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Complete Collection Review

Now that they know their fate, the girls begin embracing their battles - and discover remarkable powers within themselves. So while their daylight lives fall apart, their nocturnal battles become more violent, more bloody.

Yet as one of their members continues to be their weakest link, they begin to plan - they may need to leave her behind to die. And their shadowy enemy? They are making their own advances, sacrificing an innocent child to a disgusting curse, and trapping a beautiful girl in their horrible experiment.

Kate, Claire, Rachel and Rose are still growing accustomed to their new situation as tension mounts both in their personal lives and in their nightly guard duties where they must fight a clan cursed to become inhuman monsters. In Kate's case, the tension in her daily and nightly routines are almost one in the same. Herve, one of the cursed, has become involved in her life by posing as her boyfriend, and he has a startling revelation in store for Kate and her friends who are bonded in death. Both sides of the battle clearly have agendas so can the girls trust either? And why was their friend Lisa resurrected by the other side?

In my review for the first collection, I noted that the show started off extraordinarily slow but that the last few episodes were showing more promise. It would be more accurate to say the show got better near the end of the first collection so Red Garden is already good at the beginning of this volume. It only gets better as the writers finally delve into the mystery at the heart of the series in full-force.

After the first few episodes, I was wondering if I had scored the first boxset too harshly or if the series had really improved that much. Then a scene of genuinely stirring drama unfolded, and it wasn't capped off by a mediocre musical number that ruined the moment. The increased quality in characterization, drama and action also increased the tension by making the danger more palpable. Although the girls have been in harm's way since the beginning, it's not until a massive encounter between both sides near the beginning of this boxset that it seems like they could seriously get hurt or die... again. Death, deceit and abduction see even the secondary characters evolve in interesting ways. That's not to say that the series doesn't still feel like a soap opera sometimes, but at least it's a damn good one.


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