In the previous four volumes, our slacker hero got the band together, got a job and got the girl. Now he has to learn how to live with "happily ever after" and finds that there is no such thing. The previous four volumes of O'Malley's cult hit established the world of Pilgrim, a 24-year-old without any actual skills other than presumed awesomeness. To win the hand of the lovely Ramona Flowers, he must defeat her seven "Evil Ex-Boyfriends" in video-game style battles that incarnate millennial anxieties over finding love, holding a job and somehow managing to stay cool all at once. This time out, he's got to fight the handsome twins Kyle and Ken Katayanagi who are even more awesome than Scott himself. More importantly, now that he and Ramona are cohabiting, they face danger from the jealousies and insecurities of couplehood. O'Malley's cartooning has gotten better and better, and there are moments of comedy, high action and even poetry, as when Scott and a ball gown-clad Ramona flee an insufferable party in a daring escape. This penultimate chapter of the Scott Pilgrim saga is one of the strongest ones yet and should win new readers in droves, especially with a Pilgrim movie slated for the end of the year. (Feb.)[Page 117]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Gr 10 Up-Scott and Ramona both carry emotional baggage from their previous relationships. Scott cheated on one or more of his ex-girlfriends, who have names like Envy and Knives. Ramona has several ex-boyfriends whom Scott has been fighting over the course of this series. This book is filled with characters in their 20s who look and act much younger. They're bored when they go to parties, so they sit around complaining. They're in a band but they spend more time arguing with each other than rehearsing or performing. There are several fantasy elements, as when Scott gets into fistfights with robots sent by Ramona's ex-boyfriends. Ramona also seems to be fantastic in an unexplained way, which promises to be explored in volume six. O'Malley's cartoon style is eye-catching, but the similarity of the androgynously attractive faces sometimes makes it difficult to tell one character from another. Readers who are not familiar with the earlier volumes may have trouble understanding these characters, their motivations, and the sudden appearance of robots in a (seemingly) reality-based story. But luckily for those readers, summaries of the previous installments as well as many sample pages are available on the scottpilgrim.com Web site. It's hard to empathize with a character who appears to be the designated hero, but who is also a slacker with poor communication skills. The main problem with Scott Pilgrim is that readers might choose to side with the universe instead.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library[Page 193]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.