Monday, May 21, 2018

Yona of the Dawn, volume 1

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Today's post is on Yona of the Dawn, volume 1 by Mizuho Kusanagi. It is the first in her Yona of the Dawn series. It is 190 pages long and is published by Shojo Beat. The cover has Princess Yona on it with swords all around her. The intended reader is someone who likes epic high fantasy, shojo manga, and revenge plots. There is no foul language, no sex, but there is violence in this story. The story is told from third person close mostly of Yona but some of Hak her bodyguard. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Soo-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when she witnesses her father's murder! Yona reels from the shock of losing her father and having to fight for her life. With Hak's help, she flees the castle and struggles to survive while evading her enemy's forces. But where will this displaced princess go with such an uncertain path before her?

Review- A powerful story that does not get told much in the shojo way. Princess Yona is about to turn 16 at the start of the story. She lives with her father and wants to marry her crush Soo-won. But when she witnesses her father's murder, she must flee with her guard Hak and that is about it for this volume. Much of the volume is about Yona's past with Soo-wan and Hak. Growing up with them and being a princess with all that means. We really get to see what Soo-wan murdering her father in front of her does to her sense of self and her mind. We do not spend any time in Soo-wan's head so we have no idea about what he believes he is doing. The volume with Yona finding some sense of self again. I really enjoyed this first volume and I have high hopes for the rest of the series.

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money.

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

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Today's post is on The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. It is the first in his Flavia de Luce series. It is 474 pages long and it is published by Delacorte Press. The cover is green with a bird and a stamp on it. The intended reader is someone who likes mysteries, historical novels, and very clever heroines. There is very mild foul language, no sex, and mild violence in book. The story is told from first person of the main character. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- An enthralling mystery, a piercing depiction of class and society, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is a masterfully told tale of deceptions—and a rich literary delight.
In his wickedly brilliant first novel, Debut Dagger Award winner Alan Bradley introduces one of the most singular and engaging heroines in recent fiction: eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison. It is the summer of 1950—and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia’s family calls home. A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”
To Flavia the investigation is the stuff of science: full of possibilities, contradictions, and connections. Soon her father, a man raising his three daughters alone, is seized, accused of murder. And in a police cell, during a violent thunderstorm, Colonel de Luce tells his daughter an astounding story—of a schoolboy friendship turned ugly, of a priceless object that vanished in a bizarre and brazen act of thievery, of a Latin teacher who flung himself to his death from the school’s tower thirty years before. Now Flavia is armed with more than enough knowledge to tie two distant deaths together, to examine new suspects, and begin a search that will lead her all the way to the King of England himself. Of this much the girl is sure: her father is innocent of murder—but protecting her and her sisters from something even worse…


Review- A delightful read with a very interesting main character. Flavia is very clever young woman with a very mean streak to those who cross her. She torments her older sisters, who in turn torment her. She avoids anything that does not have to do with her beloved chemistry and she discovers a passion for murder. The mystery itself is quite good with some very interesting twists. It has the feel of a classic English murder mystery novel and it works well. I liked all the characters that I meet over the course of the story and the plot kept me guessing about who the real murderer is and why they did it. A very solid first novel and I look forward to reading the next one.

I give this novel a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, volume 1

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Today's post is on Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, volume 1 by Izumi Tsubaki. It is 177 pages long and is published by Yen Press. The cover has Nozaki on it with his manga pages flying around him. The intended reader is someone who likes comedies with a little bit of romance. There is no foul language, no sex, and no violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of Chiyo, the main female character. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- To the eyes of classmate Chiyo Sakura, high school student Umetarou Nozaki--brawny of build and brusque of tongue--is a dreamboat! When Chiyo finally works up the courage to tell Nozaki how she feels about him, she knows rejection is on the table...but getting recruited as a mangaka's assistant?! Never in a million years! As Chiyo quickly discovers, Nozaki-kun, the boy of Chiyo's dreams, is a manga artist...a hugely popular shoujo manga artist, that is! But for someone who makes a living drawing sweet girly romances, Nozaki-kun is a little slow on the uptake when it comes to matters of the heart in reality. And so Chiyo's daily life of manga making and heartache begins!

Review- I really like this volume, it was really funny, and I laughed out loud at parts. The characters, the stories in background, the main plot itself, all of it really great. Chiyo wants to confess to Nozaki but she really messes it up and he thinks that she is a fan. Over the course of the story she starts working with him on his manga and she is very talented artist herself. Add in some over-the-top secondary characters and we have our plot. It is told in four panels per page and one page is one part of the story. It was a webcomic at the beginning but become so popular that it was collected into volumes and then made into a anime. I look forward to reading more with Chiyo and Nozaki.

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this manga from a friend.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Trailer Park Fae


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Today's post is on Trailer Park Fae by Lilith Saintcrow. It is the first in her Gallow and Ragged trilogy. It is 312 pages long and is published by Orbit. The cover has Gallow on it with his tattoos and spear glowing. The intended reader is someone who likes urban fantasy and a new spin on the Fae. There is foul language, sexuality, and violence in this book. The story is told from third person close of the characters moving from one to the next per chapter. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Jeremy Gallow is just another construction worker, and that's the way he likes it. He's left his past behind, but some things cannot be erased. Like the tattoos on his arms that transform into a weapon, or that he was once closer to the Queen of Summer than any half-human should be. Now the half-sidhe all in Summer once feared is dragged back into the world of enchantment, danger, and fickle fae—by a woman who looks uncannily like his dead wife. Her name is Robin, and her secrets are more than enough to get them both killed. A plague has come, the fullborn-fae are dying, and the dark answer to Summer's Court is breaking loose.
Be afraid, for Unwinter is riding... 

