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Return to Barrow (30 Days of Night, Book 3) Paperback – November 30, 2004
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In 30 Days of Night: Return to Barrow, Steve Niles brings back the series to the site of the first story and that's the Alaskan town of Barrow. A place still recovering from the events that transpired with the first story-arc. Those survivors who stayed and those who were away during the slaughter return to pick up the pieces of the town's shattered lives. But a group of vampires looking to avenge the deaths of the first group and continue their idea of using Barrow as ahunting ground have other ideas. T
There's really not much new that Niles' adds to what he's already told in the first story. The human inhabitants of Barrow must once again try to survive a vampiric onslaught by themselves with no governmental help. But this time around they know whats coming and have devised countermeasures that they hope would be enough to help them last the month-long night. This wouldn't be a horror comic if everything went as planned. They don't and things get bloody and horrific. The story continues on bloody page to bloody page until the conclusion where a twist on the forest guardian plot technique comes out of the shadows.Read more ›
The second model is arguably harder to pull off, because either (1) the author hasn't planned ahead to inject future plot threads into early stories, or (2) the author does undertake such planning, but has to disguise those incomplete arcs so that early volumes can stand on their own.
I don't know whether Niles envisioned Barrow as a trilogy from the first issue of 30 Days, but my temptation is to doubt it. Rather, I think he was as surprised by the success of 30 Days as everyone else, and had to invent the second and third volumes within the boundaries of the story already established.
That's what makes 30 Days and its sequels so enjoyable. When the first volume came out, it functioned perfectly well as a self-contained story. Then when Dark Days followed after, the series became a neatly balanced two-fer, with the plot and dialog complexities of the latter balancing nicely against the voiceless horror of the original.
And now Return to Barrow re-defines both previous volumes, by making each seem to flow with perfect precision into this final showdown. Threads we had thought fully closed were in fact only temporarily tied; the elaborate final knot had not yet been revealed. Characters we assumed complete still had one last transformation in store.
Like the undead so beautifully rendered, Niles reminds us that no story ever fully dies while it still has its head.
Dark Days had most of the ground work for it laid in first book, but this does not feel as explicitly thought out and the Deus Ex Machina ending seems like the only real tie-in. It is not that this lacks tension or narrative impetus, and it does tie up the story of the first two, but seems so easily and predictably in the same vein. Furthermore, Niles still feels rushed in his pacing in these stories and maybe that is a perpetual problem when trying to tell the fairly quickly like the medium demands. If you enjoyed the first two 30 Days of Night, you will probably enjoy this one; however, it will feel a bit familiar. Perhaps too familiar for some.
The Bad: Feels like a re-tread of the first chapter, not as meaningful or scary
After the horrific events of the previous chapter, Return to Barrow gives us all new characters and a whole new terrifying event in Barrow. If you thought what happened wasn't bad enough, there are crazy people still living there even though it's a main target for vampires. A new sheriff moves into town with this son. Due to the events of the past volume (where the original survivor writes a book exposing vampires) the vampires are now leaderless and want everyone in Barrow exterminated.
I honestly have to say I feel this chapter is a cop out. Why do we have to return? Sure I can understand the vampires want to wipe everyone out, but why fully concentrate on this event again? It feels like a re-hash and even though these people are better prepared, it was the frightening concept of everyone not knowing what was going on that made the first chapter so memorable. I like the new characters and the tension is there along with the dialog among the vampires (these guys are vicious bastards).
If you've read previous chapters go ahead and read this. There's actually decent fight scenes, a lot of tension, and a surprising amount of atmosphere oozing out of this series. I also have to appreciate the continuity flow that a lot of comics tend to forget to do.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
rich illustration and great story line. Definitely love the series. I plan on purchasing the series as I love the story.Published on May 22, 2013 by danielanson
I've enjoyed reading the series so far, and I must say I thought maybe this won't work. But it smacked me in the face.Published on January 18, 2013 by Shadow87
Fun conclusion to the Eben and Stella story that bean in the excellent 30 Days of Night. While not quite as riveting or logical as the first, it works on it's own and the... Read morePublished on January 14, 2013 by Joshua Ligairi
This was a gift for someone, they loved it and that's what I was going for, but I've never read it.Published on January 11, 2013 by Sin
I happened to like this addition to the series the most. It had an excitement level that towered over the two previous books. Read morePublished on June 14, 2010 by Tyler S.
Once again, we're back into the infinite vastness of barren wastelands surrounding Barrow. We travel through the place whose polar night is full of terror and fear, full of... Read morePublished on April 22, 2010 by Matko Vladanovic
This item is marketed as a "book" on this site, and although technically it is a "book", it's actually what is called an "illustrated book", or a "graphic novel" - or in other... Read morePublished on February 23, 2010 by Michael Chambers
I was very disappointed to find this was just a comic type book. I saw the movie and expected a novel.Published on June 26, 2008 by D. Marciano