In the sequel to Witches in Training, Hex Vet: The Flying Surgery takes Clarion and Annette on a new adventure in their efforts to earn their witch hats. You don’t need to have read the first series by Sam Davies in order to appreciate this one, but after reading The Flying Surgery, young readers will absolutely want more.
Hex Vet: The Flying Surgery
December 18, 2019
In The Flying Surgery, we start on the ground at home with Clarion, whose grandfather is working through the melancholy of losing his wife. Clarion does her best to cheer him up and alleviate some of his concerns with volunteering at the veterinary clinic after another witch, Ariel, shuns him. Along her way to the clinic, Clarion bumps into a person crying angry tears who runs away when she tries to help them. Meanwhile, Annette continues to struggle with troubles at home, especially when she learns that her brother will be returning soon. Her troubles following her like a dark cloud that Clarion tries to alleviate in her way by being supportive, but sometimes ends up going too far with her assumptions.
When the flying surgery takes off, we also get to meet some of the other players, including the aforementioned Ariel, who is a very grumpy and rude person who doesn’t handle people well. There’s also Dr. Cornelia Talon, who runs the clinic and, when trouble strikes, entrusts Ariel, Clarion and Annette to take care of the clinic in her absence.
In this case, the trouble is the local forest ranger’s concerns about the actions of smugglers in the area. The ranger has brought in a flying pig who has clearly been abused and overworked and is in dire need of care. Dr. Talon and the ranger head off to investigate, but the person from the bridge earlier has made their way onto the flying clinic and they want their pig back. Throw in a bunch of impatient customers and their anxious animals and the situation becomes volatile up in the clouds.
Davies sticks with cool purples and blue greens to brighten the clean and simple drawings. The clinic truly does feel like a clinic with its white walls and cold structures. Thankfully, the characters keep things warm and friendly and fun, with lovely designs and motion that make it easy to follow along with the story. Though the greater mystery of smugglers and other nefarious goings on might be a bit much for a younger reader, readers of all ages can appreciate the themes of friendship, support, and hearing each other out, even and especially when situations get heated.
My only complaint about The Flying Surgery is that, while I’ve come to love the many characters in the story, there just aren’t enough panels filled with these adorable flying animals.