Friday, April 28, 2017

Faith: Hollywood and Vine


29332093

Today's post is on Faith: Hollywood and Vine by Jody Houser, Francis Portela, Marguerite Sauvage, and Andrew Dalhouse. It is the first in the Faith comic series. It is 123 pages long and is published by Valiant. The cover is blue with Faith sitting on power lines as she writes on her laptop. The intended reader is someone who likes comic books, interesting heroines, and superhero stories. There is no mild foul language, no sex, and voilence in this book. The story is told from first person close of the main character Faith. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Valiant's most demanded hero steps out of Harbinger and into an all-new miniseries adventure!
Orphaned at a young age, Faith Herbert - a psionically gifted "psiot" discovered by the Harbinger Foundation - has always aspired to greatness. But now this once ordinary teenager is taking control of her destiny and becoming the hard-hitting hero she's always known she can be - complete with a mild-mannered secret identity, unsuspecting colleagues, and a day job as a reporter that routinely throws into her harms way! Well, at least she thought it would When she's not typing up listicles about cat videos, Faith makes a secret transformation to patrol the night as the City of Angels' own leading superhero - the sky-soaring Zephyr!
But flying solo is going to be tougher than she ever thought when Zephyr uncovers a deep-rooted alien conspiracy. Two-bit burglars and car thieves are one thing, but when the world needs a hero to stave off an full-blown extraterrestrial invasion, will Faith find herself in over her head or ready for her biggest challenge yet?


Review- I had so much fun with this volume. I really like Faith. She is open to the world and she wants to embrace it. Faith has moved from being with a group of superheroes to working mostly on her own. She still has contact with some of her friends but she is pulling all the work herself. She has a secret identity and a normal job. But she does go out and stop the bad things from happening at night. She discovers that people are going missing and they are like her. So off we go with Faith as she uncovers what is going on and tries to keep her life together at the same time. 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 volume from my local library. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Otomen volume 3


6353651

Today's post is on Otomen volume 3 by Aya Kanno. It is the second in her Otomen series. It is 200 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. You need to have read the first two volumes to understand the story. The cover is light blue with the main and his love interest on it 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 very mild 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 takes Ryo to an amusement park where he plans to confess his feelings to her. Too bad all the rides Ryo wants to go on frighten Asuka! Can he overcome his fear for the sake of love?

Review- We have several stories going on in this volume and they all add to the world/ character building. From Asuka and Ryo working together at a daycare and Asuka dreaming about them being married and parents. We get to go on a date with them and of course everything goes wrong. One is about Juta and Asuka trying to get to know him because all the girls that Juta flirts with think that he has a girlfriend. Juta is protecting his secret about being a manga-ka with Asuka and Ryo as his characters. We find out that Juta is supporting his ten sisters with this writing. And Asuka discovers a friend in the manly world of Kendo, who sees Asuka as his sworn enemy. Asuka is getting more open about his Otomen ways but he still fears letting his mother down. That said I like where the story is going and it so sweet my teeth hurt but I love it!

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, April 21, 2017

Ruin and Rising


14061957

Today's post is on Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo. It is the third on her Grisha trilogy. It is 417 pages long and is published by Henry Holt and company. The cover is red with a palace on bottom and a phoenix on top. The intended reader is someone who has read the first two volumes. There is mild foul language, implied sex, and violence in this novel. The story is told from the first person perspective of the main character. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- The capital has fallen.
The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.
Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.
Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.


Review- This is a very good finish to an excellent trilogy. It looks like Alina and company are in a bad place but Alina has learned very well from the Darkling. She quickly takes control and gets the story back on track. She does worry more about why she wants to get the third amplifer and that does add something to her character. But the real point to me was Alina and Mal choosing each other no matter what the cost. Of course it is not that easy. Everything gets burned to the ground but I was very happy with the ending. I am glad that Bardugo is not done with this world because there is so much that we do not get to see but I will when I read Six of Crows.

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

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Labyrinths: Emma Jung, Her Marriage to Carl, and the Early Years of Psychoanalysis


29099201

Today's nonfiction post is on Labyrinths: Emma Jung, Her Marriage to Carl, and the Early Years of Psychoanalysis by Catrine Clay. It is 394 pages long including notes. The cover is a picture of Emma with Carl only half in it. The intended reader is someone who is interested in Emma Jung and her life. There is no foul language, talk of sex, and no violence in this book.

From the back of the book- A sensational, eye-opening account of Emma Jung’s complex marriage to Carl Gustav Jung and the hitherto unknown role she played in the early years of the psychoanalytic movement.
Clever and ambitious, Emma Jung yearned to study the natural sciences at the University of Zurich. But the strict rules of proper Swiss society at the beginning of the twentieth century dictated that a woman of Emma’s stature—one of the richest heiresses in Switzerland—travel to Paris to "finish" her education, to prepare for marriage to a suitable man.
Engaged to the son of one of her father’s wealthy business colleagues, Emma’s conventional and predictable life was upended when she met Carl Jung. The son of a penniless pastor working as an assistant physician in an insane asylum, Jung dazzled Emma with his intelligence, confidence, and good looks. More important, he offered her freedom from the confines of a traditional haute-bourgeois life. But Emma did not know that Jung’s charisma masked a dark interior—fostered by a strange, isolated childhood and the sexual abuse he’d suffered as a boy—as well as a compulsive philandering that would threaten their marriage.
Using letters, family interviews, and rich, never-before-published archival material, Catrine Clay illuminates the Jungs’ unorthodox marriage and explores how it shaped—and was shaped by—the scandalous new movement of psychoanalysis. Most important, Clay reveals how Carl Jung could never have achieved what he did without Emma supporting him through his private torments. The Emma that emerges in the pages of Labyrinths is a strong, brilliant woman, who, with her husband’s encouragement, becomes a successful analyst in her own right.


Review- When I started reading this book the only thing I knew about Emma Jung was that she was married to Carl but I do not have a good understanding of this complex woman and the driving forces in her life. We follow Emma over the course of her whole life but we spend the most time with her in the years of her marriage to Carl Jung. She was the woman behind the man and Emma did more for Carl than just be a wife, housekeeper, and mother. She was the steady center to his life. But Emma learned from Carl too and she became a talented and knowledgeable analysis herself. Clay does not hold back from the less than wonderful details about their life together. Carl was unstable and that affected Emma but she had to be the strong one and the faithful one. Carl was so busy being Carl Jung that he never really understood what Emma gave him. But in the end Emma found her own way in life and I think that she was happy with her life in the end.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I was given this book in exchange for an honest review by Harper Collins.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Otomen volume 2


5071395

Today's post is on Otomen volume 2 by Aya Kanno. It is the second in her Otomen series. It is 192 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. You need to have read the first volume to understand the story. The cover is dark blue with two of the main characters  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 very mild 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 Masamune is a guy who loves girly things--sewing, knitting, making cute stuffed animals and reading shojo comics. But in a world where boys are expected to act manly, Asuka must hide his beloved hobbies and play the part of a masculine jock instead. Ryo Miyakozuka, on the other hand, is a girl who can't sew or bake a cake to save her life. Asuka finds himself drawn to Ryo, but she likes only the manliest of men! Can Asuka ever show his true self to anyone, much less to the girl that he's falling for?
Asuka's mother shows up with a surprise announcement--it's time for Asuka to meet his fiancée! What kind of girl does she have in mind for him? And how will Ryo respond to the match?

