Zatanna and the House of Secrets

Matthew Cody, illus. by Yoshi Yoshitani. DC Ink, $9.99 (152p) ISBN 978-1-4012-9070-2
Halloween is going poorly for Zatanna, a middle schooler who lives in an odd-looking house with her small-time stage magician father, Zatara, and his rabbit, Pocus. Changing friendships and social pressures create awkward challenges, and then, after school, an intruder unleashes a deluge of revelations. Her house, it turns out, is really an ancient repository of secrets and power; Pocus is her father’s talking familiar; and Zatara is the latest in a lineage of the house’s caretakers. Capable of potent magic, she and her father are under siege by a formidable witch, and in order to save them, Zatanna must harness her powers and solve the house’s mysteries. Cody (the Supers of Nobles Green trilogy) blazes through twists and turns at a headlong pace, occasionally rushing past opportunities for character development. The artwork from Yoshitani, however, is magical. Memorable characters and gently sinister creatures (kappa-esque goblins, a fantastical paper sphinx) inhabit a world that merges architectural forms from a range of places and times with repeating motifs (keyholes, stairs), all rendered in a consistent, distinctive style that displays aesthetic influences from video games and contemporary animation. More from the inclusive supporting cast would have been welcome, but the groundwork is well-laid here for future adventures. Ages 8–12. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 01/28/2020
Release date: 02/18/2020
Genre: Children's
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-77950-204-9
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