With many franchises featuring an ensemble cast, it’s easy for the characters to be put in specific boxes. In Scooby-Doo, Velma is usually put in the role of the Smart One and Daphne the Pretty One. DAPHNE AND VELMA: THE VANISHING GIRL puts the two young women in the spotlight and dives further into their characters and who they really are under the surface. It looks at what they want, what motivates, what hurts them, and more. I loved getting to see an in-depth take on Daphne and Velma and how complex they truly are.
One of the best parts of this book is the female friendship (and break up) of Daphne and Velma. They used to be best friends (with Shaggy, Scooby, and Fred there as well, but a special connection between the two of them). When Velma witnessed a secret of Daphne’s parent and tells Daphne, Daphne lashes out and later doesn’t know how to apologize. The rift and distrust between them is wide, and I love how the story builds their relationship back up slowly and realistically. At the end of the day, the complement each other and make a great team, but sometimes it takes something huge (like a missing person mystery) to bring two people back together.
There are times when the writing feels a little forced and repetitive, in both Daphne and Velma’s chapters. It took me out of the story a few times, but not enough to not enjoy the book overall.
If you’re looking for media tie-in stories that bring rich imagination to beloved characters, DAPHNE AND VELMA is well worth adding to the list.