Monday, September 17, 2012

Review of Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes

Title: Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes
Authors: Various
Published by: Month9Books
Pages: 340
Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Format: ARC ebook
Available: October 16, 2012
Rating: 4 stars

Summary from GoodreadsIn 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.

When the weather starts getting colder and the leaves begin to change, I know fall is almost here.  And what is a better way to bring in fall than to read Two and Twenty Dark Tales?  If you thought you knew your nursery rhymes before, you were wrong.  

Each story starts out with the original rhyme that the dark tale was concocted from and then delves into it's haunting rendition.  The writing was exceptional and each story was completely different and unique.  Some ended happy and others did not, but they all offered a history to the rhyme you never would have imagined.  It was fascinating to discover how each author incorporated the rhyme and what they would come up with.

For me, some tales were confusing and they often felt a bit rushed.  Others though were wonderfully put together and they seemed to capture my complete attention in a short few pages.  After reading certain stories I felt that I had read a novel for how rich and detailed they were. 

To highlight a couple of my favorites... 

Boys and Girls Come Out to Play by Angie Frazier.  A great story about children responding to a witch's call.  This was my favorite story in the anthology. It was hauntingly and beautiful.    

Life in a Shoe by Heidi R. Kling.  A bit of a dystopian novel about a mother and her many children that live in a shoe-box sized apartment.  While I didn't quite understand what was going on in the outside world, I loved the main character and how she took charge.  

Those Who Whisper by Lisa Mantchev.  A girl gets cast off from her village and lives in the woods with the help of the animals which whom she can communicate with.

The Well by K.M. Walton.  How did Jack and Jill fall down the hill?  This is a great story with lots of sibling rivalry and what it will cause you to do. 

Whether you pick and choose which stories to read or read them all, these dark retellings will pleasantly catch you by surprise and have you craving more.


  1. I like the sound of this book and it's perfect for fall. Especially on those dark nights. Creepy!

  2. I saw this on NetGalley and I was curious about it. Thank you for the review.

  3. I think I am going to try to read this one in October, it sounds like a great book!

  4. I always think these sound fun but then get disappointed. I'm just not a short story person. :( Still, disturbing stories are always fun.


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