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.
Tagged: Book review
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.
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.
Did you know Disney released a book series like Goosebumps but with their villains? Well, neither did I, but it’s called Disney Chills; there are six out and a seventh releasing this year, and because it seems like fun, we’ll be reviewing all of them over the next few months. Starting with Part of Your Nightmare, a book that takes the horrifying implications of Ursula’s powers and then goes even further with them.
Tantalus Depths is the kind of book that the right audience will love. It’s a solid combination of cosmic horror, somewhat-hard science fiction, and has sprinkles of space epic. And perhaps its biggest triumph is how it balances those three things in an organic, unfolding way that never feels like a hard genre shift.
The Luminous Dead is perhaps one of the hardest reviews I’ve done in a long time. The nature of the work has clashed with my usual operations.
Dark Harvest is a novella from 2006 I oopsed into reading because I wanted something short and spooky for October—and then only finished it a few days ago. And now, having discovered that it’s getting a film adaptation that appears to be trapped in some bureaucratic/logistical hell and will come out eventually, it seemed a perfect book to give a review.
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