Cover Image: The Weirn Books, Vol. 1

The Weirn Books, Vol. 1

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Member Reviews

Svetlana Chmkova can sell a book by her name alone at this point. Awkward, Brave, and Crush are gorgeous, gentle, relevant stories about life in middle school. They pull kids in and keep them reading. Based on these beauties I was excited to finally see how her storytelling and art translated into fantasy. Chmakova’s new series brings her back to a world she already knows well. From what I can tell, she wrote about weirns and their night school adventures already, though for high school, not the middle graders this one targets.

The Characters: Everybody’s adorable again!! (How does she do that?) Werewolf Russ is cute, kind, and mature-ish. D’esh so very happy and trusting. Jasper, with his deviant astral throwing this and breaking that, so not confident. The cousins are absolute dorks and somewhat prone to causing problems, but they’re either fine with that or not completely self-aware yet? Ailis’s grandma is pretty great, too. She makes no apologies and does weird stuff if her grand kids annoy her, like licking (or claiming to have licked) Ailis’s chocolate roll when she doesn’t wake up fast enough.

While the astrals hurt my eyes (they’re like optical illusions that never lock into place), they are also adorable and loyal; a combination of adoring pets, tiny children, and protective bouncers for their humans. My favourite moment is when Ailis’s astral is begging for its chocolate roll (the one grandma didn’t lick).

I liked the characters and their interactions better than the story itself. Chmakova knows how to make interesting people. The story itself is pretty standard: mad magical scientist experimenting on children and they will be her newest guinea pigs if they don’t escape.

After two references to angry mermaids, I was really hoping Chmakova was either going to keep randomly bringing up these totally irrelevant creatures (just because...) or that they would turn out having an unexpected key role in the resolution. Alas, there were no more mermaids after page... 2? 3? Maybe they’ll come back in a future book.
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In many ways, the Weirn Books series follows standard middle grade plots. The central focus is on school and interaction with peers. Thus we have bullies, popularity, and wanting to gain attention. The surface details make this one stand out from the pack. Sure, it's a magical school. It's also a complex magical world with a lot of associated rules. Magic has a cost, consequences for every spell cast. There is also a horror element, with a creepy building in the woods and a local legend about missing kids, elements that we aren't surprised to learn are associated. The illustrations are fairly cartoony and expressive, keeping this from becoming too creepy for young readers. Just the right level of scary for upper elementary kids. While the plot is fairly predictable, the journey is compelling.
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Allis is a weirn, a witch with a demon guardian. She attends school to learn about magic and also has to juggle her family, life as a weirn, and friendships. While out with her friends, they saw a light on in an old school that children disappeared from. Her cousin disappears, so now they all have to find her.

Chemkova wrote and illustrated other wonderful middle-grade books in the Berrybrook Middle School series. (Awkward, Brave, Crush and Diary) In this first volume of a new middle-grade comic series, the Night Realm is a place populated by shifters, vampires, and weirns. Other creatures that appear human live there as well as actual humans. Even so, the children still have to go to school! There are all the usual middle school drama pieces here, with friends and frenemies and nemeses, studying for tests and trying to do specialized training classes. Even if they don't have an astral of their own, kids will still appreciate the struggles of school and friendships. They know to avoid the creepy house in the woods and generally follow the rule until kids disappear again.

I love the art style, and the little touches that show how astrals protect their bonded witches. When it rains, they become umbrellas or will become spiky when a strange figure is stalking the witch. The story is revealed slowly, and the kids are very resourceful and brave in the face of danger. This is a great start to the series, with a final page that tells us that everything is not as calm or safe as the children all think it is.
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Good art. Good lettering.  A nice little story. A bit too much in the way of Basil Exposition early in the book hampers the pace at the start.
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This was such a cute read! I loved it! I wasn't too crazy about the art, but the story and the magical world were just amazing. The characters were cure and "natural" as they can be in a world like this, and I can't wait to read more by the author.
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This was my first introduction to the Nightschool world, after being a big fan of Chmakova's realistic middle grade books. Naturally, I immediately had to go back and read all of the Nightschool series. There's something special to that layer of intrigue in a story when the kids in an already magical world find a new magical mystery. Ailis and N'aya are charming and funny and their band of friends and family insulate against the darkness of the mystery they are drawn in to. I can't wait to share this book with so many kids.
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This was such a cute and fun graphic novel! This was the first time that I have read anything by Svetlana Chmakova and I must say that I enjoyed myself. I definitely plan on checking out further volumes in this series. Anyway, onto more about Be Wary of the Silent Woods.

