Friday, 22 June 2018

Blog Tour: One Small Thing

One Small Thing
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems a small thing, just for her.

Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…

Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.

Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again. 

I'm not going to lie....I really enjoyed The Royals series. Yes it's cheesy sometimes, but cheese is a comfort food, as is occasionally cheesy books. This is my first book by the duo that is Erin Watt, that's not from that series, and I wasn't entirely sure what to expect to be honest. One Small Thing is an emotional read about forgiving people, and giving someone a second chance. 

I have to say this book made me quite ragey. Right from the start Beth's mum got my back up. I was genuinely outraged and ragey on her behalf. Honestly I felt just as frustrated and irritated with Beth's parents as Beth did. Her life was so suffocating and while I get her parents's way OTT and just not okay. 

I was fully on Beth's side, I felt for her. I wanted her to come through everything. It was interesting to see her struggle, and I felt what she felt as I was reading. Everyone deals with grief differently and I feel like Beth was persecuted because she wasn't dealing with it the same as everyone else. I got so immersed in to her head as I was reading, I ended up becoming so invested. I got her, I understood why she was doing what she was doing, and I respected her and Chase a lot for the decision they came to. 

Speaking of, I actually really felt for Chase. He made a stupid mistake, he paid for it and he feels terrible about it...but he was still treated like garbage....and was still punishing himself. He and Beth's relationship was intriguing to read about, they both have stuff to deal with, and overcome and they both help each other do that. 

As for our supporting characters....first up we have Jeff. Wow. I didn't like him at all. Right from the start he rubbed me up the wrong way, and he just got worse and worse until you saw him for what he was. I had a building suspicion about him as I was reading, and I'm kind of disappointed no-one called him out for the part he had to play in everything. I did kind of like Scar at first, she was a really good friend even if she did sometimes presume how Beth felt. I was screaming at her at some points of the book, because I knew what was going to happen and I so badly didn't want her to go down that path. Props to her for being self aware enough to get out. 

One Small Thing is completely different to the Royals series. but the writing was on point as usual. The pace was excellent, we have two compelling characters to empathise with and root for, and I feel like this was kind of a raw and real read.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Review: Fury From The Tomb

Fury From The Tomb
Rating: 2/5
Buy or Borrow: Borrow
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Saqqara, Egypt, 1888, and in the booby-trapped tomb of an ancient sorcerer, Rom, a young Egyptologist, makes the discovery of a lifetime: five coffins and an eerie, oversized sarcophagus. But the expedition seems cursed, for after unearthing the mummies, all but Rom die horribly. He faithfully returns to America with his disturbing cargo, continuing by train to Los Angeles, home of his reclusive sponsor. When the train is hijacked by murderous banditos in the Arizona desert, who steal the mummies and flee over the border, Rom - with his benefactor's rebellious daughter, an orphaned Chinese busboy, and a cold-blooded gunslinger - must ride into Mexico to bring the malevolent mummies back. If only mummies were their biggest problem... 

I really, really, really, wanted to like this book. I love The Mummy, I love Indiana Jones, and I was so excited to dive in to this. The opening chapter piqued my interest and sent a chill down my spine. It's a mashup of historical, supernatural, adventure and horror. It's nicely creepy at points and we get to journey through Egypt and Mexico. It should have been a wild ride, and an unputdownable read. 

It wasn't for one reason. The narrator and our main character. I don't usually have a problem with first person, but honestly? Rom doesn't half harp on, for pages and pages and pages, before ever getting to a point. It got old incredibly fast, because I personally felt like it bogged the pace right down. It reached a point in the book, not even halfway, that I was tired of his narrative, I wasn't connecting with him as a character at all, and didn't particularly even like him. I only finished this book because I sped read it and largely skimmed all of his waffling. I'd be lying if I said my attention didn't wander, and I kind of had to force myself to keep reading. 

Honestly, I thought this book had so much potential and I was so excited for it, I was anticipating it being a series full of history and adventure...but I ended up severely disappointed and with an aversion to first person narration. I think if a lot of Rom's nattering had been cut out, this book would have been half the size, and a lot better paced. 

Manga: Wake Up Sleeping Beauty 4

Wake Up Sleeping Beauty Vol 4
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Shizu's grand scheme to get Tetsu to play soccer one last time was a big success, and has become a catalyst for change for everyone involved. One of the biggest changes comes from Chihiro, who works up the courage to tell Tetsu his biggest secret. Will this revelation tear the friends apart? 

Shizu is getting more and more out of her shell and finding things she likes, and I'm living for it! Each volume see's her growing and kind of forming her own self a bit more. There's tension this volume though, with Tetsu and Ryo, but luckily the two of them work it out and it's super cute! 

We fiiiiinally get some background on Chihiro as well as his friendship with Tetsu and how it all started! There's also an epically brilliant plot twist with him, which has me excited to see how it's going to play out! 

Meanwhile things are going so great with Tetsu and Shizu, they're so cute together and he's totally caught feelings, and I spent a lot of the volume internally squealing! of course enter Shizu's father who is a prize a-hole and drama ensues as he reveals some things about Tetsu. Nothing too serious, just you know....that he's being paid to be her friend. I should have seen something like this coming when I started to get all happy/excited about the developments of the volume. 

Honestly, things look pretty bleak for Shizu, but there's a daring escape leaving us curious to see what's going to happen next! There's also a nice bit of mystery about what happened to Shinobu before he died. 

