Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Review: Legion

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

Dragon hatchling Ember Hill was never prepared to find love at all--dragons do not suffer human emotions--let alone the love of a human and a former dragonslayer, at that. With ex-soldier Garret dying at her feet after sacrificing his freedom and his life to expose the deepest of betrayals, Ember knows only that nothing she was taught by dragon organization Talon is true. About humans, about rogue dragons, about herself and what she's capable of doing and feeling.

In the face of great loss, Ember vows to stand with rogue dragon Riley against the dragon-slaying Order of St. George and her own twin brother Dante--the heir apparent to all of Talon, and the boy who will soon unleash the greatest threat and terror dragonkind has ever known.

Talon is poised to take over the world, and the abominations they have created will soon take to the skies, darkening the world with the promise of blood and death to those who refuse to yield.

I have been loving this series, it's unique and fun and I've been completely hooked. The love triangle is finally put to rest in this book, I do think it was dragged on a bit longer than necessary and it was getting very tired for me anyway. This book really felt like a YA to me. It was darker than the others, there was a lot of action and epic fight scenes, but I did find myself cringing a little bit at some of the romance scenes. 

I don't know what it was with this book. I really don't, I've loved Ember in every single book and she's really grown and changed as a character but in this book she really started to bug me. We got some interesting insight in to Dante and how he thinks and what his life has been like, he doesn't have the same view point on their lives as Ember and I think maybe getting so in to Dante's psyche in this book made my opinion of Ember change a little bit. 

We got to see some of their school lives and training, and I actually kind of felt for Dante and I could relate to him and how he was pushed to the side and so on. I could really see where he was coming from, and empathise with him and how he was treated compared to Ember. For me it really showed another side to Ember and I personally, started to perceive her in a different way. Like I said...she kind of started to bug me after that and more and more so as the book went on and we saw more and more through Dante's eyes. Then there was how Ember expected Riley to risk his underground and that whole thing. She just annoyed me this book and I really am annoyed that I got annoyed because it took away my enjoyment of the book and her as a character, and it made me cringe when reading the romance scenes. 

I have to say, I'm much more interested in Riley, Mist and Jade these days. I'm so curious about Jade and Mists and their pasts and the additional plot threads they're bringing to the table with the little mysteries they present. I want to know more about them! I was so pleased Jade was back, she could have some interesting information and I'm curious about the Chinese dragons in general. Then there's Mist who brings us a lot of intrigue and I'm dying to know who she's working for! I also totally ship Riley and Mist, I'm not going to lie! 

Legion is fast paced from the start, the cliffhanger at the end of the last book was so cruel and it's all resolved and sorted in this book and adds an interesting development, I'm sure there's going to be more to it! I did find some parts of this book to be a little bit predictable, but it was still enjoyable despite that. The mystery at the beginning added a whole CSI: Dragon Edition vibe to the book. Or maybe X-Files. 

For me, the last part of the book was perhaps the best, with an epically huge battle scene that had me on edge the entire time, not sure what was going to happen and who was going to die. I knew someone was after Ember's little speech and so on. The POV changes where short and snappy which added to the atmosphere and sense of urgency and tension and chaos. Legion ends on a note of intrigue again, and I'm excited to see how it's all going to end, and see how everything fits together and have all the little threads revealed and so on! I'm hoping I feel differently towards Ember in the next book too! 

Friday, 11 August 2017

Manga: Fairy Tail Vol 61

Fairy Tail Vol 61 
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

As the most powerful wizards of Fairy Tail face off against the remaining members of The Twelve, their hearts, relationships, and skills will be put to the test. The battle between Erza and Irene reaches an emotional conclusion, Gray shows how far he’s willing to go to save his dearest friends, and the love of a father sparks a shocking revelation from August. As Natsu and Zeref’s showdown approaches, both enemies and friends must ask themselves who their true family is! 

Two volumes left. There are literally two volumes left. I am so not ready. I'm really not. I'm going to be devastated when this is over. Absolutely devastated and finding out that after this there's only two volumes left has me taking my time reading this volume and trying not to rush through to the end...something I usually do with these volumes. I read them so fast it's ridiculous but I made a conscious effort to slow down and savour it more! 

With the final volume approaching things are moving quickly with the story, things are tense and edge of the seat and there's lots and lots of dramatic moments happening. Erza's battle concludes and hit me right in the feels, Magnolia is returned, it's revealed why Zeref needs Mavis's power, Natsu is back to normal *cheers* and ready to throw down with Zeref, and so much more. Gray faces off with Zeref alone and there was some serious ugly sobbing going down at Gray's plan and how everything went down and I was left kind of staring at the page like whaaaat just happened!? Did Mashima sensei really just do that!? 

One of my favourite scenes of this volume was a scene that perfectly mirrored an earlier scene in the series with Natsu and Gray. I genuinely can't even. This volume has seriously given me all the feels and knowing the end is nigh really doesn't help! I'm literally so full of tension whenever I pick up a Fairy Tail volume lately! 

We get to see Cana being a badass in this volume as she joins in with Gildarts tackling August. It was nice to see her get some more page time and use her abilities and so on. I also really love seeing her interact with Gildarts, it's funny and heartwarming and such an interesting relationship. I also spent a good chunk of time looking at August like "don't make Gildarts angry bro" but did he listen? Nope. So it kind of serves him right I guess. 

