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Friday, February 24, 2017

Manga Review: The Demon Prince of Momochi House, Volume 7, by Aya Shouoto

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: January 2017
Volumes: 10+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 6. 8.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Himari Momochi inherits a mysterious house that comes with its own gorgeous demon guardian.

On her sixteenth birthday, orphan Himari Momochi inherits her ancestral estate that she’s never seen. Momochi House exists on the barrier between the human and spiritual realms, and Himari is meant to act as guardian between the two worlds. But on the day she moves in, she finds three handsome squatters already living in the house, and one seems to have already taken over her role!

Himari Momochi inherits Momochi House, an estate which exists on the barrier between the human and spiritual realms. Aoi’s powers have weakend, and he begins to recall fragments of his childhood. Someone from the past has infiltrated Momochi House and is after Aoi!

Review:

Mr. Nachi turns out to have had a very important role in Aoi's life, which I wasn't quite expecting. He's a much more interesting antagonist than I thought he would be.
Himari is deceived a few times, and even Aoi doesn't remember enough to know beforehand. It's a surprise to all of them, and it's an interesting reveal for Aoi's history and why he went to the Momochi house in the first place. I'm mostly intrigued by Nachi's motivation, though, why he did it and what he's wanting to do about it now. It does make me want to hug Aoi even more than before, though, which I didn't think was possible. The hinting of romantic feelings between him and Himari, too, is just mean.
That cliffhanger, too. I'm really wondering what's going to happen from here. I think this should show more of the specific differences between Aoi and the Nue in the next volume, though.
This series is surprisingly good, in more ways than I expect, each time. I'm looking forward to the next one.

A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Manga Review: Twin Star Exorcists, Volume 7, by Yoshiaki Sukeno

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: January 2017
Volumes: 10+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 6. 8.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Rokuro and Benio are extraordinary exorcists fated to marry and birth the ultimate spiritual warrior—but can they get along for even one minute?

Rokuro dreams of becoming anything but an exorcist! Then mysterious Benio turns up. The pair are dubbed the “Twin Star Exorcists” and learn they are fated to marry… Can Rokuro escape both fates?

Paradoxically, Rokuro’s Spiritual Guardian appears to be someone it can’t possibly be. Then, despite warnings, Guardian Shimon recruits the Twin Stars to help him rescue a young exorcist in training. Now why does Seigen add his daughter, newbie exorcist Mayura, to their team…?

Review:

After that last cliffhanger, we get more of an explanation for what is going on with Rokuro. We also get to know what Sayo really is, and what that means for her life that the others don't understand.
This leads to the introduction of a new enemy, who are after Sayo, of course. There's a lot of focus on Sayo in this volume. Rokuro even spends a chapter taking Sayo out in town to see some things. I must admit, though, that I'm not a huge fan of Sayo, as a character. She's just meh for me.
Shimon, Sayo's brother, on the other hand—I'm intrigued by his and Mayura's relationship. They only have a very minor plot point, but I like it.
I do rather enjoy this series, more than I expect each time. This was still an okay volume, though.

A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Manga Review: Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, Volume 11, by Miki Yoshikawa

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: November 2016
Volumes: 28
Spoilers?: Light.
Volume: 1. 10. 12.

Goodreads Synopsis:

MASTER OF CEREMONIES With the secrets of the past relationship between President Yamazaki, Leona Miyamura, and Rika Saionji brought to light, Yamada finally has everything in place to begin the ceremony that will restore his friends’ memories. After all the struggles he’s faced, Yamada makes a shocking wish…to erase all witch powers?! Now the Supernatural Studies Club members have to adjust to a new role—normal high school students! Yamada and Shiraishi focus on getting a fresh start in their relationship, but things don’t stay calm for long. Miyamura ropes the gang into his plans for a new Student Council regime, and it seems like former Student Council Secretary Asuka is hatching a plan…

Review:

The main plot line is finally coming to a close—the witch's perform the ceremony and Yamada gets his wish. Yamada and Shiraishi even decide to start dating, though while it's adorable, not a lot happens in that direction aside from attempts to be alone together. They seem pretty lax about it, though.
Because this could be a very fitting ending to the series, of course, we have to start up a new arc and meet new characters. Miyamura is now student council president, and he makes Yamada his secretary, and is keeping him very busy all the time. There are a few suspicious activities happening in the background, but mostly the focus so far is on the new first-years.
On a side note, it's so weird to see a student council so busy and productive and important. My experience in high school was not like that. (Though I wasn't on the student council, a friend of mine was--maybe it was more productive than I thought?)
This series is just fun. I love how it doesn't even try to stall by staying with one plot; it moves into new territory so easily. It's fantastic.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Teaser Tuesday[237]: Long Way Home (Thunder Road, #3) by Katie McGarry

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Long Way Home (Thunder Road, #3) by Katie McGarry
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: January 31, 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the saving.

