Creator / Christopher Pike

Christopher Pike is an American author of, primarily, teen thriller and horror titles. He was most popular in the 1980s and 1990s, moving on to publishing adult works in the 2000s.

Not to be confused with the Star Trek character, although that's actually where he got the pseudonym; the author's real name is Kevin McFadden, born November 12, 1954.

Works by Christopher Pike with their own pages include:

Tropes in his other works include:

  • Accidental Murder: Roxanne accidentally pushed Pepper onto a pitchfork in Whisper of Death. Subverted near the end though.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Nell in Slumber Party.
  • Alone with the Psycho: In the novel Falling, FBI agent Kelly Feinman thinks she has tracked down the Acid Man serial killer, Michael Grander. She goes to interview Michael's university professor, Gene Banks, to get background info to support her case on Michael. All the while she has kept her insights secret from the rest of the FBI. Professor Banks invites her to his apartment to supply information on Michael. While there, Kelly deduces Banks is the Acid Man and had all along planned to frame Michael. Banks holds her hostage and pours acid on her, with the FBI none the wiser.
  • Alpha Bitch: Lena Carlton in Weekend, though she turns out to be a Lovable Alpha Bitch.
  • Ambiguous Innocence: Young Betty Sue in Whisper of Death liked to put butterflies in jars. She poked holes in the lids, but the butterflies would die anyway because of the sun heating up the air in the jars. Betty Sue states that the butterflies have no idea they are in jars because they can still see everything, and just fly around in circles until they die.
  • Antivillain: Mary Blanc in Monster. She murders two people with a shotgun and intended to kill more at a party. Mary does this because she knew that the three in question were transforming into inhuman monsters that devour human flesh, and had already killed a small group of people before the book began. Crosses into Idiot Ball territory when you realize Mary could've just waited until they were alone instead of killing them in front of dozens of witnesses.
  • Arc Words:
    • The term "starlight crystal" is the title of one of Pike's novels (but it isn't used anywhere in story), the title of a story in the last Remember Me book, and is a term Sati uses to describe herself as in Sati.
    • MAZE in Magic Fire. Mark is told that it's a drug. In a way, it is.
  • Author Appeal: Red hair and 'emerald' green eyes. Just try to count every example of an attractive character with those traits.
  • Bad Future:
    • The Eternal Enemy
    • See You Later
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Whisper of Death.
  • Batman Gambit: Fall Into Darkness. Ann figured that, even if Sharon wasn't convicted of her supposed murder, the shame of having been arrested and tried for murder would be enough to ruin Sharon's life.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Bert in Weekend, after everyone thinks he was killed in the garage explosion. He just got caught in a riptide and, once he made his way back to shore, got lost.
  • Bittersweet Ending: This is a reoccurring trend in Pike's books. Usually, the heroine will wind up dying or suffering A Fate Worse Than Death to achieve some greater good.
    • In Monster, Angela Warner has fully become one of the monsters, but has retained enough sense to know that "people are not for eating", and manages to destroy the lake which is the cause of the transformations by causing an oil spill that becomes a fire.
  • Break the Haughty: Ilonka goes through this in The Midnight Club. Granted, she's sick and she's dying, but the way she keeps believing that it absolutely has to be her that is going to live when she hears rumors of someone at the hospice being misdiagnosed, it makes her come across as inconsiderate to the rest of the kids. Then she finds out no, it wasn't her, it's Sandra. And beyond that, she's not getting better. Her illness has advanced so far she only has weeks.
  • Break Them by Talking: How Clyde brings down Susan in the climax of Last Act.
  • Brought Down to Normal: An ancient Greek goddess in The Immortal and her Arch-Enemy are turned mortal as a punishment, they turn into the heroine (and her best friend respectively) who gain Past-Life Memories as a result.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Shari's adopted brother and the villain in Remember Me. In Amanda's defense, the fact she and her brother did not grow up together would have overridden the aversion to incest which would normally have developed. Even so, she still knew him, was close to him, and pursued the relationship even after she learned of the incest, not to mention the whole disturbing If I Can't Have You, Together in Death plot she pursues, so the Squick remains. Also an example of Surprise Incest on the part of Shari's brother.
  • Bury Your Gays:
    • The Midnight Club
    • Sati
  • Charm Person: Betty Sue in Whisper of Death, with the implications that she may or may not have enchanted a classmate to actually rape her.
  • Chivalrous Pervert:
    • Bubba in the Final Friends series.
