Title: Forest of Bones – A Short Winter Horror Story
Author: Jessie Thomas
Publication Date: December 17, 2019
Genres: Horror, Holiday, Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: 53 pages
Source: I received a free copy from the author.
Rating: 4 Stars
Armed with her well-worn Field Guide to Cryptids of North America and a macabre sense of enthusiasm, Ana’s mission to visit and capture evidence of every known cryptid in the United States puts her on the trail of the elusive Covey Devil. Not many people are willing to spend their winter break looking for monsters, but Ana’s trio of friends seem up for whatever the adventure entails.
Content Warning: Blood and death.
Cold, dark forests are nothing to fool around with.
I loved the fact that the author chose Christmas time as a setting for this tale. The cold weather and long nights of that time of year in certain climates definitely sets the mood for scary things to lurk in the shadows. No matter how you personally feel about this holiday, there’s something to be said for acknowledging that it isn’t a shiny, happy season for everyone for a wide variety of reasons. I also appreciate the juxtaposition between the audience’s expectations for a Christmas story versus what was actually waiting for the characters in the Forest of Bones.
It was difficult for me to understand why four teenagers who had only limited camping experience and no self-defence or first aid training so far as I could tell would head into a forest with such a frightening reputation in the middle of the night in December. While the storyline did eventually explain why this happened, I would have appreciated far more details about how this was supposed to look and how all four young women, one of whom was extremely nervous about the trip, were convinced to take such serious risks with their health and safety when they could have just as easily gone on a warm June afternoon with a much larger group of explorers instead.
Speaking of the ending, it was exactly what I thought it might be. It was nice that the author trusted the audience so much to connect the few clues about what was going on. Not everything always needs to be spelled out directly, and in this case it was much more fun to be a little confused at first than to have everything explained before it strictly needed to be.
Forest of Bones – A Short Winter Horror Story made me shudder.