A Tale Dark & Grimm Series by Adam Gidwitz: Review

I received these two books from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Because these two books are part of the same series and each galley only contained the first story, I decided to combine my reviews into one post.

Title: A Tale Dark & Grimm
Author: Adam Gidwitz
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: June 2010
Number of Pages: 252
Series: #1 in A Tale Dark & Grimm
Reason for Discovery: Galley

From GoodReads:

In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches. Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.


Title: In a Glass Grimmly 
Author: Adam Gidwitz
Publisher: Dutton Children's Books
Publication Date: Sept 2012
Number of Pages: 192
Series: #2 in A Tale Dark & Grimm
Reason for Discovery: Galley

From GoodReads:

More Grimm tales await in the harrowing, hilarious companion to a beloved new classic. Take caution ahead— Oversize plant life, eerie amphibious royalty, and fear-inducing creatures abound. Lest you enter with dread. Follow Jack and Jill as they enter startling new landscapes that may (or may not) be scary, bloody, terrifying, and altogether true. Step lively, dear reader . . . Happily ever after isn’t cutting it anymore.

In this companion novel to Adam Gidwitz’s widely acclaimed, award-winning debut, A Tale Dark & Grimm, Jack and Jill explore a new set of tales from the Brothers Grimm and others, including Jack and the Beanstalk and The Frog Prince.


I loved the introduction and the first story in both of these books (there are nine stories in the first book and 13 in the second). The narrator is fun, witty, and biting all at the same time. Although the narrator is nothing like Lemony Snicket from the Series of Unfortunate Events books, there is something in the tone or pace of this book that reminds me of Snicket. Although I did not have the opportunity to meet Hansel and Gretel or Jack and Jill, because they are not in their respective book's first story, I have confidence that they are going to be interesting characters based on how the characters in the first story written (I am assuming that the characters that we meet in the books' first stories are somehow related to Hansel & Gretel and Jack & Jill, respectively).

One thing that endeared this book to my heart immediately was that the narrator states in the beginning that fairy tales were bloody and gruesome when they were written, which is completely true. Cinderella's step-sisters cut their feet to fit into the glass slipper. Rapunzel's witch discovered Rapunzel was spending time with a prince, because Rapunzel commented one day that her dress was getting tight. With the tone set that fairy tales are not so clean cut, I have a feeling that the rest of the book will be fairly true (pun intended) to the spirit of Grimm's tales and lots of fun.

Note: As I stated in my review, the narrator refers to blood and potential violence. Because I could not review either of these books in their entirety, I cannot confirm or deny the appropriate age level for this series. They seem perfectly fantastic, and I want to read them; however, I would want to read through both books before giving them to a younger reader. 

I rate these books 4 out of 5 fairies.


10 comments:

kimbacaffeinate said...
October 28, 2013 at 8:19 PM

I loved Grimm's dark take and gobble up the book, so this excites me, call me sick but I love them darker. Ooo and I added you to my blogs I stalk page :)

Pamela D said...
October 28, 2013 at 11:35 PM

I love the darker Grimm stories too. I was slowly working my way through all the Grimm fairies tales, but they started to sound the same (the book grouped the stories together by theme, so I read like 10 stories in the row about a girl and her 10 brothers who were turned into some sort of bird), so I stopped. I need to pick them up again.

kimberlybuggie said...
October 28, 2013 at 11:38 PM

Sounds really good! I like Grimm stories too, especially because they're dark and twisted. I'm looking forward to reading this. Great review! :)

Pamela D said...
October 29, 2013 at 12:20 AM

Thanks! The dark and twisted Grimm tales are so much more fun than the sugary ones.

Pabkins said...
October 29, 2013 at 12:17 PM

I have these and didn't realize they were short stories inside each book. Seems a bit odd to rate the book on only having read one story out of each tho don't you think?

Pamela D said...
October 29, 2013 at 6:38 PM

I felt like I should review them, since I downloaded the galleys, but it was weird that I only got the first chapter for each of them. In the future, I probably won't review a book like this again. You live and learn.

Chene Sterckx said...
October 30, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Interesting review Pam :) You win some you lose some! Strange that you only for the first chapters...

Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

Pamela D said...
October 30, 2013 at 10:36 PM

It was really bizarre. I redownloaded the books thinking I had done something wrong, but I still only got the first chapter. I even checked the blurb, and it didn't say anything about it. Oh well.

Berls said...
November 8, 2013 at 3:24 PM

I've never heard of only giving you part of a book for a Galley - that really makes it hard to review, but you did an excellent job. I love the darker version of fairy tales and wonder if these will get really dark and gory like in the original Grimm's! I'll have to check them out I guess to find out.

Pamela D said...
November 10, 2013 at 11:21 PM

Thanks! I must admit that I am curious to read the rest of them too. :)

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