Saturday, December 31, 2016

Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

Another manga! So, this one was a random grab on my way out of the library without any other mangas. It caught my eye, I enjoy the game, so I thought why not. The problem: I have been reading more adult manga lately and this is most definitely a kid's story. Despite being a rather thick book with a very twisted story line, it didn't entertain me as I had hoped. Bigger fans of the games would probably enjoy it more than I.

Sorry the review is short. So I am going to ask for anyone that had played all of the games or read all of the manga to please explain it to me! There were just too many things left unsaid and this story picks up after the first big story line as far as I can tell, which added to my confusion. It was fun, don't misunderstand me on that point. It just wasn't something I will be continuing.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy Marriage?!

I found this when looking for something new to read a few weeks back, but put it on hold to finish the Library Wars that I was able to get my hands on. Now, after reading Warrior Song, I thought this was kind of perfect for reading next. It keeps to the theme of an unwanted marriage.

In this story a young woman, Chiwa, is faced with the very heavy debts of her father who is not the most business savy man, Then one day she is called into the offices of the president of the company she works for only to find out that her grandmother is one of the reasons why the company is what it is. And because of that the Chairman of the company has a proposal: he will cover her father's debts if Chiwa agrees to marry his grandson, the president whose office they are in. While not happy with the idea, Chiwa feels like she has no other choice but to agree. And things get rocky.

It's a bit of an overused theme, I will say that. But then, it is overused because there is so much that can be done with it, so many paths things can take, so many things that can go wrong in this type of story. And being in a manga gives the story a more entertaining aspect that I thought would be fun.

So far, I was right! It's not as simple as marrying a guy and pretending to be happy for this young woman. First, she has to play the part because grandpa is watching! Then she has to deal with her insecurities which have her thinking that there is no way this man could want to be married to her. And she also has her own drama to deal with, like an idiot father and nosey friends.  In just one volume the story is fun, bright, sweet, and crazy! I am loving it already! Give it a shot!

Warrior Song

December: Re-Reading Favorites

So, this was the first romance I ever read, way back when I was a teenager. I picked it up because it was about a girl raised to be a warrior by her father at a time when girl's were not meant to be anything of the sort. Chandra is beautiful and brave and wants nothing more than to stay by her father's side and play at being a boy. I could so relate to this character! But then the men come to bid for her hand and Chandra is made to marry and watch as her whole world is turned upside down. And even though she really likes the man she is married to, Chandra strives to keep ahold of herself while being forced to give over to another's wishes.

The first time I read this book I loved it. I was completely in love with everything about it from the settings and characters to the constant life or death peril Chandra was thrown into and the love story she found herself in. This month I read it for what must have been the tenth time. And I still love it! Sure, this is an old edition so there are problems with some spelling and grammar, but with a favorite you can ignore it. And it may not be the most amazing story for everyone else, but I still love it just as much as the first time I picked it up.

So if you are looking for a story with a strong-willed female lead trying to figure out the sudden change in her life, give this one a chance. If you are looking for slightly cliche romance with an unbelievably understanding male lead, pick this one up. Or if you are looking for a quick read, something fun and fast paced, here it is! And let me know what you think of it!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Library Wars: Love & War vol. 9

This series has been amazing so far! Along with a love story that has me squealing and mumbling under my breath on every other page, this manga tells the story of the library. As Iku, now a Defense Force Member, works her job and figures things out, the library is put through some serious trials. From the threat of a pervert targeting patrons to rumors of one of their own burning books, Iku and her friends deal with a lot in the year and half that is covered in volumes 1 through 9.

My primary reason for writing the post is to talk about how awesome these books have been. Yumi is an incredible writer and artist as she turns the story into a manga that is both exciting and sweet. I even loved the little skit panels at the start of every new chapter.

But I also wanted to note that this is as far as I can go with the help of my local library. I know there have been at least 6 others published, but the library does not have any copies at this time. That leaves me to buy them myself or find an alternative method of reading the series. So, for now I have to put it down, which just breaks my heart because I am so enthralled by this story. If I manage to get my hands on more I will let everyone know. Otherwise I am currently moving on to a new series and book.

