Yue continues to get closer to Tsubaki and Akiyoshi while they attempt to continue the investigation into the missing people in town. However the arrival of a stranger in town who attacks Yue stirs up the ayakashi.
This second book remains as compelling as book one and while it unveils more information about each of the three boys it also gives us yet more mysteries. The reveal about Yue is particularly interesting and it is a great lead into the next book because now I definitely want to know what is going to happen next with that particularly story-line.
And that’s probably the biggest weakness of this book in that we’ve lost a lot of the atmosphere from the town because the focus is now so tightly on the main characters. The incidental conversations and rumours from the first book have become minor background details to make way for more conversations between the ayakashi. Admittedly, this means the audience are now getting much more information but it was at the cost of some of that immersive atmosphere that the first book did so well.
Fortunately, the developing relationship between Yue, Tsubaki and Akiyoshi more than makes up for it. Akiyoshi is still fairly distrustful of Yue, but we learn and Yue learn more about his background as we see Akiyoshi interacting with what seem like servants from his family and handling calls from his father. Also, by the end of the story, while Akiyoshi doesn’t totally trust Yue, he is finally done with treating him like the enemy.
Tsubaki on the other hand remains fairly aloof from the other two until much later in the book when he is once again attacked. Yue shields Tsubaki from the attack and gets injured and in the grand tradition of these sorts of stories that means Tsubaki and Yue have now come to some understanding.
Ultimately, it is that sequence that makes Yue actually aware of the piece of the puzzle he needed to know and once he realises that the audience can finally start to put together the story, though it looks like we still have more secrets to uncover (as in the why we ended up in this situation).
This story knows when to reveal things and just how long it can conceal things before it becomes tiresome. There’s a feeling that we’re getting closer to something even while the picture slowly gets pieced together and we realise it was much bigger than initially thought.
While it might be awhile before I get the next book, I’m really looking forward to continuing this story.
Thanks for reading.
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