Saturday, May 25, 2013

Book Review: The Dead Sleep in Wilderness Eternally Part 1 (@yenpress)

Kieli, Harvey, and the Corporal are on their way to the capital with Joachim in tow...though nobody seems too happy about it. But when undead monsters attack their train, the group is separated, leaving Kieli on her own - that is, until she meets her father! Now that she's reunited with her relative and her old friend Julius to boot, does this mean the end of Kieli's adventures with Harvey and the Corporal?

This book, the penultimate book in the series, tackles questions that had been sort of brewing in Kieli's mind for the last few books.  They're addressed by a couple of the characters, in their own manner at various points in fact.

Why does Kieli cling to the people she does?  Harvey, and the Corporal (as well as Beatrix, later) --was it just happenstance and fate that brought them to Kieli?  Would anyone have done, so long as they were there when she wanted to escape her boarding school?  Would she feel as loyal and protective of anyone who happened by?  When did 'anyone' become 'someone' she cared for deeply?

Kieli examines these questions throughout the book, at one point voicing her troubles to a ghost she meets who is pondering why the cats cling to him despite his not being able to feed them.  Joachim, who's more of a nuisance now and less of an active problem like in the earlier books, finds himself asking these questions as well, albeit in a more selfish manner.  Later Julius silently wonders why Kieli is so attached to these people when it has brought her nothing but pain.

In a more bittersweet undercurrent everyone is, to some extent or other, trying to avoid thinking about the 'after'.  After Kieli meets her father, after things finally 'settle' and they rescue Beatrix, what then?  Harvey mentions an idealistic, too good to be true plan he has to Kieli, but she is so much more pessimistic then in the beginning of the series.  She imagines if that plan comes true, even building on it in her head, but recognizes that unless a miracle occurs that plan is naught but an irritating fantasy.

I have to admit the Church is not quite what I expected, given the goons that populate the better part of the books.  Whether this is because zealots with power beget the abuse there of, or Kieli is seeing the Church in a different light given the revelations about her past, it made me mildly uncomfortable.

Either way this book began what can only be described as the bittersweet journey towards a conclusion that will be anything but happy.  The last book, part 2 of this story arc, arrives at the end of September.  I'm not sure I can bare it.