The book itself was a bit hit and miss. Five of the 10 stories were pretty great, at times even terrifying, but sadly 5 stories were boring and I had the urge to stop reading.
My favourite story? The Blue-Bearded Bird-man.
For each story I have written a mini-review + given them a star-rating.
Story 1: Mr Shocky: 4.5 stars! Wow, what a story. Watch out with your imaginary friends… I never thought the story would take that direction, it was way darker than I had expected. Not a bad thing, I am really happy with it. I came here for terrifying tales after all. I quite liked Tyler, though I did feel sorry for him in the end. There are a lot of nice twists and turns that will keep you on edge. Loved it!
Story 2: Licorice Needles: 2 stars. The story was creepy, but I just didn’t like the old lady. I just found her selfish and mean. I didn’t like what she did at the end, he didn’t deserve it. He was just afraid as hell, anyone would act like that, plus he did say sorry. 🙁 Plus all the other things she did. 😐 It was just too much. No one deserves that. No matter what they did. I just hope someone stops her one day.
Story 3: The Blue-Bearded Bird-Man: 5 stars. Welp, I knew I would love this one, it is by Adam Gidwitz and I just love how he tells his stories. With him/the narrator popping in at times to warn us, or make us laugh, or anything else. It just adds a certain flavour to the story. And this one was creepy, though also faintly familiar. I am not sure why. I felt sorry for the sisters, but really if someone tells me to NOT open a certain door? I would definitely not be opening anything at all. No way. Nope. I had a laugh at the youngest and how smart she was. The fowler certainly never saw that coming. 😛 I just adore a kick-ass girl who knows what to do in a dire situation. The ending was as expected, but I still had a bit of a chuckle.
Story 4: Don’t Eat The Baby: 4 stars. A pretty decent story that will warn kids to be careful with what they wish for. It may just come true and you may just not like what you get. The story was quite scary, though I did wonder why Arne didn’t notice until it was much too late. I knew immediately what the brother was, what he was eating, and what his plans were. The ending was great. I am happy it ended like this, though I do wonder if that last sentence has meaning. Or if it is just the baby growing up. I do hope it is the last option.
I also did quite like that Arne found love for his family. He was quite grumpy in the beginning (which is kind of logical), but at the end he is caring and he doesn’t mind that his family acts this way. Plus he becomes quite protective of his sister.
Story 5: My Ghost Story: 1.5 stars. Props to it being a comic, but sadly the story was mostly boring and I was annoyed at the parents and how, instead of just talking, instead of believing the boy, they tore apart his whole room and made it the ultimate kid-friendly place. Plus… come on this wasn’t terrifying at all. Considering the other stories this one just didn’t fit at all. I had expected so much more. 🙁
Story 6: Marcos at the River: 1 star. Sorry, but again not scary. Come on, are these stories terrifying or just cute little kittens waiting to be petted? sighs I was mostly frustrated with Marcos and that he let things get out of hand this much. And that it was that easily solvable. Boy, I had hoped for something creepy, but instead poof. Done. 😐
Story 7: Coconut Heads: 0.5 stars. Welp, this was terrible. 😐 Not only was it not scary, but I was also so pissed off at the mom and how she acted. How she cared more about her family in Jamaica than her sons and husband. She was just so hurtful, sorry, this may sound harsh, but some people don’t deserve kids. If you treat them this shitty… 😐 I also didn’t like how the dad was totally wussy and didn’t say much.
Story 8: Manifest: 0.5 stars. Yawn, is this how the rest of the book is going to be? I do hope not. So we have some sort of curse, a guy getting tattoos all over his body? Ohh, how terrifying. Ohhh, how scary. Sorry, snort it wasn’t scary at all and I found my mind wandering while reading, wondering how much longer I would have to go through this quicksand of boredom. The end was also just lacklustre.
Story 9: Disappear!: 3 stars! Phew, thankfully here is R.L. Stine to bring a bit more scariness back in the book. I was already worried. This wasn’t that scary, but comparing it to the other stories before this one.. 😛 I quite liked Mark, even though he often argued with his little brother (then again, given his little brother, I don’t blame him). The magic show, the magician, it was all good. Plus the ending was as I had expected from Stine. I was happy to see that even if he writes short stories he sticks to his endings.
Story 10: The Mandigore: 4 stars. Well, this one was properly creepy again. A monster, missing kids, a library one doesn’t want to go to (really, you should have listened to your grandma, for once I agree on avoiding libraries). Plus I loved the Noctiluca stuff, how it bonded Nina and Clark, and how even when things got dire they talked as if in the series. It was bittersweet. The ending was disturbing and sad.
I also liked that each story had an illustration at the beginning. Something to start the terror inside of you. I loved the style of the illustrations, it fitted perfectly with each story, even if they were all different. The illustrations were haunting.
All in all, there are some stories in here that I would highly recommend. Sadly, I do feel the book in overall could have been much scarier and terrifying.