Friday, 31 August 2018

Review: Competence

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

Accidentally abandoned!

All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, the Spotted Custard, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fish tail.

When she uncovers rumors of a new kind of vampire, Prim and the Custard crew embark on a mission to Peru. There, they encounter airship pirates and strange atmospheric phenomena, and are mistaken for representatives of the Spanish Inquisition. Forced into extreme subterfuge (and some rather ridiculous outfits) Prim must also answer three of life's most challenging questions:
Can the perfect book club give a man back his soul?
Will her brother ever stop wearing his idiotic velvet fez?
And can the amount of lard in Christmas pudding save an entire species? 

I'm 99% sure that when I reviewed the previous book in this series, I was begging for there to be two new books?! Because originally...this was supposed to be a duology but Gail obviously heard my prayers and now we get two more books...and I couldn't be more thrilled! I think this series is my favourite after the original Parasol Protectorate series and I love the crew of the Spotted Custard! 

It would seem these next two books focus on Prudence's BFF Primrose rather than Rue herself, which I didn't actually realise. It's been a while since I read the other two and I had to scramble a bit to catch up and remember what the situation was! In an ideal world I'd have been able to have a nice little re-read! 

It was nice to get to see Prim front and centre this book and get to know her a bit better, she's Rue's partner in crime. I honestly really, really wanted to shake her throughout this book because she was being so blind and obtuse about Tash and even a bit rude honestly. It says a lot that Percy was the one talking sense, but I did like her journey of self discovery and coming to terms with who she really is as a person, and becoming less concerned with the done thing. I might not love her as much as Rue...I have to say. I did rather miss Rue's narrative voice. 

We get both Prim's POV and her brother Percy's, and Percy's was absolutely hilarious. I just found something about his narrative and his thoughts on the other characters completely hilarious. Plus he's relatable in the sense he's a book nerd and doesn't really like being around other people. He has to go to his library to recharge, as it where. 

All the characters I loved in the previous book are back, Tasherit the werecat who I really do love, she's such a badass and kind of adorable in her own little way. When she's not ripping people's throats out. I got to see my OTP Rue and Quesnel...I got all excited whenever I got to see a cute moment between the two of them, but it didn't stop me from wishing for more. They're going strong and they're still my favourite ship, but it did make me a bit sad we didn't get Rue's POV and get to see more of them. 

We also have Rodrigo. You might remember him from the previous book, he's Rue's cousin...casually tried to kidnap/murder her. He's now joined our gang and everyone is working to reform him via a book club. As you do. He goes from prisoner to finally being included as one of the crew, and it was nice to see that journey for him. He nearly killed Quesnel so I was a bit salty towards him for a while. But I did end up quite liking him. It was nice to see him get closer to Rue, they where quite alike in a few aspects! I also shipped him with Anitra a lot, and we got a lot more insight in to her because of it!  

The book is steadily paced as Prim saves the Spotted Custard by stealing some helium before they decipher a mission letter and head off to save a species of vampires that's dying out and is the last of its kind. Fat sucking vampires. That's definitely a new one. I kinda wish they existed. 

Gail does us a solid with the LGBTQ rep, we have an F/F romance, and a trans character. This book explores sexuality really well, and we see Prim struggling with her identity and sexuality and it was really well done, especially in this kind of setting. I loved seeing this kind of diversity in the book and Carriger certainly explore it thoroughly. My one issue is that while we got all of this, it seemed to be the main focus of the book, as such this book mostly focused on the romance. I was expecting this combined with the usual adventure, excitement and additional world building. But some of these things seemed to slip as the focus was on the romance. 

I really do love how well Carriger merges all of these elements, and like I said...I was excited to see so much diversity and representation in the just seems like other things where lost as a result of it instead of it being in combination with everything else I usually love about the books. I also think it took me a while to warm up to Prim and I still didn't quite love her as much as previous leading ladies in Carriger's books. She also got my back up a bit when she seemingly made a couple of digs at Rue. I usually blitz through her books in one read but it did take me a while to finish this book because a lot of the time there was Prim faffing about being a ninny about things rather than anything actually happening. We spent a lot of time on the journey to Peru, and then everything in Peru was wrapped up rather quickly. 

I was excited to se how Peru looked in the world of this book, with the supernaturals, as it's probably the closest I'll ever get to actual Peru, but I was a bit sad we didn't get to see more of it. The setting was vividly described and as usual the historical detail was mind blowing, I can't imagine the kind of odd and random things Gail had to Google/enquire about at the library in order to get everything spot on. I also enjoy reading about how the Spotted Custard works too! I can't imagine keeping all this kind of information in my brain. 

The usual sense of adventure does lack a bit, but there are bursts of action, the usual doses of humour, and a heavy amount of romance along with the new ships we get to ship! Carriger excellently explores identity and sexuality and provides plenty of diversity, plus there's a nice little twist at the end that heralds everything coming full circle in the final book and presumably wrapping up! I'm hoping for a return to Rue's narrative, and a return to the usual excellent mix of elements we usually get from Carriger, as the one disappointment was plot being forgotten to focus on romance. 

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Blog Tour: Cold Iron

Cold Iron
Rating: 3/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher 

Aranthur is a student. He showed a little magical talent, is studying at the local academy, and is nothing particularly special. Others are smarter. Others are more talented. Others are quicker to pick up techniques. But none of them are with him when he breaks his journey home for the holidays in an inn. None of them step in to help when a young woman is thrown off a passing stage coach into the deep snow at the side of the road. And none of them are drawn into a fight to protect her.
One of the others might have realised she was manipulating him all along . . . 

Cold Iron has a darkly intriguing opening, that's atmospheric and serves to draw you in. Then you meet our main character Aranthur....he's definitely an interesting main character. He's a farm boy and I particularly liked the fact there was none of the usual "Chosen One" trope or him being the best of the best. He purely happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and gets tangled up in certain events. I also found it intriguing that he initially struggled with killing a man for the first time. 

He isn't the best student, and he works hard. He has school work, a part time job on top of the happenings of the plot. He is relatable, but I did find him to be a bit selfish at points, but then again at the same time I suppose I can't really blame him. He gets dragged in to various different things by the people he meets, some of these relationships mean he gets dragged in to politics for instance. There's a political conspiracy that's threatening to bring about a war and of course our boy Aranthur finds himself getting caught up in it. He goes on a pretty interesting journey throughout the book, like the synopsis says it's a coming of age story. 

