Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Review - The Broken Vow

The Broken Vow (Spill Zone #2)
by Scott Westerfeld
illustrated by Alex Puvilland & Hilary Sycamore
Date: 2018
Publisher: First Second
Reading level: YA
Book type: graphic novel
Pages: 240
Format: hardcover
Source: library

Only the very brave or the very desperate dare enter the Spill Zone—Addison Merritt is a little of both. In exchange for a suitcase full of cash, she made one last to the Zone. She survived the encounter, but came back changed.

Addison is not alone. In a remote village in North Korea, a young man named Jae was touched by the unholy fire of the Spill Zone. He made it out alive—alive, but also changed.

Now bestowed with uncanny powers, Addison and Jae may be the only ones strong enough to face a new threat that has risen in the Spill Zone. This deadly entity is searching for his runaway bride—and his hunt is bringing him closer and closer to Addison and her little sister.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

WARNING: Major Spoilers! To read this review with the spoilers hidden, check it out on Goodreads.

Well, that was rather disappointing. Whereas Spill Zone offered up all sorts of tantalizing questions, The Broken Vow gave up lots of answers. Too many answers. The air of mystery in the first book is utterly shattered in the second, and the plot is tied up in a neat little bow.

As it turns out, the Spill is simply the result of a rift between the worlds being opened by a princess desperate to escape an arranged marriage. The family drama has caused a civil war, and the princess (Vespertine) escaped by jumping into our world and into Lexa's doll. I can buy that, but the sociopathic indifference that Vespertine shows (she killed many, many people in our world as the result of her escape) makes it difficult for me to feel any sympathy for her plight.

Addie becomes a millionaire, gains the power of levitation, and makes a new friend. Vespertine is driven out of Lexa's body, and exists somewhere (Lexa is seen texting with her at the end of the story). The sisters live happily ever after in Hawaii. Everything is just too neat and tidy. It's almost as if the stories in the two books were written by different authors; I'm not impressed with the way all the loose ends were tied up. While there is a hint of the story continuing with some other side characters, we never really learned enough about them to care; if they want to eat radioactive dust, that's their problem.

Overall, this was just a disappointment. On the plus side, it's a really quick read. This is the first graphic novel I've read in hardcover format, and I got through its 200+ pages in a portion of an afternoon. If you're looking for something quick, give it a try. If you're looking for a story that wraps everything up so fast it causes whiplash, you might enjoy it more than I did.

Plot: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Pace: 4/5
Writing & Editing: 3/5
Illustration: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall Rating: 3.38 out of 5 ladybugs

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