Graphic novels (in this case a collection of short fairy tale type stories) are not my normal kind of reading, but the online sample gave me chills and made me want to read more. I received my hardback copy in the mail yesterday and am really impressed with the quality of its presentation. The dead white trees on the cover are raised and add an intimate texture which furthers the feeling of becoming immersed in the story. The images do a fantastic job of evoking the right thrill. I suspect I'll be a big fan of Emily Carroll by the end if the first two stories are any indication of what's to come. (The book contains an intro, five stories and a conclusion.)
The introduction story is creepy and sets the right tone. This book is for those who enjoy the tension of something coming out of the dark.
Our Neighbor's House - Three girls home alone while their father goes hunting. He warned them to pack up and leave for their neighbor's house if he didn't return by the third night. When he doesn't return, the story gets truly scary. I don't exactly understand the ending, but it still produced the right effect. (view spoiler) 4.5 Stars
A Lady's Hands are Cold - Wow. If I were to do this justice with pictures of scenes, I'd have too many pictures than I could share. This is a beautifully illustrated book, and the story is superb. The two factors go hand in hand to make every sight effectively terrifying. I didn't see this ending coming either and it was fantastic. In this story, two people are married and the wife meets the ghost in her new mansion. 5 Stars
His Face all Red - This story is a toss up on more or less scary than the last. Two brothers go into the woods to kill a monster. I don't want to spoil anything. Again, powerful frights with each line and picture that kept me engaged to the end. 5 Stars
My Friend Janna - At this point I'm daydreaming as I read about how excited I am to tell people about this book. People who don't normally read graphic novels but love horror. I'm going to tell them and they are going to love it and tell their friends. This book will make waves. It just needs to be read.
For this story, two friends play around with people and ghosts, but their tricks come back in a very bad way. This one felt longer, and in a good way. From the first line to the last image this was haunting and as enjoyable as any story you could read in five minutes. 5 Stars
The Nesting Place - No drop off at all and possibly the scariest one yet. An orphan who remembers her mother telling her about ghosts and monsters who are rings of teeth and... well I'll let you read about them. Her visit to her brother and new fiance is more frightening than I thought it could be. 5 Stars
The conclusion is beautiful and a nice parting gift to let this book's collective power linger.