Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Rating: 5 out of 5.

*Disclaimer: This review may contain spoilers. All thoughts and opinions are my own, my preferences may be different to yours. Please keep that in mind.

Summary:

Discover a terrifying world in the woods in this collection of five hauntingly beautiful graphic stories that includes the online webcomic sensation “His Face All Red,” in print for the first time.

Journey through the woods in this sinister, compellingly spooky collection that features four brand-new stories and one phenomenally popular tale in print for the first time. These are fairy tales gone seriously wrong, where you can travel to “Our Neighbor’s House”—though coming back might be a problem. Or find yourself a young bride in a house that holds a terrible secret in “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold.” You might try to figure out what is haunting “My Friend Janna,” or discover that your brother’s fiancée may not be what she seems in “The Nesting Place.” And of course you must revisit the horror of “His Face All Red,” the breakout webcomic hit that has been gorgeously translated to the printed page.

From Simon & Schuster

Review:

The second book for the spooky series I chose is Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. It is a collection of 5 graphic stories all with a very very spooky overtone and undertones. Since this one is different then the other books I have reviewed I thought I would highlight each individual story briefly and then the entire collection on its own. I know that technically the introduction and conclusion are not their own stories but I am going to treat them as such.

An Introduction

What a way to open a collection of spooky stories. Fearing the monsters under your bed. Which I can still relate to even at 25 years old and still acknowledging that it illogical. I hate when my foot is hanging over the edge of my bed.

Our Neighbor’s House

I was immediately hit with Little House on the Praire vibes meets like some ‘American Horror Story’ elements. A missing, presumed dead dad, a mysterious man with a wide brim hat who visits without leaving a trace. What is more terrifying. And then the ending! The ending! Oh my god, the ending. I’ll it for you to read and find out.

A Lady’s Hands are Cold

With this one there are some Edgar Allan Poe vibes with the singing from below the floorboards but there is a zombie? Plus it reminded me of the movie ‘Crimson Peak’. I don’t know why, I haven’t even seen the movie but I was reminded of that plus an episode of this Sherlock Holmes series from the 50s. If you haven’t watched them I totally suggest that you do!

His Face all Red

The third story in this collection features two brothers, one killing the other because of jealousy. Or so he thinks. But when the brother comes back miraculously he is slowly eaten away with guilt before setting off to discover what really happened. And once again left with a cliff hanger that scares me more than knowing the truth.

My Friend Janna

I think this one was one that scared me the most. Maybe it’s second, but it is up there. Two very close friends who scam people into believing Janna can speak to the dead and her friend, Yvonne who is also narrating, helping her pull it off. They don’t actually seem to enjoy it all that much but they keep doing it. The kicker is that Yvonne can see something is haunting Janna.

The Nesting Place

The final story in the collection I think takes the cake for spooky. This one is for sure the scariest one of all. Everything about it scares me. And I think that just makes it that much better. Like everything, the mom telling her daughter all about the monsters that would come after her. The mysterious death of the mother. Meeting this mysterious Rebecca and even weirder housekeeper. And then the scariest monsters of all just appearing. Terrifying.

In Conclusion

A simple, short ode to Little Red Riding Hood and it is still terrifying. There is an element to these stories I have noticed where, yes, there is a fantastical sense to them that makes it like “Okay, I know this isn’t real” but…. then there is a moment where it’s like holy sh*t what if something like this actually happened. And that feeling really came in high with the conclusion story. The lurking wolf at the window saying it only takes once and he’ll have her in his sights. Mega spooky…

Final Thoughts:

I was so excited that I managed to snag this one before the month was over. It really lived up to the hype and was not only beautiful but truly spooky. (Literally, how many times have I said spooky, lol.) This is probably the shortest book I have picked for this month but it was totally worth it. And even though most of these had open endings and I usually can’t stand them, I can’t be upset with these ones. They made the stories that much more terrifying.

I highly suggest you pick this one and give a read for the Holloween season. It is the perfect time for it. Have a happy Holloween everyone!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s book review! If you’ve read Through the Woods let me know what you thought. Or if you have any recommendations I am always open to hearing them!

~Chelsea

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