Honestly, I got about 3/4 of the way through this book, all the way to the last chapter in fact, before I realized that this series is only 2 volumes long. I can’t figure out if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. It really seemed like the type of story that would stretch out over 4 or 5 volumes at least, but it honestly wasn’t that interesting, so it’s probably better that it ended here.
I can’t say that the ending was rushed, it just suddenly… answered all the questions it had set up in the story. There were no loose ends. When I realized that the biggest mystery, the one about the Star doll, was in the process of being answered, that’s when I realized that this really WAS the last volume. The last chapter may also be called “last chapter” or something like that too, but I don’t normally read chapter titles or numbers in series I don’t particularly care for, so that didn’t really give it away in this case.
The actual plot, while interesting, never really made sense to me. It’s eventually explained what the plant business is, but I never really understood why it was that the girl needed to steal people’s beauty to make dolls other than the reason given at the very end… which didn’t really satisfy me, but satisfied the story all right. I also didn’t quite understand how it was the girl was given this gift… and lots of other people can do the same thing, but they don’t necessarily steal beauty. Or something. But she HAS to, or Fool will age her. Yeah. I’m sure it would make sense if I read both volumes again back to back, but the characters never got really good, and the mini-plots involving the people whose beauty got stolen were also never all that good. Stealing beauty to make ball joint dolls sounds like an awesome idea, and it is, but it was just… not well executed.
Hm. Would it have gotten better if it was longer? Possibly, but only if the characters got significantly more interesting. It’s probably better off as two volumes.
I do have to give it credit, it did drag in the “Robe of Feathers” legend (it might not be called this, but that’s what the Phoenix story based on the same myth was based on). I’m a sucker for things based in myth and legend, especially when I’m not expecting them.
I’m not sure, but I think this series is about making your own ball joint doll? They sort of carve them by hand, but I think it references the phenomenon.
Basically, the main character is a young girl who makes dolls. She wants to make them as good as her idol, “Fool.” Fool makes the best dolls in the world. Somehow, the two meet up, and Fool takes her in as an apprentice. She finds out Fool’s dools are more lifelike than everyone else’s because he removes emotions from people and puts them in his dolls. The main character now helps him with this.
This has the potential to be terrible, but it’s kept itself afloat so far. Neither Fool nor the girl have really been fleshed out yet, and it doesn’t seem like the kind of series where they’ll be given deep and unique personalities. Mostly I’ve been entertained by the plots for each chapter. Fool has to trick the main character into working for him, and then each chapter after that is about the girl capturing emotion, learning how to make dolls, and learning a little about Fool’s past. The stories have been only loosely connected in that they’re all about the main character learning how to make dolls, and they’re all charming in their own way. I’m not sure if things will gear up into a plot with more thrust or not, but I’m willing to give it a couple more volumes to get itself going. It’s got a really nice start so far, but isn’t anything spectacular yet.