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Forest Underground

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Luna was lost. Hospitalized following an incident in a local grocery store, she finds herself volunteered for treatment by the brilliant psychiatrist, Dr Sizemore.

As the doctor’s interest in her new patient grows, Luna reveals shocking details of her past. Ailing grandmothers, seductive strangers and a blood-soaked childhood are only the tip of the iceberg as her
Paperback, 122 pages
Published August 19th 2017 by Sinister Horror Company
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Average rating 4.35  · 
Rating details
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Janie C.
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an instantly engrossing story that is akin to a tenebrous fairy tale. Steeped in the psychological investigation into a young woman's past, the plot also examines the background of the psychiatrist treating the patient. Both women have endured harrowing experiences, and the results of their traumatic ordeals draw the reader into a web of grotesquery and twisted outcomes. Forest Underground is a requisite for those who enjoy dark and creative fiction.

Jeremy Hepler
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first time reading Lydian's work, and now I'm a fan. The writing in Forest Underground is tight and well-paced, and the characters have great depth despite the novella's length. The tale is a twisted psychological thriller where ultimately the two main characters, Luna and Alisha, try to use and manipulate one another in order to satisfy their own desires. You just don't know if they both or only one has sinister intent until their stories merge at the end. Well told.
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Doctor...what are you doing to me?"

Forest Underground was my first read of 2020, and it was a great pick! This was such an intriguing horror novella, and I loved the story.

I'm not going to say much about this book because the synopsis isn't super detailed, and you should get to read it without a lot of outside information. Just know that it's a very mysterious fairytale-like story, and it was such a good read. I hope to read more from Lydian Faust!
Morgan K Tanner
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a tricky review to write. I don’t feel I can describe the events of this book without giving things away, and I’m very anti-spoilers, don’t you know!

Although saying that, it’s easy to state that this horror novella was a superbly horrific and fun ride into insanity (if that’s even possible). It took me no time at all to blast through this one, and some of the settings are still haunting my mind as I sit here typing away. Particularly that ‘hospital’. *shudders*

Without giving too much
Mike Thorn
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Full review from my website

Lydian Faust uses an intensive, boundary-pushing therapy session to frame her debut novella Forest Underground. The book’s “action” occurs mostly in the content of testimony and memory, but what Faust underlines most explicitly is the unexpected connection between two traumatized women—the doctor and the patient.

I’m impressed by Faust’s decision to use this structural approach to tell this story—she maneuvers through both the frame narrative and the use of multiple
The Grim Reader
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For Lydian’s debut novella release through Sinister Horror Company we are transported into a sort of dark fairy tale via an intense therapy session with a Dr whom also has a troubled past. Faust’s tale of madness is cleverly constructed, weaving two similar tales into one. We are given time with a small cast of intriguing characters that are well fleshed-out and believable. Forest Underground is a big idea inside a little book. There is much to explore in this sort of psychological unravelling ...more
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Forest Underground is a truly inventive and original work. I think what I really appreciate is how it comes at the story from several different perspectives, circling around the key players until it focuses down and brings everything together quite nicely and effectively.

I also liked the vibe of this book and how much of it has the feel of a really disturbing fairy tale. You won't be sure what's real or not and what the full story is behind the central character and I think that makes the story
Thomas Flowers
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FINALLY, more from the wickedly talented Lydian Faust. I've been fortunate once before, having read her short in Dark Designs: Tales of Mad Science, I knew then she had a flair for the dramatic and equally robust lycanthropic pose. In Wolfencorn there are glimpses of this "other" deeper level of fable, and in FOREST UNDERGROUND the complete vision unfolds. Faust's prose grows richer with this new story, dragged into a (forgive the pun) underground world of the mind in which reality and myth are ...more
Duncan Bradshaw
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy crap, it's been a while since a book grabbed me like that and near enough forced me to finish it there and then, alas, time constraints didn't let me, but I got through it as quickly as I could. The way it's written, really engages you from the get-go, through a nice set of twists and turns, and whilst they're not jaw-dropping, are still enough to pull you further into the story. Outstanding stuff from Ms Faust, if you want a quick read, this won't disappoint.
Matt (TeamRedmon)
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, read-2019
Quick and very creepy. Full review to come!
Thomas Joyce
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful and compelling debut, equal parts dark fairy-tale and psychological horror. Very well crafted. Brilliant!

Another fine book from The Sinister Horror Company, this novella is author Lydian Faust's debut. And what a way to announce yourself on the indie horror scene! Described as a dark fairy-tale, it certainly has elements of that, with Luna's retelling of her visits to Grandma's house while she is held in an unorthodox psychiatric facility by the enigmatic Dr. Sizemore. However, as
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I can't actually remember what made my buy this, because when I read the description later I was like, this doesn't sound like anything I'd read. I buy lots of stuff I don't remember buying on Amazon, that probably means they have a solid business model haha.

Anyway, this book was AWESOME. For the first couple of pages I was a little confused, but after it got rolling I was hooked till the end. Most of the first half is dialogue between a psychiatrist and a patient who's apparently delusional and
Patrick Loveland
Okay, I'm gonna be straight with you—not to offend anyone who can't get enough of it, but at this point, if someone tries to sell me on something by using words like 'Dark Twisted Spooky Fairytale' or anything like that, my instinctual reaction is to roll my eyes (or not move them at all, just staring blanky as they glass over a bit more) and move on. That's my default on that sort of thing.
So with that in mind, the same things could be said about this novella—but I loved it.
I've put some effort
Oliver Clarke
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review first appeared on, I received a copy of the book to review.

