***WARNING! HERE THERE BE SPOILERS!***
I wanted to start out with an intro before launching into my review in earnest. Partly because it's 2 am and I'm not done writing said review and partly because this stuff didn't fit in anywhere else but here.
After much consideration (and trying to decipher pages of quickly scribbled out, completely non-sequential angry notes), I've decided to go chapter by chapter. Rather than regurgitate all my complaints into one epic post, that is.
And I must warn that there will be plot spoilage ahead! I can't satisfactorily, erm, review this book without talking plot! Here we go!
To sum up the tangled mess that is Volume 4 is near impossible. There are loose ends flying rampant that left me with sooooo many unanswered questions it borders on ridiculous. But my main quibble is with the almost simultaneous eleventh-hour personal revelations (I use the term oh so lightly) of the main players being the deus ex machina of choice. Nothing more than a convenient ending conjured up by a writer who couldn't write himself out of a paper bag with both ends cut off and a goblin holding a This Way Out --> sign.
But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Allow me to back up.
Had Jim Henson not been cremated, he'd be rolling in his grave. I can't imagine he would have approved of what has been done to his creations. This whole story was a swing and a miss by his namesake Company. I know those folks had the funds to buy Mr. Forbes and Mr. Lie their own Labyrinth DVDs to watch so they wouldn't look the fools when us fans read their manga.
And I'm not just upset over people being out of character, I'm talking about terribly basic continuity issues. Though when the series started out with Jareth being illustrated as the wrong species (they clearly never saw the opening titles, nor Jareth flying into the house, nor Jareth dropping Sarah back home; there's no mistaking a barn owl for a snowy owl) I should have abandoned all hope for quality control. Not to mention both the cover artist and main illustrator got Jareth's eyes wrong, an unforgivable mistake in this fandom. I'm sure Bowie wouldn't have minded his accurate likeness being used in this instance.
A few other mistakes of note (and that I can think of off hand) include the misspelling of Sir Didymus as Sir Didymous, and the mention of Hobbits during the teacher's meeting in Volume 2. How the hell would any of these characters know about a fictional creature from another culture that exists in another realm? Even if, hypothetically, they did know about Hobbits, why would they reference them? There's got to be a more relevant Underground denizen that could have been cited.
Before I veer off on too much of a tangent here, I'm going to call it quits for the evening. Morning. Whatever... My next installment will start with Volume 4, Chapter 1.