With this volume, we see Shizu continue to grow and change and start to come in to her own. The romance steps up and moves along, as does the plot! Plus we have a nice villainous character come strolling on in. 

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Review: War Storm

War Storm
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal's betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart-and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her-Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all... starting with the crown on Maven's head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal's powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolish everything - and everyone - in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced? 

The ending of the previous book left me screaming and not just with what happened, but that final line! I've been anticipating this final book so badly, and I'm so lucky I got one of a few review copies! It's actually taken me a while to type up this review because I feel like I had to process everything I'd just took me a while to read too, I'm not going to lie. I took my time with it, and savoured it because...last book! 

War Storm jumps straight in where we left off. Cal and Mare's's an interesting one. We all know what happened last book and it's interesting to have an MC self aware enough to know her feelings but also know each of them has things more important than the other. Plus Mare doesn't mope about it. She gets on with things, she gets things done. Yes there's some pining doesn't actually interfere with what Mare has to do, which is more than can be said for some books! 

I'm fairly sure I said it in my review for the previous book, but I'm saying it again...I actually really like Evangeline. I started to like her last volume, and this volume...I was fully rooting for her. She's such a brilliant character! We've gotten so much insight in to her, and she's a POV in this book. I empathise with her, and I feel like she and Mare have a few things in common. I particularly enjoy her and Mare's banter and interactions, it gives me life! Was I a little bit disappointed in Evangeline not hanging about to kick some ass? Yes. But she got the ending I hoped she would. Although I still feel like her brother needed some vengeance wreaked upon him. 

One of our other POV's this book is Iris. I will admit...I don't particularly like her, she's all about stabbing Maven in the back, but I just didn't like her. She also kind of faded out of the book by the end. Speaking of Maven....he takes creepy to an all new level each book. This book he was downright chilling at one point, like a serial killer level creepy. I have a love/hate relationship with Maven. I hate him but I also love him, because he's a brilliant villain. I was so, so hoping he'd get a redemption arc this volume...but I was left disappointed with how things ended with Maven. 

We get a sprinkling of new characters, like Carmadon, who was hilarious! He's Davidson's other half. There are some familiar faces, and we get to take a look around Montfort which I've been itching to do. When the series started the world seemed quite small, but with each book it's been expanded more and more. 

Our POV's for this volume are, as usual, Mare, with Evangeline, Iris and a bit of Maven and Cal. The pace is steady, building up towards the grand finale with plenty of action and drama to keep you hooked. Aveyard still has some plot twists up her sleeve and you know no-one is safe, so it's kind of got you on the edge of your seat! 

Everything is wrapped up so well and while there was a sprinkling of disappoint for certain characters was a solid, and mostly fitting ending. I've loved watching the characters grow and develop over the course of the books and you can see how far Evangeline has come in this book, not just our other characters like Mare and Cal. We all hated Evangeline in the beginning, I think, but she's honestly one of my favourites now! I've loved going on this journey with Mare and I respect her as a character for her choices at the end of the book, even if I was a bit disappointed. Either way, I'm still gutted this series is over, I'm not going to lie! 

Manga: Seven Deadly Sins 26

Seven Deadly Sins Vol 26
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

When they were accused of trying to overthrow the monarchy, the feared warriors the Seven Deadly Sins were sent into exile. Princess Elizabeth discovers the truth - the Sins were framed by the king's guard, the Holy Knights - too late to prevent them from assassinating her father and seizing the throne! Now the princess is on the run, seeking the Sins to help her reclaim the kingdom. But the first Sin she meets, Meliodas, is a little innkeeper with a talking pig. He doesn't even have a real sword! Have the legends of the Sins' strength been exaggerated...? 

We pick up right where we left off and we're in the midst of a battle with two of the Commandments and the Goddesses....back in the past of course. Elizabeth steps up because she wants to fight for once and do something herself, plus she wants to save the two Commandments because...Elizabeth. She has her shining moment aided by Sariel, Tarmiel and Meliodas.  

I've said it before, and I'll say it again...Gowther is shady AF, and will never not be. I don't think I'll ever be able to trust him to be honestly. But we learn the truth of him this volume, and a side story that fills in some blanks about him and shows us a bit of young Bartra and his sister Nadja...which admittedly did hit me in the feels and I kind of do understand him but still...super shady. 

The pace for this volume is cracking, we're delving deeper in to the past and the pasts of the characters and what makes them tick. There's another cliffhanger ending and it's kind of a heartbreaking one to be honest! Luckily there's a few bonus chapters at the end that are fun and kind of soothe how you felt reading the volume! It's a battle heavy volume with a lot of blood and sad moments, but we get a real idea of what went down 3 thousand years ago.  

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Manga: Is It Wrong 9

Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon Vol 9
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

After a close call deep in the Dungeon, Bell and his party are making good progress on recovering and they've even reunited with their goddess after her ill-advised trip into the labyrinth. But as soon as it seems like they can relax, Hestia is goddess-napped and there's no time to lose if her familia wants to save her! While everyone is distracted, even more danger approaches... 

We start the volume off with Bell...fanboying. Which was cute and there was a nice chill vibe until Hestia and Hermes rocked up, causing a commotion. Hermes is so totally up to something, I think we all know that, and meanwhile Bell is caught between Hestia, Lilly and Aiz. Hermes isn't really helping as he's such a bad influence on poor, innocent Bell. 