    • Kevin in Monster.
    • Ed in The Eternal Enemy.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: In the Chain Letter books, the titular chain letter. Once the letter is sent to you and you are on the list, the only way to free yourself from eternally being commanded to perform tasks (each task progressively becoming more malicious and difficult) is death.
  • Cool Big Sis: Jennifer to Ken (who prefers Gator) in The Lost Mind. Even losing her memory couldn't stop Jen from loving Gator.
  • Covers Always Lie: The Starlight Crystal features the cover image of a giant silver hourglass, decorated with jewels in a rainbow pattern, containing skulls and bones that turn into stars in its bottom half. No such hourglass appears anywhere in the story. In fact, the term "starlight crystal" isn't used anywhere at all in the book.
  • Doomed Protagonist: The Midnight Club. That's sort of the point, as the main characters are all teenagers with incurable diseases living in a hospice. Well, one of them turns out to have been misdiagnosed, but it's not the main character.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Played with. In Whisper Of Death, Helter raped Betty Sue. But no one is able to figure out if Betty Sue made him do it, or if she attempted to and he caught her by surprise. It's still treated as heinous however you look at it.
  • Dream Land:
    • Seen multiple times in Remember Me when Shari attempts to invade the dreams of her friends so as to find out which one of them killed her. Also, the moment when she saves her brother's life, which she had dreamed about beforehand.
    • Last Act.
  • Dream Within a Dream: Magic Fire
  • Evil Redhead: Betty Sue from Whisper of Death.
  • Fair-Play Whodunnit: A few, though Last Act is probably the purest example.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • Falling.
    • Chain Letter (Neal).
    • Slumber Party (Nicole/Celeste).
    • Weekend (Bert).
    • Gimme a Kiss (Jane).
    • Scavenger Hunt (Joe/Tom).
    • Fall Into Darkness (Ann).
  • Fetus Terrible:
    • The Grave was about a young woman who is impregnated by one of The Undead and killed by being dumped in a freezer. She becomes one of the undead herself and it is revealed that the fetus she is carrying was specifically bred by a Mad Scientist to become the antichrist. But by the end it's revealed the Mad Scientist has failed, the Fetus Terrible being more a balance between good and evil who destroys the Mad Scientist and goes on his merry way. Oh, and this book was aimed at teenagers. Really.
    • The Cold One.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Betty Sue's alter ego Queen Beetle from her disturbing short stories.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Gimme A Kiss.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Weekend. The poisoned beer. The culprit put the poison in a glass impulsively during a moment of anger, and when she was walked in on, poured in beer to disguise the smell. Had the other someone not picked up the poisoned beer when the "culprit" had her back turned, she more than likely would have disposed of the poison safely. And the person who drank the beer wasn't even the person she'd been thinking of poisoning.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Played with in Whisper of Death.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars:
    • Used in Slumber Party. Nell's scars are only on her face, and aren't as severe as Nicole's. Nicole's face is bare of any scars, but the damage is more prevalent on her torso and lower body. She doesn't even have nipples or a belly button anymore, and alludes that the damage is much worse below the belt. Nell is the truly bloodthirsty one, whereas Nicole does a Heel–Face Turn because Nell had been lying to her about the accident.
    • Shena in The Star Group is introduced with a badly scarred face after getting sprayed with battery acid which was not immediately wiped off. Gale did this on purpose to set up Shena as a scapegoat when she finally made her move.
  • Grand Theft Me:
    • The Immortal and The Blind Mirror use this trope as a twist - without the transferred soul initially remembering their true identity.
    • In Spellbound, how Josies' soul came to be infused with that of a vulture.
  • Groin Attack: The "Holt Skater" story in Whisper of Death has the imagery of Holt walking on a wall that proceeds to get narrower with each step he takes, until it finally becomes like a knife and he's cut in half vertically, balls first. Helter accidentally shoots himself in the groin, and Roxanne has to perform a Mercy Kill on him.
  • Handicapped Badass: Clyde in Last Act. Not in the sense that he's able to beat somebody up effortlessly despite having lost the use of his legs and right arm, but in the fact that his mere presence makes Susan Trels go white as a sheet. He's then able to verbally break down her entire Motive Rant about why she killed Rindy, why she hated Rindy, and turns her from a haughty villainess to a pathetic wretch. Which is really all Susan was to begin with.
