The Search - Part 2 by Gene Luen YangThe second book in The Search trilogy picks up right where book 1 left off: fresh off of a huge revelation that could very well change everything. The gAang ;-) continues on with their mission to find Zuko's mother though and their journey leads them to The Forgetful Valley, a perilous forest from which they might never be able to escape.
Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search #2
Published July 10, 2013 by Dark Horse
Enter the Forgetful Valley
As Fire Lord Zuko continues his quest to uncover his mother's fate, a shocking revelation causes him to question everything he knows. It's an opportunity that his sister, the deadly and insane Azula, will not fail to take advantage of as she joins Zuko and his friends, Aang, Katara, and Sokka on their journey into a mysterious forest from which some people never reemerge...
The main focus of The Search story arc is to uncover the mysteries of Zuko's past, so naturally the story alternates from the present day situation to Zuko (and Azula's) childhood. To me, the flashback sequences were just as compelling as the current events being told and I loved the way both ends of the tale balanced each other out. One of the best things about the animated series was the details involved in the storylines and it's lovely to that aspect brought to life in graphic novel form.
I found that regardless of being in the present time or the past, the second volume in The Search trilogy stayed thoroughly compelling throughout. Some bits are totally laugh-out-loud funny, others are intense and action packed. Still others bring the feels in surprising and unexpected ways...and other moments are just plain cool. I love that the crew is on the road again, travelling to new and exciting locations. The Forgetful Valley was a creepily cool example of this, and right in line with the kinds of places Aang would have brought his friends to in the original series. I always especially enjoyed Aang's encounters with Spirits or the Spirit World so meeting some new and impressive Spirits was a real treat!
As a long-time Zuko fangirl, I absolutely adored getting new information about his past - even though a lot of it was tragic. It just all really helps to put his character into perspective. Same goes for Azula - it seems her current issues stem from some childhood events as well, so getting that insight is really invaluable to their story as a whole. I won't go into much more details on this front to avoid spoilers, but let's just say Ozai is an even more horrible man than even the animated series led us to believe O.O Another one of my favorite things about the animated series is the freaking incredible character development and author Gene Luen Yang certainly brought that to the forefront his graphic novels as well!
The Search Part II was a fun and exciting continuation to this trilogy. The ending once again pretty much forces you into the next volume; if only by sheer force of anticipation ;-) I'd recommend this trilogy (and all the other Avatar graphic novel trilogies Dark Horse Comics have put out) to Avatar: The Last Airbender fans of all ages! And to anyone out there that has never watched it: what are you waiting for? -Hit the show title link to find out what you're missing!
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars