Graphic Novel Review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Graphic Novel Review: Through the Woods by Emily CarrollThrough the Woods by Emily Carroll
Published by Margaret K. McElderry on July 15, 2014
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Horror, Short Stories
Pages: 208
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

A fantastically dark and timeless graphic debut, for fans of Grimm Tales, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and the works of Neil Gaiman

'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...

I don’t know what’s with me lately. Short stories aren’t really my thing, but I’ve been reading so many short story collections lately. This is the second one that I’m kind of in love with. Through the Woods first caught my eye, literally, when the cover was revealed. It’s one of my favorite covers of all time. Then I got a review request and fairy tale graphic novel equals immediate hell to the yes. My instincts were correct this time. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll is a delight for the senses and full of creepy tales for the mind.

You guys, this book is gorgeous. Just impossibly gorgeous. Like the cover, Through the Woods by Emily Carroll is illustrated primarily in red, white and black, with occasional pops of other colors. I’ve always had a great weakness for that particular color scheme. It’s so powerful. If you also drool over the cover art, you need this, because all of the illustrations are that beautiful. Serious art squee over here.

Through the Woods 1

Through the Woods is rather spare, not dialog-driven most of the time. It’s haunting and quietly terrifying most of the time. Of course, this just makes the really gory horrifying scenes that much more terrifying in comparison. Carroll’s works are definitely comparable to original Grimm stories in tone and horror level, so if you enjoy those, you’ll like Carroll.

through-the-woods-2

Some of the stories very obviously take origin in other tales, like “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold” which is a retelling of Bluebeard. What’s cool though is that, even with that one, Carroll puts a different spin on things. The endings aren’t usually what I’m quite expecting. They also tend to be a bit open-ended, leaving the reader pondering just what horrors will come next, which is almost worse than the ones that definitively transpired. The conclusion was the perfect ending to the collection, summing everything up brilliantly.

At just 208 pages, Through the Woods goes by really quickly, so there’s basically no reason not to read it. Come for the artwork, the creepies or the fairy tales; stay because of how awesome all of that is.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif red riding hood ouat

6 responses to “Graphic Novel Review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll”

  1. So freaking excited for this! I need something short to read tonight as I finished my book last night and Strange and Ever After arrives tomorrow and ain’t nothing keeping my from reading that baby ASAP.

    I skimmed through the pictures when I got it and they’re absolutely creepy and amazing. Maybe I’ll take it to work today and get a head start 🙂
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    • Christina Franke says:

      Eeeeek! Strange and Ever After. I’m so excited and so behiiiiiind. Anyway, YES, read this. It takes less than an hour, though if you luxuriate in the art, which would be totally understandable, it might take a bit longer. But definitely a night’s reading.

      So creepy. So gorgeous.

  2. Meg says:

    WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT
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  3. That IS an awesome cover! This one sounds really interesting — and I like the idea of a limited colour palette. You sometimes have to get more creative that way.

    It also seems super creepy. I mean, that page about the head? EEK!
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    • Marie says:

      What’s interesting about the colour scheme is that it’s not just red/white/black throughout, but each story sort of has it’s own palate alongside and the red/white/black motif is like a unifying theme between them. It’s really effective and the whole book is super gorgeous.

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