Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Miki Falls: Winter

In the opening pages of Spring, the first in the 4-volume Miki Falls series, our heroine Miki has fallen through a window and is lying on the ground, shards of grass scattered around her. What follows is an extended flashback, which is recounted in the subsequent volumes.

In this final installment of the series, Miki and Hiro are trekking through dangerous mountain passes in an attempt to flee to safety. The Deliverers will do anything in their power to stop the young lovers, whose relationship is breaking the rules mandated by the mysterious council of Elders. Miki wonders if she would truly do anything in her power to get away from the Deliverers. They might kill her - would she, in fact, kill them?


The trouble that's been brewing during the course of this series comes to a head in this final volume. Decisions must be made, and actions must be taken, but the question remains of which side will have the power to take those actions and make those decisions. Miki has been told that she is a "neverfind" - she will love someone and lose that love, never to find it again. Hiro and Miki's love is strong, but will it be strong enough? Finally the series catches up with that opening scene, then moves on to a very satisfying conclusion.


This was an exciting read, with many plot strands that were introduced in earlier volumes coming together, with a few surprising revelations. I was left to wonder about a few things, though, such as Hiro's mother, who (as I remember) briefly appears in the first book and is never seen again. And the parent in me was feeling anxious on behalf of Miki's parents, as she has run off with Hiro after leaving a note for them, so they must be frantic about her, but they never did enter the picture. Not that they should have - the series maintains a tight focus on the two main characters. But still, I felt bad for them.

As always, I love the artwork and Crilley's unusual, effective way of arranging the frames. In this volume I was particularly struck by the lovely panels depicting Miki and Hiro's flight through the mountains. Crilley manages to evoke the chill of the snowy setting through his black-and-white (with shades of gray) illustrations with incredible vividness. I felt a little chilly just reading that part of the book! I also enjoyed the connections with mythology, particularly the use of the arrow that brings the couple together in the first book. It had a connotation that I did not notice in the first book, but that became quite clear in this one.

I love the fact that this series has only four volumes, as much as I'm sorry to say good-bye to the characters. The four-volume set has a nice narrative arc that flows well from book to book and ends in a perfect way, and for those readers who are daunted by the prospect of starting a 20+ volume series, Miki Falls presents a perfect choice.

Books in the Miki Falls series:
1. Spring
3. Autumn
4. Winter

Winter (#4 in the Miki Falls series) by Mark Crilley (HarperTeen, 2008)

Also reviewed at:
Biblio File: "I continue to adore Crilley's unusual framing structure, lots of trapezoids and small and large frames on one page--many of his pages remind me of a shattering mirror."

9 comments:

  1. I love the fact that it only has four volumes too. Definitely a series I'll have to try!

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  2. Nymeth - I hope you'll be able to find it. I'm looking forward to seeing what Mark Crilley does next!

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  3. I want! I read the first two books but the library doesn't have the last two... I probably will have to buy them, which will mean buying the first two, which totally defeats the purpose of using the library in the first place! lol

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  4. Thanks so much for yet another wonderful review, Darla. I'm so gald you were pleased with the ending: I remember the nervousness of trying to wrap everything up properly, knowing people would have high expectations after 600+ pages!

    Thanks again, I'm going to link to your reviews from my website so that others can enjoy your insights.

    mark

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  5. Kailana - That is so irritating that they'd only buy the first two! Especially as there are only 4. I hope they'll get them for you. But this is one series I wouldn't mind owning. :-)

    Mark - Thanks for stopping by! I'm so pleased that you'll be linking here. I'll be by to see what you're working on - I'm looking forward to your next project!

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  6. Aw! Glad this ended well for you! I really do want to pick these up some day :)

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  7. Thanks, Ladytink - I think you'll enjoy them. :-)

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  8. This does sound like a lovely series. Mr Linky is working on my blog again if you have time to add the link. It's hard to find shorter manga seris, especially ones that really make an impression.

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  9. Rhinoa - Great! I'll stop by and add it and the other one or two I've read. Glad mr. linky's back from vacation. :-)

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