This sequel to the lovely graphic novel Vögelein: Clockwork Faerie continues Vögelein's story where the first book left off. While each book is a self-contained story, it is best to read them in order to avoid confusion - and to fully appreciate the way in which characters change and grow.
Vögelein is a clockwork faerie who has achieved awareness beyond the mechanical movements envisioned by her creator, and she depends on others (humans) to wind her with the key she always carries with her. In the first book, she took some important steps toward developing relationships with humans in which she is on a much more even footing with them, as opposed to the more patronising relationships of her past.
As much as she is delighting in her current freedom, however, she is plagued by dark memories of her past and a promise that she was unable to keep. She confides in one of the humans she has come to trust, a young musician named Mason. He listens carefully and does what he can to enable Vögelein to set her old ghosts to rest. Meanwhile, a young fairy-obsessed woman who lives near Mason has caught glimpses of the clockwork faerie as she comes and goes and determines to try to capture her. Vögelein is usually careful, but her worries are awfully distracting.
This book is a lovely sequel to the first one, and the detailed black-and-white artwork conveys the emotional intensity of the story in an evocative and compelling way. It is a pleasure to watch Vögelein learning to take responsibility for her own safety and happiness as she navigates the joys and dangers of her newfound independence. While I enjoyed the book very much, I was disappointed not to learn more about Vögelein's connection to Faerie that was alluded to in the first volume. I hope Irwin will continue with this series - there seems to be a wealth of material to explore in Vögelein's world.
Books in the Vögelein series:
1. Vögelein: Clockwork Faerie
2. Vögelein: Old Ghosts
Vögelein: Old Ghosts (#2 in the Vögelein graphic novel series) by Jane Irwin (Fiery Studios, 2007)
Also reviewed at:
Fantasy Theater: "There are a couple of brief bits of conventional action, but for the most part the drama is internal, beautifully conveyed by Irwin's expressive artwork."
Twisted Librarian: "The artwork is beautiful, and far more detailed than most black and white comics. Should appeal to fans of fantasy, slice-of-life, and relationship comic fans alike."