Tuesday 31 May 2011

Goodbye, Tokyopop, Goodbye

31 May 2011. If you don’t know what happens today, then to be quite honest I’m not too surprised. Unless like me, you keep up with things to do with manga, in which case something quite significant happens today. Tokyopop, one of the publishers that brings us some great manga, will close its North American office today….
So what’s the big deal? Whenever a small manga publisher goes bust, it normally won’t be any big deal. But Tokyopop is one of the largest and most common publishers we see out there

Closing announcement goes “Today, we are sad to inform our loyal community of manga fans, our passionate creators of manga content, our business and retail partners, and other stakeholders who have supported us through the years that as of May 31, 2011, TOKYOPOP is closing its Los Angeles-based North American publishing operations.”
Tokyopop’s founder Stu Levy says “I'm laying down my guns. Together, our community has fought the good fight, and, as a result, the Manga Revolution has been won –manga has become a ubiquitous part of global pop culture.” The full statement is below in a spoiler tag because its quite long.

Only the North American office will be shutting. The office in Germany will carry on, and so will its film division. The office in Germany will still handle liscencing rights for Tokyopop. I don’t know
So what will be going? A list of some of some manga produced by Tokyopop….

- Sailor Moon
- Fruits Basket
- Battle Royale
- Love Hina
- Hetalia Axis Powers
- Alice in the Country of Hearts
- Bizenghast
- Chibi Vampire
- D.N.angel
- .hack// *insert series name here*
- Maid Sama!
- Pet Shop of Horrors
- Priest
- Tokyo Mew Mew
- Trinity Blood
- The Gothic Lolita bibles
- Vampire Kisses
- And theres a lot more…

What do we think will happen? Well, seeing as we don’t know if the Germans will publish manga in English, so we have to go from there. Let’s assume that the German’s will produce manga in English. The cost of manga, being imported from Germany, will (for the Americans at least) go up (before they didn’t have to import it). No idea what that will do to the price of manga in England seeing as it’s already imported.
Now let’s assume that the Germans don’t publish manga in English. Then what will we do? We’re hoping that somebody else will obtain the English rights to some of these titles, especially the more popular ones like Hetalia once they realise that they are goldmines and to licence them is a great investment.
Now let’s assume Tokyopop refuse to sell the licenses. In which case we will not be getting any manga from some amazing series and therefore we will have lost a whole host of great manga.

Other people’s opinions? Well, Luvable Nutcase says something like “I suppose that the manga that is completed will be released and the ones that aren’t will be picked up by someone else. I’m going to miss the Gothic Lolita bibles, they never released number six did they…AAH! Who’s going to translate Hetalia???. The GOOD news is that its only the American office that’s shutting so likely it will still be released but will be expensive. Since manga is such a huge moneymaker in the US, they wont THINK about shutting it down completely.”
Amamizu says”Tokyopop doesn’t have a reputation for treating artists/creators well so I’m not sure I feel too bad for them shutting down.”
Maryspam/Mimz (depending on how nice we’re feeling on the day we contact her) says “I wanted to read that manga….now I have nothing to look forward to.”
Iza says “I think its *censored, profanity*”

Nina and Katy say ”Well we still have anime of various things and the stuff that we wanted to read most of it we’ve read. Hetalia will probably get picked up by someone else (Viz media, Yen Press, Dark Horse and others : TIP- Pick it up! It’s a goldmine!!) and some other popular titles may or may get picked up. We’ll be sad to see Fruits Basket and Alice in the Country of Hearts go, and Chibi Vampire we got through anyway. Maid-sama! We would have liked to read (we liked Ouran and Maid-sama is in a similar genre), but most now we probably won’t. In conclusion, we think that Tokyopop have a great selection of manga and we're pretty disappointed that they're going".

And where will this leave us in the world of manga? Well, we still have Viz Media (you may know it by its imprints Shojo Beat and Shounen Jump, and these guys are responsible for Death Note, Naruto, Bleach, Vampire Knight, Nana, Godchild and other things. We have Yen Press responsible for Black Butler, Bamboo Blade, Pandora Hearts, Haruhi, Soul Eater and a lot more. We have Dark Horse manga responsible for Reiko the Zombie Shop, Mail, The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service and some other things.
So yes, there will still be some manga out there, and some pretty good manga at that. But we’ll still miss Tokyopop, and all the great titles it brought us.

