Yoko Tsuno, the girl electrical engineer/amateur detective is back, stumbling into another mystery. Once again we are treated to a story where brains are more valuable than looks, and where it’s Yoko’s expertise and healthy skepticism that solves the mystery. And with just a little help from her male friends, saves the day.
Yoko Tsuno Volume 3: The Prey and the Ghost
By Roger Leloup
Cinebook Ltd., 2008, ISBN: 978-1-905460-56-4
46 pgs, $11.95
After the strange time travel adventure in Boreno, Yoko, Pol and Vic head to Scotland, researching local legends for a TV show. While traveling to one of the country’s many castles, a young woman dashes out onto the road in front of Yoko and Pol. Yoko just barely misses her. She is Cecile, orphan and heir to a fortune, who lives with her father/uncle, and appears to be losing her mind. But everything is not what it seems at the castle, and Yoko pokes her nose in to find out the secret behind some ghostly visits, and the sinister reasons behind them.
In this latest volume of Yoko Tsuno, the mystery isn’t quite as out there as the previous story. Ghosts, haunted castles, secret passages and curses are the usual fare of young detectives, as is deception and treachery. This story has it all. Yoko is mostly on her own for her investigation, as Vic is at another castle, and Pol becomes sick from eating too much. We get to see her investigation skills alone as she puts together the clues to find the real story not just behind Cecile’s madness, but her parents deaths as well.
Once again, it’s Yoko’s skepticism and knowledge in electrical engineering that puts her on the right track to finding the truth. Right from the beginning, she is debunking the ghosts she is shown. In trying to catch the "ghost" of Cecile’s mother, Yoko becomes suspicious of what is behind it. In Mac Nab’s house, she finds his tools to conjure ghosts; science and chemistry. Cecile’s mother’s ghost is no different. It was fun to see Yoko fascinated by the cause of that trick.
As a mystery, the plot of this story is executed very well. There are lots of twists that keep you from figuring it out quickly, but not in frustrating way. There aren’t a lot of red herrings. There’s just a lot more to the story under the surface. These are a lot more fun to solve than a sudden twist ending.
There is minimal violence in the story. A gun is brandished (as seen on the cover), but it’s never fired. There is a death or two, but it is either seen only after the fact, or implied. No acts of killing are portrayed.
Yoko Tsuno continues to be a great series. The positive role modeling she can do for girls keeps it high in my rating. The variety of stories makes it reachable to just about any taste. Any library that has Nancy Drew or any other young detective stories should add this title to it’s shelves.
This review is based on a complimentary copy supplied by the publisher. All images copyright © Cinebook Ltd.