Monday, 29 January 2018

Manga: The Royal Tutor 5

The Royal Tutor Vol 5
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Prince Licht's fascination with coffee should come as no surprise given his affinity for his part-time job at the cafe, but when Leonhard suggests the bitter drink should be banned from the kingdom, can Lichie help him develop an appreciation...?

The synopsis literally only covers the first chapter of this volume, as we open with some nice bickering between Leonhard and Licht. Nothing new there then! I have to say, I was kind of on Leonhards side! It's a nice little relaxed moment, before things really get started this volume, because then we move in to a moment between Bruno and Kai that's kind of cute on the surface, but if you've seen the anime, you know what's coming. It hints at the story between those two and their past. 

We have a brief sojourn to the zoo, a story seen in the anime already, with a couple of additional bits and pieces thrown in to keep it fresh. From there we hit more familiar ground as we finally delve in to Bruno and Kai's past...and their secret and that's when this volume really takes a turn. 

The final half of this volume provides us with some suspense and action and takes us on a darker path than the series usually has so far....with the odd sprinkle of humour we've come to know and love in this series! If you've watched the anime, then the final half of the volume and the upcoming story arc in the next volume will be familiar, but as we've discovered, even the familiar scenes from the anime have new additions to keep them fresh so we're bound to be surprised! 

But that's right folks, prepare yourselves because this volume ends on quite the little cliffhanger. Rosenberg reckons he knows who Heine really is, which means the time is coming for the big reveal about Heine and his past that we've all been anticipating! Answers are coming folks! However, from the sentence used I'm guessing things are going to be different to how they go down in the anime, I'm excited, but anime viewers probably shouldn't let themselves be lulled in to a false sense of security by thinking they know what's going to happen! 


Review: The Glass Spare

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

A banished princess.
A deadly curse.
A kingdom at war.

Wil Heidle, the only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father—whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war—Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance.

Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first Wil is horrified—but as she tests its limits, she’s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure.

But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with her power.

With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom that’s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?

The opening was intriguing and the world was interesting right from the start. Yes there are a couple of predictable moments and the odd cliche or two but I ended up getting thoroughly drawn in to the world of the book and the story! 

I immediately loved our MC Wil. She was daring and brave, and I loved her relationships with Owen and Gerdie, my heart actually broke for her more than once when I was reading. Her power is so fun in the sense that it's original and not something I've personally come across before. Gerdie....I really loved him and felt for him a lot. He's kind of a genius and reminds me a bit of a mad scientist at times! I'm hoping to get to see more of him in the next book and more of he and Wil working together and being the epic team that they are! Owen was a nice addition as well, and I loved how he treated Wil and looked out for her. Baren was hate at first read. 

Loom was intriguing right at the start but for the most part, he really started to infuriate me. While I understand his motivation, he has the cheek to say Wil isn't his prisoner and she's just here to help him when he never actually asked her for her help, kidnapped her and prevented her from leaving multiple times...and he let Zay hit her with a dagger. Like dude....really?! I mean, I love romance but I did have a bit of a struggle to ship them when I mostly wanted to hit Loom. 

It doesn't take long for the book to dive in to the plot, there's a nice pace to it and things move along quickly. Ominous little switches in POVs back to Gerdie and what's happening at the palace provide some intrigue and then when they stop you get radio silence, so you hear what's allegedly happened but you have no idea what Wil's about to walk in to! There's plenty of action and a nice amount of world building, and it ends with a nice amount of intrigue leaving you with plenty of questions and excitement for the next book!


Friday, 26 January 2018

Manga: Akame Ga Kill! 13

Akame Ga Kill! Vol 13
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

As the final battle approaches, Imperial and rebel forces take steps to wipe out their deadliest enemies in advance in hopes of minimizing losses on the battlefield. Among the rebel's targets is Kurome, whose allegiance has still not wavered. Akame is resolved to give her beloved sister one last chance to turn from the wickedness of the Empire--if she refuses, she will Rest in Pieces!

This is quite the chunky volume, in fact I think it's the chunkiest one yet! It's for good reason too as this volume seems to be focusing on wrapping a couple of plot threads up before we head on in to the final battle. It's kind of like a pregame warmup! 

Tatsumi isn't looking so good at the start of the volume, and we're off the beaten path when it comes to what we know from the anime. Akame herself is off with a kill list to work her way through that ends in a confrontation with Wave. Wave himself is dealing with the fact that he's caught feelings and will do anything to prevent the face off between Akame and Kurome that finally comes about in this volume. 

