The second volume of Scott Pilgrim is as charming and pleasurable as the first, but it loses a smidgen of the magic by virtue of simply coming after such an amazing debut.
The first half of the book is flashback, centered on Scott’s arrival in Toronto. Here he has to establish his reputation for beating the school’s bullies (like end-of-level bosses as the gaming metaphor is ramped up) and form the unsuccessful band that he’ll still be playing in years later. He also takes on evil boyfriend number two – an up-and-coming tough-guy actor Scott seems to have little chance of beating in a fair fight.
Meanwhile Ramona has to fend off an attack from Scott’s recently dumped girlfriend Knives Chau – who finally lives up to her name – and Scott is haunted by an ex-girlfriend of his own who broke Scott’s heart and looks set to stir up a bit of trouble herself.
The book is fast flowing and wonderfully paced. There’s a sizable amount of character development to keep up with, which puts Scott’s overall mission of defeating ex-boyfriends somewhat in the shade. But as we already know from the previous book, this is certain to pay off in the longer term, with added depth provided to the characters that surround Scott and Ramona. There is also some beautiful dialogue – the conversation surrounding Ramona’s list of reasons why Scott’s flat isn’t girl-friendly is an absolute hoot.
So while it’s closely following the first volume with more of the same, fans of the first book will surely be asking for little more.