Title: Sorceline | Author: Sylvia Douyé | Illustrator: Paola Antista | Publisher: Andrew McReel Publishing | Genre: Middlegrade | 166 pages
For as long as she can remember, Sorceline has had a knack for the study of mythical creatures. Now a student at Professor Archibald Balzar’s prestigious school of cryptozoology, she’s eager to test her skills and earn a spot as one of Balzar’s apprentices. But for all her knowledge of gorgons, vampires, and griffins, Sorceline is mystified by her fellow humans. While she excels in her studies, she quickly clashes with her classmates, revealing her fiery temper. When one of her rivals suddenly disappears, Sorceline must set aside her anger and join the quest to find her. But the mystery only deepens, leading Sorceline on a journey far darker and more personal than she expected . . .
I was super excited to read this graphic novel. I love fantastical animals and the idea of a school for the care of magical creatures fascinates me. It always has a magical, science-y feel to it that sparks fascination and wonder in me.
First of all, I wanna say that Paola Antista’s art is absolutely gorgeous. The world design and the creatures, the colors, everything gives this story a very enchanting and mysterious feel. The cover alone makes me want to stare at it forever and discover every tiny detail.
The characters are interesting and each has a special personality trait. While Sorceline is inquisitive and has a special instinct for cryptids, her new friend Willa is curious and a bit pushy. Tara is overly ambitious and a bit of a brat and Madame S. is not so secretly a vampire.
I loved the whole idea behind this story. Not only is it full of magical creatures that need treatment and fascinating school lessons – seriously, if we had that in school, everyone of us would have yearned to go to school every Sunday evening – there is also a mystery afoot that needs solving. Nothing is like it seems to be.
Unfortunately, I also thought that the plot was a bit confusing. While there is this great mystery of disappearances and attacks, sometimes a storyline or scene just seems to break off. I don’t think it was a fault in my arc though. The story just shifts to the next scene and I was left feeling a bit behind, confused and with a “wait, what just happened?” question mark hanging over my head. Some things are just not explained enough. I hope this gets resolved and a bit streamlined in the next part of the series because by the end I was feeling a bit frustrated.
All in all, I thought that this graphic novel is absolutely gorgeous and I loved to learn about the creatures and the characters. The mystery was gripping and engaging and with a little editing or expansion this story could be really great.
Have you read this graphic novel yet? What are your thoughts?