There's plenty of action and the usual epic battle scenes with plenty of blood and gore. It was inevitable with this series, that things would be bloody, especially considering the big confrontation we're heading towards with Akame and Kurome. Who are more than a little bloodthirsty as we know! 

The tension is high, and we speed through the volume towards an equally speedy battle, the pace is brilliant for such a chunky volume! It was nice to have the volume end on an oddly heartwarming note though, considering things are going to get bloody and heartbreaking next volume when the final battle commences. This volume is like a nice little chance to breath before the inevitable blood and destruction of the next volume, relish it while you can! 


Review: Batman Nightwalker

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

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city's elites are being executed as their mansions' security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family's fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he's forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city's most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce's only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

I'm so pumped for the DC Icons series, and Wonder Woman Warbringer was freaking brilliant, so I've been anticipating this one like mad! Especially since I recently read Warcross which was basically my first book by Marie Lu ever! I'm so thankful to Sarah at Penguin for sending me a review copy of this book, because I got to read it in one sitting on holiday and it made my life complete! 

The opening is dark and ominous and it had a very Gotham vibe, meaning the TV show! I was immediately thrown in to a dark and gritty version of Gotham City and my interest was piqued straight away. I'm not going to lie to you guys, I kinda felt like this was a bit Criminal Minds crossed with Batman! 

Bruce.....I can so relate dude. Lu brings him to life so well, his thoughts and feelings are relatable and you can see his point of view easily, even if I did want to smack him or shout at him about Madeleine more than once! I got what he was feeling and going through and why he was acting like he was, and I did admire his determination to find the culprits. Dianne I completely loved and I wish we'd gotten to see more of her! When I saw Harvey Dent was in this book, I immediately perked up because you know....spoiler alert, but in the movies/tv show/comics, Harvey becomes Two Face, one of Batman's enemies and I was like...okay this is gonna hurt. Seeing Bruce and Harvey's friendship kicked me right in the feels. I really liked how Harvey was portrayed, it was very in line with what makes him eventually become Two Face. 

There's such a great friendship between Bruce, Dianne and Harvey, it's such a shame Harvey will go all villain later. I could totally read a series with these three I'm not going to lie! Like I said, Dianne was a lot of fun and I so want to see some more of her, and I'd be interested to see how Lu makes Harvey go all villain! I enjoyed the bond and the banter between the three of them and how they where there for Bruce, and helped him. 

On the Villain side of things we have Madeleine who's cunning, sly and kind of really creepy. I found myself disliking her at points, but then kind of admiring her at others because she's so intelligent. As the book went on, I actually felt for her once her backstory came out and I was torn about what I wanted to happen because you know...she's a villain but I kinda wanted her to get a happyish ending. Richard....sorry but he was a prize a-hole and any sympathy I might have had for him swiftly evaporated and I found it really hard to conjure any up at the end. 

Alfred and Lucius pop up a lot and I forever love the relationship Bruce has with them. We also get a brief visit from Detective Gordon! Metropolis is mentioned too and there's plenty of Batman easter eggs and tidbits, Harvey's coin for example, as well as a view DC one's in general. Hey Lex ;) Nightwalker fits so well in to the Batman cannon and Lu clearly knows what she's talking/writing about when it comes to this book! 

Each scene and setting is vivid and brought to life until you're wandering the streets of Gotham with Bruce. The grimy, gritty streets of Gotham are brought in to sharp relief and the image I had in my mind almost had a vignette over it, making it dim and dark. It's a completely different vibe and feel to the Wonder Woman book and is perfect for Batman. There's a steady pace with a nice amount of action, I got Gotham vibes like I said, but it also gave the vibe of one of the Christopher Nolan Batman films. At least to me! 

Bruce goes on quite the journey through the book and I liked the contrast between the two car journeys at the beginning of the book, and the end! The ending was very satisfying too! All in all it's a perfect addition to not only the Batman cannon but also the DC Icons series in general, and the more books I read in this series the more pumped I get for the rest! 


Thursday, 25 January 2018

Review: These Rebel Waves

These Rebel Waves
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something more dangerous is at work.

Devereux is a pirate. As one of the outlaws called stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he pirates the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.

Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of reversing Argrid’s fear of magic, Ben has to decide if one prince can change a devout country—or if he’s building his own pyre.

As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are . . . and what they are willing to become for peace. 