We finally get the tea on Lyu, this volume, and I was so here for it. Plus. Hestia went full goddess and was mildly scary for about ten seconds there, actually! I know she's a goddess but I kind of forget that a little bit, and this reminded me! 

There's a lot of action and fight scenes this volume, and the pace has definitely picked up again with this volume. We've got sprinkles of mystery throughout, like I said, we know Hermes is up to something...but what? He is a bit of a creep though, I'm not going to lie. 

The dungeon isn't happy having Hestia and Hermes there, and Bell, Lyu, Hestia, Lilly, Welf and Mikoto and co are left preparing to fight a floor boss because Bell is Bell and has to help the butt hurt dude who tried to beat the crap out of him. Soooo we're left hanging when it comes to the ending. 

Aiz and co are briefly seen as we cross over with Oratoria again, but this is definitely a wild volume with a lot of action and a lot going on throughout! 

Monday, 18 June 2018

Review: Sacrificial Princess and the King of Beasts

Sacrificial Princess and the King of Beasts Vol 1
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy! 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

A young girl has resigned herself to being he next sacrificial meal for the Beast King...but the king is no mere monster! Love is more than skin-deep in this gorgeous fantasy manga. 

I'm not going to lie to you guys, I got some hardcore Beauty and the Beast vibes from this one! I feel like Yen Press has really got my back with all these fairy tale retellings...Mermaid Boys and the Little Mermaid, this and Beauty and the Beast....I'm living for it! 

I eagerly dove in to this ready to see what it was all about, and right from the start I was hooked. Why? Because there's a certain character and I was like "Wooooaaaaah he looks like Anubis...oh wait...he actually is...HELL YES I'M GONNA LOVE THIS". Anubis is kind of a nag, but he's also really funny although I kinda wanted to smack him at one point. 

Sariphi has such an attitude and it's freaking hilarious, she had me chuckling from the start and you can't help but empathise and root for her. Her sole purpose was to be "sacrificed" to the King of Beasts. But she's not actually bitter or anything like you'd expect. 

The King is the definition of the tortured hero, he's trying to protect everyone and everything and harming himself in the process but no-one's aware of it. Except for Sariphi towards the end, but still. His human form is gorgeously drawn, and his beast form is reaaaaally reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast, but fiercer! 

Oh and Cy and Clops are totally adorable! 

The story moves along at a nice, fast pace! Introducing us to the characters and kicking the plot off. There's political intrigue and unrest to go with the humour and romance, and there's even some drama thrown in too! The art is gorgeous, and cute, I loved how the beast people are drawn! I also particularly liked the world, it's a fun world, and we get quite a lot of information about it and how it all works, it's really intriguing! 

The ending certainly leaves you wanting more and I'm definitely curious to see how this is all going to play out and where the story is going to go! Oh, and there's a brilliant bonus chapter too! 

Friday, 15 June 2018

Manga: Baccano 3

Baccano! Vol 3
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy! 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Firo's big day has come, and everyone's enjoying the celebration--Isaac and Miria so much so that they've had a bit of a change of heart! If one criminal syndicate is just too nice to rob, then surely another will do...Meanwhile, Szilard learns that the object of his search is right under his nose. Soon nothing will stand between him and ultimate knowledge...! 
The day is finally here, Firo has his ceremony and becomes an Executive, so there's celebrations all round, including Miria and Isaac....and me. Unfortunately Dallas and co are after Firo, and the Gandor brothers return to see the damage...and they aren't happy. 
There's ominous undertones to the story from the start, thanks to the voice over/narrations added in. It's all to do with that box, and every time I saw it, or a piece fell in to place, I could start to form an image of what was going to happen and my brain was screaming NO, fora large part of the volume. Everything really starts to converge in this volume and come together. 
I have to say, I want to shake Ennis so bad. I wanted to like her, but she's on the wrong side and she's kind of an idiot, like I get why she is, but she was so frustrating for me! My hatred for Szilard literally knows no bounds with this volume. 
Miria and Isaac have grown on me so freaking much, and actually really love them! So I was screaming at them not to go to a certain place! They're just funny, and bless them...they really do try and do the right thing and try to help their new friends. 
This volume moves quickly and there's a lot of tension and action throughout. There's some heart breaking and heart stopping moments but in the end everything is wrapped up nicely! I have to say it's a satisfying end for the characters, and one I kind of didn't see coming so I shrieked a lot when I read certain chapters! 

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Review: Brightly Burning

Brightly Burning
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Seventeen-year-old Stella Ainsley wants just one thing: to go somewhere—anywhere—else. Her home is a floundering spaceship that offers few prospects, having been orbiting an ice-encased Earth for two hundred years. When a private ship hires her as a governess, Stella jumps at the chance. The captain of the Rochester, nineteen-year-old Hugo Fairfax, is notorious throughout the fleet for being a moody recluse and a drunk. But with Stella he’s kind.

But the Rochester harbors secrets: Stella is certain someone is trying to kill Hugo, and the more she discovers, the more questions she has about his role in a conspiracy threatening the fleet. 

I'm going to straight up tell you guys that Brightly Burning is a retelling of Jane Eyre and I had to read the original when I was in school....and I actually liked it okay!? So I was super eager to get my hands on this and I eagerly dove in and read it in one go. Because I have no self control, and it was really entertaining! 

