Godchild, Volumes 1-8
written by Kaori Yuki
Stop. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200 until you’ve read The Cain Saga.
Kaori Yuki is at it again with Godchild, an eight-volume follow up to The Cain Saga. This 19th-century Gothic horror series picks up about a year later but still has the same fine qualities we’ve come to know and love: beautiful artwork, cleverly devised tales based on children’s rhymes, and a plot that spirals into the depths of mankind’s wickedness.
Having poisoned his own father, Alexis, in the previous series, Cain Hargreaves is attempting to live a peaceful life as English nobility with his half-sister Mary Weather. Cain assumes that Alexis is dead, but he couldn’t be more wrong about his father’s condition. Alexis is alive and well as the Card Master, head of his secret organization, Delilah. Delilah utilizes science and black magic to perform inhumane experiments and achieve their own diabolic goals.
The first three volumes mostly contain short stories of deception, mystery, and murder. These stories are entertaining, concise, and complete. Some of them seem unrelated to the main storyline, but others tie in to the overarching plot, giving Cain vital clues to exposing Delilah once and for all.
The series dives into the main plot line with volume four. Delilah resurrects Cain’s dead cousin Suzette as a “deadly doll” and genetically manipulates her to grow quickly. She is sent to Cain to bear his child, a child that will be the vessel for an evil spirit to bring about the apocalypse. Infuriated with such sacrilege to his own beloved cousin, Cain launches a counterattack to bring Delilah and his father down for good.
Godchild has one incredibly shocking plot twist that will blindside the reader and wrench the series in a new direction. It’s quite powerful and heartbreaking, but it’s part of what makes this series so incredible. It yanks the safety net out from under all the characters. The final volume is loaded with twists and turns. However, despite the extra eight pages, the final scenes become rushed trying to explain who is who and what was really going on behind the scenes. Even some of the action is difficult to follow in the final confrontation. An extra 10 to 20 pages to draw things out just a little more could have helped quite a bit.
Despite the rushed final volume, the reader will have a sense of closure when they have completed reading the series. Both The Cain Saga and Godchild are absolutely worth the time invested in reading all 13 volumes. Godchild also offers so much more insight to the lovable yet twisted side characters Riff and Doctor Disraeli. It’s a fun, intelligent, and exciting read for teens to adults.