A graphic-novel series to accompany the Melowy chapter books.
A concise pagelong summary opens the story, explaining the distant world Aura, which consists of four island realms and the Castle of Destiny in the clouds, which houses the school for Melowies, winged unicorns with magical powers. Five first-year friends and roommates—Cleo, Maya, Electra, Cora, and Selena—are preparing for a big exam in defense techniques. Each Melowy has a distinctive quirk: Cleo’s a bookworm, Maya bakes, Electra likes fashion, Cora’s brainy, and Selena’s aloof. Cleo also has a mysterious backstory and an equally mysterious locket. The five, along with side characters, all share similar silhouettes (slender, leggy, long-haired, short-snouted, and with the same shape and size wings and horns for all); aside from variations in hair styles and skirt lengths, readers must rely primarily on color schemes to keep track of the large, otherwise bland cast. When the test ends up separating the Melowies, luring them in with desires and then trapping them with fears, Cleo’s locket and the strength of her friendships carry the day, allowing her to pass while aiding her friends in the test. The ending confirms the obvious—that Cleo’s special—and reveals a villain scheming in the wings for subsequent episodes.
It has color, magic, and ponies—but little else. (Graphic fantasy. 6-8)