The Wayward series chronicles the adventures Rori when she goes to Japan to live her mother. Rori’s parents are divorced, her father is Irish, and something has happened to drive her away from Ireland where she spent most of her life. The culture shock she suffers is more “my Japanese isn’t all that good” which is a nice refreshing change. She is of both and of neither culture.
Rori soon finds that things in Japan are different. She can see threads, and this leads her to meeting with Ayane, a cat girl (or cats who are a girl), and eventually Shirai and Niakido. The four are teens who have a variety of unique powers, and they are being hunted by the Japanese powers of old, including Kitsune. Rori’s mother is connected and in some way, and the first volume ends with an epic and from a story telling standing point, a very brave showdown.
The second and third volumes add more characters, including Ohara Emi and Inaba Kami (who is kitsune who is very cute but kick ass). The team struggles with unfolding power, manipulation, and the question of what is right.
Part of what makes Wayward so compelling is the very human nature of those who inhabit the story. It isn’t just Rori and her companions, but their enemies as well – beings who are struggling just as much to keep alive. Rori’s methods too are at times questionable. One of the most heart wrenching sequences concerns Ohara who is trying to be both a dutiful daughter and a savior of society.
In Wayward, Jim Zub and Co have presented not just a fable for modern society, but something more, something that examines not only multi-cultural issue but globalization as well.
Seriously, you should read this.