I have been anticipating this book so damn much you guys have no idea! I love Sara's books and when I heard she was doing a new duology with was like a match made in heaven because I love me some pirates and that paired with Sara's writing and her originality...I knew it was going to be epic! Luckily for me, a miracle happened. Sara sent out her first ever newsletter for this book, and I was the first ever that never happens to me ever! There was much screaming when the arc of this arrived and it literally arrived just in time for my holiday so you bet your ass I sat on the beach and read this in one, glorious sitting. Sorry not sorry. 

These Rebel Waves immediately drew me in with the prologue. It expertly introduced each of our main three characters, and provided enough background on them to pique your interest as well as setting things up for the story! It lets us know their history and gives us a small taste of what they're like for us to look forward to before moving in to the main part of the story. The time skip is well done and we're once again back with our main three in turns as read and dive in to the story, but we've still got a lot to uncover about them! 

I loved the world, like I love pirates, so I was going to love this anyway, but I loved the twist on the pirates and the originality Sara has thrown in to it all. I was fascinated by how it all worked, the plants and the world in general, and the politics and the history of the world. I literally fell in to this story and the world and wanted to know everything there was to know, I was loving it! I loved uncovering new facts and details throughout the story, to the extent that I'm preemptively sad that there's only one more book! 

The world is vividly written and like I said, it fully pulled me in. I could picture everything so clearly and I was intrigued by the different plants and factions as well as the different narratives and how they all came together. I could quite happily read a book just on the history of this world and the different plants. We have a couple of different plot threads and they're woven together so well with twists and turns and it keeps you reading! It's genuinely so hard to put down. I ended up eating with a fork in one hand and the book in the other and I may or may not have kept dropping what I was trying to eat....

The cast is diverse, there's PoC and LGBTQ characters and it was such a brilliant cast and it was a nice change to get to read a book with diverse MC's! I'm so here for it! Adeluna I loved, she's such a spitfire punching Vex in the face for starters! I was cackling away to myself like 'you just messed with the wrong person!'. She just wants to help her friend, and help Grace Loray get back on it's feet, but there's so much more to her than you unravel over the course of the story. The things that happened to her in the past still affect her, and it was very authentically written. Watching her overcoming everything, and then the plot twists when it came to her where mind blowing. She was a character I could root for and empathise with throughout the entire story. 

Devereux I really felt for, he understandably reacts in certain ways and has certain feelings about certain things (I'm trying to avoid spoilers!) after everything that happened to him, and it was very well done how it was shown and manifested and so on. He kind of reminded me a bit of Jack Sparrow but more awesome and less cringey and again, there was a brilliant plot twist with him! 

Benat kind of seemed like a bit of an arse when I first met him in the book, but then I got to see just how much what happened to his uncle and his cousin affected him and how it's affected his every action since, how it's made him live his life and so on and I was like "aaaaww BENAT I'M SORRY, LET ME LOVE YOU". He's so intelligent and he's straight up cunning too! He made me feel so tense because I was worried about who he could trust and what would happen to him if he slipped up. 

To be honest, all three main characters are haunted and scarred by their pasts and events that have stuck with them and pop  up here and there in their reactions and how they think and feel and it was authentically and realistically done. Sara really did do a great job making these characters real, and bringing them to life. 

I'm not going to lie, I started out really badly shipping Benat and Jakes, but I started to get a bit concerned about Jakes more than once throughout the book because of his general attitude, and then there was more shady behaviour. Let's just say that with Jakes.....I was disappointed but not really surprised by his behaviour. Luckily good old Gunnar provides me with a new ship, and I ship it hard! 

Aside from our three main characters, we have a brilliantly diverse supporting cast who are just as lively as our main characters! Nayeli is definitely one of my favourites, she was hilarious and I need more of her! I was intrigued by Edda and Cansu as well. I'm not going to lie, there's so many shady characters too, like Milo. Man...I hated Milo. So much. The Mechtlanders didn't paint themselves favourably either I'm not going to lie. 

I have to prepare you all, once you reach a certain part of the book Sara hits you with plot twist after plot twist and I was left so shook because so many little mysteries all came together and changed the game as it where, and I was like woaaaaaah. There where a few of those moments when you have to just put the book down to process what's just happened! 

Like during the last quarter of the book or so, the hits (plot twists) keep on coming, throwing everything in to chaos and changing everything and then the book ends like THAT. Like...what a cliffhanger. How am I supposed to survive until the next book?! 

