Saturday, February 28, 2015

Manga Review: Honey Blood, Volume 2 + Tale 0, by Miko Mitsuki

Rating (Out of 5): ~3; ~3.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: December 2, 2014; February 3, 2015
Volumes: 2 + 1
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1.

Goodreads Synopsis:


When a girl at her school is attacked by what seems to be a vampire, high school student Hinata Sorazono refuses to believe that vampires even exist. But then she meets her new neighbor, Junya Tokinaga, the author of an incredibly popular vampire romance novel. Could it be that Junya's actually a vampire--and worse yet, the culprit?! 

When a girl at her school is attacked by what seems to be a vampire, high school student Hinata Sorazono refuses to believe that vampires even exist. But then she meets her new neighbor, Junya Tokinaga, the author of an incredibly popular vampire romance novel! Could it be that Junya's actually a vampire--and worse yet, the culprit?!

Honey Blood Tale 0 is where Hinata and Junya's love story originally began. In addition to the one-shot chapters that made Honey Blood's serialization possible, this volume contains two bonus short stories from the author!


Volume 2:

I don’t really know how to feel about this book.
The plot and characters are interesting and mostly enjoyable, but the way it ends… It kind of ruined it for me.
We’re introduced to a new character, we see the possibility of a new plot line, possibly a couple of them… But then it just ends. The author mentions that she had more planned for the series, so it got cancelled, which is understandable why it ends that way. But still. It kind of ruined it for me. I mean, I guess since it was cancelled, the ending isn’t so bad. It concludes in an all right way. I’m just unsatisfied with the plots left hanging.


Tale 0:

After the last volume, which ended with still lots of questions, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this. I knew that it was the first draft of what became the two volume series, but still.
I was surprised with how much had actually changed. The first three chapters are the prequel story, and in them, Hinata is a completely different character. Instead of being pessimistic about love and off-put regarding the novels, she’s a hopeless romantic, who immediately falls for Junya. It could have been a very different story this way, and I’m not sure which route I liked better.
I will say, though, that this story is much more rushed, with a lot less development to story and character. Junya is still pretty similar, and I’m still not really in love with him. The last chapter, where Junya kind of outs himself in public, kind of bothered me.
But it was actually the last two one-shots that I enjoyed. The first one, starring a fashion-friendly guy who falls for the tomboy, was just adorable. It was charming and well-done, and so cute. The second one, about two childhood friends who keep hiding their love to each other, was also very cute, but it had a very unhappy ending that almost ruined it for me. I don’t think the ending needed to happen, honestly.
Above all, this wasn’t too bad of a one-shot volume. It doesn’t have to be read with the original series, and I actually enjoyed it for the most part.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Novel Review: After the End (After the End, #1) by Amy Plum

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Genre: YA Dystopian Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 2014
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

"I have no idea what is truth and what is fiction. I'm all I've got now. I can't trust anyone."
World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.
At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.
When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.
Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

The Cover:

I like this cover. It definitely shows the dystopian aspect well, showing the isolation with a city just on the other side. And I like that it shows a girl and two dogs, both of which are important in the story. I think it represents the book well, and it's rather nice to look at.


"'Doubt everything, Juneau. Doubt everything at least once. What you decide to keep, you'll be able to be confident of. And what you decide to ditch, you will replace with what your instincts tell you is true.'" (Hardback, pg 224)

After I loved Plum’s previous series so much, I’m surprised it took me so long to get to this one. I’m also surprised that I haven’t heard more about it.
I really like the premise, that Juneau has lived in a commune thinking that the rest of the world is war-ridden and scarce, only to find out that there never was a war. I do think she should have freaked out a bit more when she found out, because she took it all in stride, like it was no big deal.
I’m really glad there are alternating chapters, because Miles and Juneau have lived through very different environments, and their points of view and voices really show that.
I liked Juneau, and I liked Miles. They don’t hugely stand out to me, but I liked them, and I enjoyed their journeys and developing relationship. Their romance is just simmering right now, and I look forward to more of it.
The plotline is interesting, and I am enjoying finding it out as I read, and look forward to seeing more developments in the next book. The cliffhanger was really horrible, and has me wanting the next book soon so I can find out what happens to Miles. Because that’s just mean.
Overall I rather enjoyed this novel. It was fast, the alternating points of view was very nice, and the romance is sweet so far and progressing nicely. I’m enjoying this, and look forward to picking up the next book when it releases.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Wishlist Thursday[97]: Requiem of the Rose King by Aya Kanno

Requiem of the Rose King 1 by Aya Kanno

Publisher: VIZ Media

Release Date: March 10, 2015

Volumes: 3+

VIZ Media Synopsis:

Richard’s father, the patriarch of the House of York, is poised to become king of medieval England during the bloody Wars of the Roses. But just as success is imminent, he is abruptly cut down. Plunged into despair, Richard acts out in revenge and must face a powerful and beautiful new enemy.


Kanno is the author of Otomen, and so of course I will be picking this up. Oddly enough, it’s not under the Shojo Beat imprint, but that doesn’t matter.
Kanno also wrote Blank Slate, so clearly she can write different genres. I am really excited to read this, to see the difference and where it goes. And I love her art and characterization, so I’m just plain looking forward to it.

What are you looking forward to?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Manga Review: Sankarea: Undying Love, Volume 8, by Mitsuru Hattori

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: August 2014
Volumes: 11
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 7. 9.

RightStuf Synopsis:
Barely escaping an untimely end, Chihiro is on the run from his zombie pursuers, but to his surprise, he is joined by his grandfather, who has come to ZoMA to right the wrongs of his sordid past - if he can remember what's going on, that is.
Elsewhere, a light is shined into the dark corners of Chief Salva's curious past, bringing insight into his relationship with Darin as well as his deep infatuation with Rosalie. What is it that fuels Chief Salva's intense passion for zombies? Is it pure love or just madness?
Story and art by Mitsuru Hattori.


I don’t know where this series is taking me anymore. I thought it was going to do some big huge surprise, only for it to deflate a little, then go in a different direction.
Grandpa shows up to reveal some surprising things to Chihiro, and then leave us with a cliffhanger. Meanwhile, Rea has lost her memory, and might possibly be better? This is going to be bad, especially for Chihiro. There are surprising things happening to her zombie life. But then there’s also some really bad stuff happening between Darin and her father, who is a horrible person.
This series is just ridiculously exciting. I love what’s happening with the zombie plot, and all the reveals are happening at a great pace. I also appreciate that it doesn’t shy away from being horrible—with the zombie stuff, but also with characters like Darin’s dad.
Then there was a chapter for Mero, in the midst of all this stuff, for her to meet some people and go out and do something, since it’s only her and her father at home. This was an all right chapter, but mostly cause I like Mero.
I’m excited for the next volume, to see what happens next in this series.