The Stuff of Nightmares, Malorie Blackman
The Stuff of Nightmares is another thought provoking and cleverly-written novel by Malorie Blackman. Although the cover warns that the book may not be suitable for younger children, the title may have oversold the horror element of the book, which also lacks a definitive climax.
However, the Stuff of Nightmares is still a very thrilling, past paced and engaging read. Dramatic short stories are embedded in the book, some scarier than others, but the main plot is never lost.
The story centres around Kyle, a teenager whose class is on a train which crashes, endangering the lives of everyone on the train as Death stalks the carriages. This gives Blackman the chance to explore stimulating and provocative concepts, such as facing fears, death and suicide, grief and, ultimately, how to cope and come to terms with regretful experiences. She does this excellently, helped by the emotion conveyed by using the first-person throughout the book, and the use of simple, everyday language. She writes well about some of the more hidden parts of growing up and the difficulties in gauging people from the face they portray to the world.
The Stuff of Nightmares is definitely worth reading, with intricate details enticing the reader to pick up the novel again to understand the concepts and links more thoroughly.