The Weirn Books, Vol. 1
Be Wary of the Silent Woods
by Svetlana Chmakova
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Pub Date 16 Jun 2020 | Archive Date 08 Mar 2021
Yen Press, JY
Graphic novelist extraordinaire Svetlana Chmakova returns with a brand-new series for middle grade readers!
In the Night Realm, shifters, vampires, weirns, and other night things passing for human may prowl the streets, but school is still in session-and you still have to do your homework!
Average rating from 97 members
This was fantastic! I love the world the author created -- a mix of fantasy and magic, and all of the characters are very relatable! I can't wait to read about what happens next!
Fans on Chmakova’s will love The Weirn Books. Even though this story is very different from her ABC graphic novel series, readers will be hooked right away from the amazing story with just the right amount of spookiness and the great artwork. Plus will be wanting to know when the next is coming out! We’ll be handing to graphic novel fans who come to the library.
Loved it! Need a sequel ASAP please! This is really going to be popular with tweens, it's so stinking cute and the story is really fun and exciting with great art! I look forward to reading more adventures with this super fun group of weirdos!
Review to be posted tomorrow on my blog/goodreads.
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.
I just LOVE Svetlana's work and when I saw this book on Netgalley I had to request it. A big thank you for the publisher for granting my request! *is so hyped*
Meet Allis a sweet girl with chaotic hair. She is a weirn. A witch with an astral (for life). Her town is full of people like her and other beings. There is even a special school for her and those like her. She goes to school during the evenings (and I loved how the building just POOF changed from normal to freaking fancy awesome and can I please please go there). We see her try to juggle with school, being a weirn, but there is something spooky going on as well.
I loved Allis family. Her grandmother was awesome, albeit a bit grumpy at times (and did she really lick the food o.o). I loved the cousins, especially Na'ya. Though girl, please watch out with those spells. :P
Throughout the book we learn of magic (and what spells do), we see lessons at school and the school itself and I just loved those parts. Often with books with an awesome school the school gets kind of forgotten when creepy/awesome/etc. things happen. But not here. We learn of the past things that happened (kids disappearing), we see someone is stalking Allis and her friends. I was definitely curious who it was (I was making a list) and what it's purpose is, plus it was just so creepy.
Then things get really spooky and awesome when the kids go to find one of their own and get kidnapped. We learn more of the history of the house, what happened to those missing kids, and also what that being is that helps that person. I just felt so sorry for the one with the mask, being stuck like this for so long.. :( I loved what the kids did for them, that was just the sweetest and so wonderful.
I had such a big laugh about Jasper and his astral who just liked to throw all the things no matter how big or small. I do hope that Jasper is able to control his astral because dang so much chaos and damage.
The ending was amazing and just one big rollercoaster of OMG, OMG, OMG. And I am delighted there is an epilogue, I always love it when authors add those to their books because it can really complete a story and give us some closure on what happened in a book. Though in this case we didn't just get some closure... we also got a cliffhanger. Oh yes. I cannot wait for the next book.
The art is, as expected, gorgeous and I love love love the style of it.
I would highly recommend this amazing graphic novel to all.
I received an ARC through NetGalley from Yen Press. I loved Svetlana Chmakova’s Berrybrook Middle School series that began with Awkward and this graphic novel didn’t disappoint either. Ailis is a weirn who goes to school in the Night Realm with other weirns, shifters, vampires and werewolves. When her and her friends see a light on in the creepy old school where children disappeared decades ago they feel like something bad is going to happen. Then one of Ailis’s cousins disappears and her and her friends set out to save the day. Weirns are witches born with a demon guardian that reminds me of The Golden Compass, but with all the great middle grade-ness of the Awkward books. The art was fantastic, both Thing and the astrals were so alluring, LOVED it all. Highly recommended for Chmakova fans.
Once again, I am excited to delve into a world created by the creative genius of Svetlana Chmakova. There is a sense of slice-of-life even in this supernatural version of small town Americana where weirns (witches who have companions called astrals tied to them for life) and vampires and werewolves and other night things make a cozy living, and I cannot get enough of it. In fact, if you blended the Berrybrook Middle School series with Supernatural, readers would get this book.
With charming characters like Allis, Na'ya, D'esh, Russ, and even Grandma Julia, readers will enjoy the mystery that's tied to the old run-down mansion near their Night School. The closeness of family and friends (even frenemies/nemeses) is a key part of most of Chmakova's works, and it's no different in <i>Be Wary of the Silent Woods</i>. Whether looking for a supernatural summer read or perhaps a perfect book to get into the Halloween spirit come fall, I think many readers both familiar and new to Chmakova's work will enjoy this start to a new series. I know I'm looking forward to the next volume.
I was SUPER excited Netgalley allowed me to review Chmakova’s latest book. I absolutely love everything she does, though my favorite was her Nightschool series. Be Wary of the Silent Woods (The Weirn Books, Volume 1), is set in the same world as Nightschool with astrals, witches, werewolves, and every kind of night creature you may or may not have heard of living their lives at a different time of day. It’s fantastic. This book is focused on a set of middle-schoolers dealing with family, school drama, and learning magic. While it starts off hilarious, it quickly turns into a mystery and a group of 5 kids learning to solve a life-threatening problem on their own. You know, as they do in such stories.
My favorite parts of the book are the personal touches to the characters. For example, Grandma’s no-nonsense personality shows through on the sign her magic café’s door. The sign reads “NO we don’t sell stamps”. It feels like someone asked this question one time and she thought it was such a stupid question, she had to put a sign up. In that same panel, she says “You will bring your own mug and you will like it”, referring to how people take their coffee. That tells the reader that Grandma doesn’t play. It’s beautiful. The book gets even better when there is an actual RED BUTTON scenario just few pages later. There was the perfect opportunity to cast a spell and wreak havoc. I don’t know one middle-schooler, heck, one student who wouldn’t have done the same.
I was pulled into the Weirn Series world within the first few pages because the characters and situations are incredibly relatable and hilarious. Diversity even takes on a whole different meaning in these books and I love it. That the graphic novel gets even better the more you read just proves that anything Chmakova writes and illustrates is amazing. I can’t wait for more! It may read for middle-schoolers, but fans of Nightschool- which is more for high schoolers- like me will love it all the same.
Ailis and her cousin Na’ya are Weirns, a particular type of witch who has an Astral paired with them at birth. The girls attend school at night to learn all sorts of magical abilities, and can compete in Astral races with their partners. The girls often take a shortcut through the Silent Woods and past a house their grandmother has forbade them to go near. Of course, something bad happens with the scary house. This fun adventure comes complete with bullies and crushes, annoying little brothers, and lots of magic!
This book is very cute and the girls are a great team. I love the idea of an astral as a protector and sort of another arm of the character, complete with its own personality. Some of them are noble and keep their Weirns safe, others are troublemakers, and others are shy. Chmakova’s illustrations are cartoony but beautifully colored, conveying the magic of the world. The characters are all animated and have great facial expressions when they are shocked or acting sneaky. Even the astrals get some facial features!
This title is part of Yen Press' JY Imprint, a line of middle grade graphic novels. JY's age rating wasn't available, but this fun title is definitely something middle grade audiences would enjoy. There is no cussing, no drug use, and only a bit of scariness at the very end to of which warn some of the more timid readers.
Sara's Rating: 10/10
Suitability Level: Grades 4-10
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Net Galley. This graphic novel will be on sale TODAY! June 16, 2020.
Read more graphic novel reviews at www.graphiclibrary.org.
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