30 Days of Night #7: Eben & Stella
by Steve Niles, Justin Randall (IDW, 2007)

Eben & Stella fills in the gaps between Dark Days and Return to Barrow, the second and third books in the long-running 30 Days of Night series created by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith. Specifically, this volume answers how those two crazy kids in love, the sheriff and deputy of Barrow, ended up together again, undead and installed as protectors of their frozen Alaskan hometown.

The story is little more than filler, however, and the developments spelled out here are completely nonessential to the greater 30 Days storyline.

We learn on page one of this book that Eben, who has been brought back to unlife by Stella after sacrificing himself to save Barrow, immediately thanks his wife by biting her on the neck. This was not her plan at all, and she's really kind of miffed about it because she had planned to live a long, happy life of not being a vampire. There's also a wannabe vampire queen, a gaggle of Keystone Koppish vamps at her beck and call, a couple of vampire hunters and a slavering baby to contend with before all's said and done. Since we already know from a previous book that Eben and Stella make it back to Barrow intact, so to speak, there's not a lot of tension on their regard.

But what the book really lacks is the artistic hand of Templesmith, whose visual style truly established the look and feel of the series. Justin Randall, who handles the brushes this time around, strives to match Templesmith's distinctive palatte, but falls short. Worse, it's sometimes hard to distinguish the many characters from one another.

Eben & Stella is just one step in an ongoing series; in this case, it's one that's easy to step right past.

review by
Tom Knapp

7 June 2008

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new