My knowledge of Zatanna the DC superhero extends to a vague recollection of her being some sort of magician. So this was a fun middle-grade graphic novel to read as a cute stand-alone, which it totally works as. Zatanna is the quintessential young teenager, discovering herself as she hurtles toward adulthood.

Cody takes one of the conceits of the traditional “female coming of age” story, the importance of house and home, and twists it to great effect. The House of Secrets definitely acts as a character in its own right. Unfortunately, the story only passes the Bechdel test if you really squint; why don’t female leads ever get to have REAL female friends who act as more than two-dimensional foils?

Yoshitani’s colorful artwork supplements the story perfectly, evoking the House of Secrets as a place of both playful magic and subtle danger. I especially adore the expressiveness of the non-human characters, such as Pocus and Yeekl. I’d happily check out any other projects they illustrate.

Rating: 4.5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

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