I’m kind of stuck here, trying to make up my mind how I feel about the conclusion of the Girls series, other than accomplished at having completed it. I liked the interpersonal relationship changes. All the flaws and annoyances and dislikes were finally sorted out, after watching everyone remain static for the first three books. I mean, not everyone grew up or got better, but that’s to be expected. It was just nice to see the characters finally change at all, for good or ill. Trauma is supposed to do that, and this very clearly was traumatic. Being trapped away from the world, stalked by sex-starved alien clones, unable to trust anyone around you due to the gender inequity of the situation? I know it sounds awesome, but I’m convinced that some thousand-yard stares are going to result.
Also, there were a few instances of rewards and comeuppance I’d been waiting for, and those mostly worked out as I hoped too. So it sounds good so far, right? Except, there was this central mystery about how it all worked, and why the girls were there in the first place, and what the ultimate outcome would be. I am unable to even throw out my big question until after the spoiler cut, but I have to say that I came out unsatisfied, if only by a small amount on the balance scales. Except, that’s all there is to say. So, to sum up: The art was really nice, except for the people, where it remained mediocre. The character driven drama built slowly, but exploded into awesome over this book and the previous one. And the sci-fi mystery was almost where I wanted it to be, and then suddenly not. Nevertheless, it’s short, and I recommend it on the strength of how weird it is and that character drama part.
But anyway, what was up with that? I get that Ethan was probably imagining the whole thing towards the end, rather than having the driving alien intelligence beaming thoughts into his head in a way he could understand, a la Contact. The bee metaphor was a little too perfect for the aliens to be anything more than basically mindless as we understand such things. But at the end, when the narrator says that life can be beautiful or ugly? It implied all kinds of meaning that I felt like I was missing. Also, was that last planet image supposed to be a shot of where the newly born girl was headed to next, or where she left from? It’s certainly plausible that Pennystown is not on Earth; they were very careful to leave specifics out of the story entirely, as far as I remember. But if that wasn’t Earth, then… what does that mean? Is it just arbitrary and I’m reaching too hard? It’s funny how I can be completely satisfied by the clones and mysterious two-way mirror eggshell and enormous sperm monster, all to create another slightly different girl that goes to another planet and starts the cycle over again, but I can’t accept throwaway information from the last five pages. I mean, life is often that pointless, existing for no benefit or harm other than to exist. But plot elements are controlled, and dammit, I want answers!