I loved Stella immediately, she loves book, she's bold and she had a nice attitude. She wouldn't be walked all over and she was intelligent and I was fully on Team Stella. Hugo...I knew I was going to like him from his first line. He and Stella bond over their love of books, but he can't really handle his alcohol....not that you can blame him for drinking to be honest. He's also kinda relatable because he also prefers to be alone! Shoutout to Rori, the ships AI, because she was a brilliant touch! 

The other characters are an eclectic yet brilliant bunch, Iris, Sergei, Orion, Jon, Bianca (who I was prepared to hate and kind of did in the beginning but she turned it around in the end), I loved getting to know them and they brought some fun and life to the story. 

Brightly Burning is a brilliant reimagining/twist on Jane Eyre and I loved it, I dived in with high expectations and it exceeded all of them. I loved how things where twisted and changed and I loved anytime I spotted something or a reference to the original! I freaking loved The Rochester too, it had brilliantly creepy vibes at points. 

The world building was very well done and it was an intriguing world too, the set up with the whole "is Earth inhabitable? Do we go back down or carry on floating up here?" complete with a shady government dude. Which added a tonne of intrigue along with the mystery with the virus and the Rochester and so on. For me, it was an original/unique world and I liked the detail and depth it had, as did the characters. 

Brightly Burning has a fast pace, and there's never a dull moment. I got fully hooked and read it in one go, the plot kept me reading, as did the romance and the humour. It was a wild ride and it kept me fully entertained and I shouted at the books multiple times whenever a twist happened. Some of them may have been a smidge predictable, but it was still an entertaining and enjoyable read! I have to say, the story was beautifully wrapped up too....although I think there's room for a sequel, and I wouldn't say no to one! 

Manga: The Devil is a Part-Timer 11

The Devil is a Part-Timer Vol 11
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Chiho has collapsed, and Maou and company have figured out that it must be the work of an Angel. The only thing left to figure out is whether they're holed up in Tokyo Tower or the Sky Tree. When the group finally finds whoever's responsible for hurting their friend, the ultimate Maou/Alciel combo is going to paint the town red! 
Every time I read a volume of this series, I lament the fact that it still hasn't gotten a second season of really is such a gem and this volume is no exception. 
Volume 11 opens with quite the battle...I mean, shopping trip. You could be forgiven for the mistake with how our little group, some more than others, carries on! They quite brutally exposed sales people and their methods....I've worked in 3 different stores and can confirm the accuracy of their statements too. *nervous chuckle* I have to say, much as I love Maou....Ashiya continues to be my favourite because of situations exactly like in this volume. He just cracks me up. 
Speaking of Maou....he's suprisingly perceptive, even if he goes about voicing it the wrong way. I mean, we all know Rika has a thing for Ashiya. Unfortunately Maou has a tendency to be a bit too blunt about things, and Suzuno....well she gets a bit violent because of it. They do have quite an interesting discussion about what they are and what they should do with erasing Chi's memories and so on. They got quite deep actually, I didn't think Maou was quite capable of that! 
It's actually quite nice to see Suzuno has gotten to know Maou and co well enough to know he isn't behind what's happened to Chiho, it saves us quite a bit of time. It really hit me in the feels this volume, how far their bond as a group has come! 
We're straight in to the next story arc this volume, Raguel has made his move, and it isn't long before the gang figures out he's after Emilia's mother, Laila. There's some interesting reveals about Emilia and her family that leaves her (and us) with a lot to think about. Alongside that we get a nice bit of action as Maou Devils-out and goes up against Raguel and Gabriel! 
I have to say, Gabriel is so irritating and he's not above getting a verbal jab in at any of the demons. He also drops loads of hints, like okay mate, have a day off. *Eye roll*. 
Volume 11 is fast paced, with the usual doses of humour that have you laughing out loud, as well as some drama and action...and some twists and developments to liven things up. There's a particular development with Chiho that could prove to be interesting...things have certainly picked back up for this series!

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Review: The Queens of Fennbirn

The Queens of Fennbirn
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Uncover the sisters’ origins, dive deep into the catastrophic reign of the Oracle Queen, and reveal layers of Fennbirn’s past, hidden until now.

The Young Queens

Get a glimpse of triplet queens Mirabella, Arsinoe, and Katharine during a short period of time when they protected and loved one another. From birth until their claiming ceremonies, this is the story of the three sisters’ lives…before they were at stake.

The Oracle Queen

Everyone knows the legend of Elsabet, the Oracle Queen. The one who went mad. The one who orchestrated a senseless, horrific slaying of three entire houses. But what really happened? Discover the true story behind the queen who could foresee the future…just not her own downfall. 

I have been so ready for this novella bind up to flesh things out some more and just take me back to the world of the series while I wait for the next book! For those of you who don't know, this book is two novella's in one and I'm gonna review each one individually! 

The Young Queens
This is a prequel of sorts, and I'm guessing the main purpose of it was to flesh out some of what we already know! For instance, we get to see the Queens when they where younger and find out more about their backgrounds, as well as that are fleshed out more. I feel like Camille is more real for me after reading this, and I feel like the world has been expanded upon a bit more! This novella basically provides more detail for us, and things we've been curious about. 

We follow the same narrative style as the other books, so we switch POV's between different characters which I actually really liked because it kept it fresh and helped you delve in to each of the characters. Of course we get to discover more about Jules and her younger self too, not just the Queens, we get to see how she met her familiar and what happened when she first met Arsinoe. And speaking of the Queens....seeing how they interacted as girls together, before being separated, was actually really interesting. 

This one is actually kind of heart breaking, because there's always been this question of how exactly did Arsinoe and Katharine get switched, and this novella answers that and it was actually quite a sad opening scene with Queen Camille. 

Interestingly we get to see some of the injustices of the Poisoner's being in power for so long. I have to say...Natalia really does intrigue me, and I really can't quite bring myself to dislike her (I have written down in my notes before I read the second novella). We also get to see some more of Madrigal, who I didn't really care for after what she did in the first book, and this novella serves to make me like her even less. 

Oh, we meet Willa in this novella too, which I really loved because I'd been super curious about who raised the girls until they left and got separated and so on and I was really invested in her POV and her story. 

Overall, we get to see the girls at various different intervals, how they grew up and we get more depth to events that have been well as having a mystery solved! It's a nice addition to the canon to flesh out the world and the characters a bit more! 

The Oracle Queen
Okay, so the Oracle Queen has been mentioned multiple times throughout the main series and I don't know about you guys, but I've always been super curious about her and felt like her story had to be told at some point...and here we are. I think this is my favourite of the two novellas. I got so invested in to it, and it made me so ragey. 

We meet Queen Elsabet, the last Seer Queen...the rhyme about her is even mentioned in the previous novella. There's so much deceit and backstabbing in this tiny, tiny little novella, not to mention all the politics and the general shadiness between the different groups. It was interesting to see how the different groups interacted with each other though. 

I have to say...I knew Gilbert was shady AF right from the start, I don't know if that makes me jaded or what, but I didn't trust him further than I could throw him. I was disappointed but not at all surprised in him. William I just didn't like at all. Sorry dude. It reached a point in this novella when I was kind of wary of Bess and Jonathan too which they didn't really deserve. 

This volume we meet Natalia's ancestor....Francesca. Oh how I hated her. This novella made me so sad, I could see in my minds eye what was going to happen and how they'd twist things. It was like being on a rollercoaster and anticipating the drop. You knew it was coming, and you're speeding towards it but you can't do anything about it other than brace. I felt so damn bad for Elsabet and Rosamund and Bess.....and I felt so much rage towards Francesca and the Arrens. I feel like this novella has changed how I look at the Arrens for now. I kinda want them to suffer. 

Considering the behaviour of certain male characters in the main series, I could see what was going on with Francesca and the Consort a mile off. Again....disappointed but not surprised. I think because I kind of like Natalia, I was like...Francesca can't be that bad. Oh how wrong I was. 

For a novella, it really painted the character of Elsabet perfectly...even if she herself wasn't quite the perfect Queen. You got to know her really well and despite her faults you could empathise with her. It was a wild ride, filled with politics and betrayal and treachery and it was actually quite juicy, let's be real! 

Manga: Kiss Me At The Stroke Of Midnight 5

Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight Vol 5
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

After seeing Kaede at Lockheart Castle, Hinana rests assured that her beloved has eyes only for her... until a surprise visit from Kaede's manager brings some unexpected news. Kaede's ex-girlfriend is still in love with him, and she's decided to try to get him back! 

The volume opens a little bit after the events of last volume. Nana has a run in with Kaede's manager, Shige, and he gives her some disturbing news....mainly that Shu, Kaede's ex, is after him. Just the thing she wanted to hear...not. I was actually starting to like Shige but now I'm kind of side eyeing him a bit. 

Akira is actually a really good friend, despite how he feels about Nana personally, he still dishes out solid advice to her and I have to respect him for that. I wouldn't say I'm rooting for him...but I do hope he gets a happy ending too. I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more of him in coming volumes though. 

Shu makes her move, and so we get to see a lot of her in this volume, but our main man Kaede actually says and does the right things. He's considerate of how Nana would feel, and what would upset her (colour me surprised), so there shouldn't be a problem....right? Kaede has us on a bit of a seesaw this volume. He did all the right things in the beginning but by the second chapter he started to get sucked in and you're kind of like, "No...don't do it...." but then he turns around and surprises you, but then something semi shady happens again and you're like "" but then he does the right thing...again. 

It's not like the usual where the dude is dumb and doesn't get how the girl would feel. I keep waiting for him to do something shady but as much as your stomach drops and you're like "oh no" he turns round and sorts it all out so it's not shady/wrong. Like with Shu staying over...he slept in his car. The situations are there but he's loyal. 

The thing is....I don't trust Shu, I think she's shady so I didn't believe a word she said. Then there was a split second when you thought she wouldn't be a total cow...but she did the mean thing in the end. Plus Mitsuki is like the old witch stirring the pot and cackling in Snow White. 

We actually get some more insight in to Kaede and how he feels and what it was like for him in Funny Bone. 

The story really moves forward this volume, the game is being stepped up and things are getting juicy! We have Akira finally stepping up and throwing himself in to the mix as he can't sit back any longer. The knowledge that Akira has confessed to Nana lowkey sends Kaede over the edge. Kaede...well he's definitely struggling and Nana is too, and we end with quite the cliffhanger as Shu makes a threat. 

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Review: Arrowheart

Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

The gods are gone. 
The people have forgotten them. 
But sixteen-year-old Rachel Patel can't forget - the gods control her life, or more specifically, her love life.

Being a Hedoness, one of a strong group of women descended from Greek God Eros, makes true love impossible for Rachel. She wields the power of that magical golden arrow, and with it, the promise to take the will of any boy she kisses. But the last thing Rachel wants is to force someone to love her . . .

