The enemy closes in! New parents Alana and Marko and their companions travel to the planet Quietus, home of novelist D. Oswald Heist, author of the mediocre-romance-and-secretly-subversive manifesto that inspired Alana and Marko’s desertion from their respective sides of the war. The couple even gets a quiet little break as hired mercenary Prince Robot IV reads said book in his spaceship. In the meantime, The Will and Gwendolyn land on a deserted planet with newly rescued Slave Girl, but The Will starts seeing The Stalk (armless arachnid ex-girlfriend) even though the others cannot. Sounds strange, and it is, but it’s fantastically so!

Volume 3 spends less time in flashback, and feels less hectic for it. I highly enjoy the down time of this volume, because observing the characters in their natural habitats creates more interesting dynamics when they see real action. Even formidable warriors enjoy clean laundry and hate plot spoilers. With the introduction of two new characters, Upsher and Doff, a pair of journalists investigating the “kidnapping” of Alana, the reader begins to observe just how much the government is hiding the real story.

Vaughn and Staples show no sign of slowing down as the Saga continues. This is really good stuff, and it just so happens to push all the right buttons that I want in fun, action-packed drama with hints of social commentary. They’re also really good at killing off someone as soon as the audience falls in love with him. So, you know, be prepared for that. I’m still loving Saga!