TITLE: Through The Woods
AUTHOR: Emily Carroll
PUBLISHER: Faber & Faber
GENRE: Graphic Novel, Horror, Short Stories, Young Adult
RATING: 4/5 Stars
'It came from the woods. Most strange things do.'
Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of) the eerie abyss.
These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.
Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there...
What I Liked:
- So let's start with the best part of the book - the art! Emily Carroll is seriously talented and the way that she designed each panel really made each story come alive. It felt unique, like something I'd never seen before, and I'm definitely a big fan of hers after reading this book. Art is something I love to appreciate just as much as I love reading a good story. I loved the dark, creepy undertones of her artwork. It was very gothic, a little macabre and certainly horrifying at points. Great stuff!
- I loved the way that Carroll put so much imagination into the stories. Each one contained recognisable tropes from the horror genre, but they all felt fresh and new as well. There was a distinct 'Fairy Tale' theme which you'll all know that I enjoyed. Carroll took some distinctively memorable stories and gave them a fresh feel, which I liked a lot. This was particularly prevalent in 'A Lady's Hands Are Cold', which had a very Bluebeard-esque vibe to it.
What I Disliked:
- The stories aren't very long. That in itself is not a problem if they're well structured, but with a couple of the stories I felt that they started well and built up nicely, but were a bit anticlimactic with very vague endings. Obviously the idea is that readers are supposed to draw their own conclusions, but for stories such as 'His Face All Red' and 'My Friend Janna' even that was a little difficult. I wish I'd had a little more direction as to the conclusion of such masterfully paced stories.
These stories were gorgeous. Beautifully drawn, and crafted well to fit the genre. They might not frighten you to death, but they are definitely unsettling and will give you chills. I liked the themes, the fresh take on classic tales, the way the author presented it all, everything! The only thing that let this light read down (though not for the faint-hearted) was the ambiguous endings that went beyond being 'left to the imagination' and left me totally clueless a couple of times. I like an ending in horror, and I don't like it to be vague.