The world of the book is intriguing, not only the magic system but while our characters use the good old fashioned sword....there's guns starting to make an appearance too. I definitely got Medieval vibes from the world but like I said...guns. The weapons provide a nice amount of action, as Aranthur is still learning how to use a sword so we get some duels. As for the world was nicely done. 

The pacing was okay, I did find my mind wandering one or two times, but my main issue with the book which is possibly me being a bit sensitive or the fact that everyone referred to Aranthur's race of people...including our main character, as mongrels. I did side eye that word choice a bit. 

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Review: Smoke in the Sun

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

For weeks, seventeen-year-old Mariko pretended to be a boy to infiltrate the notorious Black Clan and bring her would-be murderer to justice. She didn't expect to find a place for herself among the group of fighters—a life of usefulness—and she certainly didn't expect to fall in love. Now she heads to the imperial castle to resume a life she never wanted to save the boy she loves.

Ōkami has been captured, and his execution is a certainty. Mariko will do what she must to ensure his survival—even marry the sovereign's brother, saying goodbye to a life with Ōkami forever.

As Mariko settles into her days at court—making both friends and enemies—and attempting Ōkami's rescue at night, the secrets of the royal court begin to unravel as competing agendas collide. One arrow sets into motion a series of deadly events even the most powerful magic cannot contain. Mariko and Ōkami risk everything to right past wrongs and restore the honor of a kingdom thrown into chaos by a sudden war, hoping against hope that when the dust settles, they will find a way to be together. 

I've been desperately anticipating this sequel ever since I absolutely devoured Flame in the Mist! I've been itching to get back to the world and the characters, and honestly this has a totally cracking opening. There's tension from the start thanks to Yumi, and it gets even more so with the following short POV before we rejoin Mariko. 

Mariko has changed so much since the first book, and I've been excited to see her enact her plan. She's got to be incredibly careful as she plays the games of the court and politics, and the ways she exerts her power are very subtle, as is the same for some of the other female characters. They have a quiet strength. Mariko is so intelligent and she's not afraid to do what she has to do to save and protect the people she cares about. I just completely love her character, and it was fascinating to see her in this new setting, playing by these new rules. We've seen bandit Mariko, now we see Lady Mariko. 

The multi-POV kept the story moving forward and kept us up to date with what was going on with various factions. It provided action in one POV before we switched to a POV that was all about the political manoeuvring. So we always have some tension, it's just different types. What really made the different POV's work was that each one brought new depth to the characters and new layers to the story. Kanako for example...I immediately labelled her villain in the first book, but when reading her POV it was hard to see her as such. It just brought more to her character, Kenshin too. 

Kenshin...I'm not sure how I feel about him. He's not in a good place and his relationship with Mariko has been so damaged that I don't think it'll ever be fixed which has made me quite sad. I do think Mariko might have been a bit over the top about the whole thing, he was having his mind messed with to be fair. But I do get her point overall. Kenshin crossed a line. At least it seems he may have got a happy ending. 

Roku....oh Roku. How he reminded me of Geoffrey from GoT. I wish his end had been a bit bloodier and more fitting for what he did but I can't really complain I guess. He was a suitable antagonist to bring everyone together. As for his brother Raiden...I wasn't really sure what to make of him at first, I had a certain idea of what he was going to be like but he's actually quite straightforward. He's loyal and he protects Mariko. He was actually a pleasant surprise, he tried his best to help the people and he knew Roku was wrong. 

The one thing I was sad about was the lack of Yumi in this book, but when we did I had to cheer a little because she finally got to go after what she wanted. She's just such a badass female character, and I was hoping for more of her. 

Smoke in the Sun has a steady pace as things pick up from the previous book, Okami obviously isn't in this one that much but we do get to find out a lot about his past and some questions are answered. We see a lot of court life and the backstabbing and silly games they play which I had no problem with because I'm in love with the setting for this book! The descriptions are so vivid I had a certain aesthetic and certain images in my head as I was reading. There's a lot of detail and presumably a lot of research has gone in to achieving this and it brings the setting and era to life. 

The romance takes a backseat for obvious reasons this book, and considering we had that in the first book I was so ready for the angsty separation, and the intrigue and drama of the court. There's plenty of action, danger and tension mostly thanks to Roku. you read about him you get a bad feeling that just continues to grow, and you're on edge as Mariko is playing her own dangerous game. Meanwhile the Black Clan are gathering resources and working out a plan of action. 

Smoke in the Sun pulls you in to a world that seems magical even if there's nothing magical happening. The female characters are quietly strong, exercising their power behind the scenes, and there's a nice level of tension and danger throughout the book. The multi POV's keep the story moving forward and keep it fresh while bringing new layers to the plot and characters. Overall Smoke in the Sun wraps the story up beautifully, with a nice mix of action, drama, romance and magic...with a nice splash of danger. It's hard to put down such a gripping book!

Friday, 24 August 2018

Light Novel: WorldEnd

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

Everyone wants to be remembered...Untold years after the strange Beasts drove humanity to extinction, Willem emerges from his slumber as the sole survivor. A new civilization of various other races has risen on the floating islands, but there'sno place for a featureless human among them. After aimlessly wandering for a time, Willem grudgingly accepts a job with the military, only to discover that the "weapons" he watches over are in fact young faeries. As he slowly learns more about the children and how they're linked to his past, the war with the Beasts grows increasingly desperate. When the girls prepare to fight a hopeless battle, is there anything a lone human can do...? 

Some of you who follow me on Twitter may recall that I watched the anime for this, and it completely had me bawling like a small child at the end. But at least I was forewarned by the first minute or so of the first episode. The light novel no warning whatsoever so I'm doing it instead...prepare yourselves for some heartbreak. 

I've been waiting and hoping one of the publishers would pick this up and translate this because there's only one season of the anime and it ends with some threads hanging and the only way to find out how it all finishes is with the novels and Yen Press have done us such a solid by doing this! 