Review- Asuka makes me laugh but he is so sweet.  His romantic fantasies are over-the-top. It is Christmas at the beginning of the volume and he wants to spend Christmas with Ryo. But Ryo never has cerebrated Christmas person before because her family are Buddhist, like most Japanese. But Asuka sees Christmas as a romantic holiday to spend with the person you love. So of course Asuka goes overboard but it is very cute. Asuka's mother comes home to tell him that he has a fiancée and they should just go ahead and get married! But the girl is a little nuts. She discovers Asuka's hobbies and she is willing to use them against him. But Ryo saves him in the end and Asuka has stars in his eyes as she does. But I do have a problems with Asuka's mother. She just wants her son to fit into how she thinks he should be. No matter what pain it causes Asuka, I hope Kanno deals with that. I want Asuka to be able to be himself with everyone.

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, April 14, 2017

Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs


29358487

Today's post is on Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs. It is 160 pages long and is published by Dutton Books. The cover is green with the title and embellishments are in gold. The intended reader is someone who has read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children trilogy to really get the stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and very mild violence in this collection.  The stories are told from third person perspective. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Before Miss Peregrine gave them a home, the story of peculiars was written in the Tales.
Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. The origins of the first ymbryne. These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar—known to hide information about the peculiar world—first introduced by Ransom Riggs in his Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.
Riggs now invites you to share his secrets of peculiar history, with a collection of original stories, as collected and annotated by Millard Nullings, ward of Miss Peregrine and scholar of all things peculiar.


Review- This is a very fun read for fans of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, like myself. I  enjoyed reading some of the stories that were referenced over the course of the trilogy in full. We get ten stories of some peculiars and the world that they lived in. Riggs takes us through different times in the history of peculiars; from when they lived with normal humans to the making of the first loop for them to hide in. I wish that this collection was longer and had the full stories that we read parts of over the original trilogy. I hope that Riggs does more like this but I would understand if he wants to move on to his next project.

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

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Secret War: Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-1945


26827213

Today's Nonfiction post is on The Secret War: Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-1945 by Max Hastings. It is 700 pages including notes and is published by Harper Collins. The cover is like folder with a red x in the center. The intended reader is someone who is interested in World War 2 history and spies. There is foul language, talk of sex, and violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Examining the espionage and intelligence stories in World War II, on a global basis, bringing together the British, American, German, Russian and Japanese histories.
There were two Second World Wars: one fought on the battlefields, and another conducted by men and women few of whom ever fired a weapon in anger, but whose efforts vastly influenced the conflict.
‘The Secret War 1939-45’ examines that other war waged by British, American, German, Russian and Japanese intelligence-gathering personnel. Moving chronologically through the conflict, Max Hastings charts the successes and failures of allied and axis forces, espionage and counterespionage.
Observing how the evolution of electronic communications dramatically increased the possibilities and significance of these secret battles, this is the story of intelligence beyond Bletchley to the FBI, Russia and the spies of axis dictatorships. For the first time since his best-selling ‘All Hell Let Loose’, Max Hastings returns to the Second World War, this time to chronicle its second, untold story.


Review- This is a very detailed book about spies and who they worked for from just before the beginning of the Second World War  until the end. But the details are too much and the story gets lost in them. At times the story would come back with interesting characters and background information but then the details would get it bogged down. The notes are excellent resources if you want to do more research on your own but after reading this book I think that I know enough at this time. It was interesting reading about how badly undervalued the intelligence groups were but still they some how managed to work and help with the war effort. There are some great quotes about who to bomb first and how badly everyone worked together. Looking at it now, it is amazing how far we have come in the spy game.

I give this volume a Two out of Five stars. I was given this book by Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Otomen volume 1


5071434

Today's post is on Otomen volume 1 by Aya Kanno. It is the first in her Otomen series. It is 208 pages long and is publishes by Shojo Beat. The cover is light blue with the main character 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 very mild 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 Masamune is a guy who loves girly things - sewing, knitting, making cute stuffed animals and reading shojo comics. But in a world where boys are expected to act manly, Asuka must hide his beloved hobbies and play the part of a masculine jock instead. Ryo Miyakozuka, on the other hand, is a girl who can't sew or bake a cake to save her life. Asuka finds himself drawn to Ryo, but she likes only the manliest of men! Can Asuka ever show his true self to anyone, much less to the girl that he's falling for?

Review- This is the cutest manga that I have read in all long time if not ever.  Asuka feels that he cannot openly like 'girly' things because of his families past. His father lied to his mother and then left her because he was transsexual. So Asuka feels that if he likes 'girly' things then he will hurt his mother. In this volume it is has not discussed the difference between liking something and being something but I hope that we get there. What we get is a very sweet love story between a boy and the girl who does not know that he likes her in a romance way. Add in a best friend with a secret and little high school drama and we have a cute and sweet love story that may kill me with sugar but I like it.

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

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Ghost and Mrs. McClure


156510

Today's post is on The Ghost and Mrs. McClure by Alice Kimberly. It is the first in her Haunted Bookshop Mystery. It is 261 pages long and is published by Berkley Prime Crime Mystery. The cover has a floating hat in the center with a cat behind it. The intended reader is someone who likes cozy mysteries and fun story lines. There is mild foul language, implied sex, and mild violence in this book. The story is told in two ways: first person by Pen and third person by Jack. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- This spirit is willing - to catch a killer.
Young widow Penelope Thornton-McClure and her old Aunt Sadie are making ends meet by managing a mystery bookshop- a quaint Rhode Island landmark rumored to be haunted. Pen may not believe in good publicity- like nabbing Timothy Brennan for a book signing. But soon after the bestselling thriller writer reveals a secret about the store's link to a 1940s murder, he keels over dead- and right in the middle of the store's new Community Events space.
Who gives Mrs. McClure the first clue that it was murder? The bookstore's full-time ghost- a PI murdered on the very spot more than than fifty years ago. Is he a figment of Pen's overactive imagination? Or is the oddly likeable fedora-wearing specter the only hope Pen has to solve the crime? you can bet your everlasting life on it...

Review- A very fun cozy mystery with some interesting characters in a fun setting. Pen is just trying to keep herself and her son together when her Aunt Sadie tells her that she is going to close down the family book store. But Pen loves the old place and so she moves herself and her son Spenser back home to try and save the bookstore. Jack Shepard has just been hanging around in limbo when Pen wakes him up with her improvements to the book store. That is the set-up at the start of the book. The murder happens and Pen can hear ghosts, more than just Jack but we only see him in this book.The mystery does follow the formula but its the characters that make the story fun. Jack is funny and talks in the same way that he did when he died. Pen is smart and she catches on very quickly. I did guess who did it but I enjoyed the ride with the characters.


I give this volume a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I was given this book as a birthday gift.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Monster Collection volume 6

Monster Collection: Volume 6
Today' s post is on Monster Collection volume 6 by Itoh Sei. It is 194 pages long and is published by CMX. The cover is blue with the main characters looking cool. The intended reader is someone who likes high action series with humor added in to keep it from getting too dark. There is mild foul language, nudity, and lots of violence in this series. The story is told from third person god perspective but it closely follows our brave heroes. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Final volume! Trapped in the ethereal plane of the Encyclopedia Verum's memory, Kasche Arbadel fights the toughest battle of her life. Unable to summon her usual monster allies, she has made a pact with a Curse Elemental, a spirit demon of pure evil. To stop Lord Duran, Kasche must embrace the darkness; but will she sacrifice her own soul in the process? She started this quest a mere student. To complete it, Kasche will become a legend!

