I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
Like volume 1, volume 2 has lots of action. Marko and Alana are split up almost immediately as Marko heads off to find their banished babysitter. His mother joins him, leaving his dad alone with Alana, who is just thrilled to have met her husband's parents for the very first time while wearing nothing but a towel.
The planet Marko and his mom go to is more dangerous than it looks, Marko's dad has a secret, Prince Robot IV's wife and unborn child have been threatened if he doesn't find Marko and Alana, and the heartbroken bounty hunter gains a couple extra passengers, including Gwendolyn, Marko's ex-fiancee. Here and there are flashbacks to Marko's childhood, the time period when Alana and Marko first met, and the bloody battle Prince Robot IV survived.
While volume 2 was still a joy to read, I wasn't entirely happy to see some things cut short (I have to be vague, because it's a spoiler, but nooo too soon), and some aspects didn't quite make sense to me. Readers were shown how Marko's parents taught him to hate Alana's people, and yet present-day Marko instantly trusted that his parents wouldn't kill Alana if he left them alone with her. Aside from a few comments, Barr (Marko's dad) overcame generations of hatred very quickly. It's possible that his secret had something to do with that, but it still seemed a bit odd, how smoothly he morphed into kindly advice-giving father-in-law.
Another part that was jarring for me was the progression of Alana and Marko's relationship, back when they first met. How did Alana go from “I should hit that guy in the face for even daring to speak” to “I'll secretly give him his translator rings back (even though they could be weapons for all I know)”? The rest of the relationship flashbacks were nice, if short, but that missing piece of the puzzle bugged me.
I still love this series, but I'm a little worried that it's going to speed along too fast for all the little bits that help everything continue to make sense to keep up. At any rate, despite the things that bugged me, there was a lot to love in this volume.
Alana's reaction to the book she was reading was adorably enthusiastic, and I could totally identify with her need to share that with someone (hardly anyone I know IRL likes the same books I do ::sob::). I loved that Alana and Marko fell in love over the course of secret book club meetings. Barr didn't start off all that well, but he soon charmed me with his “helpful father-in-law” behavior. I wasn't quite as interested in the bits with Prince Robot IV (exploding adorable mouse OMG) and the bounty hunter, but they definitely kept the story from standing still. I'll be interested to see where things go as far as Gwendolyn is concerned.
All in all, this was a good volume despite a couple jarring moments. I look forward to reading more of the series.
Five pages of artwork at the end of the volume.
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)