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Manga: Fairy Tail 63

Fairy Tail Vol 63
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

17-year-old Lucy is an attractive mage-in-training who wants to join a magician's guild so that she can become a full-fledged magician. The guild she dreams about joining is the most famous in the world and it is known as the Fairy Tail. One day she meets Natsu, a boy raised by a Dragon who mysteriously left him when he was young. Natsu has devoted his life to finding his Dragon father. When Natsu helps Lucy out of a tricky situation, she discovers that he is a member of the Fairy Tail magician's guild and the heroes' adventure together begins.

This is it you guys, this is the final freaking volume of Fairy Tail. I so wasn't ready for it, I got back from my vacation and it was sitting in the pile of post I had, and I just opened it and stared at it for a good few minutes because you not ready! The cover hit me in the feels and made me come over all nostalgic and the chapter art gave me so much nostalgia too! 

After mentally preparing myself for one of my favourite series ever coming to an end, I finally started to read it and oh my God. Mavis hit me in the feels right from the start and there's a blissful moment when all seems well....before it all comes crashing down. Like I was thinking 'okay, but this is all kind of convenient' and it was like I could hear Mashima's evil laughter before he was like "SURPRISE B****". 

This volume, it's the dragon slayers time to shine, and there's so much action packed in to this volume! But not just the slayers, everyone gets to have their moment in the spotlight, and their moment to be a badass too! 

Everything ends happily, and for those that ship certain characters....while some things could be seen to be a bit ambiguous, there are some ships that are quite clearly sailing....finally. I loved getting a glimpse in to the characters lives since the final battle and it really rounded everything out and wrapped it all up and made me so emotional. It's really the perfect blend of action, and heartwarming moments...something to be expected from Fairy Tail. 

There's plenty of nostalgia to be had thanks to Lucy and I totally got a bit choked up reading this final volume, I'm not going to lie. I don't think I'll ever be ready for this to be over, like I've still got the anime and the spin off series but still! I'm just sad there won't be any new Fairy Tail adventures but I have to say...the series has come to a truly fitting end, I loved the final couple of pages so much! 

Review: If There's No Tomorrow

If There's No Tomorrow
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She’s ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications, and to maybe let her childhood best friend Sebastian know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be epic—one of opportunities and chances.

Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.

Now Lena isn’t looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian might never forgive her for what happened.

For what she let happen.

With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when she and her friends’ entire existences have been redefined? How can she move on when tomorrow isn’t even guaranteed?

So, as you guys are probably aware, I'm a huge fan of Jennifer's books! Her contemporary books are ones that I've just started getting in to, and I don't usually like contemporary but Jennifer's books are always well written, intriguing and hit me right in the feels, If There's No Tomorrow is no exception. 

The opening is ominous, and I had some idea of what was going to happen from it, but I spent the first part of the book waiting for it to happen and kind of on edge because I wasn't sure who was going to be affected by what would happen or what the exact details where. I did end up being surprised by how it all unfolded! 

Lena was such a relatable main character, and she was a book and history nerd too so she was basically me! She and Sebastian where so cute and there was fluff when it came to the romance but there was also angst because it wouldn't be one of Jennifer's books without some angst to go with your fluff! 

Lena's journey throughout the book was really emotional for me to read, she struggled to overcome the guilt she was feeling and what happened and it was very realistically written and didn't shy away from the tougher parts. 

If There's No Tomorrow has a message to it along with the romance and the fluffier parts, and it's a relatable one too. Most of us have probably been in Lena's situation before she got in to that car. With the decision to make and some of us may have made the wrong one, while others may have made the right one. Her journey throughout the book was tough and it was emotional but seeing her make it in the end, come out the other side...was amazing and inspiring. 

