Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Nightschool, vols. 1-3

By Svetlana Chmakova
Published by Yen Press

Slugline: A other kind of Plot? What Plot? story.

Sarah is the new Night Keeper of the Night School, a school for supernatural children including Weirns (witches), vampires, mermaids and many others.  Being held in a public school after the human children have left shows how close the two worlds are, especially since there are Hunters who make sure that the night creatures do not push at their boundaries.  But Sarah’s disappearance, not only physically but from people’s memories begins a series of events that may bring a dangerous prophecy to pass.  Sarah’s sister Alex already has a curse upon her, but to find the sister that no one remembers she enrolls in the Night School while a group of trainee Hunters and their Seer try to find who stole time from some of them.  There is seven prophecy children and though they are not known even to themselves, the consequences of their meeting will be terrible.

The characters are done well, at turns scary as they show off their more dangerous aspects while at other times they are cute and childish such as when they act like the teens they are.  The big problem is that while there is a strong overall plot, with the prophecy and the seven children waiting meet again, the actual plot in each chapter moves slowly.  Part of it may be a function of having to follow multiple characters who may (or may not) be the prophecy children but the end result is that Sarah’s story comes across as the main story but not as the most important one considering the number of scenes she isn’t even tangentially involved in.  The other potential prophecy children get less time than she does but get equally complicated plots so it feels that their stories are moving at a snail’s pace.  It didn’t feel so bad in the first volume, but by the end of the third the feeling becomes oppressing and the question is when are things going to happen?

Nightschool, vol. 1, vol. 2 and vol. 3 are all available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.

- Ferdinand 

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