Book Review: Steve Niles's October Faction Volume One*

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*I was fortunate to receive an eARC of this book from NetGalley and Diamond Book Distributors in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!*

If you ever craved as a teenager a hybrid between the Addams Family and Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, you're in for a treat here. October Faction tells the story of a mysterious family in a normal town, seen over by ex-monster hunter Frederick Allan and his even more mysterious wife Dolores. Their children are eager to take up their father's past trade now they've finished school, summoning spirits in their bedroom whilst being bullied in the streets on their way around town. I can't help but see the children as even darker versions of the eldest Baudelaire siblings with their Victorian-style outfits and miserable faces (definitely not a bad thing!). 

The first volume of October Faction collects the first six issues of the series and covers the events that unfold after Doroles is supposedly attacked by a man-machine, kept locked away in a storage unit for unknown reasons. We're introduced to Frederick's ex-partner Lucas, a werewolf, and we also see his strong standing within the community, friendly with the Sheriff and others around him. It was interesting to see how well-integrated he and his wife were when his children were treated like freaks. Probably says something about the cruelty and judgement of teenagers more than anything. I do wish the characters in this volume were slightly better developed, especially Dolores who currently seems to be serving as a damsel in distress who does things to get the attention of her distant husband. Not the strong character I was hoping for, but perhaps she will become more filled out in later issues as she is yet to have a proper storyline.

That aside, I did really enjoy the arc of this volume! The theme of family, especially family among misfits, is something I really loved reading about as a teenager so I would really recommend this to someone in their teens looking to get into slightly darker reading. As I said before, there are a lot of Sandman vibes coming off of this, both in the art style and the gothic subject matter. I think I'll be picking up the next volume because I am interested in where the story goes from here. The ending was satisfying, yet kept me wanting to know more about these witty, creepy characters.

M x

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