Again, very much a single story told over three discs, rather than a trio of distinct tales, Graceless II sees some ambivalence continue to affect the nature of our two former Tracers. As Lisa Bowerman points out in the CD extras – which under no circumstance listen to before you’ve heard the three stories, as the last one, particularly, will spoil all the various twists and turns – Abby is becoming less of a goody two-shoes, while Zara is developing a conscience.
Writer Simon Guerrier twists the knife for the characters on many occasions: any time that they may think for a moment that they’ve found some sort of breathing-space, something goes wrong, whether it’s to people close to them, or to places to which they’ve grown attached. Even doing the right thing doesn’t necessarily lead to good results – in this universe, satisfaction is not guaranteed.
It’s not all downbeat though. It’s adult drama (with an interesting obsession with threesomes) and some of the humour derives from Abby and Zara’s occasional unworldliness, particularly with regards to sexual matters. As the girls learn, love is something that is a matter of compromises rather than unnatural declarations, and sometimes in life you have to learn when to make do with what you’ve got.
The end of the final story sets up numerous plot threads for Graceless III (and take note of who makes the closing announcement…) Let’s hope that it lives up to the standard of its predecessors. 7/10