Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Rapid Reviews

RAPID REVIEW: Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker

*No Major Spoilers*

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.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Mooncakes has been making it’s way around social media, and I have finally gotten the appetite for some desserts. So let’s dine on this review of Mooncakes.

This graphic novel reminds me a lot of These Witches Don’t Burn. They both have cute witches, and magic, but Mooncakes doesn’t have any relationship drama. I like that the romance between Nova and Tam feels natural and it’s of the popular trope, friends to lovers.

One thing I loved about the story was how Nova is deaf and wears a hearing aid. It was nice seeing disability being represented here in a positive way. Also, for Nova and her family treating Tam like she’s family even though she’s a werewolf.

One small gripe I have is how jarring some of the panels progress. One of the grandmas would tell Nova that her friend is coming over soon, and in the next panel she’s next to Nova talking like she didn’t teleport. Maybe it’s just my imagination though.

Overall, I enjoyed Mooncakes. It was cute and colorful, and even when the story gets dark, it’s still bright and colorful. I would recommend this novel for people who are undecided on whether to read it or not. As well as fans of witches, werewolves, and magic potions.

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Rapid Reviews

RAPID REVIEW: Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor Vol. 1: Weapons of Past Destruction by Cavan Scott

*No Spoilers*

Leaving World War II behind, The Ninth Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack discover that Time Lord technology, lost in the wake of the Time War, is being sold on the intergalactic black market! Now the threat of a new temporal war brews on the horizon, with the Doctor and his friends caught between the twin threats of the Unon and the Lect – two species with intertwined histories who are jostling to replace the Time Lords on the universal stage. Can the Doctor stop history repeating itself?


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I have a special place in my heart for the 9th Doctor. Besides him being my first Doctor, I love his characterization. Fresh from the aftermath of the Time War and him meeting Rose who reminded him of what it’s like to be alive. So let’s travel through time in this review of Weapons of Past Destruction.

I have dipped my toe in to the Doctor Who comics before and it’s something I’ve enjoyed but not something I’ve spent a lot of my time pursuing or collecting. I depend on the library for a lot of the bookish content I consume, and it’s no different here. This comic takes place shortly after season 1, episode 10 The Doctor Dances.

I like how Rose tends to get separated from the Doctor and thus sees and assess the situation through her perspective, then when she meets back up to the Doctor he is still in war mode to an extent. She reminds him that there are two sides to every story. She has been my favorite companion of the reboot era.

Overall, I enjoyed this comic. The artwork is nice, and I felt like this was a good Doctor Who story. Since this is so shortly after the Time War, we see even more of the aftermath that the war had on the outer universe. So, I would recommend you have a basic understanding of Doctor Who before you dive into this story.

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Rapid Reviews

RAPID REVIEW: Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

*No Spoilers*

Trigger Warnings: brief sexual assault, swearing, and brief mentions about weight and peer pressure, moderate blood and gore

When Becca transfers to a high school in an elite San Francisco suburb, she’s worried she’s not going to fit in. To her surprise, she’s immediately adopted by the most popular girls in school. At first glance, Marley, Arianna, and Mandy are perfect. But at a party under a full moon, Becca learns that they also have a big secret.

Becca’s new friends are werewolves. Their prey? Slimy boys who take advantage of unsuspecting girls. Eager to be accepted, Becca allows her friends to turn her into a werewolf, and finally, for the first time in her life, she feels like she truly belongs.

But things get complicated when Arianna’s predatory boyfriend is killed, and the cops begin searching for a serial killer. As their pack begins to buckle under the pressure—and their moral high ground gets muddier and muddier—Becca realizes that she might have feelings for one of her new best friends.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

This graphic novel has been floating around TikTok and overall the reviews have been mixed. So I went into this story not expecting much, most high school tropes get on my nerves. So let’s sniff out this review for Squad.

This is another one of those novels that is obviously not for my demographic. I was never the new kid at school, and I never really joined a Mean Girls type friend group. Since those are huge aspects of this story that I don’t match then yeah, but I read it because I was curious. You don’t see female werewolves outside of the romance section.

One thing I didn’t like was that there’s pressure amongst the main group for Becca to fit a size 2 or 3 so they can easily share clothes. I want this toxic idea out of YA fiction. You should love your body no matter whether your a 0 or a 42+. If anyone disagrees then you don’t need that kind of toxicity in your life.

Overall, this was a mediocre story to the point where I really don’t have many thoughts or opinions about it. I liked the diversity amongst the main group of girls, but other than that this is just a petty story filled with melodrama and flimsy motives. I’d say pass on this unless your curious like I was.

Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Novels, Rapid Reviews

RAPID REVIEW: The Hunchback Assignments (The Hunchback Assignments #1) by Arthur Slade

*No Major Spoilers*

The mysterious Mr. Socrates rescues Modo, a child in a traveling freak show. Modo is a hunchback with an amazing ability to transform his appearance, and Mr. Socrates raises him in isolation as an agent for the Permanent Association, a spy agency behind Brittania’s efforts to rule the empire. At 14, Modo is left on the streets of London to fend for himself. When he encounters Octavia Milkweed, another Association agent, the two uncover a plot by the Clockword Guild behind the murders of important men. Furthermore, a mad scientist is turning orphan children into automatons to further the goals of the Guild. Modo and Octavia journey deep into the tunnels under London and discover a terrifying plot against the British government. It’s up to them to save their country.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Back in 2020, I read a graphic novel spin-off of this series called Modo: Ember’s End. I still enjoyed this novel even without knowing much about the series other than what was said in the graphic novel. So, I am thinking about making a whole post comparing the two after I reread the graphic novel so I can talk about them with fresh eyes.

I like this alternative take on The Hunchback of Notre Dame story. Modo gets found by a secret organization and gets to be trained on how to be an undercover agent. It’s so cool on top of everything being steampunk.

In my review of Modo: Ember’s End I said that I wish they didn’t make Octavia the typical dumb brute that is paired with the smart, scientific genius. However, in The Hunchback Assignments, Octavia is a smart and clever girl who catches on that Modo has a special ability. Even when she asks to see his true form she respects Modo’s boundaries when he refuses.

Overall, I found this novel to be an entertaining read. Seeing Modo go through a transformation makes me excited to read more of this series in the future. I would recommend this novel for fans of fairy tale retellings, Young Adult fiction, or fans of spy thrillers and steampunk.

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels, Manga, Rapid Reviews

RAPID REVIEW: The Tale of the Outcasts (The Tale of the Outcasts #1) by Makoto Hoshino

*No Major Spoilers*

This is the story of Wisteria, an orphaned girl lost in darkness, and Marbas, an immortal being who shares her loneliness. The unlikely companions met on a quiet, uneventful night, and they set off together in search of the light. What begins as a chance meeting on the edge of the late nineteenth-century British Empire soon became a full-fledged journey to find their place in the world.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

I found this novel at my local library. The beautiful artwork and Beauty and the Beast-like story caught my interest. Happy to say that this is a lovely story full of heart, and the complications between found family and blood family.

I love how Marbas’ character develops over the course of this story. He is closed off emotionally a distant towards Wisteria, he doesn’t fully understand how attached to him she’s become over their time together. He is just resigned to spending all of eternity alone.

Do not worry though, the relationship between Wisteria and Marbas is strictly platonic. I don’t know how it grows and develops in the future, but I am invested in this storyline and I can’t wait to read the next in the series.

Overall, I loved The Tale of the Outcasts. The artwork is beautiful, and I am a bit of a sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings apparently. I would recommend this manga for fans of romance, the supernatural, and found family vs blood family tropes.