Series: Moonstruck #1
Werewolf barista Julie and her new girlfriend go on a date to a close-up magic show, but all heck breaks loose when the magician casts a horrible spell on their friend Chet. Now it’s up to the team of mythical pals to stop the illicit illusionist before it’s too late.
Collects issues 1 through 5.
The premise of Moonstruck intrigued me, as did the cute art style. Julie is a werewolf barista, who is ashamed of her transformations. But she meets a new girlfriend, another werewolf, who is proud of who she is. Together, the two discover a magician–but when he casts a spell on their friend, they have to go on a mission to track him down to reverse the curse. There should be plenty of mystery, action, and drama, right? Well, not so much. Moonstruck ends up being a rather lackluster graphic novel with only the sketchiest of plots.
The biggest strength of the book is arguably the characters, which, unfortunately, is not saying a lot. Readers get a broad understandings of who the characters are, but never get to delve into their hopes, fears, or motivations. For example, it is clear that Julie is embarrassed about being a werewolf because she will run away when she transforms. But she and her friends never talk about it. Is there a stigma against werewolves where Julie lives? Does she just think looking all hairy is awkward? Readers never know.
The other characters also lack real depth, and seem to be present mainly to forward the plot. Chet, for example, is the catalyst for the events of the story, while Julie’s new girlfriend undergoes an unexpected personality change–turning quite angry–towards the end of the book, apparently just to add a bit of drama. I wanted to love these characters, but the story does not give readers much to work with.
The plot is also sorely lacking, most notably during the climax of the story. How exactly Julie and her friends manage to defeat the magician is very unclear. There is no discernible plan for his capture and his defeat comes unexpectedly and suddenly. It is a real letdown to read an entire book only to have it fall apart so decisively at the ending. This, more than anything, caused me to be disappointed with the story, and to cancel my library holds on the next two volumes.
The idea of magical creatures living in an ordinary world, serving coffee, forming bands, and falling in love is cute. Unfortunately, the execution of this story just isn’t there. I’ll be looking for another supernatural tale to enchant me this season.