Thursday, 31 January 2019

Manga: Aoharu X Machinegun 13

Aoharu X Machinegun Vol 13 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Star White, five-time champions of the TGC, hit the battlefield for their first match! Even though the odds heavily favor the enemy, Midori shows off his unbelievable skills to turn the tables! Meanwhile, as Toy*Gun Gun's second match approaches, Midori's and Mattsun's reliance on their old guns eats at Yukimura, who fears the two might go back to being a team like they once were. And his fears, unfounded or otherwise, spell disaster for Toy*Gun Gun... 

The time has finally arrived for Star White's battle, thus there is plenty of action as we go in to the volume that carries on throughout. We also get in to the lore/history/whatever you want to call it, of the TGC battles a little bit. Interestingly, thanks to Star White's battle we get a bit of a change from all the guns as we have a battle of guns VS knives, although Midori does prove to be quite versatile if not a bit.....ragey. This volume does well to keep things fresh and stop the battles from getting boring as we get some new and different terrains and kinds of battle. 

Poor old Yukimura has it a bit rough this volume after someone messes with his head. He starts to obsess about why Midori is still using the guns he bought with Matsuoka, along with Matsuoka using the guns he bought with Midori. Considering Matsuoka is basically his only friend, I did really feel for Yukimura and I got where he was coming from, even if I wanted to shout at him to focus. Especially as, thanks to an unexpected twist, he and Tachibana were in the spotlight. 

Oddly enough, I ended up slightly rooting for 11 Dogs as we got to know them a lot better via flashback! The majority of the volume had me tense and on the edge of my seat right up until the end because I am well aware that there's no guarantee Toy Gun Gun will actually win, and I so badly wanted them to win this one but...things kept happening! 

While the first two battles may be over in this volume, we've still got the unresolved issue of Matsuoka...and who our winning teams will be facing next. I feel like the action is plentiful this volume, but the plot and background steps up too! More than just the fighting and the TGC, you feel for the teams as you get to know each one. 

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Manga: Mermaid Boys 3

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

Love gets messy for Prince Naru when his bubbly fiancée Moana suddenly appears...with legs?! Mermaid or human, it's not the first time a girl's chased after the hot merprince, but there's a bigger problem-they must form a bond or she'll turn into foam! Naturally he's only got eyes for Nami, but he can't just leave Moana to her fate...not when he's the one who led her on in the past. Meanwhile, after learning of Naru's feelings, Moana realizes it'll take more than a confession to get his attention, and approaches a familiar figure for help...who is Arashi?! 

Last volume saw us end with a little surprise....that being that Moana has popped up with the same conditions as Naru, but we all know that Naru can't return her feelings. Which leaves things for her looking a little bleak to be honest. But when it comes to Nami...the jealousy is real, even if she refuses to admit or acknowledge it, so at least things are looking hopeful for Naru. 

Poor old Moana, however, has to move in with Arashi and I ship it already. I see a solution to everyone's problems, and I'm completely jumping on it. 

One thing I particularly liked this volume, was getting to see a different side of Naru thanks to Moana and her memories. Turns out he can be quite sweet and kind. Plus we get a fun bonus story in this volume that lets us see a connection between our two main characters which was...interesting. I liked that it added more to the romance between the two of them. 

As for the plot, it moves forward a little this volume. We meet Riko who's in the same situation as Naru and we get to see what happens when the bond is formed and what should happen to Naru if he ever gets there. But more importantly, things take a turn towards the end of the volume and rim appears to be about to join the party. Things are looking a little bit desperate for Naru's kingdom but Rim should fill him right?! 

While we don't move that much further, and the thing with Moana is resolved quite quickly, there are some hints to Namis' feelings, but this volume seems to be filling in some background and showing us what'll happen to Naru if he's successful which hits home when we see more of Mellow and his plan as well as giving Naru some confidence to go for who he wants. I'm looking forward to getting to know Rim, although....just how many of them are going to end up turning in to sea foam?! 

