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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"Fear: 13 stories of Suspense and Horror" Edited by R.L. Stine (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

Order Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror from Amazon Here

is a YA anthology filled with 13 stories of suspense and horror. Each of the 13 short stories were contributed by some of the top names in the YA/adult literature. There are stories written by James Rollins, R.L. Stine, Meg Cabot and other big names in literature. Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror was published by Penguin Young Readers on September 2, 2010. 

Here is a detailed overview of all 13 stories contained in the anthology. Welcome to the Club by R.L. Stine This is a typical R.L. Stine story. A bit of suspense with a twist at the end. For long time readers of R.L. Stine the story will probably be a bit predictable but overall it really set the mood for the anthology and gives it a nice kickoff. 

She's Different Tonight by Heather Graham She's Different Tonight was by far not one of my favorite stories within this anthology. It is told from a werewolf POV and there's a bit of twist. I just couldn't get into the tone, story line and felt it was very rushed (for a short story).

Suckers by Suzanne Weyn If I had to pick a favorite story in this anthology it would be Suckers. It's unique, fun and has a bit of a "scary" undertone to it. A famous family moves to a new planet looking for a new life but they find out that something odd has happened on this planet. What is odd about the planet is so unexpected and just a really fun story. 

The Perfects by Jennifer Allison What would happen if you moved next door to the perfects. That's what this is about. A babysitter volunteers to watch the next door neighbor's children but something just isn't right about the children. They watch surgery channels and eat raw meat. This was a pretty "creepy" story in terms of creepiness of the stories. I really thought it had a perfect ending and I could easily reread it. 

Shadow Children by Heather Brewer This is the first heart pounding, action filled story. It tells a tale of what happens after the lights go out in a little boys room. What is REALLY lurking in the shadows. It was chilling and left off with my all time favorite cliffhanger endings that are so famous in scary stories. 

Poison Ring by Peg Kehret This was the first suspense story in the anthology. Maybe I was just in the mood for creepy, horror stories but I wasn't feeling this story. It tells of an older lady who comes into an antique store and sells goods to the family. These goods lead to a whole lot of trouble and then the story ends. 

Dragonfly Eyes by Alane Ferguson Another one of my favorite stories in this book. A shoot comes into a classroom and picks 2 girls to hold as hostages. This story is told from the point of view of one of the girls that got shot. Only she's a ghost. It's one of those make you think stories and for teens (which is who this book is marketed too) serves as a compelling life lesson type story but it's done in the right way. 

Jeepers Peepers by Ryan Brown From the title I really thought this was going to be a run of the mill story with a same old same old style but Ryan Brown really impressed me with it. Another babysitter story, only this time the child she babysits has to be left in the dark and ends up causing a lot of trouble. It was a bit heart pounding and scary but it had the greatest unexpected twist at the end. I loved it! 

Piney Power by F. Paul Wilson A story about rough justice taken by fellow people who live on the outskirts of society. I don't have any feelings for this story one way or the other. It didn't wow me and it didn't make me dislike it. I sorta felt it was out of place in this anthology though. 

Night Hunter by Meg Cabot Meg Cabot is a huge name in YA lit. Sadly, this short story took a bit of a predictable twist. It had a bit of suspense but there was a girl pining away for a guy and it just didn't work in this story. Between that and the predictable twist it didn't reach my top list of stories in this anthology. 

Tuition by Walter Sorrells Another suspense/action story about a boy who breaks into safes. Only today is his birthday and he is trying to get out of the business so he can go to school. Nice slow pace story that had an interesting (but foreseeable) ending. 

Tagger by James Rollins James Rollins writing style is so completely different from every other writer in this anthology. He brings a bit of an action/suspense short story that really winds up the whole anthology. It was my first taste of his writing style and I enjoyed it a lot. 

Ray Gun by Tim Maleeny This short story took a twist to a sci-fiy type story. It was so far off what I normally read that I couldn't honestly review it. I got through it but I wouldn't have anything to compare it to to make the review fair. 

OVERALL: Overall I found Fear an interesting anthology. There were definite hits for me with the stories that they included and there were massive misses. The misses usually included extremely predictable plot lines or just oddball stories that didn't seem to fit. Even though this is an anthology geared to the YA market I really feel as if the YA audience would have still guessed a lot of the plot elements in the stories.


Ms. Yingling said...

I will certainly put this on my list to order!

Cindy said...

:). I think for the age it was meant some of the stories would be innovative and creative. But some of them just seemed done before for an adult. However, some were REALLY good :)


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