When seventeen-year-old Benjamin Blake's disappearance links back to the Hedonesses, Rachel's world collides with his, and her biggest fear becomes a terrifying reality. She's falling for him - a messy, magnetic, arrow-over-feet type of fall.

Rachel distances herself, struggling to resist the growing attraction, but when he gives up his dream to help her evade arrest, distance becomes an insurmountable task. With the police hot on their trail, Rachel soon realizes there are darker forces hunting them - a group of mortals recruited by the gods who will stop at nothing to preserve the power of the Hedonesses - not to mention Eros himself, who is desperate to reverse the curse . . .

Rachel must learn to do what no Hedoness has done before - to resist her gift - or she'll turn the person she's grown to love into a shadow of himself ... for ever. 

I'm sure you guys know by soon as I see the words "Greek Gods" I'm in. If there's mythology, I'm all over it. Throw in some interesting quirks and something a little bit different and I'm totally here for it. I'm not going to lie, I read this in one go and I regret nothing. 

Arrowheart hooked me from the start, and I was so ready to sit glued to this book. I had snacks and everything! The world of this book is an interesting one, St Valentines is a school for all the Hedonesses but reading about it via felt like quite a stifling environment. I liked that Rachel didn't glorify her gift, she pointed out the wrongness of it which was interesting to me, because usually it's like "Look at my awesome power, let's ignore how wrong and immoral it is". 

I really felt for Rachel throughout the book, she's so stifled by her environment. She doesn't want this gift, she doesn't want to use it, and everyone's shoving it down her throat. I empathised with her so much, and she tries so hard to do the right thing. Then when things with Kyle happened my heart broke for her. I loved him and he was hilarious and I'm hoping to see more of him next book...but my heart ached for Rachel. For me, it was really easy to root for Rachel and support her throughout and I loved having her as an MC. 

You know who I didn't like? Marissa. She was my one issue with this book because honestly she was such a silly cow...and kind of dumb because she got them in to such a mess. Like the whole situation is entirely her fault and I felt like she really didn't care at all. I got so frustrated with her so many times I just couldn't feel sorry for and I do feel kind of bad because I think I was supposed to but...I couldn't relate to her and I really didn't like her as a character. What I'm hoping that she'll be redeemed in the next book because I think things from this book shook her up a bit. It's just...she's supposed to be Rachel's friend but she really doesn't act like it. 

On the romance front, I shipped Ben and Rachel so much, their banter was so amusing. I couldn't quite work him and his motivation out in the beginning but it all becomes clear. He really doesn't give up at all, and he's a lot less mad at Rachel than anyone else would have been at the end, I think! I  liked that he made some effort to understand Rachel and he let her explain things. Oh and I have to give a quick shout out to Eros because he was hilarious and interesting...and more of him please! 

I got such strong Percy Jackson vibes from this book for some reason, even though it wasn't remotely similar...perhaps it was the group of teens out on a quest vibe? 

Arrowheart is a wild ride with plenty of twists and turns, action and romance to keep you hooked. It's easy to binge read and get completely absorbed in because it's a lot of fun! It's an original and fun idea, well thought out and it personally made me think a lot. There's an emphasis on choices in this book that's hard to ignore. The world building is well executed and we even have a super shady organisation that I'm curious about and resent on Rachel's behalf at the same time. 

When I read this...I had assumed it was a standalone book, so as I was reading the final few pages I was preparing to write some notes on how well wrapped up the story was and so on...but Sky was like "bitch you thought" and threw in one last twist that had me screeching because hello cliffhanger! And you know...the wait for book two and I just...whyyyyyy! 

No, for real, I'm actually super excited for book two because after certain....developments it's going to be interesting to see how Rachel and co handle things and what the Committees end game is here...I have a suspicion but we'll see! I also feel like book two is going to give us different vibes from this book!

If you're looking for a fun and entertaining read, with interesting mythology and some adventure, this is the read for you! 

Manga: Wotakoi - Love Is Hard For Otaku

Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku Vol 1 
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Narumi Momose has had it rough: Every boyfriend she's had dumped her once they found out she was an otaku, so she's gone to great lengths to hide it. When a chance meeting at her new job with childhood friend, fellow otaku, and now coworker Hirotaka Nifuji almost gets her secret outed at work, she comes up with a plan to make sure he never speaks up. But he comes up with a counter-proposal: Why doesn't she just date him instead? 

This volume is surprisingly chunky....but it's actually two volumes in one! There's a lot of brilliant colour pages at the beginning of each volume too which was fun! Plus there's a tonne of information on the characters throughout, so we really get to know them this volume! Plus it helps to flesh them out a bit and fill in some blanks without bogging down the story! 

I have to say, Wotakoi is funny from the start, and Narumi is so freaking relatable! I think she might be one of my favourite characters ever. She is literally all of us and I love her so much, I'm rooting for her! AS for Hirotaka...I love how he seems really expressionless, but then when he texts he's all about those cute emojis. I also love how he words/frames everything like a game. It makes the gaming nerd in me happy! 

Hirotaka's little brother Naoya is hilariously opposite to him and he fully ships Narumi and Hirotaka! I'm really hoping we get to see more of him in the coming volumes and he gets some romance of his own! 

Kabakura seems like a protective brother of Narumi's...or a fanboy. I'm still undecided on which. He and Koyanagi are freaking hilarious together...but also kind of cute when they want to be. But their arguments are priceless, like the insults really fly! 