The colour pages are completely gorgeous, with intriguing character introductions. I really liked the art, and the characters are so cute! Then again...that's kind of the point! The opening is kind of sad, and a little bit's a scene from the anime that was moved to further back in the show. We see a group going to fight against humanity's greatest threat...but it doesn't go to plan. Cue time skip to the present! 

Willem and Ctholly, our two main characters, open the book for us. The world of the book is definitely interesting, humans aka featureless, are looked down upon for basically destroying the world 500 years ago. They're shunned, they find it hard to get jobs and make a living and they're basically not really wanted in society. 

Willem is the only survivor from that, an Emnetwiht. He's not really living since 'waking up' and his friend Glick convinced him to take the job. With his new job, Willem finds himself working for the military and watching over weapons that turn out to be young faeries...aka leprechauns. A chance encounter see's Willem and Ctholly meeting, and he helps her find her way so she can fulfil her wish and have no regrets and she's, you guessed it, one of the young faeries he's soon to be looking after. 

Aside from Willem and Ctholly we have a brilliantly fun support cast. The other faeries, Nephren, Ithea etc, are fun and their interactions and banter with Ctholly are hilarious and realistic. The younger girls are amusing too, as is their fascination with Willem. We also have the troll who looks after them all and is kind of like a mother, Nygglatho. She's hilarious and fully threatens to eat them all, but underneath that she's very caring towards the girls and not at all happy with what life has dealt them. 

This volume is basically all Willem taking the job and him arriving at the island to discover just what it is he's looking after plus the heartbreaking truth about them. We get some world building and sprinkles of the past to add some intrigue. I mean, as soon as you find out what Ctholly's destiny is, that's probably the first clue this one's gonna hurt, the anime was just more in your face about it. 

This first volume has a steady pace as we get to grips with the world, it's history and how everything works. As well as finding out what Willem's deal is and what the situation is with Ctholly and the other girls. Willem has some intense flashbacks that allow us to see a decent amount of the past and where it all went wrong, and how the world in the present came to be, but he also knows more about the dug weapons than the girls and his knowledge could possibly help them, and save them. 

The volume has a feeling of tension and sadness scattered throughout. Willem's POV asking who am I? Nygglatho's shows her inner rage at the Officers about the girls fates, and then Ctholly's deadling hangs over us from the moment we learn about it. It's honestly a matter of time. Aside from all of that...there is some humour thanks to the other characters, and the younger girls, but also some potential sparks of romance between Willem and Ctholly. 

Volume One does a good job of setting everything up and getting us ready for the next book when the action will no doubt kick off. For now we meet the characters, learn about the world and how it and the magic works, and get all the necessary information that we need in place. The overall atmosphere is quite sad and bleak, with some sprinkles of humour and some heart warming moments. Then there's the ending....I that who I think it is!? Whaaat!? 

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Light Novel: Sword Oratoria 6

Sword Oratoria Vol 6
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Many will brave the Dungeon, if it lets them escape their past...Now that their big expedition is over, Loki Familia is headed to Port Meren in search of the rumored second entrance to the Dungeon. After arriving, everyone finally gets a chance to relax on the gorgeous beaches of the lakeside city, even if it's all thanks to their goddess's obviously ulterior motives. But before they settle in, a storm arrives! Kali Familia and their patron deity of carnage have made landfall, ready to stir up trouble. What's worse, there seems to be bad blood between them and the Amazon twins, Tione and Tiona! As sinister shadows darken Meren, the two sisters are forced to face their turbulent history! 

Volume 6 hits us with a creepily ominous opening, before we head to Loki Familia and everyone's levelling up post-expedition. Then the plot moves swiftly forward as the girls head to Port Meren for a little vacation, Tione, Tiona, Aiz, Lefiya, Riveria and the addition of Leene and Aki who we get to know more. It also turns out our Aiz has a weakness...she can't swim. Which may pose a slight problem in this new setting. 

I've been excited for this volume ever since I read the synopsis a while ago, because we get to see the world of the series expand and be built up more as we explore a new location with Loki Familia, who are searching for the second entrance to the dungeon to do some investigating after a new monster was sighted there. 

While initially we see the girls get to let loose and have some fun...and try to teach Aiz how to swim, it's not too long before the action really starts and it's Tione and Tiona's time to shine this volume as they utilise their dive skill to search underwater. But not only that...a lot of the focus this volume is on the two of them as some faces from their past pop up. Kali, a goddess, plus two more Amazon's, Bache and Argana, and Tione is definitely not happy to see them again. Tiona isn't quite as vehement/angry as her sister initially but then the two of them do contrast in behaviour. 

With the focus on our two Amazons this volume we finally get to delve in to their past, as we find out more of their background and history and where they're from. It's kind of made me look at them in a different way....more seriously perhaps? Tione has always been the girl hilariously after Finn but I definitely take her more seriously now. This volume also has a lot of focus on the bond between the two twins, Tiona is so much more than she first appears. She's always carefree and laughing but what she did to protect Tione is heart breaking. Meanwhile Tione is the one usually looking out for Tiona. I actually really enjoyed getting to delve in to their relationship and past, and see this other side to them and it was really brilliantly done. 

Alongside all of that, we get to meet a couple of new Gods, Njordor who's an old friend of Loki's and Ishtar. Plus we get to explore more of the history of Orario. We have a nice mystery woven in with what's going on with the Twins too. Loki and co are investigating the Viola's, but it seems Njordor and perhaps the Governor of the port are up to no good and hiding what's going on. Plus, it would appear Kali and her Amazon's are obviously there for a reason...other than making things difficult for the twins. It's not long before we figure out they're involved in Ishtar's scheme against Freya. 

This volume we build up the mystery, and build up the tension as pieces of the plot fall in to place, before edge of the seat, brutal fight scenes with Tione and Tiona literally fighting for their lives. Meanwhile Loki is getting all Sherlock on the scheme taking place in the port. I have to say, the scene at the end when all the other members, Bete, Finn etc, assembled and joined the chaos was brilliant and resulted in much cheering! I really just live for Bete and his snide attitude. 

The final part of the book is action packed and heart warming with it being reinforced that Loki Familia is a family, and they don't leave anyone behind. They've got everyones backs. It's a different feel to the main series because we have Bell and Hestia climbing up but their Familia isn't big, and doesn't have as many members etc. 

