Review: House of Night #1

Who likes teen vampires right? Well actually a lot of people like teen vampires, but their all tasteless asses. At any rate, House of Night is about teen vampires and I like it. I know go ahead and throw stones and blah, blah, blah, but really this is a good book and does things very differently from other teen vamp romps (do I need to name them?). Picture if you will, a school of teen vampires in the vein of Harry Potter. Do I have your attention now? Not a HP fan either? Tough crowd. Okay, picture a school of vampires that has a rich history running parallel with mankind and they don't creep around sucking blood in capes and aren't shoehorned into classic lore. The story begins with our main character Zoey Redbird is in the lunch line trying to remain hidden from her school rival. Through her narration we discover that Zoey is having a hard time fitting into school for several reasons, but the first is due to the fact that she is the first student to receive her filled in "mark" signifying she's an adult vampyre. The second reason involves taking her rivals place as leader of the "Dark Daughters" a group within the school. The problem for Zoey is that now she sticks out like a sore thumb with her tattoos and new position in the school and all she wants to do is fit in.

19159She seeks solace with her horse until her friends approach her about the Dark Daughters. They encourage her to try leading the group before giving up control, but she exclaims that she's not a leader and doesn't know how. The group consults their handbook and a particular story that gives Zoey guidance and puts her on the right path. What's good about the story is the mixture of the old and new. It gives the world a sense of realism and grounds it within historical events that adds a nuance to the story that can hook any reader. Another interesting choice that was made in the story was the choice not to start from the beginning of Zoey's journey and really cover the "how" and "why's" through dialog and a brief flashback.

The art duties were split for the story, one artist handled the modern-day side of things while the other delved in to the past story line.Personally I thought the art for the past story line was better than the art for Zoey's. It really captured the era and the look was just more enthralling. The other art was still very good, but at times the faces of the characters were a little too big. It was limited to just the early scenes so perhaps the artist became more comfortable with the style they were going for as they went on, but it still stood out to me.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It definitely has themes geared towards a younger audience, but the addition of historical events gives the teen vampire take something new and different. Frankly I kind of forgot that it was a vampire book until someone within the story brought it up. Also I think this was a great book to adapt in comic form as it has the potential to bring new readers to comics, particularly women and show them that comics are not all spandex, bondage and reboots.

Score: 4/5