graphic novel mini-reviews: mooncakes and moonstruck vol 2

Hello everyone! I’ve been really enjoying reading graphic novels recently, so I thought that I would give you a couple of reviews of Mooncakes and Moonstruck vol 2. They’re both cute and fantastical graphic novels that would be perfect to read on Halloween.

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.

Trigger warnings: fantasy violence, accidental misgendering, parental death

I was so excited to see that I was accepted to read ‘Mooncakes‘ by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu via Netgalley! I’d heard about it when it was a webcomic, and I knew that it was witchy and queer, but not much more than that. To be honest, that was enough for me – I am loving the queer witch books that are coming out at the moment!

‘Mooncakes’ follows Nova, a Chinese-American sapphic witch who is hard of hearing and who lives with her grandmothers, and Tam, a non-binary Chinese-American werewolf. Throughout the story they battle demons and cults, and there’s a bit of romance along the way! I thought they were super sweet together, as they knew each other as kids and now, years later, they’re finally getting a chance together.

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The art style was appropriately cute as well – I really enjoyed the autumnal feel of the colours, and whenever there was magic it the colours really popped off the page. In the ARC I read the last few chapters were more roughly drawn and didn’t have any colour, so I’m definitely going to have to get a finished copy so I can see the ending in its full glory!

 

I have also recently read Moonstruck Vol 2: Some Enchanted Evening by Grace Ellis, Shae Beagle, and Kat Fajardo.

Werewolf barista Julie and her supernatural friends try to unwind at a party, but a conniving fraternity of fairy bros has other plans for our heroes. With one of their friends trapped in the frat house and the winter solstice (a notable night of magical mischief) looming ever-closer, it’s up to the amorous werewolves and gregarious centaur to save the day.

This is the second volume of the Moonstruck series, which features Julie, an Afro-Latinx lesbian werewolf, and her girlfriend, Selena, a black lesbian werewolf. There’s also Chet, a nonbinary centaur, and a bunch of frat boy fairies. Much like the first volume, there’s great representation of fat characters, LGBT+ characters and POC.

Like many other reviewers, I loved the first volume, but found this follow-up a bit disappointing. This is because it was really confusing, and the pace was totally off! There would be moments when we’re told that the characters are in peril, but they’re just like having a chat at the coffee shop or something. I also don’t think that the fairy magic was explained overly well, and that was super important to the plot. I was also really not enjoying Selena and Julie’s relationship. There’s conflict there, but it’s never fully explained or resolved, in my opinion.

This volume could have been a super great exploration of the characters’ personalities and how they interact with each other when they’re under pressure. It could have told the reader more about the magic in this world, and how it operates. It could have been an interesting exploration of Julie and Selena’s relationship, and how their past experiences as werewolves have left them insecure and unsure of themselves. But no.

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However, I did love the art style. It’s so cute and pastel, and I feel like all of the character designs really fit their personalities. Saying that, is it cute enough to redeem this particular volume? I’m not sure. I’ll definitely be reading reviews of the third volume before I go out and buy it, if I do at all.

Have you read any graphic novels recently? Tell me about them!

One thought on “graphic novel mini-reviews: mooncakes and moonstruck vol 2

  1. Pingback: october wrap-up

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