Friday, July 12, 2013

ARC Review: Extremities by David Lubar

Title: Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder and Revenge
Author: David Lubar
Genre: Young Adult, Horror
Release Date: July 23, 2013
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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Master of the macabre David Lubar turns his attention to dark and twisted tales for teens with Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder, and Revenge

A group of high school girls takes revenge on their sadistic gym teacher in the most fitting way possible. Two stowaways find themselves on a ship for the dead. An ancient predator stalks the wrong victim. Here are thirteen tales of death, murder, and revenge from the fertile and febrile imagination of master storyteller David Lubar—his first story collection for the teen audience.
Review by Nara

So....Extremities: Stories of Death, Murder and Revenge.....mwahahahahahaha!!!
Now that we have that out the way, we can get into the actual review. It's actually kind of hard to write an actual review for this collection of short stories because the stories themselves are so short. Some were even as short as 4 or 5 pages. So, instead, I'll just leave a few brief comments for each of the stories as well as a line summary of the tales.

Running out of Air
From the blurb: A group of high school girls takes revenge on their sadistic gym teacher in the most fitting way possible.
This story was really weird. It felt a bit incomplete, but then again it was a "short story" so I probably shouldn't complain.

Split Decision
Student wants to run away from home, gets the opinion of an apparently clairvoyant classmate as to where he should go.
Woah, this one was awesome. Quite the twist. I kind of predicted something bad was going to happen (yeah what tipped you off for that one Nara? It couldn't have been the death, murder and revenge...), but did not expect what actually happened. The title is very clever, and has to do with what happens.

Apparent Motives
A son concocts an interesting scheme to get rid of his abusive father.
This one was slightly confusing, and I had to go back to read it a second time to understand exactly what had happened (although maybe that was because I wasn't concentrating when I read it the first time. My bad.)

From the blurb: An ancient predator stalks the wrong victim (At least I think that line is for this's a bit hard to tell)
Another interesting story, a bit longer than the others. Another nice twist.

Every Drop
A tale depicting the survival of the fittest, and the revenge of one of those filtered by the process.
Yet another weird story. This one's the first one that I think actually steps into the realm of horror rather than mere creepiness.

Patterns of Fear
A boy is offered money to stay in the attic of a haunted house...

Free Seas
From the blurb: Two stowaways find themselves on a ship for the dead.
Dayum, yet another unexpected twist. I thought it would be ghosts or something, but instead it was something completely unexpected.

Blood Magic
An ancient magic is useful to two boys who are kidnapped and held hostage.
This one was beyond weird. Not strictly scary, but it was a bit creepy.

A Cart Full of Junk
About an old man who gives gifts.
Yeah that's a pretty vague summary. But the story itself is quite creepy...

About an assassin and the boy who witnesses his hits.
This one was actually less of a horror story and more of an action/heroic one. While it was good, it didn't really seem fit the theme of the anthology (apart from the fact that there were some murders in it).

A boy tries to bring his parents back together using a little magic.
Very short and very bizarre. It was only around two pages. Lacked development- it was a bit too short for my liking.

The Ex Box
A girl finds that her new boyfriend is hiding a secret...
Quite good. A bit of a twist, but then ended a bit too abruptly.

Evil Twin
Our main character catches a horrifying disease that splits her into two halves.
This was probably the best short story of the anthology. Raises such an interesting set of questions: what is good? What is evil? Either way, definitely worth a read.

Overall, I think that this was actually quite a nice collection of short stories. Just don't read it at night....

Liked it

Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 4/5