The final part of Volume 6 promises us a lot more action and tension as there's a scheme still to be played out and there's a new beast about to drop! 

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Manga: Sword Oratoria 4

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

Deep in the dungeon, the rogue town of Rivira is under attack by a new breed of monsters and it's up to the adventurers to defend it! Luckily, some of Loki Familia's best have the situation well in hand. But when Aiz faces-off with Hashana's murderer, she has a personal score to settle as well - why does this murderer know "Aria"!?After an unsettling defeat, Aiz's desire to level-up and become "strong" burns inside her more than ever, pushing her challenges in the Dungeon to the extreme. So her request that Finn and the others leave her behind in the lower levels must be for her singular goal...right? 

Volume 4 is off to a cracking start as there's an all out battle right from the beginning, and the pace is quick throughout as everyone is fighting and pulling off some insanely badass moves. I love how well drawn the battle scenes are, not to mention the magic circles and how this far in to the building is still being woven in.  

Finn and Riveria really kick some ass this volume! And you know...Aiz and the others too, but it was nice to see two of the older members getting their moment to shine. There's a rather ominous cut scene thrown in, if you can call it that and the Bad Guy seems to know about Aria? There's plenty of worrying developments, and little breadcrumbs dropped, to be honest. 

Unfortunately Aiz didn't get to question the Tamer/murderer about Aria, and she thinks if she'd been stronger she could have, so she's having a little bit of a crisis. Which provides us the perfect opportunity to get a glimpse of some of her memories...and you know...that gives us some more clues and adds to the mystery. 

Aiz and Riveria team up and remain behind in the Dungeon for an epically drawn and super tense, edge of the seat battle that see's Aiz push herself to her limits. It's nice to see that she does actually have limits. Not in a mean way, but everyone bigs her up so much, it's nice that she's not completely over powered etc. 

This volume leaves us with plenty of questions about Aiz and her past, but it does end with a cameo from Bell and a splash of humour to lighten up the tense volume! 

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Manga: The Saga of Tanya The Evil 3

The Saga of Tanya the Evil Vol 3
Rating: 3/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

At last, the long-awaited days of tranquility are here! Tanya begins attending war college, where she spends her time feasting in leisure. But who would've thought that a conversation with General von Zettour would lead to another turn of events...! Will her days of delicious bread and clean bed sheets come to an end? 

Tanya, Tanya, Tanya. When will you learn that every time you speak and try to weasel your way to the end up doing exactly the opposite?! She's determined to get to the rear track but she just keeps digging herself a bigger and bigger hole, and it's genuinely hilarious. Especially when you can see the thoughts of the other officers as well as hers and how they're really not lining up how she wants. They see her as some determined, dedicated, ruthless, badass. 

Tanya does do something that she probably shouldn't have this volume....she uses her real world knowledge to plant the idea of a World War in everyone's minds. I'm not sure what's going to happen with that, or how it's going to go down but I kind of wanted to smack her one. 

Tanya gets given more responsibility this volume, but it remains to be seen what she'll do with it. Interestingly we slip ahead to the future?! And we see a group attempting to piece together the "eleventh goddess" who I'm assuming is Tanya, as they try to work out who she is, what she was doing and so on. I'm really curious about this direction in the storytelling. Is it there at the end to keep our interest? Is it going to carry on and provide some clues to the direction of the story? Either way it's an interesting choice and I'm assuming we're going back to Tanya for next volume.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Review: Smoke and Iron

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

The opening moves of a deadly game have begun. Jess Brightwell has put himself in direct peril, with only his wits and skill to aid him in a game of cat and mouse with the Archivist Magister of the Great Library. With the world catching fire, and words printed on paper the spark that lights rebellion, it falls to smugglers, thieves, and scholars to save a library thousands of years in the making... if they can stay alive long enough to outwit their enemies. 

Fair warning, prepare yourselves for a bumpy ride this book, overall we're preparing for the grand finale of the series in the next book and everything is leading up to that, but the book itself is quite explosive on it's own. 

Picking up from where we left off in the previous book, and Jess is playing quite the dangerous game. His POV honestly had me feeling so tense and on the edge of my seat waiting for something to go wrong. Things are really heating up this book and the stakes are high, seeing as how pretty much everyone is in danger at one point or another. 

Along with Jess's POV, our main POV's are Khalila who gets her time to shine as she becomes the leader of the little group that is Dario, Santi, Thomas and Glain. I have to say, I'm really excited with where her story is going, I've been hoping for bigger things for her throughout this series and it seems like Caine is coming through. We also have Wolfe's POV which is quite dark, and Morgan. I really loved how the multi POV was utilised for this book. 

We have a lot going on, it's all go from page one as each POV has a plan or goal to achieve and we see things being set in motion, threads woven in and the plan start to come together. We have the same POV for a few chapters, before switching to another POV for the next part and it really keeps you reading. We have piratical action from one group, more subtle, insidious plotting from others and the swift changes keeps the pace moving along so there's never a dull moment. 

Then when we hit the final part of the book and the Feast of Greater Burning things step up even more, as we get Thomas, Santi and Glain as well as the previous POVs. 

I love getting to see different parts of the world and how they've been changed by the Library, and subtly twisted to fit this world, and this time we get to see Spain, not as much of it as we got to see Philadelphia but we do get to explore it a little. 

Our characters have been through a lot already but even in this book they still have more to get through. Khalila is becoming more and more a leader and she's not the only character to still be changing. Wolfe faces the darkness and so does Santi in his own way. As for Jess and his brother...I feel like their relationship has come a long way, and they make an excellent team and I did enjoy seeing them team up. 

The pace is steady, building up towards the action at the end and the turning point of the series with sprinkles of action, deceit and betrayal throughout. The ending is certainly explosive but after being built up so much...perhaps a tad quick. But ultimately it wraps up some plot threads and weaves new ones in as one situation is partially under control...but there's trouble coming, one loose thread to deal with and things still need to be resolved. 

