Seven Secrets, Vol. 1 introduced readers to the Order, a clandestine organization responsible for guarding the magical artifacts known as the Seven Secrets. Readers also explored the Order through Caspar, the Order’s newest recruit whose parents are two of the Order’s most respected and capable members. Vol. 1 ended with the Seekers, who seek to destroy the Order, closing in, and Seven Secrets, Vol. 2 ups the stakes by not only cranking up the action scenes, but by developing the characters readers thought they knew.
Volume two begins not in the world we know, but in the Fae Realm. It is in this world that Caspar not only learns more about his upbringing, but discovers that he may just be the secret weapon the Order needs to turn the tide of battle. However, the Seekers are eager to press their advantage, especially since there is a traitor in the midst of the Order, one who developed a deep hatred of the organization and will gladly use his knowledge to help bring down the Order.
Tom Taylor’s story takes advantage of the fact that most of the series’ mythology was introduced in volume one. In volume two, he’s able to insert more action as well as give characters specific scenes to flesh them out. This is especially true with the scenes with Eva and Caspar, mother and son. Not able to raise Caspar herself, these moments where the two reconnect give the story some welcome emotional heft, but there are more characters who have a chance to shine. As the traitor in the Order is revealed, Taylor does such a great job exploring that traitor’s motivations, they become more of an antihero instead of a straight-up villain. These moments of character building keep the series from becoming simply action scenes and eye candy.
Daniele Di Nucolo, however, doesn’t skimp on the action or the set pieces. After depicting gorgeously sprawling but real-world locations, Di Nucolo can explore a more fantastical side to the worlds he creates. The Fae Realm as depicted by Di Nucolo is one where unicorns can frolic but not connected to our world’s concept of gravity or time. Magic is also brought in as a weapon that can be more powerful than the largest guns in either sides’ respective arsenals. Fans of volume one will be delighted to know that there is no drop in the quality of the gun and sword fights Di Nucolo depicts but this book. Hopefully, when volume three comes out, it will continue to show the artist challenging himself.
Seven Secrets is still as bright and loud as a Saturday morning cartoon or the sugary cereal that was supposedly part of a nutritious breakfast, but it also allows for emotional beats and chances for characters to do more than stab and shoot. With the world and the basic plot already established, volume two can take some risks in incorporating more genre blending as well as a generous sprinkling of more down-to-earth moments. If your patrons loved volume one, librarians should look into Seven Secrets, Vol. 2, which delivers what they loved about the first volume, but includes enough new elements to keep it fresh and interesting.
Seven Secrets, Vol. 2
By Tom Taylor
Art by Daniele De Nicuolo
BOOM! Studios, 2021
NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+), Older Teen (16-18)