Prime Cut Review: House of Night
Writers: P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast, and Kent Dalian
Artists: Joëlle Jones, Karl Kerschl, Joshua Covey, Daniel Krall, Jonathan Case, and Eric Canete
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: June 27th, 2012
Vampires: I personally feel the world has seen enough of the Hollywood version of vampires. Nothing against films like Twilight, I just have no desire to ever see one, based off of what I have seen in commercials and trailers. So when the graphic novel collection of House of Night crossed my desk, I was hesitant to say the least. It looked like teenage angst meets vampires, and quite frankly, I wasn’t sure if I could read a whole collection of vampire love triangles and so forth. Luckily, I was completely wrong, as House of Night took a bite right out of all my misconceptions.
Story: The House of Night franchise is over ten books deep, having a massive following and the rights to the feature length film already purchased. Yet, this graphic novel was my introduction in to the House of Night universe. The story goes like this: some teenagers have a gene in them that, well, turns them into vampyres in four years. If this gene is detected, the teen must go to one of the House of Night boarding schools as a fledgling vampyre, where they will either make it through as a vampyre or die trying. Take note, this is a book for mature readers, hence the Age 14+ rating.
Sixteen year old Zoey Redbird is one of these fledglings, yet one of the most powerful as she received powers from the Vampyre God Nyx. The book is comprised of several different stories centered around different powers Zoey has, and how the power came to be. What this means is a colorful, masterful trek through time via flashbacks, as we see Vampyres throughout history: from the days of Hercules, to the Celtic lands of Queen Boudica and fateful journeys of Odysseus. This aspect of the book pulled me right in, as the meshing of history with fantasy is done in an entertaining and outstanding way.
Art: The artwork is shared among a plethora of artists, all suited to each individual flashback. The artwork pops at you, bringing the magical world of House of Night to life from panel to panel. My favorite artwork comes during the Odysseus flashback, as the art fits the time period perfectly. The covers are another aspect that should be noted: the cover, as well as the covers included for the individual issues released, does exactly what a cover should: it makes you want to read it.
Overall: I think a good way to describe the House of Night is this: Harry Potter throughout history with vampires. I say that as a well-deserved compliment: the epic scope of House of Night has the same staying power as the boy wizard does. After reading this collection I find myself wanting to know more and more about this highly creative universe. Highly Recommended, I give House of Night a perfect ***** out of 5.