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Review: Truly Devious

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

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”
Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history. 
True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder. 
So, if you've been following me for a while, you'll know I love Maureen's Shades of London series and I've been seriously anticipating the next book, but then Maureen was like "no no no, I've got a new book" and you know....I'll let her off making me wait longer because I love her books and this sounded completely brilliant...and it was! It has the creepiness and super genius plot threads I've come to expect from Maureen! 
Truly Devious has an incredibly creepy start that sets the tone for the book as you're hit with an instant sense of foreboding during the flashback that doesn't quite go away as you read. You know something is going to happen and you end up on edge as you wait for it to all start. 
The book is set in both the past and present as we shoot back to the night of the crime throughout the book which adds doses of creepy and foreboding while the story in the present gets going. It also gives you pieces of the mystery as you get snapshots of events and points of view. You also get some interesting FBI interviews with the people in the house at the time and you just know something is off and that someone is hiding something but you don't know what. 
Truly Devious is vivid and most definitely atmospheric. It's super creepy at points and it has a nice leisurely pace as it pulls you in, putting the basics out there and the embellishing them with more detail as you get more snapshots of the past or more little tidbits. Sometimes even just a word or sentence changed what you thought you already knew. 
As for the characters, I loved Stevie. She was different, and fun and a huge crime nerd. She particularly enjoys Sherlock Holmes, which you know...can relate! Her family kind of struggles to handle how different she is, and I found her to be relatable and easy to empathise with. I rooted for her too, she's definitely intelligent! She's also a nice middle between her two friends! Janelle who's bright and sunny, and Nate who's hilariously grumpy. Can relate Nate, can relate! My new favourite book quote was provided by Nate, "Sometimes you have to leave the fucking Shire, Frodo" I need it on a t-shirt, mug, pillow, throw blanket...everything. 
There's an interesting supporting cast, Hayes was such a prat and he was a YouTube star. The two are not related by the way. YouTubers are lovely! David was originally down in my notes as ahole 2, but I ended up kind of liking him...but I was also still suspicious of him. I couldn't quite tell at one point if I ended up liking him because Stevie did! Vi, Ellie and so on where a colourful and interesting group of characters. They where an eclectic bunch! The same can also be said for the characters from the past like Flora and Leo and so on! 
To be honest as we met each new character I was eyeing them up as either a potential victim or a suspect, both in the past and the present timelines. The storytelling fits so well with old mystery novels like Holmes and Poirot and so on! It really is brilliantly written, as expected of Maureen! She throws in her own unique twist but I really did love her writing style for this one, it fit so well with Stevie and her love of mystery novels and was genuinely like reading an old school mystery novel. 
You're given clues and pieces of the puzzle throughout the book both in the past and the present. You see what characters where doing on the night of the kidnapping and you have to try and puzzle it together. I may not be the smartest person in the world but I have never missed an episode of Criminal Minds, and you bet your ass I was trying to figure it out using all that show has taught me. I have a couple of suspects but I feel like they're too obvious...and then I figured that might throw me off and they where supposed to be obvious if that makes sense? Basically I have no idea still. 
Throughout the entire book, I was genuinely on edge and hyper aware of every word used or not used, and everything even a little bit suspicious throughout the book. I mentally noted everything down, I don't think I've ever paid such close attention to a book before. 
As we head towards the end of the book, you can sense something coming, and the tension is ramped up! As the plot thickens, there's an explosive reveal that I really didn't see coming. Like my Suspect Number 2 for Truly Devious, I was questioning myself on because they where barely mentioned and then the reveal happens and one of Stevie's classmates I'm assuming is related to them and I CANNOT DEAL WITH THE CLIFFHANGER! I have so many questions. What's the answer to the riddle? Who's in the photo? What's going on!? I can't take it. Feel free to message me to talk theories because I'm still not over this book and I seriously need to talk it all out! 

Monday, 22 January 2018

Review: The Lost Plot

The Lost Plot
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

A covert mission
A royal demand
And a race against time

The fourth title in Genevieve Cogman's witty and wonderful The Invisible Library series, The Lost Plot is an action-packed literary adventure.

In a 1930s-esque Chicago, Prohibition is in force, fedoras, flapper dresses and tommy guns are in fashion, and intrigue is afoot. Intrepid Librarians Irene and Kai find themselves caught in the middle of a dragon vs dragon contest. It seems a young librarian has become tangled in this conflict, and if they can't extricate him there could be serious political repercussions for the mysterious Library. And, as the balance of power across mighty factions hangs in the balance, this could even trigger war.

Irene and Kai find themselves trapped in a race against time (and dragons) to procure a rare book. They'll face gangsters, blackmail and fiendish security systems. And if this doesn't end well, it could have dire consequences for Irene's job. And, incidentally, for her life . . .

I've been anticipating this book so badly, this is one of my ultimate favourite series because of the excellent writing and the imaginative world...not to mention how original and fun it is! I pretty much read each new book and then wait restlessly for the next one before diving right in! I got to read all of this in one go thanks to my holiday and I have no regrets! 

The opening is ominous with a sprinkle of humour and effortlessly sets out the current situation and sets us up for the book. The Lost Plot is fast paced and richly written as usual. We get to explore another imaginative and fun world that's vividly brought to life and we get to meet a load of new characters in Evariste, Lily, George, Hu and the other dragons. 

It's certainly a wild ride and my brain enjoyed trying to work out all of the plot threads and who was up to what and what the bigger picture or rather scheme was. There where daring feats, and we get to see a lot more of the dragons and how they work and operate which is something I'd been hoping for I'm not going to lie! 

