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The Weirn Books #1

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

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In the Night Realm, vampires, shifters, weirns, and other night things passing for human prowl the streets... but they still have to go to school! Ailis and Na'ya are pretty average students (NOT losers), but when a shadow starts looming and a classmate gets all weird, they are the first to notice. It gets personal, though, when Na'ya's little brother D'esh disappears-It's time to confront the secrets of the forbidden mansion in the Silent Woods!

Join the acclaimed author of Awkward, Svetlana Chmakova, for an outing into her favorite fantastical world full of magic and adventure!

240 pages, Paperback

First published June 16, 2020

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About the author

Svetlana Chmakova

40 books1,418 followers
Svetlana Chmakova (Russian: Светлана Шмакова) (born 1979 in Russia) is a comic creator. She is best known for Dramacon, an original English-language (OEL) manga spanning three volumes and published in North America by Tokyopop. Her other work includes the 2-page The Adventures of CG for CosmoGIRL! magazine and the webcomic Chasing Rainbows for Girlamatic. Though born in Russia, she immigrated to Canada, where she graduated from the Sheridan College Classical Animation program, in 2002. She then began to publish her manga on the Internet, where her works were found by CosmoGirl! magazine.

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5 stars
399 (36%)
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501 (46%)
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170 (15%)
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11 (1%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 224 reviews
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,621 reviews5,057 followers
August 28, 2020
What a cute little graphic novel! I love the idea of this world where all of these little paranormal kiddos come out to go to school and play and such at night. The dialogue is a little over the top, but in a good, realistic-depiction-of-hyperactive-children way, complete with silly expressions that I think young readers are going to find delightful. I wouldn't say this graphic novel was anything special for me, but I'm not the target audience here, and I think the actual target audience will love this.

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this review copy in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Mehsi.
11.6k reviews360 followers
June 5, 2020
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. 😛

Throughout the book we learn of magic (and what spells do), we see lessons at school and the school itself and I just loved those parts. Often with books with an awesome school the school gets kind of forgotten when creepy/awesome/etc. things happen. But not here. We learn of the past things that happened (kids disappearing), we see someone is stalking Allis and her friends. I was definitely curious who it was (I was making a list) and what it’s purpose is, plus it was just so creepy.

Then things get really spooky and awesome when the kids go to find one of their own and get kidnapped. We learn more of the history of the house, what happened to those missing kids, and also what that being is that helps that person. I just felt so sorry for the one with the mask, being stuck like this for so long.. 🙁 I loved what the kids did for them, that was just the sweetest and so wonderful.

I had such a big laugh about Jasper and his astral who just liked to throw all the things no matter how big or small. I do hope that Jasper is able to control his astral because dang so much chaos and damage.

The ending was amazing and just one big rollercoaster of OMG, OMG, OMG. And I am delighted there is an epilogue, I always love it when authors add those to their books because it can really complete a story and give us some closure on what happened in a book. Though in this case we didn’t just get some closure… we also got a cliffhanger. Oh yes. I cannot wait for the next book.

The art is, as expected, gorgeous and I love love love the style of it.

I would highly recommend this amazing graphic novel to all.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/
Profile Image for Resh (The Book Satchel).
417 reviews488 followers
September 6, 2020
A book about magic schools and magical people. Allis is a weirn—A witch with an astral. She lives in a town with many weirns and goes to a school for weirns. This is a speacial school. It looks like a normal building but magically transforms itself into the magic school in evenings. Things get scary when someone is kidnapped.

The part right before the ending, when the kids try to solve the mystery was kind of predictable and put me off. You could guess what was coming. However, I stilll liked the ending, and it makes me want to read the others in the series.

Much thanks to the publisher for an e- copy of the book. All opinions are my own.

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Profile Image for Geoff.
962 reviews89 followers
February 21, 2021
I really enjoyed this YA/middle grade comic. It's a story about magic, family, and friendship set in a very interesting urban fantasy setting. The magic system was engaging, the school conflict was relatable, the family dynamics were fun, and the villain was pretty darn creepy. I'd previously only read some very early work by this author and it is great to see how she's grown in both her art and storytelling/worldbuilding.

**Thanks to the artist, publisher, and NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jen.
601 reviews253 followers
March 28, 2021
This is a catch up review from last year! Be Wary of the Silent Woods was one of my favorite books of last year. I featured it on my Favorite Books of 2020 post, but I never posted a proper review for it.

2020 was an amazing year for middle grade books, and Be Wary of the Silent Woods was another home run for me. Be Wary of the Silent Woods is the first volume in the The Weirn Books series. It's a graphic novel, and I adored it.

A weirn is a witch born with a demon guardian spirit bound to them for life.

The guardian spirits reminded me of the daemons in the His Dark Materials series. They did not have a big role in this first volume which makes me really excited to see what comes next. I would love to know more about them. This first volume focused mostly on the kids, the night school, and the mystery of the creepy old house in the silent woods.