I love how the volumes are laid out, it really brings the nerdiness. There's little text boxes that pop up like in a game! Think Pokemon, like "A wild Kabakura has appeared" and then there's options etc sometimes too. Not only is it fun, but it also makes it so obvious what's going on in Narumi's head...which is pretty much what some of us would do a lot of the time too! There's also a tonne of bonus chapters along with the actual content, which is a lot of fun and provides some quick and entertaining scenes. Plus it provides more insight in to the characters and their relationships! 

Wotakoi is an entertaining and hilarious first volume, introducing us to the characters and the start of their relationship. We have two couples, a veteran couple, if you will, and a newer one in the form of Narumi and Hirotaka. They're kind of navigating things and each other and learning how to date a fellow Otaku, instead of hiding their Otaku tendencies. I have to say, the nerdiness is strong with this new series, and I lived for it, plus there's a tonne of relatable moments too! The volume hits us with a cliffhanger as our new favourite couple are about to go on a *dun dun duuuuuunnn* date! I'm definitely going to be looking forward to each volume of this, for a dose of fun! 

Monday, 11 June 2018

Manga: Waiting For Spring 6

Waiting For Spring Vol 6
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

In her efforts to become a more proactive person, Mitsuki has agreed to join the school festival committee. Now she must lead class in putting together a cafe for the day of the big event. Towa has agreed to help her, but his mind is elsewhere. His team is about to have a joint practice with Aya's team, and he and Aya will finally have a basketball showdown...! 

Towa inexplicably agrees to cosplay for the cage their class is doing for the festival...much to Reina's delight and Mitsuki's bemusement. Mitsuki is all of us really, in this scenario. Turns out he's too focused on the practice against Aya which is imminent at the beginning of the volume. This series really doesn't hang about, the pacing is excellent! There's always something going on, whether it's action with the basketball games, or fluffy and cute scenes. 

Aya manages to rile up Ryuji and Rui and get on their bad side...and mine, I'm not going to lie. He has a one on one match with Towa and...let's just say he's out to win. As usual the action shots are beautifully drawn, and I'm in awe of them! 

There's a little bit of a mystery for us this volume, as something happens between Towa and Aya that we don't get to see, but other characters keep alluding to, and it ramps up the tension for the big showdown...and drives you mad in the process trying to work out what went on! To the extent I shrieked when Reina accidentally deleted the video! Like I adds a nice bit of tension to this volume, and the game was wonderfully drawn. The tension between Aya and Towa really came off the page though. 

I have to say...Towa finally gets some balls in this volume, and provides us with a cute moment to rival Aya...finally! He also manages to crack a smile and laugh! Woooooo progress! 

Speaking of tension, Sudo gets her hands on Towa's wristband and see's a certain message...but she doesn't know who wrote it. However it does serve to give Rui some more page time as he realises Towa likes someone and Towa actually confesses to Rui who then starts to avoid him!? Oh yes folks, everything is kicking off this volume! 

Sudo has her suspicions but she actually goes to Reina for advice which provides some hilarity because it's a hilarious that's the worse person you could go to! At this point I'm waiting for it drop and Sudo find out and some more drama come in to the series. 

Kyosuke is totally on to Towa and Mitsuki, despite the former trying to hide his feelings, and I'm curious to see if he's going to help them. 

I have to mention Rui, because this volume...there's a question of if he has feelings for Mitsuki or not or if he just wants to be a good friend. His character is expanded upon a lot more this volume, and I was living for it. Mitsuki opens up to him and it was nice to see the two become closer. Rui said he's on her side and honestly, I ship the bromance between the two of them! 

Things start to move this volume as Towa, with a push from Rui, determines to tell Mitsuki how he feels! ....I think. That's the impression I got anyway, but let's see if he follows through on it next volume! There's more potential drama being brought in, and more character development and growth throughout the volume! The volume ends on a cliffhanger, that had me screaming because of course when the thing happens with Mitsuki...Aya is right there. Forever screeching at this series honestly. 

Oh and we get a cute bonus chapter featuring Towa and it's totally adorable! 

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Manga: Napping Princess

Napping Princess
Rating: 3/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

When Kokone sleeps she dreams of Heartland, a place full of technology and warring machines, where she's the Princess Ancien who possesses magical powers. But when events in her dreams and real life start to intersect, Kokone has to run from bad guys in both worlds. Will her dreams provide a way out, or get her into deeper trouble...? 

I love anything fairy tale, and this new series sounded like fun, and something a bit different to the usual...all things I value! 

I have to say, things are pretty effed up in Heartland like...forcing people to buy new cars or it comes out of their pay? What even? I'd have so many issues living there! There's imminent threat and danger in Heartland that the Princess is trying to defeat with the help of Peach, and using her magic, but the shady bad guy is determined to thwart it! Meanwhile in the real world the shady guy comes for Kokone's father and there's some sort of secret he's hiding. I have my suspicions but I guess we'll see. 

Morio looks like he could be fun, and I liked the contrast in Kokone and her fathers facial expressions! He's kind of blah and blank about everything, while she can be quite excitable and her face is very lively! 

This initial volume is fast paced, and switches between the real world and the dream world smoothly. It's certainly piqued my curiosity, even if it's only three chapters long! Plus we did get a bonus chapter! There seems to be a few things to unravel and I'm excited to see how this is going to unfold! 

