Whisper of the Woods

Mad Cave Studios. Oct. 2023. 96p. ISBN 9781952303746. pap. $19.99. HORROR
A bright-eyed young man is determined to find his friend and traveling companion, who’s gone missing in the woods of a small Romanian town. It’s not an infrequent occurrence—in fact, it’s horrifyingly common—and the townsfolk are full of stories of strange disappearances. Yet Adam remains blithely confident and prepares for his search. He puts his trust in a placid, beautiful young woman, who in turn brings him to meet a man made delirious by the mysterious women of the woods. As the local legends seemed to suggest, these wraiths are vampire-like entities—beautiful, blood-hungry, hypnotic, and sexually ravenous. While this setup can seemingly only end in horror, Iurov (Needle & Thread) cleverly cultivates the absurd hope of a foolhardy protagonist who chooses bravery when running away would be far wiser. Readers will want Adam to succeed and survive even as he delves ever deeper into a sylvan abyss. Iurov’s visual vocabulary, full of knowing glances, violent confrontations, and horrifying visions of a mind answering the call of evil, is a horror lover’s dream.
VERDICT A chilling treat for the ravenous reader.
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