Sunday, November 8, 2009

THE VISITOR (CHRISTOPHER PIKE)



The Visitor opens with a high school student named Mary trying to get over the loss of her boyfriend Jerry who died a month ago. She started smoking after he died and she doesn’t seem to care about much, which worries her parents, but not enough to make them cancel a trip out of town. Seems like a running theme with Christopher Pike: get rid of the adults as soon as possible.

Jerry’s best friend Savey stops by to pick her up and take her to a party at Pamela’s house, a cheerleader who used to date Jerry and now has sex with everyone. Savey’s band plays the party while Mary sits in a corner and drinks and entire bottle of wine. She’s momentarily interrupted by Jerry’s brother Tom who just wants to know the truth about what happened to his brother. She runs from the party after he suggests they hold a séance, but later agrees to stay as long as Savey is there.

At the séance they contact some weird spirit who claims someone at the party drew him there, but he won’t say who because it will upset the person. He then admits that it was Mary and that she lived before and thought she was a god. He also claims to have some connection to Jerry, but Mary leaves before he says anything else.

She heads home with Savey and when he makes it clear that he wants to sleep with her, she turns him down. She does however take a long shower and then let him give her a naked rubdown in front of the fire. Way to turn down a guy! She rebuffs him again, saying that she feels nothing and they would make nothing by having sex.

Mary heads to Jerry’s grave and lays nearly naked on top, where she remembers what happened the night he died. The two had broken into the high school to count the votes for homecoming queen and of course Mary won. The security guard at the high school, who just happens to have a gun, just happens to show up and catch them. He pokes Mary, Jerry freaks out and accidentally got shot in the arm. Then Mary attacked the guard, he freaked out and shot Jerry in the head. Mary then fought with him and twisted his arm until he shot himself in the head. Jerry died, but not before calling her Clareesh. She ran off and never told anyone she was there, so the cops think the guard shot himself after seeing what he did. Apparently CSI doesn’t run in the town. Um, but why do guards have guns when there’s like 300 people total in town?

Anyway Mary sees an alien crawling on Jerry’s grave and later spots a saucer in the sky. She tells her boss at the movie theater about it and he knows she’s telling the truth because even though he’s blind, he can totally tell when people are lying. She keeps seeing the odd little visitors and finally her boss tells her what he experienced.

He tells her about the old days when he used to have eyes (he’s got glass ones now) and chased a fox through the woods. He saw an alien crawling out of the ground and the thing searched his mind for all pregnant women in the area. He flashed on one woman who wasn’t pregnant and *gasp* it was Mary’s mom. He then tells her that he doesn’t think she’s an alien, but he does think she’s connected to what happened. Oh and the site where the alien crawled out of the ground? That’s totally Jerry’s grave.

Pamela confronts Mary with news that there’s a new guy named Tom and he’s totally hot because he has white-blonde hair so Mary has to keep her hands off. Let’s pause to point out that the book description is all about Tom, the “new kid” and yet he doesn’t turn up until around page 70...of a 162 page book.

Mary of course seeks him out and decides that he’s hot. After following him for a few days, she offers him a ride home and they end up at Denny’s. He acts completely serious and doesn’t really laugh so naturally she takes him home and has sex with him.

Then Mary learns the story of Clareesh, an alien that came to earth with her partner Klaxtor. The two were supposed to observe humans, but she decided to help because she thought women should be treated equally. Klaxtor disapproved of her, but didn’t say much. She took the form of a slave named Phairee, who later became her number one helper. Phairee got pissed off though because she kept getting older and Clareesh stayed the same and wouldn’t share any of her secrets. I’d be pissed off too if I was working for someone who was the spitting image of me 30 years ago! Clareesh took a lover named Jarteen and was eventually captured by Phairee and some guards. They killed Jarteen and tossed Clareesh in a black tomb with him to spend the rest of her days.

Big shocker, Tom turns out to be Klaxtor in a human form. She learns this after seeing him bring a fox back from the dead and forces him to bring Jerry back. He claims she won’t be happy with what happens because Jerry was gone for so long, but she doesn’t care. He brings him back and Jerry is in immense pain (getting brought back from the dead after an autopsy will do that to a guy). Klaxtor uses the last of his life force to bring Jerry back and now can’t call for his ship so he lays down next to the grave and waits to die.

Jerry turns out to be a huge pain, leaking embalming fluid into the bathtub and crying about his pain. She realizes he needs a blood transfusion and calls Pamela for a meeting. She then smacks the girl with a gun and drags her home. After locking her in the garage, she takes some of her blood and gives it to Jerry.

Savey and Tom show up, wanting to know what she did with Pamela who told Savey about their meeting. She plays dumb, but not before they smell the embalming fluid on her. After Jerry keeps crying and refuses to leave the house, she takes him back to the cemetery. After a long talk with Tom/Klaxtor, she shoots Jerry in the back of the head and drops in his original grave.

She summons her last drop of strength to call back the spaceship and then crawls into the grave with Jerry. Klaxtor covers the grave with dirt and she remembers her life as another being. She then realizes that she never left the original tomb and that her life as Mary was just a dream.

The epilogue picks up with Jerry attending a party at Pamela’s house and laminating the loss of his girlfriend Mary. The same people gather together for a séance, the same being says the same things and Jerry breaks it up the same way she did at the beginning. That night he heads to Mary’s grave and remembers what happened the night she died.

The couple broke into the school and read the ballots, which Mary once again won. The guard showed up, poked Mary, Jerry attacked and the guard shot her in the arm. They struggled, the gun went off and both ended up dead. He sits next to her grave and wishes that she would come back to him. He hears a moan and walks off, thinking he imagined it and missing the moans that came later…

What the hell was The Visitor about? I really have no idea what the hell happened here. Was it all a dream in her head? Did Jerry imagine it? Who really died? Who was the alien? I never read The Visitor originally because in 1995, I was “too cool” for Christopher Pike and this one kind of makes me glad I missed it…

7 comments:

  1. Christopher Pike usually got a little too New Agey for me. Space ships and lizard creatures, blech. I preferred my man Stine for bad YA horror. :D

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  2. This book has a dead Jerry character, like Fall Into Darkness, and they both have a Paul. Pike seems to have a few favorite names - Ann, Sharon, Carl, Mike, Clyde, Mary, Teresa.

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  3. Wait, the Paul/"Pepper" was in Whisper Of Death, not this one.

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  4. I was a huge fan of Christopher Pike novels. This was probably the worst of his that I read. (Star Group and another one followed very close.)

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  5. If I understand correctly, Mary was really the Egyptian princess she was dreaming about. Her whole life as Mary was just a dream she had while laying buried alive in the tomb. I was confused by the last chapter, where Jerry is alive and not Mary. Actually, I was confused by most of the book.

    And the description of Mary is a bit weird - her skin and hair are both the same shade of "copper"? WTF?

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  6. even the story is kind of weird... i can tell that its great .. you not just need to read it but this book requires a great comprehension to understand what is the real message of this novel...

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  7. This is a super old recap, but I can safely say that I don't remember this book at all. Some Pike books stick with me forever (like Immortal and Whisper of Death), but I found this one pretty forgettable.

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