We get to meet Larcade in this volume, and I'd been spoiled about him a long time ago when the chapter originally came out in Japan and spoilers where all over YouTube and Twitter BUT I had completely misread his relationship with Natsu and Zeref. He wasn't at all what I was expecting and I actually felt really sorry for him. I'd quite liked to have seen some more of him and maybe seen him join the Guild and get given another chance. 

Another big moment of the volume is Natsu and Zeref having their showdown, something I've been looking forward to seeing for a while. Unfortunately it's interrupted by Acnologia making his appearance. I'm not going to lie to you guys. Acnologia is a complete and utter psycho. Seriously. I just want him taken out now. Like....come on guys. Time to do your Dragon Slayer duties and deal with him. Although I guess we owe him one for dealing with 'God Serena' for us?

As the volumes progress and we head towards the end, I'm getting hit in the feels more and more. This volume had me choked up more than once, and there was a really beautiful scene with Natsu and Gray. They have such an interesting relationship. They clearly care about each other but they always argue and fight, and in this volume...I think it's the first time Gray's called Natsu his friend. I could be wrong because it's been a while since I read the other volumes, but I think it is and the entire scene really choked me up. Then Natsu comes along like "you're my friend, right Gray?" and I just....*ugly sobbing*. It was so nice to see this genuine moment of friendship between the two of them and know that everything was okay between them after the earlier scenes. 

My one issue with this volume is that it's such a head**** about August and I was like whaaaaat!? and that was it. It would have been nice to see more of him and to see some more to that situation because SERIOUSLY?! 

Fairy Tail always puts me in a great mood, I always turn to it when I'm feeling down and needing a pick me up. It's one of those series where you wish you could join the Guild too, and I end up fist pumping and cheering so much when I read this series. It's obvious things are coming to a close as we're racing towards the climax of this final story arc. Things are getting more and more intense, there's more tension, more shock reveals and more intense battles. Not to mention heartwarming and heart breaking moments between characters. I was so in to this volume and so ready for what comes next and then...IT LEAVES YOU HANGING?! I'm so not cut out for this, I can't take the wait for the next volume after everything we learned in this one! 

One things for sure, this is one of my favourite series of all time and the final two volumes are going to be spectacular! 

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Manga: Re:ZERO A Week At The Mansion Vol 2

Re:ZERO: Starting Life in Another World Chapter 2: A Week at the Mansion Vol 2
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Subaru thought his life would be peaceful now, but now he's died again and doesn't know why! Subaru tries everything he can to avoid repeating that fate, but nothing seems to work. Beatrice the librarian might be Subaru's only hope!

I'm not going to lie, I'm getting way more in to this story arc than I am the first story arc! The plot just keeps thickening and hooking me in more and more and I'm coming up with all these theories and trying to put everything together! I feel like this story arc is a lot better and a lot stronger than the first one, like the story is finding its stride almost. 

Subaru has gone four days back and that really starts to get to him in this volume. It was a very well done and realistic reaction to his situation and I enjoyed seeing it play out on the page. He adopts the tactic of trying to make everything go exactly the same this time around with interesting effects. 

Roswaal provides him and us with a tutorial on how magic works in this world, something that I found very interesting and would like to know more about. Roswaal provides mixed feelings for me. I want to like him, I want to believe that he has nothing to do with anything dodgy, but as much as I love his character and want to see more of him and root for him..I feel like somethings off about him and I'm just waiting to see what it is. 

This volume provides us with a suitably shocking reveal and some surprise twists that I loved and had me gasping! There's some gory deaths and a lot more information about the world and Subaru's situation, again, something that I find very intriguing. 

I'm really liking Beatrice, shockingly, and I'm intrigued by her. I'd love to see more of her and find out more about her and her past and who she is and so on. I could say the same about Rem and Ram as well! I so badly want to know more about their pasts and I'm hoping the next volume will provide that! 

On top of aaaaaallll of that, we get an original short story at the end of the volume too! 

A Week at the Mansion, I feel, really steps the story up. There's more gory deaths, more surprises, more intrigue and I feel like the tension is higher in this volume. There's brilliant new characters to get to know, and that fill you with intrigue as you try to piece together their pasts and so on. I'm so damn curious about Ram and Rem and motivations certain characters have! I feel like this arc is going to be a lot more detailed and go in to a lot more depth and I'm excited to see it play out! 

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Manga: Rokka Vol 3

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

The search of the traitor continues. Adlet's won over Hans, but this is no time to rest on his laurels--next up is Chamo, the Saint of Swamps! Despite her cute looks, this little girl is said to be the most powerful warrior alive, and things take a turn for the worse when she refuses to listen to reason. The Braves of the Six Flowers need to find the traitor quick before this turns into a bloodbath!

You guys know I'm loving this series, and things are picking up more and more as the intrigue and mystery deepens in this volume. We're straight in with the action in this volume, right from the start. Hans is firmly on Team Adlet but no-one else is buying it and there's a couple of characters looking pretty suspicious right about now. Something also changes with the Princess and she goes full on interesting development for her character. 

Mora continues to be the most suspicious character to me, I'm not going to lie. She's super suspicious and I really don't trust her or like her all that much. I don't really like Camo either although a lot of my irritation with Camo from the light novel isn't present here for the manga, possibly because the manga has less narrative, if you know what I mean. 

My favourite two characters are definitely Hans and Adlet and I love how all of the characters are drawn, but Hans and Adlet in particular are brilliant! In this volume we see Adlet bond with Fremy and finally wins her to his side and I'm excited to see their relationship play out. 

