep most people away from the Fear family. Rachel on the other hand has a major crush on Brendan Fear, and to her he's a popular and nerdy guy. When he asks her to his birthday celebration on Fear Island she says yes. Her best friend Amy and her ex-boyfriend Mac warn her not to go. She doesn't listen and that Friday, she along with Brendan's friends and his cousins board a ferry to Fear Island. After they get to the island the ferry operator hits his head on the dock loosing a bit of blood. When they enter the ballroom of the house Brendan greets everyone and the party begins. Brendan has a few game ideas for the night. The first is an old fashioned scavenger hunt. All the guests are given a list of items to find through out the house. Everyone is partnered up and Rachel gets to be with Brendan. He leads her to an elevator taking them to the third floor to begin their search. As the searching begins they become separated and bats come rushing out of the room at Rachel. After the bats are gone she looks for Brendan but can't find him. She comes upon a body hung by the neck with a note on the floor saying "Anyone for a game of hangman?" She believes it's Brendan, but when he finds her she realizes it's a mannequin dressed in his clothing. They hear screams and see a crowd outside a bedroom. Inside Patti is on the floor bent in half with her legs all twisted. There is another note saying "Twister anyone?" As everyone tries to figure out what to do the power goes out. They go to find flashlights, but those have been taken. Brendan remembers they have a security room and cameras. When they rewind the footage there are two masked men with hunting rifles breaking into the house. When one of the guests suggests going to the boat and leaving, everyone agrees and they head to the boat. When they get to the dock they see the boat leaving with the workers hired for the party on it. How will they get off Fear Island, or better yet will there be anyone left alive to get off the island?
It's been almost ten years since R.L. Stine has written a Fear Street novel. This one comes back with everything I loved in the series when I read them in the late 1980's and the 1990's. It had the fear of the unknown killer, stories of the Fear ancestors, the Fear Mansion and the point in the book when one of the main characters realizes the killer might be someone he/she knows. I was also reminded of Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christie while reading Party Games. In it ten people are in a house on an island and the killer picks them off one by one. I'm very happy R.L. Stine has decided to go back to Fear Street. I'm hoping there will be more to come from Fear Street.