Review Detail4.7 1
I don’t know what’s with me lately. Short stories aren’t really my thing, but I’ve been reading so many short story collections lately. This is the second one that I’m kind of in love with. Through the Woods first caught my eye, literally, when the cover was revealed. It’s one of my favorite covers of all time. Then I got a review request and fairy tale graphic novel equals immediate hell to the yes. My instincts were correct this time. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll is a delight for the senses and full of creepy tales for the mind.
You guys, this book is gorgeous. Just impossibly gorgeous. Like the cover, Through the Woods by Emily Carroll is illustrated primarily in red, white and black, with occasional pops of other colors. I’ve always had a great weakness for that particular color scheme. It’s so powerful. If you also drool over the cover art, you need this, because all of the illustrations are that beautiful. Serious art squee over here.
Through the Woods is rather spare, not dialog-driven most of the time. It’s haunting and quietly terrifying most of the time. Of course, this just makes the really gory horrifying scenes that much more terrifying in comparison. Carroll’s works are definitely comparable to original Grimm stories in tone and horror level, so if you enjoy those, you’ll like Carroll.
Some of the stories very obviously take origin in other tales, like “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold” which is a retelling of Bluebeard. What’s cool though is that, even with that one, Carroll puts a different spin on things. The endings aren’t usually what I’m quite expecting. They also tend to be a bit open-ended, leaving the reader pondering just what horrors will come next, which is almost worse than the ones that definitively transpired. The conclusion was the perfect ending to the collection, summing everything up brilliantly.
The Final Verdict:
At just 208 pages, Through the Woods goes by really quickly, so there’s basically no reason not to read it. Come for the artwork, the creepies or the fairy tales; stay because of how awesome all of that is.