Sunstone, vol. 3

Sunstone 3Summary: Ally and Lisa are happy, well-adjusted young women, but they’re both a little lonely. Ally loves the creativity of being a “domme” in her sex life, but hasn’t found the right person to share it with. And Lisa… well, Lisa loves to be tied up! When they find each other online, they know they have to meet. But bondage is all about trust, and even after they’ve explored every facet of their sexuality together, Ally and Lisa will find the ultimate test of this trust lies in three simple words. The webcomic and graphic novel sensation continues to heat up in this third volume as Ally strives to keep things creative in the playroom and Lisa gets tied up and tattooed. But will they keep on avoiding the whole falling in love thing?

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Sunstone, vol 3, by Stjepan Sejic 7.75

This third volume of ‘Sunstone’ continues much in the same vein as the previous one, with the mundanity of everyday life. It’s true what Lisa was saying at the opening of volume one, how it’s just their lives – there really isn’t much going on except for exploring their new relationship. This book spends a lot of time with other characters, perhaps to make up for it.

Now they’ve introduced Anna in the picture and show her being shocked but curious about Cassie’s exploration of BDSM. My problem with the character is that I find it implausible that a tattoo artist (she’s designing Cassie’s full back tattoo), who was once Goth, and who has nipple piercings, could be as shocked by BDSM – let alone never having dabbled in it before.

My incredulity combined with Sejic’s obvious attempt to convert Anna (i.e. us) made those huge chunks of the book hard to digest. Adding to this some silly gags (like having Alan pop by while Ally and Lisa are getting ready for some sexy time together, or having the neighbour impose her cat, Mr. Bonkers, on Ally for two weeks), felt a bit beneath the book, a bit too corny.

But I really love the ending, which finds both characters, in the present, discussing how Lisa’s account of their relationship has been embellished. It really puts things in perspective, which I enjoyed. Combined with the fact that their relationship has moved up another level by having Lisa move in, and I’d say that this last bit offset much of the rest of the book for me.

Notwithstanding the fact that there’s some really hot sex in it.

This book finds Sejic showing off a little bit, through gratuitous spreads of Alan’s designs. I must say that he has a knack for making the girls look sexy and that the outfits are really impressive. But was it necessary for them to change clothing many times over? No. It was obviously for his and our enjoyment, and nothing else. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying.

What I find interesting about the art is that Sejic is obviously very talented: when he does full-page spreads or devotes more time to certain parts (usually the sex or fashion stuff) it looks splendid. The rest is incredibly good, very detailed and animated, but the work is sketchier; it’s as though he’s doing these books on a deadline and has to cut corners.

This isn’t much of a criticism. If anything, it just goes to show that he doesn’t always fully put his skill on display (if you can imagine that!). In any event, ‘Sunstone’ remains a fun read, even as it’s lost the edge of the first book. As with anything, the moment a veil of mystery is lifted, much is lost. But I’m still digging reading about Ally and Lisa’s relationship.

The rest is just icing on the cake.

And some of it tastes so sweet.

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