  • Hannibal Lecture: In Falling, the Acid Killer, Gene Banks, has a way of turning the tables on FBI agent Kelly Feinman. Even after Kelly has caught and made him a quadriplegic, she finds herself drawn to him and the revelations he provides her about her character. Pike has stated he owes a debt to Silence of the Lambs, and a character in Falling name-checks Hannibal Lecter.
  • Hope Spot: The Eternal Enemy. This would actually be a subversion, given that Christopher, as an old man, remembered Rela in the future, which could've meant the book was a Stable Time Loop. However, when Rela views the recording of her death when Christopher is at her house, the footage temporarily changed to feature Christopher's death. Which means that Christopher's vow to never become like Rela's grandfather isn't so futile.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Mary Blanc in Monster feels absolutely no guilt for killing Todd and Kathy, nor does she feel guilty for trying to kill Jim. Because she was absolutely justified in doing it when Angela realizes that, yes, they were monsters.
  • Ill Girl:
    • Robin in Weekend. She gets better.
    • Most of the female characters in The Midnight Club. They don't get better, except the one who was misdiagnosed in the first place.
  • It's All About Me: Gale in The Star Group is revealed to be one of the negative beings mentioned by Mentor as only being interested in their hungers and desires at the expense of others.
  • Jerk Jock
    • Mitch in The Lost Mind. He's Jennifer's Bastard Boyfriend, as well as a chronic gambler who uses Jen to cover his debts with about as much compassion as a rock. When he comes to Jen's house to get the money he needs to pay off a loan shark, his next move is to strip completely naked and sprawl himself out on her bed, thinking some quick sex will help her relax after Crystal's death is made public. Jen is... less than pleased.
    • Subverted with Tony in Chain Letter. People are always telling him what an amazing football player he is and he's the best of Grant High's team, but he actually hates football and doesn't get along with his teammates because they have nothing in common. Unfortunately, he realizes that he does have something of an ego, and said ego blinded him to Neil's feelings because he's so used to enabling Neil's Hero Worship.
    • Averted with Jimmy in The Star Group. Jimmy's pretty nice, but he has issues with Gale over her scarring.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • In Monster, Angela Warner kills her turned classmates by blowing up her house, then after she fully loses her human appearance, retains enough sense of self to cause an oil spill into the lake responsible for the transformations and sets it on fire.
    • In The Star Group, Shena used her pyrokinesis to destroy Daniel's house after Gale had forced Daniel to kill himself. Shena savored hearing Gale scream from inside.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The Lost Mind. Jennifer's memory loss is so absolute, the person she is when she wakes up is pretty much entirely a brand new human being. She's never getting those memories back.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Discussed in The Midnight Club. Anya believes the cancer which is slowly killing her and has already claimed her right leg is punishment for destroying her relationship with her boyfriend Bill, by sleeping with another guy for no reason. What adds to this belief is the fact that Bill broke the clay statue of two lovers Anya was making for him, and only the right leg was broken. It's somehow repaired, as if it had never been broken, when Bill comes to claim Anya's things.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Magic Fire
  • Love Makes You Evil:
    • Last Act.
    • Remember Me.
  • Mama Bear: Mrs. Trasker in Die Softly. When she sees photographs of Alexa killing her son Herb, she punches Alexa in the face and then spits on her before Alexa is arrested.
  • Mercy Kill: Whisper of Death. Roxanne has to shoot Helter to put him out of his misery after he accidentally shoots himself in the groin and slowly starts to die from blood loss.
  • The Mole: In The Star Group one of the teenagers is actually planning to kill the rest. It's Gale.
  • The Movie: Fall Into Darkness was adapted into a made-for-TV movie.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In The Star Group, main character Daniel mentions he's writing a story where the protagonist has just set a giant fire in Los Angeles. He's essentially writing Magic Fire.
    • Roxanne and Pepper see The Season of Passage in Whisper of Death.
    • In one of the Remember Me sequels, Shari begins writing The Starlight Crystal.
    • The Listeners is mentioned in the second part of the "Collect Call" short story.
  • Near Death Clairvoyance: Killed at a party, Shari Cooper spends the remainder of Remember Me as a ghost, watching over friends/family and trying to figure out who murdered her.
  • New Age: A lot of Pike's science fiction and fantasy novels have very New Age feels toward them in terms of their discussions of spirituality and religion.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: In The Season of Passage and Monster the vampires originate from Mars, people on Earth being infected by a virus from that planet — thereby suggesting that either they are not set in the same universe as The Last Vampire series, or that the two types of vampires are simply unaware of each other's existence (as they never seem to cross paths).
