ARC Review: Creatures of the Night

Creatures of the NightCreatures of the Night by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two of literary comics modern masters present a pair of magical and disturbing stories of strange creatures who are not quite what they seem! In The Price, a mysterious feline engages in a nightly conflict with an unseen, vicious foe. The Daughter of Owls recounts an eerie tale of a beautiful orphan girl who was found clutching an owl pellet–and how those who would do her wrong would face bizarre, unforeseen consequences.

Creatures of the Night collects two short stories – The Price and The Daughter of Owls. The artwork in this graphic novel is certainly the highlight – it is detailed, and the coloring is more elaborate than the flat color scheme we are used to. But it is also a very short book – 50 pages with both stories, so I think it was easier to go into so much detail when it came to artwork.

The Price is the story about a man who adopts stray cats left near his house. One such cat, the Black Cat seems to be always hurt or wounded in some way. Day after day, the cat seems worse in the morning. But when the cat is kept inside and not allowed to go out, terrible things happen to the people of the house. When the man tries to find out where the cat goes at night, he learns how thankful he needs to be to the cat. It is heartbreaking, the story, and something that subverts the superstition around black cats; I loved it for that part.

The next, The Daughter of Owls was probably too simplistic in storyline to really grab my attention. An orphan girl, with an owl pellet in her hand, is ostracized by the members of her village and is placed in the care of a retired nun. Later on, she grows to be an inhumanly beautiful girl who is in danger because of her beauty. The story was too linear and lacked the twist like The Price, which is why I was not so invested in it.

Overall, it is a beautiful bit of artwork to see, as well as a quick read.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Dark Horse Books, via Edelweiss.

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