Review- Saintcrow once again creates an interesting and dynamic world of magic. The two main characters are powerful but they feel very out matched by the odds against them. Saintcrow takes familiar names like Robin Goodfellow and does some interesting things with him and she carries that over the entire cast. The plot moves very quickly and you never have time to get bored with anything and the twists never stop coming. I would have liked it to slow down a little so I get absorb what was happening but that is my only complaint and I look forward to reading the next one.

I give this volume a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Murder. Interrupted


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Today’s post is on Murder, Interrupted by James Patterson. It is one of his Discovery's Murder is Forever series. It is 295 pages long and is published by Grand Central Publishing. The cover is sunset scene with a man walking away from the camera on the highway. The intended reader is someone who is interested in true crime. There is some foul language, talk of sex, and violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the dust jacket- Two true-crime thrillers as seen on Discovery's Murder is Forever TV series - premiering January 2018
MURDER, INTERRUPTED. Rich, cheating financier Frank Howard wants his wife dead, and he's willing to pay Billie Earl Johnson whatever it takes, to the tune of $750,000. When his bullet misses the mark, Billie Earl and Frank will turn on each other in a fight for their lives . . .
MOTHER OF ALL MURDERS. Dee Dee Blancharde is a local celebrity. Television reports praise her as a single mother who tirelessly cares for her wheelchair-bound, chronically ill daughter. But when the teenaged Gypsy Rose realizes she isn't actually sick and Dee Dee has lied all these years, Gypsy Rose exacts her revenge . . .
Review- Of the two murders detailed in this book I only knew about the second one and not all the details that is the book. The first murder I knew nothing about, it was quite a thrill ride with wondering if the wife will survive the hit-man who did shoot her in the face. The second murder I knew some of the details but having the full story laid out in detail made it so much more horrifying for me. Patterson has access to people, police and court reports to give the stories a more filled out feel to them. I liked how different the two stories were with Howard being a really bad guy but Gypsy Rose being more of a victim of her mother and doing the only thing she could think of. Howard is going away forever and I do not feel bad for him. But Gypsy Rose was a victim of life-long child abuse and I had more compassion on her and I hope that she can one day have a more normal life. Two interesting tales about two very different murders and murderers.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Horimiya, volume 1

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Today's post is on Horimiya, volume 1 by HERO and Daisuke Hagiwara. It is 176 pages long and is published by Yen Press. The cover has the two main characters on it. The intended reader is someone who likes romantic comedies. There is no foul language, no sex, and no violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main female character, Kyouko Hori. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- At school, Kyouko Hori is known for being smart, attractive, and popular. On the other hand, her classmate, the boring, gloomy Izumi Miyamura tends to get painted as a "loser fanboy." But when a liberally pierced and tattooed (not to mention downright gorgeous) Miyamura appears unexpectedly on the doorstep of secretly plain-Jane homebody Hori, these two similarly dissimilar teenagers discover that there are multiple sides to every story...and person!

Review- This is story about two people learning to look beneath the surface to see the real person. Kyouko has to be the parent for her younger brother. Izumi Miyamura does not want he classmates to think badly of him so he hides a large part of himself from others. When Miyamura helps Hori's little brother they discover each other's secrets. The plot is interesting but it is the characters that are special and that I enjoyed the best. Hori is just trying to do her best but she does not want everyone to know her business. Miyamura does not have any friends that we see in this manga but he does start making them. There is going to be a love triangle but I think it will not be overwhelming. A good start to a shonen rom-com.

I give this manga a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this manga from a friend.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Agent of Chaos


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Today's post is on Agent of Chaos by Kami Garcia. It is the first book in The X-Files Origins novels. It is 307 pages long and is publishes by Imprint. The cover is white with different items from the story making an X symbol and the title in the white space. The intended reader is someone who is a fan of the X-Files or a young adult who wants to get into them. There is mild foul language, no sex, and mild violence in this book. The story is told form third person close changing characters as the story goes on. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- He wasn't always a believer.
In the spring of 1979, seventeen-year-old Fox Mulder has bigger problems than applying for college. Five years ago, his younger sister disappeared from their home and was never heard from again. Mulder blames himself, and his mother blames his father, who has retreated into his top-secret work for the State Department. In Fox's senior year, his dad has moved him to Washington, D.C- away from his friends on Martha's Vineyard.
While Mulder doesn't mind the fresh start and not being known as "that kid with the missing sister," he's still obsessed with finding Samantha. So when a local boy turns up dead and another child is abducted, Mulder can't stop himself from getting involved. Could there be a link to his sister's case? As he uncovers the truth, Mulder and his friends find themselves on the trail of a serial killer.
Sucked into a world where conspiracies, the occult, and madness overlap, Fox Mulder starts to believe.

Review- A good addition to the X-Files cannon. Garcia has a hard job before her with this book because I love The X-Files and I have read other books that have been written in cannon. But she raises to the occasion and this is a gem. We get to see where Mulder's profiling career starts, we get to see more of his relationship with his father, and we see Mulder act like Mulder. Lots of little details that will make a long time fan happy like X and the Smoking Man are in background characters and they help more the plot along at times. I am looking forward to reading Sully's book and I hope that more is written in this style.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.