You don’t really want to read this …do you? The masters of horror are waiting to take you on a terrifying ride, and there are 13 stops.
Meet the new guy in town, very handsome, very sexy, and very deadly.
Dine on sweet and wonderfully inviting confections – they’re good to the last breath.
Learn that some spells can never be broken…
Inside you’ll find the works of 13 masters of horror. Let Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine and the rest of our macabre crew show you the beauty in your worst nightmares – and the terror in your most exquisite dreams….
Title – Thirteen: 13 Tales of Horror by 13 Masters of Horror | Edited By: T. Pines | Publisher: Scholastic Children’s Books | Pub. Date: 6th of June, 1991 | Pages: 330 | ISBN13: 9780590550819 | Genre: Teen Horror | Language: English | Source: Purchased |
As I said in our Beachin’ Good Reads listicle recently, in the summer I get a hankering for some good old Point horror. I used to have Thirteen (most likely when it first came out) and when I saw it for cheap I had to get it. I wanted to see if the stories held up after all this time and adulthood.
Thirteen is an anthology of short stories by some of the teen writers who were hot at the time like Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, Diane Hoh, etc. I really like Diane Hoh’s books and I still have a lot of her Nightmare Hall series. I am disappointed that Richie Tankersley Cusick was apparently not invited because she writes some really great teen horror.
Ok, so. How were the stories you might ask? Well, read on, friend!
Collect Call: Part One by Christopher Pike
Thirteen starts off with a story from Christopher Pike. Part Two of Collect call wraps up the book altogether. I think it was set up well as the first part can be read as a standalone story, pretty much. The story itself is fairly basic Christopher Pike. ‘Teens’ that don’t act like teens. Even when reading it younger his characters always felt slightly off. Most teens I know use contractions when they speak. Two girls are fighting in a car over the broody new hot guy in town that results in a nasty accident and a haunting. Or is it a haunting?
Lucinda by Lael Littke
I really liked Lucinda. It was very atmospheric and the young narrator sounded her age. The short story was full of twists and who can resist a drowned town that’s been flooded for a dam?
The Guiccioli Miniature by Jay Atkins
A student in Venice is approached by a painter, looking to sell a copy of The Guiccioli Miniature, a replicated painting of one of Lord Byron’s lovers. Jerry capitulates but in the middle of the night feels as though he’s doomed forever so he chucks it in the river. Given the twist is was probably still the best choice. It wasn’t bad but I do question its inclusion in Thirteen because it was more of a short thriller than a horror (despite the ‘doomed angle casually tossed in there.
Blood Kiss by D.E. Athkins
Blood Kiss involves a broody new hot guy in town but no catfights in a car. Girls date him then turn up wan, tired and wearing scarves to cover their necks. Delia begins to to suspect he’s a vampire. And she’s thrilled. I never did understand what was going on with the other girls. Just a light nosh then a Men in Black like hypnosis so they don’t remember? Good story.
A Little Taste of Death by Patricia Windsor
This was an interesting one because I actually understood it a bit better on this reading. What happens when a lollipop that you ate ten years ago comes back to bite you?
The CW is there because the lolli makes them do awful things and the group talks about ending it to make it stop and deaths happen where they seem to be suicides but it’s also possible it was Death (kind of a Final Destination-ish thing?)
The Doll by Carol Ellis
Evil doll. About the usual. It’s a pretty good story, though, that builds nicely.
House of Horrors by J.B. Stamper
Mark gets invited to stay for an after-hours party at the House of Horror wax museum, not realizing that it’s a trick. But the wax museum has tricks of its own. A decent vampire/waxworks coming to life story.
Where the Deer Are by Caroline B. Cooney
Caroline B. Cooney has always been kind of hit or miss with me. Some stories are good and some are written in a bit more surreal style that just always comes off as a bit forced to me. This is one of the iffier ones. Her vampire series is worth checking out, though. From what I recall. I have it so maybe I’ll give it a reread this summer.
The Spell by R.L. Stine
A good little story about hypnosis. When I was younger I typically read more Pike than Stine but now they’re pretty even up. And with the sheer amount of books by Stine there’s bound to be something for everyone. The Spell is a decent story about hypnotism.
Dedicated to the One I Love by Diane Hoh
I guess it’s not too surprising that one of my favourites in the collection would be from Hoh. I just really like her stories and this one has it all. Revenge from beyond the grave, creepy songs dedicated over the radio (remember when that was a thing?) and a love quadrangle.
Hacker by Sinclair Smith
Violet is taking a computer class at school while a serial killer who leaves threatening limericks on his victims’ computers is at work in her small town. Soon she begins to suspect her teacher. Is he the practical joker he claims to be or more sinister? I know this story was supposed to be frightening but it was kind of silly. But fun, too. I’d reread it.
Deathflash by A. Bates
I’ve liked a few of A. Bates’ books here and there but this story was just a little on the meh side for me. A thing feeds on the Deathflash of its victims and is only defeated by one particular thing. The Lifeflash of a momma cat giving birth. Again, just kind of ehhh.
The Boy Next Door by Ellen Emerson White
Working alone at night can be dangerous. Especially when the Boy Next Door has always wondered what it’s like to kill someone. The twist at the end was great with this story.
Collect Call II: The Black Walker by Christopher Pike
The second part to the first story wraps up the book nicely. It does make me wonder (and I think with it being spread out so far in between there would have been room enough) what The Black Walker is, who Bobby was. Like, was he an actual human (I mean, presumably given the end) and possessed or what? It’s still a good story and a perfect finisher to Thirteen.
I really like the anthology back in the day and it holds up really well. It would be a great read for younger teens. It’s not super intense (except for A Taste of Death) but it’s not too light and frothy. If you want to check it out I strongly recommend it for a trip down memory lane. It also has staying power because I remembered almost every story I’m not even telling how many years later.
You can purchase a copy of this book via your normal retailer, but please consider purchasing it from a local indie bookshop instead. It can be found here at Indiebound or at Bookshop. Please note the Bookshop link is an affiliate link and each purchase you make through it helps to support Sci-Fi & Scary and keep the site running.
GracieKat was the first co-host of Sci-Fi & Scary, Lilyn’s partner-in-crime, and sub-head of the Kali Krew. She reviews horror books, movies, and games for the site. She also does a weekly Focus on the Frightful feature, and is the site list-maker. She is also in control of the Sci-Fi & Scary podcast which will relaunch soon.
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