Monday 13 August 2012

Book Review - The Stuff of Nightmares

Title: The Stuff of Nightmares
Author: Malorie Blackman
Publisher: Doubleday Children's Books
Release Date: 4 Oct 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0385610438


Kyle has always been afraid of things, especially dying. Whilst on a train on a school trip, Kyle realises that he isn’t the only one who has buried fears and, more importantly, he now burns with the desire to live, and to live without fear. But will Death release him?

My Review
I adore Malorie Blackman, her Noughts & Crosses series is just incredible and I have read a number of her other books, but I had never got round to this one. In fact it's been in my cupboard for about a year and I've never pulled it out. Now I have a week off work I'm doing a mass book read. (I've so far read 6 books in just over 2 days!!!)
Anyway this always looked a bit spooky and I shied away, but I decided to get stuck in.
Kyle is on a school trip when the train crashes, most of his classmates are knocked un-concious some with broken bones others in various degrees of danger. Kyle however doesn't seem to be injured. Walking through the carriage he tries to help his fallen classmates. But as he touches one of them he seems to fall into their dreams, no not dreams, Nightmares. Just before the crash they had been discussing what they were most afraid of and Kyle is going to get a glimpse into their most hidden fears.
Whilst on the train he meets a strange young girl who tells him that Death is after him and the only way to hide is to jump into more of the Nightmares. 
This book is a collection of each persons nightmares, they sort of become like short stories all linked together. Some of them are scarier than others, some are more believable than others. As in, some you could imagine actually happening others were far-fetched. A couple had me shuddering in my seat and looking round me nervously.
I read it quite quickly and it was easy to dip in and out of. Of course it was written well, had Blackman's usual magic touch that draws you in, but it was deceptively scary. I was reading thinking 'this isn't so bad.' then about 15 minutes after finishing it I would be completely jumpy and some of the nightmares would linger in my head. The particularly gruesome ones didn't seem to want to leave my subconcious. This is definitely not my type of read. 
I like the idea behind it, Malorie Blackman has said in a note at the end that a lot of the stories were based on actual nightmares she had experienced and written down. I think that is clever, as I have some very far-fetched, scary and just wierd dreams and they would make a great story. So I admire that and think she did a good job in that sense, but for me it was just a bit too scary.
If you like that sort of thing then this is ideal but I got chills.
So just remember, my ratings are based on personal preference. This book is as I say well written, fast paced and different. To some it may be an absolutely wonderful book, but for me it was't my cup of tea! I still love Malorie Blackman as an author and will definitely still pick up some of her other work!

My Rating 

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