Graphic Novel Review: Through the Woods – Emily Carroll

  • TitleThrough the Woods
  • Author: Emily Carroll
  • IllustratorEmily Carroll
  • Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Young Adult
  • Publication Date:  July 2014
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Rating: 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.

Not creepy in a macabre or sinister way, like Harrow County or Locke & Key are, but more gothic and folkloric in feel.

Through the Woods is a collection of 5 short stories, written and illustrated by Emily Carroll, which tells the tales of women and girls who experience the supernatural, the strange, and the chilling.

The stories read like dark folklore, woven through with characters that were dead, or possessed by spirits. The ending of each was a loose thread, but not in a bad way – they reminded me of the original Twilight Zone episodes, where the ending left you chilled and uncomfortable. I don’t read many short stories or collections of them, but if I do, having the endings leaving me wondering is the best way to get me thinking about the stories long after I’ve put them down.

I married my love in the springtime,
but by summer he’d locked me away.
He’d murdered me dead by the autumn,
& by winter I was naught but decay.

Now, I didn’t expect this to be a graphic novel, and thought it was a novel instead. But the illustrations are good – not macabre per se, but unsettling, and more atmospheric than anything. If there was a musical equivalent, it would be a hint of Myrkur’s haunting vocals coupled with the feel of the moors in Wuthering Heights.

5 stars for the illustrations and 5 stars for the writing, Through the Woods is my new rcommendation for anyone wanting a single-sitting moody collection of stories.

“Oh, but you must travel through those woods again and again… said a shadow at the window… and you must be lucky to avoid the wolf every time…

But the wolf… the wolf only needs enough luck to find you once.”

3 thoughts on “Graphic Novel Review: Through the Woods – Emily Carroll

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