Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror – Chris Priestley [Book Review]

Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror

Chris Priestley

Book Review

Edward visits his Uncle Montague, who lives alone in a big house, to listen to his frightening stories. As each chilling tale, from the demon bench end to a ghostly game of hide and seek unfolds, Edward begins to question just how his Uncle knows these tales, where the mysterious objects in his study come from and why the atmosphere around them is beginning to feel more and more sinister.

I thought the synopsis for this book sounded really intriguing, and as a fan of horror myself, I was excited to find a copy in my local library. I did wonder what to expect of the level of horror as this book is written for teen readers, and whether I would actually find any of the stories creepy. Although I could tell that this book was written for readers younger than myself, the tales recounted by Uncle Montague were actually darker and creepier than I was expecting. The Demon Bench end was one that I particularly enjoyed, and it did send a little chill down my spine! The gothic atmosphere that is build up in the book is wonderful, and really casts a darker shadow over even the less scary tales. At 22 years old, I did not read anything in this book to give me nightmares, but I still had a little knot in my stomach as I was turning the pages.

I really enjoyed the way the short stories were entwined within the overall plot of the of the book, and how they slowly begin to give you some clues as to where the plot may be going. Sometimes the narration between the stories felt a little forced, but I felt that those bits still had to be there for the whole story to make sense – I just wonder if they could have been planned a little better.

The delightful illustrations in this book, drawn by David Roberts, really add to the overall book. They are unique and memorable and I don’t think the book would be quite the same without them.

This is an enjoyable, quirky read that I definitely recommend. This is not  happy ending book, but the tales did remind a little of some of the fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, so if you enjoy those I think you’ll enjoy this. I highly recommend this book to teens and adults alike and I will definitely be checking out Chris Priestley’s other works – Tales of Terror from the Black Ship and Tales of Terror from the Tunnel’s Mouth.


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