Manga: SAO Alternative Gun Gale Online 2

Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online Vol 2
Rating: 3/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Karen is living her best life, getting to play as her cute chibi avatar Llenn in the VR game Gun Gale Online. She becomes fast friends with mysterious woman Pitohui, who invites her to an in-game event called the Squad Jam. But Karen won't be teamed up with her new friend-instead she gets paired with the stern and silent M. Not 10 minutes into the event, they get surrounded by a hail of gunfire! Will they be able to hold their own as a two-man team against squads with actual military training...? Hey, wasn't this supposed to be just a game?! 
We rejoin the story in the Squad Jam. Llenn and M make quit the brilliantly strategic team. He has all the tactics and experience...particularly real world experience, and she's not exactly an idiot either. I find it interesting to see how they'll strategise their way out of various different sticky situations. They really do work well together. 
There's plenty of action and tension in this volume as they face off with a team of professionals as well as a second team out of the three remaining. The volume has a fast pace as we see them face down both teams before about to have the final showdown with the remaining team. At present the only story we're focusing on is the Squad Jam and Llenn and M hopefully winning it, but there isn't really much else to this series so far and I'm not sure how long it can go on with nothing else to pique your interest. I know there's a bit of a mystery around Llenn's other friend but we're yet to see that. So far we're just seeing Llenn and M dispatching various opponents, and while the volume is the same time it does seem a bit too easy. 
This volume has plenty of action to keep the plot moving forward, and the gun fight scenes are excellently drawn. The tactics are brilliant and it's not even just limited to Llenn and M, but the other teams as well. But there's not really much else I can say about this volume. 

Friday, 17 August 2018

Manga: Sacrificial Princess and the King of Beasts 2

Sacrificial Princess and the King of Beasts Vol 2 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

When an array of rival princesses descends upon the palace, Sariphi gains an unlikely ally in the princess of the reptile clan. A hopeless romantic, Princess Amit is determined to push her erstwhile sacrifice friend into the king's arms! But even with Amit cheering her on, will Sariphi be able to carry out the absurd set of tasks Chancellor Anubis concocts to prove she is worthy of being queen...? 

This volume we have all the Princesses present and vying for the King's attention. Princess Amit is literally the only likeable one. Seriously. Bless her, she soon becomes fast friends with Sariphi which was nice to see because Sariphi kind of doesn't have any friends. It's good that she has someone in her corner, to talk things through with. Because of Amit, Sariphi makes a few breakthroughs with her feelings this volume too. 

Aside from Amit, we also meet a new member of the King's court, Jormungand who's the Captain of the Royal Guard. I ship he and Amit so much, I'm not going to lie. They're so cute together! As for Vivian..she's back and she's still up to her shady tricks. She's even nastier than before actually, but praise the Lord she finally gets hers! 

Anubis....I'm so concerned about him. He is most definitely up to something to keep his position secure along with the Council, and of course he wants to secure the Kings position too. Anubis and the Council decide to make things difficult for Sariphi, they basically say they'll only accept her as the Queen Consort if she meets their conditions. Their conditions are impossible and more than a little bit unfair. I feel like Anubis is treading on some very thin ice with the King because the King knows the conditions are all Anubis' idea and he just keeps pushing it. 

I get Anubis wanting to secure his position, but I'm really not liking him anymore. I kind of want to smack him one. I think he's up to more than just these conditions/trials and he allegedly does everything to protect the King...but does he really? He just gets shadier with each volume. 

Luckily Sariphi has a Holy Beast to help her out...unfortunately Bennu is a foul mouthed, basically grumpy old man in baby Phoenix form. He's an entertaining addition but I'm not sure how much help he'll be or if he's just another cute sidekick. 

The volume is well paced, and Sariphi is coming more in to her own. She's pretty determined to succeed and she starts to believe in herself and what she wants more in this volume, and gets the King to believe in her too. I feel like her character has made some progress in the right direction. The Trials are far from over though, and there's clearly a lot more in store. 

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Manga: Compulsive Gambler 6

Compulsive Gambler Vol 6
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

The gambling games continue...and this next game has truly lethal consequences. Will Yumeko be able to figure out its secrets in time to keep from losing her life?
Sayaka has had just about enough of Yumeko Jabami! The student council secretary wants to rid the school of Yumeko's poisonous influence once and for all, so the president sets the stage for the craziest gamble yet-the enigmatic Tower of Doors! Will Sayaka's cold logic triumph over Yumeko's chaos? 
This volume really steps up the crazy, we're gambling again this volume, obviously, but we're not playing a card game or a regular kind of gambling game. This one's a race in a tower of doors and the loser has to throw themselves off the top. Lovely. I actually felt quite proud of myself for figuring out how it worked before Yumeko did for once! 
I still can't figure out the Student Council President, she seems to be loving all of this. It's her secretary Sayaka that's had enough and she's the one playing against Yumeko...for their lies. The President seems to actually be getting on quite well with Yumeko, they seem to get each other and I'm not sure if we're about to see a blossoming friendship between the two or not. 
Interestingly this volume mixes things up a bit, and we get mostly Sayaka's POV, which made it all the more tense because we can't see how Yumeko's doing except for in very brief flashes, and it didn't look good at any point. I was actually thinking, "Okay. This is it. This is where she comes unstuck. RIP Yumeko." We've all learned at this point that Yumeko isn't necessarily going to win. 
Sayaka was a pretty good POV, she provided plenty of interesting information as we follow her solving the puzzles. She really is quite intelligent and we get to see her background and her past with the President some more which explains a lot about her character. Let's be real though, she's a bit creepy. She has some serious feelings for the President but she's just a tad creepy with them. 
Volume 6 is pretty tense, but at the same time it feels like the calm before the storm. Especially as end with a bomb drop from the President that's going to send things crazy in the next volume! But of course Yumeko's going to love it! I am curious as to how far this series will go, and I'm waiting for Yumeko to take down the President.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Manga: Bungo Stray Dogs 7

Bungo Stray Dogs Vol 7
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Atsushi-his confidence shot thanks to Q's mental assault-is finally caught by the Guild, due to Fitzgerald's sheer physical might and Alcott's abilities. Q, left to his own devices, turns his eyes toward his next target-Lovecraft, a Guild skill user shrouded in mystery. Soon, the Guild's scheming turns the promised land of Yokohama into a sea of flames-and Atsushi is forced to stand strong once more! 

We wrap up the action from the last volume...before a new problem is presented in the form of the totally creepy Q. He's rather excellently really shows the crazy! I have to say the pace on this series is getting better and better. 

