Book Review: Fence – Volume 2 by C.S. Pacat

Image Description: the book-cover of Fence, Volume 2 by C.S. Pacat. The book-cover background is white, the foreground of the cover are Seiji and Nicholas, both of them are wearing their white fencing uniform. They’re standing in front of each other, pressed tightly together, with their fencing foils between them, however, they are both looking towards the viewer (rather than at each other).

Title: Fence, Volume 2
Creator: C.S. Pacat, Johanna the Mad (Artist), Joana Lafuente
Social Media: Goodreads
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Format and Price: eBook for $16.03
Stars: 5 stars out of 5

About The Creators:
C.S. Pacat: C.S. Pacat is the best-selling author of the Captive Prince trilogy and the comic book series Fence. Born in Australia and educated at the University of Melbourne, she has since lived in a number of cities, including Tokyo and Perugia. She currently resides and writes in Melbourne. Her first novel began its life as an original-fiction web serial, which attracted viral attention before being acquired by Penguin USA. The Captive Prince trilogy went on to become a USA Today bestseller after being published to commercial success and critical acclaim.

Johanna the Mad: Mexican digital artist and illustrator currently working on comic FENCE with writer C. S. Pacat and BOOM! Studios

Joana Lafuente: With over 10 years of experience, provides works on illustration, comics, story-boarding and concept art for entertainment and advertising purposes. Joana has worked with famous pop-culture titles such as The Transformers, X-Files/Millennium, Magic The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Adventure Time and many more, mostly on comics. For an extensive complete list, visit the Comic Book Database.

About The Book:
Nicholas Cox is determined to prove himself in the world of competitive fencing, and earn his place on the Kings Row fencing team, alongside sullen fencing prodigy, Seiji Katayama, to win the right to go up against his golden-boy half-brother.

Tryouts are well underway at King’s Row for a spot on the prodigious fencing team, and scrappy fencer Nicholas isn’t sure he’s going to make the grade in the face of surly upperclassmen, nearly impossible odds, and his seemingly unstoppable roommate, the surly, sullen Seiji Katayama. It’ll take more than sheer determination to overcome a challenge this big!

From the superstar team of C.S. Pacat (The Captive Prince) and fan-favourite artist Johanna the Mad comes the second volume of this acclaimed, dynamic series. Combines Issues #5-8.

General Observation:
~All is Fair in Love and War: This volume tackles the issue of how psychology is a large part of Sports and competition. Aiden is very good at verbal psychological warfare, it’s super effective on a professional like Seiji, but not on someone like Nicholas (who becomes completely focused on beating Seiji, even if it’s by an indirect victory). The creators have clearly done their homework with regards to the sport of Fencing, the pros and cons of each different type of opponent. The coach is excellent in her observation/narration of the situation and the players.

~Character Backstory – Seiji: In this volume, the reader gets a small glance at Seiji’s backstory, such as how Seiji has known Nicholas’s half-brother and used to fence with him when they were children. I definitely think that is worth looking into further. At the end of each match, Seiji gives his opponent feed-back on their performance, although I’ll acknowledge it’s not always constructive.

To me, it shows Seiji’s thoughtful and introspective nature, but it also shows just how isolated Seiji has become. Seiji doesn’t appear to know how to relate to people outside of Fencing. It does explain a lot of Seiji and Nicholas’s interactions and it’s super cute how (out of everyone) Nicholas is the one to bring Seiji out his mental funk.

~Character Development – Aiden and Havard: I like Aiden and Havard’s friendship/relationship, I think Havard and Aiden bring out the best in each other, and it’s super cute how Aiden just unquestionably drops everything just to make Havard feel better just before his big match. Whether or not it becomes romantic, most likely not as Aiden doesn’t date team-mates, it’s still nice to read.

All in all, a great addition to the series, and I’m looking forward to Volume 3.

Available for Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo Books

Image Description: a silhouette picture of a woman, wearing Victorian-era clothing and wearing a top hat. Her hair is braided into a plait and she is also holding a folded up umbrella. The background is dived up into three segments: mint-green, white in the middle, then mint-green again.

Image Description: a large white square image that has robin’s egg blue water-colour paint-style bordering up against the top and down the bottom of the picture. In the middle of the white square is the text “2019 RMFAO Genre Challenge” in fancy black handwritten text.

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