Meet Wendy Earhart. She’s working at the British Library, mostly because her Best Friend Forever Karen is, as well. Karen is working to pay the hospital bills for her mother who is in a coma. Karen is driven, focused and determined. Wendy’s just sort of there to be there. She likes working at the British Library, but she has no passion about it. She’s there to support Karen.
Until Wendy and Karen interview to work in the Special Weapons Section. They meet Joker, who asks them a question with no right answer: If you were on a boat with a famous author and his priceless manuscript and the boat went down, which would you save – the author or the book? Wendy says she would save the author, because people are more important than books and the author might create more great literature if he is alive. Karen says she’d save the book, because it is irreplaceable and who knows if the author would ever write something good again, but the book can be reproduced and bring joy to everyone. Joker tells them that they are both wrong.
Joker offers the job to both Karen and Wendy, but Karen turns it down. Wendy, who wants both the job and to support her friend, is roundly scolded by Karen who tells her to get her own life. Karen says goodbye to her ailing mother, cuts the life support, then leaves the Library for good, leaving Wendy to find her own way.
Wendy’s crisis starts when she tries to interrupt someone reading in the Library late at night and almost dies for her trouble. And so, Wendy Earhart meets Yomiko Readman, who ultimately tells her that she would save the book AND the man. But you can only save one, Wendy says, to which Yomiko replies, “That’s why I would save both!” Wendy goes back to the Library and accepts the new job.
Meanwhile teen author Sumiregawa Nenene is doing a book signing in Tokyo and she is not having any fun. And to make it all worse, Yomiko is late. In fact, she’s so late the book signing is over when she arrives. And she’s filthy and smelly. And someone is trying to kill Nenene.
Nenene and Yomiko, having defeated the bad guys, head out to Kyoto for the next book signing where Nenene is once again attacked – apparently her new book appears to have been plagiarized from the best seller by Clive Cussler. Cussler fans are not happy at all about this. But Yomiko – and the pelicans of Kyoto’s landmark tower – save Nenene once again. In a moving scene, Nenene asks Yomiko if her book does seem like she lifted the plot and Yomiko admits that not only does Nenene’s book seem like a ripoff of Cussler’s, Cussler’s was better overall. Nenene is very thankful for the honesty and realizes that she needs to grow and mature as a person in order to mature as a writer. She has a lot of fun at the next book signing as a result of her insight.
The final scene is why Yomiko was late. In short – she was stranded on a tropical island – with no books. It was a rather disturbing short with a bitter look at the difference between liking books and being an obsessive-compulsive bibliomaniac.
As with all the ROD novels, the beginning of Volume 3 was a little slow, the action was a little silly and Yomiko didn’t get to be quite cool enough to slake our thirst. But, the time she spends with Wendy and with Nenene she is so charming, that it’s easy enough to forget the bits where she’s freaking out for lack of something to read.
Art – 4
Story – 7
Characters – 7
Yuri – 2
Service – 2
Overall – 7
Nenene and Yomiko’s reunion and their subsequent heart-to-heart make everything worth it.