Saturday, May 26, 2012

Book Review: Kieli volume 4, Long Night Beside a Deep Pool

Unforutnatly it appears that my plan to take March off to catch up with my reading seems to have backfired, currently I'm still talking about books I read back in March so apologies if some of these reviews have been a bit short, I'm starting to get a bit hazy on all the details. Of course, I'm a bit hazy on details of previous light novels in general anyway so there might not even be a difference here. Also, I've decided that since I'm well into each of these light novel series that I'm going to stop talking about the art. By and large the art hasn't evolved much and, rather than say the same thing over and over, so I'll be dropping that part of the reviews unless the art undergoes a major shift.

Kieli volume 4: Long Night Beside a Deep Pool by Yukako Kabei

Summary: After the incident with the spaceship in the third book, Harvey, an Undyding (a super solider from a war decades earlier whom the Church has vowed to hunt down and kill on sight) has left to look for more information concerning Kieli’s mom and it’s been a year and a half since then. When they get a short note from him Beatrix, whom Kieli has been living with all this time, Kieli and the Corporal, the spirit possessing an old radio, set out to find him again. But things haven’t been going well for Harvey since then

The Good: The story continues with a plot point picked up from the second novel, the mystery surrounding Kieli’s parents (particularly her mother) and a few details are answered here (such as who the Undying who was traveling with her). Not all is explained, of course, but it was more than I expected so I felt satisfied there. The story also has developed another interesting thread, Harvey seems to be dying (or at the very least not truly an Undying anymore) and given that none of the characters seem to have realized plus their tendency to get into all kinds of trouble this is sure to become even more important as the series progresses.

The Bad: I’ve realized by now that most of the light novels I read aren’t meant to be read with a 6+ month gap between them because of the way they flow from one story to the next not like separate installments in a series but rather likes parts of one whole story, and I’m having some trouble enjoying them as much. Actually, I thought that alone was the reason for one of my issues in the book, Julius. As far as I could recall he had been a rather young character in the second book, around 8 or 10 at the oldest (younger than Kieli in any case) yet here he acted and had the privileges of someone who was closer to 17 or 18. I went ahead and checked the illustrations of the second book and no, I was right the first time around, Julius feels much too mature for whatever his age is and that really bothered me.  

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