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The October Faction Vol. 1, by Steve Niles
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The October Faction details the adventures of retired monster-hunter Frederick Allan and his family, which include a thrill-killer, a witch, and a warlock. Because sometimes crazy is the glue that binds a family together. Collects issues #1-6.
- Sales Rank: #455849 in eBooks
- Released on: 2015-08-12
- Format: Kindle eBook
About the Author
Steve Niles is a film producer and writer of screenplays including the classic 30 Days of Night which is being made into a film produced by the legendary Sam Raimi for release in October 2007. Named by Fangoria magazine as one of the “13 rising talents who promise to terrify us for the next 25 years” is also penning the upcoming films Bigfoot (which he co-created with rocker Rob Zombie) and The Lurkers. He lives in Los Angeles.
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
Not Enough Meat In This First Volume
October Faction Volume 1 was a study of contrasts for me. I both liked and didn’t like it; weirdly enough, it wasn’t that part was good and part was bad. Rather, that I liked and disliked the same exact thing at the same time. The art was interesting but I didn’t love it; the story never had an arc and meandered everywhere but I didn’t get annoyed; the characters seemed really distinct and yet they weren’t; the monsters felt fresh but none were. I’m not sure how to make sense of it other than to say that by the end, it just didn’t pull me in – the promise of the first few pages never materialized for me by the end.
Story: Frederick Allan is a former monster hunter, now retired and lecturing at the local university. His kids have grown up and want to follow in their father’s footsteps – but he’s not quite sure he likes that idea. Compounding things, his former partner contracted werewolf disease and fights it every day. When his wife seeks to get his attention and lets loose an old enemy, things get fairly crazy for the everyone.
I wish the story had focused on one member of the family. We’re given small bits of each – the son and the ghosts he sees on a schoolmate, the daughter wanting more excitement, the wife feeling neglected by her once exciting husband, and the put-upon professor. We get little glimpses but never anything more from the characters. I kept expecting to see a poignant moment but it all seemed to be vignettes that never really fleshed anyone out.
I enjoyed the art – it was suitably creepy with a monochromatic tonality and rough, unfinished quality. The watercolor-like style has a dreamy, painterly feel that suits the story perfectly. Oddly enough, like the story, the art never defines the characters and so they look as sketchy as they are written. Perhaps another reason I never really felt I ‘knew’ any of the characters.
There’s not really a story arc here and some events intertwine but it felt fairly random. Perhaps things will coalesce more in future issues. But for me, I really wanted something more than we see in this first volume. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided buy the publisher.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
Be Patient – This Builds Quickly to a Satisfying Conclusion
By Pop Bop
At the outset we find ourselves in a dark, gloomy classroom as Frederick Allan, retired monster hunter, lectures about terrible things that go bump in the night. Humorless and grim, this tale feels like it’s going to be dark, angsty, heavy going. But wait.
Bit by bit we are introduced to the rest of the Allan clan, we meet the supporting cast, we are introduced to a range of villains, we answer a few questions, we add a bunch of new questions, and by the end the stage is set for a very entertaining family saga.
Frederick turns out to have a very dry and subtle sense of humor. His wife Deloris, who is introduced as a sour malcontent, turns out to be a much more interesting piece of work. The son is nervier and the daughter is less angsty, and both are funnier and braver, than one first suspects. Something that starts out as just some Gothic version of Orange County turns into a much more interesting and engaging ensemble performance. (Heck, the set piece in which Frederick takes the kids out to bury their first body is worth the price of admission on its own.)
This is all held together by very solid art work. Sure it’s gloomy and grey and dark, but Damien Worm, (best name, ever), mixes it up. There are full page detailed scene and setting panels, kaw-pow action bits, and a lot of “family portrait” type group shots. There is a lot of attention to detail, but those detailed panels are mixed in with more impressionistic drawings. And, this is important, the characters are usually very expressive and natural looking. They are drawn to look “right” in every panel and their characters and thoughts and emotions are evident. There is nothing cartoony or careless about the figures. When they are then placed in detailed and evocative environments the effect is convincing and compelling.
So, the upshot is that you get good characters, a good story, snappy dialogue and a lot of things that are really interesting to look at. That does it for me.
Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-54-days ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
Addams Family for the new millenium
This review originally published in www.lookingforagoodbook.com. Rated 3.0 of 5
Is this an Addams Family for the new millennium?
The October Faction is a graphic novel about Frederick Allan, a monster hunter who is now retired. His children want to follow in his footsteps … an idea that Frederick doesn’t care for. The daughter, Vivian, proves herself more than capable, though I’m still sure why the son/brother has any interest in hunting monsters.
In a story that centers around a family of monster hunters, it’s certainly no surprise that there are some evil characters around but there is nothing outrageously monstrous (for a horror story), though ‘Dante’ makes for an interesting and intriguing semi-villain.
I’d initially thought that this book was going to be about the children, beginning to take over the business from their father, but it segued to the father not quite giving it up, then to the a man who is shot by Frederick in the parlor, buried, and rises again in the presence of his sister.
I couldn’t quite get a handle on the story, but I think that’s because there isn’t one yet. We’re still in the phase of discovering who the characters are. This might be fine in some cases, particularly in a comic book series that will be ongoing, but without at least a hint of where these characters are headed, it just rambles.
The artwork is quite unique. It is sharp, angular, and just enough off-kilter as to suggest a world that is also off-kilter. The coloring is beautiful. It is dark and rich with patterns. For me, this art was the saving grace of a book that meandered around a story. However, even with the art, there were strange issues. For some odd reason, an occasional panel would be blurry. It was too often to be anything other than planned, but because the art is unique enough (and beautiful) as it is, we really didn’t need this distraction just to have the art make a statement.
This is an odd book, in so many ways. I liked the art and thought that the characters showed some promise, but the story rambled so much that there was nothing to sink my teeth in to. This is one of those books that if I should see the next volume, I may pick it up, I may not, but if I don’t read the next volume, I don’t think I’ll be missing anything.
Looking for a good book? The October Faction is a dark graphic novel about a family of monster hunters, but nothing much happens in this volume.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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