Review- A good final volume that left me wanting more in this world and with these characters. Kasche and company beat the bad guys but there is a price. Kasche is now known by the darkness and she knows it too. But the high dragon is freed and everyone gets to go home. Lord Duran but he gets to see the face of god and that gives him some peace after his hard life. It look likes Nastasha is going to die but Vable, the high dragon, saves her so yay.We get to see Cuervo go off for greater training with the lizardman. Kasche goes home  to get told off for going off on her own and causing all that trouble. Plus we get see that she will be become an even greater summoner in the future. I would like more but this series was great as it is.

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, March 31, 2017

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe


12000020

Today's post is on Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. It is 359 pages long and is published by Simon & Schuster. The cover is the early night time sky with a red truck under the title. There is mild foul language, no sex, and mild violence in this novel. The intended reader is young adults, people interested in helping young gay kinds, and touching stories. The story is told from first person perspective of the main character Aristotle. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

Review- This is an interesting story about a young man learning who he is. Aristotle, or Ari as he likes to be called, grows so much over the course of the story. When the novel begins he does not think much about himself or anything really. He is angry but does not know how to express it. His family does not talk about anything. Not his brother in jail not his father's war experience, nothing that is really hard. Dante's family on the other does talk about everything and that is one of the things that makes Ari change. But Ari is still learning about himself and the answers he finds are surprising to him. The sexuality is a major topic but there is no sex in the novel itself. It is respectful of sensitive readers while having an honest discuss about it.

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

Monday, March 27, 2017

Monster Collection volume 5


2335674

Today' s post is on Monster Collection volume 5 by Itoh Sei. It is 162 pages long and is published by CMX. The cover is blue with the main character standing in the rain with lightening behind her. The intended reader is someone who likes high action series with humor added in to keep it from getting too dark. There is mild foul language, nudity, implied sexuality, and lots of violence in this series. The story is told from third person god perspective but it closely follows our brave heroes. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- The Sleeping Dragon Awakes!
Centuries ago, summoners of the ancient empire transferred their collective knowledge into a giant, organic super-computer- the encyclopedia Verum. Now, Lord Duran, agent of chaos, has tapped into it, seeking control over all the world's creatures. But the great blue dragon that was enslaved to guard the Encyclopedia is nursing a grudge. With Kasche and friends outnumbered against Duran's forces, their only hope might lie with unleashing her- the most dangerous creature ever summoned.

Review- Lots of action in this volume. The fallen angel is finally beaten by Cuervo and it gives some of its power to him. Kasche must go into the mind of the great dragon to try and get her free. But they are still surrounded by the fire ants and the evil summoner who wants to kill everyone now because it makes him happy. To free the great dragon, Kasche must first stop the defenses that the Encyclopedia has to protect itself from intruders. Kasche ends up summoning something that she may not be able to control and the volume ends with that thought. This is only volume to have nudity it in so far and that is when Kasche is in the spirit realm trying to get to the great dragon. It is used to give her vulnerability but it turns a little sexual towards the end and I feel that was unnecessary. But it does not last long so there is that but still it was not needed.

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

Friday, March 24, 2017

Slimy Underbelly


18184424

Today's post is on Slimy Underbelly by Kevin J Anderson. It is the fourth in his Dan Shamble, P.I. series. It is 304 pages long and is published by Kensington. The cover is dark blue with Dan in the center and tentacles coming up behind him. The intended reader is someone who has read the previous three novels, likes over-the-top humor, and quick reads. There is mild foul language, no sex, and comedy violence in this novel. The story is told from first person close of the main character. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From back of the book-There's something fishy going on in the Unnatural Quarter. Bodies are floating face-down, the plumbing is backing up, and something smells rotten—even to a zombie detective like Dan Shamble. Diving into the slimy underbelly of a diabolical plot, Dan comes face-to-tentacles with an amphibious villain named Ah'Chulhu (to which the usual response is "Gesundheit!"). With his snap-happy gang of gator-guys—former pets flushed down the toilet—Ah'Chulhu wreaks havoc beneath the streets. While feuding weather wizards kick up storms and a gang of thieving lawn gnomes continues their reign of terror, Dan Shamble is running out of time—before the whole stinking city goes down the drain.…

Review- Another funny Dan Shamble story.  This time we are really getting into classic horror with some other bits added in. I have had fun all this novels and this one is no different. The puns is are good in this one but I like puns. All the cases that Dan is working in this book are just over-the-top. We get stolen voices, lawn gnomes on the run, and weather wizards fighting to win the vote. The writing is fun and Dan is a really fun character to follow around this Unnatural Quarter. I hope this is not the last Dan Shamble but I think it is. If that is the case then this one is a good one to go out with.


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

Monday, March 20, 2017

Monster Collection volume 4


2335673

Today' s post is on Monster Collection volume 4 by Itoh Sei. It is 170 pages long and is published by CMX. The cover is blue with the main character in the center summoning with a monster behind her. The intended reader is someone who likes high action series with humor added in to keep it from getting too dark. There is mild foul language, implied sexuality, and lots of violence in this series. The story is told from third person god perspective but it closely follows our brave heroes. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- A Summoner's secret weapon- the power of friendship!
Kasche is being held captive on mysterious Spiral Island, resting place of the Encyclopdia Verum. It also happens to be one giant anthill, home to the frightening and lethal Crimson Ants! Cuervo and Nastasha have come to rescue their fearless leader, but must make a hard choice- will they exchange the Guardian of Knowledge for her life and doom mankind? Or will the ditzy young summoner's love and friendship give them strength to fight?

Review- We get some idea about what the real villain wants from all this. He wants Kasche alive because she is like him in some way. We get to see that Cuervo is a real badass. He fights with the fallen angel and wins. Of course that does not stop the fallen but Cuervo was very cool looking. He shows his brains in this long fight. Most of the volume is fighting and running with some moments of real plot development. Kasche is continuing to hear the voice of some really big creature that she could summon but she does not do that yet. She can be really thick sometimes. She is summoner and she does not get that the big woman who is calling out to her to summon her is a creature that Kasche can summon. /sigh. But that is my only annoyance with this volume. I cannot wait to see where the story is going next.

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

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Luckiest Lady in London


17290655

Today's post is on The Luckiest Lady in London by Sherry Thomas. It is 276 pages long and is published by Berkley. It is the first in her London Trilogy. The cover has the main character on it in a lovely green dress facing the reader. The intended reader is someone who likes historical romance, flawed but likable characters, and romance. There is mild foul language, sexuality and no violence in this book.The story is told from the third person close of the two main characters. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Felix Rivendale, the Marquess of Wrenworth, is The Ideal Gentleman, a man all men want to be and all women want to possess. Felix knows very well his golden image is a hoax. But no one else suspects the truth, until Miss Louisa Cantwell comes along.
From their first meeting, Louisa has mistrusted his outward perfection. But even she could not have imagined that The Ideal Gentleman would propose- to make her his mistress.

To make matters more complicated, Louisa cannot ignore the pleasure his touch ignites. Nor can she deny the pull Lord Wrenworth exerts upon her. But dare she get any closer to a man full of dark secrets, any one of which could devastate her?

Review- This is a funny and romantic story. Felix is very hard headed but I still liked him. Louisa is very innocent but she is not annoying. This book  is one long sex scene. Felix and Louisa are attracted to each other from the beginning and so they flirt and are very sensual in their banter. But of course when our hero realizes that he loves his wife, he loses his head. He pushes her away and she gets hurt but it does not last long. The real problem is that he lied to her about someone she wanted to marry because he was jealous and in love and did not know how to behave himself. In end they work it all out and I was pulling for them. I like it when a hero is helplessly in love with this heroine.

