Alice in the Country of Joker – Circus and Liar’s Game 1
July 29, 2015
QuinRose / Mamenosuke Fujimaru – Seven Seas Entertainment – 2012 – 7 volumes
Yay, this book got a second printing! It makes me so happy to see successful series.
Joker is the last of the settings for me. This was a little confusing – the first chapter or so takes the time to set up the Hearts world. But I think the Joker setting differs because all the role-holders are here (including Gowland, Pierce, Gray, et cetera), and each of the areas has its own season. Joker, I think, is a minigame in the PC game that you had to complete in order to transfer between territories. So I think you have to engage with Joker in order to move around. The role-holders imply that he’s rather sinister, and his motive may be to pare down the role-holders, since there’s only supposed to be 12 at once.
After the Alice setup (if you read these spinoffs, you’ve read this A LOT), it’s clear that the other characters are trying to keep Alice away from the Joker, and that his faceless may mean her harm. But then again, maybe not? His faceless also don’t seem to work on clocks? Hmm.
This also seems to be a combination of the Clover and Hearts setting. Again, all the role-holders are here, but it’s implied that this may have been a shift back to Hearts from Clover, and that Alice has lost the traumatic memories from Clover where Julius and Gowland weren’t there. Also, it’s implied that Alice stayed in Hearts because she thought that she would be too much of a burden for her sister, which may make her a “bad girl” in the eyes of Joker and his faceless.
I also think this may be a “Blood route,” he declares Alice his property at the end of the volume. I kind of hope so, since the Diamonds novel wasn’t a great Blood story, and it’s been a long time since I read the original series. Not very many of the spin-offs are about him.