This volume ends with Adlet cornered and with only one ally nearby. Tension is high and it was such a mean place to leave the volume! Adlet's got enemies rushing to kill him and we have to wait for the next volume to see what happens next! CRUUUEELL! 

Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers has brilliant art and a fantastic pace with ever mounting tension building up and in this volume that tension hits an all time high. We leave off with high tension and huge uncertainty about who to trust and suspicions about some characters mounting! I'm so excited for the next volume and to see the truth come out! 

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Manga: Waiting For Spring Vol 1

Waiting For Spring Vol 1
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

A sweet romantic story of a soft-spoken high school freshman and her quest to make friends, Waiting for Spring will delight fans of earnest, fun, and dramatic shojo like Kimi ni Todoke and Say I Love You. 

Mizuki is a shy girl who's about to enter high school, and vows to open herself up to new friendships. Of course, the four stars of the boys' basketball team weren't exactly the friends she had in mind! Yet, when they drop by the cafe where she works, the five quickly hit it off. Soon she's been accidentally thrust into the spotlight, targeted by jealous girls. And will she expand her mission to include... love?

I looooveee this manga! Like I read this volume and I can't wait for Volume 2...I need it now! I'd be tempted to read each individual chapter as it's released if the publisher was doing that (I don't think they are, correct me if I'm wrong!) which is something I never do because I love reading just one big volume! I'm impatient and the little chapters aren't enough but I desperately need more of this manga!   I'd been looking forward to this manga ever since it arrived on my doorstep and I purposely saved it for last, I knew it was going to be a mood lifter! 

Mitsuki is so relatable, I'm not going to lie. I loved her so much! As for the other characters....Towa is my favourite so far, I ship him and Mitsuki so badly it's not even funny. Rui is coming in a close second, he cracks me up so much! I'm not sure how I feel about Kyosuke and Ryuji so far, I need to see more of them to decide! They all seemed kind of like a-holes at first to be honest! It was nice to get to know them and see them interact with each other and with her and see another side to them and what they're really like. 

Nana was another favourite character of mine, she was surprisingly nice, I'd pegged her as a mean character! I was also pleasantly surprised by Reina too! I loved all of Mitsuki's interactions with the boys. Waiting for Spring is such an enjoyable read and it really pulls you in and brightens your mood and then it leaves you hanging at the end! 

Waiting For Spring is funny, enjoyable, easy to read and super addictive. It's also ridiculously cute and very well drawn, not to mention light and funny! I'm so excited for each new volume and to see where the story goes and if my ship sails and to get to know the other characters better! I had high expectations for this one and it really didn't let me down! It's looking to be a great romance manga! 

Monday, 7 August 2017

Manga: Clockwork Planet Vol 3

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

After Naoto, RyuZU, Marie, and Halter’s mission to save Kyoto succeeded, the group must lie low. Branded as terrorists and with Marie presumed dead, the new allies decide to gather more information while acting out the daily lives of high school students—something Marie isn’t used to! While undercover, Marie receives valuable information through a coded message: The government is still abusing core parts to endanger civilians. Meanwhile, RyuZU wishes to find her little “sister,” AnchoR, but when the fellow automaton appears, is she a friend or foe?

So, I've been watching the anime of this, and I've not really been loving it. I couldn't wait for it to end to be honest. The manga however, is very good! It's so much better than the anime, so if you watched the anime and weren't that impressed...give the manga a try! I've been looking forward to each new volume and with this one, things are picking up even more! 

We spend a bit more time at the high school in this volume, than we do in the anime, with Marie fitting right on in..or not as the case may be! I actually enjoyed that part of the arc and I hope we get some more scenes there because they crack me up. It's definitely more extended than I remember the anime being so it's nice to see some fresh new scenes. 

We get Saionji, who's a new character as far as I'm aware...the anime kind of blurs in to meh for me. I'm wondering if Saionji is on to Marie or not, but he was only in it for a little bit...I thought he was a bit of a prat but I'd be intrigued if he popped up again to see what role he'll play in the story if any. It seemed like he might have a part to play but we'll see. 

I love how fonts are used with speech in this manga, I'm not going to lie. RyuZU has a very mechanical/computer kind of font and Saionji has a flowery one to match his attempts at flirting with Marie. You get such a sense of tone and how the voice would sound from it, it really adds to the reading experience. 

I really love Vermouth! And I'm loving RyuZU more and more, she cracks me up. Marie is still my total favourite though, I love her! She makes me chuckle and she's so intelligent and badass. Naoto isn't as irritating as in the anime, and is more bearable in the manga, but I still haven't warmed up to him 100%. I think next volume will make or break this series for me. 

In this volume we get more of the history of the Clockwork Planet which I really loved, I want to know so much more about it and I've been itching for this kind of material, I hope we'll get more and more as the volumes go on! 

Clockwork Planet is much better than the anime by far, and the manga always gives me a chuckle. Particularly the interactions between everyone in the group! I really love how it's drawn among various other little touches, and I'm liking the pace it has so far. I'm still intrigued, and I'm excited to see where this is going to go next, and how much more it'll differ from the anime! 

Friday, 4 August 2017

Review: Blackwing

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

Nothing in the Misery lasts…

Under a cracked and wailing sky, the Misery is a vast and blighted expanse, created when the Engine, the most powerful weapon in the world, was unleashed against the immortal Deep Kings. Across the wasteland, teeming with corrupted magic and malevolent wraiths, the Deep Kings and their armies are still watching—and still waiting.

