Review: The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinister

Genre: Fantasy  Age Level: Young Adult Series: N/A
Genre: Fantasy
Age Level: Middle Grade
Series: N/A

A collection of thirty-six eerie, mysterious, intriguing, and very short short stories presented by the cabinet’s esteemed curators, otherwise known as acclaimed authors Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, Claire Legrand, and Emma Trevayne. Perfect for fans of Alvin Schwartz and anyone who relishes a good creepy read-alone or read-aloud story. Features an introduction and commentary by the curators, and illustrations and decorations throughout.


I haven’t read an anthology in ages because I got tired of skimming through disinteresting, mediocre stories just for the few gems in their midst. However, all the stories in The Cabinet of Curiosities are equally good. That may sound hard to believe, but it’s the truth. There are no ‘weak links’. It was even hard to guess who wrote each story because though they have their own styles, they are all similar, allowing the anthology to feel connected by more than just subject matter.

Each story is wildly unique and imaginative, filled with all things horrific and nightmarish. Some of the stories gave me chills while others made me pause and think about things in a different way.  They vary stylistically as well; ranging from first person, to third person, past tense to present tense and everything else in between. They were all quite brilliant and thoughtful and fascinating. I can’t even choose a favourite.

Plus, the whole idea of the cabinet and the curators is genius. This book is more than a mere collection of tales, it is story made up of other stories. I sincerely hope the curators will collaborate again sometime in the future. They being some very awesome authors and I cannot believe I have not yet read their books (apart from Emma Trevayne’s Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times). I really should get on that.

Highly recommended to fans of middle grade fantasy and anthologies!

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear from you!


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