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Manga: Royal Tutor 10

The Royal Tutor Vol 10
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Three of the princes have left home to study away from the castle and the guidance of Heine, but Leonhard remains, still under the strict observation of the Royal Tutor! Beneath the surface of everyday life lies the fierce will to fight for the right to the throne! With change all about them, now comes the time to grow and learn... 
Volume 10 starts off a little bit....tense, as Leonhard has a showdown with Eins, and Eins says some not very nice things about our little cinnamon roll Leonhard. Plus Heine has a showdown of his own with Rosenberg, you guys remember super shady Rosenberg? Well Heine is putting the pieces together about Rosenberg and the other Princes leaving for various different reasons. 
As such, Rosenberg finally removes his mask, revealing the real him and he's...rather hostile. Possibly because Heine mentioned that there's some reason the King has for saying Eins isn't fit to be King, which provides us with new intrigue and a new mystery. Plus we get all of Rosenbergs motivations this volume. Yes, that's a plural. 
Of course, Royal Tutor is about the Princes and we get to catch up with each of them throughout volume 10. Licht has to learn to cook because he didn't factor in all the things the palace staff did for him before he left the palace. Props to him though, it doesn't make him want to go back and his determination doesn't waver. 
Meanwhile Bruno is getting to grips with his own situation, his fellow student Smerdyakov isn't exactly friendly. But he gets the misunderstanding sorted out, and Kai...his biggest problem is the lack of soft things. In short, they're all doing well and loving life. 
We get some fun moments as Leonhard goes to check up on Licht, and Adele has an issue with growing out of her clothes. I really feel like things started to heat up as we had the encounter with Rosenberg and Eins, and then it slowed a bit as we caught up with the Princes. Although seeing how they where doing did solidify that Leonhard is the only hope right now, to fight Eins and Rosenberg, but the little detour to Licht and Adele was a bit of a drag before we'd shoot back to Eins and what his mysterious problem is. 
I'm getting excited as they're building up this mystery around him, and we've seen a glimpse of the real Rosenberg. I'm waiting for the battle for the throne to begin and to delve deeper into Eins and his mystery. Plus I'm waiting for Leonhard to get his chance to shine! 

Monday, 28 January 2019

Manga: Angels of Death 5

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

At long last, Cathy faces Zack and Ray in the execution room! Cathy hands Ray a pistol, trying to get her to turn on Zack, but will her plan backfire? One way or another, the Floor B3 saga comes to a close in Volume 5 of Angels of Death! 

This volume opens with Cathy VS Rachel and allows us to see a different side of Rachel....a more chilling side. I mean, she's pretty emotionless and expressionless as it is, but we see that change a tad which is an interesting development and if we didn't already think there was more to her than meets the eye...this proves it. 

I really do love the little things this manga does to make it creepy, yet also funny. I mean, I'm not sure what's creepier than Rachel and Zack talking about murder and then getting a shot of Zack smiling....full romance manga style. With sparkles. 

While the whole thing with Cathy is wrapped up this volume, and we get a dramatic and tense scene with Zack....we then go and delve into Cathy's past and on the one hand, I was quite excited to get to learn more about Cathy. But on the other hand....really? Did it have to be right then?! To be fair, it is lowkey setting up for the next "floor boss" but I do feel like it would have been better placed at the start of the volume. Although the character of Lucy was certainly an interesting development and way more messed up than she first appears! 

Volume 5 of Angels of Death brings us suspense, tension and a sense of jeopardy for one of our characters, while the fast pace slows a bit to reveal Cathy's past and a mysterious upcoming figure. 

Friday, 25 January 2019

Manga: Akame Ga Kill Zero 8

Akame Ga Kill Zero Vol 8 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Akame's physical recovery after her harrowing experience with the Oarburghs is relatively quick, but her mind is still racked with confusion. The suffering of the people, not to mention the suffering of her sister, is undeniable. But rash action on a team where even perceived betrayal is dealt with swiftly and harshly would be dangerous. Akame must resolve her intentions soon. The enemies of Squad "A" are growing-and even now, they are gathering together to take out their common foe...

Things are a bit tense this volume, as we're post battle and Akame has to recover...but her superiors are curious as to what the Oarburghs may have told her. Plus Budo pops up as Akames new trainer with focus shifting to levelling up her skills....unfortunately she now has doubts about the Empire. I did find Greens perspective on things quite interesting, but considering that a certain event is presumably coming up on us soon...the tension is ramping up and I figure Green isn't going to end well.

