Content Note: transmisia, fatmisia
Hazel and her grandmother Klara are in a re-education facility on Landfall where they are in relative safety, as long as nobody realizes who they really are. Meanwhile Marko and Alana are still frantically looking for Hazel – and they’re closing in on her trail. With the death of The Brand, journalist couple Upsher and Doff are free to take up their investigation into the case again – and do so immediately, only to run into The Will who is looking for revenge against Prince Robot IV.
I’m really enjoying saga as a whole and Volume Six brings some plots to a close (while opening up others, of course) that I have been waiting for. There were a couple of moments here where I wasn’t completely happy, but overall, I’m very excited about the continuation.
So far, I’ve been in mostly in a reading frenzy with this series. That stage is always exciting with a new series, but it can mean that I miss things that should be examined more critically. In Volume Six, I did notice a couple of things that rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it’s the first time that the series made missteps, maybe I’ve just reached the moment where I’m in less of a frenzy.
In any case, Volume Six introduces a new character to the series, Petrichor, a trans woman. And while I’m generally all for more trans characters, she is introduced naked under a shower, so we get a good look at her genitals. And I’m pretty sure that there could have been better ways to introduce the (so far) only trans character in the series – even in a series that is as frank about sex and nudity than this one. It is made marginally better because we get Marko and Alana fully naked a couple of pages later, so Petrichor’s aren’t the only genitalia we see, but still.
There is also the subplot surrounding The Will. The Will has grown fat in the years since Volume Five and this fatness is shown as a sign of struggling with addiction and his mental health in the wake of his grief about losing pretty much everyone. It’s also shown in a way that definitely smacks of fatmisia and that really didn’t make me, as a fat woman, very happy. Given that The Will was one of my favorites so far, it hurt doubly that way that he really isn’t doing well and that the bad place he is in is symbolized with him being fat. While I’d generally be hoping that he gets better (and teams up with the Lying Cat again, and Sophie and Gwendolyn), I’m afraid now that getting better for him will also mean that he becomes thin again and completes the circle of fat hate.
Fortunately, neither of those two things is absolutely central to the story here, so I could ignore that and focus on other things and those other things are still great! The characters, the story, the shifting of allegiances, both willingly and unwillingly – I’m still very much intrigued and looking forward to what else the series has to offer.
Summarizing: Despite my review focusing on the problematic things, there is definitely still more to love than not love about the series.