It’s the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed carrying out Terror business, Violet knows it’s up to her to do the saving. To protect herself, and her vulnerable younger brother, she needs to cut all ties with the club—including Chevy, the boy she’s known and loved her whole life.

But when a rival club comes after Violet, exposing old secrets and making new threats, she’s forced to question what she thought she knew about her father, the Reign of Terror, and what she thinks she wants. Which means re-evaluating everything: love, family, friends . . . and forgiveness.

Caught in the crosshairs between loyalty and freedom, Violet must decide whether old friends can be trusted—and if she’s strong enough to be the one person to save them all.

Excerpt:

'We will leave the Terror alone, once we have Eli out of the way.'” (Hardback, pg. 80)

What are you reading?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Manga Review: Black Butler, Volume 23, by Yana Toboso

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: November 2016
Volumes: 24+
Spoilers?: Some.
Volume: 1. 22. 24.

Goodreads Synopsis:

In the heart of London stands Sphere Music Hall, a venue that enjoys immense popularity amongst the populace. However, the fervour with which its visitors return causes consternation in the mind of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, who suspects the organisation of cult practices and sends Earl Ciel Phantomhive and his impeccable butler, Sebastian, to infiltrate the hall. They are met with none other than the disgraced erstwhile prefects of Weston College and an otherworldly fortuneteller called Blavat, who takes one look at Sebastian and divines his true nature without faltering...!

Review:

There's a suspicious party going on downtown. Normally this wouldn't cause concern, but people from all over are attending all the time, and once they start, they don't stop. And now people are going missing.
Ciel and Sebastian go to investigate, and meet a fortune teller, who can immediately tell that something is wrong with Sebastian and kicks him out. Ciel is playing at being a poor kid, and stays around to investigate what's actually going on.
One of my favorite scenes in this was when Sebastian gets kicked out and meets some women at a bar. And before that, he finds a cat. The biggest problem regarding the party and the fortune teller, though, is that Lizzy was going and is now missing, either from being taken or “running away”. It's awful.
This volume was a lot of fun. A nice mystery going, with some good humor mixed in. We get a pop culture element, as we meet an idol group, which is odd in the setting. Mostly I'm worried about Lizzy, though, because I love her and don't like the glimpses we've seen regarding her. Can't wait to see what happens next.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Manga Review: Yona of the Dawn, Volume 4, by Mizuho Kusanagi

Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Volumes: 23+
Spoilers?: Light.
Volume: 1. 3. 5.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A red-haired princess loses her family and her kingdom… Now she must rise and fight for her throne!

Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Su-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when tragedy strikes her family!

While on a quest to find the Four Legendary Dragon Warriors, Yona and her friends meet Gija, the White Dragon. Gija uses his power to detect the other Dragons, but locating the Blue Dragon proves to be more difficult than expected, and the group runs into a string of disasters!

Review:

Now that they've found Gija, the white dragon, they're on the search for the blue dragon. Gija has a sense for where he is, but it's still hard to pinpoint, and it takes them a while to find the village. Gija, after living in luxury, is not used to living on meager means, either.
The blue dragon is a clear contrast to the white dragon, and it's obvious from the get-go. The blue dragon is being hidden and shamed and feared, and Yona has to search for him on her own, relatively speaking. It's clear that, even with everything that the blue dragon has gone through, Yona is still having an affect on him, and he's reacting despite his fears. I'm excited to see their interactions in the next volume, since they haven't really spoken yet.
Seeing the blue dragon's past is very heartbreaking and just makes me want to hug him.
Another emotional moment in the volume, was when Yona and Hak separate, and seeing his fear for her when things get dangerous—god I'm in love with them already. All the little moments where he kind-of hits on her and she has no idea—I love all of it.
I'm obsessed with this series already. I can't get enough of it, and even bimonthly is not fast enough for me.

 A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Manga Review: Kiss Him, Not Me!, Volume 6, by Junko

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: August 2016
Volumes: 11+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 5. 7.

Goodreads Synopsis:

It's Kae, again! After the heart-stopping showdown between the Mutsumi brothers, things looked like they might finally settle down again, but a bold confession from Mutsumi-sempai spurs all the boys into action!

It's like a real life otome game as everyone tries to plan the best romantic afternoon, but it's so much pressure to choose, much less think about having a boyfriend! Especially when there are bigger problems to worry about...

