My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I won this in a giveaway a few months back (eep, sorry for the delay). It's an interesting introduction to Rachel's world. S'aven is a dystopic city outside of London in some not-so-distant future where a war stretches out endlessly, the police are as corrupt if not more so than the mobsters that rule S'aven. Rachel has it even harder. She's a Reacher and I don't want to say too much about what they are as part of the novel's pacing centers on slowly peeling away the layers and revealing a Reacher's power. Leave it at they can be powerful. They are sought after to be used by the unscrupulous and they have been hunted down and killed.
Two brothers, John and Charlie, have been hired by the head mobster, Pinkie, to locate a young woman, a doctor, who turns out to be Rachel, but when Charlie realizes that Rachel is a Reacher he knows he just can't turn her over to Pinkie. Charlie has his reasons but that's another thing I don't want to go into too much so not to spoil things. Charlie however has been badly injured in the past and is not up to snuff. He relies on John who is a bit on the sociopathic side. well, to be honest there aren't too many upstanding citizens in this story outside of Rachel and even she's willing to do whatever it takes to survive, but who can blame her.
At Charlie's insistence, John agrees to help get Rachel out of town but she's not so sure she's ready to run just yet. With the dubious help of Charlie's friend Roxy, who has his own agenda, they have to be sure to keep Rachel around but that won't be easy with Donnie Bloom back in town, the bomber who killed Pinkie's brother.
It's a good introduction into this world. I enjoyed it.
Vinland Saga, Omnibus 5 by Makoto Yukimura
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
More like a 3.5 but since I love the series, rounded up. I can see why some fans were whining about the 'farming manga.' This arc does seem to be dragging on. Thorfinn more or less had a nervous breakdown after Canute was the one to kill Askeladd and somehow he's managed to be enslaved even worse than he was under Askeladd's command. Thorfinn is working on Ketil's farm and Ketil is a wealthy farm owner. A new slave, an Englishman, Einar joins Thorfinn and Einar is very keen to clear the land Ketil has set before them and grow crops in order to buy his freedom.
Thorfinn barely registers he has a partner. He's on step above catatonic for much of the first half of the book. It's only later as the 'guests' (which seem to be swords for hire to keep the farm safe from thieves but are pretty thuggish themselves) try to get Ketil's youngest son, who wants to be a warrior but is pretty much a cowardly bully, more mouth than bravery, to kill Einar as practice. That wakes Thorfinn up but not until the smartest of the guests, Snake, steps in to stop things.
Afterwards, Thorfinn takes an interest in life again. He realizes that Einar is a farmer who hates warriors for killing his family and while Einar slowly comes to understand Thorfinn is the very thing he's hated, they still help each other. Einar teaches Thorfinn how to farm, well enough in fact to anger the free farmhands who want to keep the slaves down.
IN this volatile mix is Ketil's elderly father who is guiding Einar and Thorfinn and Ketil's older son, a psychopathic warrior that even Ketil fears. And Canute and Thorkill are having their own troubles as Canute is now embattled by his brother for the thorn.
This is very different from the violent war story arcs that make up the first four omnibuses. It's much slower going. Honestly I didn't like the early art in this volume when Thorfinn is very unkempt. that was fine but his head was too big for his tiny body. Something was off but that is minor. The art for this is pretty amazing. I'm looking forward to see where this goes. I mean I know what eventually happens for Canute and Thorfinn but since this is alternative history really I could be surprised.
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