Just Beyond: The Scare School Review

Genre = Children’s Fiction, Mystery, SCI-FI, Comic, Horror

Author = R.L. Stine, Nichole Matthews, Kelly Matthews

Info  = https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43909512-the-scare-school?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=2KuZgnOasj&rank=5


This story follows a group of kids who are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Two sets of three friends seem to be caught in the wrong reality. What am I talking about you may ask well let me explain. Marco, Jess and Josh are in middle school which is hard battle to get through as is but it is even harder when they come across a certain mechanical bug. At first it is very exciting and they want to see how it works. However, the bug has other plans and comes alive and starts chasing them which is when things get super strange and they meet the other set of three friends. What is really going on here and what are those bugs?

My Pitch To You:

I have been a fan of R.L. Stine since I was little girl I loved the Goosebumps series when I was a kid that is probably where my love all things Halloween and horror came from. So when I was at BookExpo and heard that not only was he was bringing a middle grade comic out but he was also in the building WOW. I think that was an ultimate fan girl moment basically picture the moment you meet Holly Black who I also just crumbled when I met her then times it by 10 that is where R.L. Stine is for me. It was so much fun I have the most hilarious photo me, my friend and him.

This was a great start to a series I don’t really know what I was expecting out of this story but something slightly scary and funny and that is exactly what I got. I just wanted it to be a bit longer but that happens a lot with stories I really enjoy and also I forget I am reading something for a younger age so it has to be shorter to keep their attention.

I love that I started the story thinking it is going one way and then he completely flips it and my mind was just completely blown. I love what he has created in terms of the SCI-FI element because it comes across as something quite YA in theme but still at the level of 9-12 year olds. I love the monsters they are so creepy. The best way to describe them is like a a mixture of alien meets something from Astro Boy that makes your skin crawl.

The artwork in this comic is so good and it has that pastel look to it that makes it fuzzy and blurry this gives an unnerving feel to it it. The use of many styles of panels in the comic gave it tension at the right moments and some of the full page spreads were stunning. My favourite would be the one that looks like a web that was so cool.

In terms of the dialogue it is tense and there are a lot of questions as who knows what is going on. I love that Jess is narrating it because she is such a sweet and curious character I really like her. Josh is a very typical big brother which works well with the dynamic. Marco well the best way to describe him is the cool tech dude which was cute although he gets a little bit arrogant at the end. All these characters are all at the start of their story in this comic so I felt like I didn’t really know them by the end but I have feeling as you go on in the series of which there are two more comics you’ll get to know them better.

All in all it is a fun and sweet comic about three kids caught in the middle of two worlds that have a lot explaining to do. I really want to know more after reading it which is always a good sign. It is one of those comics where you wish you had the second volume next to you because you instantly want to read it. If you are fan of R.L. Stine this isn’t his usually horror but it is a really good start to a story but if you like your SCI-FI this is great for kids eight years old upwards who don’t mind a little scare.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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© 2020 Emily Claire Cannings

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