Five short stories about nasty things traversing through, entering into, or exiting from the woods.
This is exactly the sort of unique direction I love seeing horror go into. Emily Carroll has such a different take on horror. It’s very folklorish with that flair of the dark fairy tale. It’s how we’ve all heard fairy tales were intended to be told before they were watered down for a more sensitive audience, and in that way even if this book doesn’t scare you outright, it’s unnerving. There’s a delicious sense of dread that permeates these tales, meaning that I actually did find there were some scary jabs that Carroll takes.
The stories are wonderful on their own, but this collection is truly made special by the artwork. The style seems simple enough, but Carroll does such complicated and intricate things with it that it comes out stunning. In particular, I want to point out “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold” for doing incredible things with color. Every time I flip through this book, and I do often, those are the pages that dazzle me most.
As for favorites in regards to storytelling, the top spot goes to “The Nesting Place”. Not only for the full page spread of a very shudder-inducing monster, but for that sense of paranoia it breeds. This could’ve easily been a classic Twilight Zone episode, and anything that sparks that sort of comparison in me is going to get praised heaped on it.
One great thing about this collection that I’d like to point out is that, while it is unnerving and has some scares, this is perfect for the more squeamish reader. If you’re trying to initiate someone into horror, start them here. It won’t be so bad that they can’t handle it, but it does give an idea of how fun being scared can be.