19 Apr / Limit (vol. 4) by Keiko Suenobu, translated by Mari Morimoto
First things first: make sure to go backwards to catch up with the opening three volumes; this is definitely a series that needs to be read in order. Parents, be warned: these kids are going to scare you to distraction. Younger readers, take heed: don’t dare try any of this at home – or anywhere else for that matter.
Five became six when another survivor – the lone male – mysteriously emerged from the woods one volume back. But too soon, the six shrink to five again when frightened Usui is found lying face down on the first page of this latest installment.
The wound on her back clearly shows she’s been murdered … and Morishige is the first to be accused. But Morishige – for all her payback bullying – is too easy a target and the other four are forced to question each other as well as their own selves. Blinded by fear and fury, the survivors turn on one another. By volume’s end, another body lies motionless, and scrawled across the final pages is the chilling warning: “Among us … hides a killer.” Volume 5 can’t come soon enough.
This week feels especially off-kilter: Boston Marathon bombings and manhunt, ricin-laced letters sent to Capitol Hill and POTUS, the Senate’s latest decision on the gun debate with Newtown families watching, Thursday’s Waco fertilizer blast one day short of the 20th anniversary of the final hours of the Waco Siege, the Waco-inspired Oklahoma City bombing 18 years ago today. In the midst of all that, our children seem to be the most vulnerable – from just watching the violence from afar and forming unforgettable images, to being targeted in various degrees closer to home.
When confronted with the disturbing, I find the questions don’t stop: so when all the carefully maintained social contracts – rigid high school structures (for better or for worse), parental and other adult guidance, even the legal system – are suddenly cast aside in the name of survival, how will our children respond? And what can and should and must we do to adequately equip and enable them?
Readers: Young Adult, Adult
Published: 2013 (United States)