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La Esperanca: Volume 5

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This long-running yaoi series concludes with the drama at a high pitch, as emotional revelations and family secrets unfold. But as one would expect, there aren't a lot of entry points for those not already following along. Georges, 15, has taken off in order to find out more about his history, returning to the orphanage from which he was adopted. There, his assumptions about his biological father change greatly when he sees his parent as a person instead of a role. Meanwhile, Georges's very close friend Robert has set out to find him and bring him back home. Slivered panels and a reliance on facial closeups emphasize emotional revelation. Georges spends the volume learning secrets and feeling a form of survivor's guilt, as the only one of his family who's still alive. He likely seems less whiny-why me? the world would have been better off if I'd never been born-to readers who've gotten to know him over the earlier books in the series. Others may appreciate the pathos of the visuals of a young blond boy, depressed and hurt by recent revelations, tormented by his "forbidden" and unrequited (he thinks) love, wandering blindly in the snow. (June) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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