Shima-chan and I are all fired up about a new anime that's perfect for us fujoshi, but we end up not seeing eye to eye! Can a friendship built on boys' love survive a vicious shipping war?!

Review:

We see the boys fighting as they try to keep Mutsumi from confessing to Kae, which doesn't seem to help their chances of her falling for them, if you ask me. This results in a trial date for everyone.
But, of course, there are no answers coming, as is proven when Kae becomes obsessed with yet another fictional boy instead of any of the real ones in front of her.
After that, Kae and Shima have a true fujoshi fight when their yaoi ship doesn't quite match up. It's a fun reprieve, and it's nice to see the geeking stories again.
This series is plain fun. It's girly, geeky comedy at its best. It's always fun to read more of it.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Manga Review: The Ancient Magus' Bride, Volume 4, by Kore Yamazaki

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5-4
Publisher: Seven Seas
Release Date: April 2016
Volumes: 6+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 3. 5.

Goodreads Synopsis:

"I am not alone."

Chise has been summonsed to the Dragon Aerie to begin crafting her very own wand, but her journey has more to offer than she had anticipated: magical wonders, enlightening visions, and perhaps most importantly, insight into Elias' past and the secrets he has been reluctant to reveal about himself.

Yet while Chise finds some answers about the inhuman mage's history, mysterious beings are displaying an unexpected interest in Chise herself.

Review:

It's been so long since I've read the last volume, that I've pretty much forgotten it. But that didn't really hinder my enjoyment of this volume at all.
Chise gets a new insight into where Elias came from, and how he came to be who he is now. It gives her a new perspective, and also lets her see him as closer to her own age, not so much as an old man. Chise also explores her magic some more in this volume, and her and Elias both learn that they don't really enjoy being apart. Their relationship is growing closer, and they're growing fond of each other.
Aside from that, we see a few new creatures, and then there's the cliffhanger. While this series isn't particularly outstanding so far, it is a whimsical, thoughtful series, and it's really enjoyable. I'm looking forward to reading more.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Manga Review: Behind the Scenes!!, Volume 3, by Bisco Hatori

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: January 2017
Volumes: 4+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 2. 4.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ranmaru spends his whole life not fitting in, until the oddballs of the Art Squad adopt him as one of their own.
 
Ranmaru Kurisu comes from a family of hardy, rough-and-tumble fisherfolk and he sticks out at home like a delicate, artistic sore thumb. It’s given him a raging inferiority complex and a permanently pessimistic outlook. Now that he’s in college, he’s hoping to find a sense of belonging. But after a whole life of being left out, does he even know how to fit in?!

Review:

This is a pretty light-hearted series.
In this volume, we meet a bratty, struggling kid actor, and we see that Goda doesn't understand kids. We get to know Tomu a little better, and we get to see where Ruka comes from, what her family pressures are. There's also a chapter where the group puts together a haunted house, and see that they've gone too far and how they can pull back and change things to create a better audience reaction.
This is not as good as her previous series thus far, I will admit that. But it's still got her humor, and it very much feels like she's getting back into the groove of things. I am definitely still reading.

A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Manga Review: Tokyo Ghoul, Volume 9, by Sui Ishida

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: VIZ Signature (VIZ Media)
Release Date: October 2016
Volumes: 14.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 8. 10.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ghouls live among us, the same as normal people in every way—except their craving for human flesh.

Ghouls live among us, the same as normal people in every way—except their craving for human flesh. Ken Kaneki is an ordinary college student until a violent encounter turns him into the first half-human half-ghoul hybrid. Trapped between two worlds, he must survive Ghoul turf wars, learn more about Ghoul society and master his new powers.

Six months after their Aogiri Tree Operation, the CCG continues their investigation of the Gourmet and the Binge Eater. Meanwhile, Kaneki and his colleagues search for Rize’s true identity brings them face-to-face with the mysterious Madame A.

Review:

For much of this volume, we get to see the ghoul hunters. They're dealing with the aftermath of the big fight; Juzo gets his new ghoul-made weapon, which he loves. Amon gets a new partner, and she's Mado's daughter, and she's very not-caring of the hierarchy. Nagachika also shows up, in a surprising way.
In the latter half, we finally get to see what Kaneki has been up to. He's on the hunt for information, to find out what is going on and why he was turned like this. What's going on with Rize, and why are there more ghouls like him? He's finding clues, and he's taking out the bad ghouls along his way. He's still wanting to do good things, and still wanting to help out the humans, but he's got bigger problems that he's focusing on right now. I like the way this is presented, too, going back and forth in time.
We're getting close to the end of this series. I'm intrigued to see where it goes from here.

A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!