Book: Zsazsa Zaturnnah sa Kalakhang Maynila

"Zsazsa Zaturnnah sa Kalakhang Maynila" by Carlo VergaraAfter defeating a giant frog, a horde of zombies, and the extraterrestrial Amazonistas, small-town beautician Ada begins a new chapter by moving to the big city with hunky Dodong, and taking up residence in the old house of his friend Gwyneth. Not only does earning his keep prove more difficult, Ada also finds himself dealing with a haunting past, the return of the Zaturnnah stone, new enemies and allies, startling revelations, true confessions, and the prospect of a new–and complicated–romance. Can Ada survive a place that seeks to wear out his mind, his body… and his heart?

I’ve been looking forward to the sequel to Zsazsa Zaturnnah for a good long while now. Carlo Vergara gave teasers on his blog site, but it wasn’t until early this year that the book was finally–finally!–released. And, I have to say, Mr. Vergara lost none of the wit and drama that made the first volume a hit. If there’s anything to complain about, it’s the fact that it’s short. Then again, this is only the first of a three-part volume. Now, it’s just a question of when Mr. Vergara will have the time to finish (and release) the continuations.

The story doesn’t start immediately after the events of the first volume–and yet, it sort of does. We follow Ada and Dodong as they start their new lives in Manila, and finally we meet the wo/man who created the Zaturnnah costume. Things seem to be getting to normal for Ada, when an impromptu singing session sends a very familiar rock crashing into our hero/ine.

Zaturnnah is back! And with her return comes new characters, new villains–and a new ally. But it’s hard to judge the story based on the first act alone, so I’ll leave this reaction post to this: the first part of Zsazsa Zaturnnah‘s second volume definitely leaves you craving for more!

I do have one question though: whatever happened to the beloved Didi? She gets mentioned twice early in the story, one of which was a question on where could she be–and it doesn’t get answered. I do wish that Didi would make an appearance in the second volume, if only to answer the question of her current location. Gwyneth is a fun (and snarky) sidekick (who isn’t really a sidekick), but no one can beat the resilience of Didi.

Zsazsa Zaturnnah is available in all local bookstores here in the Philippines.