Ryhalt Galharrow is no stranger to the Misery. The bounty hunter journeys to a remote outpost, armed for killing both men and monsters, and searching for a mysterious noblewoman. He finds himself in the middle of a shocking attack by the Deep Kings, one that should not be possible. Only a fearsome show of power from the very woman he is seeking saves him.

Once, long ago, he knew the woman well, and together they stumble onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to unmake everything they hold dear and end the fragile peace the Engine has provided. Galharrow is not ready for the truth about the blood he’s spilled and the gods he’s supposed to serve…

What a debut you! Blackwing drew me in more and more until I reached a point when I looked up, blinking back in to the real world with no idea what day or time it was, I became so engrossed in the book! I'd read most of the book in one go and completely forgotten about everything else. All I could think about was getting back to the book until I could finally sit back down and finish it. It was completely brilliant. 

The opening of the book intrigued me, I was instantly curious about the world and eager to learn more about it and our main character Ryhalt Galharrow. Ryhalt is a great narrator, I love the narrative voice he had, he didn't take any shit from anyone and he told it like it was. He was such a realistic and believable character, and you couldn't help but root for him. I was so intrigued by his backstory and his history that we learned through tidbits throughout the book. I was completely hooked within in a couple of chapters. 

Ryhalt is just one of a brilliant cast, there's his crew made of a group misfits and interesting people. Tnota who I for one, feel didn't get enough page time! I wanted to see more of him and learn more of his past, he cracked me up. And then there was Nenn. Nenn was my second favourite character after Ryhalt, and at the beginning of the book I was screaming "Noooooo! Why Ed whyyyy!?". But it was all good. I just loved her, she was a badass, she didn't put up with any crap and she owned it. I'm so curious about her, we learn a little about her and how she came to know Ryhalt but it wasn't enough. I need for Nenn to have a book of her own! She had some brilliant banter with Ryhalt too, and I loved their friendship and bond. 

The Tanza siblings where an intriguing duo. Ezabeth was intriguing, I wanted to know more about her and what she could do and who she was and what went down between her and Ryhalt. She's powerful, and she's been through the wringer and she kept on fighting. She was the only one fighting to get out what she knew, and she wouldn't give up no matter how bad things got, I respected the hell out of her. She's a badass in her own way, not the same as Nenn, but a badass all the same. She also provided some very low key romance with Ryhalt. Very low key, don't worry guys. 

As for her brother Dantry, I was all set to dislike him for being useless and whatnot, but I ended up really liking him by the end. Sure I rolled my eyes at a him a couple of times, but by the end of the book he'd changed and grown up a lot and I felt for the poor guy. I'm intrigued to see where his story will go. 

These brilliantly intriguing and memorable characters populate a world that's so vivid I could picture it clearly. It was like the book was a movie playing inside my head, it was atmospheric, one of the things that helped to pull me right in to the book. You could feel the tension in the air, feel the uncomfortable atmosphere of the Misery. I was fascinated by the world and how it worked. I wanted to know everything about it. The Darlings provided a suitably creepy enemy, and I'll never be able to look at a small child without shuddering again. The Nameless provided plenty more intrigue too, who are they? What do they look like? What's their story? I'm going to need a separate book on the history of the world and the Nameless I'm not going to lie.

There's plenty of action throughout the book right from the start, and the battles and fights have you right on the edge of your seat, you're as tense as the characters are and completely with them in the moment. One particular battle actually reminded me vaguely of Helm's Deep. The world was just so different, post apocalyptic with a dash of Western. 

Ed McDonald's writing was superb. He wove a picture with his words and I loved the phrases and descriptions he used. They fit with the world he created and the characters and everything in this book came together so well. It was fast paced, vivid, cinematic, atmospheric, humourous at parts and heartbreaking at others. I cheered with the characters, I was on the edge of my seat, and I was frantically trying to work out all of the intrigues and put pieces together. He kept me guessing until the end, and he's going to be an interesting voice in fantasy. One to watch for sure, and I'm excited to read more of his writing, to see what he does next! 

Blackwing is an absolute blinder of a debut, it hooks you and draws you in until you've lost all track of time. Who even are you anymore? You're so invested in Ryhalt and his group it's like you're one of them. I'd heard all of the hype about this book, and I always take it with a pinch of salt but Blackwing deserves every single bit of hype. Ed McDonald provides a refreshing voice in fantasy, and the world he's created is one that I'm excited to explore. I need more please! 

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Manga: Compulsive Gambler Vol 1

Compulsive Gambler Vol 1
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Hyakkaou Private Academy. An institution for the privileged with a very peculiar curriculum. You see, when you're the sons and daughters of the wealthiest of the wealthy, it's not athletic prowess or book smarts that keep you ahead. It's reading your opponent-the art of the deal. What better way to hone those skills than with a rigorous curriculum of gambling?At Hyakkaou Private Academy, the winners live like kings, and the losers are put through the wringer. But when Yumeko Jabami enrolls, she's gonna teach these kids what a high roller really looks like!

The premise for Compulsive Gambler sounded amazing, a school for gamblers?! I eagerly dived in to this and I wasn't disappointed! This is one of my favourite manga of the year so far, it's brilliant. The atmosphere of this book is so creepy and puts you a little bit on edge, and then each game has tension that you can feel building. The art is completely brilliant too, right from the start with its colour pages, and all the way throughout the volume.

