Reviews for Scare Scape


Booklist Reviews 2013 August #1
Morton and his family have just moved into a creepy old Victorian mansion. Unlike most kids, Morton, a big fan of the horror comic Scare Scape, is thrilled by the home's spooky cobwebbed corners and secret passageways. While mowing the lawn, Morton comes across a stone gargoyle buried in the dirt, with three wish-granting fingers and one ominous warning about getting what you ask for. Morton and his brother and sister each make a wish, and "Monkey's Paw"-style, they get way more than they bargained for. The kids battle a series of grotesque and powerful monsters (all illustrated like trading cards in the opening pages), investigate a town-wide case of missing cats, and discover the truth behind the mysterious death of John King, the renowned, reclusive author of Scare Scape, who just so happens to have lived in the house before them. Throw in some maggot-infested steaks, wall-scaling demons, and an evil teacher, and you've got a Lovecraft-lite debut full of monster-fighting action and a dark-magic mystery that, while flimsy at times, will nonetheless appeal to burgeoning horror fans. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Spring
Morton and his siblings find a wish-granting gargoyle statue behind their creepy new house. When they accidentally bring horror-comic Scare Scape's characters to life, the sibs must band together to banish the monsters. A lengthy trading card like section profiling each beast takes up significant space. The writing isn't the smoothest, but this lighthearted horror romp is humorous and gently macabre.

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Kirkus Reviews 2013 July #2
Wishes can come back to bite you...especially when they're granted. Morton Clay, his 13-year-old brother, James, 16-year-old sister, Melissa, and their widowed father, a British astronomer, move to Dimvale to escape light pollution. Dad has bought their new home sight unseen, and it's pretty dilapidated. Morton, who loves the Scare Scape comics, thinks the house is cool; his quarrelsome older siblings don't. When the trio finds a buried gargoyle statue promising wishes when its fingers are broken off, all three make wishes in haste. When those wishes come true, the warning on the statue--"Choices made without due care / Will plague forever--friend, beware!"--is quickly borne out. Morton's monster toys come to horrifying life. Melissa's closet becomes infinite (and full of monsters). Most terrifyingly, James can't remember what his wish was. With a couple of new friends in tow, they discover they've moved into the house owned by the deceased creator of Scare Scape...and researching him may be their only chance of reversing their frightening wishes. Canadian screenwriting professor Fisher's debut's an imaginative, not-too-dark urban fantasy. Characters are refreshingly realistic, though some of the real situations are less so. A 40-page introduction to the beasts of Scare Scape appearing at the front will entice even reluctant readers to try the novel. Fans of spooky fiction and comics will be in a dark and happy place--especially when they learn there's a sequel due in 2014. (Horror. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 November

Gr 4-7--If the welcome sign is to be believed, Dimvale is the "Darkest Town in the Civilized World." With its "bylaws controlling light pollution," it is a perfect fit for the Clay children's newly widowed astronomer father, but their derelict new home is a bit too ominous for all but the youngest of the family, Morton. Sent by his dad to spruce up the unkempt lawn, he finds a gargoyle inscribed with instructions on how it can grant three wishes. A fan of the horror comic Scare Scape, Morton wishes for his Scare Scape dolls to become more realistic. As in the classic "The Monkey's Paw," what he desires comes to pass; his hideous, poisonous, fanged stuffed animals come to life to wreak havoc on the town. This scary, but not too scary, horror novel has excellent characters; a well-developed plot; and clear, well-paced writing. The main figures accurately represent teen siblings. They fight and squabble, but pull together when things go awry. The book tactfully explores the perception of those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged when the protagonist develops a strong friendship with an underprivileged boy who is perpetually accused of being a thief. An interesting, illustrated guide to the monsters in the novel is included. In a classroom, this title could be a fun supplement to the classic tale, but it will more likely find a home with horror-fiction lovers, filling the gap between R. L. Stine's "Goosbumps" (Scholastic) and Darren Shan's "The Demonata" series (Little, Brown).--Devin Burritt, Wells Public Library, ME

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