Vampires. Dear god vampires are everywhere these days. And most often then not they seem to be in high school. So for a series to set itself apart from the rest of the vampires in the medium, a book really needs to hook the reader in. House of Night: Legacy, while not entirely original, is more entertaining than most of the vampire related things out there right now.
I knew nothing of this series of books before reading this hardcover. Let alone that it’s a long established series of books and this hardcover takes place in between two of them. Over the span of these five issues, the reader gets a hold on the nuances of this universe and how everything works. The way vampires are presented is genuinely different, which keeps it from being boring. The series was clearly written for fans of the series, delving deeper into the mythology of what people already know. While I won’t be reading this series anytime soon, it surprisingly worked as a gateway to a bigger universe. The stories of vampires past was interesting, and handled well. These classic characters are barely changed, but it’s enough that you could imagine this happening to them and not messing up the story they are originally from. Characters could have used some more depth, but this is a tie-in story. If you’re reading this series, you are most likely a fan of the series and have a basic understanding of these characters and their interactions. This is mostly evident when the characters are talking about events and relationships that happened in the novels. Not the worst atrocity committed by a tie-in comic, but does hinder the enjoyment.
But the book doesn’t hide where it gets it’s influences from. House of Night: Legacy seems like a mashup between Buffy, Harry Potter, and Twilight. Kids have the wit of Joss Whedon, complain about boyfriends like it’s the only thing in the world, and they go to a school to learn how to be a good vampire. The mashup sounds like it shouldn’t work, and there are points where it doesn’t, but it does work. House of Night does fall into some of the generic story points for books like this. The students discuss classic tales of heroes who were vampires, and how their god, Nyx, helped them. But in the present day, Nyx helps them with simple self confidence problems that are solved by one sentence spoken by a supporting character. Doesn’t Nyx have something else to do besides helping this one girl in the middle of Tulsa? If the stories of Cleopatra and others hadn’t been in the same hardcover, I might have taken them a little more serious. But I couldn’t help but laugh at these situations. The humor can seem a little out of place, as these characters suddenly being witty bastards after speaking generic lines for a few pages is jarring. The school aspect all but yells that it’s copying things from Harry Potter.
The artwork is one of the better aspects of this collection. Each story is penciled by a different artist, with the school scenes penciled by Joelle Jones. Her artwork blends the fantasy and high school well. The backgrounds were what struck me, with a great amount of detail added to them. But then again, she only pencils about half the book, so it’s no surprise that everything is detailed. The five artists who handle the stories of ancient vampires fit their stories well. Most of them give the story a hue that matches the “element” that the story is talking about. While not surprising, it still makes the images pop off the page.
The biggest gaff this collection commits is the lack of extras. No sketches, no interviews, nothing. Even though I’m not a fan of this series, I would have liked to read a little bit about the series. Then again, the book is rather cheap on Amazon, so whoever buys this is already saving a bunch money. Fans of the House of Night: Legacy series would be wise to pick this series up.
Now I’m going to give this HC a 3.5/5. But, taking into consideration that I’m not a fan of the series, or that I had never heard of it before, I’d say fans of the series would give this HC a 4/5.
House of Night: Legacy HC is available on July 17th