A family left alone in their house awaiting their father’s return. A new wife haunted by singing at night. A brother who can’t be and a friend who only pretends to hear the dead. Something in the woods which means you don’t return the same. These five eerie stories are stunningly illustrated and will leave you double checking the doors at night…
What if I reached out… just past the edge of the bed…
Through the Woods is a genuinely creepy read. One of the things that affects me most in horror is what is not seen, so I wasn’t entirely sure that it would work for me in graphic novel form, but Emily Carroll’s stories have the right level of suspense and things lurking in the dark. They don’t have neat conclusions either, leaving you with that sense of unease.
There’s a few visual references to Little Red Riding Hood but this is not a fairy tale retelling (although Grimm’s original stories do have a similar level of macabre). Don’t go into the woods alone or at night, is common phrase throughout horror, or just simply our childhoods where our parents try and keep us from playing somewhere potentially dangerous. These stories play on that idea, some are about going into the woods and coming a cropper or others are about people who simply live in the woods…and then something awful happens to them.
The books itself is gorgeous. The cover is all textured and there’s a lot of muted colours, and monochrome with red, which is a particular aesthetic I love. There was some variety in the style too, which shows a greater skill in the artist than pages and pages that all look the same. Yet it all comes together into a package that feels right.
My only quibble would be that there wasn’t more of it. I do love the visual aspect of graphic novels but I often feeling myself ending them far too soon for my liking. Maybe this is something that will wear off the more I read! You can check out Emily’s work on her website and also read one of the stories from this book, His Face Is Red, online for free.
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Also reviewed @ Lit Addicted Brit
Book Source: Purchased
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