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Very similar to Sailor Moon/magic girl squad set up, but with its own special twists. I really liked that the characters are not all super girly and stereotypical, which is so common in magic girl squad stories. There are sparkles and unicorns, but also flaming phoenixes. Good balance. I tend to lose interest when the group is all about fashion and makeup and girly spy accessories. This book does a great job presenting a group of girls with diverse traits and personalities while acknowledging that not all girls are into unicorns.
I picked this up from the library, because I absolutely loved Katie O'Neill's Princess Princess Ever After and The Tea Dragon Society and wanted to see more of her artwork.
I really enjoyed the artwork in this book. Just the right amount of cutesy for me.
Storywise, this one was engaging and interesting. It was a wonderful adventure going out and finding all of the cadets. I did have a hard time keeping all of the characters straight since there are a lot of main characters (and I'm horrible with names), but luckily there was a character guide at the end (wish I'd found that sooner). It goes through each cadet's powers, summon, crystal, and a basic description. Very helpful.
Overall, I thought this was a good introduction to an interesting story and engaging characters that I'd like to learn more about. I liked the book and will definitely be continuing the series.