Prom Nights From Hell

About the book:  

Prom Nights From Hell is a YA collection of five short stories about paranormal proms.  The stories are as follows:

The Exterminator’s Daughter – Meg Cabot: Mary is the daughter of The Exterminator, an demon hunter who has been transformed by a famous vampire.  When that vampire’s son targets one of Mary’s friends, Mary has to try and stop him by herself.

The Corsage – Lauren Myracle: This is a version of the Monkey Paw tale.  Frankie gets hold of a mystical corsage, which will grant three wishes.  After her first wish turns deadly, Frankie must be careful on how the remaining wishes are played out.  But will longing and love win out over reason?

Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper – Kim Harrison: Madison is having a great time at Prom with a sexy stranger.  But when the two leave together, things go horribly wrong, and Madison ends up dead.  Determined not to give up her life so easily, Madison steals a Reaper’s stone so she can stay “mostly” alive.

Kiss and Tell – Michele Jaffe: Miranda is a bit unusual…unusual meaning she has superpowers, and thus doesn’t exactly fit in with the rest of her teenage friends.  But when Miranda picks up a 14 year-old girl who might be a lot more important than she at first seems, Miranda has to use her powers to keep them both safe.

Hell on Earth – Stephenie Meyer: Sheba is a demoness with a mission to spread absolute misery throughout a high school prom.  But when one of the students at the dance is a half-angel, will Sheba be able to keep her diabolical scheme going?

My Thoughts:

Okay, since this is a short story collection, it seems only fair to talk about each story on its own.  Then, I’ll say a few words about the collection in general at the end.

The Exterminator’s Daughter – This story really read to me like something similar to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Essentially, The Exterminator is the same thing as The Slayer, a female demon-hunter.  It is interesting to see the twist of having her daughter be centre stage in this story, as Mary doesn’t actually know if she has any demon-hunting skills or not.  I was a little annoyed with how perfect everyone seemed to look, but for fans of Buffy-esque adventures, this story definitely seemed to fit the bill.

The Corsage – Although this is a classic horror tale, I enjoyed this version of it.  I liked the characters and their relationships with one another, and I liked the twist on the Monkey Paw itself.  I was disappointed in the ending of this one, since I was really hoping for something new and clever, but when I was reading the ending,  I was feeling anxious for how things would play out, which is a good sign.  This story affected me more than any of the others.

Madison Avery and the Dim Reaper – I really liked how this story actually killed its main character…definitely not a happy ending, which was a good twist.  However, this story is not completed.  Kim Harrison has continued this story in a novel, which is good for fans of the story, but a bit annoying for those just wanting a quick tale.

Kiss and Tell – I don’t really feel like Superpowers fit well into this collection, and I think this story took on a little too much for its limited pages.  I was left unsure of what exactly was happening, and I was left thoroughly unsatisfied with the relationship aspect of the story.  However, I did really enjoy Miranda and Sibby’s interaction, and I liked Miranda’s powers, even if I didn’t think they were well-suited to the collection.  I also enjoyed Miranda’s character…she was a bit of an outcast, which I like.

Hell on Earth – This was my least favourite of the stories.  I just felt like Meyer was…missing something with her writing.  Like she was trying too hard to find a certain tone, and like she didn’t really get the teens she was writing about.  I also wasn’t too fond of the story itself.  The whole “happiness sucks, all I long for is to be miserable” idea never has worked for me.  Happy is happy, and I don’t like the whole argument of “evil loves misery” …because, if you love it, it makes you *happy*.

Overall, this is a good collection, and will definitely be of interest to anyone who likes any of these authors.  I know it’s Prom Nights From Hell, but the prom theme did get a little tiresome by the end.  The other books in the series might be a little more varied, though, which might add an extra spark.

Rating: ***1/2

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