Two Will Come 2 by Kyungok Kang: A-

From the back cover:
A mysterious “auntie” has just told Jina her family’s chilling secret. Jina is marked for violent death—and her killer is going to be one of two people very close to her. Meanwhile, her schoolmate Jaesuk is determined to make his feelings for Jina known, even if it means exposing his own shady past. But then a nighttime rendezvous with Jaesuk leads to a shocking scene right in the family kitchen… and Jina learns that her two worlds are about to become irrevocably intertwined.

One of the things I like best about Two Will Come is its continuity. A couple of things happen in this volume that reference or build upon small moments from the first volume, and one must pay attention to be able to catch the subtlety because Kang doesn’t point out, “Hey! Remember that time Lloyd talked about a girl from his past? Well, do ya?” She just lets you put things together on your own. Similarly, I’m quite sure now that the figure I saw skulking in a car in volume one was indeed Jina’s aunt.

This volume is a lot more action-packed than the first. Jina has the worst day ever, as she learns about the family curse and then, in quick succession, survives one attempt on her life, learns all about her boyfriend’s duplicity, and then survives a second murderous attack. Her reaction to learning about the curse is well done, prompting many lovely two-page spreads and thoughtful soliloquies like this one:

Layer after layer… If you keep peeling away the shells, all sorts of hypocrisy and truth you never imagined lay themselves bare before you.

After the second attempt upon Jina’s life, her cousin and his friend, Lloyd, take her on a road trip for a bit, where they meet with a fellow who had, thirty years ago, been compelled by the curse to murder his wife and who has since devoted his life to researching its origins. The encounter ends up heartening Jina and she ends the volume determined not to let the curse defeat her. It’s all very interesting, but I do have to wonder why this fellow is not in jail. It looks like there were witnesses to his act and everything. With everything else fitting together so well, this unanswered question is quite jarring.

In addition to all of the main plot advancement going on, there’s also some development on a couple of subplots. All in all, the story feels very balanced and purposeful, two qualities I greatly appreciate.

Review copy provided by the publisher.

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