I actually posted this last year. Still agree with it. Because I’m not sure what’s going to happen with Goodreads, I’m going to be duplicating (for the most part) my reviews there, over here. Plus, PH can’t get enough love from me. It’s a truly amazing series.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Oh. My. Gosh.
I think I’m going to have to tone down any superlatives I use for this series because it looks like I’m going to need them later on. At least, if volume two is any indication.
I haven’t been this excited about a fantasy series since FullMetal Alchemist. And I had the same reaction to volume two in that series as well.
While volume one was about setting up the story, volume two is all about loyalty in friendships, new and old. Oz learns about the Abyss and time. He finds someone he cared about and learns that many terrible things have happened to them since he was cast in. Most importantly, he discovers the full import of the illegal contract he has with Alice. And it’s not good, folks. Not good.
There’s a lot of amazing stuff in this volume, so I’ll just mention three things that I especially loved.
First, I loved the interaction between Gil and Oz. The deep devotion Gil feels for Oz is so well done. It never comes across as schmaltzy or saccharine. And it was nice to see Oz acknowledge that devotion in a way that didn’t make him seem like a jerk.
I liked the development in his relationship with Alice. It’s not romantic (yet) but there’s a connection between the two that extends beyond their contract. I like how this relationship is affecting the two of them in positive ways.
But I think my favorite scene was when Oz finally meets the one who runs the Abyss: the Intention of the Abyss. I love the look on Oz’s face when he’s dealing with her and the way he finishes the conversation is so awesome because the preparation for it was so subtle.
One last thing…I have a new favorite character in Xerxes Break. The first time I read this, I was sure that he was up to no good. Good or evil, though, I got the feeling his story would be interesting after I watched him orchestrate a “demonstration” for Oz and Alice regarding their contract.
These lines from Break to Oz are sooooo creepy and yet so good: “I’m curious about what is was that warped you so. But then…you don’t seem to have realized that yourself. Say, Oz-kun…where…in the world are you?”
Reading volume three? I didn’t have a choice.