July 23, 2013

Review: Extremities

Extremeties Tales of Death, Murder, and Revenge
By David Lubar
Illustrated by Jim Kay
Available now from Tor Teen (Macmillan)
Review copy

David Lubar is known for his humorous books for young readers, which bear little resemblance to this collection of thirteen deliciously dark tales.  Seven of them have been published previously, but six are all new.

I have to give major props to Jim Kay.  One of his illustrations appears before each story and sets the mood.  Some of them are on par with the nightmare fuel from the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series.  The "Whoodoo" illustration is particularly hard to forget.

This is one of the better short story collections I've read.  It's very cohesive - all the stories are about the same length, all are horror - and the quality is consistent.  It's hard to pick a favorite story, but mine might be "Feelings," which went right where I expected and then kept going.  The irony in both "Split Decision" and "Apparent Motive" is delicious, and I particularly like that the former revolves around a bad pun.  "Morph" is less horrific and more hopeful than most of the others, but it's got a nice bit of action.

I can see lots of kids eagerly devouring this collection.  It will likely be recommended more for teens and older readers, but the ones who will enjoy it the most are probably the elementary-school kids who will find it slightly illicit and perfect for creeping friends out at camp.

I do not recommend EXTREMITIES to fans of David Lubar who aren't into horror.  This is not an anthology that subverts the genre in anyway.  But for those who do enjoy horror, it's a great choice.  Just delightfully perverse and nasty.


  1. This is the first time I've seen this one but it definitely catches my interest. I use to love books likes these, although my sleep didn't xD I will keep this in mind since you said it has good horror stories because it seems like those are getting so hard to find now. Thanks for sharing!

    1. XD Oh yeah, I read tons of scary story collections when I was younger - but not too close to bedtime.

  2. I learned about this one when I was doing my weekly new release post. I'm not always so into short stories, but for horror, a short story is enough for me -- great review!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. Horror is a terrific genre for the form - just enough time for a bit of shock, but it doesn't wear out its welcome.

  3. Hadn't heard of this one! Sounds like a good collection. I haven't read much horror, so shorter stories would be cool.

  4. I don't tend to like horror but I like hearing that the quality of the stories is consistent. I've read quite a few collections where the quality was wildly inconsistent. I have read some of Lubar's writing and enjoyed the humor so I'm not sure if this horror is right for me but I'll keep an eye out for it.

  5. I hadn't heard of this one yet, but I do enjoy horror every now and then, and it's great that the stories are such high quality! I'll have to check this one out for sure. Great review!


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