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

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Printer's Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History


30653712

Today's post is on Printer's Error: Irreverent Stories from Book History by Rebecca Romney and J. P. Romney. It is 384 pages long and is published by HarperCollins. The cover is white with a printing press and an editor freaking out over the misprinted title. The intended reader is someone who is interested in book history and humorous stories. There is mild foul language, talk of sex, and talk of violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Since the Gutenberg Bible first went on sale in 1455, printing has been viewed as one of the highest achievements of human innovation. But the march of progress hasn’t been smooth; downright bizarre is more like it. Printer’s Error chronicles some of the strangest and most humorous episodes in the history of Western printing, and makes clear that we’ve succeeded despite ourselves. Rare-book expert Rebecca Romney and author J. P. Romney take us from monasteries and museums to auction houses and libraries to introduce curious episodes in the history of print that have had a profound impact on our world.
Take, for example, the Gutenberg Bible. While the book is regarded as the first printed work in the Western world, Gutenberg’s name doesn’t appear anywhere on it. Today, Johannes Gutenberg is recognized as the father of Western printing. But for the first few hundred years after the invention of the printing press, no one knew who printed the first book. This long-standing mystery took researchers down a labyrinth of ancient archives and libraries, and unearthed surprising details, such as the fact that Gutenberg’s financier sued him, repossessed his printing equipment, and started his own printing business afterward. Eventually the first printed book was tracked to the library of Cardinal Mazarin in France, and Gutenberg’s forty-two-line Bible was finally credited to him, thus ensuring Gutenberg’s name would be remembered by middle-school students worldwide.


Review- A funny book but I think that some of the modern language will make it dated before it's time. In this book there are many different stories from the 600 odd years that the printing press has been in use. Everything from Ben Franklin making his fortune to the beginnings of the celebrity biography. The language I am talking is current pop culture and slang which does add humor to the events but at the same time, it is fitting and current but in five or ten years it will be outdated and this book with its great and interesting stories will be forgotten. The content itself is good and well written. I would like the Romney's to write more about their experiences in the rare book world with all its quirky characters.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I was given this book by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Monster Collection volume 3


20799131

Today' s post is on Monster Collection volume 3 by Itoh Sei. It is 162 pages long and is published by CMX. The cover is blue with the main character in the center being attacked by a monster. The intended reader is someone who likes high action series with humor added in to keep it from getting too dark. There is mild foul language, implied sexuality, and lots of violence in this series. The story is told from third person god perspective but it closely follows our brave heroes. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Is There Any Price Too High To Save A Human Life?
Kasche and her small fellowship have faced all manner of summoned beasts in their quest for the Guardian of Knowledge, but they could be at quest's end. Whilst in fierce combat with Duran DeBrancy and his evil summoner, Eclipse, fortunes with change and a difficult decision will be forced upon the heroes. Will they have the strength to stay the course or will the price be too high?

Review- This volume is pretty much all fight scene. About two-thirds of the way through we get some plot with the villains and with the separating of the party. Kasche is with the villains and she was what they wanted for some mysterious reason. Cuervo and Nastasha have the Guardian of Knowledge and in exchange for Kasche's life they are going to meet the villains at Spiral Island. With the plot being a little thin in this volume I wanted to talk some about the humor in this series. Most of it is bathroom/ physical humor but with some of the darker tones in this volume it was a welcome break. The darker tones come from the back story of one the villains. He just revenge on the Holy City for killing his entire people. He gets a whole page to himself and the destruction that he alone survived. I cannot wait to see what is going to happen on Spiral Island.

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

Friday, March 10, 2017

Treasured


18755758

Today's post is on Treasured by Candace Camp. It is 403 pages long, is published by Pocket Books, and is the first in her Secrets of the Loch series. The cover is a picture of a very pretty woman in a plaid dress looking at the reader. The intended reader is someone who likes historicals, love stories, and family mysteries. There is mild foul language, sex, and no violence in this book. The story is told from third person close of the two main characters. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- A family legend of hidden treasure mingles with the mist over the shores of Loch Baille . . . But it’s not the cache of gold dating back to Culloden that Jack Kensington claims when he arrives in the Highlands; it's the house he won in a London card game from Andrew Rose, master of Baillannan. Stunned to learn that her wastrel brother wagered their family estate. Isobel Rose must find a way to save her home and the people she loves... even if it means accepting a loveless marriage. Or perhaps not so loveless? Isobel unlocks the secret of desire in the arms of the mysterious and handsome Englishman, but a series of "accidents" makes her fear that she will soon be a widow instead of a wife. As the hunt for the lost riches turns into the search for a killer, Isobel fights her attraction to the man who stole her birthright... but can Jack convince Isobel that he can provide a home for her heart, and a love to treasure?

Review- This is a very fun historical read. I liked both the main characters and the hunt for the treasure was a fun background story. Isobel and Jack both want and distrust the love that is growing between them. The sex is tasteful and can be missed without losing anything from the story. Isobel is a good heroine with a heart of gold and Jack is a fun rogue who really does not want to be one. He wants to be respectable and Isobel can give that to him. He does take time to seduce her and she lets him. I did not feel that Isobel was forced into anything. Jack does want to consummate the marriage but he does not make Isobel do anything that she does not want to do. A fun little love story and I am very curious about what Camp is going to go with this series.

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, March 6, 2017

Monster Collection volume 2


3196146

Today' s post is on Monster Collection volume 2 by Itoh Sei. It is 168 pages long and is published by CMX. The cover is blue with the main character in the center and monsters behind her. The intended reader is someone who likes high action series with humor added in to keep it from getting too dark. There is mild foul language, implied sexuality, and lots of violence in this series. The story is told from third person god perspective but it closely follows our brave heroes. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Not all Summoners share Kasche's love for living things...
Kasche's hunt for the stolen Guardian of Knowledge gas led her to the once-peaceful city of Wallace, where rebellion in brewing- but the truth is more sinister than a mere coup! With the aid of mercenary Cuervo and the lovely demoness Nastasha, not to mention a little assistance from a mysterious and lecherous lizard-man, Kasche must infiltrate the palace and steal back the guardian before it can be used to unlock the dangerous Encyclopedia Verum!

Review- So we get the plot really going in this volume with some fast action fights. Kasche and company find and recover the Encyclopedia Verum and they get caught by the villain who turns out to the same race as Cuervo. He wants to rule the world and is prepared to burn it to ash in the process. Cuervo and Kasche get to know each other a little better and that means for Cuervo that he sees how powerful of a summoner Kasche is. One of Kasche's creatures is killed in the fight and she experiences its death too. We get more world building with this volume and a better idea about the things that live in it. We have lizard men, humans, all kinds of magic, and fallen angels who can be defeated by sheer will. The volume ends with Kasche having to do something dangerous to save the day in the next volume.

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

Friday, March 3, 2017

Roses and Rot


23524322

Today's post is on Roses and Rot by Kat Howard. It is a stand alone novel. It is 307 pages long and is published by Saga Press. The cover is brown and grey with a imposing building the in background. The intended reader is someone who likes urban fantasy/horror stories, dark tales of the Fae, and inventive plots. There is mild sexuality, mild foul language, and no violence in this novel. The story is told from first person close of the main character. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- A prestigious artists' retreat holds dark secrets as desire for art and love are within grasp for Imogen and for her sister, Marin, but at a terrible price.
What would you sacrifice in the name of success?
Imogen has grown up reading fairy tales about mothers who die and make way for cruel stepmother. As a child, Imogen used to lie in bed, wishing her own mother would die, because she couldn't imagine how a stepmother might be worse. As adults, Imogen and Marin have more or less escaped their mother- Imogen as a writer and Marin as a dancer- and they're both accepted to an elite postgrad arts program at Melete. Imogen might be living in a fairy tale after all, and it's one that will pit her against her sister if she really wants to escape her past.

