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The world of Nightschool is very much like our own, at least during the day. But by night, all sorts of creatures from vampires to demons to Weirns (a kind of Witch Species with Astral partners) roam the streets. Aside from the physical differences, they’re a lot like us, really—including the fact that their kids still have to go to school.
Benjamin Theron Nightschool, the titular academy, is just another public school by day. But at six o’clock each evening, the school’s Day Keeper seals the doors to Muggles, and a new class roams the halls. The Night Keeper, who trades places with the Day Keeper at dusk, ensures that the school is kept running smoothly and is protected from prying eyes.
Our heroine is Alex Treveney, a 13-year-old Weirn who has been home schooled by her older sister Sarah for the past few years. Snarky and socially withdrawn, Alex is strangely resistant to the idea of going to school with the other kids, despite her sister’s encouragement. But when Sarah suddenly vanishes from her new job as the school’s Night Keeper, along with all record of her ever existing, Alex heads to the school to find out just what happened to her.
Meanwhile, Daemon, one of the city’s Hunters, receives a frightened message from one of his students, a young seer named Marina, about a vision she’s had. Something that was sealed away has broken free, and she and six other children quietly walk away as death and destruction befall the land. But while Marina and five of the other children are "still walking," one of these harbingers is "already here..." in the form of one Alex Treveney.
Nightschool contains examples of:
- Adults Are Useless: Averted hard. While Alex and the other kids did a fine job for a group of bright students, the much older and more badass adults kicked ass, saved the day and fixed quite nearly everything.
- All-Ghouls School
- Apocalypse How: In the fourth book. Followed by a Reality Warper spell to Ret-Gone it.
- Ambiguously Gay: Remy says Mr. Roi "looks hot," but as he's only a supporting character, no confirmation is given.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: The Nereshai or Night Lords are the setting's resident uber Badasses. As such, they seem to be so powerful that as a rule, bragging about themselves is pointless. Eron trying to become one is actually what sets off the plot.
- Badass Teacher: Daemon. Threaten the health and safety of any of his students, and he will make sure your night is about to become very, very unpleasant.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Teresa and Cassidy.
- Black Magician Girl: Alex, Ronee (stop laughing) and Chen.
- Bond Creatures: The Astrals, which are masked, shadowy lesser demon partners to Weirns.
- Bunny Ears Lawyer: Mr. Roi. He’s a brilliant spell scientist and semi-retired adventurer, but his standoffish attitude and disregard for minor matters such as maintaining the school’s structural integrity drive everyone who works with him crazy. It’s worth noting that all of Madam Chen’s rants about him tend to include something akin to, “of course, we’re so lucky he’s teaching here.”
- The Cameo: Remember the raccoon from Drama Con? He makes another appearance in the cemetery in Volume One.
- Chaos Architecture: The Nightschool. The layout changes each day, making it necessary to regularly consult the map in the student handbook just to keep up.
- Church Militant: Possibly; the Hunters’ medical bay is set up within an old church.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Eron's punishment for his actions is being forced to serve as a permanent on-call substitute teacher for the school, with Alex and Ronee both clearly willing to make the experience as miserable as possible for him.
- Darker and Edgier: The artist's previous work, Drama Con, was a fluffy romantic comedy about finding love at an anime convention.
- Demonic Possession: Alex is the unwitting host of a spirit of destruction that tends to “borrow” control every so often to gloat about how she’s going to “be the power that shapes the world,” or to curse a trio of young Hunters who were apparently threatening her host body.
- Disaster Dominoes: The reason that entire plot happened at all is because Roi's younger brother Eron also wants to be a Nereshai. Things go downhill from there.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: While Sarah is playfully flirting with a vampire coworker, she reminds him that, “My face is up here.”
- Doppelganger Attack: Jaq.
- Driven to Suicide: One of Alex's childhood friends killed herself and left a note blaming Alex for it. Her mother cursed Alex afterward in a fit of maternal rage.
- Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Theo, following the death of one of his students who was also his son.
- Face Doodling: Jaq to J, in the Omake section.
- Fantastic Racism: Between Hunters and most of the denizens of the night. There’s an uneasy treaty between them which boils down to "Hunters may only attack you if you attack a human first," but that doesn’t always go so well (see Van Helsing Hate Crimes).
- Fantastic Slurs: “Nozzies” for vampires, “Buffies” for Hunters.
- Gender Blender Name: Alex (female), Cassidy (male).
- Homeschooled Kids: Alex has been home schooled for a while now, though Sarah regularly tries to convince her to go to night school with the other kids to no avail. Ironically, Sarah gets her wish after she becomes Ret-Gone.
- The Hunter: Plenty of them, usually found in teams of one mentor and several younger students.
- Informed Ability: Gray calls Daemon out on his Memetic Badass reputation, claiming that despite the rumors that he’s immune to bullets and can level an army single-handed, no one’s ever really seen him do anything of the sort. Biiiiiiig mistake, Gray.
