The Night Eaters, Vol. 1: She Eats the Night by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda

Intrigued by the title and cover of this latest graphic novel by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda, I decided to give it a shot despite not being a fan of ‘Monstress’. Sadly, it seems that this creative duo is just not for me. In She Eats the Night we follow twins and restaurant co-owners, Milly and Billy. In addition to the difficulties of keeping their business afloat they also have to contend themselves with their parents’ annual visit. Ipo and Keon, who left Hong Kong for America hoping that their children would ‘prosper’, wonder whether they have shielded them too much. While Keon is more of a laid-back kind of father figure, Ipo is shows little empathy or interest in her children, and most panels show her scowling or looking hard-edged (no doubt these are meant to make her look intriguing and badass but to me, it just made her overly callous and even difficult to take seriously). Ipo enlists Milly and Billy to clean up the house next door, which exudes bad vibes. Although this is listed as a horror, and there are some scenes that are meant to inspire fear/unease in readers, I just found the overall tone and direction of the story to be very corny. A lot of scenes and dialogues exist only to confuse us, readers, when it comes to Ipo and Keon’s motivations (what are they hiding? how do they know about this house? why are putting their children in danger?). I just wasn’t a fan of the parents or their dynamic. The twins were bland and mostly there to react to the weird things that are happening in their lives.

I am afraid that She Eats the Night was not the kind of horror graphic novel I was hoping it would be. The dialogues are clunky, the art style didn’t really grab me, and the story is trying too hard for this ambiguous vibe that ultimately comes across as trying too hard to be mysterious.
If this graphic novel is on your radar I recommend you check out more positive reviews.

My rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

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