Through the Woods

By: Emily Carroll

It came from the woods. Most strange things do. Tell me, dear reader, will you go too?

If your life was at stake, and you were alone. Would you walk towards the monster who sits on the throne?

Fear not, sweet reader. These are stories for bed. The only danger here is that they will stay in your head.

So come on an adventure. The kind to recount at night. You will know soon enough that they sound so right.

The most difficult part of rating short stories is figuring out what my average rating would be for the whole collection. There are bound to be some stories I really like and others that I like less. An added challenge is when the short stories are in a graphic novel where I am not only rating the quality of the writing but also the illustrations.

I have no problem saying that the illustrations in this graphic novel were outstanding. Through the Woods falls into the horror genre though I can’t say they really scared me in any real way. However, there were definitely some creepy elements that score high points in my book, and the color pallet was perfection.

The main point I will make regarding the writing is that, as a reader, you will need to be comfortable with open endings. Each story, regardless of length, has an ending you can interpret any way you want, good or bad. I was okay with this fact but had a larger issue with the lack of exploration into some of the monsters. I get it. That was the point. The author was exploring existential dread and the fear of the unknown, but I wanted to be scared and I wanted to see what was lurking around the corner!

I did appreciate that Carroll decided to progressively make the stories longer as the novel went on. There are five stories in all plus an introduction and conclusion. Story one is the shortest and story five takes up a significant portion of the pages.

I will say that I did enjoy this book, and it’s a ridiculously quick read. Though, I’m not sure Through the Woods will have a lasting impression on me. At least for me, the most impactful stories take time to truly digest and appreciate. I’ll spend some time thinking about this collection to work out my full feelings about them, I’m sure. For now, I plan to hang on to the book if just so I can revisit the art and appreciate the colors.

Overall rating: 4

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