Poor old Atsushi is determined to protect everyone but he's the one facing down Q. I did quite like Dazai's ominous comments running parallel to the reveal of Q and his battle with Atsushi, it added another level of tension and danger to the event. Unfortunately Atsushi ends up a little bit broken by Q and his power and faces quite the struggle with himself as he needs to overcome it. 

Meanwhile Dazai decides to bring the government in to it. So we meet government agent Ango, he's part of the Special Division for Unusual Powers. Fun guy....he gives us an ominous message and it seems the Guild are above the law and basically untouchable, according to his information. 

Fitzgerald is also back this volume, and makes his move coming after Atsushi but luckily Kyouka chooses that moment to make her grand return. Unfortunately she ends up in a tricky spot of her own. Interestingly after Atsushi's kidnapping we get a small time jump of a week, to keep things moving along nicely. 

We get a lot more of the Guild this volume, which I'm living for because I love seeing authors I know and have read, or loved or hated their books because I had to do them at school! I love seeing what their power is and how it relates to their books. Good old Fitzgerald has his little dastardly plan to enact to. Basically everything goes from bad to worse in this volume. 

Like I said, this volume has an excellent pace, and there's plenty of action with a nice amount of focus on the Guild, as well as some other elements being brought in like the government division and some struggles for the characters. We end the volume with a nice amount of despair and a plan involving a team up that I've been screaming for since day one! It's going to be really exciting to see this play out, and things are definitely stepping up! 

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Manga: The Royal Tutor 8

The Royal Tutor Vol 8
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Kai makes a friend at school and invites him over to the palace for tea. He asks his brothers for help in making conversation, but is that really such a good idea...? Then it's a battle of wits when Heine joins the princes (and princess!) for a game in the courtyard. After all the time they've now spent under his tutelage, can the students finally overcome the master? 

Well...things have definitely gotten interesting this volume! The Princes threw down the gauntlet to their older brother, Eins, last volume and we're seeing a continuation of them working hard and pushing themselves because of that. 

Leonhards had a bit of a rough ride being mocked last volume and struggling, so it was nice to see him shine at fencing and get praised and just generally have his confidence boosted. Until Maximilian  that is...although it was nice to see more of him too! He and Ludwig are always lurking in the background and I do love it when they interact with the Princes! 

We get a new character this volume, Elmer, who's Kai's first friend! I honestly felt just as proud as the palace staff at this development. The new volume starts off with some entertaining chapters before digging in for the serious stuff in the final two. 

It was a matter of time before someone found out about Licht, let's be honest, and we see one of his brothers become suspicious about his activities. Not to mention Eins and Rosenberg showing up to stick their noses in too. 

I'm really intrigued by Licht and how his story arc is going to go, he's had his eyes opened to the way things can be and he's looking at different options he can have and different things to aspire to be, and he's actually having a little bit of a crisis this volume. Not to mention he clashes with one of his brothers. He goes on quite the journey of self discovery, basically. 

The part that had me screaming was the final page, because of course Rosenberg as to show up, shady AF like "let me help you my dude, one less person in the way for Eins". We all know Rosenberg helping Licht will not end well at all, and we're left on that cliffhanger. 

The plot is moving forward with the Princes determined to challenge Eins, and working out what exactly it is that they want for themselves and their futures in some cases. We also get to examine the Princes and their feelings in more detail, and they've all come such a long way since the first volume, and think about things more. This volume is obviously focused on Licht though, it's pretty natural that he's the first to really think about his options for the future when he's been exposed to a different way of life! 

Monday, 13 August 2018

Manga: Akame Ga Kill 15

Akame Ga Kill Vol 15 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

The battle for the Empire rages on, with huge losses on all sides. While the Emperor's monstrous Supreme Teigu pummels Tatsumi-and anyone else unfortunate enough to be in its path-Esdeath makes her final stand against Akame and the Revolutionary Army's last regiment of teigu wielders. Terrible sacrifices have been made to give Night Raid this chance, and more will be demanded before the battle is through. With the hopes of the people resting on Night Raid's shoulders, the future of the Empire will be decided in the final volume of Akame ga KILL! 

This is it folks, it's finally here....the FINAL volume of Akame ga Kill, and it's hugely chunky! There's even some special illustrations, and honestly it's been a long road with this one and considering how the anime ended...I knew things would end differently in the manga..but I wasn't sure what was going to happen! 

This volume picks up right when we left off. The Emperor has gone full psycho and honestly, I never liked the kid. I thought he was a total idiot but I didn't think he was fully capable of what he's done. Kurome however, has surprised me pleasantly this volume with her little speech to Wave, she's changed quite a bit, and I really cheered for him because I'm so here for the Tatsumi/Wave team up! 

I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through as one by one, each of the bad guys was taken down and  have never been more satisfied with a characters death as I was with the death of Minister Honest. He came to a brutal, bloody and well deserved end and I loved it. 

Honesty this volume is action packed right up until the last chapter, with brilliantly drawn fight scenes and there's still a few twists left to keep us on our toes. The death scenes are brutally and gruesomely drawn, but you can't say the characters didn't have it coming. Well...the bad ones anyway. There's a few character deaths I was hoping we could avoid but nope. The one thing I will say, is that while there's fewer character deaths than the anime, there's still barely any of our group left, and some of them do hurt a little bit. 

I enjoyed the way the series was wrapped up, we find out what happened to the characters after everything went down, and how the Empire ended up and it was actually a really satisfying end. 

Volume 15 is a wild ride of a final volume, I laughed. I cheered. And I even choked up a little bit at what happened to some of my favourite characters. 

Friday, 10 August 2018

Manga: Wake Up Sleeping Beauty 5

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

Every moment spent with friends who care has gradually brought Shizu Karasawa out of her shell. So when her father plots to isolate her in a hospital, Tetsu has no choice but to take Shizu and run. With no place left to go, the two head to the beach where Tetsu's maternal grandfather runs a lodge. But Tetsu's rash decision dredges up a former tragedy that could tear his family apart, and even drive Shizu away... When the Karasawa family's fraught relationships catch up to her, a surprising enemy may become Shizu's most-needed advocate. 
After the events of last volume, Tetsu and Shizu have run away to the beach, or specifically to Tetsu's grandfather and his B&B. This volume has a really nice pace to it, and I actually thought it was kind of an emotional volume too. Shizu and her mother have a lot of issues that they deal with in this one, and Tetsu and his family deal with theirs. There's also a mind blowing, yet heartbreaking reveal about Tetsu's mother. I feel like I should have seen it coming! 
After some intriguing flashbacks I kind of get where Shizu's father is coming from...but it doesn't make his actions any less wrong. I'm hoping we'll see him sort himself out next volume. With this volume it seems we're steaming towards a happy ever after for our two main characters, with issues being resolved left, right and centre. Although it seems things with the ghosts will be resolved pretty soon too, and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that. 