Review- Another blurb that is not the story. Imogen's past is talked about in passing, it is important, what is really going on at Melete is more important. Imogen is not pitted against her sister, she is trying to save Marin. The Fea are not even mentioned and they are the villains of the story and very important to the plot moving forward. The plot is interesting, with lots of different characters and character arcs for them. Every character was given a story arc; even the side characters. I really felt like I got to really see them. I did not feel that any character was replaceable and that is unusual. I like how Howard portrays the Fae. They are amoral, humans are just food to them, and even the one that we should like is still a not good guy. I look forward to what Howard writes next.

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

Monday, February 27, 2017

Monster Collection volume 1


2335675

Today' s post is on Monster Collection volume 1 by Itoh Sei. It is 168 pages long and is published by CMX. The cover is blue with the main character in the center and monster behind her. The intended reader is someone who likes high action series with humor added in to keep it from getting too dark. There is mild foul language, implied sexuality, and lots of violence in this series. The story is told from third person god perspective but it closely follows our brave heroes. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Kasche Arbadel is the most gifted yet reckless summoner in her school. When an artifact of immense power if stolen. It's  trail-by-fire when Kasche is sent in pursuit!
He who controls the most powerful monster can control the world. Kasche may have a talent for controlling beast, but she's got a lot to learn about self-control before she can become a full-fledged Summoner. When disaster strikes, her principal chooses her to avert it. Joined by allies both human and not, Kasche must recapture the relic from an evil Summoner before he can use it to unlock the Encyclopedia Verum, and call up the most powerful monsters ever seen!

Review- This is an interesting and funny shonen manga.  The main character is Kasche. She is powerful summoner but very silly. She loves her monsters to the point that she feel kill to protect them when they are to protect her. She gets a new monster, a Lamia, and frees her from the bad guy. She also hires the thief, who is really a highly trained warrior from a race of warriors, to help her get the Encyclopedia Verum back. It ends with our heroes getting their strength back to start chasing the bad guy. The plot is promising with lots of interesting magic, lore, and world building. I look forward to seeing what Kasche and company get into.

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

Friday, February 24, 2017

How to Wash a Cat


7155136

Today's post is on How to Wash a Cat by Rebecca M. Hale. It is the first in her The Cats and Curios mystery series. It is 295 pages long and is published by Berkley Prime Crime Mystery. The cover has a very pretty white and orange cat looking into a trap door with a junk shop behind her. The intended reader is someone who likes cozy mysteries, quirky characters, and fun writing. There is no foul language, no sex, and mild violence in this book. The story is told from first person perspective of the main character. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Uncle Oscar was one of a kind. His dusty antiques ship, the Green Vase- nestled in San Francisco's historic Jackson Square neighborhood- was like his own personal museum to the Gold Rush era. Needless to say, I was shocked when he was found dead in his shop, and even more surprised to discover he's left the venerable establishment to me!
I had no sooner started exploring the shop's fascinating array of curios and novelties- along with my two cats, Rupert and Isabella- than I began to to meet a motley crew of Uncle Oscar's former associates, all of whom seemed deeply interested in the shop and its hidden secrets. Before long, I learned my inheritance included all sorts of clues Uncle Oscar had left behind- a peculiar key, a trap door, a puzzling map...
To unravel the mystery, my feline friends and I followed a twisted trail of deadly deception that began right here in his shop and leads all the way back to the days of the Gold Rush itself...

Review- This was a very fun and fast read. The cats were fun and they moved the plot along. The mystery was interesting. I did guess who one of the villains was but the other villain was a surprise and their motives were a surprise. One clever little thing was that we did not learn the main character's name until the very end of the book and I did not even realize until she was named by one of the side characters. One of the things that I really enjoyed about this book was no love interest. It is a cute mystery about a woman discovering what her uncle left her and starting a new place in life. I doubt it will stay that way but it was a very nice change of pace. A fun cozy story with good setting that I look forward to exploring more with Rebecca, Isabella, and Rupert.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I was given this book as a gift.

Monday, February 20, 2017

My Hero Academia volume 1


26036077

Today's post is on My Hero Academia volume 1 by
My Hero Academia series. It is 192 pages long and is published by Shonen Jump. The cover is yellow and has the main character with his hero in the background. The intended reader is male teenagers, people who like shonen stories, and interesting hero narratives. There is no foul language, no sex, and mild violence in this volume. The story is told from third person close of the main character. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Middle school student Izuku Midoriya wants to be a hero more than anything, but he hasn’t got an ounce of power in him. With no chance of ever getting into the prestigious U.A. High School for budding heroes, his life is looking more and more like a dead end. Then an encounter with All Might, the greatest hero of them all, gives him a chance to change his destiny…

Review- This was an amusing take on the superhero story. Something happened fifty years before and now 95% of all people are born with super powers. But our main character is one of the few that does not and make it worse he wants nothing more than to be a real hero like his hero All Might. All Might is moved by Izuku's courage and helps him become a hero but that is a plot secret so I am not going to tell you how. So now all Izuku has to do is get into the hero academia of his dreams. I liked it well enough but it is just a very basic shonen story. I do not think that I will be continuing this series at this time.

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

Friday, February 17, 2017

Siege and Storm


14061955

Today's post is on Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. It is the second in her The Grisha trilogy. It is 432 pages long and is published by Henry Holt and Company. The cover is blue with the title and a dragon in silver. The intended reader is someone who read the first one, likes Russian influenced lore, and fast plots. The story is told from first person close of the main character Alina. There is mild foul language, no sex, and violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.


Review- The story picks up just a few months after the end of the first book. Alina and Mal have run across the True Sea and are trying to get further inland. But of course they are caught by The Darkling. He wants or needs Alina back. Like the first book I am just not sure about what The Darkling's goals truly are. Does he want to rule the world? I would not be surprised but I think that there is something more that he wants. He has learned to fear Alina and works for her in this volume to try and get her back on his side. So Alina and Mal go back to the Little Palace and Alina wants to make sure that she finishes The Darling off this time. Nothing goes as planned but the novel ends with some good plot points and I cannot wait to see where we are going to go as this finishes.

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.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World


29496451

Today's nonfiction post is on Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson. It is 322 pages long including notes and it is published by Riverhead Books. The cover is light blue with different cut-outs showing different toys from different times on it. The intended reader is someone interested in history of how the modern world came into being. There is no foul language, no sex, and no violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- This lushly illustrated history of popular entertainment takes a long-zoom approach, contending that the pursuit of novelty and wonder is a powerful driver of world-shaping technological change. Steven Johnson argues that, throughout history, the cutting edge of innovation lies wherever people are working the hardest to keep themselves and others amused.
Johnson’s storytelling is just as delightful as the inventions he describes, full of surprising stops along the journey from simple concepts to complex modern systems. He introduces us to the colorful innovators of leisure: the explorers, proprietors, showmen, and artists who changed the trajectory of history with their luxurious wares, exotic meals, taverns, gambling tables, and magic shows.
Johnson compellingly argues that observers of technological and social trends should be looking for clues in novel amusements. You’ll find the future wherever people are having the most fun.


