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I read it over the weekend, review to follow shortly on my thread
It also seems the book is dealing a lot with change, and getting stuck in transition. The cuckoo is stuck on the skerry, Wanda's unfinished sex change, George hanging on the wall, not being allowed to "leave"... It seems to me it's no coincidence the scariest and most lethal creatures in The Land are called "tweeners".
3 Ander's the name Tweeners still makes me laugh.. deadens the horror a bit :)
Anders I think your right.. getting stuck but also making your own decisions, choosing your own name I.e. the end choice of Barbies.
Huge Spoilers 4/5 about being least favorite volume..
I also read in the companion there was a bit of an outcry about Wanda's death, actually an outcry Wanda full stop and less of a outcry about the only black character dying off (and being poor) go figure. Outcry because you create a relatively positive minority figure and them kill them off.. bit of a cliche. Gaiman made a lot of sense in that it works for the story, Wanda is the character that makes your heart wrench and gives such a great ending. Still..
I also wonder if the while theme of outgrowing you fantasies leaves some hardcore fans a bit uncomfortable :)
This used to be one of my favourite volumes, I still love it but less over the years.. some of it doesn't quite work for me.
For, me this was not the worst volume so far but not my favorite either. So far I love how Gaiman has gotten even tighter with his story-telling. The artwork still needs work but I have decided that this is probably as good as it gets art wise for the rest of the series, unless I am surprised.
I felt that this one also left some rather large gaps that made no sense to me, such as: 1)who is Alianora - is this yet another girlfriend of Dream's?; 2) It took me a while to remember who Rose Walker is but I still don't see the connection with this story; and 3) I am still trying to figure out the Cuckoo and how the Cuckoo came to be in the dreamworld.
I probably shouldn't leave some much time between my reads of the various volumes if references to previous volumes are going to continue to crop up.
Overall, a great addition to the Sandman series but parts of it don't work for me. Not complaining.... just saying! ;-)