I really liked how the characters where drawn looking all cute and pretty the majority of the time but when it came to the uglier aspects of the school and the games, the desire to win, the need to win, the money and the nastiness, the characters expressions would be drawn a lot differently and definitely uglier. It was a nice touch especially as this manga portrays the darkness of society throughout. Not to mention the unfairness. 

As soon as we start reading, we meet Mary Saotome, one of the nastier characters. I instantly hoped Yumeko would take her down but by the end of the volume I couldn't help but feel a little bit sorry for her. As we read, we get a building sense of dread about the student council and their president until they finally make their appearances. They're pretty much a corrupt dictatorship in charge of everyone. Things get very interesting when they make their entrance and I'm intrigued to see how things are going to play out with them. 

I love Yumeko! She's such an interesting character, she appears at first to be a nice, 'gentle' girl, but it quickly becomes apparent that she's a little bot sociopathic you could say, when it comes to gambling. She's quite a badass to be honest, and she's a little bit scary. She's incredibly intelligent and uses that to win and uncover everyones cheating methods. I got some Sherlock vibes in the way she uncovered and talked through each of the cheating methods and how it was done and so on. 

Suzui, Yumeko's unlikely friend and our POV, would be the Watson to her Holmes. I really felt for him, the poor guys the most normal kid there from what I can see and he's experienced the full crappiness of what can happen at his school. I'm interested to see where this friendship is going to be honest, they seem to me like quite an unlikely pair. 

I got so on edge and tense during the first gambling match, it was so cleverly done with the tension building and the way Mary played it and then the reveal happened and I got so excited for this series. I quickly became addicted to this, reading it as fast as I could. The tension is built up for each game, you think Yumeko's gonna figure it all out and win...but does she always? There's moments when you think she's done for, but she mostly pulls it back...sort of. I loved reading about the different games and how they're played, and the cheating methods being used. It was so interesting and Yumeko would be such a badass with the reveals. She's a bit crazy but I really, really root for her! 

I'm so excited for the next volume to see her face off with the student council president and see what she's going to do after the results of her last match, not to mention see how Suzui fits in to everything, is he just there to be our view point or is he just there to be her sidekick or is there more to it? This is going to be such a brilliant series, and I'm going to be eagerly awaiting each new volume! 

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Manga: The Devil Is A Part-Timer Vol 9

The Devil is a Part-Timer Vol 9
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

The Devil King's on the beach, but there's no time to relax! People are packed into the eatery, and Maou's crew can barely keep up with the demand. Looks like the girls will have to come to their rescue! Everything's fun on the shore, but with the appearance of Maou's military adviser, is there trouble on the horizon?

The Devil is a Part-Timer is my go to series when I need a laugh and a pick me up! I find it completely hilarious, and it always makes me chuckle. I love the mix of humour and action each volume has, and this one is no different. 

We open on absolute chaos and poor little Urushihara is completely overwhelmed, more so than the other two boys. Business is booming and they can't cope all on their it's just as well Emi, Chi and Suzuno come to the rescue. 

I'm not going to lie, Lucifer is my favourite. He cracks me up, he's just so funny, although I'd love to know more about him back in the demon realm and how he fit in with all the others. Judging from the greetings and reaction he got in this volume he wasn't taken as seriously as Alciel and the others. We get to meet Camio, Maou's military adviser in this volume, who's got to help him put down an uprising of sorts. 

One of my favourite moments? Getting to see Alciel being a mildly terrifying badass...moments after he tripped over his own feet and fell face first in to the sand. He's definitely my second favourite. I find it funny that he was Maou's enemy and now he's all like "maaaster!". I'm a bit disappointed Maou sent the sword off with Camio because it could have been interesting if he'd had his own and if it helped him access his power but whatever. 

This volume ends the beach arc as the gang head home after we learn some interesting information about Amane and who she is. We get some action and some badass moments for the characters, as well as some more mystery and questions to be answered. The pace could do with picking up a little bit, but I'm still enjoying every volume! 

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Manga: Is It Wrong Vol 7

Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon Vol 7
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

Bell finally reaches the 11th level of the Dungeon to face his fated opponent--the monster responsible for his humiliation, the Minotaur. The memories of his flight and his failure assault him even as he confronts the deadly beast. Will the heroic drive that Aiz Wallenstein inspired within him be enough to defeat the Minotaur? Maybe, maybe not, but either way he's going to need some help from a new friend... 

I don't know what it is about this manga that has me loving it so much...whether it's all the Gods and Goddesses and the way mythology is woven in to it in little ways, or if it's innocent little Bell, battling his way through the dungeon and trying to become a hero. Either way I find myself completely hooked on this series! 

As we come in to Volume 7, Bell has levelled up and now he gets his own nickname...wahooo! Unfortunately for him it's not the most badass but least he has one! One of the interesting things about this volume is that we got some more of Bell's backstory! I'm so intrigued by him, and his past and where he's from. Perhaps there's more information on this in the light novel, but so far in the manga we've been getting tidbits here and there and he's kind of a mystery. I feel like in this volume he really comes in to his own. He's levelled up, he's got some power and he's hitting further and further in to the dungeons. 

He's also getting his own team which means we get a new character! Welf is a smith and he's one of my favourite characters now, I'm not going to lie! I liked him instantly, and he has an intriguing family history and backstory to him that I'm looking forward to learning more about. I'm really loving how well he's fitted in with Bell and Lili! They work well together, and their teamwork is coming on strong, I'm looking forward to seeing how they progress and seeing them come together more and more and interact more. 