Review- Johnson is back and covering another interesting topic about the modern world. He moves from computers to the creation of public spaces. The research, as usual for Johnson, is top notch. The stories that he uses to pull the theme for this book are interesting and strong. We spend time with many different people from Spanish Conquistadors to Arabic mathematicians. It does get a little bogged down with all the details about how things got made or how the person got the idea. But that said this is a really good book about an interesting topic. I had a good time learning about how we got from toy dolls who blink to computers that can play chess.

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, February 13, 2017

Beast Master volume 2


6801629

Today's post is on Beast Master volume 2 by Kyousuke Motomi. It is the second in Beast Master duology. It is 200 pages long and is published by Shojo Beat. The cover has the two main characters on it looking at the reader. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga and sweet love stories. There is no foul language, no sex, and mild violence in this volume. The story is told from third person close from Yuiko perspective. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Taming a Beast was never this dangerous!
Final Volume!
Leo's 18th birthday is around the corner, but celebrating seems impossible as someone is after Leo's life! Can Leo overcome the dangers of his past? Or will this beast-like boy be separated from his beloved "master"...forever?


Review-  I wish this series could have lasted longer because it was so cute! Yuiko and Leo's relationship is going along nicely when plot happens. Leo is the heir to a huge fortune and is about to get it when he turns eighteen. Leo's family is trying to kill him and that is the main conflict for this volume. It scares Yuiko because she cannot protect Leo from these very horrible people. They are both scared and do not know how to talk to each other about it. But this is a happy shojo manga so they are together in the end and it is so sweet. The last chapter is about Yuiko and Leo confessing their feeling for each other. I really enjoyed this series and I want to read more from this author.

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, February 10, 2017

Their Fractured Light


13138736

Today's post is on Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. It is the last volume in their Starbound trilogy. It is 425 pages long and it published by Hyperion. The cover has the two main characters in space reaching to each other. The intended reader is someone who has read the first two, likes young adult science fiction, and just a little bit of philosophy. There is implied sex, foul language, and violence in this book and series. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the book jacket- A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.
Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.
Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.
When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.


Review- The last book in this trilogy was interesting but I feel that the ending was just too pat. The other aliens come in and rescue the one that LaRoux had driven mad, LaRoux is driven mad, and everyone learns something. That said I did have a good time reading this. I liked the two new characters for this one and the mystery around them is the best so far.  I liked seeing the previous characters and they did add to the story and helped the ending to complete. Everything is moving very fast, everything is finally coming to an end, and it the end was exactly what I guessed. But that does not mean that it was not a good ending just unsurprising. I am curious about where the authors are going to go now.

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, February 6, 2017

Beast Master volume 1


6419566

Today's post is on Beast Master volume 1 by Kyousuke Motomi. It is 192 pages long and is published by Shojo Beat. It is the first in Motomi's Beast Master duology. The cover has the two main characters on it looking at the reader. There is no foul language, no sex, and mild violence in this series. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga, sweet stories with sweet characters. The story is told from third person close of the main female character. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Taming a Beast was never this dangerous!
Leo Aoi looks like a crazy animal with wild eyes--and no one at his new high school will go near him! He does seem to have a special connection with animals though, which intrigues overzealous animal-lover Yuiko Kubozuka. In reality, Leo isn't as frightening as he appears, but Yuiko finds out that he goes berserk whenever he sees blood! Will Yuiko be able to get through to Leo during these violent fits? Or will Leo's ferocious side eventually devour her?

Review- This is an adorable story!  The main character Yuiko loves animals too much so she scares them. But she is a very good judge of character so when she meets the new boy Leo, she is not afraid of him. So they make friends and we have our very sweet love story. Leo is very mysterious without meaning to be. Yuiko thinks about that she does not really know much about Leo's life before but that is not important to her. Leo wants to make friends but he is very intense when he looks at people and so scares most everyone who meets eyes with him. The plot is really about Yuiko and Leo becoming friends and starting to fall in love. I cannot wait to read the second volume and right now I wish that it was more than two volumes long.

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, February 3, 2017

Exile for Dreamers


26114493

Today's post is on Exile for Dreamers by Kathleen Baldwin. It is the second in her Stranje House series. It is 384 pages long and is published by Tor Teen. The cover has the main character with her back to the reader walking to Stranje House. The intended reader is young adult, likes historical fiction with strong romance themes, and just a little magic. There is no foul language, no sex, and only mild violence in this book. The story is told from first person close of the main character. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- It’s 1814. Napoleon has escaped his imprisonment on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And at Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, five young ladies are secretly being trained for a world of spies, diplomacy, and war.

Tess Aubreyson can’t run far enough or fast enough to escape the prophetic dreams that haunt her. Dreams bring nothing but death and grief, and Tess refuses to accept that she may be destined for the same madness that destroyed her mother. Until her disturbing dreams become the only means of saving Lord Ravencross, the man she loves, and her fellow students at Stranje House. Tess’s old friend, the traitorous Lady Daneska, and Ghost, the ruthless leader of the Iron Crown, have returned to England, intent on paving the way for Napoleon’s invasion. Can the young ladies of Stranje House prevail once more? Or is England destined to fall into the hands of the power-mad dictator?


Review- An excellent sequel that will leave you wanting more. I really enjoyed the first Stranje House novel but I was worried about changing main characters for the second story. I should not have been. I loved reading about Tess and Gabriel's story. They are fun characters who get in over their heads but act like it was all their own idea the whole time. With Tess' fear of passing down her visions, she believes that she cannot be with anyone. Gabriel, now that he has found someone to love, he is not going to just let her be. Add in all the drama of a French invasion, a half-mad American inventor, and all of the personalities of the other young women and you have one interesting and fun tale. Tess grows so much over the course of this book and I'm sad to see her take a background place from now on but I really had fun with her. I can't wait for the next volume in this series.

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

Monday, January 30, 2017

Rurouni Kenshin volume 28


294965

Today's post is on Rurouni Kenshin volume 28 by Nobuhiro Watsuki. It is 192 pages long and is published by Shonen Jump. The cover has Kenshin in the foreground and Kaoru behind him. It is the twenty-eighth volume in the long running series. You have to have read the first twenty-seven in the series to understand the story. The intended reader is someone who likes historical stories, manga, and interesting characters. There is no foul language, no sex, but some violence in this series. The story is told from third person close following different characters. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- As the feared assassin of the Bakumatsu, Himura Kenshin killed in the name of the new era. As the rurouni of Meiji, he wielded a sakabatô to protect those who couldn't protect themselves, all along holding true to his vow to never take another life. Now Kenshin's fight with Enishi has entered its final stage, as has his quest for atonement. Will another life be required to complete the circle? The road of redemption has been a long one for the world-weary swordsman, but now that Kenshin has found the will to live, can he muster the strength to survive?
Find out in the final, unforgettable volume of Nobuhiro Watsuki's international manga sensation, Rurouni Kenshin.


Review- Everything comes down to Kenshin's self forgiveness in this volume. Enishi will not be stopped but Kenshin knows that the only way he can pay for his sins is to live a life that protects now. The final battle comes down to protecting Kaoru and Enishi cannot allow a woman like his sister to die. Enishi escapes from the police and goes to find his own answer about how to live. All the side characters leave either to go help people like Megumi or on the run like Sanosuke. The last chapter takes place five years in the future and it really about Yahiko getting a hit on Kenshin and becoming a man. Kenshin and Kaoru are married with a small child. Kenshin's scar is lighter because he is living in the present not the past. All in all a very fun, exciting story and I had a great time with this 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, January 27, 2017

Ms. Marvel, volume 1: No Normal


20898019

Today's post is on Ms. Marvel, volume 1: No Normal by

Marvel Comics presents the new Ms. Marvel, the groundbreaking heroine that has become an international sensation!
Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she's suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she's comin' for you, Jersey! 