We get a brief glimpse of Leone and hear about Najenda, and we have a nice little time skip to move things along now that Akame's seen another side of things. The assassin's have levelled up, and Akame's ready to go out on her first mission since the Oarburgh incident. We're going to have quite the clash as there's a group teaming up with the bandit's they're going after, and they have quite a deep grudge against the assassination unit. 

We've got action, we've got some "oh snap" moments, there's a surprise character popping up and all in all...we're moving at a nice speed towards the moment we've all been waiting for! The pace has always been quite good for this series, but I like how time is being handled, and things are kept moving. We're getting the details we need and want, but we're not spending forever doing it. I also feel like we're picking up more speed as we head towards the critical moment?! 

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Manga: Clockwork Planet 9

Clockwork Planet Vol 9 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Naoto and his crew continue their deep descent into the dark world of Shangri-La, where crime, betrayal, and peril run rampant. The two geniuses, Naoto and Marie, attract evil forces in the hellish underbelly of society, and their fates slowly become locked together like rusted cogs. Shangri-La runs on death, and its strongest leader wants Halter to execute a tricky tradeoff, but will the decision Halter makes be the right one...? And when an unfamiliar face from the Initial-Y series appears, RyuZU might be in trouble! 

This volume is off to a rather ominous start....I have to say I was in two minds about the whole thing. It's been a while since the last volume, and my memory isn't that great but I was questioning if what I was seeing was really happening!? I was kinda hoping it was just a ruse but...well. 

I liked seeing Marie have a bit of a vulnerable moment when she had her crisis of confidence thanks to the old clockmaker man calling her an amateur. Of course Naoto gets on with him like a house on fire. 

Poor old Halter meanwhile, gets dragged in to an uncomfortable situation. I wasn't sure what he'd do, but I was waiting for him to have a way out of it...things are definitely going to kick off amongst our little group next volume! As it is, we see our little group splinter in this volume as certain things have to be done to save the Shangri-La grid. 

Aside from the crisis our characters are facing we also get to meet Kiu...the leader of Arsenal who is 100% off his rocker. He oddly reminded me a bit of the Joker but not as good. 

We end the volume on quite a dire note, with Naoto dealing with a literal mad man and the final few pages herald a new character...Temp. Temp is another initial Y series and she's a bit....clumsy. She could make things very interesting once again. Don't get me wrong, I feel like things have picked up again and gotten more intriguing with this volume and the plotting and betrayals, but throwing in another initial Y series should further liven things up! 

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Manga: Again!! 6

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

The ouendan's members have taken their performance to a new level in support of their baseball team, and now it's up to Suzuki, the team's feckless ace pitcher, to seal the deal. One problem: Suzuki may have a golden arm, but he doesn't have nerves to match. When he hears that his crush, Reo, was spotted kissing Kinichiro, the guy he owes his comeback to, he's terminally rattled. It'll be up to Kinichiro to rescue Suzuki's crumbling will to fight... 

Honestly, this volume had me cheering because they all worked together so well and the cheer was a success and it was so satisfying okay!? I just feel like it was so brilliantly done, and we have history changed....again. 

However....Imamura gets a confession and I could tell straight away from her request that it was going to screw everything up and Imamura....*sigh* he just digs himself a hole doesn't he?! While it does mess with some things wasn't what I was expecting it to be...or rather it didn't play out quite how I was expecting it to. 

The baseball game really does make for some tense reading, waiting to see if things will change...if they'll win, if they can climb back from the score. I also liked that it gave way to a kind of heart warming scene as we see the Captain and Imamura step up for Suzuki and the Ouendan work with the cheerleaders and brass band to plot how to get each of their players to do their best. You could really see the theme of friendship and teamwork. 

Fujieda is literally the worst at keeping their secret though, I mean she's right that there's no rule saying they can't tell people but still. 

I am interested to see how things are going to play out now with Imamura, the Captain and Suzuki now that things have changed. Honestly the volume's pretty tense and it does go down to the wire, but my curiosity lies with what's going to happen after?! Things have changed...but have they changed enough? Plus we have Imamura, he's developing a lot as a character and changing, but there's some interesting stuff he'll have to deal with. Then there's Hiro...what is the deal with him?! 

