I’m just now realizing that this is the second week in a row that I’m writing about a second book in a series. So, this is my obligatory spoiler alert paragraph. If you haven’t read Saga: Volume 1 you are totally missing out and should definitely check it out. If one sentence wasn’t enough to convince you, I wrote a blog post about it here. It’ll maybe take an afternoon to read and it’s well worth your time. If you’re kind of interested and you don’t like spoilers I would strongly recommend not reading the rest of this post until you’ve finished Volume One, then I want you to come back and tell me your favorite parts!
The second book in series tend to have flashbacks to help with character building. I don’t know if I’m noticing this now because I’m reading a little more critically or if it’s because I’ve now read two second in the series books in a row, both of which contained flashbacks. Structurally it makes sense. Saga: Volume One, for instance, did a lot of setting up. The extreme situation that the characters were in forced us to get to know them quickly and set up the world that surrounds them. Characters were introduced to each other for a purpose therefore they and their purpose was introduced to us. Volume Two continues the storyline right where Volume One left off (Marko’s parents arrive and excitement ensues). But interspersed throughout the story we get to see flashbacks that give the characters and their relationships depth and feeling.
I often finish second books in series with a feeling of disappointment. The bar is always set so high in the first book. The conflict begins and everything we encounter is brand new. The second book inevitably slows a bit. Now that we know the story we can get on with knowing the characters and the details, but I maintain a longing for the excitement and newness of the first book. To be honest Saga maintained the newness. It helps that they have an entire universe to play with and explore, but even with the flashbacks and slowdowns it always felt exciting and fresh.
Saga: Volume Two ended on a cliffhanger that rivals the one that Volume One ended on so I imagine I’ll be reading Volume Three very soon. I can’t wait till more people I know start reading these because I could perfectly happily gush about Saga for hours. So far it’s been a spectacular story and I can’t wait for more.