“Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above… More
“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.”
Mooncakes was such a fun read! It was fairly short and I devoured it in one sitting. I don’t have much experience reading graphic novels, but the world-building was a little underdeveloped for me. I’m not the biggest fan of unexplained magic systems. But, for how quick this read was, I give it a pass. The kind of lacking magic system didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story though.
The characters were amazing! The cast of characters was so effortlessly diverse! Each of their individual differences were so intricately written into the story. Tam is non-binary and addressing their pronouns was done pretty well and pretty early on in the story. Nova wears hearing aids, and it was so great to see her not just living with them, but they were shown as a source of strength for her.
I really loved how the characters’ Chinese American culture was such a prominent part of the story. Many of the books I’ve read with a witchy, fall vibe don’t really try to incorporate different cultures and mythologies other than the common ones used during the fall, but this one did! I have been craving for a cozy fall read that introduced some new mythology and I am so glad I found this one!
With the length of the story being so short, I think the story progressed a little fast in some places and it was missing some things in others. Like I mentioned earlier, there was really no background into how Nova and her family have magic or where it comes from, or Tam’s wolf powers. I would have loved to see that added into the story. The story also reads like a middle grade. At one point, I was wondering why Nova wasn’t in school in the middle of fall only to find out later that Nova has already finished school. The romance in this story was so pure and heartwarming! It was genuinely my favorite part of this story (and also Nova’s badass Grandmas)!
Overall, I give this story a 4/5. It was fun and so very cute! I really hope there are sequels! I would love to see Nova and Tam traveling the world learning about their powers and being in love! The illustrations were so great and the story was wonderful! I highly recommend picking up Mooncakes on October 15th!
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***An ARC of Mooncakes was provided to me for an honest review through Netgalley.
–Urussa, Stay Caffeinated
This story has such an interesting concept. Unlike a traditional portal fantasy, we get to see the lives of the characters after they’ve come back from these worlds. Even though the story is set on Earth, the world building of the other worlds is done so well. It’s so easy to imagine these other places.
I found the main character to be a little bit boring. I think I would have liked her better if we got to spend a little more time getting to know her and her world. My favorite character in the book was Jack. She was so intriguing and so unapologetically herself. It’s so great to see a well written morally grey female character. Her actions and choices in the story were so interesting. I’m the most excited to read her book next.
My overall thoughts:
- The world building was great.
- The length of the story was nice a break from longer fantasies.
- I would have liked to explore the stories of Nancy and Kade more.
- The concept and rules of how the doors work was very unique.
- It was so easy to be immersed in the story.
- Asexual and Trans rep, plus the characters were so relatable!
-Urussa, Stay Caffeinated