So, if you haven't read these yet, please do, the story is incredible. And if you have, let me know what you think of it. Especially if you know where I can find more of them! Until next time!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

A Wrinkle In Time

December: Re-Read Favorites

A Wrinkle In Time was the first book that I read in which the main character was so much like myself that I felt a connection immediately. Meg is just an ordinary girl, unassuming, a little better at some subjects, and very protective of her family with a temper that could get out of hand, I loved her instantly.

In this story Meg has to take an incredible journey through space and time to find her father and bring him back. With the help of her little brother and a new friend, Calvin, she finds a strength inside herself that allows her to do incredible things.

And all these years later, I still love this story so much, Even though Meg kind of annoyed me at times as I was reading it, it was fun, because the younger me would no doubt annoy me too, now. What's more, I found this graphic novel version of the book I love so much and it gave me a new way to see the story I have memorized. What better way to close out a year of books than by joining something I love with a new format I am finding myself more and more in love with, with each new story I discover.

If you haven't read this classic, take a minute to pick it up, in what ever form you can, and discover the joy of Madeleine L'Engle. If you have read it before, pick it up again and read it with different eyes. It's always fun to see things from a new angle, and this is a story you can enjoy more than once!

Dead Zone

Note: May contain spoilers if you have not read Blackout, the first novel.

Ok, so here is the sequel to and resolution of Blackout. It took me a little time to sit down and read this one since I got distracted by other books, but once more I was pushed to rush through this book in a little over 24 hours by the incredibly fast paced story line. To give you an idea of how short of time frame this story takes place over, near the end of this book Aubrey, our favorite invisible girl, is thinking about the dance that started the story. It took place two and a half months before. So from start to finish these two books capture about 11 weeks in these kids' lives. And a whole lot of hell happens in those weeks!

So, in this book we get to meet the Russians. In particular we have two Russian lambdas who are leading the charge onto American soil to supposedly shift the populace out of areas they want to inhabit. The Russians claim that they will allow the Americans to go peacefully, however, a whole lot of people end up dying in the process.

Once more, Aubrey, Jack, and their team are thrown onto the front lines to find the two lambdas helping the Russian war effort. And this time, they are considered full fledged soldiers, expected to follow orders and take lives when necessary. Again we see Aubrey's issues with authority, Jack's determination to save her, and the chaos that comes when you rely on teenagers to take on too much weight.

As I said before, I believe Wells does a great job of capturing the real possibilities of using teenagers in such a situation. Sure,t hey are the only ones that can do what they do, but the Army does not like it, the teens don't like it, and things fall apart frequently enough to make everyone doubt what they are doing. I love Wells for pointing out the faults in his own story.

And I loved the ending to this story! It was another action packed, fast paced, chaos filled, wonderfully written book! I look forward to reading more of Wells' works if they are as imaginative and well written as this one! So look for more of his titles among my future posts.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Library Wars: Love & War vol. 1

Ok, so looking through the teen manga section at the library led me to this new discovery. Which, thank goodness because I just found out that Sword Art Online: Progressive only has three books in the series. So I have read as much of that as I can. So here we have another series that doesn't go very far as of yet, but I am still enjoying it.

The story is that censorship of books got out of hand. So, governments got together with libraries to start an army to protect their collections from those trying to get rid of books they find wrong in some way. When Iku was younger she had to wait 10 years for a book of fairy tales that she wanted to read. And when it finally came in it was going to be taken from her. Instead, an agent from the Library Defense Force showed up and stopped the confiscation and gave Iku back her book. Since then she has been determined to join the DF and save books for other young readers. This is about her journey starting with training, trying to make proud a man she barely remembers while dealing with a commanding officer that is a bit too hard on her.

I love this story. Not only is the concept of a nerd army going out to protect books just awesome, but I am really loving the characters Iku and Dojo who seem to have the face they show the world and then the part of themselves they are slowly showing to each other. In this first installment alone Iku learns some important things about being in the forces and pushing herself to new heights.

