Twisy, Magical, and Fun! || ARC Review: Zatanna and the House of Secrets

I love Zatanna! She’s such a fun, amazing part of DC, and I was thrilled to receive an ARC for this new middle grade story of hers! I’ve always been a fan of Barbara Gordon, as Batgirl, as Oracle, it doesn’t matter. She’s such a cool character, and I was really excited to see her as a teenager.

Title: Zatanna and the House of Secrets
Author: Matthew Cody
Publisher: DC Zoom
Release Date: February 18, 2020
Genres: MG Fantasy

I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Official Synopsis

Welcome to the magical, mystical, topsy-turvy world of the House of Secrets, where Zatanna embarks on a journey of self-discovery and adventure … all with her pet rabbit, Pocus, at her side

Zatanna and her professional magician father live in a special house, the House of Secrets, which is full of magic, puzzles, mysterious doors, and storybook creatures–it’s the house everyone in the neighborhood talks about but avoids. Not that Zatanna cares, though, because she is perfectly content.

But at school one day, Zatanna stands up to a bully and everything changes … including her friends. Suddenly, Zatanna isn’t so sure about her place in the world, and when she returns home to tell her father, he’s gone missing, lost within their own home.

With thrilling twists from writer Matthew Cody and dazzling artwork by Yoshi Yoshitani, Zantanna and the House of Secrets will delight readers at the turn of every page–and the opening of every door!

Quick Thoughts

  • I love the family bunny—such an adorable character with a fun twist!
  • The art is so fun and super cute. Lots of bright and saturated colors! I thought it was fun how the backgrounds sometimes faded away so that Zatanna’s emotions were on full display. It makes her as a character super important.

Lasting Impressions

This story is everything! The plot is twisty and heart wrenching at times, but also a lot of fun. The characters that come into Zatanna’s life have a lot of depth. Seeing her interact with her friends and middle school in general is so relatable, and middle grade readers will love her and understand her.

I loved seeing her relationship with her father as well, though I wish one emotional beat had been drawn out a little more, the rest of it was incredibly well paced (and fast-paced at that!)

Seeing Zatanna grow in character and depth and in her magic was really touching and emotional. Also, her magic is just so much fun! I’ve always loved the “backwards” way of it, so I was really happy to see that still here.

Overall Feelings

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really loved this new Zatanna story! It’s fun and hilarious, with loads of twists and magic. I would definitely recommend it to any Zatanna fan and any magic fan in general.

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