It’s been a long week. But I’ve decided on the new cover (I’m using the gray), and I’m going over the file to make sure no little typos were missed. Might as well, you know? And I’m still writing part three. Starting to approach the end, too (will that jinx it?). The spreadsheet is helping more than I expected, though I might add a column that’s a “running tally” of sorts. We’ll see.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Okay, so remember how I said I’d never forgive Vincent for what he did to Eko-chan? Well, I still won’t forgive him, but reading this volume reminded me of just how difficult a life he’s had.
The beauty of this volume is that we re-visit Vincent and Gil’s twisted relationship and see how it’s driven their choices. One of the things I love about it is it’s realistic. Gil isn’t so devoted that he doesn’t think bad things about his brother, and Vincent isn’t so blind that he doesn’t realize Gil does resent having to watch over a “child of ill omen”. I hesitate calling it weakness, because these are children we’re talking about. Children can be very devoted, but they’re also naturally self-centered and I like how that conflict is used in this volume to drive the plot.
By the time I’d finished reading their backstory, I felt so sorry for Gil, but also found myself softening toward Vincent. Yes, he’s still done terrible things. And yes, it’s never good to use “for somebody else” as an excuse. But when I saw just how twisted his life had been…well, I’m starting to hope for a little redemption for him by the end of this series.
Tying in to that, we see that one of the things that drives Gil is a need to be everything to his master. And now that Oz is pulling away, now that it’s starting to become clear that his world is expanding, leaving Gil behind, that need has begun to drive him crazy. Why? I can’t tell you. Let’s just say Break figures it out and ends up with a gun pointed at his forehead.
Seriously, if you find yourself in a position where you’ve been giving to someone for years, then find that their need for your help is gone, I think this volume does a good job of clarifying the confusion and the insane desire to pull your “master” back to you so you can keep serving them. Not being needed can be absolutely terrifying.
Other things I enjoyed in this volume:
* Oz. Dang it, Oz is going through the most incredible transformation in this series. I love how he’s starting to voice his pain instead of hiding it, and I love that Alice is the one who’s inspiring him to do so. They make the cutest non-romantic couple. 🙂
* Alice’s “kiss”. Hopefully, he was able to get some ice on that soon.
* The consequences of using the Mad Hatter get taken up a notch for Break. Though I have to admit, I really loved the way he jokes about it.
* Lottie’s reaction to Break.
* The way Break was able to bring Gil to his senses.
* The whole Barma family interests me now. Three members show up in this volume and I have so many questions now about how involved they are in this mess.
Anyway, on to volume #11 and then, the latest one, volume #12. Squee! 🙂