UNDER THE RADAR – House of Night #1

Normally, I’d get this into my Quick Picks show, but I was so fascinated by its premise that it had to be a post of its own.

We’ve all seen the variations of the vampire mythology. Lately, it’s been swamped by the massive amounts of teenagers that believe vampires should be sparkly (and the upcoming Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1 movie will keep that trend going unfortunately). Scott Snyder’s American Vampire has kept the bloodthirsty side of vampires going for a couple of years, but besides that, not much else to please that side of the mythology.

Dark Horse must have been hearing the cries of that hardcore crowd because in my inbox was a sneak peek of House of House of Night #1, based on New York Times best-selling book from P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast.

Upon looking at the cover and preview images, one could easily dismiss to be a Buffy the Vampire Slayer knock-off but in Hogwarts, with the premise of a high school girl named Zoey Redbird coming to terms with her “vampyre” blood. But only when you start to learn about how she and her friends come to be part of this species that things to start get intriguing. The goddess Nyx plays a role in defining the vampyre culture, as shown by a flashback to medieval times that gives us some insight as to how this new academy came about. There’s a lot of layers to this mythology to hook you in, while keeping the teen angst that you come to expect from those struggling to accept their place in the world as they grow older.

The art is as fluid and clean as you get. Facial expressions are drawn really well. The flashbacks to a more savage period have a Northlanders and manga vibe to it if you could picture that. Overall, these are pages and panels that you’d want prints of hanging on your wall for sure.

And if that doesn’t entice you, it’s a freaking buck to purchase.

Dark Horse unfairly at times gets classified as a publisher that relies much on big name licensing in stories like Star Wars or Aliens, but they definitely have an eye for the smaller stories that would translate well to larger audiences. Give this one a shot and get a taste of the hemoglobin.

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