Monday, October 3, 2011

Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror, edited by RL Stine

Published September 2010.

Turn the pages if you dare. . . .In this collection of thirteen fabulously chilling stories--from thirteen true masters of suspense, including five New York Times bestsellers and a number of Edgar Award nominees, all edited by none other than R. L. Stine--nothing is what it seems. From cannibalistic children, to an unwitting date with a vampire, to a crush on a boy who just might be a werewolf, no scary stone is left unturned. A must-have for all fans of the genre! (

Holy snot monkeys, I LOVE YA horror. The category is sorely lacking in all that is horror. Even if it's more compilations like FEAR, I'll take it. It makes me want to curl myself up in a blanket of nostalgia with a flashlight and read all night.

I always find it a little difficult to review anthologies like this because the writing in each story can vary so widely and quite frankly I don't want to nitpick short stories. So I'll review the book as a whole: phenomenal.

Stine knows his fear so when he rounded up his choices for this book, he hit each nail spot on the head in one single stroke. Each story was mired in creep factor but not all of them were your traditional horror stories, which I liked. As much as I love my classic horror, variety is always good. So while you have the creepy family living in the even creepier old Victorian next door, you have an issue with disappearing people on a planet filled with rich people. For each story the creep is distinct and will affect you in 13 different ways, each story with it's own unique bucket of creep.

My favorites were 'Welcome to the Club' by RL Stine (more of a psychological horror that makes you think, nothing paranormal which, I think, makes it scarier, using "normal" humans), 'Dragonfly Eyes' by Alane Ferguson (about a girl's death from her point of view post mortem), and 'Tagger' by James Rollins (about a Chinese girl dipping into her roots to destroy a demon intent on destroying her). Each are miles away from each other in terms of story but the creeper aspect brings them all back together.

If you have a night to yourself and are looking for a good scare with hints of nostalgia, pick up FEAR. It has every kind of horror story sampler you could want all wrapped up in 13 nicely pressed stories. The writing in each of them stands out as fantastic and each is written in such a way that it allows the horror to settled at the top, letting it be as spooky as it can be. I love it.

Ban Factor: High - I think horror gets an automatic high usually because it's dealing with something supernatural, usually has some kind of sex factor, swearing, and lots of killing. Banner heart attack central.
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