I have to level with you, the ending had my heart in my mouth and while things ended on a happy note and you know...yaaaay my ship is sailing! I'm kind of worried about what's going to happen next and how much of a bearing on things this will have. Will we have less Kai? I'm going to be sad if he's not with Irene on her adventures anymore but I'm interested to see how it'll play out! 

The Lost Plot is another fantastic instalment that had me glued to the pages with the characters, writing and action not to mention all the fun, interesting worlds to be explored. The stakes where perhaps the highest they've been yet and there was a lot of political manoeuvring to be done, but things have certainly changed by the end of the book that could have quite an interesting bearing on the next one!

Friday, 19 January 2018

Light Novel: SAO 12

Sword Art Online 12: Alicization Rising 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Eugeo has finally met Alice again, but she's no longer the same girl he once knew, now calling herself an Integrity Knight. Even worse, the reason for Alice's unexpected return is to capture Kirito and Eugeo!

As we start the volume, we pick up right where we left off last volume and we learn aaaaallll about the Underworld. Cardinal gives us the lowdown on everything, including Quinella and what's to come and generally fills in the blanks and answers the questions we've been asking! Everything or mostly everything is revealed, I would say, and Kirito and Eugeo must set out to retrieve their swords, get Alice and put the Cardinals plan in to action. 

The first part of the book is quite stodgy, I won't lie to you. It's heavy with explanations and details but I kind of didn't mind it because we got so many answers and learned how the world operates and how it became like it is, which is something I've been curious about for a while.  

Once things get going there's plenty of action and battles as Kirito and Eugeo head up towards the big bad, fighting various knights along the way before being brought up short by Alice. This volume perfectly illustrated why I don't like children and why they can't be trusted in these kinds of books. They're all creepy and lowkey evil. 

At this stage, I can't help but feel sorry for the Integrity Knights, having their heads messed with and so on. Fanatio was even relatable to an extent. I'm not going to lie, this volume ends on quite the cliffhanger and it's a lot shorter than last volume! There's no dipping out of the Underworld to check on Asuna and the others either, we stay with Kirito the entire time. Things are really heating up and we're getting to the climax of the story, and this volume paves the way for what I'm assuming is the final part of the arc! 

Manga: Love and Lies Vol 3

Love and Lies Vol 3
Rating: 3/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy Courtesy of the publisher! 

Yukari is dull. He doesn't even stand out enough to be bullied ? he's just a generally lower-middle-class kid. He's in love with Misaki, the most popular girl in school. There's just one problem: He's 15, one year away from receiving his government-assigned marriage partner. He normally wouldn't have the courage to defy the law, but his sickly classmate Ririna still believes in love, and won't stop goading him into confessing his feelings!

Sanada has a new friend in Arisa this volume, which is probably good seeing as she appears to have caught feelings or is starting to, anyway, for Yukari. She definitely needs someone to talk things out with! Agent Yajima provides us with an interesting tidbit after the worlds most awkward sex ed talk, whether or not it's true. The scene with the talk and what he implies really shows how screwed up the whole system is. 

The love triangle is definitely developing as feelings have started to grow and change and various characters are starting to decide what they want. We still don't have answers about the mystery with Nisaka and Takasaki though and I'm getting quite impatient. I do feel like it's being dragged out a bit too much now, especially as I'm still waiting for things to really kick off with this series! 

Friday, 12 January 2018

Manga: Kigurumi Guardians Vol 3

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

Hakka's second year of middle school was dull as it could be, until a suspicious cow mascot ("kigurumi") shows up in her room, holding a sign that reads, "My Name Is Ginger." But this isn't (just?) a stalker, it's a magical being that's come to convince Hakka (and her friends) to become Guardians, and save the world! Hakka is understandably confused, until she's suddenly attacked, and a beautiful young man leaps in to save her. Can this handsome knight and the weird kigurumi be... one and the same?

The volume opens straight up with action as the choral competition begins and is soon gate crashed by the bad guys. Comfrey shows up with Lavender and he's actually kind of hilarious for a bad guy and I'm actually hoping to see more of him in future volumes! He could be a fun opponent for the gang! 

It's nice to see our trio have bonded and are acting like a team...and friends as they all hang out with Nobara in an effort to make her feel better. It's heartwarming and entertaining at the same time, thanks to all the banter and interactions. This volume shows how close they've become and how well they know each other and I love the friendship between all of them so much! 

There's a lot of focus on Nobara as the volume opens up, and Basilico gets a chance to let loose and go full badass. It's the most serious I've seen him so far and it's such a contrast to his usual personality! 