On the Freya front, Loki finally delivers a warning to Hestia about her, and I'm waiting for that whole thing to play out! I'm not sure if Hestia and Loki are on to her just yet or if they just suspect what she might be up to but I'm waiting to see what happens with this particular story arc. I can't decide if I like Loki or not! I do really like her familia though! More Bete please! 

There's a nice balance of action and intrigue in this volume, we get to see what Bells new skill is about as he tests out his skills in a lower dungeon level with his team. The intrigue is courtesy of Freya, and the new God on the block, Hermes. Yep, Hermes shows up at the end of the volume, just in time to no doubt cause some trouble in the next volume. We leave Bell just as he's about to venture further in to the dungeons. I'm not going to lie, I found volume 5 to be a bit lack lustre and boring but with volume 6 and this new volume I feel like things are picking up again and the story's getting back to it's great pace and mix of adventure, action and intrigue! 

Monday, 31 July 2017

Review: Dividing Eden

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

Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option: to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?

I have to say, I've changed my ratings for this multiple times, putting it up and putting it down before finally settling on 3.5. It took me a while to get in to this, and I really wasn't sure about it at first. I actually was close to abandoning it, I was a few chapters in, I hadn't been grabbed and I was a bit iffy about it...but then I re-read the synopsis and decided to push on with it because I remembered how excited I was for it when I stumbled across it back in I gave it another chance. 

The world is interesting, and I was intrigued by it and it's history and I really want to see more of it. I feel like there could have been some more information about it to make it more vivid. This is quite short for a fantasy book, and I think it could have had a couple hundred more pages to flesh some things out, the world, the characters and so on. 

I really felt for Carys, her brother wasn't there for her when she needed him and she always covers for him and protects him and sticks up for him, and deals with the consequences of that and he just seems like kind of a crappy brother right from the start. Carys for me, was the strongest character of the book. She's got her flaws and her vices, but she's relatable, you can empathise with her and root for her. I really felt for her more than once because of how she feels. I really loved watching her grow and change over the course of the book and realise she could do this, people do like her, she can fit in and so on. My love for Carys could be why I didn't like Andreus or Imogen much at all. Even before they where shady. 

Andreus I was curious about for a couple of pages before I lost my patience with him and then had no time for him. I was curious about his problem, and I still am as it was vaguely hinted at but we still don't know what the deal is with it. I feel like towards the end of the book his problem was forgotten about and it was like it didn't exist anymore. I really didn't like Andreus. Carys protects him at her own expense and takes care of him but he really doesn't care, he's quick to think the worst of her, he doesn't return it all, he's childish and quite honestly, more than a little bit pathetic. I didn't care for his relationship with Imogen either. 

When I went in to this, I was expecting to have these two strong characters, both characters I loved and that it was so, so hard to choose between. I was expecting to watch the Trial slowly throw up obstacles for them, and between them, and to see them slowly pull apart until they ended up clashing or something and all the time really struggle to pick who's side I was on. But right from the start I knew who's side I was on and I hated Andreus. I was quite disappointed to be honest. I feel like the pacing was off. For me, I found the beginning to be slow and then it went too fast. I genuinely feel like more could have been fleshed out and the trial could have gone a bit slower, and when I thought of the Trials from the synopsis I was expecting harder Trials to be honest. I don't know. 

Another of my big problems? I found Imogen to be completely transparent. Imogen was snakey. So snakey. And I could tell as soon as she made her first appearance. I knew something wasn't right with her and I knew she was dodgy. I wasn't at all torn by Andreus, like I said, I immediately didn't like him and I had no sympathy for him whatsoever. He just kept going further and further down in my estimations. Whereas I loved watching Carys becoming stronger and stronger, and battling her problems and picking herself up again every single time and winning over the people....Andreus just kept being a crappier and crappier character. So I was disappointed it wasn't a closer call between the two, to have Andreus so unlikeable from the outset was disappointing. 

There's a couple of other interesting characters, Lord Errik and Garret. I'm curious about them, I'm hoping they're not bad guys but to be honest, it's been so obvious who's dodgy and who isn't that I'm feeling quite good about the two of them. I have a little niggle with Errik like he's a bit too good to be true but we'll see. 

Towards the end, things really picked up and I got way more invested in it. After the ending I'm intrigued for the next book, to see who's plotting what and what's up with Errik and Garret and how Carys is going to turn things around and so on. I'm also really hoping Andreus gets what's coming to him too. 


Friday, 28 July 2017

Manga: Akame Ga Kill Vol 11

Akame Ga Kill Vol 11
Rating: 5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

During a covert mission, Tatsumi and Lubbock are captured by Syura, who intends to make amends for his team's failures with it but the Wild Hunt is disbanded after Esdeath exposes his past crimes, and while interrogating Lubbock, he is killed by him. While attempting to escape, Lubbock is killed and after refusing to join her side, Tatsumi is sentenced to death, but when the time for his execution comes, his companions from Night Raid appear to rescue him.

Things are really starting to pick up in Akame Ga Kill, even more so than before as we start to head towards the end of the series. Everything's ramping up, there's more blood, more action and more character deaths and this volume completely broke my heart by killing one of my favourite characters. 

More and more of the volumes feature content not from the anime, so we're starting to get surprised by the twists and turns again, and in this volume there's some familiar content...but it's been changed and switched up and only really bears a passing resemblance. A certain character dies in a completely different way to the anime, and we get some romance in this volume too which wasn't present in the anime that I can remember. 