  • Out-Gambitted
    • Used in Weekend. Lena purposefully gave the wrong date on the invitations but made sure those who were at the party where Robin drank insect poison came, with the intent to discover who actually gave Robin the poison. She drugs them, locks them in a room (herself included) filled with venom-less rattlesnakes, and uses a recording of her dubbed voice to interrogate them. She hadn't expected on A: Bert turning up alive after everyone believed he was killed in the garage explosion, and B: the group bringing Flynn, who reveals himself to be Robin's biological brother Michael. He planned to figure out who poisoned Robin himself, but at the same time to determine if he felt comfortable enough to give Robin one of his kidneys for a transplant. He wasn't going to just give an organ to a complete stranger, especially a sister he never even knew existed until just recently.
    • Happens to the Caretaker twice in Chain Letter 2: The Ancient Evil. Joan's task is to give Tony a loaded gun and Brenda's severed finger. Tony's task is to blow Alison's brains out. What the Caretaker did not expect would be that A: Alison would take the choice from Tony and shoot herself so he wouldn't have to, and B: that Joan would give Tony a gun filled with blanks.
  • Parody Sue: The character of Melissa in the Final Chance play from Last Act. She's Susan Trels' stand-in, but with a name deliberately meant to be similar to Melanie's in order to shape her into The Scapegoat.
  • Playing with Fire:
    • Lara in Slumber Party starts to believe someone in their group is either pyrokinetic or if it's the case of Spontaneous Human Combustion, in order to explain how these fires keep occurring. It turns out she's wrong on both accounts, and Nell was secretly goading her beliefs just to screw with her.
    • Magic Fire.
    • Shena in The Star Group develops pyrokinetic abilities as the group begin to gain new abilities from their collective awakening.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Last Act.
    • Sati.
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Shari's dream about her brother and the balloon in Remember Me. Which, naturally, she doesn't find out what it really means until the moment it becomes relevant.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Last Act.
    • Monster.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In Chain Letter, Brenda's tasks from the Caretaker involve insulting her teachers. Her first task has her telling the drama teacher he's the worst director in the world, and for the second she needs to tell every teacher to go to hell individually. Both times she gets a bit too into it, and during the second task she basically starts an in-class revolt against a particularly nasty English teacher.
  • Recycled Script:
    • Weekend and Slumber Party are both about a group of friends spending the weekend in some isolated location, and both groups share a dark secret from their past involving a former friend who was badly injured. The villain of the book is revealed to be someone out for revenge.
    • Gimme a Kiss and Fall into Darkness both feature a girl who decides to set up someone else for her murder, and then things go horribly wrong and people start dying for real. Partially justified by the implication that Ann, the girl in Fall into Darkness, has read Gimme a Kiss and got the idea from there.
  • Red Pill, Blue Pill: In Magic Fire there is a drug that takes you into a Matrix-esque reality that is extremely addictive. Despite Jessa (main character) being informed she is living in a fantasy world, she refuses to wake from her coma (and stop her addiction).
  • Rewriting Reality:
    • In Master of Murder, an author names his characters after his friends, and then the fanfics become canon (i.e., they happen in Real Life). Hilarity doesn't exactly ensue, being a Pike novel.
    • In Whisper of Death, the main characters discover that a dead classmate had written stories about them using slightly different names, and each one dies as the characters in the story.
  • The Scapegoat: In The Star Group, Gale set Shena up as this by deliberately scarring her and feigning innocence. She then set Sal up as Jimmy's murderer by saying so to the police, leading to Sal getting shot in the back.
  • Self-Serving Memory: In Last Act. Final Chance was nothing more than Susan Trels' warped memory of what her friendship with Rindy and Clyde was like. Clyde himself calls Susan out on on her bullshit by saying her play was garbage compared to how things actually happened. This contributes to Susan's Villainous Breakdown.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong:
    • See You Later.
    • The Eternal Enemy.
  • Shadow Archetype: Literally, with Shari and the Shadow in Remember Me. Also a rare example where, despite the initial fear and horror, it turns out to be a positive thing and there is a merger.
  • She's All Grown Up: Leslie Bell in Whisper of Death was not as pretty as a child as she was a teenager. In fact, Helter mentions she was so ugly he used to throw rocks at her. It's all but outright confirmed Betty Sue is the reason she became so beautiful.
  • Significant Anagram: Last Act features a play written by the murderer, Susan Trels, solely to set up the murder; the pseudonym she uses as playwright, Stan Russel, (deliberately, as dramatic flair and a challenge) is an anagram of her name.
