Monday, October 25, 2010

Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror edited by R.L. Stine

Looking for something fast-paced, twisty, and suspenseful, just in time for Halloween? Try Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror. You've probably heard of many of the contributors:

  • Jennifer Allison
  • Heather Brewer
  • Ryan Brown
  • Meg Cabot
  • Alane Ferguson
  • Heather Graham
  • Peg Kehret
  • Tim Maleeny
  • James Rollins
  • Walter Sorrells
  • R.L. Stine
  • Suzanne Weyn
  • F. Paul Wilson
All the stories in this collection edited by R.L. Stine are short—the longest is James Rollins' "Tagged," at 33 pages—yet the majority are sufficiently intriguing and satisfying. Additionally, there is a nice variety to the stories. Suzanne Weyn's "Suckers" is set in the year 2060 on a planet called Lectus. The fear in some stories comes from supernatural creature or powers, like the boy who discovers that there really are dangerous creatures lurking in shadows or the babysitter whose new charge sees terrifying beasts. In others, there are only humans committing crimes providing the tension.

Because of this, I must say that I think Thrill would be a more accurate title than Fear. Even if it doesn't quite have the same ring to it. There are a couple of stories that I would consider thrillers (fitting, since all the authors are members of the International Thriller Writers), which I enjoyed but weren't particularly scary or chilling.

My favorite story in Fear definitely falls into the horror category: Jennifer Allison's delightfully creepy "The Perfects," in which Hannah discovers her new neighbors are hiding a sinister secret. It begins,
The chances are pretty good that I'm going to be killed before daylight, and I can't help but think this never would have happened if we hadn't moved to Entrails, Michigan.
C'mon. Don't you want to know what happens next?

Book source: public library

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