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Mooncakes (2019)

by Suzanne Walker, Wendy Xu (Illustrator)

Other authors: Rachel Dukes (Cover designer), Joamette Gil (Letterer)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3134064,202 (3.82)7
"Mooncakes is spellbinding. It had everything I love in a story--magic that felt inventive, characters that became my friends, and a romance that felt truly authentic. It was one of those books that I was sad to see end. Luckily, I can always reread." --Tillie Walden, creator of Spinning and On a Sunbeam "Mooncakes transported me to a gorgeous magical realm that I never want to leave, and introduced me to lovable characters who stuck with me long after I finished reading. This graphic novel is the joyful fantasy romance we all need right now, and it might just restore your faith in magic." --Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky "Mooncakes is heartwarming, playful and absolutely magical! A story about love and family, with a kind and powerful core that radiates through the vibrant cast of characters."  --Katie O'Neill, author of The Tea Dragon Society and Princess Princess Ever After 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.… (more)
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Plot:
Apprentice witch Nova lives with her two grandmothers, and works with them in their magic supply store. Out in the woods one night, Nova stumbles upon her childhood friend Tam in their wolf form. Tam, who left town many years before and only just returned, is battling a horse demon. Together, Tam and Nova manage to scare it away, but of course, neither of them can let the demon roam free. As they figure out what to do about the demon, they also need to figure out their relationship with each other.

Mooncakes is a supercute, magical, queer story about a witch and a werewolf. And if that isn’t enough for you, let me also say that it’s really good.

Read more on my blog: https://kalafudra.com/2021/07/21/mooncakes-wendy-xu-suzanne-walker/ ( )
  kalafudra | Jul 21, 2021 |
So. Freakin. CUTE! Give me witches, and werewolves, and forest creatures, and horse demons, but make it queer - I am so in, because magic has no rules! Xu and Walker waste no time throwing us into the deep end with this magical little graphic novel, starting off with the unexpected return of werewolf Tam into the life of witchy teen Nova. The pair were besties in their childhood, but Tam’s family made them move away, yet in true fairytale style the forces of evil can’t keep them apart! Well, maybe a possessed horse (and the cult who raised it) can try, but together these two harness the power of the forest creatures, Nova’s grannies, and Tam’s unexplored wolf magic to vanquish the demon. Well, technically they didn’t so much as vanquish it as defeat the cult and discover that the demon wasn’t so demonic when it had a little understanding, but that’s kind of the whole point. Throughout, the author and illustrator play with many of the magical tropes that we all know and love, but they give it their own unique twist. Nova’s deafness actually has some interesting magical side effects (much to the dismay of the cult leader), their bevy of forest creatures are absolutely adorable, and I thought their themes around werewolves and nonbinary states of being was extremely well thought out. Illustrate the story with a careful blend of artwork that is cute without falling into the underwhelming tropes of cartoons, and we have a perfectly well-rounded addition to the magical-teen genre of graphic novels! ( )
1 vote JaimieRiella | Jun 10, 2021 |
This was a cute little story with lovely art. Ultimately I found it a bit flat; it seemed like we didn't get enough world building or enough romance to be fully engaged with either the magic or the relationship. ( )
  bibliovermis | Jun 7, 2021 |
Cute. This word perfectly sums up this colorful and endearing graphic novel. A story of acceptance and belonging not only with one's own family but with those that you find and make your own community with.

I enjoyed the story of blissful first love, heartache, and personal growth beautifully portrayed on the pages and dialogue between characters. Magic, werewolves, ghosts, and evils cults are my jam, and this story is packed with it.

This story only gets a 3-star rating because some characters are flat, not giving much depth, only providing a superficial identity. The story does jump around, not providing key information at times, making me feel as if I skipped a page by mistake.

Overall if you enjoy quirky characters, young love, and paranormal/magic and colorful pages, this is the next graphic novel for you. ( )
  holdenkillfield | Jun 6, 2021 |
Arc provided by Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

To get this out of the way, I don't normally read comics or graphic novel or even Manga(though I think it the best of the three), because I don't find them immersive like an actual book. Probably because my brain has to not only read but look at the pictures to understand what's happening and it's too much work, especially when I like to see the story unfolding for myself in my mind. I did not have that issue here. The art and how it was done was perfect, setting the scene, introducing that character and all that stuff I often find that this medium struggles with. So props the the illustrator. I can barely make a stick man look real and you managed to create a whole world and magic system and communicate it to the reader. Well done.

Next the story. It was quick paced because of the medium, but didn't feel rushed at all. Everything had a natural development and I felt myself wanting more. More of the world, the magic, the backstory; just more. The plot was intriguing and simple, but it was still engaging. The dialogue felt natural and none of the progressive themes felt in any way forced. It just felt the natural progression of the life of a werewolf and a witch who were childhood friends.

The flashbacks were really well executed, there was enough of them to allow me to understand what was going on and have an interest to learn more, but not so much that they became the story or felt like they were taking it over. It was great.

I definitely recommend this book, even to those, who like me, can be picky when it comes to graphic novels. It's enjoyable, immersive and well-written. ( )
  afrozenbookparadise | Apr 22, 2021 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Walker, SuzanneAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Xu, WendyIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dukes, RachelCover designersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gil, JoametteLetterersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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I never thought I'd be back here.
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"Mooncakes is spellbinding. It had everything I love in a story--magic that felt inventive, characters that became my friends, and a romance that felt truly authentic. It was one of those books that I was sad to see end. Luckily, I can always reread." --Tillie Walden, creator of Spinning and On a Sunbeam "Mooncakes transported me to a gorgeous magical realm that I never want to leave, and introduced me to lovable characters who stuck with me long after I finished reading. This graphic novel is the joyful fantasy romance we all need right now, and it might just restore your faith in magic." --Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky "Mooncakes is heartwarming, playful and absolutely magical! A story about love and family, with a kind and powerful core that radiates through the vibrant cast of characters."  --Katie O'Neill, author of The Tea Dragon Society and Princess Princess Ever After 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.

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