Saturday, 10 September 2016

Saga Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughn

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Finally, we're back to something happening in this universe again. The last couple of volumes felt like just treading water, creating drama rather than exploring it. While some good downtime is possibly essential in a long journey like this, this wasn't the satisfying kind.

We pick up years later, when baby Hazel isn't so much of a baby anymore. She's been living in a converted prison/refugee/prisoner of war camp, with her grandmother and ghost babysitter. She's been hiding her wings and going to school. But she's at the age where she wants to tell someone about who she is, and picks her teacher, almost killing her in the process.

Meanwhile, her parents have reconciled over the years they have spent trying to find her, although have not renewed their sexual relationship. You know, at least not until it can be captured on the page. Other new characters included a transgender prisoner who thinks that Hazel is probably the result of rape during war, and is willing to help her because of that.

We also return to the small seal creature whose name I can't remember but enjoy, to the bounty hunter who is out of his mind on a drug that makes him hallucinate the woman most important to him, and the Prince and his son. The Prince is coopted into helping Hazel's parents rescue her from the internment camp.

Lots more happens, and the emotions are stronger, and it doesn't feel like they're trying to force story into a pause that doesn't quite match up. Vaughn is very good at writing connection, and Hazel reuniting with her father is truly moving. (Too bad we don't get any real reunion with her mother - it's broken up by one of the new characters mistaking her for an enemy, but you'd think we'd get something after that. But instead we're on to a reveal which is interesting but...still. She hasn't seen her daughter in years, hasn't stopped looking for her. I know it would mean we get two reunion scenes, but don't you think maybe the story has earned that?)

So, now that the family's back together, let's see what happens next? And I fervently hope we don't go down the same path of them apart/together/apart/together. This is an interesting universe. Hopefully the plotlines will go in unexpected directions.

But in general, it feels like Saga's back on track, and I'm glad I stuck it out. It doesn't hurt that a friend is a big fan who loans me each trade as it comes out. 

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