Lindsay's Reviews > Y: The Last Man, Vol. 9: Motherland

Y by Brian K. Vaughan
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's review
Dec 05, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: alternate-history, dystopia, graphic-novels, science-fiction, postapocalyptic, 2007, genetic-engineering
Recommended for: everyone who's read the previous 8 volumes

This is a tricky one to review, because while there's a lot I loved about it --- it's very satisfying in a narrative sense, with a lot of long-running threads resolved and tied together, and it gives us much more of Dr. Allison Mann's backstory --- I absolutely hated the answer to the question of what caused the XY-killing plague.

Without going into spoileriffic detail, I'll just say I thought it was an obnoxious injection of magic into what had been a non-magical, realistic world. I have a biochemistry degree, and I had been impressed at how little head-slapping Bad Science this book contained (a frequent problem for science fiction of the "mysterious plague" subgenre) and at how well Brian K. Vaughn had succeeded at writing technical dialogue for Dr. Mann that wasn't gibberish to someone who actually knew what all the words meant. But all that goes right out the window in this volume ... in earlier volumes, the series had flirted with the idea that magic exists (prescient dreams, red herrings about enchanted rings or ancient amulets), and I had liked the tension between these elements and the dogged realism of Dr. Mann's search for the cause of Yorick's immunity to the plague. But in this installment, instead of stepping up the juggling act, Vaughn seems to have chosen to drop one of the balls.
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Rebecca It was only what her dillusional insane father thought caused the plague, just like a bunch of other people each thought they had somehow magically caused the plague. Other than it originating in that region, no evidence or proof that it was the cause was provided.

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