Friday, October 11, 2013

Nightschool: The Weirn Books (OEL manga, vol. 3) by Svetlana Chmakova

Nightschool: The Weirn Books is a fantasy series that includes vampires, witches, demons, and werewolves. It's published by Yen Press.

Synopsis:

While Daemon is off dealing with the werewolves, the Hunters are betrayed by one of their own. Meanwhile, Mr. Roi has finally remembered what it was that he and his colleagues sealed away long ago. Alex gets help in her search for her sister and continues to be unaware that the Hunters and Mr. Roi are looking for her.

Review:

One volume away from the end of the series, and there is still lots of stuff going on. I suspect I'm going to be really disappointed by volume 4.

A few things didn't make much sense. Like the magical circle bit, which took up several pages and didn't seem to show readers much that wasn't better explained elsewhere. And the grieving Hunter dad, whose anger over the Hunters' decision not to send someone after his son's killers prompted him to...try to kill more teens his son's age. Because that makes so much sense. Also, I'm now even less sure of what the Hunters are supposed to be. They don't seem to be human, and some of them have abilities much like those of various Night beings, and yet they are very adamant that they are a separate group. So, what are they? And is Daemon a special sort of Hunter, or could any Hunter eventually become as powerful as him?

I still enjoyed this volume and am looking forward to reading the last one. Daemon was awesome, as was Mr. Roi (in flashbacks, anyway). I unfortunately did not get the meeting/showdown between Alex and Mr. Roi that I had expected to see, but I'm assuming it will happen in the next volume. Because that's the only volume left.

Readers are finally given an explanation, of sorts, for the mysterious ghostly cloaks that keeping popping up, although I'm curious about whether Chmakova will show what happened that turned Alex's hair white and made her think she's cursed. Things are definitely coming together, and now everybody who wants to capture/kill/study Alex is about to find her.

That's pretty much all I can say without spoiling anything. There was lots of action, a few explanations, and a teeny tiny hint of romance (a new character named Eron, who has a massive crush on Alex's sister; Cassidy, a Hunter who I continue to think has a crush on Teresa).

Extras:

The volume ends with a chapter called “Nightschool: The Keeper's Books,” set prior to the beginning of the series. The Day Keeper is having a hard time keeping Nightschool activities a secret from daytime students and teachers and begs the principal to finally hire a Night Keeper. Enter Sarah, Alex's bumbling older sister.

There is also a 1-page author's note in comic form, seven pages of fan art, and four full-color main story pages.

Read-alikes and Watch-alikes:
  • Vampire Knight (manga) by Matsuri Hino; Vampire Knight (anime TV series) - Chmakova's nightschool vs. dayschool thing reminded me a lot of this series, which has a similar setup. Human students attend the school during the day. At night, vampires attend. In an effort to maintain order, the two groups are generally not permitted to mix. Fans of love triangles may want to give this series a try. I have written about the anime and the first volume of the manga.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (live action TV series) - The Hunters made me think of this TV show. Those who'd like a mix of supernatural action and humor should give it a try.
  • Sorcerers & Secretaries (OEL manga) by Amy Kim Canter - I think I own both volumes of this series, although I've only flipped through them so far. It has touches of fantasy, but I think it's more a contemporary-set romance about two people who are still trying to figure their lives out. Those who'd like to try more OEL manga might want to check it out.
  • Naruto (manga) by Masashi Kishimoto; Naruto (anime TV series) - The whole Sohrem bit reminded me of Naruto, another series in which Naruto and several other kids, through absolutely no fault of their own, have the potential to be taken over by the power of the most dangerous beings in their world. Those who enjoy Nightschool's action and fantasy aspects may want to give this series a try.

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