The Doors to Nowhere

Oni Press. (Secrets of Camp Whatever: Bk. 2). May 2022. 224p. pap. $17.99. ISBN 9781637150368.
Gr 4-6–On Willow’s 13th birthday, she reunites with the enigmatic and vampiric Elric to follow magical clues toward a dark prophecy about to be fulfilled. Her hair is now blue (by design), and she has developed a sudden ability to read Gnomish runes. She enjoys spending time with her friends Violet, Emma, and Rand, but cannot help but suspect the local Mr. Person’s connections to gnomes and magic, also called “spelling.” The vast majority of scenes in this contemporary fantasy story consist of talking heads either delivering exposition dumps, responding to them, or explaining them to other characters. The execution lacks style, with similar facial expressions and bland backgrounds and underwhelming layouts. Some magical creatures and a brief final act showdown provide some much-needed conflict and stakes. New readers may miss that Willow is deaf and wearing hearing aids until she uses her deafness to her advantage in the latter half of the story.
VERDICT Start with book one, if you must, or take the character Violet’s advice and read other books.

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