Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Source: Publisher via NetGalley.com
This is a review of an ARC received from publisher via NetGalley. Please note that this ARC does not include two stories that will be included when the book is published.
Ok, since this is a book of short stories, I am not going to follow my normal review format. So, please bear with me as I will do a short review on each story and then on the book as a whole.
As Blue as the Sky and Just as Old by Nina Berry
This reimagining is based on a Mother Goose story I had never heard before; about a thief named Taffy. I thought the story was well written, but it wasn’t for me. I didn’t really care for the ending of the story and would have liked to have seen it end differently. I am glad that the author included a explanation as to how it was the original story reinvented, because I had no idea. It didn’t seem to follow it to me.
Sing a Song of Six-Pence by Sarwat Chadda
A very interesting retelling of the blackbirds baked in a pie. I enjoyed the story, but just wish there was a little more description given about Blackbird. I didn’t know if he was supposed to look like a bird, or a disfigured human with wings and talons for hands. Even though it was a sad ending, it worked. I wouldn’t have wanted it to be different.
Clockwork by Leah Cypess
This one was a retelling of Hickory Dickory Dock. I liked this one. In it a princess is turned into a mouse by the power in a clock. The magic of the clock works its magic on the hour chimes. I thought it was a fantastically dark tale of murder and magic.
Blue by Sayantani DasGupta
Way to artsy. I had no idea what was going on and honestly, didn’t even finish this one.
Pieces of Eight by Shannon Delany with Max Scialdone
As interesting as it was, the story wasn’t quite there. It needed something more to make it complete. And the ending was anti-climatic. I wanted more at the end.
Wee Willie Winkie by Leigh Fallon
Cr-ee-py! Ok, when you look at the book description and see that these are Mother Goose tales twisted into horror – THIS is what you think of. Not a story to read right before you go to bed. It was short, but well written. My heart was beating fast at the end.
Boys & Girls Come Out to Play by Angie Frazier
I liked this one. I wish it had been a little bit longer, but then again, these are short stories. I almost want the author to turn this into a stand-a-lone book and go into more detail about the relationships and coven.
I Come Bearing Souls by Jessie Harrell
I really enjoyed this story. This is another one that I wish was turned into a book (not just a short story). I liked how the author took Egyptian mythology and created her story based on that. It is not something that you see a lot right now; you see more Greek and Roman. I really liked Heather, and again, would love to see this turned into a book or series.
The Lion and the Unicorn: Part the First by Nancy Holder
I like how the author picked out real people from history for this story and added her own twist. A really interesting story that stops before it ends. I guess there is going to be a second part in the published version of this book, but the ARC I have doesn’t include it.
Life in a Shoe by Heidi R. Kling
Almost exactly how I would have picture the retelling of this story to be. I just wish that we knew more about the Narrator. And it got confusing as to who Zeb was, and took a little bit to understand that the narrator was the daughter of the old woman.
Candlelight by Suzanne Lazear
I had never heard this rhyme before, but it was very well done. This is another story that could be expanded upon and made into a stand-alone book. However, I do think the girls were very petty and maybe didn’t exactly deserve what they got, but would have deserved some punishment for leaving.
One for Sorrow by Karen Mahoney
Ok, this story had nothing to do with the rhyme provided at the beginning, but it was a good story. I wanted Rose to run off and defeat the witch or research and find a way to help James – but then it wouldn’t have been a short story. : )
Those Who Whisper by Lisa Mantchev
I liked this story. I thought it was well written and was a great twist on the rhyme. I just wish it was a tad bit longer and had included more of her figuring out how to live on her own.
Little Miss Muffet by Georgia McBride
My fear of spiders aside – I didn’t like this story. It didn’t flow well and the ending was unnecessary and honestly, horrible. Glad it was short.
Sea of Dew by C. Lee McKenzie
I enjoyed the beginning of this story and thought it was going to be good, but after a couple of pages it turned boring. There just wasn’t enough substance to make it an interesting story.
Tick Tock by Gretchen McNeil
“They’re here.” Talk about creepy. If I was a teenager considering babysitting – this story would change my mind for sure.
A Pocket Full of Posy by Pamela van Hylckama Vlieg
Kind of sad when the author can’t even get the rhyme at the beginning correct. I was nervous about this story because I know that Ring-around-the-rosie is based on the Black Plague. I had every right to be nervous. I would have preferred a black plague story to this one. It was interesting, but not memorable.
The Well by K.M. Walton
I almost didn’t finish this one. It was a horrible story about twins who hate each other and are, what seems like, the only two people left on earth after a plague. Yes, it ends how you think it is going to end.
The Wish by Suzanne Young
I enjoyed this story. Of course, the wish on the star had to be about death, otherwise it wouldn’t be included as a “dark tale.” But part of me wishes it was something else.
A Ribbon of Blue by Michelle Zink
Beautiful story. I think this might have been the best one in the book. It flowed really nicely and was an all together great story.
On a whole I would rate this book three (3) stars. It is not one I would own, but I am glad I read it and will try and borrow at some point after publication so I can read the last 2 stories that were not included. My one hope is that they fix all of the errors in the book before it is published. There were quite a few mistakes.