All in all, I feel like this volume really hooks you, shows how Imamura has been changing as a character, and does brilliantly at keeping you on the edge of your seat! 

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Manga: Kiss Me at the Stroke of Midnight 8

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

Hinana's mother has discovered her secret, and now Hinana is forced to realize that who she's with affects more than just herself. Seeing the rift it starts to cause between her mother and her little sister, she can't help but feel responsible. She suggests to Kaede that they call the whole thing off... But will Kaede be able to let her go?

So...there was a bit of a cliffhanger ending last volume and we dive straight in with this one. I will admit, her mum didn't react quite how I thought she would but in some ways she did. I was once again, kind of expecting it to blow up more than it actually did and be more of an issue than it was. I feel like things get resolved quite quickly in this series which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Because of it all, Hinana and Kaede have another obstacle and Hinana is starting to realise and think about the fact her family could get dragged in to unpleasant things because of his celebrity status. Photographers, reporters and so on hounding them for one. I feel like because of that, Hinana matures a little bit and starts to think clearly about things and her situation. 

Kaede goes through it too but he's decided he's going to cling on. It did give me pause though, I was like wow okay, we're doing the whole breakup thing?! Much like Hinana, I think the relationship is going to have to mature a bit more with this development. Although as usual...we did get some cute and romantic scenes between the two! 

Then there's Akira, he finally confessed about that thing he did, and honestly...she took it pretty well. I was surprised. Although I did like the two of them plotting to take down Mitsuki, and while we do finally deal with the whole Mitsuki situation....Akira presents another problem after he tells Hinana she's stuck in the past and starts to stir up something. 

While we get one story thread wrapped up and see Hinana really have to think about those around her and what she's doing, I am wondering how much longer this series can go on for. I'm sensing the end is nigh, but I'm curious to see what Akira is making a big deal of now. The volume is over quite quickly as we have one less chapter but we do have a bonus manga chapter to fill in the gap! 

Friday, 18 January 2019

Blog Tour: Slay!

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

Meet SLAY – SLAY do two things and they do them well: they play killer music and they slay killer demons.

When Milly, the lonely daughter of a world-famous opera singer, arrives home to discover that her mum has been taken over by something very evil, she finds herself in mortal danger. But the last people she expects to rescue her are the hottest boy band on the planet…

Enter SLAY: playing kickass gigs in the spotlight, and saving the world from demons in the shadows… Suddenly, Milly’s on the road with JD, Tom, Niv, Zek and Connor, racing against the clock to stop the demons who killed her mum… One thing’s for sure, it’s going to be a hell of a show!

We're taking a bit of a detour for this blog tour, as I'm actually going to be reviewing the first book rather than the sequel which has just come out! In fact, if you haven't read the first book yet now is the perfect time to because can binge read both and you don't have to wait for the sequel after finishing Slay! 

It might just be me, but I have seen a lot of YA books in recent years that are focusing on boybands....but I haven't read anything quite like this and I have to say, it was a really refreshing and fun read! I mean, a boyband that slays demons? I knew it was going to be awesome but woah! 

Slay is fast paced, there's plenty of action and fight scenes, the humour had me chuckling and honestly? It kind of reminded me of Supernatural but with a boyband instead of the Winchesters, especially as from the sound of Slay and it's sequel we're going to have the monster of the week formula Supernatural used. 

The boys themselves were hilarious, JD, Connor, Zek, Niv and Tom had some excellent banter amongst them as well as angsty and tragic pasts, (seriously hello mini Winchesters) which helped to pull me in and catch my interest during the first chapter and kept things fun throughout the rest of the book. Their allusions to their "other work" in the first chapter helped too but still, plus the POV switches with Milly also served to excellently build up the tension at the start, before helping keep the story moving throughout. 

Speaking of Milly, I loved that she was intelligent and sarcastic....and knew something weird was going on right at the start. She also could stand up for herself and wouldn't take any crap from any of the boys...or rather JD specifically, and she had realistic and relatable reactions to everything. 

