Friday Face Off : ‘At the end of every light, is a tunnel of darkness.’


Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book (this doesn’t have to be a book that you’ve read), compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  This week’s theme:

Tunnel – ‘At the end of every light, is a tunnel of darkness.’

So, what on earth was I thinking with this theme.  I struggled to find that elusive ‘tunnel’ I’m sure I could have found something from the classics but I wanted to go with something more recent.  Now, this may come across as a little bit of a cheat – but I say it looks like a tunnel.  My book this week is In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey and here are the covers – only three for this one:

Obviously two of these covers are very similar but I think the difference in sepia/black and white does make a difference.

My favourite:


It has to be this one.  It’s like something out of a fairytale.  Not really a tunnel in the conventional sense, but then that character does look like she’s walking into something doesn’t she – probably trouble.

Do you have a favourite?

I’ll be updating the list in order to include forthcoming events that I’m aware of so that you can perhaps link your themes up where possible (if you know of an event you’d like to share then let me know in the comments).  As always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment – or if you’d like to host a week then simply let me know.

Next week – olding an object – just as it seems

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ or one of your favourite covers) (I’ve added some new themes – some of these are slightly different, in order to avoid too much repetition I’m trying to make the themes more of a suggestion that everyone can interpret how they like.  


17th July – holding an object – just as it seems

24th July – Framed – more meanings than one.  A cover with a frame, a picture within a cover or a murder mystery set up??

31st July – White – a cover that is predominantly white

7th August – Action – a cover that depicts action of some sort

14th August – Glasses or spectacles – “One could mention many lovable traits in Smee. For instance, after killing, it was his spectacles he wiped instead of his weapon.”

21st August – Potions –  hubble bubble

28th August – Dark road – ‘the road goes ever on and on’

4th September – Cold and crisp – any cover that gives you winter vibes

11th September – A cover with a pattern

18th September – Minimalistic and lacking clutter

25th September – A very busy cover full to bursting with detail

2nd October – A standout font

9th October – Mist/fog – “A thin grey fog hung over the city, and the streets were very cold; for summer was in England.”

16th October – Spider web – “Farewell, Aragog, king of the arachnids, whose long and faithful friendship those who knew you would never forget!

23th October – Ripped/torn – interpret it as you wish

30th October – Forest/jungle – ‘None of the Jungle People like being disturbed.’

6th November – Planets – “You’re on Earth. There’s no cure for that.”

13th November – Bright – ‘The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades’.

20th November – Words only – “Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”

27th November – Modern sci fi

4th December –  Fae – or fairy??

11th December – Lake – the mysterious lake

18th December – Highly Stylised

25th December- Freebie – or day off.


In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey

Posted On 14 November 2018

Filed under Book Reviews
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Comments Dropped 18 responses

IntheNightIn the Night Wood is a book that I finished with mixed feelings.  On the one hand I loved the gothic premise, the idea of an old mansion and an enchanted forest.  The writing is really impressive and there are so many bookish quotes and references that you couldn’t throw a stick around these pages without hitting something of note.  It’s also a relatively quick read and I can’t deny that the idea of the dark forest that seems to almost have a mind of it’s own left me deeply intrigued – not to mention a huge antlered beast.

So, why the mixed feelings.  In a nutshell the main protagonist was really difficult for me to like – in fact I didn’t like him at all.  He’s a raging MCP who felt massively out of sync with the modern world in which he’s living.  I think this is the closest I’ve come in a long while to having the irrational urge to throw my kindle across the room.

The book gets off to a good start.  We learn of Charles who since being a young boy has had a fascination with a novel named In the Night Wood.  The book, written by a Victorian author, has gained a cult like status, it’s creepy and almost sinister nature belying what appears to be a children’s story at first glance.  Time moves on apace and Charles meets a young woman, unbelievably a distant relative of Caedmon Hollow – the legendary author of Charles most favourite book, it seems fated that the two should fall desperately in love.

Time then moves forward again, things have spiralled out of control for Charles and his wife.  Their young daughter dies in a tragic accident and at the same time it becomes apparent that Charles has been having an affair with one of his fellow academic colleagues.  He takes a leave of absence from work (at the polite but insistent request of his superiors) and his situation looks dire indeed until his wife unexpectedly inherits Hollow House and the two leave America to take up residence in the huge dusty mansion that will become their home.  For Charles this spells the start of a new beginning.  He’s writing a biography about Caedmon Hollow and what better inspiration could he hope for than living in the author’s own home, surrounded by the dark forest that plays such a huge role in the original tale, plus who knows what he’ll find lurking in those old closed up rooms?

You have to admit this has a great premise and there are plenty of inspirational moments during the read.  I liked the author’s style although I think he can occasionally become a little more wordy than is really necessary.  There is atmosphere and folklore thrown into the mix and even a quaint little village.  But, Charles just got on my last nerve.  I can’t lie.  And, maybe it shouldn’t matter, but I couldn’t get past it.  I would explain why but frankly that direction would just lead to a massive rant which I don’t think would be helpful.  Suffice to say Charles changed the read for me and every time I started to sink into the story he would say or do something unbelievable or ridiculously maddening and tear me straight out of my wormhole.

So, was this a bad book?  No it wasn’t, but at the same time it ultimately wasn’t for me.  On a different note, whilst this book didn’t quite work out I would certainly like to try more by this author.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks. The above is my own opinion.