The GeeksverseHouse Of Night #1 – Advanced Review

House Of Night #1 – Advanced Review
Published on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 by

Written by: P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast, Kent Dalian
Art by: Joelle Jones w/ Karl Kerschl
Cover by: A- Jenny Frison; B- Steve Morris

Editor’s Note: The review copy did not contain a credits page so full credit could not be given.

Apparently House of Night is a pretty popular series of novels by P.C. Cast. I hadn’t heard of it until the news that Dark Horse was picking it up as a comic.

Prior knowledge is somewhat essential as the story opens up at the House of Night and after some adventures have happened. The opening contains alot that a fan would understand but a new reader would not. It makes it hard to get into at first. A new reader feels left out and at a disadvantage. Even Zoey’s friends aren’t immediately, if at all, introduced. The writing team works off the assumption that only existing fans would pick the comic up.

But really this only lasts past the few opening pages. Once the main action of this issue gets going, a new reader can come along for the ride. The team does good using a story from the history of the vampyre’s in such a way that it helps out Zoey’s questions about why she was chosen to lead the Dark Daughters.

Then again, that only serves to help highlight what is missing in this comic, the backstory. Apparently humans and vampyres coexist fairly peacefully. Adolescent vampyre’s get marked, a tattoo on their forehead that is empty, and then they go through a change and get adult tattoos. But none of this is ever fully explained. The change is talked about but not explained. The significance of the tattoos is never mentioned except that because Zoey’s 16 and has a filled mark and adult tattoos it makes her an oddity.

And the House of Night itself is never really explained. Apparently it’s a school where fledgling vampyres can go and the humans know about them. And they have elements that they have an affinity for, except Zoey has an affinity for all of them?

It’s hard to end up liking the issue even though it’s well written, well paced and utilizes an interesting plot device. All the pieces for an excellant comic are there. The dialogue is good. The characters sound like teenagers. The plot, basically vampire high school, could be interesting and make for some fun reading.

And the art is good. Jones has an interesting style and fun style. Her expressions of the girls is spot on. She has a good grasp of storytelling and her pages flow smoothly with the dialogue.

This would be an excellent comic except for the prior knowledge requirement.

House of Night #1 receives
3.5 out of 5

It would have gotten graded lower because of the lack of accessiblity for a new reader but the art and story itself help bring the grade up.

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