- Well, Gray was technically correct in calling out the rumor that Daemon could break bones just by looking at you. he doesn't even have to look at you to do it
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Jacqui Lavelle, the mermaid environmentalist. Ms. Murrey is quick to show up with a robe for her.
- Jerkass Facade: Alex. It’s really hard to be friendly and sociable when anything or anyone she says that she likes or loves blows up, after all.
- Little Miss Snarker: Alex.
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: Ronee. She's the queen bee of the school and keeps her sister emotionally at arm's length, but she is genuinely concerned about the situation at hand and more than willing to work with Alex to try and fix it.
- Masquerade: Not everyone is especially worried about maintaining it, though--Nic sneaks his human girlfriend into the school to visit, and his friends let it go with a wink and a nudge.
- Maximum Fun Chamber: The Gray Room.
- Monster Mash: The main races at the school are Weirns, demons, and vampires, though there are others. See Our Monsters Are Different, below.
- Must Have Caffeine: Madam Chen. She tunes out a lecture about threats to the Masquerade until she’s had her first coffee of the night, and even swipes the coffee maker from the teacher’s lounge for her own office.
- Our Monsters Are Different: Oh boy, here we go…
- Our Demons Are Different: The ones who are full members of society are humanoid with Monochromatic Eyes and claws. Astrals are lesser demons.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: Their tails change into legs on dry land, though Nic playfully comments that he’s “never checked” to see if a third-year mermaid student has a tail in class.
- Our Vampires Are Different: They don’t show up in photographs, which makes getting a school yearbook near impossible (until Sarah comes up with the idea of using drawn portraits instead). However, a vampire who’s been very recently turned still has a reflection, which means they can still regain their humanity if they’re taken to a healer quickly enough. Particularly old vampires face losing their minds and turning into “rippers”—mindless, withered husks with insatiable appetites.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: They’re called “shifters,” have a tenuous alliance with Hunters, and their packs seem to translate into high finance corporations.
- Witch Species: Weirns each have an Astral partner, basically seen as an extension of their own self. They’re also very personal about them; asking to see or touch a stranger’s Astral is a huge faux pas.
- Perky Goth: Nic’s girlfriend.
- Poisoned Weapons: The quickest way to kill a Hunter is to hit him or her with something tipped with "veres," a deadly poison made from the blood of Hunters who have killed humans.
- Promotion to Parent: Sarah.
- Rage Against the Author: In the spirit of Drama Con, the cast gets a kick out of ditching the author to go party in the Omake sections. She’s less than amused.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Madam Chen.
- Reset Button: For once, not played for laughs. The Reave is a powerful Reality Warper spell that Chen, Roi and Daemon use to unmake many deaths and un-Ret-Gone Sarah.
- Ret-Gone: Sarah. As it turns out, she wasn't the first to just disappear like that.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Astrals.
- Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Alex, Ronee, and Eron still remember Sarah existed after her disappearance. The same thing happens when Rochelle disappears, too.
- After the Reave fixes everything, the only ones who remember what happened before are the ones who were present when the spell was cast.
- Sadist Teacher: Ms. Murrey. She gets a gleeful sense of schadenfreude from punishing students who break the rules, but she’s usually more condescending and unhelpful than outright sadistic… Unless you really tick her off and she hits you with a pop quiz version of her final exam--by dropping you from several hundred feet in the air and expecting you to find a way to avoid hitting the ground on your own.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Sohrem.
- Shout-Out: Hunters are nicknamed “Buffies” by vampires. Similarly, “Nozzies” comes from “Nosferatu.”
- True Companions: Hunter teams usually become these.
- Urban Fantasy
- Van Helsing Hate Crimes: Despite the treaty, some Hunters are perfectly willing to attack vampires and the like just for existing. When a pair of Weirns tell each other, “Be safe from Hunters” the same way most humans would say, “Have a safe trip” when they part ways...
- Viewer Gender Confusion: In-universe with Ten’s "Korean language homework."
Daemon: This is the warrior?
- In-universe, again, with Jaq, within his own True Companions!
Teresa: Remind me never to get a brother.
- The Voiceless: Astrals, making their pantomime communication all the more amusing.
- Waif Prophet: Marina. Seers tend to go insane more often than not, and she has to regularly take special medication in order to stay lucid. It messes with her visions, however, and her True Companions were not happy to find out that the werewolves she’d been working for hadn’t been reminding her to take it just so they could ensure a profit during a rough patch in the stock market.
- White-Haired Pretty Girl: Alex. She used to have brown hair, but was Locked Into Strangeness when she was cursed.
- Zombie Advocate: Again, Nic’s girlfriend, a “vampire rights activist" who goes so far as to defend a vampire who had just tried to make a meal out of her. "She can't help it! She's hungry!"