March 23, 2018

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Vol. 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa | SLJ Review

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redstarAGUIRRE-SACASA, Roberto. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Vol. 1. illus. by Robert Hack. 160p. Archie Comics. Aug. 2016. pap. $17.09. ISBN 9781627389877.

ya-gn-aguirresacasa-chillingadventuressabrinaGr 10 Up –This horror flick reimagining of Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a lushly cinematic and refreshingly grim departure from the charmingly sweet heroine of yesteryear. This isn’t your mother’s teenage witch: although Sabrina is dealing with common adolescent woes, she’s also consorting with the devil and feasting on a sacrificial goat. The story takes place in the days before Sabrina’s confirmation into the coven, coinciding with her 16th birthday. In the upcoming ceremony, she must choose to either live as an immortal witch, infinitely powerful but incapable of romantic love, or as a mortal, destined to die but also able to spend her life with her dreamboat boyfriend, Harvey. Meanwhile, Madam Satan, a powerful witch with a vendetta against Sabrina’s father, is accidentally raised from hell by two familiar Archie-universe figures; Betty and Veronica are wryly reinvented here as ditzy but powerful witches. The five-issue collection ends in a diabolically creepy cliff-hanger. This iteration is set in the 1960s, incorporating the social upheavals of the time while visually alluding to Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, and other paranormal horror films. Hack’s scratched filmstrip style, set in sepia tones, makes the inevitable violent splashes of red provocatively grotesque. Some nudity and violence make this more appropriate for older teens. VERDICT Deftly balancing suspense, violence, and wit, this is a welcome and frightening addition for lovers of horror, suspense, and graphic novels; hand to fans of Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods and followers of The Walking Dead.–Anna Murphy, Berkeley Carroll School, Brooklyn

This review was published in the School Library Journal October 2016 issue.