Jo sets out one day to find someone who can help with the poltergeist in her attic and her ailing mother. She finds Orla, the granddaughter of the last witch of Haresden. Orla has no intention of being sucked back into Haresden’s problems, but Jo is pretty convincing. Orla agrees to fix her problems, but discovers that the magic is off in Haresden because of her late grandmother. She wasn’t buried properly, so her bones have been spread all over the town, causing chaos with the fae spirits and engendering magical problems across the countryside. Orla enlists the help of Jo in gathering all of the bones and setting the magic right again, but the two get more than they both bargained for.
This story was beautifully told and illustrated. The guilt and generational trauma passed onto Orla is palpable, and it's no wonder she doesn't want to help her hometown. The magic mostly exists in the story and goes fairly unexplained, but it reminds me of the way Neil Gaiman weaves his magical stories without needing to fully explain every bit and how it works. Orla can just do things and knows how to do things, and the audience and Jo are along for the ride, ready to help but not sure what we're doing.
There are a few scary moments when Orla and Jo capture devious spirits, and Orla's grandmother is set on passing along the trauma she experienced to Orla. These themes make it better for readers who are middle grade and up.
Sara's Rating: 10/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Publication Date: April 19, 2022
ISBN: 9781684158171 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 10/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Magic, Family, LGBTQ+, BOOM! Studios
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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