The first thing I would like to write about is the art style. As you can see by the cover it’s adorable, I also found it very fitting to the whole atmosphere of the story. By which I mean that it felt very whimsical. The characters were good, but I didn’t particularly fall in love with them. The dialogue between them felt a bit over the top, which is understandable since they are children. I think someone younger would enjoy this graphic novel a lot. I especially enjoyed seeing the familial relationships in this story, they were so sweet. The story was interesting, I enjoyed learning more about the school and the magic of the world. There were some things that I found predictable, but that was expected since this graphic novel is aimed towards a younger audience.

Overall I enjoyed The Weirn Books Vol. 1 quite a bit. The story and setting were fun, I enjoyed learning more about the characters and there were some very heartfelt moments. I would definitely recommend checking this graphic novel out.
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Having enjoyed the original Nightschool series from Svetlana, I was excited to see the author/artist return to that magical world with a middle grade companion series. This first book even came with color illustrations to enhance the overall appeal, which I liked very much and hope continues going forward. This book’s art didn’t feel quite as refined as the original, but I think that’s due to the change in audience and not the talent and work that the author put forth.

Overall, I enjoyed the story as well as the art. I think my personal issue was that I was hung up trying to remember the original story, which I haven’t read in years and am not sure if I was able to read the final volume or not. So I was looking for familiar pieces with no luck because it’s been too long and I should have just made a point to read the original. I think if I wasn’t so focused on that I would have better enjoyed the story as presented because it was both creepy and well told.

I’m looking forward to future books in this series and will try to hunt down the original series as well 🙂
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I totally LOVED this graphic novel, it was so adorable. I loved the storyline/plot. I also enjoyed all the different characters that are all likeable in their own little ways. I love the mystery/ creepy vibe to it. The illustrations were awesome and very mystical and a little creepy. This book is perfect for middle-grade kids. I'm sure they will love it. 

I would like to say thank you to NetGalley and Yen Press for giving me the chance to read and review this very cute book.
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In 2020 I requested this book but was never approved until just recently. I'd kind of forgotten about it in the mean time. But I am glad that was still approved because this little middle grade graphic novel is just very cute.

The story follows Ailis and her cousin Na'Ya and their friends. Both are Weirn which is a type of witch that is also connected to a spirit. The spirits are fiercly protective of them and have their own personalities and preferences. They don't go to a regular school but to the Night school. A school at night as the name suggests. It is where they as weirn but also other supernatural creatures like vampires and werewolves go for schooling.

The two always take a shortcut through the woods and pass an old and abandoned school. But is it really that abandoned? When a weird creature takes one of their classmates and Na'Ya's little brother they take it upon themselves to investigate the matter.

Ailis and Na'Ya are best friends and quirky little things. They always seem to get into trouble for trying to be themselves. But they are fiercelely protective of each other and their family. Their interactions with their grandma, Na'Ya's little brother and their friends are cute and feel real.

The whole of the setting is also really interesting. The idea of a night realm and a night school I've always found interesting. But also the Weirn is an interesting kind of idea. There have been previous graphic novels set in this world by this author I saw, but I don't think they are middle grade as this one is. In any case I can't wait to see how this story will be continued.
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<i>arc provided by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review</i>

I had such a blast with this graphic novel! It was the perfect introduction to this series and I am eagerly awaiting the sequel after that ending👀

In this story we follow this group of teens, mostly following a pair of cousins who are weirns. Weirns are like witches and wizards in this world as they use magic and they have the most adorable little sidekicks called Astrals.

There’s a mystery going on when this creepy creature suddenly starts appearing after the kids find an old journal entry about kids that had gone missing decades ago— and a similar situation starts occurring once more.

I really enjoyed this! It was fun, it had funny moments and some really creepy moments. It had me on the edge of my seat and I completed it in a single sitting. The art was awesome! The style and the colours really keeps your attention the entire time.

I definitely recommend this if you like graphic novels! Especially one with magic and mystery and family!

4/5⭐️

TW: missing children, murder of a child, violence, kidnapping.
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I have always been curious about Svetlana Chmakova's works, so why not start with what I know best...the paranormal! Honestly, this work does an excellent job of balancing the paranormal and the everyday life things that children go through. Plus, I really dug the art.
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This was great fun! We have a small New England town that has a large population of supernatural beings- mermaids, vampires, shape-shifters, werewolves, and witches, including a special type of witch called a weirn, a witch born with a demonic guardian spirit called an astral attached to them for life. The town has a "normal" realm, where regular humans live, and a night realm, where the more magical people live. During the day, the local school is normal; after sundown, it changes to a school for the night things. You get the idea, I'm sure. Without giving away any of the story, we have a creepy tale of spooky woods that hide an abandoned mansion, the site of a school 70 years in the past, where a group of weirn children and their headmistress disappeared without a trace. We have a group of weirn kids in the present who must join together to stop this from happening again, while dealing with the usual childhood dramas of growing apart from friends, getting teased and bullied at school, wanting to fit in, and dealing with crushes. The characters are well-fleshed out and relatable, the ties of family and friendship feel warm and real, and the world building and magic system are well done. The story has a nice balance of everyday life and action scenes, with lots of creepiness and intrigue, with hints of what will come in the future. Finally, the art is so fun- the color schemes give the night realm an other-worldly feel, there's lots of detail in the panels, and the expressions on the characters sometimes are priceless! Also, I really want an astral. Like, really a lot. 

