Book Review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Book Review: Through the Woods

Title: Through the Woods
Emily Carroll
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pub date:
July 5, 2014
‘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…


Oh, Emily Carroll. Where should I begin? The 5 short stories that make up this collection are downright creepy. They’re Freudian Uncanny. They’re disturbing. Tim Burton unfiltered, if he were a woman. Think Corpse Bride but with more blood. That being said, I really enjoyed reading them. Sometimes feeling a shiver down your spine is exactly the right reaction.

I finally decided to order this book after the 2014 Project For Awesome Livestream, during which Patrick Rothfuss (guest hosting) recommended it and shared how utterly terrified Through the Woods made him. My thoughts were, if it can make a grown man scared, it must be good.

Carroll’s style in Through the Woods fits her genre of choice very well, because while some pages are beautiful and serene, other are strikingly dark and sinister (but still beautiful). Her lettering, compared to that of other graphic novels, gives off a handwritten charm, something that adds to the “my mother told me” sort of stories Carroll has created. It’s clear that these stories have gone straight onto the page from someone’s mind.

I don’t have a huge pool to pull from when it comes to graphic novels that I have read, but this one could be a great companion to Anya’s Ghost. Something about ghost stories and illustration meshes so well.

I read Through the Woods in one sitting. It took about an hour. I was wide-eyed the entirety of that time. I would recommend this collection for any fan of horror stories, twisted fairy tales, or art with a side dish of weird. It’s very good and I look forward to Emily Carroll’s Next Big Thing. (check out her website linked below for some awesome comics and art – including some Marceline the Vampire Queen from Adventure Time) Through the Woods is a book that I will now proudly display on my bookshelf.

About the Author:

Website | Twitter

emily carroll self portraitMy name is Emily Carroll, and I was born in June of 1983. I grew up in London (Ontario) but moved to Vancouver for work after graduating Sheridan College’s Classical Animation program. I have since moved back to Ontario, and now live in Stratford with my wife, Kate Craig. We have a very large cat. My comics have appeared in several anthologies, such as The Anthology Project V2, Explorer: The Mystery Boxes, kuš! #9, Little Heart, Creepy #9 (Dark Horse), Fairy Tale Comics (First Second)The Witching Hour (Vertigo), & others. My first book, Through the Woods, a collection of short horror stories, is being published by Margaret K McElderry Books in July 2014, and by Faber and Faber in the UK.

  The Yawhg is a game I co-created with designer Damian Sommer, and my artwork can also be found in the game Gone Home And here is a link to an awful lot of Dune fan art.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

  1. First thought: what a gorgeous cover! I will buy this for that cover alone. But “downright creepy” and “disturbing”? Count me in! I haven’t read much graphic novels, as well, but Through the Woods sounds like my cup of tea.


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