Nightschool, Vol. 2
By Svetlana Chmakova
Published by Yen Press
Determined to find out what happened to her sister Sarah, young weirn Alex enrolls in the nightschool, though just getting inside proves to be more of a challenge than she could have expected. Her first “night” gets off to a rocky start as well, when Alex’s unusually advanced magical skills win her an enemy on the teaching staff. Fortunately, her abilities get her transferred into a class that may very well be the key to her search for Sarah, though Alex is undoubtedly in great danger there herself. Meanwhile, the Hunters are on a search of their own, desperate to find the silver-haired girl who stole life away from a number of their crew, though evidence suggests it may be too late to save them.
After the first volume’s whirlwind pace, Svetlana relaxes a bit in the second to provide some very rewarding moments of drama and playful characterization. The story’s momentum hasn’t subsided in the least, but this volume has a bit more ebb and flow to it, pausing gravely over the fate of the fallen Hunters, accenting some bits of humor involving the supporting characters, and offering up Alex’s somewhat bratty yet immensely satisfying triumph in astral training class.
Sarah’s disappearance (even from people’s memories) continues to be a mystery, though there is an interesting exchange between Alex and the leader of the main nightschool student clique, suggesting that Alex may not be the only one who remembers her sister. Alex’s true identity remains a mystery as well, and although a few small clues have been laid out, I find I honestly don’t yet want to know. Like all well-told stories, the true pleasure is in the journey and Nightschool‘s journey is so well-paced and deftly plotted, I’m more than content to take it as it comes.
Yen Press’ production is lovely, with a small swath of color pages provided several chapters in. The larger trim size is a nice treat as well and I’m really glad this series has been given such deluxe treatment.
The more I read, the more I enjoy Nightschool. Its intriguing characters, snappy dialogue, easy-flowing artwork, tight pacing, and wonderfully suspenseful plot make it a true gem in Yen Press’ OEL catalogue.
Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by the publisher. Also, I once sat next to Dee DuPuy at dinner.