Manga: School of Horns

School of Horns Vol 1
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

In a world where horns are the defining trait of magic beings, larger horns mean more powerful magic! Eru, a freshman at a school for magic, is self-conscious about how tiny his horns are compared to those of his new classmates -- Not only is his magic so weak it is barely noticeable, but things have a habit of going awry when he is around. He is the complete opposite of Rihito, one of the top students of their grade with exceptionally strong magic...who is Eru's roommate!? And already seems to hate him!? 
With their continued encounters, will Eru continue to discover just how inferior his strength is? Or maybe, he just might find some power of his own... 
I had to pick this series up you guys, I had to. It sounded so fun and I couldn't resist the art! The colour pages are totally gorgeous and the character designs and pastel colour palette are equally so.  
The magic system was intriguing, with different horns having different powers, and I was fascinated by the world of the book and how it all works! I'm still eager to learn more about it and explore it and the powers a bit more! We have such an interesting bunch of characters too!
 I have to say, I felt so bad for our main character Eru, with his little baby horns! As for Rihito....why so mean dude? He's like Grumpy Cat when it comes to Eru, and he takes everything so seriously! In contrast, Mone is cute and she's going to be a much needed friend to Eru! Reo was equally as cute, and was bright and cheery and offset grouchy Rihito nicely. He also happens to be a twin, and he's quite positive about Eru and mildly supportive like Mone. Then we have Noin who's power is alchemy and he's the quiet and mysterious one of the group. The characters come together brilliantly, and provide a fun cast, and plenty of intriguing and humorous interactions. 
We do have that one not nice character though...Haruto. He has a few issues, shall we say. I don't particularly like him. 
I have to say, I got some serious Harry Potter vibes from this. The school reminded me of Hogwarts, there's four different horn types and you get a different power for each one (heart, space, diamond and club), plus Haruto was a little bit like the Malfoy to Eru's Harry! 
School of Horns is a lot of fun, it made me laugh, cackle, and it's hugely entertaining with the world to get to know and all the ins and outs of it, plus the characters that populate it who are quite the eclectic bunch. This first volume introduces us to the world, the characters and how everything works with a brilliant pace because once we're adjusted to the school and Rihito's loosened up a bit, we get thrown an interesting mystery that heralds the arrival of the Bad Guy. It's successfully caught my interest and piqued my curiosity about it, and I'm actually quite excited about this one!

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Manga: Kiss Me At The Stroke of Midnight 6

Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight Vol 6
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Hinana prizes her reputation as a serious high school student, too focused on getting into college to pay attention to boys. But she's a secret fairytale romance freak, sneaking away from her studies to see A Roman Holiday and tucking pop idol magazines into her textbooks. When her celebrity crush comes to her school to film a TV episode, she has to pretend to be totally uninterested even as she desperately tries to get close to him. However, she's not the only one who's not what she appears... her dreamboat isn't just a pretty face either! 
I'm not going to lie...I was anticipating a lot of drama being wreaked by Shū but in actual fact that little plot thread is wrapped up pretty swiftly at the beginning of this volume, after the two girls spend some time together. I can't decide if I'm disappointed about that or not. But I did end up actually quite liking Shū and the fact she's on Kaede's side could come in handy because his ex bandmate Mitsuki isn't going to let things go. 
As Mitsuki tries to make Kaede's life miserable once again, we get more hints and clues as to what happened as we see more of Kaede's past with Funny Bone. At this point the mystery is kind of driving me crazy and I'm not sure what to expect, but they dropped a pretty big bomb to do with it. 
We also see a somewhat different side to Ayami this volume...which was interesting. So far we've seen Kaede and Hinana's relationship start, build up and develop over the course of the series as well as being tested, and now it looks like we're about to get the story behind Funny Bone and Kaede's falling out. Seriously...Kaede's all ready to spill everything at the end of this volume and then it's like "lol see you next volume", which is completely unfair, leaving us hanging like that!

Manga: Akame Ga Kill Zero 7

Akame Ga Kill Zero Vol 7
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Mera's carefully guided tour of the Empire has opened Akame's eyes to the suffering of its people. However, the Oarburghs' loose alleigance to whoever pays them is an even less-palatable philosophy than that of the Rebel Army. Up until now, Akame has resisted Mera's advances--professional and intimate--but with her captor's patience running thin and her sword out of reach, Akame will have to rely on a whole new set of skills if she wants to survive! 

I think it's safe to say Akame's eyes have been opened to the Empire now, but that doesn't mean she wants to hang about with Mera so she's still hellbent on escape. The Oarburgh's basically work for whoever has the money, unlike the Rebel Army, so despite what Mera says and has shown her...they aren't the best people either. 

This volume see's this particularly story arc moving forward as it's finally time for the others to break out Akame and Kurome....who are perfectly willing and capable of escaping themselves. Akame is totally ready to go up against Mera too! As is usual with this spin off, we see some familiar faces which is always fun! Especially now the main series has come to an end!

With an excellent pace, Vol 7 builds up the tension throughout until the battle finally kicks off. Akame herself kind of...evolves as an assassin. She watches Mera, puts her full trust in her instincts that she honed, and her thoughts, beliefs and mental state in general are changing. 

While the volume starts with tension and builds it up, the remaining chapters are full of action and really intense battles. Despite the fact that you know Akame basically can't die in this series, there are plenty of other characters who can so it still has you on the edge of your seat. We all know this author isn't shy about killing characters off brutally. I'm really loving putting all the pieces together, and seeing what exactly happened to make Akame turn, and when she started to turn. We're also starting to see glimpses of the Akame we know from the main series! 

