ARC Review: Into the Forest Anthology

Posted November 7, 2022 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 8 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC  Review:  Into the Forest AnthologyInto the Forest: Tales of the Baba Yaga by Lindy Ryan, Christina Henry, Gwendolyn Kiste, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Mercedes M. Yardley, Monique Snyman, Donna Lynch, Lisa Quigley, R.J. Joseph, Catherine McCarthy, Sara Tantlinger, Yi Izzy Yu, Jess Hagemann
Published by Black Spot Books on November 8, 2022
Genres: Fairy Tale, Retelling
Pages: 300
Source: the publisher
Format: ARC
My Rating: three-half-stars
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Blurb:

A collection of new and exclusive short stories inspired by the Baba Yaga. Featuring Gwendolyn Kiste, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Mercedes M. Yardley, Monique Snyman, Donna Lynch, Lisa Quigley, and R. J. Joseph, with a foreword by Christina Henry. Deep in the dark forest, in a cottage that spins on birds’ legs behind a fence topped with human skulls, lives the baba yaga. A guardian of the water of life, she lives with her sisters and takes to the skies in a giant mortar and pestle, creating tempests as she goes. Those who come across the baba yaga may find help, or hinderance, or horror. She is wild, she is woman, she is witch—and these are her tales.

Edited by Lindy Ryan, this collection brings together some of today’s leading voices of women-in-horror as they pay tribute to the baba yaga, and go Into the Forest.

My Review

So I wasn’t quite sure what this was going to be about. What I knew about Baba Yaga was from horror movies I believe, so I expected a bunch of scary stories. The beginning gives us a little look at what Baba Yaga has been described as in the past. Therefore many of the stories were more fairy tale or myth types, and a few had some aspects I didn’t really want to read about in my stories, political/not political, hot topics kind of. But some stories were more like what I expected or went beyond what I expected. A couple stories were kind of a Hansel and Gretel reimagining that I really liked!

While I didn’t get all the way through it before I posted this review, I got far enough that I felt I could go ahead and get my review up prior to the pub date this week. As with any anthology, I honestly will say there were stories I liked a lot, stories I didn’t like, and stories that were just so-so. But I did enjoy it and am definitely thinking a lot of other people would like the different takes on Baba Yaga.

The stories I would say I liked best were Mama Yaga by Christina Sng, The Peddler’s Promise by Catherine McCarthy, Birds of a Feather by Monique Snyman, Herald the Knight by Mercedes M. Yardley, and All the Bitterness Burned Away by Jill Baguchinsky.

Mama Yaga and All the Bitterness Burned Away were the ones that were kind of Hansel and Gretel retellings. I like the dark romance aspect of Herald the Knight. And the others had some scary aspects to them that matched what I was thinking the stories would be like when I first got it.

So if you’re into retellings of fairy tales, Baba Yaga stories, etc., some scary, others cautionary tales or with kind of statements like feminism, etc., there is something for you in this anthology!

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8 responses to “ARC Review: Into the Forest Anthology

    • Lisa Mandina

      It might be right up your alley then! Give it a try! I feel like there’s all kinds of different stories in it.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Same for me. I didn’t actually finish this one, but I feel I got enough of an idea from the stories I did read to know there was something for everyone.

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