Thursday, November 22, 2012

Review: Two and Twenty Dark Tales by Various Authors

  • Publisher: Month9Books
  • Publication date: 10/16/2012
  • Pages: 340
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.
  My thoughts

Being that this is an anthology, I wasn't sure how to go about reviewing it. I know some people will pick out their favorite stories, or some people so separate mini reviews for each story. I don't really want to do either of those things. The first, because I really enjoyed all of the stories and the second, because I don't typically do mini reviews unless it's for a novella. That being said, I am just going to give my thoughts as a whole on this book.

I'm sure that all of you are familiar with at least of few of the nursery rhymes in this anthology that have been turned into short stories. We also all know that those nursery rhymes are pretty dark and twisted. Yeah, we sing them and they sound all cute and fun, but realistically they are anything but. These amazing authors take these nursery rhymes and turn them into short stories that are very dark and creepy. I loved that it really expands on the nursery rhymes and lets you in on the story. These short stories are so massively creative and I found it so easy to get lost in them.

Though each one is a short story, they all have so much to them. I am always impressed at how authors are able to make short stories really come to life and give you everything you need out of it and still have it all wrapped up. The thing I love the most was that you really get a feel for all the different authors writing. I have read a few of the authors books that were in this anthology, but not all of them. Getting to know their writing style in their short stories has made me want to check out a few that I don't know if I would have read otherwise.

I don't tend to read a lot of anthologies, but I do enjoy them because it's nice to be able to read a story that you can start and finish rather quickly. Sometimes I don't know what I want to read and just need a little mini break between books, and these dark stories were just the thing for that. If you are looking for a great collection of dark re-tellings of some well known (and others not so much) nursery rhymes this is a book for you. I really wouldn't even say they are re-tellings as much as really letting you know the story that goes with the particular nursery rhyme.


  1. I know it's very weird to review anthologies huh? I've only reviewed a couple and I did it about the same as you. An overall review of my thoughts. Mini reviews just get so complicated to have to say something about each story O_O. But anyways, I have been putting this one off because when I got it there were only a few reviews and they weren't great so I was worried I wouldn't like it. But twisted and dark? Yes please! :D It sounds completely up my alley! And you're right about nursery rhymes, I was just talking the other day to my husband about how "Ring around the Rosy" is actually about the plague O_O. It's kind of sick bahaha.

    1. It took me a while to read this. I just read a story at a time between books. As far as anthologies go, this was a good one.

  2. Now I really want to read this book it sounds so creeptastic! O_O Especially since it's like those classic nursery rhymes that you sing when you're all small and innocent and happy and then it's like *BOOSH* scary feels AHHHH!! And same here, usually when I read an anthology book I either just don't review it if it was something I bought or I review it overall :) And I'm SUCH a scaredy cat so I'll definitely be so creeped out by it :) Awesome review!

    1. It's not too creepy. Just more dark than anything. I really enjoyed the stories though. Leigh Fallon's story was a pretty scary one.

  3. I agree that anthologies are tough to review. I also like that you can read a complete story in one sitting. This one looks creepy. Seriously, those rhythms are kinda weird. Glad you enjoyed.


  4. This sounds both intriguing and creepy. I'm going to have to look into it. But I did enjoy your review!!

    Magen Corrie

  5. Great review! I have this from NG to get to.. it sounded really interesting.. I rarely pick up anthologies but I'm intrigued to check this one out.. :)

  6. Glad you enjoyed this one! I didn't care for it, personally, but I thought a few of the stories showed a lot of potential.

  7. I don't read a ton of anthologies but I am liking them more and more. I think it is interesting to see how authors take a certain subject line, like nursery rhymes, and then write a short story working around that main plot line. Nursery rhymes are incredibly creepy! People sing that stuff to babies?! Crazy! LOL Another thing I do like about anthologies is that you can just read one story every now and then to break up the reading schedule and add a little flavor.


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