As a child, I grew up watching and reading as much horror as I could get my hands on. The more dark and twisted, the more excited and frightened I became. With the release of Twisted Dark, I couldn’t believe something was finally titled what I craved most out of entertainment. And, I was not disappointed. Twisted Dark Volumes 2 and 3 are just that: dark and oh so very twisted.
With Twisted Dark, you’re not just getting stories of the macabre. You’re getting brilliance in a book. Not every story in the series has a twist to it, but each one is twisted in its own way. The stories that do incorporate twist endings were absolutely my favorites. I found myself drinking in the darkness, flipping pages in a rapid manner to see if it was possible —even a little bit so—that the next story could be a bit more twisted and dark than the last. A fun journey, to be sure.
But, the darkness in the stories was not necessarily what made the books an incredible find. Each story tied into another story, sometimes crossing volumes. The references to the other stories were sometimes just a brief mention, but there all the same. I found myself hunting for these Easter eggs, wondering to which story each one would refer.
Beyond that, I was incredibly surprised to find a bit of humor. Yes, humor. In each of the Forewards, Neil Gibson, the creative mind behind the series as well as the writer, addresses his readers and fans, as well as how the previous book was received. I loved his attitude and his desire in Volume 3 to return to the stories he wanted to write. Not that Volume 2 was bad; in fact, my favorite story from both volumes came from #2 (Flamboyant). But, there seemed to be more of a return to what made Volume 1 great in Volume 3: an unapologetic writing style that took readers where they didn’t really want to go.
The artistic team helped to bring these tales to life with gritty black and white. Each panel told a story through that art, whether it was with silent stares or mindless torture. I enjoyed reading the scenes and experiencing each character’s emotions, ranging from joy to horror. Without this level of artwork, the writing of Gibson would have fallen flat.
Twisted Dark is one of those unforgettable reads, one that stays with a reader long after the lights are turned off and the rest of the world is sleeping soundly. Not necessarily because of the horror, but because of the realness of the stories, the believability of the tales, and the seeming normalcy of the characters until they turn twisted and dark.