There is so much in this book I don’t even know what to do with myself. I’d forgotten how FULL it is. It’s easily double the size of the other volumes up until now. Maybe even triple. And it’s clearly the lynchpin that the whole series turns on.
The first and most surface thing is that Tom is ready to go to war with the cabal. He believes he has to strike now because he has access to power, and because the cabal hasn’t had time to plan against them yet. He believes if he waits longer, he will lose his shot. So they go in guns blazing to the heart of the Cabal in London. Things of course don’t go as planned, because while it’s true the cabal wasn’t fully ready for him, they had some tricks up their sleeves that throw Tom and Co. for a loop.
And one of those loops even the Cabal doesn’t understand, not even close. That loop is of course Pullman, who has been hiding in plain sight within his own organization as “hired muscle,” but has secretly been pulling the strings the whole time. He has a 7,000 year hate on for Leviathan and the collective power that the minds of humanity when mingled with stories represent. He sees them as a burden, and wants nothing but to be free, and so for 7,000 years (ever since SPOILER he was a main participant in one of the oldest stories in existence–Cain, killing his brother Abel) he’s first tried to kill Leviathan, and then tried to co-opt its power. Leviathan fixed his eye on Pullman, and he has been able to die ever since, sustained by the stories that dog him like chains.
A large part of this volume (and my favorite part) are the between issues that delve into pieces of history, often with Pullman at their center. Little by little, piece by piece, we are seeing the full picture, who the players are, and what they really want. And of course what’s most interesting to me, why it all *matters*. (In addition to Pullman and the history of the Cabal/Leviathan, we also get Mme. Rausch’s backstory and the events of the battle from the perspective of one of the unknowing minions the Cabal employs. The volume actually ends with that dude being clued in and striking out on his own.)
And with that, I’ve officially reached the point where I know nothing. I can’t wait to read the rest of the volumes later this month. New storiiiieees.