I loved the first two volumes of Queenie Chan's The Dreaming and devoured them eagerly, despite my constant plaint against manga (I can't tell the characters apart!). It was deliciously spooky and utterly gothic.
I was so excited when I finally got volume 3 from the library...but I was disappointed. It seemed that the author was considering three different endings....and finally just said "oh, what the heck, I'll use them all." So we have the Australian evil spirit, the wicked stepmother (or aunt, or governess, it's not quite clear), and the "what happened afterwards" which just sort of drizzles away.
Of course, not all horror has to have a definite ending; it's not a mystery. But I, personally, WANT a clear cut ending. I wanted it to be either evil spirits OR ghosts, not a confusing combination. I wanted a definite resolution for the characters, not a vague drifting away.
But it is still quite horrorific, despite my complaints about the ending. The art has a delicate, spooky quality, and many people are probably just fine with the blending of gothic horror and Australian legend and a chilling glimpse into the future of the twin heroines.
Verdict: Despite my disappointment with the ending, I enjoyed the story as a whole. I recommend purchasing this - it comes in a omnibus set containing all three volumes now, which is really nice. Teens who like horror and gothic atmosphere will devour this one.
ISBN: 9781598163841; Published December 2007 by TokyoPop (out of print); Borrowed from the library.