As for the demons...I feel like we get some old school, classic, black eyed demon mythology with some twists! In this particular book, the demons tied back to the Aztecs, as one of the demons was an Aztec Priestess and they wanted to bring an Aztec God in to our world, which as a history nerd...I immensely appreciated. Although I wasn't expecting it when I heard that this was about demons, but honestly, it was so well done and I loved getting the little bits of history both true and fiddled with. 

One thing I have to say, is I liked how diverse the cast was, and not just with POC and mixed race characters, one of the boys was deaf and I really liked how sign language was woven seamlessly into the dialogue with other characters, and some signs explained to us, as well as having it subtly pointed out how few people know it.

There is a bit of romance or at least romantic tension throughout the book but it's not the main focus, although the love triangle may come in to more focus in the next book? I already have a team, I'm not going to lie! I did actually think Curran had rather brutally solved the love triangle towards the end of the book, which was a shock! 

Honestly, Slay is such a fun read, it's like Supernatural but with boyband members, and I loved getting the badass demon fighting...but also snapshots of their boyband life, touring and so on. We also get slight Mission Impossible kinda vibes with the whole, having to steal an artefact thing but maybe that was me. Yes this does have a couple tropey/cliche moments and's a bit ridiculous...but in a good way. It fits with the vibe of the book, it doesn't take itself too seriously and I had so much fun reading it, I breezed through it in a couple of hours! I'm going to be looking forward to more adventures with this cast of characters and I am definitely going to be picking up Slay: On Tour...because demons, boybands and Japan! 

Manga: SDS Seven Days 2

The Seven Deadly Sins: Seven Days Vol 2 
Rating: 3.5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Elaine thought her troubles were over when she convinced Ban to give up on stealing the Fountain of Life, but keeping the rowdy young man in check might be more than one Saint can handle! While Ban's antics fulfill his promise to alleviate the last 700 years of loneliness, Elaine wishes he'd take up his thieving ways once more and steal her heart instead. Just when happiness is within reach for these two, an evil shadow covers the Fairy King's Forest, threatening to destroy all in its path...
With this volume, we get to see Elaine loosening up a little bit and having some fun! Plus the bonus chapters serve to show us why the forest started to trust Ban and didn't turn against him and it's not just because of the fact he didn't steal the Fountain like I'd kind of been assuming! 
We do get some new content that we haven't seen before, showing their life in the forest and what they got up to besides the whole ale label collection viewing. But we do obviously get some content that we have seen before....namely the tragic part of their story that we've seen in the main series. 
I have enjoyed delving more in to Elaine as a character and getting to see some more moments between her and Ban as well as the new mixed in with the old. It gives us a better understanding of what happened and fills in some blanks as well as adding depth and understanding to their relationship. It's also come at a perfect time to tie in with the main series!

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Manga: Tokyo Tarareba Girls 4

Tokyo Tarareba Girls Vol 4
Rating: 3.5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Rinko starts a relationship with a seemingly perfect man who owns a movie-themed cafâe, but as their relationship progresses, she finds more and more things to dislike about him.
So...we all thought Rinko had met her Prince Charming and I was so on bard with it. But then his requests started and I was my dude, not today. He was so fixated on her perming her hair!? Which is fine if she wanted to actually do it but she didn't. I did think Rinko's crisis about her relationship was interesting, whether to settle to achieve society's expectations/her own, or break up because it wasn't right. I also loved getting to see her get her mojo back and have a kind of comeback. 
Kaede is still a mystery, but apparently if you dig real deep he has a kind side and he's the one that sets her up with a job that's literally exactly what she needs. She got such a confidence boost from it and I was like YAAS RINKO! The thing is....I get that he probably means well, but he doesn't half need to work on his phrasing. I was actually starting to like him this volume, and as realisations and theories where made by the girls I was thinking to myself, you know what? I ship it. But then he had to go and be a total ass. 
This volume progresses not only the story but develops Rinko as a character. We see her get sunk straight down...before being pulled back up again and getting some of the fire back in her via her work and her passion for writing. I'm so here for getting the old, fired up Rinko back! Of course Kaede had to go and ruin it all and I still do not get what his deal is?!

