In volume ten, the Kanon arc finally wraps up and we get a complete over use of the word ‘tightrope.’ In an improvement over the last to volumes, Ayumu and the Blade children don’t talk out a plan and then enact it. Instead we see the plan in action as Rio huddles somewhere telling us the plan as Ayumu and his sister in law, Madoka, engage Kanon, believing that his personal code of justice won’t let him kill non-Blade children. Ayumu is trying to knock Kanon out and not follow through what everyone believes to be Ayumu’s brother’s plan: Ayumu killing Kanon.
In her narrative, Rio is sure to tell the reader many times how hard this tightrope is they’re walking. Most of the book is one of those action scenes where you have to turn off the logical part of your brain that says ‘no human body could take this many wounds and live, let alone keep fighting like nothing happened.’ Frankly I as unable to do it. You just can’t shoot a person that many times without some sort of problems. Arms and legs aren’t just superfluous.
Bride of the Water God #5 by Mi-kyung Yun
This still has that beautiful light delicate line art typical of shojos…but it’s getting to the point I can’t tell Soah from any of the other women and a few of the dudes for that matter. Hyue is about the only one you can tell since he’s blond and Mui because he has short hair.
Another bride is sacrificed to Habaek, the water god. Soah pleads with Mui (still ignorant that he is in fact Habaek) to save the girl. He warns her she might regret it. Mui is told by the doctor-god that the girl is a mute but Soah soon learns otherwise as the woman has nothing good to say to her. The story starts muddling a bit here. The woman looks like and might even be Habaek’s first human wife, Nakbin but he doesn’t believe it. Certainly some of the gods are conspiring to do something. General Hyue takes Soah away since Habaek is in a bad mood, taking her to his hometown, a place of great beauty, an act the others try to use to sow seeds of mistrust in Habaek’s mind. Sadly I’m not sure I’m going to find out what happens next. I need to investigate since I’d heard Darkhorse canceled this manga (big surprise. I’m wondering why they even bother to put up the small manga any more. Everyone is going to those horrible omnibuses which are hard to read and shelve being so darn big).
Neverland by Douglas Clegg
This is a subtle horror novel that would probably only work with a very specific set of circumstances but Clegg gives them to us. The kids are just the right age. Any older and it probably would have fallen flat. If their parents were so wrapped up in their own squabbles and paid attention to their kids, it would work but they are and they don’t so this brew comes out perfectly.
Beau and his family are heading to Gull Island, off the southern US coast where his Grammy Weenie (Rowena but everyone calls her Weenie) has a 100+ year old estate. Beau is ten. He has twin sisters, Nonie and Missy, and a baby brother, Governor (yeah no one escaped the awful names in this one). Also at the household is his mother’s sister, Aunt Cricket and her husband Ralph and their son, the pale haired blue eyed Sumter.
While their parents drink and fight and the summer away, the kids are under the not-always watchful eye of Julianne, a Gullah native. Sumter has been escaping to a shack on the edge of Grammy Weenie’s property - he rather needs to with an overbearing mother and abusive father who hates the boy’s attachment to his teddy bear among other things - and he slowly hooks Beau, and later the twins, into what he’s doing there: worshiping and sacrificing to “Lucy” with a plan to never grow up into lying adults (hence the title and the name of the shack).
Slowly we get nuggets of what is really going on here, clues to Weenie’s eldest and deceased daughter, to the dark riptides of the family and the strange powers of the mind. Beau is honestly the only character I really liked him but all of them are compelling. This book comes with a back cover splattered with praise by bestselling authors. It’s fairly well deserved.