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WesternSFA


City of Illusion
City of Secrets #2
by Victoria Ying
Viking, $14.99, 256pp
Published: August 2021

It's been a peaceful three months since Hannah Morgan and Ever Barnes saved their beloved Oskars, and activated the powers of their city's Megantic. Ever now lives with the Morgan family and the two children watch over and learn more about Oskar (the Megantic) every day.

But their conflict-free days come to an abrupt end when Mr. Morgan is captured while on a family trip to nearby Alexios, and the kids get into a spat with a group of street magicians who con Hannah out of her pocket money. Chifa and Tanan were never planning to make friends while performing their tricks, but when Hannah and Ever learn of their connection to Vash, they realize there's much more at stake than a few coins.

If Hannah and Ever want to find out what Vash is hiding and save both Oskars and Alexios before time runs out, they'll have to learn to trust Chifa and Tanan, and most importantly, find a way to work together.

Victoria Ying is both author and illustrator on this wonderful young adult graphic novel and that shows in how well the words and the art work together. In this novel, there are many elements that move in harmony and that is just the first of several delightful features in this work of art.

Despite reading as an adult, I can readily distinguish how young adults would love this novel. It is a fun, action filled and quick-paced graphic book with heroines close to the age of the intended audience. The story is engaging and the characters complex, with ideas that are explained well without talking down to young people. The art is clean and elegant with appealing scenes and action that will appeal to any age. I love the color palette that matches a steampunk world and how well Victoria Ying introduces the characters from her previous novel. She quickly progresses the story to the current adventure and by the end of the novel, brings everything to a thrilling conclusion. I love how proactive and intelligent the characters are in the story while still being children that aren't perfect and occasionally need the help of others around them. I especially love how the characters work together to solve the mysteries and events in the story. It is well written and a delight to read.

If you love graphic novels - even if you're an adult - you will love this book. It combines great art with a colorful and exciting story. The machines in the story are beautifully designed and interesting in their origins. I think not only will children love it but so will the adults in their families. I can't wait for more from this incredible author and artist.

Rating: 5 out 5 giant robots ~~ Andrea Rittschof

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