House of Night #1
Written by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast, Kent Dalian
Art by Joëlle Jones, Karl Kerschl
Covers by Jenny Frison, Steve Morris
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: November 9, 2011
Cover Price: $2.99
Imagine my surprise when I started reading this comic, one that I chose on a whim, and found it’s based on a young adult book series that I used to sell tons of during the last few years my bookstore was open. Now imagine my further surprise when I realized that I liked it! It’s got its quirks, but House of Night #1 is a pretty fun read.
Now, I went into this knowing exactly zilch about the books, so no preconceived notions about the characters or setting. Add to that the fact that there is absolutely no back story or prologue and you have a blank slate on which to create this series. P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast were familiar to me, but Kent Dalian is someone I didn’t know.
I liked the artwork of Joëlle Jones, it really seemed to fit the setting well. I was pretty happy with it until I saw the line work of Karl Kerschl in the sub-tale that takes place in Norway. At that point, I was beyond impressed. He positively captured an old world feeling and the stark landscape of the snow-covered Scandinavian country. Wrap this all together and it just meshed perfectly.
The start of the comic revolves around Zoey Redbird, a fledgling “vampyre” who seems to be a favorite of Nyx, the vampyre goddess. She had trouble fitting in as a human and not much seems to have changed about that. Even becoming leader of the Dark Daughters hasn’t helped. As a matter of fact, it seems to have earned her some enemies. My favorite part, though, has to be the referencing of Freya, who is described as a vampyre high priestess that the Vikings considered to be a goddess. A little historical tale about the founding of a “House of Night” in Norway interrupts the tale of Zoey but gives us some important history regarding the vampyres. It’s a very Norse kind of tale that leaves me wanting more of the history and art. Again, Kerschl did a stupendous job here. The transition between the stories is well done, almost seamless.
In summation, this is a fun read. Forget what you know about the typical vampire and ignore all that Twilight crap. Even the fact that this was originally geared towards kids does nothing to deter me from reading more of this series. I am sure this will appeal heavily to fans of the books but don’t be scared to pick it up, it’s funny and interesting. I was reminded of how rough growing up can be but, at the same time, I was impressed that it didn’t feel preachy. Give it a try, it’ll surprise you.