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Review: The Mortal Word

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

A corrupt countess
A spy in danger
And an assassin at large

The fifth title in Genevieve Cogman's witty and wonderful Invisible Library series, The Mortal Word is a rollicking literary adventure.

Peace talks are always tricky, especially when a key diplomat gets stabbed. This rudely interrupts a top-secret summit between the warring dragons and Fae. As a neutral party, Librarian-spy Irene is summoned to investigate. She must head to a version of 1890s Paris, with her assistant Kai and her detective friend Vale, where these talks are fracturing. Here, she must get to the bottom of the attack – before either the peace negotiations or the city go up in flames.

Suspicions fly thick and fast and Irene soon finds herself in the seedy depths of the Parisian underworld. She’s on the trail of a notoriously warlike Fae, the Blood Countess. However, the evidence against the Countess is circumstantial. Could the killer be a member of the Library itself?

My favourite series is baaaacccck with a new book! I LOVE this series, and I say it every time but it's true. I anticipate each book, and get super excited for them and then sit and binge read the new one when it comes out. It never disappoints me, it's a series that is consistently strong in everything, and gets better and better. You have no idea how stoked I was that I got to read this when I got back from Paris! 

The opening? Well in this episode of "worlds in this series I'd like to spend more time in" we find ourselves in the dark and dim Germanic world going after witches. I'm sure you can guess what happened to Irene. I have to say I could picture the entire scene so clearly and I was chuckling away...but also signing in contentment to be back in this series and thoroughly pulled back in to the world. 

I love how Cogman creates such intriguing and fun openings that pull you in...then dives straight in tot he plot of the story. This time round we've got a good old murder mystery set against the backdrop of a Paris that's dealing with a huge anarchist threat and both the Fae and the Dragons are involved. 

I loved how Cogman built up this Paris around you, setting an atmospheric scene that enveloped you and took you away from the real world. I loved the Countess and the mythology behind her, I was kicking myself for not figuring out who she was sooner. I also enjoyed getting to see equal amounts of Fae and dragons, and the Fae had interesting archetypes to follow too! 

We meet Mu Dan in this book, she's the dragon investigator and I loved her even though I was lowkey suspicious of her at one point! I was so here for the team up between her and Irene, and I'm really hoping we get to see them working together again! We also get to see a tonne more of Vale this book, and he has a mini team up with Kai. I was actually a bit sad we didn't get more of the two of them working together, but Vale is definitely at his best! 

Of course, we also have Silver too. Before he was revealed I was sitting there like "don't say it, don't say it...damn". My issue with his character is that I so badly want to hate him, but I oddly kind of love his character and I really loved getting to see him and spend more time with him in this book, and see him interact some more with Irene, Vale and Kai. 

Cogman delivers another excellent instalment in this series, with a steady pace that brilliantly builds up the plot and brings more and more elements and clues and red herrings in to it, and keeps you guessing as the pace builds up to the final few chapters. I loved the murder mystery, Poirot kind of feel to this one, and all the suspects and clues thrown at us, and I was coming up with some crazy theories....and of course I was wrong. But this book also switches things up a bit with the series, as we have the creation of the Embassy that Irene is going to be working at. I am so intrigued to see how things are going to change, and what kind of challenges Irene is going to face through this new development! 

Manga: Boarding School Juliet 3

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

After Persia is saboaged by the scheming Aby, Inuzuka is desperate to help her recover her reputation--but one wrong move and he'll ruin his own. Then, once the sports festival is over, a series of mishaps brings Inuzuka to the attention of the prefects, the school's most powerful students! 

As you can imagine from the synopsis we have the conclusion of the sports festival arc in this volume and holy shhhhhhh, Inuzuka and Maru actually team up and work together?! I've been so ready for them to take Aby down, to be honest, and while Inuzuka does get his badass moment...he also loses his position as leader of the Black Doggies. Although I'm still unsure how he even got the job in the first place! 

As for Persia, we've already seen her feelings develop a lot and the fact that she wanted to be MVP to dance with Inuzuka shows that even more, not to mention the chapter following it when she looks after him. I'm liking getting to see her feelings grow and develop more, and it's been very clear throughout the volumes and well done. 

