My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sorcerers & Secretaries, volume 1, is a sweet romance that puts a surprising amount of depth in a small space. The pace is quick, but the story never feels rushed. I think part of this is due to the fact that this reads more like a novel than other shojo I’ve read, which, because of being serialized in magazines with a bottom line for their first publication, often has more of a cliffhanger feel at the end of each chapter so they can survive to completion. The chapters, even when they’re obviously part of a larger story, feel like episodes in a miniseries. Not the case here. This graphic novel is understated, yet the manga-influenced artwork is gorgeous and fits perfectly with the plot.
The main character, Nicole Hayes, is both likable and self-contained. Her daydreams easily bleed into her real life. In fact, the way it’s drawn is the closest I’ve seen to someone capturing what it’s like when a story is stuck in your head while you’re trying to have a conversation with someone.
But even though she has this wonderful story she’s trying to bring to life, she’s lonely. One night it becomes a little more than she can stand and so she agrees to go on a date with a former neighbor, Josh Kim, a guy who seems willing to do anything to be near her.
Unfortunately, he’s a playboy who sees her as a challenge, the one girl whose phone number he can’t get. At least, that’s how Nicole sees him. As the story progresses, we learn that many of the things he does around women are because of the influence of his friend. How many? I don’t know. Will he wise up before he loses her? We’ll see in the next and final volume.