Graphic Novel Review: House of Slaughter, Vol. 1
Hope you’re having a great week.
Today I’m back with another graphic novel review. This time I read The House of Slaughter, Vol. 1 by Boom Studios.
This was a buddy read between me and book buddy Gigi aka The Beachy Reader. Gigi actually recommended this as a buddy read, and when I realized this was an extension of the Something is Killing the Children universe, I totally fanboyed out!
Alright, on to the review!
A BRAND NEW SERIES IN THE WORLD OF SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN!
Discover the inner workings of the House of Slaughter in this new horror series exploring the secret history of the Order that forged Erica Slaughter into the monster hunter she is today. You know Aaron Slaughter as Erica’s handler and rival. But before he donned the black mask, Aaron was a teenager training within the House of Slaughter. Surviving within the school is tough enough, but it gets even more complicated when Aaron falls for a mysterious boy destined to be his competition. Dive deeper into the world of Something is Killing the Children in this first story arc by co-creator James Tynion IV (The Department of Truth, The Nice House on the Lake) and co-writer Tate Brombal (Barbalien), with art by rising star Chris Shehan (The Autumnal) and co-creator Werther Dell’Edera (Razorblades). Collecting HOUSE OF SLAUGHTER #1-5
I am an Amazon affiliate and earn a tiny commission for purchases made through the Amazon links in this post at no cost to you. It’s a great way to help me keep things running on my blog if you’re already intrigued enough to make a purchase.
You won’t find a bigger fan of Something is Killing the Children than me, so when I heard about this I had to read it, stat! Unfortunately, this graphic novel left me with some mixed feelings.
In a nutshell, this graphic novel focuses on the House of Slaughter within the Order of St. George and the issues they’ve faced in the past and present. Jessica is Erica and Aaron’s mentor, but Aaron just isn’t cutting it when it comes to his training. Things get even more complicated when a white mask named Jace ends up being his roommate, beginning a long journey of self-discovery, love, and heartache for the both of them.
Alright, so the premise really worked for me and drew me in. Up until this point, we’ve seen very little of Jessica, and Aaron has been little more than a side note in Erica’s journey, so I was excited about that. I also liked the idea of chiseling out more of the dynamics of the Order of St. George and the politics within. Lastly, we really need more LGBT romances in popular fiction, so I was eager about all of these things. What I think broke the camel’s back was the execution of all of these things.
As a character, I wanted to like Aaron. He’s sensitive, gay, and sticks out in his dangerous environment. In the end though, he was disappointing. Over the course of the graphic novel, people are continuously telling him he needs to toughen up in order to survive the Order, which is actually sound advice. Aaron doesn’t listen and even goes out of his way to tell others that he has emotions. That’s fine and dandy, but in his situation he really does need to focus on his training.
He doesn’t really show much drive throughout which makes him seem weak, and even when he finds something to fight for, his efforts just don’t really seem to do much. I didn’t like this portrayal, especially since his character is gay. LGBT individuals aren’t weak or overly emotional.
Jace was a strong individual and I did enjoy the romance element, but it didn’t make up for Aaron’s shortcomings.
We did get to see more of the rituals and ceremonies concerning the Order, especially with the totems, but it left me wanting more. I’m assuming the overall state of the monster situation is something that will be revealed in time, but even a hint would be appreciated. I also didn’t understand why there was competition between the white and black masks when the overall goal is still to kill monsters. There could’ve been a bit more clarity there.
Overall, this graphic novel didn’t quite hit the mark. I do look forward to continuing this expansion (the next volume is a different story than this one from what I’ve heard), but my expectations will be lower than the main series.
That’s A Wrap!
Well that’s it for this graphic novel review. I hope you enjoyed it!
Have you read this graphic novel? Are there similar ones you’ve read that you simply have to gush about? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to start a conversation!
Have a great day!