Sunday, October 14, 2012

Two and Twenty Dark Tales (Ashley's Review pt. 3)

Here's the final part of my review for Two and Twenty Dark Tales! And, if you missed them, the first two parts can be found by following these links:

Two and Twenty Dark Tales - Part 1
Two and Twenty Dark Tales - Part 2

My review of the collection as a whole is at the end!


Little Miss Muffet: I kind of thought this story was pretty terrible. The incorporation of Miss Muffet and the spiders was strange, and it didn't really flow at all. Plus, the ending was horrifying, and not in a good way. I don't really like spiders anyway, and this just made that worse. Seriously, huge spiders? Not necessary. 1/5

Sea of Dew:
 This was another that got off to a great start! And then... totally didn't deliver. I guess I can see where the author was trying to go with it, but if you take out the boys and make them animals, including one tiger, it's almost Life of Pi. Only not as good. 2/5.

Tick Tock:
I'm pretty sure this one will win the award for "Creepiest Story" in this collection. The kids are terrifying, and I'm glad I never babysat for children I had never met before. As scary as this one was though, I think it fits perfectly with the whole dark re-tellings of  nursery rhymes theme. The whole scary kids, unknowing babysitter thing might be over played, but I thought this was written well. 4/5

A Pocket Full of Posy:
I totally didn't see the direction this one was heading from the beginning, but it's a really interesting take on the nursery rhyme. It has nothing to do with any sort of plague, and I think it was refreshing to read something completely different. Although elements of this story are definitely over-done, I didn't think it was too much or too cliche. 4/5 for this one as well.

The Well:
 I really don't know how I feel about this one. I didn't like Jack or Jill, or connect with them in any way. And, since I wasn't emotionally invested, I really didn't care when they fell down the hill. I wish it had been a little bit different, and not pretty much an exact version of the nursery rhyme... but I guess it could have been worse. The virus thing was strange though, and I'm not sure it was entirely necessary. 2.5/5

The Wish:
 The way that the whole wishing on stars thing is dealt with here is actually pretty interesting. I loved the character of Peter and the way he makes Lauren feel like living again after she wishes she was dead. I thought the ending was a little bit predictable, but it was delivered well. Plus, who's to say she can't still be with him? I give this one a 4/5.

A Ribbon of Blue:
Another kind of predictable story, but this one was also done well. I think the fact that Ruby has Cerebral Palsy makes this one even more interesting. She doesn't really fit in anywhere, and even though she's been handicapped since birth she's still very high functioning and can manage to care for herself and her grandmother. She's a very strong young lady, and I really enjoyed reading about her. I think the ending was a very nice release. Also a 4/5 on this one.


As a whole, I think this collection was put together well. Some stories were lacking, and others were very good, but nothing was too similar to make it very difficult to read through. Some stories weren't as dark as I had hoped for, but others were much darker than I expected. It ends up being a nice balance of completely scary/horrifying and nice stories with a few dark elements.

I would recommend this anthology for any fans of Mother Goose rhymes looking for new takes on them. Some of these aren't for the faint of heart, but I think young adults who grew up with the original nursery rhymes would really enjoy this. As an overall collection, I would give this a 3/5.


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