Series : Stand-Alone
Illustrated by : Wendy Xu
Written by : Suzanne Walker
Year Published : Coming October 15, 2019. Preorder at Amazon Link Above.
Genre : Graphic Novels, Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT
Edition : Digital (also available in Paperback)
# of Pages : 256 pages
A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.
Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.
One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.
Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.
This is a total put-a-smile-on-your-face with positive vibes, warm and fuzzy comic. I have nothing bad to say about it except that I’d hope for it to be a series with expanded scenarios and characters, yet it appears to be a stand-alone. Totally worth it though.
The main characters are diverse and the rep is wonderful. Nova and Tam are Chinese-American and Tam is non-binary. They’re a cute couple and the romance is of a pure/sweet variety with no angst. Just a light and airy, healthy relationship with supportive family members. I’d call it friends-to-lovers, only the two are exes who aren’t over each other and still great friends.
Nova works at an enchanted bookstore. Right from the get-go we see magically ethereal books, talking werewolves, and Nova’s witchy relatives and her own magical powers. One thing that sticks out to me is that while this volume has all the trappings of a YA-geared comic, the adult characters are smart, likable, and well-involved. There are some hints at conflict such as between Tam and her father, and a villain character that appears later, but overall this is such a relaxing and just cute read.
I want to make special note of the art style. Just as adorable and consistent as the cover. What really sticks out to me is the colorization. This uses a sort of autumnal color palette that is at once nostalgic and charming. Characters are distinctive in body type and facial features, and the style is just appealing and made better in color. I typically read Asian comics (manga, among others) that are in black and white so it was a real change to read in color and I can really appreciate the effort put into each panel’s careful color choices. Speaking of panels, this flows very well with large panels and smooth pacing. A very simple read but easy to like.
To show off some of the art style I linked to some tweets below originally posted by the artist, Wendy Xu.
Overall Rating – 9/10
Why You Should Try It – Positive, upbeat, warm and fuzzy, basically every adjective for good that you can find will easily describe the mood of this one. The characters are smart and endearing. Really cute romance. Nice art. Some of the cutest forest creatures you’ll ever see.
Why You Might Not Like It – The plot could be considered too light and simple.Mooncakes (Amazon Link)
Are you interested in reading Mooncakes? Do you have any similar lighthearted, positive vibes graphic novel recommendations? I’d love to hear your thoughts as always.