Chigaya hints at something to do with Hakka, something Ginger is keeping a secret and I'm trying to work out what it is, but I genuinely have no clue. It's a little thread of mystery running through the plot and then the reveal at the end left me shook!  

In actual fact it seems Ginger, Basilico and Fennel are all keeping something from Hakka, Nobara and Satsuki. So there's plenty more mysteries to be untangled in the upcoming volumes and I'm intrigued to see what bearing it'll have on the plot!

We get a glimpse of Satsuki's home life which provided some interesting insight in to his character, as well as showing us some of the relationship he has with Fennel...and more of Fennel in general. He's been the most mysterious so far of the three and I actually felt quite sad for the poor guy. I could really empathise with him and see where he was coming from. His life and character in general just really broke my heart this volume.

The volume starts with action and ends with action as our characters (except for Nobara and Basilico) are in a dire situation, and then we get left on an epic cliffhanger that Hakka?! What happened?! I can't even right now! 

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Manga: Waiting For Spring Vol 3

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

Mizuki is a shy girl who's about to enter high school, and vows to open herself up to new friendships. Of course, the four stars of the boys' basketball team weren't exactly the friends she had in mind! Yet, when they drop by the cafe where she works, the five quickly hit it off. Soon she's been accidentally thrust into the spotlight, targeted by jealous girls. And will she expand her mission to include... love?

Things are hotting up in the romance department! Kyosuke confronts Mitsuki about she and Aya after spotting them, like not really confronts but more like teases her a little bit! Although he does fully throw her under the bus later in the volume like the brilliant friend he is! I can't quite figure Towa out, but he does appear to be quite jealous, and he's definitely making his move....finally! Aya is kind of bugging me, possibly because I don't ship he and Mitsuki and I'm like 'yes okay...go away now!'. 

Mitsuki makes another friend this volume in Maki! Although she doesn't seem to realise that Maki is a love rival for her! Maki seems nice enough to be fair, and she and Mitsuki are quite fun together! They plan to do their best and keep trying which was sweet. I'm wondering how much of a misunderstanding she's going to cause and how much it's going to screw everything up though! 

Reina continues to be completely hilarious to me. Bless her. I wish I had the money for a camera lens like hers, I'm not going to lie. That's some heavy duty telescopic stuff right there! But she's exactly the kind of friend Mitsuki needs and she's helping her to be better and I live for their friendship! 

Ryuji bless him, tries to thank Mitsuki in his own gruff way which was kind of hilarious and I really need more of him and the two of them interacting! I love how all the boys act like her squad and are kind of like annoying older brothers at points, it's sweet! 

There's some cute and fluffy scenes between Mitsuki and Towa and it seems like we might be getting somewhere with this romance fiiinally! Like there's definitely developments but there's a misunderstanding possibly about to cause a snag, and then there's Aya. Aya is the ever present thorn in my ships side. Or should I say iceberg? Either way, there's incoming drama to offset the sweetness of the story!

The volume once again leaves me wanting more, I've yet to be disappointed by a volume. We get some basketball games in this volume, and they're drawn brilliantly! The volume and story in general are moving at a nice pace too, and there's always something happening. This is such a lighthearted, sweet series! 

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Manga: Wake Up Sleeping Beauty

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

High schooler Tetsu Misato is hardworking, frugal, and easily scared, but he commits to a part-time job at the mansion on the hill—the one that’s rumored to be haunted. As he toils away, he notices a building separate from the estate, and the mysterious girl who lives within it: Shizu Karasawa. Tetsu slowly becomes enchanted by Shizu’s lonely smile, but by their second encounter, he quickly finds himself in over his head. There’s an unsettling feeling he can’t quite shake, but there’s love there, too.

The bright colour pages draw you in, the art is well drawn too! Particularly the buildings and backgrounds. The characters are beautiful too! 

Tetsu is kind of relatable, at least for me, in a couple of different ways and you have to admire his work ethic and determination. He's all about the money which makes him seem kind of superficial until you realise there's a deeper meaning behind it and a purpose to it! I ended up quite admiring him by the end of the volume, and I want to know more about him! 

Shizu/ Harumichi is an interesting contrast as she's more laid back and kind of messes around and he doesn't so much. Well Harumichi is anyway! Actual Shizu we haven't seen much of yet, she seems quite shy and it's kind of adorable. I did enjoy the plot twist with her and her dual personalities! I didn't see it coming and I wasn't really sure what to expect to be honest! But then it turns out that it's not a personality disorder at all, but a really cool supernatural twist! 

