Calling Harrow Lake a disappointment is perhaps too strong a phrase, but the book does fail to deliver in a few key aspects. There was a missing ingredient, a piece withheld, that made it appear mismanaged.
Let’s get this out of the way because I’m going to be typing it a lot: The Circle of Ter-ROAR is a silly name for a book. Be Careful What You Wish Fur is at least a clean word change—“The Circle of Terror” would’ve been fine. But, oh well. This is, as far as I can tell, the last in the Disney Chills series, and it may as well end on the worst of the puns.
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I had to wait a long time to get Family Business in hardcover—and I was a little disappointed when I did. Though it still contains some of the stronger elements that drew me to The Magnus Archives, including much-appreciated diversity in its characters, very creepy monsters, and a strong human understanding of its subject matter, Family Business never achieved the same level of scares as even the previous book, Thirteen Storeys.
Even after all this time, I’m still impressed by Baymax—and that only proves my point. Good writing and excellent storytelling don’t need hours to wow an audience. Originally Published: September 28th, 2022 Short Art Has A Different Vibe Than Other Projects I love long-form content: epic scope books, five-hour video essays, and sprawling television shows….
Once Upon a Scream completes the available Disney Chills books. The Circle of Ter-ROAR is the only one left, and it’s set to release later this year. And it’s been an interesting project to undertake reviewing all of these.
I shouldn’t have been surprised that Liar, Liar, Head on Fire is an outlier in the Disney Chills canon. Firstly, because the books have continuously shown their readiness to explore new things and approach the same general themes of wishes gone wrong in different ways, but also because of the villain’s power.
Be Careful What You Wish Fur may have the worst pun of a title yet, but it proves that the Disney Chills books continue to improve as stories. The societal commentary from the first book combines with the physical threats of the second and even uses the focused structure of the third. The result is so close to YA fare, like Rules for Vanishing or Horrid, that where it doesn’t reach that height feels even more disappointing, but where it works is almost triumphant.
In a running trend for Disney Chills, Second Star to the Fright mixes up the formula. This time, we get a complete curveball: it plays the “be careful what you wish for” trope entirely standardly.
One of my initial worries when planning these Disney Chills reviews was that they would be repetitive. And the plot summary for Fiends on the Other Side didn’t assuage that concern in the slightest.
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