Even though this is just volume one, we are treated to a full story here. I cannot wait for the next volume in this series! Svetlana Chmakova wrote a previous series set in this same world called "Nightschool: The Weirn Books". I'm going to need to track those down along with her other series to tide me over.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Elizabeth A.
1,800 reviews107 followers
November 11, 2020
This is a cute middle grade comic about the creatures of the Night Realm - weirns, werewolves, etc. When the human world goes to sleep, it's time for these creatures to go about their nightly business - including school for the wee ones.

With nods to Pullman's Golden Compass, and magical school tropes, this tale would be just the right amount of scary for wee readers. The illustrations are adorable, and I quite enjoyed this quick read. I gather there is a whole series that comes before this one, but it works well as a standalone. Be wary of the silent woods indeed!
March 27, 2021
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.
Profile Image for Laura.
2,649 reviews82 followers
June 8, 2020
There is a special school for children who are weirn, meaning she has a supernatural creature attached to her. Allis goes to a special school for those have supernatural abilities, during the evening, when the school for the mundane children turns into the night school.

Allis's grandmother once had a brother, but he is gone, and that is all Allis knows about him. Well, that, and that there is a weird house in the woods, where no one lives.

Or do they?

This is the first in who knows how many books, so some mysteries are solved, and others are hinted at. Like Svetlana's other books, there are very human, very full fledged characters in these books. Great fun, and good first story in what looks to be a fun series.

Give me a mean girl with a back story. Svetlana does, and makes you wonder what is going on there. I hope we learn more in the next volume.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jill.
739 reviews24 followers
July 13, 2020
Thanks to NetGalley for a free review copy of this book!

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this one but it was so good!! I loved all the magical aspects of it as well as the spooky story of the Headmistress. The two main characters, Ailis (Leesh) and Na'Ya and so cute together and I love their friendship throughout the book. I also really loved the town that they live in - it gave me really strong Halloween Town vibes from back in the day on Disney Channel. I would highly, highly recommend this to anyone but especially kids that are interested in books that have magic in them. I absolutely LOVED this book!!
Profile Image for Chrystopher’s Archive.
530 reviews32 followers
May 10, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Sabrina .
108 reviews49 followers
July 18, 2020
Just pure delight, and wonder. Chmakova has done it again, but this time with magic.
Profile Image for Beka.
325 reviews4 followers
August 19, 2020
The artwork was great. The story is fun and entertaining.
Profile Image for Jillian -always aspiring-.
1,813 reviews197 followers
June 21, 2020
2020 Read #466

DAMN, THAT WAS GOOD! Svetlana Chmakova may have made a big name for herself with her Berrybrook series of middle-grade graphic novels, but my favorites of hers will always be Dramacon and, this series’s predecessor, Nightschool. Needless to say, I adored returning to this world, and I just had to stop at one point, hold the book to my chest, and say, “I really missed this.” But be aware that you don’t need to know about Nightschool to read this book! Chmakova makes sure to introduce the world for old fans and newcomers alike. My only criticism, I think, would be that some plot points are predictable, but this is a middle-grade series and anyway that did not detract from my enjoyment whatsoever. The world behind this story is still fresh and inviting and ever-so-delightful. Please give it a try and make sure there are plenty more books set in this fantastical universe Chmakova has created!
Profile Image for Hal.
737 reviews55 followers
March 20, 2021
arc provided by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I had such a blast with this graphic novel! It was the perfect introduction to this series and I am eagerly awaiting the sequel after that ending👀

In this story we follow this group of teens, mostly following a pair of cousins who are weirns. Weirns are like witches and wizards in this world as they use magic and they have the most adorable little sidekicks called Astrals.

There’s a mystery going on when this creepy creature suddenly starts appearing after the kids find an old journal entry about kids that had gone missing decades ago— and a similar situation starts occurring once more.

I really enjoyed this! It was fun, it had funny moments and some really creepy moments. It had me on the edge of my seat and I completed it in a single sitting. The art was awesome! The style and the colours really keeps your attention the entire time.

I definitely recommend this if you like graphic novels! Especially one with magic and mystery and family!


TW: missing children, murder of a child, violence, kidnapping.
Profile Image for Michelle.
220 reviews60 followers
January 1, 2021
I loved it all. The artwork, the characters, the relationships and how all fit together and helped each other. An awesome middle grade book that I can't wait to donate to my library.
Profile Image for Eri (marsbookscats).
384 reviews83 followers
February 4, 2021
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher!

The Weirn books Vol 1 tells the story of cousins Ailis and Na'ya. They are weirns, a kind of witch, that go to a Night School for night children: witches, werewolves, vampires, etc. Their grandma always tell them to stay away from the haunted house but one day they go there and something happens...

I liked this story from the beginning, the drawings are really cute and I really liked Ailis and how much she likes food. Weirn people have a shadow demon which is like a magical pet that stays next to them for life. I find those creatures fascinating, I wish I had one.

Na'ya has a little brother, D'esh, they are also weirns and go the same school, except for D'esh who goes to the children night school. I also liked Na'ya, she's fearless, funny and looks like she doesn´t like romance (I hope she's aroace like me).

