Review- House of Night #1

By Chuck Suffel
Writer: P. C. Cast, Kristin Cast, Kent Dalian
Artist: Joëlle Jones, Karl Kerschl
Cover Artist: Jenny Frison

P.C. Cast is an accomplished novelist who has written eight novels in the “House of Night Series” (one of those is pending) her website describes the series like so: “This spellbinding new book series follows fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird as she enters the mysterious House of Night school, gains astonishing powers and searches for eternal love.”. Oh boy you can imagine how much yours truly (41 yr old comic book and sci-fi nerd) was looking forward to it. I stopped reading Sookie Stackhouse novels because they were too “touchy feely”and a little whiny. I dig heroins in comics Batgirl and Batwoman are both on my monthly pull list only after New 52 did I lose interest in Birds of Prey and I still miss Scandal Savage and the rest of the Secret Six. But this sounded like a teen romance novel with vampires or vampyre as they’re referred to here.

So I sat down with my cup of coffee put up my feet and dug in. First and foremost Joëlle Jones and Karl Kerschl’s artwork is simply beautiful, the style is fresh and interesting and the characters are defined and recognizable.

I haven’t read any of P.C. Cast’s novels so I’ll admit I was a little lost as to the world these characters inhabit and it’s rules and such. The story is pretty straight forward and accessible though, our main character Zoey Redbird a sixteen year old vampyre, is attending House of Night a finishing school for young vampyres. She has been marked (chosen) by NYX the vampyre goddess to be her “true daughter” which of course makes her quite the teacher’s pet. There’s also the obligatory “scooby gang” group of friends (called the nerd herd by the mean girls). But for all the “chosen one” and “nerd herd” similarities this story doesn’t feel stale. It’s handled a little differently and in some ways it actually feels a bit more believable.

In the midst of this we get treated to a story that takes place in Norway circa 1270 giving us a glimpse of the vampyre mythology. These aren’t the vampires you’re used to seeing, this isn’t True Blood or Blade or even Lost Boys these vampires are presented as more of a race not good or evil per say at least as far as issue one.

Novelists don’t always make a smooth transition to comics but P.C. Cast has really scripted a good story. I’d love to know who did the panel breakdowns because it flows really well and isn’t bogged down by over narration.

I’m haven’t been into teen angst since Paul Zindel wrote “The Pigman” and “The Undertakers Gone Bananas” and I enjoyed this book it may get to emo as time goes on but as of right now I’m interested in seeing where she takes the characters.

Follow Chuck: Twitter @Chuck_Suffel