Review: The Night Eaters Vol. 1: She Eats the Night

Series: The Night Eaters #1
Author: Marjorie M. Liu
Artist: Sana Takeda
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Released: October 11, 2022
Received: Own

The Night Eaters Vol. 1: She Eats the Night comes straight from the creative team behind Monstress. (If you’ve never read Monstress, allow me to be the first to tell you that you are missing out). Marjorie M. Liu is the author, while Sana Takeda is the artist. They are an absolutely brilliant duo, and I would read anything they put out (seriously – I preordered The Night Eaters Vol. 1 before reading the description).

You must check out this series if you’re in the mood for a horror/fantasy series with stunning artwork. The Night Eaters Vol. 1: She Eats the Night is the first of three graphic novels, meaning there will be plenty of time to be spooked and enchanted.

Milly and Billy are Chinese American twins whose lives have ups and downs. They’re struggling to keep their restaurant alive, thanks to the pandemic. That’s why their parents, Ipo and Keon, are here to help out, though their definitions of ‘helping’ may be different.

Keon is content to be there for his children, offering advice and support as needed. Meanwhile, Ipo… thinks it would be best if the twins learned more about themselves and got a bit more responsible in the process. For that reason, she’s determined to make them clean out the abandoned house next door.

Writing

Wow. The Night Eaters Vol. 1: She Eats the Night is everything I could have hoped for and so much more. This is one of those haunting tales that sucks readers in right from the start. Granted, any story involving an abandoned (and probably haunted) house tends to have that effect.

The writing in this graphic novel is stunning. That’s no real surprise, as the same could be said for Monstress. Yet the themes in The Night Eaters hits so much closer to home, as it portrays an unconventional family in a real-world setting.

If you love subtle horror elements that weave into a deeply personal narrative, then you will love The Night Eaters. I already have so many questions, and I cannot wait to see how the rest of it pans out. Clearly, Marjorie M. Liu nailed it. Again.

The story has two dominant perspectives – the parents and the children. Billy and Milly are vastly different and constantly frustrated with their parents (something I feel like many readers can sympathize with). Likewise, Ipo and Keon are vastly different, one silent and the other calm.

Their stories take a while to unfold, but you’ll be at the edge of your seat, looking for each hint and drop of detail. At least, that’s how I was while reading. It’s a thrilling experience that isn’t afraid to get a little bit dark before the end.

Artwork

The artwork in The Night Eaters Vol. 1: She Eats the Night is stunning. Nearly any other descriptor feels weak in comparison. The artwork on each page has so much texture and detail that it feels like you could fall into it.

Which, admittedly, is borderline horrifying considering some of the subject matter inside. After all, who wants to fall into a horror series? There is something about texture and horror stories that make them go so well together, and this series is no exception.

The colors and sense of movement lend to the tale. The red hues set the tone, while the character movement provides a sense of chaos. This chaos is very much appropriate, given the themes and internal turmoil of at least two of the characters.

I’m constantly blown away by Sana Takeda’s artwork, and The Night Eaters Vol. 1: She Eats the Night is no exception. I can’t wait to see how everything looks in the next volume.

Conclusion

If you haven’t picked up The Night Eaters Vol. 1: She Eats the Night, please reconsider. This is a worthwhile read, especially if you love horror, subtle writing, stunning artwork, or complex family dynamics. All of that (and more) can be found within this series. I, for one, will be counting down the days until the next release.

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