#WeirnBooks #NetGalley
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This was a super entertaining, exciting, full of life story! I have two little cousins for whom I am always looking for books that manage to be interesting and captivating but also provide nice lessons and beautiful imagery.

I highly recommend this one for any middle-grader but also adults who want something very lovely to read!
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The Weirn Books, Vol. 1: Be Wary of the Silent Woods, by Svetlana Chmakova

Fun! Engrossing! Dynamic! This was a very exciting graphic novel read that was unputdownable. 
 
I loved the atmosphere that included normality by day and Night Realm by night! Shape shifters, weirns, wolves and other night terrors set against primal fears of abduction and torture paired with cheeky banter and magic. The art work is incredible, upping the creepy vibes and really adding to the character and world building.
 
This was a quick and enjoyable read that is great for middle grade to adult adults (if they will share!) I’m already looking forward to Vol 2! 
 
My thanks to NetGalley, Yen Press and Svetlana Chmakova for the digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
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The Weirn Books by Svetlana Chmakova is a book I requested a long time ago, but only got approved to now. And I am very happy I got it because I Loved it. The writing style is great and the humour and sarcasm are On Point! It works really well together with the format and plays around with the fond to make it a truly dynamic reading experience. The art style was maybe a bit too simple for my liking, but I got used to very quickly. My only minor issue is that it could have been a bit darker… When the scary shit goes down everything is just a bit too pretty, pink and purple.




I loved the story and the idea of the world. The book is set in world where all the paranormal kids come out at night to go to school. And of course there is a scary mansion in the middle of the dark woods, where kids have gone missing. Not anything original, but perfectly executed.

Overall this was a Really fun read that I just absolutely adored! I believe the author already has some books set in the same universe, for an older audience, so I will check those out for sure.
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Reasonable comic for young readers, if you can get past the fact it doesn't really manage to define the lead characters (other than the fact they're some kind of unearthly, magical kind of humanoid species that comes with a cross between a Pullmanesque daemon and a doodle of Venom), and of course that it's done in that really annoying manga style.  Here it's used on the text just too much for me, with about three font sizes (whisper it) in every frame, although the full-colour artwork is much more westernised than it might have been.  The older reader has to get past some really bratty schoolchildisms as well, before the intrigue regarding the local haunted mansion and local spooky humanoid thing can be resolved.
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I do enjoy a good graphic novel every now and again. This particular one I had seen on Netgalley last year but wasn’t approved for it until yesterday. I have never had that happen before but I guess there is always a first for everything!

I started reading it pretty quickly after since I like to get the shorter books, especially graphic novels, out of the way so my rating stays high. There wasn’t much to go off from the blurb so I dived in with as little expectations as possible.

The graphic novel starts off introducing the town they live in and how there are different things living there like werewolves, vampires, weirns, and a lot more. I honestly didn’t know what a weirn was but it is explained as well. If you are curious its a witch with a demon astral sidekick! I thought that was an interesting concept.

There is mystery surrounding one part of the woods where nothing grows and no one goes. There is also a mansion in it that no one goes to and as the story progresses we find out why.

The mystery definitely had me intrigued and I liked learning about the disappearance of the children and the headmistress that disappeared as well. It’s pretty creepy but not as creepy as some other Middle Grade books I have read. I would say this one is pretty mild.

The children in this book are diverse and all have different personalities.

Overall, this was good. It lacked something for me but I just can’t pinpoint it.
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Thank you to NetGalley and JY for an eARC of this title

I really enjoyed this graphic novel. I loved the urban fantasy vibes and the mystery. I found the world really interesting and world-building was explained really well. The characters were also really interesting and different. I found them to be well written and they really did feel like kids at school. I enjoyed the dynamics between the friend group and other students at school.

Overall, I think this story was very fun and exciting. I couldn’t guess what was going to happen, which is always fun. The mystery and magic were all very interesting. I loved the wide variety of magical people and creatures. I would highly recommend this to children and adults alike!

Rating: 4/5 stars
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Allis is a weirn: a witch with an astral. She lives in a town where there are several people like her and goes to a school during the night. When a creepy figure keeps appearing and the history of the creepy house in the woods resurfaces, our cast decides to investigate. 
I really enjoyed this graphic novel. The characters were so fun. Especially Jasper and his chaotic astral.
I'm looking forward to reading the next volume, since we were left with such a cliffhanger.
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