Graphic Novel Review: Coming Back by Jessi Zabarsky

Coming Back by Jessi Zabarsky. RH Graphic, 2021. 9780593120026. 250pp.

Preet is the best Shaper in the village, and is also good at Shifting into other forms, too. Valissa can’t do much magic, but she works in the village library so you know she’s cool. After a mist fills the library, Valissa volunteers to go in and try to take care of it. (The village can’t spare Preet, whose magic is needed every day.) But while Valissa is gone, Preet violates the way the villagers do things by planting a seed alone and starting to raise the resulting child. She pays a heavy price for this, and it’s unclear if she will ever see Valissa again.

Everything about this book is kind and wonderful except the villagers, who, mid-book, are stuck in their ways. There are strange creatures and flying boats and even the monsters are pretty friendly, so you know it’s all going to have a chance to work out. (This is not a sequel to Zabarsky’s first graphic novel, Witchlight, but it feels like they’re part of the same universe. Or maybe they’re just spiritual sequels.)


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