Author: Suzanne Walker, Wendy Xu
Genres: Fantasy, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Lion Forge
Review Copy: Library
Availability: Available now
Summary: 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. [Image and summary via Goodreads]
Review: To be honest, I didn’t come to Mooncakes with a completely blank slate. A few years back, I read a bit of Mooncakes, back when it was a webcomic on Tumblr. I loved the premise — queer, Chinese-American with werewolves and magic! — but when I found out that there would be a print version later on, I decided to wait for that to come out. Fast forward to fall 2019, and here we are!
Mooncakes centers on Nova Huang, a witch, and Tam Lang, a werewolf as the two reunite and take on an evil, mysterious force in the forest — and naturally, fall in love. The relationship between Nova and Tam is honestly the sweetest, and simply heartwarming to read.
When it comes to Mooncakes, I’d say that I came for the romance and stayed for the representation. Tam goes by they/them pronouns. Seeing they pronouns used in YA comics and YA lit is something I’ll never get tired of. In addition, Nova is hard-of-hearing, which is integral to how she approaches her life and magic. (Read more about that in this post on representation by writer Suzanne Walker.) And of course, the Chinese-American rep is everything.
Like an actual mooncake, Mooncakes is more than meets the eye. Along with the excellent representation, the story taps into Tam and Nova’s struggles with their own hopes and dreams and fears in unexpected way. The two support each other and push each other to be better…
If you’re looking for a sweet, magical comic to fill a few hours, then Mooncakes is it. Definitely pick it up if this sounds like your cup of tea. You won’t regret it!
Recommendation: Get it soon!