22 March 2020

Review || Tales from the Fringes of Fear


Most kids don't have to stress about things like exotic insects with a taste for human flesh when they go to class. But students at this school have to be ever vigilant. You never know when a supernatural pastry or a clay monster bent on revenge might be lurking just around the corner. Even a simple field trip to a local animal sanctuary can have ssserious consequences.

Dragged fresh from the grave and pulled out of the haunted corners of a school locker, these thirteen new stories are a nod to the storytelling style of Tales from the Crypt and The Twilight Zone. They are guaranteed to make you laugh like a hyena, shake your head in wonder or tremble with fear.


A companion volume to Tales from Beyond the Brain.







Tales From the Fringes of Fear is a middle-grade read but don't let that stop grown-up you from picking this one up as well. While the stories are fantastically fearsome for the younger crowd, they are still engaging enough for the young-at-heart.
Within these pages is an abundance of hair raising anecdotes that are as distinct as if they'd be written by different hands. For an author to have created a compilation of stories that reads more like an anthology is impressive. No two tales read the same. With different themes, tones, and characters, each story will resonant with younger readers. 

Varying from creepy to just plain weird, there's plenty here to appreciate. Erin Stays Sharp brings us a misplaced Costa Rican insect with spinning mandibles. Those with herpetophobia will ssshudder after reading The Hibernaculum. Semi-Detached brings us a perplexing ghostly account. Creatures aren't forgotten as aliens and werewolves feature in Broken Record and Bad Moon Rising. The Search Engine is a terrifying tale of being observed. 

There are no lessons to be learned from these tales. It's all just good scary fun. Perfect for easing the young reader into the horror genre. While there is nothing remarkably gory, there are plenty of moments of squeamishness to be found. With a feel of a good campfire story, most end rather abruptly, letting the reader's imagination conclude the narrative for them.

This collection of short stories is, dare I say, charming. I don't normally read, or review for that matter, children's fiction but when I saw this was casually browsing Netgalley, I couldn't resist. While the target audience is middle grade, this was a joy to read.