Author: Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu
Rating: 5 Stars
Dates read: 17 Aug 19
Publication date: 22 Oct 19
Publisher: Lion Forge
Genre(s): Graphic Novel, Fantasy, YA
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.
*I was given an eARC of this book courtesy of Lion Forge and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and fair review*
I can’t tell you how delightfully unexpected this story and art was. I have been reading a lot more graphic novels of late, so when the opportunity to read and review a graphic novel containing magic, books, and self discovery, I was completely taken in and lucky to be given the opportunity to read and review it. The art within the book combines with the story perfectly to weave a whimsical and spellbinding story of family, friendship, and magic.
The witchcraft and magic within the graphic novel was rich and warm in all of the best ways. Stemming from the delightful witches/grandmothers that feature within the story, the Walker and Xu have imbued all aspects of this tale with a power that literally jumps from the page. The magic that the witches instil in Nova and their bookshop is powerful and enjoyable and forms the basis of a great magical story and world.
The inclusion of Tam and her shapeshifting abilities added another level to the story that was really welcome. Her inclusion added more literal magic, yes, but it also added an extra level of love and warmth in the form of relationship and friendship. There is literal magic abound in this book, from spells to witches to werewolves, but the real power is found in the strength of the relationships between Nova and her grandmothers, and between Nova and Tam. Nova looks up to, learns from, and has a beautifully loving relationship with her Grandmothers. Her relationship with Tam is full of wonderment and self discovery that was stunningly written and beautifully played out and had all the tact and rawness of the characters ages and learning experiences.
The artwork in this is equally as entertaining as the story itself. The words and pictures coalesce to create a rich and warm tapestry of belief, love, and magic, and really underpins the magical tale that the story is telling. The colours and style are fitting and toe the line of simplistic genius, much like the story itself.
Simply put, this story of self discovery, love, and magic was a warm and beautiful delight.