Joy Kim

Librarian. Book Reviewer. Coffee Addict.

Chmakova, Svetlana: Nightschool: The Weirn Books, vol. 2

nightschool_2.jpgAlex Treveney is searching for her missing sister, Sarah, who has disappeared and been forgotten by all who knew her. It doesn’t take Alex long to realize that any answers will be found inside the Nightschool where Sarah worked; however, getting past the school’s defenses proves to be unexpectedly difficult. Meanwhile, the hunters are regrouping after their earlier run-in with Alex left three of their own in critical condition. But they won’t have much time to rest either, as new trouble is heading their way.Volume 2 of Nightschool represents a marked improvement over volume 1. The narrative here is much less bogged down with setup, and as a result, the focus moves away from the rather derivative elements of the premise, like vampire and demon hunters, and onto the characters.

This gives Alex, our protagonist, a chance to shine. Her concern for her missing sister makes her determined and fearless. When her first attempt to infiltrate the Nightschool doesn’t go so well, she promptly finds another way in. This is quite a change from the character we met in volume 1, who often just reacted to things happening around her; the Alex we see in volume 2 makes things happen. I particularly loved her showdown with a rather condescending teacher in chapter 11. And all of her interactions with her astral continue to be adorable. The scene where the pair tackle some very tedious paperwork had me laughing out loud.

In comparison, the rest of the cast remains a bit underdeveloped. The hunters’ personalities do begin to come through a little as they worry about their injured friends, but overall, they feel rather generic. (It’s never a good sign when I know so few characters’ names this far into a story.) Even their teacher, Daemon, is stereotypically mysterious; there’s nothing new about being tall, dark, and taciturn.

Chmakova’s art continues to be a pleasure; it’s full of energy, personality, and humor. I especially love how she uses her art to highlight the many moments of comic relief; the characters’ expressions do a great job of selling the jokes. (Don’t miss the hilarious scene where one character attempts to describe her reading material to another one.)

Volume 2 of Nightschool may fall a little short of meriting a grade of A, but it offers readers plenty of reasons to stick with the story. I’ll hope that future installments develop the secondary characters and plotlines more. I’m definitely looking forward to reading volume 3!

This book is printed in the larger 5.75″ x 8.25″ trim size and includes one very pretty insert of color pages, two pages of author’s notes, and two pages of fanart.

Review copy provided by Yen Press.

Review originally published at

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