‘Forest Underground’ is the debut novella from Lydian Faust and is published by the Sinister Horror Company, a small UK based indie publisher. It’s very good indeed. In fact it’s the best indie horror I’ve read for some time.
I always worry when I see rave reviews of small press or self-published books. Instinctively, part of my brain wonders if the praise is just down to enthusiasm or hubris on the part of
Kayleigh Marie Marie
I ordered this as soon as it was released and ended up reading it in one sitting, it's pretty good! And as a debut, it's very promising. Looking forward to lots more from Lydian :)
Mark Cassell
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novella intrigued me from the first page, and that curiosity remained as I followed the story's dark path. It's a truly remarkable debut with a sharp plot, tight writing, and relatable characters. I'm most definitely going to follow Faust's work.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ms Faust has deft touch, skilfully combining the gothic, the psychological and the folk, to weave together this intriguing novella. I won't spoil the plot or settings, suffice to say that this is a good read by a writer who knows what she's doing. Recommended.
Danelle  @ Our-Wolves-Den
Lydian Faust was able to pull me in through a eerie story line and well developed characters. Even the characters that played small parts in the story were easily portrayed in my mind.

FOREST UNDERGROUND is, in my opinion, a very creepy messed up version of Little Red Riding Hood. Luna who is the central character is being held at a mental hospital, of sorts. She is Dr. Sizemore's very special case. As a reader you follow Luna's sessions with the doctor through Luna's memories to help explain
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven’t had a lot of reading time lately and I’ve had this book on my TBR pile for a while now. I picked it up the other day planning to read a few pages and see how it went. I found myself reading just over the first half of the book in one sitting. I then finished the rest in a second sitting. It’s rare I do that these days due to time restrictions.

I really enjoyed Faust’s style of writing which always helps with any book. Some authors write great stories but I just can’t quite gel with
Alice J.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Forest Underground was a good book, a delve into the terror of the mind and humanity, and certainly worth a read!
Matthew Tait
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sins of the Past. My favourite stories are those steeped in yesteryear, the subconscious, humanity trying to fathom the future by delving into ghosts of days gone by. In Forest Underground, the reader will receive plenty of all the aforementioned. Here, through the eyes of a doctor and patient (and set inside the cathedral atmosphere of abandoned school), Lydian uses horror, terror, and fantasy to define fundamental human states - ultimately leading to a unequivocal conjuring of trail by ...more
Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews
Lydian Faust delivers a damn fine debut novella with Forest Underground. It's a dark and disturbing fairy tale of terror! The story is told through memory and recollection during an extreme fringe therapy session. During the session, Luna (the patient) recounts her visits to Grandma's house.

Two backgrounds are explored in this novella–Luna and Dr. Sizemore. The tale unfolds beautifully with Luna's past in the first half and Dr. Sizemore's childhood in the latter half. I like how Faust uses
Peter Germany
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Forest Underground was very interesting and gripped my attention pretty quickly. Some books can take some time for me to really get committed to them, but this one had me within five minutes.
I liked how Lydian Faust teased a lot of the world but stopped short of really revealing what was going on. I think that may have broken the pace of this novella up too much if there’d been a lot of scene setting.
The story is really interesting and splits into telling the story of the two main characters,
Em Dehaney
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a stunning debut novella from Lydian Faust, which sucked me into it's dark world from page 1. You can hear the leaves rustling underfoot as you plunge headfirst into Luna's troubled mind. The way Lydian crafts this dark fairy tale thriller is masterful, and I can't wait to read more of her work. My only complaint is that it is a novella rather than a full novel, as I could have read another two hundred pages. Fantastic.
Israel Finn
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book starts off strong and then gets even better. For her debut, the author proves herself to be a masterful storyteller. Forest Underground is a dark fairy tale that kept me engaged all the way through to the end, and I was especially enthralled by the macabre scenes that took place in the girls' school. You'll see what I mean. An excellent debut from Lydian Faust, whose work I'll read in the future without reservation.
Sebastian Crow
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant little book. A twisted fairy tale / serial killer mash-up that'll leave you "hungering" for more.
Brian Barr
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dark, mysterious, and entertaining. A unique horror story with a classic feel. Fast-paced short story that is quite complex at the same time like a miniature puzzle. Loved it.
Matt Spencer
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I grabbed this slim volume on a lark – the first book of oft-anthologized dark scribe Lyian Faust – and was richly rewarded by a surreal, psychological, lightning-swift read that has (almost) everything that a good horror story needs, and nothing it doesn’t. The story first draws us into the uneasy interactions between Luna, a mental patient who may or may not be something other than human, and her psychiatrist, Dr. Alisha Sizemore, whose methods and motives are deeply questionable…all the more ...more
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Forest Underground has been on my shelf for much too long—I finally remedied this situation by making it the first read from my “official” February TBR list. Knowing that it’s Women in Horror Month makes it even more significant. I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t read many books by women authors, at least when it comes to the horror genre. I’ll be keeping that in mind throughout the year (not just this month) as I work on diversifying my reads a bit more.

Lydian Faust is an author I’ve
Theresa Braun
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whoah, what an experience. This read. There’s a lot going on and a lot to process, especially for a novella. Faust throws us into several therapy sessions with Luna, who is obviously dealing with a uniquely troubled past, one right out of a nightmarish fairy tale. However, we soon sniff out that Dr. Sizemore has a skeleton closet full of her own issues. What makes these women tick? And where is this all going? Those are only two of the questions keeping us hooked on the page. The believable ...more
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