  • Silent Scapegoat: Rindy in Last Act. Clyde was the actual driver the night of the crash, but Rindy took the blame so his parents could sue her very rich family to cover his medical bills and recovery.
  • Spanner in the Works: Joan in the second Chain Letter book. When she's told that her task is to give Tony a loaded gun, which he's then told he must use to kill Alison, Joan realized nothing good would come of giving the gun to Tony but fearing death, she gave him a gun that was filled with blanks. Joan saved Alison and Tony's lives which is especially ironic because she's particularly bitter towards them and she was Demoted to Extra in this book.
  • Spiritual Sequel: Sati and The Starlight Crystal. The connections lie in the use of mankind interacting with God or a higher force which talks about the path to enlightenment and the struggles of daily life. Both books use the term "Alosha", and while the phrase "starlight crystal" is never used in the novel, Sati refers to herself as such.
  • Stable Time Loop: The events that occur in The Starlight Crystal are revealed to have been set up by none other than Paige Christian herself, who lives past the death of the universe and well into its rebirth. She discovers upon experience that she was really the woman who convinced her to visit a nearby park, where she would meet the love of her life, and was also responsible for creating the alien race that would wipe out all life on Earth, on purpose.
  • Story Within a Story:
    • Weekend.
    • Last Act.
    • The Midnight Club.
    • Whisper of Death.
    • Remember Me 3.
    • Master of Murder.
    • Road to Nowhere.
  • Switched at Birth: Happened with Shari and the villain of Remember Me.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Fall into Darkness. Ann fakes her death to get revenge on Sharon for her brother's suicide.
  • That Man Is Dead: Played with in The Lost Mind. Jennifer doesn't actually die physically, but she has completely and utterly lost her entire sense of self and memory to the point that, when she awakens in the story's beginning, the person she used to be has for all intents and purposes died.
  • This Is My Story:
    • Shari in Remember Me, particularly the last lines of the book.
    • Rela in The Eternal Enemy.
    • Paige in The Starlight Crystal.
    • Roxanne in Whisper of Death.
  • Time Dilation: The crews of The Traveler and The Pandora in The Starlight Crystal, by means of traveling at the speed of light and cryogenic freezing respectively, live so long into the future that the Earth is rendered a lifeless, radioactive wasteland, and by the time they return the radiation has since abated. Paige Christian, however, lives so long that she witnesses all life in the universe die out, then its rebirth. She then returns to Earth under a different identity, right at the same time her previous self was planning on leaving Earth to become a member of The Traveler.
  • Token Shipping: Sal and Terri in The Star Group.
  • The Vamp: Many of Pike's female characters are explicitly described as not being total knockouts, but what they lack in physical appearance is made up for in terms of sensuality and body language. Notable examples include Jessa in Magic Fire and Gale in The Star Group.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: In Monster most of the vampires kill for blood. However Angela Warner, by the end of the novel, learns to avoid humans and will only kill animals.
  • Whodunnit to Me: In Remember Me, Shari begins the novel already dead. She was killed at a party, and being a ghost she must figure out which one of her friends killed her.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Rela in The Eternal Enemy. Rela is short for Robotic Experimentation Logistical Algorhythm.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The premise of the original Chain Letter and the Caretaker's overall plan for the group. As it's pointed out, the seven kids can either go through with the tasks and do something degrading and humiliating, or they can be punished if they don't follow through. And if they try to tell anyone about the Caretaker, he'll expose the death of the man last summer, but even telling someone about the man would have the same end result. They're screwed no matter what they do.
  • Yandere: Jessa in Magic Fire. She's consistently trying to make sure it is only Mark and herself with no one else getting in the way. It turns out the entire novel up until the epilogue has been Jessa's prolonged dream thanks to a Lotus-Eater Machine. Mark was trying to get her to come back to the waking world but along the way he completely forgot his purpose. It was only after he realized how simplistic Jessa's dreamworld was and the subsequent pattern of it being just the two of them that he remembered his true purpose. Only Jessa wouldn't go with him.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Pepper slept with Betty Sue before he slept with Roxanne in Whisper of Death. Then he slept with her again after he slept with Roxanne. To make matters worse, he got Betty Sue pregnant as well as Roxanne. This doesn't make Betty Sue sympathetic, as her hideous actions are still treated with the horror they deserve. But the ending implies Pepper is still going to endure something horrible for cheating on the two of them.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Creator/ChristopherPike