Interestingly, we get to take a look at the hierarchy of the Black Doggies as we meet a couple of the Prefects, Teria and Kocho. They also make an interesting point that could be a hint for the direction the story is going to go in. I have to say, it's a nice chance for us to see another side to Romio, along with Persia too! Although they did irritate me by digging through his stuff but plot progression so I'll let it slide. 

I also need to mention the fact that after getting to spend some more time with Char in this volume...I'm actually coming to really like her! As well as watching her and Romio come to an understanding. I am pleased they're not taking it in a romantic direction with the two of them though, because at one point I did have that fear. 

While there's plenty of fun in this volume, it also gave me a huge sense of foreboding because ever since meeting the Prefects...I had the horrible feeling Persia and Romio where going to get found out and then it turns out that Romio's older brother is the Head Prefect of the Black Doggies. it was quite the shock reveal...along with serving to deepen my sense of foreboding because it was pretty obvious they aren't close. 

Honestly, Romio's brother is a bit of an a-hole. When we got to see the relationship between them and the flashbacks I was like woah. Like....he's evil. Romio's brother appears to be the next big obstacle he and Persia will have to overcome in the next volume and it's possible he might get some evidence and reveal Romio and Persia...he does already have his suspicions. At this point I am kind of hoping the manga will go in the direction the Prefects hinted at...especially as I feel like Romio is going to have to do some growing up to get there. 

Volume 3 has a light and humorous start to the volume that then progresses and gets more serious as it does so, as Romio and Persia are facing their biggest obstacle yet. 

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Review: Vengeful

Rating: 3.5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Magneto and Professor X. Superman and Lex Luthor. Victor Vale and Eli Ever. Sydney and Serena Clarke. Great partnerships, now soured on the vine.
But Marcella Riggins needs no one. Flush from her brush with death, she's finally gained the control she's always sought-and will use her newfound power to bring the city of Merit to its knees. She'll do whatever it takes, collecting her own sidekicks, and leveraging the two most infamous EOs, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, against each other once more.
With Marcella's rise, new enmities create opportunity-and the stage of Merit City will once again be set for a final, terrible reckoning. 
This review is quite late, and in truth it's because I've been debating what to rate this book and trying to decide just how I feel about it. You guys know that I really love Victoria's books and I really, really loved Vicious...which makes me feel so awful about giving this book only 3.5 stars but I have to be honest. 
The start of the book, for me, was explosive and enticing and pulled me back in to the world and everything came flooding back from the last book. I really do love the storytelling for this series, switching back and forth through time and POV's helps to keep your interest and keep you intrigued and wanting to know what happens next. I also feel like it makes the book feel a bit more fast paced, even when nothing much is happening, plus we get to dip in and out of the characters and their backstories and see how they got their powers. In short I feel like it's a brilliant way of showing us the character's pasts, without sacrificing the pace and the plot. 
We have Victor trying to find a cure for his little...problem and suffering with it. Sydney is feeling guilty about what she did to Victor but she also knows he killed a certain person and she starts to befriend June. June...honestly I didn't really trust her from the start. I thought it was odd that she decided to be BFFS with Syd and I'm still not sure why she did. I just figured she was trying to get her away from Victor, but he's my little cinnamon roll okay, and whatever she was thinking, she was wrong! Either way she was on board with Marcella's plot and I just side yeed her more and more, and I'm actually sad we didn't get to find out more about her. 
As for Marcella, I actually felt for her and was like "yaaaas girl, get your revenge!". I got where she was coming from, and I did actually like her, but at the same time I was like "oh honey, don't do it because EON will come for your ass". By the end though, I was actually team Kill Marcella because she was gunning for Sydney and I wasn't having that. 
Interestingly we get a lot of Eli's background this time round, and see some of the events of the last book from his POV. But we delve deeper into his character and while I don't hate him as much as I did before....I still don't particularly like him. And once again we get to see our faves from the previous book, plus we get a whole new host of characters that are as equally morally grey.  
My issue is that I just didn't enjoy this one as much as Vicious, and it reached a point halfway through when it was a struggle to pick up the book and keep reading and I would procrastinate from reading. I felt like it was a bit slower, and the action wasn't really there until the end. We did build up to it nicely however, with threads being woven in, and things explained and set up for the big final event, but we had so many side characters and some of them, like June, I don't feel where delved in to properly. Like I said, her motivation for me is still a question. And while I thought it was fun to get these new characters and see more EO's....a lot of them I just wasn't particularly interested in and as much as I enjoyed Marcella and June....I wanted to get back to Victor and Eli. 
The ending in general was an issue for me too, because I was left with question, and I just wasn't satisfied with the ending at all. I don't know whether it was just me, or what, but I just didn't love this one as much as the first book and I went in to this one fully expecting to give it 5 stars and be raving about it but it was just...a bit of a struggle towards the middle part.     

