Review 80. Anthology – Two and twenty dark tales.

Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose RhymesTitle:Two and twenty dark tales.
Author: Anthology.
Pages: 340.
Expected publication: October 16th 2012
Publisher: Month9Books
Sort: Stand alone.
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
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.

From the moment I saw this, I decided I had to read it. I’m not a fan of Anthologies, because I like to bond with my characters and that’s almost impossible here. This book didn’t blow me away. Three stories were left out of my eARC. I will make a list from the books I hated and loved;

I hated:
Nina Berry: As blue as the sky & just as old.

Annoying characters.

Sayantani Das Gupta: – Blue. 
I didn't get the story.

C. Lee McKenzie: – Sea of Dew.
I didn't like the end.

I loved:
Sarwat Chadda: Sing a song of six-pence.
It’s a sad story, but beautifully written.

Angie Frazier: – Boys & Girls come out to play.
Bronwyn’s sister Aelwyn has been chosen to play in the forest with the witches, but Bronwyn takes her place.

Lisa Mantchev: – Those who whisper.
The main character is such a kick ass girl. Sida is banished from her village after the death of her mother, but she manages to survive on her own.

Gretchen McNeil: – Tick Tock.
SCARY! Shannon babysits, but the new family isn’t what she expected..

Suzanne Young: – The wish.
Lovely, but sad story. The main character is a bit naive, but I felt sorry for her.

Michelle Zink: – A ribbon of blue.
Ruby is waiting for the carnival. She is suffering from CP, but someone promised her a long time ago that she would find a cure at the carnival.

Nancy Holder: –Part first: The lion & the unicorn.
I felt so sad when I discovered that Part two is only available in the published version. It was really good.

The other stories were just okay. There was nothing special about them. Well-written, but forgettable. I blame it on the fact that I couldn't connect with the characters, so perhaps it's just me :) The stories I loved managed to give me something extra. A original twist, a character that could surprise me or just a great way of playing with words.

I wished that the stories were scarier. There were two that frightened me, but that wasn't enough. Based on the title and the dark cover, I expected more nail biting scenes. Overall, a nice read, but I'm not going to buy a copy.


  1. I've read books from quite a few of these authors, so I would definitely be interested in trying this one day. Anthologies have a pretty difficult time with me though! We'll see if I ever get around to this... ;)

    Lovely review, Mel!

  2. Yay, I just jumped on the tour for this one and am so happy to see that there are way more you loved than hated. I can't wait to read it now!

  3. I have never read an anthology before, I don't know if I would enjoy the stories just because I like a good long book and I feel like they would be too short for me to enjoy but who knows maybe I should give it a try!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

  4. I'm also such a huge fan of anthologies. If I love a story, I'm annoyed when it ends. At least if I don't like a story, it's short...

  5. Whoops that /\ was supposed to say NOT such a huge fan...

  6. Hm. I'd been really curious about this one since I saw you were reading it. I'm not a huge fan of anthologies either (for the same reason as you), BUT, sometimes I really love short stories when they're done right. Here's the thing though: short stories are REALLY hard to write, so often they end up being mediocre in an anthology like this, imo. But, the premise for this anthology is just so unique and intriguing that I'll probably check it out anyway. Thanks for your review and honest opinion! :)

  7. I don't read many anthologies, and I've never reviewed one on the blog. It seems like it'd be a pain in the butt, but you did a fabulous job! I'm very curious to read it though and see how our opinions compare. :D


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