I’m not quite sure how to even begin reacting to “A Game of You.” It all seems slightly off, like it makes me uncomfortable and I’m not sure how much of that is intentional or not. It’s strange but compelling and obviously a bit Narnia-esque.
I think I like every character in it more than Barbie, though I appreciate that Barbie was such a minor character in “A Doll’s House” and now she becomes the protagonist at a different point in her life. Those pieces that Gaiman comes back to really help each arc to feel like its part of a coherent whole.
There were plenty of moments of sweetness here, and I don’t know how I feel about that. I tend to retreat from that which can be considered sweet but that’s a matter of my own personality (even when eating fruit I prefer that which tart to that which is sweet). It was particularly sweet when Foxglove chewed Hazel out for being pregnant, not because she had an indiscretion but because it would cost them so much and because Foxglove continued to be so committed to Hazel. After writing that I realize that that’s actually more tart than sweet and I really do like it. Another sweet moment, and here I do mean sweet, came when Barbie had her moment of privacy at Wanda’s grave.
I think that what I do really like about this story was the way in which all of the characters seemed to be so committed to each other. That felt important. The Land and the Cuckoo did not seem quite as interesting, though I also anticipate that later down the line if I reread this I will appreciate it more in the context of the entire series.