Book Review: Into the Forest: Tales of the Baba Yaga edited by Lindy Ryan
Firstly, thank you, NetGalley and Xpresso Book Tours, for the chance to read and review ‘Into the Forest: Tales of the Baba Yaga.’
I’m a big fan of short stories. An excellent short story slaps in a way a novel can’t! And these focus on the Baba Yaga! Of course, I had to request a copy!
Into the Forest is a collection of 22 short stories (and a poem) by female writers focusing on the Baba Yaga. It was published by Black Spot Books on the 8th of November, 2022, and is 272 pages long. The collection aims to focus on the various interpretations of the Baba Yaga and her place in the modern world. The book is also available for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.
As a whole, the collection was a mixed bag. Some stories were undoubtedly better than others. Lindy Ryan needed to do a better job of taking some of these stories out. By the end, I was bored with the collection; I just felt like I had read too much to DNF it.
Also, sometimes, things should only be open to a limited amount of interpretation. For instance, Herald the Knight is a cute story, but it does not work within a book about Baba Yaga. There are also some incredibly basic stories (I don’t want to name them) that could be about any woman turning into a witch instead of the Baba Yaga, like incredibly generic. So when you have these stories that don’t really match each other in terms of energy and creativity, the collection as a whole goes down, which is sad because some of these authors were really good.
That being said, I loved that most of these writers didn’t shy away from the more horrifying aspects of Baba Yaga instead of sanitising her; she is the Baba Yaga, after all. The book also introduced me to some writers who I have high expectations of! Lastly, the first of google isn’t very satisfying when it comes to the Baba Yaga; the foreword of this book does a far better job!
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 an introduction 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 hindrance, 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.
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