It's rare that a sequel outperforms the original.
30 Days of Night was an interesting vampire fiction with a fairly simple story -- evil vampire lord and his posse descend on small town in Alaska to capitalize on the month without sunlight, sheriff saves the town by sacrificing himself. Not complex, but entertaining all the same. Plus, the artwork is simply amazing.
So, given the straightforward story, surely there would not be sufficient loose ends to fuel a sequel? Not so.
Dark Days deals with the women who were left behind; the wife of the sheriff, the mother of a victim, and the lover of the vampire lord. Each is, in her own way, looking for some mix of vengeance and closure, all looking to pick up the pieces and move on. Their paths cross, and the resolution is somewhat unexpected, particularly given the simplistic "Good vs. Evil" gorefest that ended the first novel.
Unlike a simple monster story, this approach provides an emotionally rich backdrop for all characters, and it dares to be morally murky. This book is by no means a tired rehashing the original plot formula**.
And yes, the artwork is still breathtaking. I was impressed.
Check it out at your local library!
** (Though, that being said, do keep in mind that it is still a comic book genre resembling action movies… a deep plot here is still no King Lear.)