{Book Review} It Calls From The Forest (Volume 2) – More Terrifying Tales From The Woods

It Calls From The Forest – Volume 2

Reviewed By Ben Walker

If you dropped me in the middle of the forest, Bear Grylls style, I’d be rubbish at the finding stuff to stay alive part (and I probably wouldn’t drink my own wee unless things got really bad), but for a while I’d love just wandering around through the trees, marvelling at the sights and getting lost in nature. There isn’t much to fear in the woods around here, other than treading in an errant dog turd.

The same can’t be said of Eerie River Publishing’s It Calls from the Forest Volume 2, which offers a huge variety of genuine frights and chills. Across 25 stories you get cultish tree worshippers, terrifyingly imaginative nightmare creatures, tusked giants, hungry plants, hungrier ghosts and well-timed bear attacks to name but a few. There are historical tales, timeless tales, and stories very much set in the modern world. And they’re not all about people wandering off into the woods, as you might expect from the title. Some are about characters desperately trying to flee the trees, and others let the things hidden amongst the bark and bracken break loose in pursuit of their prey.

Highlights include I Speak for the Trees, the fantastic opening story from Donna J.W. Munro, in which a small village is forced to reveal the secret behind its traditions to some unwanted outsiders. It’s a dark fairytale of sorts with steaming piles of gore and an environmental message to boot, it sets the tone really well for everything and has some wonderful, imaginative imagery.

Lex Vranick’s The Things we Cannot See leads you on a search and rescue mission alongside Mae and her faithful dog, who find more than just their target amongst the treetops. This has a slow build to some pulse-worrying attacks from a monster that’s never fully explained, which makes it all the more horrifying.

Spots by Ariana Ferrante starts out by evoking pure panic and never lets up, and it’s a melt story to boot! This was my pick for best in the bunch – it’s skin-crawlingly scary, delivering bizarre, flesh-dripping gore without overstaying its welcome.

And Rachel Oseida’s Nattmara starts with a boy stealing teeth from graves and gets weirder and creepier from there, again giving off those dark fairytale vibes and stuffed full of memorable imagery, one scene in particular is a dentist’s worst nightmare and one that’s still bothering me just thinking about it. Dense, powerful, emotional stuff.

Honestly, I could shout out each and every one of these stories for being great reads, but your time would be better spent buying the book yourself and getting stuck in. Leave your compass behind, because you’ll want to get lost in these pages for days.

It Calls From The Forest – Volume 2

There is evil in the woods and it wants you dead.

They warned us not to enter, but we didn’t listen. The call too strong to ignore. And now there is no one left to save us.

You can buy It Calls From The Forest (Volume 2) from Amazon UK & Amazon US

Ben Walker

Ben got a taste for terror after sneaking downstairs to watch The Thing from behind the sofa at age 9. He’s a big fan of extreme & bizarre horror and well as more psychological frights, and most things in between. When he’s not reading, he’s writing, and when he’s not writing he’s on twitter @BensNotWriting or reviewing books on his YouTube channel, BLURB.

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