Reviews

The Weirn Books, Vol. 1: Be Wary of the Silent Woods, by Svetlana Chmakova

zody's review against another edition

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4.0

A group of friends stumble upon a mystery that has been brewing for decades. These ruff and tumble kids are not only dealing with magical mysteries but also trying to get through middle school. The characters are quirky and endearing while the plot keeps the reader engaged and wondering what will happen next. Looking forward to the next volumes!

annaerys's review

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3.5

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This was such a cute and fun graphic novel! This was the first time that I have read anything by Svetlana Chmakova and I must say that I enjoyed myself. I definitely plan on checking out further volumes in this series. Anyway, onto more about Be Wary of the Silent Woods.

The first thing I would like to write about is the art style. As you can see by the cover it’s adorable, I also found it very fitting to the whole atmosphere of the story. By which I mean that it felt very whimsical. The characters were good, but I didn’t particularly fall in love with them. The dialogue between them felt a bit over the top, which is understandable since they are children. I think someone younger would enjoy this graphic novel a lot. I especially enjoyed seeing the familial relationships in this story, they were so sweet. The story was interesting, I enjoyed learning more about the school and the magic of the world. There were some things that I found predictable, but that was expected since this graphic novel is aimed towards a younger audience.

Overall I enjoyed The Weirn Books Vol. 1 quite a bit. The story and setting were fun, I enjoyed learning more about the characters and there were some very heartfelt moments. I would definitely recommend checking this graphic novel out.

caroline_the_reader's review

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adventurous mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Beautifully drawn, great interactions between the characters, very spooky.  My kids and I loved it.

arydwn's review against another edition

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5.0

Huge thank you to Yen Press and NetGalley for providing me a copy for reviewing.

Ailis and her cousin Na'ya are your average middle school students... almost. They're weirns -- witches that have shadow creatures attached to them for life; demon pets known as Astrals. But even magical night people have to go to school! A special night school for weirns, werewolves, and other magical beings. This first in the Weirn Books series is another page-turner that fans of Chmakova's beloved Berrybrook Middle School series (Awkward, Brave, Crush) will definitely line up for. It's been one of our school library's most popular graphic novel series over the last few years, and I can already tell this will be another hit. She takes on a more paranormal, urban fantasy route with this one, and I have nothing but amazing things to say. The artwork is delightful, the characters are quirky and unique (and some creepy! Even this 30-something year old was spooked at times), and the introduction to this intriguing Night Realm will leave readers wanting more. I know can't wait for more adventures with Ailis and the gang. What a fun read!

mehsi's review against another edition

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5.0

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.

atuckerdye's review

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adventurous funny lighthearted mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

c_s_lytal's review against another edition

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5.0

The premise of The Golden Compass series meets the attitude of Stranger Things.

When I think about it, there wasn't necessarily anything too original about this story, but its strength lay in how well and satisfyingly it was put together (and how adorable the art was). It took all of the tropes it used and made them sing.

Suitable for middle graders, but sure to please urban fantasy readers of all ages and I can't wait for more.

aet_reads's review against another edition

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5.0

Can't say enough good things about this one! This book PERFECTLY executed what it set out to do! I loved all our characters so much, they were so sweet but also strong and fearless and bold. Such a lovely, magical, immersive universe.

Super expressive facial expressions were killer. I especially loved Na'ya's "unimpressed" face. 

So happy to have purchased a copy of this one. 5/5 stars. So delightful.

adancewithbooks's review

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adventurous lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character

4.0

 Thank you to Yen Press and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway.

In 2020 I requested this book but was never approved until just recently. I'd kind of forgotten about it in the mean time. But I am glad that was still approved because this little middle grade graphic novel is just very cute. 

The story follows Ailis and her cousin Na'Ya and their friends. Both are Weirn which is a type of witch that is also connected to a spirit. The spirits are fiercly protective of them and have their own personalities and preferences. They don't go to a regular school but to the Night school. A school at night as the name suggests. It is where they as weirn but also other supernatural creatures like vampires and werewolves go for schooling. 

The two always take a shortcut through the woods and pass an old and abandoned school. But is it really that abandoned? When a weird creature takes one of their classmates and Na'Ya's little brother they take it upon themselves to investigate the matter. 

Ailis and Na'Ya are best friends and quirky little things. They always seem to get into trouble for trying to be themselves. But they are fiercelely protective of each other and their family. Their interactions with their grandma, Na'Ya's little brother and their friends are cute and feel real. 

The whole of the setting is also really interesting. The idea of a night realm and a night school I've always found interesting. But also the Weirn is an interesting kind of idea. There have been previous graphic novels set in this world by this author I saw, but I don't think they are middle grade as this one is. In any case I can't wait to see how this story will be continued. 

wanderingwordsmith's review

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5.0

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I have read some of Svetlana's previous works and absolutely loved them, so I was excited to have the chance to read her newest one. This is set in the same supernatural world as her Nightschool series and features some young Weirn teens who are not only living in their night world, but also dealing with some of the insecurities and difficulties that young teens face. The adventure that the two cousins go one while trying to solve the mystery before them is fun and has the perfect amount of spooky elements.

Chmakova's art style is beautiful and the color palette perfectly suited the story and characters. I really enjoy how she depicts astrals especially and how each one of them had a different personality and look.

I think people of all ages would enjoy this story and it's great if your looking for a light spooky read for younger readers. Svetlana Chmakova writes amazing stories for the middle grade age range and I recommend checking out any of her works if you think you might like her artwork or style.