Saturday, March 24, 2012

Night School, Volume 1: The Weirn Books

I've been hearing great things about this manga series, which my library, sadly, does not own. When the upgrade for my color Nook came out a few months ago, allowing me to read graphic novels on it for the first time, I thought it might be fun to try some. After enjoying my first experience (after an initial adjustment period) with Welcome to Lovecraft, I purchased and downloaded this one. I had read and very much enjoyed Chmakova's Dramacon series a few years ago, so this seemed like a good choice.

It is an intriguing story - just the setup for the rest of the series, really, but the brief look into the lives of these characters made me care about them and want to know the rest of the story.  The protagonists are two sisters.  Sarah, who is the older sister, is the new Night Guardian of a special kind of school - one where very unusual students attend at night.  Alexius, the younger sister, is a teenager and possesses some sort of supernatural abilities that aren't quite clear yet, but it seems to be because of these powers that she is home schooled.  Alexius becomes involved in a confusing but intriguing way with some hunters who are apparently chasing some supernatural baddies.  At the same time Sarah is pulled through some kind of portal, not only vanishing from the school, but also from the minds and memories of nearly everyone but her sister.

This first volume was a lot of fun, and I'm definitely committed to reading further in the series.  I enjoy Chmakova's storytelling style, as well as her artwork, which follows traditional manga conventions while having its own distinct style, giving the tale a quirky, subtle humor combined with a nicely creepy atmospheric feel. The images I've included with this review were taken with my iPhone camera of the book as it appears on my Nook screen.  They came out better than I expected.  At any rate, fans of manga with supernatural elements combined with intriguing mysteries will be sure to enjoy this one.

Books in the Nightschool: The Weirn Books series:

Nightschool: Volume 3
Nightschool: Volume 4
Nightschool: Volume 5

Also by Svetlana Chmakova:
Dramacon, Vol. 1

Night School, Volume 1: The Weirn Books by Svetlana Chmakova (Yen Press, 2009)

Also reviewed at:
Back to Books "I found the story very intriguing and am very interested in Alex's character and her secret."
Stella Matutina "It’s very good, but I fear I haven’t much more to say about it. It really does read like the first chapter of a larger work; intriguing and enjoyable, but by no means fully contained."
The Written World:  "I also enjoyed how she managed to take something that is maybe, possibly starting to get a bit overdone and make it her own. She has an original story here that I am looking forward to reading more of."


  1. I don't know what it is with my library and this author... Dramacon they never bought book 3 and this series they never bought book 4!

  2. Kailana - Doesn't that just drive you crazy? We have the 3 volumes of Dramacon, and it circs really well. So I have no idea why we never got this one. I'm going to request it, although I think collection management is getting sick and tired of all my graphic novel requests. But really, it's the best circulating part of our collection, kids and YA. I get back a lot of "budget" cited as reasons for not getting them. Sigh.


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