GN Review: Possessions: The Better House Trap

GN Review: Possessions: The Better House TrapPossessions: The Better House Trap by Ray Fawkes
Series: Possessions #3
Release Date: Feb 2012
Publisher: Oni Press
Pages: 90
Source: Publisher

Enough is enough. Gurgazon the Pit Demon has been welcomed, nurtured, fed, and complimented. Gurgazon can tolerate no more! The time has come, once and for all, for escape! The Lewellyn-Vane house has been mapped. The plans are laid out. The ghosts are ready. The only thing that still stands in their way is... The butler. But is Gurgazon prepared for him this time? Can he really be defeated? POSSESSIONS BOOK 3: THE BETTER HOUSE TRAP is the third in the YALSA award-winning slapstick series by Ray Fawkes

Gurgazon is back up to her old tricks in Possessions volume 3. Her newest scheme for escape includes getting Mr. Thorne out of the manor. With a little help from an old friend and a lie, Thorne leaves on a hunt for a new house member. Of course, he doesn’t know that it’s a trap that will end in his disposal. While he is out the spirits begin their plan for escape and breaking one trap after another. It looks like freedom may just be in their reach… I won’t ruin the ending, but I will say I was surprised and screaming at the huge cliffhanger. I’m not sure I can wait a year to see what happens next!

This latest installment was no disappointment from the rest. There weren’t as many laughing out loud moments, but the scheming and hi-jinks were there 100%. I like that we’re learning more about Thorne without really learning anything about him. Fawkes is slipping in tiny hints here and there and I can’t wait until it’s fully revealed. I’m not quite sure myself what Thorne is, but I’m leaning on the side of a wizard. It would explain his slow aging and smelling of magic. I’m sure I’m totally wrong, but it’s still fun to guess!

Fawke’s simplistic style continues on with the third volume. This style works very well for the series. The panels are usually filled with the characters and sparse detail for the background. Considering how one-track minded Gurgazon is the panels work to keep you focus on her plans. This time around the panels were done in pink accent. If my theory is correct this is because the Pale Lady’s back story was introduced this time; boy, is she all about girly stuff such as dresses and shoes, which is one of the reasons she is now dead. I’ll be interested to see if the accent color/character continues in the next volume. There should only be two more back stories left (maybe 3 if you count Mr. Thorne) so it’ll be interesting to see what colors come into play. Of course, my theory could be wrong and merely coincidental. I suppose volume 4 is where the truth where be found.

If you haven’t picked up the Possessions series yet, I highly recommend it. If you have, be sure to leave me a comment telling me what you think!


GN Review: Possessions (Bk 1 & 2)

GN Review: Possessions (Bk 1 & 2)Possessions: Unclean Getaway (bk 1) & The Ghost Table (bk 2) by Ray Fawkes
Series: Possessions #1
Release Date: March 2010 & 2011
Publisher: Oni Press
Pages: 91

Meet Gurgazon the Unclean, the cuddliest little pit demon ever trapped in the Llewellyn-Vane House for Captured Spirits and Ghostly Curiosities! This pit demon may look just like a cute little 5-year old girl, but it isn't interested in playing checkers with other ghosts. The Gurgazon is determined to escape! Will the house contain it? Or will the world of peace and friendly bunnies come to an end as the Gurgazon exacts its revenge?

Being the newest member of the Llewellyn-Vane House, Gurgazon isn’t so…shall we say whipped? The other four paranormal entities have been in the household for years and have had their spirits essentially broken. The hundreds, perhaps thousands, of failed attempts don’t stop Gurgazon though. She (he?) is determined to make an escape happen. Gurgazon spends hours brainstorming ideas and getting the others to bend to her will. However, Mr. Thorne (their sort-of butler/babysitter) is always one step ahead, which is why escape attempts usually fail. Although, I’m pretty sure that Gurgazon’s motto is “if first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. She may be accepting friendship (and ice cream) by then end of book one, but you know that Gurgazon has several more tricks up her sleeve.

In book two, we get to meet the Specter Collectors Society aka little old women who collect spirits. That’s right. They’re all little old women who ooh and aah over spirits as if they were babies. I’m pretty sure they’ve all got a couple of screws loose. While the plan plot doesn’t surround Gurgazon trying to escape, you can still see her plotting during the dinner party (and after). Book two is more about how these old biddies treat the entities as if they were pets, rating them on their scariness/what kind of “show” they put on. We get to meet some other “collections” who are basically all stuck up. You would think that because they were all trapped by this Society they’d be working together, but they would rather belittle and compete against one another. It was fun to see the Llewellyn-Vane House gang team together to put the other spirits in their place. They’re such oddball spirits, but I can’t help but root for them. I have a feeling that if they continue to work as a team, they may just figure out a way to escape.

As a whole, I’m completely enjoying the Possessions series. Gurgazon is one of those in-your-face demons that either has you cringing or laughing. I love how she’s all like GURGAZON IS THE GREATEST BOW BEFORE ME while the others just sort of shrug and ignore her tantrums. Seriously, the pit-demon truly acts like a 5 year old most of the time. Though, in a way that’s part of the problem since, you know, 5 years old aren’t all that terrifying most of the time.

The other spirits are fun as well. I like that Fawkes is slowly weaving in their back-stories into the novels. Each little tidbit he offers fleshes them out more and more. I still feel as if there is a lot we don’t know yet, especially about Mr. Thorne. I have so many questions about him it’s not even funny. Like who he is and why des he “babysits” these spirits. Not only that, but I’m interested in how and why the Specter Collectors Society got started. How do you simply decide one day that’s it’s a fabulous idea to start collecting poltergeists and demons? I’m interested in the paranormal as much as the next person, but this seems like an extreme.

As far as the artwork goes, Fawkes style is simplistic. Most of the panels lack a lot of detail and focus mainly on the characters. That’s not to say simplistic is bad, in fact, I think it works quite well for this series. The Possessions Series is more about what hi-jinks Gurgazon is getting into, which makes it fitting that the panels focus mainly on her. I do like the many faces of Gurgazon, even though she is stuck in terrifying mode half the time. (No one else really has a face beyond Mr. Thorne) The coloring for the panels are done in black & white with an accent color. I do like how the accent colors change from book to book and that they seem to correspond with whose back-story is introduced. So book one is green for Gurgazon and book two is blue for the Ice Field Lights. I’ll be interested to see if this theme continues as the series progresses.

If you haven’t read the Possessions series yet, I highly recommend it. It’s a fast paced series that will have you laughing at all the mischief. I think tweens/teens will highly enjoy these GNs and I plan on adding them to my collection ASAP. Be sure to let me know if you have read the series, I’d love to hear what others think!