I am really looking forward to reading more in this series. Even though I went in knowing that there are only 9 books available to me right now. This will be a new series for me to follow as it come out. You should check it out!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sword Art Online: Progressive vol. 1

So, during my long wait for whoever else is reading the Attack on Titan series to finally return it, I started looking among the other mangas. And look what I found! I absolutely love the anime series with all my little heart (ask me about a cross over fanfic I wrote) and was so excited to see this on the shelf.

So, this is kind of a retelling of the story we love. Except it goes back to the beginning and gives Asuna's side of the story. In this first one we have just a taste at why she started to play the game, when she first met Kitito, and even a couple of mildly inappropriate drawings of her taste in undergarments. But hey, the story is rated Teen for a reason.

I love that we get the chance to see Asuna more. In the show she takes a little while to show up and a little longer to be someone awesome. This is her half of things. I hope. Only one book in isn't going to give me much. But I am excited for the series anyway.

As with other graphic novels I will let you know more about what I think when I reach a pivotal point in the story, or when I finish. Until then, let me know what you thought about SAO! Or the manga. Or if you have any recommendations for new manga/anime inspired by this title!


So I actually picked this one up at the library for my husband to read, because it sounded perfect for him. But he had picked up another series, which I will no doubt read in the near future and tell you all about. On top of that, the book I picked out was bad. No, I will not mention the name because the writing style got to me instantly so I barely gave the book a chance and so I don't feel that it would be fair for me to say anything about it. Anyway, I ended up picking up this book instead and woah am I glad that I did before turning it in!

Ok, I feel that both the descriptions on the jacket and are not entirely accurate enough to really portray what this book is about, so I'm going to try and tell you. Look at the three and get the average gist of things, 'k?

Alec, Dan, and Laura are terrorists. This point is clear from the beginning. What is a little less clear is how they have anything to do with Aubrey who is simply trying to live her life and gain a few friends. Well, they are all teenagers for starters. Oh, and they all have superhuman abilities that have somehow turned into a virus and are infecting teens around the world. What's worse, the US government finally figured that part out and are now putting all teenagers in camps to figure out if they are infected or not. Because those with powers would be really useful fighting against the terrorists with powers.

So, I'll start this time with the problems with this books since it is kind of right there in my description. Because that description is half the book. Maybe even more than half. At first Wells moves at a normal pace, or at least normal enough, with events happening, the reactions, the capture of all these kids. And you get the sense that maybe everything feels like it is taking way longer because they are teens and they exaggerated time. Because in reality from the start of the book to the end is maybe 3 weeks and a hell of a lot happens in that time. It all moves way too fast! Kids are being turned into weapons and they are barely given time to adjust! I get it, America is at war, but really, we are going to just toss a 15 year old girl in the mix and hope she doesn't collapse under the strain!

And that's about my only real problem. The fast paced and therefore unpreparedness of this plot. Because at the same time it is kind of realistic. America is being attacked from forces unknown at a very rapid pace and the government is simply trying to keep up. And with this half baked plan of theirs comes the consequences. Things fall apart, people slip through the system, more people die and places are attacked. So I think that fast paced world worked out in the end for this book. It had me reading quickly to find out what was going to happen next. And after only 2 days (during which I was also busy so only had a few hours to read between loads of laundry) I am already picking up the next one.

So yes, I encourage you to pick it up! This is a unique take on the superhuman powers plot. These kids are not ready for what they have been given and they are being used by everyone! The world is in peril and we are trusting teenagers to help fix it. And everyone is power has a big problem with this but they are running out of options! It is really interesting! (Done with the !'s for now, I promise.)

Oh, and if you would like to start a little sooner in the story, Wells did write a prequel in the form of a novella. However, it is only in ebook format, for the Kindle, so it may take me a minute to find it and actually get to read it. But if you read Going Dark first, let me know how it effected the others. I am going to move on to the next book, Dead Zone, for the time being. I'll let you know what I think.