book review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll



THROUGH THE WOODS by Emily Carroll
Faber & Faber, 2014


A few months back, I asked on Twitter what everyone’s favorite short story collections were, and Through the Woods came up a lot.  I found the premise enticing (I love horror, and I hadn’t ever read a short story collection in graphic novel form), so I decided to give it go, which ended up being a good decision.

Ultimately: 3 stars for the stories and 5 stars for the artwork.  These short stories had moments of creepiness, but they were only ever moments; on the whole they were a bit on the perfunctory side and usually ended all too abruptly.  Some of the ambiguity worked; some just left me wanting, and not in the good way.  I did enjoy reading them in the moment, but I don’t think any are going to stay with me, and I wouldn’t have minded a bit more bone-chilling terror.

The artwork, on the other hand, was nothing short of breathtaking.  A Lady’s Hands Are Cold just about knocked my socks off on a strictly visual level – the color palette in this story in particular is incredibly striking.  I buy a lot of books that I haven’t read yet and I rarely keep the ones that I don’t love or don’t plan on rereading, but I think I’m going to hang onto this one just so I can flip through and look at the art on occasion.   But maybe I’ll reread it next year around Halloween; these stories are all very light on text and you can easily read this in under half an hour so why not.  A quick, enjoyable read for horror fans, even if it wasn’t revolutionary.

You can pick up a copy of Through the Woods here on Book Depository.

9 thoughts on “book review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

  1. Ooh, intriguing! It’s too bad there wasn’t a bit more horror than scattered moments, but I’m thrilled to hear that Carroll’s artwork was so stunning; I have the graphic novel version of Speak on my shelf unread, and Carroll’s the artist for it- this review makes me more eager to pick that one up! And to keep an eye out for more of Carroll’s work. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi welcome back!!!

      I didn’t realize that Carroll was the artist for that! I actually haven’t read Speak (the original) so I should probably do that first; I always wish I’d been assigned that book as a teenager because I assume I’m the wrong audience for it now, but it’s still something I’d like to read. I hope I like it so I can give the graphic novel a shot too. But yes, I’d highly recommend this one! 100% worth the price of admission for the artwork alone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks! 🙂

        I had forgotten about it tbh until I saw her name in your post and realized it was familiar! I loved Speak back in middle/high school, but that was definitely the right time for me to read it. I think it’ll have the nostalgia factor for me now, but am also curious just to see how well it’s held up with time. That’s mainly why I picked up the graphic novel in the first place! Though I’ve also picked up the plain text now as well. It’s certainly a significant piece of YA history, at the very least, so I hope you have a good experience with it when you get to it!

        And I’ll definitely keep an eye out for Through the Woods, even just for the art! Looks like it’s available through my library, which makes it easy!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s