Title: Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1
Author: James Tynion IV
Genre: Graphic Novel / Horror
Publication Date: 26 May 2020
When children begin to go missing in the town of Archer’s Peak, all hope seems lost until a mysterious woman arrives to reveal that terrifying creatures are behind the chaos – and that she alone will destroy them, no matter the cost.
IT’S THE MONSTERS WHO SHOULD BE AFRAID.
When the children of Archer’s Peak—a sleepy town in the heart of America—begin to go missing, everything seems hopeless. Most children never return, but the ones that do have terrible stories—impossible details of terrifying creatures that live in the shadows. Their only hope of finding and eliminating the threat is the arrival of a mysterious stranger, one who believes the children and claims to be the only one who sees what they can see.
Her name is Erica Slaughter. She kills monsters. That is all she does, and she bears the cost because it must be done.
Something is Killing the Children, with its gruesome title and captivating cover, has all of the initial hallmarks of a gripping graphic novel read. From the cover’s depiction of monster-infested woods, unexplained events and a woman ready to fight back I was expecting this story to keep me on the edge of my seat and awake at night.
Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.
Instead, Something is Killing the Children moved at a slumber-inducing pace that seemed to detract from the story’s attempt to build an intense atmosphere. The images were sufficiently gruesome (in a light horror kind of way) and the gore was present early on in the story. As you’d expect from a GN of this genre. The images’ dark tones and vivid splash of red were eye-catching however they failed to truly gain my attention. Once I’d read a section of the story I wasn’t inclined to go back to stare at any particular spread (as I’d usually do, if in awe of the artwork).
While the story attempted to weave multiple facets of the mystery surrounding the monsters’ appearance in the town – the lost children, James’ near miss while his friends were murdered, the police investigation – this wasn’t very effective in keeping my interest. The characters were hard to connect to and with the exception of Erica Slaughter I wasn’t overly invested in their story.
The mystery around Erica and her appearance in the town was the most interesting part of the story and kept me reading until the end. That said, I wouldn’t say I’m interested enough to read Vol. 2. It was a decent horror read but not one I’d read again therefore I’m rating it 2.5 stars.
*Arc kindly provided to me by BOOM! Studios via Netgalley*