Sunday, July 12, 2009

Scott Pilgrim Volume 4 by Bryan Lee O'Malley

So, I had planned for this next review to be of Kenneth Oppel's Skybreaker, the sequel to Airborn. That's my current read. However. The fourth Scott Pilgrim book, Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together, just happened to be bedside when I woke up from my nap, and I happened to pick it up, and an hour later I happen to have finished it. Oops.

But it's good. Actually, it's quite good, which is nice after I found the third book to be pretty-good-but-not-excellent, and I was worried that things might be heading downhill. The fourth is right back up there. It was possibly made better by my husband mentioning, offhand, that there was no evil ex-boyfriend in this one. I was kind of indignant -- what about the whole plot! Must move along! Don't worry, it does.

We have Scott meeting an old high school friend (whom he might not remember but we do), mysterious caped and be-sworded samurais, a Sex Bob-omb album in the works, a deadly half-ninja, Wallace without pants, Scott getting a job, and shifting living arrangements. The balance between sweet, salty, and hilarious is back as Scott tries to say the l-word. Which l-word? You will have to read to find out.

One section I really, really liked was a late-night awkward conversation filled with revelations and regrets. It was pitch-perfect emotionally. I haven't been there, exactly, but I know emotional truth when I see it, and I'm pretty sure that scene is played out, in variation, on many couches, in many apartments, in many cities, every night. It was a scene for me that rivalled the emotional truth I loved so much in Lost at Sea, and I was was really pleased to find that level of connection, in a sustained way rather than little flashes, in Scott Pilgrim too.

My husband's concerned that he doesn't like Ramona as well as he used to. I can see where that might come from, but I am still very fond of her. I am concerned that Scott might get his heart broken, but to be fair to Ramona, I think she's very conflicted. She's still quite mysterious -- but she's starting to open up a bit to Scott. And I think she needed to. It's nice to see their relationship developing. Scott is growing up, and Ramona is opening up, and it's all very sweet (and funny) to watch.

The first book is actually waiting for me at my favourite bookstore, and I'm going to have to go pick it up this week. I'll order them all, but it's a budget thing. At least there are only going to be six books! The final book isn't out yet... but I think, rather than ordering the fifth book ILLO, I might order it from the bookstore and then work backwards. Also, I have decided that whatever Bryan Lee O'Malley does next, I will have to buy it. He's quietly worked his way into my favourite author pantheon.

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