A few weeks ago I gave ‘Twisted Dark’ Volume 1, an anthology of short stories by Neil Gibson and T-Publishing, an impressive 9/10 in my review. Well, I’ve been fortunate enough to get my hands on the next volume in the series and I have to say, I was absolutely blown away yet again.
If anything, the second volume is even more polished than the first, with sharper storytelling, crisper visuals and a noticeable improvement in the flow and tempo of the stories being told.
Also, seemingly addressing one of my (few) concerns about the first volume before I even brought it up, Neil has gone in a slightly different direction with volume two. This time, not every tale has the gut-wrenching twist of a finish. Instead, some of the stories in volume two actually have quite positive, almost uplifting conclusions. This change completely removes the faint feeling of inevitability as the reader sits and waits for the reveal at the end, with some of the stories just allowing themselves to be told, twist-free.
The standard remains incredibly high throughout all eleven stories in the collection, and the eye-catching black and white illustrations provided by the assortment of different artists each seem perfectly suited to their individual tales. Yet again however, there are several of the stories that manage to separate themselves from the rest of the pack by virtue of their sheet haunting impact, with ‘Smile’ and ‘Popular’ being my personal favourites.
Again, I’m I don’t want to go into too much detail about the individual stories at the risk of spoiling your enjoyment, but with topics being covered as diverse as vanity, forbidden love, revenge and paranoia, there’s a hell of a lot of tremendously creative storytelling going on here, and enough variety to suit any reader’s palette.
All in all, the Twisted Dark series continues to be an absolute revelation, and a title I would recommend to any fans of the comic book genre, or of great storytelling in general. And with at least three more volumes either already published or in the works, the future continues to look spectacularly bright for Gibson and the rest of the folks at T-Publishing.
The writer of this piece was:
Craig Neilson aka (Ceej)
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