Review- I did enjoy this comic but not as much as Squirrel Girl. Kamala is a fun character, she is connected to her world, and most importantly she wants to be more than what she currently is. So one night she sneaks out of her house and fate happens to her. It does have some of the 'with power comes responsibly' theme that can be heard in SpiderMan but she adds her religion into the mix. Kamala is Muslim that is very important to her hero ethos.  The art is good with things to help the reader know when something not real is happening. When Kamala gets her powers, she has a vision of Ms. Marvel and the Avengers descending from the heavens to speak with her. It is an interesting start to a new series and I am curious about where it is going to go from here.

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression


27213074

Today's post is on A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression by Jane Ziegelman and Andrew Coe. It is 352 pages long and is published by Harper. The cover is white with two children eating and America behind them. The intended reader is someone who is interested in American history, food history, and where they intersect. There is no foul language, no sex, and no voilence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- The decade-long Great Depression, a period of shifts in the country’s political and social landscape, forever changed the way America eats. Before 1929, America’s relationship with food was defined by abundance. But the collapse the economy, in both urban and rural America, left a quarter of all Americans out of work and undernourished—shattering long-held assumptions about the limitlessness of the national larder.
In 1933, as women struggled to feed their families, President Roosevelt reversed longstanding biases toward government sponsored “food charity.” For the first time in American history, the federal government assumed, for a while, responsibility for feeding its citizens. The effects were widespread. Championed by Eleanor Roosevelt, “home economists” who had long fought to bring science into the kitchen rose to national stature. Tapping into America’s longstanding ambivalence toward culinary enjoyment, they imposed their vision of a sturdy, utilitarian cuisine on the American dinner table.
Through the Bureau of Home Economics, these women led a sweeping campaign to instill dietary recommendations, the forerunners of today’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. At the same time, rising food conglomerates introduced packaged and processed foods that gave rise to a new American cuisine based on speed and convenience. This movement toward a homogenized national cuisine sparked a revival of American regional cooking. In the ensuing decades, this tension between local traditions and culinary science have defined our national cuisine—a battle that continues today.


Review- An interesting read about how food changed over the beginning of the twentieth century. The book begins just before the turn of the century and goes to the beginning of the second World War. The authors talk about the way that rural and urban people ate and what the differences meant. The normal diet for rural people was over 4,000 calories per day and it was rich in all the good things that we need but the city dwellers were not so lucky and the poorer someone was the less good food they got. That sounds obvious but the details of how bad their diets were was shocking. What I found the most interesting was how much the Depression changed how Americans eat. Foods, like liver, were seen as less than before, so much so that the government had to convince the public to eat them because they were available and good for eating. My grandparents, who grew up during the Depression, loved all the foods that were discussed. At times the book does get a little off track at times but in general a very interesting and fast read.

I give this book  Four out of  Five stars. I was I given a copy of this book by Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Rurouni Kenshin volume 27


32185

Today's post is on Rurouni Kenshin volume 27 by Nobuhiro Watsuki. It is 192 pages long and is published by Shonen Jump. The cover has Kenshin in the foreground and Enishi behind him. It is the twenty-seventh volume in the long running series. You have to have read the first twenty-six in the series to understand the story. The intended reader is someone who likes historical stories, manga, and interesting characters. There is no foul language, no sex, but some violence in this series. The story is told from third person close following different characters. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Kenshin and his comrades have finally discovered the location of Enishi's island compound, but to free Kaoru from captivity, a good deal of fighting will be necessary. Woo Heishin, Enishi's mysterious second-in-command, meets them on the beach and brings his deadly bodyguards, the Sû-shin or the "Four Stars," to serve as a welcoming committee. Yahiko, Sanosuke, Saitô and Aoshi dive into combat with Woo Heishin's warriors as Kenshin prepares himself for his fateful, climactic duel with Enishi. Each of them a ferocious fighter, the Sû-shin are set on stopping Kenshin's friends dead in their tracks.

Review- At last we get the meat of this arc. This volume starts with Kenshin and company waiting for Enishi to come and face him. But Enishi's former second in command decides that he wants to stop Enishi from getting his revenge on Kenshin by having his bodyguards kill him instead. Of course Kenshin's friends are not going to let that happen. We get four quick fights and like all the other Saito's is the best. But they are all good fights with Yahiko having a a good moment. The best interaction in my mind is between Maiso and Aoshi. She just asks him to help Kenshin and he says right. Aoshi was not going to step into the fight before but Maiso asked him and was willing to go. I cannot wait to see how everything ends. Only more volume of drama, fights, and I hope a little happy ending for everyone.

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, January 20, 2017

The Witches of Echo Park


20949471

Today's post is on The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson. It is the first in her Witches of Echo Park series. It is 294 pages long and is published by Ace. The cover has the main character looking at the reader with a black cat beside her. The intended reader is someone who likes urban fantasy. There is mild foul language, sex, and violence in this novel. The story is from third person close moving from character to another over the course of the story. There Be Spoiler Ahead.

From the back of the book- Unbeknownst to most of humankind, a powerful network of witches thrives within the shadows of society, using their magic to keep the world in balance. But they are being eliminated—and we will all pay if their power falls…
When Lyse MacAllister’s great-aunt Eleanora, the woman who raised her, becomes deathly ill, Lyse puts her comfortable life in Georgia on hold to rush back to Los Angeles. And once she returns to Echo Park, Lyse discovers her great-aunt has been keeping secrets—extraordinary secrets—from her.
Not only is Lyse heir to Eleanora’s Victorian estate; she is also expected to take her great-aunt’s place in the Echo Park coven of witches. But to accept her destiny means to place herself in deadly peril—for the world of magic is under siege, and the battle the witches now fight may be their last…


Review- This was a boring book. The writing is mediocre, the characters are cookie-cutter, and I did not care about the plot. I was just bored with this book until the sex scenes. After the two sex scenes I was so over this book. One was a weird dream scene and the other was rape. In my opinion I did not to have either in this book. They did not add anything to the story that could not have been given in exposition. The one saving grace for this book is that it is not long.

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Wars of the Roosevelts: The Ruthless Rise of America's Greatest Political Family


29100226

Today's nonfiction post is on The Wars of the Roosevelts: The Ruthless Rise of America's Greatest Political Family by William J. Mann. It is 640 pages long and is published by Harper. The cover is is divided with pictures of different Roosevelts on top and the author's name on bottom. The intended reader is someone who is interested in history with great writing. There is mild foul language, talk of sexuality, and no violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Drawing on previously hidden historical documents and interviews with the long-silent “illegitimate” branch of the family, William J. Mann paints an elegant, meticulously researched and groundbreaking group portrait of this legendary family. Mann argues that the Roosevelts’ rise to power and prestige was actually driven by a series of intense, personal contests that at times devolved to blood sport. His compelling and eye-opening masterwork is the story of a family at war with itself, of social Darwinism at its most ruthless—in which the strong devoured the weak and repudiated the inconvenient.
Mann focuses on Eleanor Roosevelt, who, he argues, experienced this brutality firsthand, witnessing her Uncle Theodore cruelly destroy her father, Elliott—his brother and bitter rival—for political expediency. Mann presents a fascinating alternate picture of Eleanor, contending that this “worshipful niece” in fact bore a grudge against TR for the rest of her life, and dares to tell the truth about her intimate relationships without obfuscations, explanations, or labels.
Mann also brings into focus Eleanor’s cousins, TR’s children, whose stories propelled the family rivalry but have never before been fully chronicled, as well as her illegitimate half-brother, Elliott Roosevelt Mann, who inherited his family’s ambition and skill without their name and privilege. Growing up in poverty just miles from his wealthy relatives, Elliott Mann embodied the American Dream, rising to middle class prosperity and enjoying one of the very few happy, long-term marriages in the Roosevelt saga. For the first time, The Wars of the Roosevelts also includes the stories of Elliott’s daughter and grandchildren and never-before-seen photographs from their archives.
Deeply psychological and finely rendered, illustrated with sixteen pages of black-and-white photographs, The Wars of the Roosevelts illuminates not only the enviable strengths but also the profound shames of this remarkable and influential family.