Manga: The Seven Deadly Sins 29

The Seven Deadly Sins Vol 29 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Having had his emotions robbed by the Demon Lord, Merlin and the rest of The Seven Deadly Sins confine Meliodas in an effort to control his Demon power and return him to his old self. With their fearless leader out of commission, Diane, King, and Gowther head to Camelot to free the people from The Ten Commandments' control. Meanwhile, the Demon Lord orders The Ten Commandments to recapture Meliodas, bringing Meliodas face-to-face with his old master: Chandler, the Pacifier Demon! 
As is becoming usual with these volumes lately, we launch straight in with action as we finish off the battle that we ended the last volume on. I have to say, things have definitely taken an interesting turn now, Meliodas is out of the running and so is Escanor so it looks like we'll be getting to see more of Diane, King and Gowther. Plus we finally get to catch up with Arthur and what's happening with him....which is that he's found a minion of Merlin's?! Two more enemies also pop up as Zeldris has got to new allies. It would seem we've had a bit of a switch up when it comes to sides after the recent events and battles. 
Most of this volume is taken up by a massive battle, we have the Sins fighting against Chandler, who's Meliodas' teacher and is trying to take him back on the orders of the Demon King. It's nice to see everyone getting a chance to shine this volume. Particularly when the focus is usually on Meliodas and his badass-ness. I'm also liking the sense of jeopardy we have, not knowing who'll die if anyone. 
Volume 29 is another fast paced volume, with a little throwback and a couple of interesting tidbits dropped including something to do with Merlin's past and where exactly Gil is. There's plenty of action and incredibly bad odds that only get worse towards the end, where we're left on a cliffhanger waiting to see if the Sins will triumph! I mean....we all know they probably will but still!

Monday, 14 January 2019

Manga: Wotakoi 3

Wotakoi: Love is Hard For Otaku Vol 3 
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Narumi and Hirotaka are, by all appearances, a power couple. They're young, good-looking professionals. But they have secrets from everyone but each other: They're serious geeks! Narumi is a fujoshi, and Hirotaka's a hardcore gamer. Their sweet, awkward love story started life as a webcomic before becoming a full-blown manga series by popular demand, and is about to become a major anime series!

Volume 3, in case you weren't aware, is actually volumes 5 and 6 and with that many volumes it was about time our characters started to change right? I really loved that this volume let us see the subtle changes in Hirotaka in particular, since he started his relationship with Narumi. He willingly goes to a movie with her, even though he doesn't like them. He puts on a Yukata and goes to a festival with her on a double date with Koyanagi and Kabakura. He also proves how well he knows her more than once too, and expertly reflects inquiries about whether he and Narumi are dating. He's basically on point in every way, and I think it's safe to say we ship the correct OTP. Hirotaka even got his own little heroic moment too thanks to the gross dude who wouldn't take a hint. 

There are a few ominous mentions of Naoya not acting himself that piqued my interest and had me a little bit worried for the poor kid. finally happens. He finds out about Ko, and it's so cute. I really am rooting for the two of them okay, this series is one giant ship fest for me. I did really like getting to see he and Ko and everyone hanging out together too, it's something I've been excited for and this volume delivers! 

I also particularly liked how the second half of the volume was done, switching between the cute little scenes and the company vacation! It kept it fresh and kept me intrigued by switching things up! 

Volume 3 is another nicely paced volume with the usual humour and relatable content! I liked seeing Narumi branch out in to cosplay, and I liked that the focus was on Hirotaka a bit more in this volume, and showing how he's grown as a character. Plus this volume showed us that they seem to be more comfortable as a couple now! 
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