I ship Mine and Tatsumi so bad and they're genuinely so cute together, they provide some romance and lightness to a story that's getting heavier and heavier. Although that could all be about to come crashing down providing the manga follows the anime in regards to what happens to Mine. I'm also shipping Wave and Kurome even though I don't really like Kurome all that much as a character. 

I will forever be gutted about Run, I'm not going to lie! And my poor little Lubbock, I actually got choked up! I've been so excited for Syura to die, I actually wrote on my review notes "can we just kill Syura already?" when I was at the beginning of the volume and well....job done. He and his merry band of psychopaths have been terrorising everyone and honestly...they so deserve what's coming to them. Dorthea is up to nothing good, although I'm kind of intrigued by what she's doing. 

Esdeath continues to have me completely torn, I kinda like her. She protects her team, she's good to them and there for them and everything, she saved Tatsumi....sort of. And I get her, I get where she's coming from with her feelings for Tatsumi it's hard not to empathise with her on that front, even though she really doesn't get the message, but she's also one of the bad guys. I kinda want her to come over to Night Raid already. But I really don't think she will. 

Akame Ga Kill Vol 11 proves that no character is safe, if we hadn't figured that out already as yet another favourite dies. There's more blood, dismemberment and general ick and everythings ramping up as we start to get ready for the finale. I am so not ready. Everytime I read Akame, I'm on edge and so tense waiting to see who's going to die next, and how it's all going to end. The thing is, I genuinely can't predict what's going to happen in this manga, so I'm always surprised by the twists and turns that pop up, except for the few familiarities from the anime...but even then I can't be sure that things are going to end the same way as the anime, or things will go the same way for the characters because things are getting more and more different! 

My one gripe? This volume completely broke my heart, but then there was the cuteness that was Mine and Tatsumi and then we where settling in for some seriously badass action courtesy of the ladies of Night Raid and then....boom. End of the volume. starts to get really good and tense and then it's like "bye. See you in OCTOBER." can't just leave me hanging like that! 


Thursday, 27 July 2017

Manga: Land of the Lustrous

Land of the Lustrous Vol 1
Rating: 3/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

An elegant new action manga for fans of Sailor Moon and the litany of comics and animation that it inspired, Land of the Lustrous is set in a far future Earth, where humanity's distant descendants live on in a small group of sexless crystalline beings who must fight off an invasion from the Moon. 
The young gem Phosphorite can't seem to do anything right. "Phos" has nothing but a big mouth and guts. Cinnabar, a classmate, is a loner, shunned by the other gems because of the toxins emitted from their body. But when they get together, they will learn that they both have an essential role to play in the fight against the Moonfolk, who are intent on coming to Earth to abduct the gem folk and destroy their world. 

So I was a bit worried that I was the only one who didn't really get this, but after having a nose on GoodReads it appears I'm not, which makes me feel better. I feel like this is one of those series where you need to give it a volume or two to really get in to it. 

LotL is straight in there with the interesting history about the Lustrous and what they are and how they came to exist. There's a mysterious leader that you're curious to know more about and then we have Phos our main character. Phos's great, although Phos seem's to annoy every single character! Phos just wants to be a soldier but is assigned a different task instead. I felt for Cinnabar and I'm intrigued by Cinnabar and the solution that there might be for Cinnabar. Cinnabar has a body full of toxins that are given off and so Cinnabar is kind of shunned a little bit. Diamond was great and such a sweetheart. Most of the others I don't really have an opinion on at this stage. 

Things started to get really interesting by the end of the volume and I'm intrigued by Phos's new talent and I'd definitely give volume 2 a go to see where this is going....but. Yes, there's a but. The beginning was a bit slow and although it was intriguing and has left me intrigued about their enemy and the other Lustrous etc...for the most part I had no idea what was going on, and I got confused multiple times. The gems aren't all that distinctive from each other so sometimes it was hard to tell them apart, and you was confusing. I'm still not entirely sure how everything works, and some of it didn't make sense...yet. I'm sure things will become clearer as the story goes on but for the first volume it left me feeling confused and not entirely sure what had gone on in the first volume. I'm hoping the second volume will pick up and straighten things out. 

Review: Noteworthy

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

Jordan Sun is embarking on her junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts, hopeful that this will be her time: the year she finally gets cast in the school musical. But when her low Alto 2 voice gets her shut out for the third straight year—threatening her future at Kensington-Blaine and jeopardizing her college applications—she’s forced to consider nontraditional options.

In Jordan’s case, really nontraditional. A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshipped…revered…all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.

Jordan finds herself enmeshed in a precarious juggling act: making friends, alienating friends, crushing on a guy, crushing on a girl, and navigating decades-old rivalries. With her secret growing heavier every day, Jordan pushes beyond gender norms to confront what it means to be a girl (and a guy) in a male-dominated society, and—most importantly—what it means to be herself.

Well, I can't recommend this book to you guys enough! I've been looking forward to starting this book and I completely loved it. I got more and more drawn in and riveted to the page as I went! I was completely hooked, the characters where memorable and where really brought to life for you. I loved Jordan as a main character, she was relatable and you could empathise with her and feel for her and you where rooting for her the entire time. 

I freaking love Isaac, Trav and the other Sharps. I wanted to know more and more about them, and their backgrounds! They worked so well together as a group, and their banter cracked me up! This book is one of those that has you laughing out loud and smiling as you read! I have to admit, it's made me so intrigued in a-cappella now too! 

