Thursday, 4 August 2011

Review: Tales of Terror from the Tunnel’s Mouth

Title: Tales of Terror from the Tunnel’s Mouth (Tales of Terror #3)
Author: Chris Priestley
Illustrator: David Roberts
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: October 5th, 2009
Genre: YA, Horror, Short Stories

Robert Harper is about to take his first ever train ride by himself to his new school in London. Before he boards the train, his stepmother has a premonition that Robert is in danger. Although he enjoys supernatural books, Robert is a rational boy and does not believe in such things as visions. He ignores her warning and boards the train. Not long into his journey, Robert falls asleep, only to wake up and find that all the other passengers are in a deep sleep. Across from him now is a pretty young woman dressed all in white. The train has stopped at the mouth of a tunnel, and the Woman in White suggests that she tell some Robert stories to pass the time. These stories are unlike anything Robert has heard before and he finds himself haunted by these tales. Although he expected an uneventful train ride, Robert is about to have a journey he will never forget.

Tales of Terror from the Tunnel’s Mouth is a example of why it can be good to judge a book by its cover. A good cover can lead you to reading a book you would never have read before. I would never have bought this book if the cover hadn’t been so intriguing. This book is the third in the series, but they’re non sequential and you can start wherever you like. The illustrations by David Roberts are beautiful and do a great job of capturing the overall mood and atmosphere of the book. There are 9 short stories told throughout, all creepy tales featuring children. My favourite was “Gerald” which was the first story to really make my stomach twist (this might be because it was the first one that I read at night.) I didn’t find any of the stories to be excessively frightening or gruesome. They were just scary enough to keep you on the edge of your seat and make you a bit jumpy. Which is very good, since I once had to sleep with the lights on after my brother explained to me what happens in Paranormal Activity.
I’ve found that a bad ending can completely ruin a book for you, even if you loved everything up until the conclusion. It isn’t very often that I read a book where I love the ending so much that it takes me from liking a book to loving it. I should say that the whole of Tales of Terror from the Tunnel’s Mouth did not have the same effect on me that its last few pages did. I liked it a lot, although I was slightly bored once or twice, but the rest of the book didn’t cast the same spell over me that it’s ending did.

Overall, I am very glad that this book has such a beautiful cover that caught my eye. A very enjoyable read that is probably going to make it slightly difficult for me to fall asleep tonight.


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