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Manga: Magical Girl Raising Project 2

Magical Girl Raising Project Vol 2
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

What started as a beautiful dream has become a bloody nightmare. Seven magical girls have been struck down so far-and it only gets worse from here! Wracked with grief over the deaths of her closest friends, Snow White has vowed to quit being a magical girl. But if the fairest maiden of all gives up, who will keep the dream alive? Is all hope lost for N City...? 

The volume starts off by throwing us straight back in from when we left off, and Snow White is having quite the meltdown, not that I don't feel for her. Ripple is also having a bit of a crisis of her own, an identity crisis, if you will. The killing and death is definitely taking a toll on our characters. Meanwhile Calamity Mary is loving life and ready to throw down! I should pre-warn you guys, if you didn't expect it already...there's a lot more casualties this volume! 

I really love the art for this series, and I particularly loved the scene where Fav was delivering the news of the cuts and that there'd need to be three more and it was interspersed with scenes of the girls dealing with the aftermath of some of the deaths. It was really nicely done and kind of slightly chilling at the same time! 

I have to say, most of the characters aren't the nicest, but Swim Swim is truly vile, as is Cranberry. But it was nice to see them get what was coming to them. I'm not going to lie...I cheered a little bit. 

This volume is fast paced and full of action, and the battle sequences are wonderfully drawn. With this volume we see the end of the story arc, as everything gets resolved and wrapped up neatly! I still think Snow White was a little bit useless throughout this but she added some humanity to the story and was authentic in her reactions to everything. 

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Light Novel: Rokka Braves of the Six Flowers 4

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers Vol 4
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Still unsure of the traitor's identity, the seven Braves plunge deeper into the Howling VInelands-but now they learn of a deadly weapon that could spell the end for the heroes and ensure the Evil God's victory. However, before they can discover how to stop the weapon, they must contend with their most horrifying enemy yet...

And to make matters worse, their efforts to reach the truth may destroy their chances of ever finding it. 

No light novel pulls me in quite like Rokka, right from the start with the ominous and intriguing prologue and from that point on...I was completely hooked once again. 

Dozzu has quite an interesting tale to spin for us, and the Braves find themselves teaming up with him. Suspicion is being thrown about all over the place, and some of it is cast back on Adlet once again, so he and Hans end up as kind of co leaders. The bromance between the two of them is still alive and kicking though and I live for it! Rolonia is also cast under a heaping mountain of suspicion this volume too. 

Adlet has quite the rough ride this book as he learns the fate of his village and his friend Rainer and is, you know...suspected of being the seventh. Nashetania...well she's just really unpleasant isn't she? I kind of want to hit Goldof too this volume. Rolonia is also cruising for a bruising with how easy she makes it for herself to be set up. Although I do empathise with her and understand her when you get to see more of her past and her relationship with Adlet, and how they met and so on. It actually provides some interesting insight in to Adlet too! 

I am forever tense when I read these volumes, I'm used to the surprising plot twists but...they tend to pop up out of nowhere when you least expect it. There's a mind blowing plot twist at the end of this volume, and I can't even with it. I actually didn't see it coming, and that person the seventh too? Or do we have two dangers in the group? Much as I love Hans he seems pretty suspect as well! I just have so many questions now and the wait for the next volume is just painful. 

Volume 4 has an excellent pace with plenty of action and a sense of intense tension as Rainer is in a race against time to get to Adlet and the others and it's the whole, will he make it or won't he? kind of thing. The volume keeps you on the edge of your seat, and like I said...we end with a mind blowing plot twist that leaves you desperate for the next volume! 

Monday, 4 June 2018

Light Novel: I've Been Killing Slimes For 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level

I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

After living a painful life as an office worker, Azusa ended her short life by dying from overworking. So when she found herself reincarnated as an undying, unaging witch in a new world, she vows to spend her days stress free and as pleasantly as possible. She ekes out a living by hunting down the easiest targets - the slimes! But after centuries of doing this simple job, she's ended up with insane will she maintain her low key life now?! 

Okay I think this might be my new favourite "reincarnated in another world" kinda light novels, because this was pretty freaking funny! 

Azusa basically gets reincarnated in another world and she requests a chill life because you know...she died from overwork and she figures she's due some R&R time. She ends up as an immortal witch and she basically kills slimes for 300 years because it's easy money and why not...and then she ends up completely maxed out.

Unfortunately her quiet and chill life comes crashing to an end when she discovers she's maxed out, and then others start to find out she's a level 99 too. Everyone wants to challenge her or wants her help and it's hilarious because she's trying so hard to keep it a secret. Her chill life is basically over now and it's one adventure after another. She hilariously has a thing about working conditions too, because of how she died, I thought that was a nice little character touch to make her more real! 

Azusa encounters a dragon Laika, who ends up as her apprentice, and she's actually kind of sweet, and she tries really hard to learn from Azusa and be considerate of other people. The elf Halkara also joins Azusa's little crew, as another apprentice, along with two slime spirits who call her Mom, Falfa and Shalsha. Beelzebub pops in from time to time too. They're a brilliant bunch of characters and each brings something different to the group. They make for an interesting bunch of characters and their interactions with Azusa are always entertaining! 

I've Been Killing Slimes is kind of like a slice of life type thing, there's no over arcing plot as of yet, we get little mini plots or stories, and we watch Azusa go from being isolated and having a family of sorts and being really popular with everyone! There's plenty of battles and action, a fast pace, and a lot of humour! An entertaining and overall fun first volume! 
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