Things are really starting to good, after the events of this's going to be interesting to see what Akame is going to do next! 

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Blog Tour: Jinxed

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

Lacey Chu has big dreams of becoming a companioneer for MONCHA, the largest tech firm in North America and the company behind the  "baku" - a customisable smart pet that functions as a phone but makes the perfect companion too. When Lacey finds out she hasn't been accepted into Profectus - the elite academy for cutting edge tech - it seems her dreams are over. Worst of all, rather than getting to choose one of the advanced bakus, she’s stuck with a rubbish insect one. 

Then, one night, Lacey comes across the remains of an advanced baku. Once it might’ve been in the shape of a cat but it’s now mangled and broken, no sign of electronic life behind its eyes. Days of work later and the baku opens its eyes. Lacey calls him Jinx – and Jinx opens up a world for her that she never even knew existed, including entry to the hallowed halls of Profecus. Slowly but surely, Jinx becomes more than just a baku to Lacey – he becomes her perfect companion. But what is Jinx, really? His abilities far surpass anything written into his code or built into his motherboard. He seems to be more than just a robotic pet. He seems ... real. 

If you've read my blog before...or my Twitter...or my Instagram...then you'll know that I freaking LOVED the Potion Diaries series. Seriously, loved, loved, loved it and I was so sad it was only a trilogy. But then I heard whispers...whispers that Amy was working on a new book and I climbed out of my post-Potion Diaries despair to start getting hyped up for it...and now it's finally here! Jinxed is upon us and I was lucky enough to get to review it for you guys as part of this blog tour! 

I went in with high expectations, I expected it to be original, different, fun and hugely entertaining. Much like the Potion Diaries...and I wasn't at all disappointed. 

Honestly...the prologue isn't even here to play, we're straight in with some action and tension and it's like you could see it playing out on a screen in front of you. It immediately grabbed my interest and I settled down with the book like, "Okay, here we go. Goodbye to the next few hours of my life, it's time for my bum to fuse to the sofa". 

My first impression of the Bakus was those toys you used to be able to know the ones? The poo-chi? You could get a cat too! It's a really bad comparison because they're nothing alike, but genuinely...that's what sprang in to my head initially! The baku's are like...a waaaaaaaaaay better version of that. It's literally like if an iPhone was animal shaped, sort of? Wow I'm bad at explaining this! 

Anywaaaay, the Baku's and the world of the book in general are actually really believable, with how technology is growing and advancing...I can genuinely see Apple coming out with something like this. But with none of the perks that Moncha have. I'd have to get a new one every two years and if you don't it'd probably malfunction and try to eat you or something. Funnily enough the "vets" sounded eerily like Apple Store employees. 

Amy gives us a brilliant cast of characters! Lacey, our MC, is relatable, she works hard and has plenty of determination. The fact she had to sit and work out what to do now her dream was over really resonated with me on a personal level, but she pushes on and keeps striving for what she wants.  She puts everything in to achieving her dream. 

Jinx, Lacey's Baku, is a sassy yet sarky little sod. That was my initial impression, and then he had a few creepy moments when he came out with certain lines! I have to say, Jinx is actually a really good friend to Lacey, he encourages her, helps her, pushes her...and ribs her like any good friend would! I really felt for him when he was trying to figure out who he is, what he is, who created him etc. 

Zora was a lot of fun, I need more Zora! She's a coding genius and she needs some more confidence in her skills...but then I can't talk! I loved her relationship with Lacey and how she picked her up and helped her move forward. Tobias...I wasn't too sure of him at first, but he actually turned out to be a good guy, and his family situation...isn't the best! The romance isn't the main focus of the book at all, there's way more going on, but the little bit of it that there totally cute and I love Tobias and Lacey as a couple! 

Carter....what an a-hole. I genuinely spent a chunk of the book thinking he'd be redeemed at some point but...nah. I have an aversion to anyone who gets handed things on a silver platter without working for them, and so he immediately riled me up....and then he continued to be such a nasty character. Honestly I just need him to go away. 

There are plenty of other fun side characters to help flesh out the school and the world of the book, Jake, Kai, River, Ashley, Paul who's Lacey's locker dwelling friend (and I'm telling you he's more than he seems, my book nerd senses are tingling), and plenty more! 

The setting was intriguing, it's a modern, familiar kind of setting, but obviously with more advanced tech...way more advanced tech. The world doesn't seem too far in to the future! I loved reading about it, and coming across all the little details Amy threw in. The Baku Battles kind of reminded me of Pokemon!? Plus the school really reminded me of Google HQ from that movie, The Internship! 

The more I read, the more I hard the story of what's currently going on at Moncha...the more I felt like something was off. Aside from the prologue and what Jinx obviously is, I mean! I just really felt things where off with Moncha, and there was more going on under the surface. I honestly thought the story was going to go one way, but then the twists came out of nowhere and went in a different direction. There are plenty of surprising twists as well as the previously mentioned smidge of romance! Amy certainly keeps us on our toes! 

I feel like Jinxed introduces us to the world, the tech and the characters, shows us how things currently stand and so on...and gets us fully invested in Lacey and her journey as well as Jinx ...while throwing out little breadcrumbs hinting at bigger things. There's mysteries to be solved in this book, but Jinxed as a first book, I feel is just scratching the surface. Getting us lulled in to a false sense of security ready for things to get even wilder in book two. We've got Lacey's father...what's going on at Moncha...Jinx...and it all slowly builds up the sense of things being shady, builds up the tension, and then hits us at the end of the book. 

Don't get me started on the end of the book...that cliffhanger ending. It's just not okay to leave me hanging like that?! I honestly didn't think Amy would do that to us. Not even just the things to do with Moncha, but that very last scene. It's simultaneously creepy and super tense. I was screeching and searching for the next chapter, but Amy's like "see you next time kids!". *Luke Skywalker scream* 

Jinxed is excellently paced and excellently written, with the world layering up around you as each new little bite of information is placed in the plot. The fantastic characters, and original and intriguing world keeps you reading, not to mention the plot that keeps throwing things at you when you least expect it, while all the while you feel like this book is leading you up to something big, and it keeps you turning the pages! Then you know...leaves you screaming at the ending! I've been so excited for this book, and it's exactly what I was hoping it would be...and more! 

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