Noteworthy is a brilliant read that pulls you in with it's mix of humour, intrigue and great characters. The cast is diverse, their friendships are so brilliantly written and portrayed, each character has their own personality and really leap off the page, and I've never read anything quite like it. I had so much fun reading this book, it took me on quite the rollercoaster! There's romance too, and I loved how it was slotted in without being the main focus of the book! Jordan has some great inner monologues and conversations with herself and aaahhh it was such a fantastic read! 

Although I'll forever be irked that Connor and his group got away with all the crap they pulled. *frowny face*

Review: Star Wars Junior Novelisations

Star Wars A New Hope
Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars Return of the Jedi
Star Wars The Force Awakens

Ratings: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy!
Source: Copies courtesy of the publisher! 

2017 sees the 40th anniversary of the release of Star Wars: A New Hope, the film that launched the greatest space fantasy epic in history. To celebrate this, Egmont are publishing a set of junior novel adaptations of the original trilogy.
Follow the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca and the Rebel Alliance as they fight against the evil Emperor Palpatine, and his sinister agent Darth Vader!
As I'm sure you guys are aware, I'm a huge fan of Star Wars! Except for the prequel films. I like to pretend those don't exist. Thanks to the publisher, I got to read these gorgeous junior editions of the books and I loved them! They're going to be so brilliant for getting books interested in Star Wars! 
You get some great insight in to the characters and events while keeping it short and sweet! There's not as much detail as I imagine there is in the adult novels, but it's enough for kids and to pique their interest without giving anything away! 
I really feel like these capture the essence of the movies, there's some elaboration on certain character actions and feelings, but not enough to bog down the book and keep it from being short and snappy. The characters personalities are perfectly captured as is the action and adventure and the pace is perfect. 
For Star Wars fans wanting to get the kids they know interested in the movies...these are perfect! They've given me such an urge to watch the movies again's been a while! 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Manga: The Seven Deadly Sins Vol 21

The Seven Deadly Sins Vol 21
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy 
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher! 

The Fighting Festival between The Seven Deadly Sins and The Ten Commandments has finally begun! With The Sins and company divided into groups of two, they have no choice but to work separately as pairs in order to prove victorious in their duels against the other contestants. But when Gowther and Escanor are pit against each other, will they fall into The Ten Commandments’s trap and fight, or will their friendship be strong enough to get them through unscathed? 

I remember watching this show on Netflix, I'd been intrigued by the trailer that they'd been constantly showing and decided to give it a try, and while I was a bit iffy at first, I ended up getting completely hooked. Then of course, once the anime ended I had to know what happened next so I started to read the manga...and here we are at Volume 21 already! 

I've been so excited for this volume because of the end of last volume, with everyone getting paired up for the fighting festival. Like I've been so ready to see everyone throw down, I knew it was going to be awesome! I wasn't wrong. And it was nice to see Elaine and Elizabeth hold their own when they got dragged in to it! 

I'm not going to lie to you guys, Ban and Meliodas are my BROTP. I love the two of them, they crack me up. They had me absolutely cackling in this volume, when they had a little spat during their fight, and they're like, *argues about who's girlfriend is better* and then five minutes later Ban's like "Why's this guy dead? Guess we won. Oh well". I was full on cackling. Only those two would accidentally kill an opponent while arguing between themselves. 

We get to catch up with Denzel and co, and Guila who's in a crew with Gustaf (Jericho's brother) and a surprise relative of Elizabeth's which should be...interesting to see play out. I'm looking forward to seeing more of said relative, I was hoping we might get to see more of her after she showed up earlier on, I actually quite liked her and I'm intrigued to see what role she's going to play in the coming events and so on, and get to delve in to her character more! 

Camelot has unfortunately fallen to Melioda's brother. Damnit Arthur. You had one job. Just one. I'm looking forward to seeing the gang inevitably take it back, but more importantly...I'm looking forward to seeing more of Arthur. Ever since he popped up I've been exited to see him and what he can do and so on, but I feel like he hasn't really had a chance to shine yet, so I'm hoping that next volume we'll finally get to see him in action, and see how he can contribute. 

I have to say, Gowther gets more creepy with each volume. I actually quite liked him when he was first introduced but now he just plain creeps me out. Seriously. Then we get confronted with a new mystery involving him, and I'm like...part of me feels sorry for him..but most of me is just hugely creeped out and kinda wants to hand him over, mystery be damned. 

One of the greatest parts of this volume, for me anyway, was finally getting to see some more of Escanor's background! I've been so curious about him, and then we finally get to meet him and he wasn't at all what I was expecting and I've been itching to know more about him and this volume really delivered for that. I'm also warming to Jericho more and more as the volumes go on, I wasn't sure I'd ever actually like her all that much but I'm slowly getting there and it's nice to see how her relationship with Ban has changed, and how they've finally bonded and become a team. 

My main problem with this volume? When Escanor goes full badass and you're left hanging until next volume! can't just bust that out and then leave it there!? It's just cruel! Although it's safe to say things are stepping up again, there's more going on, there's plenty of action again, we've got sub plots and little mysteries springing up. We're learning more about characters both new and old, and I'm excited to see what's going to happen next. There's certain events I'm looking forward to in particular, as well as seeing how the Commandments get taken down. Because we all know they will get taken down! 

The Seven Deadly Sins is continuing to draw me in with the world and the characters, not to mention the action and the plots proceeding at a nice pace with plenty of things thrown in to keep you hooked! 

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