I love the old’y feel to these books, its obvious all the stories are set in a time before mobiles and modern technology and I think it adds to the scary factor. Even if younger readers don’t get some of the references to older things I think it might add to the story as its more of the unknown. I like the shift back in time slightly in these books and it makes me think of all the things that people don’t do as much any more which they should, like read made up stories around fires!
“It was the first railway journey I had ever made alone. My stepmother had come to the station to see me off and proceeded to embarrass me with unwanted hugs and kisses and the nursery voice she always adopted for such displays of affection”
Robert is waiting at the station when his stepmother has a terrible premonition. She foresees a tunnels mouth and a kiss, an awful kiss. Robert thinks she is being ridiculous and gets on the train without a second thought. Then on the train he falls asleep, when he awakes the train is at a standstill just at the mouth of a tunnel and Roberts fellow passengers are all asleep too, except for a woman in white who starts telling Robert some stories to bide their time until the train starts moving again.
I love the first two Tales of Terror series and The Tunnels Mouth was just as brilliant as the previous two!
Robert is much like our main characters in the two previous books but there was something different about him. He was too sure of himself and he could tell there was something wrong from the very beginning even if he didn’t admit that to himself. I really liked him and I was hoping that he didn’t turn out like the two children in the second book!
As usual, I loved the stories woven into the book. I loved that I could envisage the characters and the creatures so well. Priestley’s writing really is amazingly descriptive and visual and I could honestly read it over and over. It’s the type of writing that I think I would love to hear a live reading of and I think if I ever try an audiobook I must see if these books are available! I can picture myself in front of the fire on a winter’s night reading these books!
The Tunnels Mouth comes with great stories and powerful reminders that not all is what it seems. I love the revelation of the story and that we get a little extra on top of the main story with this book. Roberts’s stepmother is an interesting character and I am glad that in my edition we got to see a little extra!
My favourite story of all had to be Gerald. It’s the story of a girl, a puppet show and a boy who suddenly seemed to lose himself. Gerald is the boy and he can no longer talk, he walks around with his mother slavering and not really doing much else, he is pretty much no longer a person, no soul and no speech. He scares Emma no end when he tries to grab at her in the street and she’s terrified he’s coming to get her. This is made worse when she has a nightmare about him coming from her and something is in her room when she wakes. I won’t go further into the story but it was fascinating and terrifying and I will never look at puppets or little kids who love puppet shows the same way again!
The only issue I had with this book was that it wasn’t the same edition as the previous two in the series and because of this is didn’t have the awesome illustrations that you see in those. If you want to check these out I really recommend the illustrated versions because they really add to the story. I thought this version was just a different cover, which by the way I do really like, but it would appear not… both versions are published by Bloomsbury but I believe there was a change in the covers for all three as a part of the re-release of the series this year.
Now that I’m at the end of this series I can’t wait to see what Chris Priestley has in store for me next! I honestly think I am addicted to his terrifying tales and I’m totally keeping them to scare my kids with in the future! I really recommend this for anyone who has kids around 8-11 who love to be scared! especially boys as many of the stories are focussed around boys.
Tales of Terror from the Tunnels Mouth is the third and final full length instalment of the Tales of Terror series. My copy was published by Bloomsbury in March 2011 and was received in exchange of an honest review.