Norma and Barney battle demons and angels in separate quests to keep their relationships running smoothly in this sequel to The Watcher's Test (2018).
Earth is the universe’s only neutral plane; the other 12 are divided into angelic planes or demonic ones. Travel between the planes is restricted, but Dead End has a portal between them. Norma has had Dead End rebuilt as a hotel so they can charge the demons who insist on visiting. But Norma’s soul won’t stay tethered to her body, which is handy at times—and when it becomes a problem, her best friend Badyah is there to help. Barney, who is trans, is happy living with his boyfriend Logan, but their relationship is strained by Barney’s lack of work. When a demon employs Barney in the Demon Wrestling Federation, Barney must hide his new source of income from Logan. But he can only keep up his lies for so long, and there is more behind the demons’ plot than Barney knows. Steele’s imaginative artwork is set on thick pages in rich color. Everyday character flaws and relationship foibles seem dramatic in this vividly imagined world, where diversity is the norm (hijabi Badyah is one of the only straight human characters; brown-skinned Norma Khan has autism), and good and evil are not always clear-cut.
Outlandish, serious, and entertaining, this is ideal for readers who enjoyed the first volume. (Graphic fantasy. 13-18)