Friday, July 21, 2017

Vampire Hunter D; Message from Mars volume 1


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Today's post is on Vampire Hunter D; Message from Mars volume 1 by
Drawn to Mars by an ancient message from Cecile, a girl who could see the future, D arrives to find a colony that is little more than a blood farm. With Left Hand by his side, D sets out to cleanse Mars of the vampire scourge. 

Review- This volume sets up an interesting story with a mystery at the heart. Cecile summoned D to Mars to kill the Nobles that are living there and from what she says to kill her. She starts by telling him that she has always been able to see the future but even she could not have foreseen the Nobles or what would birth them. D and Left Hand are fighting their way to her as we read the message that she send D. We get to see some of the Nobles and their creatures. But this is just setting up the world for us. I look forward to the next volume to see what happens next. The art is amazing for this volume. It is so beautiful and the story is very fast paced. If you are not familiar with D and his world this is not the best place to start but if you are a fan then you need to pick this up.

I give this volume a five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I backed the kickstarter for the comic series.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Otomen volume 15


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Today's post is on Otomen volume 15 by Aya Kanno. It is the fifteenth in her Otomen series. It is 192 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. As this is the fifteenth volume in this series, you need to have read the first fourteen volumes to understand the story. The cover is yellow with a group Asuka's friends and his father on it. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, humor, and love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and no violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main character with moments of the other characters added in for plot development. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

Review- Asuka's kendo rival Hajime Tonomine feels torn when his father declares him as his future successor. Will Tonomine give up his love of makeup in order to enter the world of politics? Or will his otomen pastime find a way to prevail?

Review- The first story is about Tonomine finally being honest with himself and his family. His family knows but unless he was willing to honest with them about what he wanted they expected him to follow in his father's footsteps. Of course in the end he chooses himself and the future that will make him the happiest. The last story is about Yamato and his desire to not be himself. He does not have a very good self opinion and he gets some work on that in this volume. But it ends with he realizing that he has a crush on Ryo and decides to go for it. So with only three volumes left I'm not sure what Kanno can do with that added story line but I will find out soon!

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

Friday, July 14, 2017

Of Fire and Stars


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Today's post is on Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst. It is 389 pages long and is published by Balzer + Bray. The cover is dark blue with the title in gold and two female figures on the bottom in the light blue. It is a stand alone novel. The intended reader is older young adult, likes fantasy, strong women, and same sex love stories. There is mild foul language, sex, and mild violence in this book. The story is told from the third person close of the two main characters.

From the dust jacket- Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.
Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine—called Mare—the sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.


Review- This is a very solid first novel. Good world building with interest characters and magic system. I guessed the villain very quickly but I did not read this for the villain. You read this book for Mare and Denna. Two young women who just want to find what they can offer the world. They find each other and over time go from friends to lovers, it felt very natural over the course of the book. There is a sex scene in this book, it is not very graphic but you know what is happening. Their love story is very important to the plot but everything else would have happened even if they had not fallen in love. The nations of the world fear magic users and Denna has a very powerful gift. Mare would still be dealing with not really having a place in her own home. They still would have worked together to stop a needless war. But the love story adds something special to the mix. It gives them something to really fight for and that saves the day in the end.

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

Monday, July 10, 2017

Otomen volume 14


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Today's post is on Otomen volume 14 by Aya Kanno. It is the fourteenth in her Otomen series. It is 192 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. As this is the fourteenth volume in this series, you need to have read the first thirteen volumes to understand the story. The cover is pink with Yamato in the center looking like a cute girl that he is not. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, humor, and love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and no violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main character with moments of the other characters added in for plot development. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book Asuka and Ryo join their friend Kitora on an adventure abroad to find the legendary delamezla flower! Meanwhile, things get complicated when Asuka encourages his cousin Kasuga to confess his feelings to his crush—especially when Asuka becomes involved in more ways than one...!

Review- Asuka and Ryo get to go on a trip together. But things get complicated when Kitora is rejected by a flower spirit that he wants to see. Juta's sister saves the day but still hates flowers. Asuka's cousin is leaving the plot for the time being and Asuka wants to help him confess to his crush before he goes. But Kasuga's crush is Jewel Sanhihana or rather Asuka pretending to be Jewel Sanhihana. Kasuga explains to Asuka that he believed Asuka was a girl when they were children and that when Kasuga discovered that Asuka was a boy, Kasuga doubted himself. They work their differences and Kasuga goes into the sunset happy. Only Four more volumes left.

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, July 7, 2017

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 3: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now

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Today's post is on The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 3: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now by Ryan North and Erica Henderson. It is the second collected volume of the Squirrel Girl comic book. It is 168 pages long and is published by Marvel. The cover has Doreen with the cover in half; one half is her student life with her friends, and the other her life with the New Avengers. The intended reader is someone who likes humor, puns, and great story lines. There is no foul language, no sex, and only comic violence in this comic book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- New series, New Avenger! With her unique combination of wit, empathy and squirrel powers, computer science student Doreen Green - aka the unbeatable Squirrel Girl - is all that stands between the Earth and total destruction. Well, Doreen plus her friends Tippy-Toe (a squirrel) and Nancy (a regular human with no powers). So, mainly Squirrel Girl. Then what hope does the Earth have if she gets hurled back in time to the 1960s and erased from history? At least Nancy will never forget her friend, but what invincible armored Avenger can she call on to help, through the magic of social media? Decades apart, can they avert doom, or will everything go wrong forever? Howard the Duck hopes not...he has an appointment for a crossover!

