Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Rating : 4.0/5
Number of Pages : 241
Format : Teenage Fiction Horror Anthology
Reason for Reading : 999 Challenge
Edited by Deborah Noyes this is a collection of horror short stories aimed at teenagers. There are 10 stories in the collection, mostly by authors I didn't know before. Some are straight horror, others explore the gothic genre, some are ghost stories and some combine elements of them all.
Lungewater - Joan Aiken
On the way to meet her great-aunt Theodosia she meets a man at the bus stop. He tells her a tale of unrequited love and a slave boy who got caught up in the drama. He was abused and killed y his master, Count Boyanus and is said to haunt the near by river.
Morgan Roehmar's Boys - Vivian Vande Velde
Ashly works at a haunted hay ride. When a storm rolls in she is trapped alone in the barn which used to be the house belonging to Morgan Roehmar. He was killed by the police on his porch after they found he had murdered a number of young men and boys. Ashly is sure that during the storm there is someone else in the barn with her.
Watch and Wake - MT Anderson
Jim is on his way home to see his paretns when he is talked into watching a dead body overnight to stop witches eating its face. Things become very strange the enxt day when he accidentally falls asleep on the job.
Fordibben Brides and the Faceless Slaves in the Nameless House of the Night of Dread Desire - Neil Gaiman
A parody where a man living in a gothic world tries to write a real life gothic tale. He keeps adding in silly bits and is unable to take it seriously until a raven suggests he write a fantasy novel instead. His fantasy novel involes our mundane world and our concerns.
The Dead and the Moonstruck - Caitlin R Kieran
Starling Jones is a changeling, a human child living in a world full of monsters after being spirited away years ago. As a human she has to pass 3 tests. If she suceeds she will serve the monsters forever, but if she fails they will kill and eat her. Her third and final test is fast approaching and Starling Jane is afraid.
Have no fear, Crumpot is here! - Barry Yourgrau
Walter writes stories about imaginary hero Crumpot. He is sent to stay with old family friends for a week while his parents are away to learn responsibility. They have a son, another Walter, who is very pale and can't abide garlic. He is not happy about sharing his name.
Stone Tower - Janni Lee Simner
Tara hears a voice in her head telling her what to do and se cannot resist it. Her memory is in pieces and she seems plagued by a raven. If only she could remember what had happened and figure out who is controlling her and why.
The Prank - Gregory Maguire
Melanie goes to stay with Aunt Beryl after committing a hate crime and badly beating up two girls who may have been lesbians with a lead pipe as a prank. It looks like her Aunt has her own secrets when Melanie is forbidden to enter the locked attic.
Writing on the Wall - Celia Rees
Mark Banks buys a house he doesn't ralise is said to be haunted. When he brings his children to camp outside whilst it is being renovated, the builders son Tom starts acting strangely around his daughter Kate. Seems the house is using them to act out it's unfinished business.
Endings - Garth Nix
A strange tale about Sorrow, Joy and choices. Haunting.
This was an excellent collection and I enjoyed most of the stories a lot. I particularly liked Forbidden Brides, The Dead and the Moonstruck and Stone Tower. My clear favourite though was Morgan Roehmar's Boys which really stuck in my mind and gave me nightmares for a week! I look forward to reading the companion volume, Restless Dead.