My plan when I opened up The Trees was to read one story a day. Well, that didn't work out. I read the whole thing in one go. Yep. I loved every page.
I read Zombie Britannica a few years ago, so I had pretty high expectations for The Trees even though it's a book of short stories. But Emson didn't disappoint.
Each story is so different but still managed to drag dread and fear out of me. Each one either scared me or disturbed me, and that's exactly what I wanted. Emson is the master of atmosphere and each one was intense and gripping. I had to cover the words with my hand to stop reading ahead.
My two favourite stories were the first one and the last one. The first story, The Trees, jumped straight in, letting us know what was going on through dialogue, my favourite way. Emson has the perfect balance between description and dialogue too which made it so hard to stop reading. The Trees was so incredible because it worked on so many layers of fear. It plays with so many basic human fears: being trapped, being lost, darkness, death, danger. It was so chilling. I was so engrossed. Being terrified by a book is one thing, but being terrified by a short story is something else. Wow.
My other favourite was the final story, Where Moth and Rust Destory, which was a small sequel to Zombie Britannica. Zombie Britannica was a masterpiece in zombie fiction if you ask me, and I devoured it a few years ago. Some of the scenes will never leave me, and I still think about bits and pieces of it today. It was great to catch up with one of the characters and find out what was going on in zombie Britain, or Zombie Britannica. But not only that, the story was paced just right, and like all the others, I didn't want it to end. It made me want a full-length Zombie Britannica sequel!
In short, I loved every page. Thank you, Thomas Emson, for letting me fall into some very creepy realities for a few hours. I hadn't realised how much I'd needed to!