“If fortune plays you a bad hand, you can still win if you play the game right.”
Alex Mills grew up learning about superstitions and how to keep herself safe. She always kept her lucky baseball bat at her side. Her father claimed that avoiding bad luck was their heritage because her great-great grandfather Zane Mills, a professional gambler, married Lady Luck. Together they watch over the Mills descendants. Alex’s mother is more of a skeptic but doesn’t interfere with Alex and her dad bonding over these beliefs.
Alex’s father is killed in an accident when she’s still a young girl. Years later her mother asks her to let go of superstitions and not be afraid to celebrate her 13th birthday. Alex agrees to do so and tempts fate by stepping on a crack. Suddenly her mother is paralyzed as if her back were broken. Alex is left to figure out what to do. She’s shocked by the sudden appearance of a leprechaun warrior who whisks her away to Haphaven, the land from which all superstitions draw their power. She must complete a quest to retrieve the one thing that will cure her mother.
This graphic novel is full of colorful characters, deception, hidden agendas and shout outs to familiar superstitions, elevating it from a simple fairy tale to a genuine adventure. The narrative benefits from dialog that is funny, snarky and engaging. The art conveys the creepy world of Haphaven but still shows the warmth of interactions among the characters. Although Alex is the child of white father and black mother the story doesn’t focus on her identity. Rather, it centers her love of baseball, her relationship with her parents and her dangerous quest.
Once you’ve seen the world of Haphaven, I think you’ll join me in being more conscientious about throwing salt over your shoulder!