Review of Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll is a graphic novel filled with short stories that follow fairy tale like themes. This graphic novel is one of the best books I have read in a long time. The short stories are filled with wonderful images and eerie tales of love, loss, and death. Carroll weaves all of these short stories magically together, forcing the reader to want to keep turning the pages for more. The book captures the reader and beckons them to take part in the story, to watch the characters come to life, and to read on to allow the story to unfold. The book is wonderfully creepy and captures perfectly just how sinister the unknown can be and what may lurk behind the shadows in the cold dark woods.
The book begins by introducing the reader to the unknown through Carroll’s use of language: “What if I reached out… and something waiting there, grabbed me…” The images focus on a young person reading quietly in a dark, desolate room with a single light shining brightly over her book. Carroll immediately takes the reader into the dark place that the character imagines, by introducing the first of five short stories…
Our Neighbor’s House:
This is a story about three young sisters who await their father’s return from a hunting trip. Needless to say, Dad never comes home and strange things start to happen to each sister one-by-one. Father warns the girls to leave and head to their neighbors house if he does not return by the third night. The subdued color palate and the eerily dark images help to bring this story to life. A great start to a truly scary compilation…..
This is a love story about a woman and a man and their enormously large home and the man’s dead fiancé. The woman marries the man and they live together in the man’s home. Each night they break bread together and the woman is waited on hand and foot by her loyal servants. One night, she begins to hear strange noises coming from the walls and the floor boards. In the dead of the night is when the sounds are truly horrifying. This story is one that will stay with the reader long after the tale is complete. As you read on, you discover that the noises are coming from different parts of the home and over the course of the story, the fiancés body parts being to show up one-by-one. Read this story to find out what happens.
The Nesting Place:
This was truly the most frightening of all the stories. This story begins with Bell and her mother. Bell’s mother would always tell her stories of monsters. She would say that the worst kind of monster was the burrowing kind… “The sort that crawled into you and made a home there… the sort you couldn’t name, and the sort you couldn’t see… the monster that ate you alive from the inside out.” This is a frightening story about a young girl who is forced to live with her older brother and his fiancé. Little does Bell know what lurks in the forest near their home or what secrets Rebecca (bro’s fiancé) is hiding. I don’t want to tell you too much about this story because I really think you should read this book.
All in all, this is a great read and I cannot recommend it enough. For more information on Emily Carroll, check out her blog and her art at:
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