‘Rowans Ruin:’ Trade Paperback Review

If you are interested in a suspenseful, horrifying mystery, then Rowans Ruin is the perfect answer to satisfy this craving. BOOM! Studios presents this limited series in its entirety with this trade paperback that is destined to live on like Psycho or The Shining. It has that kind of bone-chilling quality which will leave you unable to look away, turning page after page to find out if it’s actually safe for you to read.

The cover, crafted by Kelsey Dieterich and Mike Perkins, creates an exquisite look into this series, as three images blend into the dark blue color. A woman is crouched underneath the title at the bottom, while a building stands off quietly to the left. To the right, we see a close-up of this female character with branches wrapped around her neck and the resulting look of terror on her face. These things alone represent classic horror imagery - a seemingly normal home, our main character maybe hiding from someone or something, and the terrified expression that tells the reader where this story will lead to; however, they’re not the best part. It’s the dramatic outline of an old-fashioned key drawn down the center. Within the center of this key, a storm brews as rain falls, lightning strikes, and a woman leaps into the air and there aren’t any signs of where she might land.

This, and this alone, is worth picking up this story to read. Yet, this wonderfully eye-catching illustration is followed by a thrilling tale that makes you feel like you’re in a theater watching it play out on the big screen. This impressive tale, written by Mike Carey, follows a blogger who hopes to find someone to “house swap” with, so she can travel to a different country and record her account of everything. Carey presents Rowans Ruin in a way that reminds the reader of great horror movies. He provides the reader with a little bit of background on the main character before putting her in a completely foreign place, and strange things soon follow.

Carey’s timing is impeccable, providing a good pace among normal and strange events, while artist Perkins and colorist Andy Troy frame these sequences with varying sized panels and a mix of light and dark colors further keeping you off balance. The sense of not knowing what’s going to happen is amplified by the introduction of chapter one. Our blogger, Katie, is in the house, but it’s not so quiet. A violent thunderstorm rages outside and she hopes to find comfort in the storm as she throws a chair out of a window. The highlight of the cover page comes to fruition early on, but as the end is about to come, Carey flashes back six months and the waiting begins. Now, you’ll just have to find out what she’s running from.

Imagine having a nightmare, a hopeless game of tug-of-war as you slowly get pulled, dragged, with your feet sliding against the cold, wet ground into an unknown abyss. Yet, you can’t let go. You don’t want to let go. You love what’s happening. That’s the pull this story has on its reader, and Rowans Ruin is now available to start dragging you in.

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