Together they study, get in trouble and go on adventures with their friends.

It's a really good middle grade story for children and also young adults. I love paranormal books like this one.
Profile Image for Julia Pika.
472 reviews
February 19, 2021
Received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The first book in this series is an introduction to the supernatural world and we see how ordinary kids go to "Night School" for the supernatural creatures in their town. This story follows Allis and Na'ya who go to magic school and live a relatively ordinary life...until they notice something weird happening at the supposedly abandoned mansion. They start investigating and it starts getting dark...

The artwork is light and fun, almost whimsical, which is ironic considering the story gets pretty dark. Like, dang, didn't think it was gonna go there, ha.

The dialogue was perfect for the age group and felt super realistic, plus the font changes depending on the mood of a character which added to the characters' personalities!

Really didn't like Na'ya but that's a personal thing...I usually don't like characters who treat their younger siblings poorly or as an annoyance though I know it's somewhat realistic. Just me.

Highly recommend for fans of Gravity Falls and similar supernatural-mystery content!
Profile Image for Milou.
360 reviews5 followers
March 5, 2021
The Weirn Books by Svetlana Chmakova is a book I requested a long time ago, but only got approved to now. And I am very happy I got it because I Loved it. The writing style is great and the humour and sarcasm are On Point! It works really well together with the format and plays around with the fond to make it a truly dynamic reading experience. The art style was maybe a bit too simple for my liking, but I got used to very quickly. My only minor issue is that it could have been a bit darker… When the scary shit goes down everything is just a bit too pretty, pink and purple.

I loved the story and the idea of the world. The book is set in world where all the paranormal kids come out at night to go to school. And of course there is a scary mansion in the middle of the dark woods, where kids have gone missing. Not anything original, but perfectly executed.

Overall this was a Really fun read that I just absolutely adored! I believe the author already has some books set in the same universe, for an older audience, so I will check those out for sure.
Profile Image for Ryan.
4,403 reviews22 followers
July 1, 2020
This was such a fun read. I love the author's middle grade realistic series that includes the book Awkward, and I love that she is once again leaning toward magic and things that go bump in the night. Until this book I didn’t know there was a Night school series so I will be looking for that. This book takes the read back to that world (or introduces them to it for the first time) where students have magic, and live at night, while normal kids sleep during the day. There is an old spooky house on the way to school and things are just not quite right about it. I find the story to be This book is great for middle schoolers, but I think adults will love it was well. In part it reminds this reader of The Golden Compass with a bit of Narnia thrown in. The illustrations are fun, the story entertaining, and a great read.
Profile Image for Theresa.
518 reviews
June 8, 2020
I received an ARC through NetGalley from Yen Press. I loved Svetlana Chmakova’s Berrybrook Middle School series that began with Awkward and this graphic novel didn’t disappoint either. Ailis is a weirn who goes to school in the Night Realm with other weirns, shifters, vampires and werewolves. When her and her friends see a light on in the creepy old school where children disappeared decades ago they feel like something bad is going to happen. Then one of Ailis’s cousins disappears and her and her friends set out to save the day. Weirns are witches born with a demon guardian that reminds me of The Golden Compass, but with all the great middle grade-ness of the Awkward books. The art was fantastic, both Thing and the astrals were so alluring, LOVED it all. Highly recommended for Chmakova fans.
Profile Image for Danielle Booey.
932 reviews13 followers
November 12, 2020
Oh my gosh The Weirn Books are amazing. I loved Svetlana Chmakova's Awkward series, but the Weirn Books are now my faborite of her works. Witches/weirns, werewolves, Vampires, and creatures oh my!

Great art, hilarious facial expressions (definitely a hallmark of Chmakova's style), plus an interesting concept of a night school for paranormal creatures starts this book out strong. Add to that a fearsome and creepy villain and you have the recipe for a great chiller and thriller graphic novel for kids who like a bit of a creep factor.
Profile Image for Jenna.
3,443 reviews38 followers
September 14, 2020
While I had hoped for a few cameos from Night School, this was a great start to the new series! It’ll pull in fans of Berrybrook by touching on familiar school issues as well as fantasy and mystery themes. Astrals are back!

It did get quite spooky at some points as well. Friendship, family, bullying, self-confidence.
Profile Image for Amber.
2,281 reviews325 followers
March 15, 2021
I have always been curious about Svetlana Chmakova's works, so why not start with what I know best...the paranormal! Honestly, this work does an excellent job of balancing the paranormal and the everyday life things that children go through. Plus, I really dug the art.

I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley; however, my opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Ioana.
788 reviews
August 3, 2020
You know what? I really liked it, it made me wanna read more, so it did its job. I have never read anything on weirn people (creatures? idk) but the dialogue and the drawings really got to me.
Profile Image for Dana.
710 reviews40 followers
May 28, 2021
Super fun magical book! Great for middle schoolers obsessed with magic, spooky tales, and even dragons ;)

I look forward to more!
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