Volume twelve brought us into a new era in the Claymore universe by moving ahead seven years, solving the mystery of the warriors who vanished in the Battle of the North, and introducing us to a new generation of Claymores.
As volume thirteen opens, rebel warriors Clare, Miria, Helen, and Deneve rescue a young team of Claymores just as they are about to be destroyed by powerful Awakened One, Riful of the West. Before escaping, Clare persuades Riful to share some of what they’ve missed in the world during their years in hiding, including some new revelations regarding the long sought-after Priscilla.
We also catch up with new number 47, Clarice, who is being sent on a mission to eliminate former number 3 Galatea with her new partner, the terrifying and very young Miata, whose disturbing psychological issues and deadly abilities make Ophelia seem like a walk in the park.
The battles feel like background in this volume, which instead focuses heavily on plot and characterization, making it a particularly compelling read and moving the story along substantially. There is a fantastic chapter for those of us who are fans of Teresa, and some additional background on Miria as well.
I’m always impressed by how easily Norihiro Yago is able to create such distinct characters when most all of them are women with uniform physical features (not to mention actual uniforms), and my admiration only increases as the web of characters becomes more complex.
Plenty of mystery remains, especially in light of the recent jump forward in time, including the fate of Raki, who does not even make an appearance. Even so, the pacing feels just right, and the story never drags as it sometimes did earlier on.
This is an exceptionally strong volume in a series that has grown consistently more interesting over the course of its run.
Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at PopCultureShock.