This volume lays the groundwork for what's going to be an interesting and entertaining series. Tetsu is such a scaredy cat of all things supernatural, yet he finds himself in an unusual supernatural situation. Shizu and her personalities as it where, all contrast against each other interestingly. So far I really like Haru as well as Shizu and I'm intrigued to see if there's any other personalities to be met aside from her Grandfather. There's also some mystery thrown in about Tetsu's mother, and there's the heartwarming friendship blossoming between Tetsu and Shizu that could lead towards romance and probably will! It's certainly a fresh and interesting story so far! 

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Manga: Sword Art Online Calibur

Sword Art Online Calibur
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

The goddess Urd is in danger, and only Kirito and friends can save her! The evil frost giants have invaded her homeland of Jotunheim, bringing death and destruction in their wake. The linchpin of it all is the giant king's sword-the legendary weapon Excalibur! If Kirito's crew can make it to the end of the dungeon and pull the sword from the stone, peace will be brought to the land once more...!

As you may or may not be able to tell from the title of this volume, this is the manga version of the Excalibur arc of the anime, that was literally maybe two episodes! We get to explore more of ALO and there's plenty of Norse mythology scattered throughout, so for me, it was a winning combination!

The whole gang aside from Agil and a couple of the others set out on the quest for Excalibur! I'm a big fan of any story arc that lets us see some of the other characters in action and Klein cracks me up! Plus Sinon gets to be a total badass too! They all work so well together as a team. It was nice to see the story focus on all of them collectively working together and each getting their own moments rather than just focusing on one or two like usual. 

The story is well drawn, I really do love the art, and the battles where drawn cleanly. The volume is fast paced and there's lots of action, and fighting packed in, along with a lot of information. It may only be a quick side quest but it's well fleshed out and created and really drew me in to the plot and what was going on! I loved all of the little details thrown in, the mythology and the intricacy of the quest. I'd love to see more side quests like this in the story! 

Monday, 8 January 2018

Manga: Akame Ga Kill Zero 6

Akame Ga Kill Zero Vol 6
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Though their comrades deal a blow to the Oarburgh Clan, Akame, Kurome, and Natala remain at the mercy of Madam Mera, leader of the Oarburgh assassins. While she has no sympathy to spare for Natala--or any man, for that matter--she offers her female captives a chance to learn the truth. Recognizing Akame's doubts, Mera takes her around the Empire to see the suffering of its people firsthand, but will Akame be willing to open her eyes...? 

There's action from the start as we pick up where the last volume ended, but who's going to die this time? It being an Akame volume, I know probably everyone will...that and you know...I've read Akame Ga Kill! 

Baby Esdeath makes an appearance and I can't even with that glimpse of her! It was interesting to get a little bit more of her life story, and it was a nice touch overall as I'm forever curious about her. Surprisingly, Mera is the source of Akame's doubt this volume, regarding the Empire as she fills in Akame and Kurome as to what it's really like and what's really going on. I didn't see that coming. Like I know Chelsea is on her team so she can't be that bad or the bad guy or whatever but she's still pretty shady and has a villain vibe going on! 

Mera opens Akame's eyes, or tries to and we finally get to see what the turning point was for Akame...or the start of the turning point was anyway. She sees what the Empire has done to her sister as well as to the people and her thoughts wrestle with it all. We ultimately know what she'll choose but it's been interesting to see Akame's life before the original series, and how dedicated she was and her mindset throughout the whole thing and the struggle she went through. It's also been interesting to see the dark side of the Empire more. 

We get some nice character development too, or get to see more of how she came to develop in to the Akame we know as she's told to be calmer and so on. But we know what she ultimately ends up doing. Blanks are being filled in more and more and you're starting to get a fuller picture! There's some familiar Rakshasas faces too! 

I'm kind of oddly intrigued by Mera, she seems to be about to become Akames teacher/mentor, making her a better and stronger assassin but she's so creepy. This volume is definitely the turning point in the series, as Akames doubts grow and she sees evidence and so on and scratches beneath the surface, whether willingly or not. No-one dies in this volume shockingly enough, but we all know what happens to everyone so it's just a matter of time, and I can't decide if that's better or worse than not knowing. Like in the main series I'm always on edge and worried who they'll kill if anyone. In this one I'm tense waiting to see when the characters die. 

I'm intrigued to see how everything with Akame is going to play out in the next volume. Is she going to rebel straight away? Or is she going to go through with the escape and then switch sides later after something else happens...I can't tell! 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...