Maybe it’s because nearly a year has passed since I read the last volume, but this really felt like a return to form.
The last couple of books had characters everywhere, with different objectives, and it felt scattered. New characters were being introduced at an alarming rate, and minor characters were getting lost in the shuffle. Quite a dramatic event happened at the end of the fifth volume, and it took me a while to remember who the character involved was, which was clearly not intended reaction.
This volume, however, is much more focused, and it’s dropped a lot of the soap opera nonsense that had started to crop up in the plot. It skips forward a few years in the future, which is something I often find annoying in stories, but this time it felt like a welcome palate cleansing break. The child narrator is now an adorable four-year-old, and her parents are desperately trying to find her. She is currently trapped with a family member in a high-security prisoner-of-war camp, so the story has a fun heist vibe while re-establishing the characters and plotline.
There is a side plot of people tracking the parents and their child, which is less interesting but not unbearable. It adds tension and will hopefully come into its own without muddling the main storyline again, but I thought in this volume the balance between the viewpoint characters worked really well.
I was starting to drift from this series a little, but I’m back on the hype train. I’m eager to get to the next volume, but I have a feeling it won’t be coming out until early next year.