Review- Another great book from Mann. We start at the end of Eleanor's life as she tries to put her life and the lives of her family into some kind focus before she dies. From there we travel back with her beginning of the trouble between her father and his brother, T.R. That event is what shapes her life in this account. From there we forward as T.R. becomes president, Eleanor marrying Franklin, the first World War, the depression that made Franklin president, and beyond. With some moments we see what happened to Eleanor's illegitimate brother. If you enjoyed the PBS series on the Roosevelts, then you will like this book too. Mann gives excellent notes that back up this version.  I really enjoyed this book.

I give this book a Five out Five stars. I was given this book to review by Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Rurouni Kenshin volume 26


2393119

Today's post is on Rurouni Kenshin volume 26 by Nobuhiro Watsuki. It is 185 pages long and is published by Shonen Jump. The cover has Kaoru and Tomoe in the foreground with Kenshin and Enishi behind them. It is the twenty-sixth volume in the long running series. You have to have read the first twenty-five in the series to understand the story. The intended reader is someone who likes historical stories, manga, and interesting characters. There is no foul language, no sex, but some violence in this series. The story is told from third person close following different characters. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- If there's one thing tough-as-nails street brawler--and ex-Sekihô Army cadet--Sagara Sanosuke can't stand, it's hypocritical, loudmouthed braggarts who talk the talk but are incapable of walking the walk. Finding himself in the middle of a provincial squabble between an old man and the local yakuza, Sano returns to his old "fight merchant" ways and agrees to do some ad hoc butt kicking for pay. But the old man he's hired to tangle with might be his strongest foe to date.

Review- Most of the volume is Sanosuke dealing with his past.  He goes home to think about everything that happened with Kenshin and Kaoru. He gets hired to fight some old man who is in the way of the local bad guy. Sano wants to fight someone because that helps him work stuff out. But the old man is his father.Sano gets some nice character development. We get to see the family that he comes from and they are interesting themselves. Back to Tokyo, Kenshin wakes up because Tomoe smiled and spoke to him in a dream. He is finally ready to face Enishi and rescue Kaoru. Everyone is there for the showdown. The volume ends with Enishi's partner trying to steal his revenge from him. More fights, more drama, and more action ahead!

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, January 13, 2017

Lady's Bridget's Diary


25817357

Today's post is on Lady's Bridget's Diary by Maya Rodale. It is the first in her Keeping up with the Cavendishes series. It is 361 pages long and is published by Avon Books. The cover is white with Lady Bridget in the center looking at the reader. The intended reader is someone who likes retellings, funny characters, and quick reads. There is no foul language, sex, and no violence in this novel. The story is told from the third person close of the two main characters. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From back of the book- Lord Darcy is the quintessential Englishman: wealthy, titled, impossibly proper, and horrified that a pack of Americans has inherited one of England's most respected dukedoms. But his manners, his infamous self-restraint, and his better judgment fly out the window when he finds himself with the maddening American girl next door.
Lady Bridget Cavendish has grand—but thwarted—plans to become a Perfect Lady and take the haute ton by storm. In her diary, Bridget records her disastrous attempts to assimilate into London high society, her adoration of the handsome rogue next door, her disdain for the Dreadful Lord Darcy, and some truly scandalous secrets that could ruin them all.
It was loathing at first sight for Lady Bridget and Lord Darcy. But their paths keep crossing . . . and somehow involve kissing. When Lady Bridget's diary goes missing, both Darcy and Bridget must decide what matters most of all—a sterling reputation or a perfectly imperfect love.


Review-  This was a fun retelling of Pride and Prejudice with some fun twists. The only problem I have is that no gentleman would behave like that in front of or with a lady. But overlooking that, I had a fun time with this book. The characters were funny, I liked the siblings, and Lord Darcy was as stuffy as he should be. The family dynamics were very fun and really added something to the story. The subplot of the other woman was unnecessary drama and the way that that Lord Darcy handled it did not surprise me or impress me. But as much as I had reading this I do not think that I will be reading any more in the series. The writing was just okay. It was not bad but it really just did not grab me.

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.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The World in Flames: A Black Boyhood in a White Supremacist Doomsday Cult


28186068

Today's Nonfiction post is on The World in Flames: A Black Boyhood in a White Supremacist Doomsday Cult by Jerald Walker. It is 208 pages long and is published by Beacon Press. The cover is red with flames and a bible in the background. The intended reader is someone who is interested in cults and memoirs. There is mild foul language, drug use,  sexuality, and mild violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- A memoir of growing up with blind, African-American parents in a segregated cult preaching the imminent end of the world
When The World in Flames begins, in 1970, Jerry Walker is six years old. His consciousness revolves around being a member of a church whose beliefs he finds not only confusing but terrifying. Composed of a hodgepodge of requirements and restrictions (including a prohibition against doctors and hospitals), the underpinning tenet of Herbert W. Armstrong s Worldwide Church of God was that its members were divinely chosen and all others would soon perish in rivers of flames.
The substantial membership was ruled by fear, intimidation, and threats. Anyone who dared leave the church would endure hardship for the remainder of this life and eternal suffering in the next. The next life, according to Armstrong, would arrive in 1975, three years after the start of the Great Tribulation. Jerry would be eleven years old.
Jerry s parents were particularly vulnerable to the promise of relief from the world s hardships. When they joined the church, in 1960, they were living in a two-room apartment in a dangerous Chicago housing project with the first four of their seven children, and, most significantly, they both were blind, having lost their sight to childhood accidents. They took comfort in the belief that they had been chosen for a special afterlife, even if it meant following a religion with a white supremacist ideology and dutifully sending tithes to Armstrong, whose church boasted more than 100,000 members and more than $80 million in annual revenues at its height.
When the prophecy of the 1972 Great Tribulation does not materialize, Jerry is considerably less disappointed than relieved. When the 1975 end-time prophecy also fails, he finally begins to question his faith and imagine the possibility of choosing a destiny of his own.


Review- A riveting and well written account of a young boy growing into a young man in a frightening cult that said the world would end before he was twelve.  This was more than just a memoir surviving a cult, it is about a young man finding himself as he grows up. Walker goes from being a believer to being honest with himself about his beliefs and how he sees his family as he changes. I really enjoyed this book but I did not like the ending. It was just over. He was walking to get a fake ID then he realized that he had left the faith he was raised in and then the book was over. I wanted to see what happened after he left the faith but was still at home. How did he get from there to being a professor at Emerson College. What happened to the rest of his family. I hope that Walker writes more about his life and I would love to read about what happened after as he grew into a man, husband, and father.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I won this book from Library Thing to review.