Review- I love the Squirrel Girl series so much. They are so much fun and Doreen is great! In this volume we get to meet her mother, save a brain from Hydra, defeat Doctor Doom, and have a crossover with Howard the Duck. With so much to love about this series it is hard to pick just one thing but I think that I love the friendship between Doreen and Nancy as my favorite. They just get each other and work so well together. Nancy helps Doreen to everything from defeat Doctor Doom to studying together. The stories in this volume are a lot of fun and Howard the Duck crossover worked. A crazy villain who wants to hunt the animal-human hybrids is kidnapping them with some help from Kraven the Hunter but when she wants to hunt Doreen too that is a step too far. A really fun and funny fight ensues and I cannot wait to read the next one.

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

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Great Rescue: American Heroes, an Iconic Ship, ad Saving Europe During WW1


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I was given this book by Harper Collins exchange for an honest review.

Today's post is on The Great Rescue: American Heroes, an Iconic Ship, ad Saving Europe During WW1 by Peter Hernon. It is 368 pages long including notes and is published by Harper Collins. The cover has a picture of theLeviathan on it. The intended reader is someone who is interested in naval history and World War 1. There is mild foul language, no sex, and descriptions of violence and the war. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Published in commemoration of the centennial of America’s entry into World War I, the story of the USS Leviathan, the legendary liner turned warship that ferried U.S. soldiers to Europe—a unique war history that offers a fresh, compelling look at this epic time.
When war broke out in Europe in August 1914, the new German luxury ocean liner SS Vaterland was interned in New York Harbor, where it remained docked for nearly three years—until the United States officially entered the fight to turn the tide of the war. Seized by authorities for the U.S. Navy once war was declared in April 2017, the liner was renamed the USS Leviathan by President Woodrow Wilson, and converted into an armed troop carrier that transported thousands of American Expeditionary Forces to the battlefields of France.
For German U-Boats hunting Allied ships in the treacherous waters of the Atlantic, no target was as prized as the Leviathan, carrying more than 10,000 Doughboys per crossing. But the Germans were not the only deadly force threatening the ship and its passengers. In 1918, a devastating influenza pandemic—the Spanish flu—spread throughout the globe, predominantly striking healthy young adults, including soldiers.
Peter Hernon tells the ship’s story across multiple voyages and through the experiences of a diverse cast of participants, including the ship’s captain, Henry Bryan; General John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force; Congressman Royal Johnson, who voted against the war but enlisted once the resolution passed; Freddie Stowers, a young black South Carolinian whose heroism was ignored because of his race; Irvin Cobb, a star war reporter for the Saturday Evening Post; and Elizabeth Weaver, an army nurse who saw the war’s horrors firsthand; as well as a host of famous supporting characters, including a young Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Thoroughly researched, dramatic, and fast-paced, The Great Rescue is a unique look at the Great War and the diverse lives it touched.


Review- An interesting and quick read about one ship's effort to help with the war. The story starts with the war beginning and the Vaterland was stopped from going home to Germany, leaving the ship, the crew, and all the passengers stuck in America. So begins the years of war and change for the ship. From a new name the  Leviathan to a new purpose as the biggest troop ship in the American Navy, we travel with her and some of the people she took to and from Europe. With detailed notes from journals, interviews, and other first hand sources we learn the amazing history of this forgotten ship. Hernon touches briefly on the Spanish Flu and now I must get my hands on a book about it. I would recommend this book. 

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Otomen volume 13


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Today's post is on Otomen volume 13 by Aya Kanno. It is the thirteenth in her Otomen series. It is 200 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. As this is the thirteenth volume in this series, you need to have read the first twelve volumes to understand the story. The cover is blue with Ryo in the a boy's wig in the center looking at the reader. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, humor, and love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and no violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of the main character with moments of the other characters added in for plot development. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Ryo ends up coaching a high school judo team, but women aren’t allowed at that school! She finds a way around this obstacle, but the real challenge comes when she finds herself facing off against...Asuka?!

Review- This volume is Ryo centered and it was a nice change of pace. She spends the volume both training a judo team but also thinking about her relationship with Asuka. Of course she is just so cute that one of the judo team members ends up falling for her but there is no one in her heart but Asuka. We do not see much of Asuka's mother or father. Ryo tells Asuka that she loves him and the final story for this volume ends with Asuka basically proposing to her. He is starting to think about his future and what he wants. That is not what his mother wants but he needs to get together and talk to her about it. Maybe that will be the final arc because we are getting close to being finished with this series. Only five volumes left.

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.