Monday 30 May 2011

Book Review: Ragnarok by Myung-Jin Lee

Title: Ragnarok
Author: Myung-Jin Lee

Publisher: TOKYOPOP

Published: November 2002

Length: 192 pages

Notes: This is not a manga. It’s a manwha! (This basically the Korean manga [manga made by a Korean person] and it has a different name). The version I read was flipped…

Summary from goodreads: The winds of change are blowing in Midgard. After a 1000-year slumber the Wolf Goddess, Fenris, has been reincarnated in the body of a beautiful warlock. As she searches the land for the reincarnation of the god Balder, she is hunted by the arrogant young Valkyrie, Sara Irine. Her quest will take her to the far corners of Midgard where she will meet and be joined the magical princess Iris, the air headed thief Lidia, and Chaos, a powerful warrior with no memory of his past

Review: A relatively complex manwha, “Ragnarok” is a dark fantasy which I sadly don’t plan on reading again. No, it’s not because I haven’t read 1, 2 and 3, but because to be honest, it’s not really my thing. The fight scenes are a bit too long, covering large sections of the volume, and there is too many panels where the characters are running around and not really doing much. The characters' RPG style equipment is very strange thing to do and is quite hard to pull off but has been done well. The background has been done in a way that it blends into the foreground and the hair looks rather… wet and shiny. But I would say that the overall art was very good (there was a guy with make-up! It takes courage to draw men with excessive amounts of lipstick!).

Rating: 2

Other note: The main character, Chaos, is really unique. I've never seen a main character who looks very, very evil. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Sunday 29 May 2011

Book review: Rave Master 2 by Hiro Mashima

Title: Rave Master 2

Author: Hiro Mashima

Length: 192 pages

Published: April 2003 (in the USA)

Publisher: TOKYOPOP

Summary from goodreads: The Continent of Song is in chaos. The sinister secret society known as Demon Card is using the power of Da

rk Bring to destroy everything in their path. The only things capable of stopping Dark Bring are the Rave stones. Unfortunately, the Rave Stones were scattered around the globe in an explosion 50 years ago, so now they must be collected by the Rave Master in order to stop Dark Bring once and for all.

Review: I haven’t read “Rave Master 1” and therefore was pleasantly surprised that I could easily guess what was going on. Hiro Mashima’s art gives the book a light and cheerful atmosphere which is suitable for the beginning of an action/adventure story like “Rave Master”. But as a result, the intense scene weren’t so… intense. The plot line was okay for a second volume; the main focus was on humour rather than action, but that’s okay because if there was lots of action, we’d all get bored within the first volume. I’m sure that the n

ext volume will be more exciting. The characters have been well thought out and I love “Plue” the dog/cat/bug with the awesome nose… horn… thing.

Rating: 4 PSHAH!

Yay! It’s the Holiday!

I’m sorry for not blogging for a while: I’ve been revising for the end of year tests (Nina probably revises less than I do, but it doesn’t stop her from beating me in almost every subject).

Nina’s gone to the land of the tomatoes (Spain) and so I’m taking over for a bit. If you have anything you want to say to her, write it in the chatbox, and I’ll text it to her in Spanish. The reason why I’m going to text her in Spanish is because she doesn’t do Spanish and I want her to suffer! (Not really, but it seemed like fun).

So prepare for the most boring time in the blog’s existence, because I’ve been stranded with books like “Rave Master” and “Card Captor Sakura”. There is nothing wrong with these mangas, but they are in the wrong category.

Thursday 26 May 2011

Waiting on Thurday and Amigos Adios!

Well since blogger failed, my Waiting on Wednesday didn't get posted. So I'm posting it today instead. And actually it is Wednesday in some parts of the world....anyway I'm saying its Waiting on Thursday.......And also a quick goodbye message... read on...

Tuesday 24 May 2011

Book Review: Full Metal Alchemist vol 1 by Hiromu Arakawa

Title: Full Metal Alchemist vol 1
Author: Hiromu Arakawa
Series: Full Metal Alchemist #1
Published: May 3rd 2005 by VIZ Media
Length:192 pages
Warnings:Gore, minor profanity, alchemy.
Other info:There's a rather large fanbase, with an anime series adapted from it.
Summary :Dabbling in alchemy carries a price. When brothers Edward and Alphonse played with the mystical power to alter the natural world, they both paid dearly. One lost an arm and a leg; the other became a soul locked into a body of living iron. Now these siblings are slaves of the evil military-alchemical complex, using their unique powers for dire purposes.
Review: we first see a a boy, kneeling and calling for someone in what looks like a scientific experiment goes wrong. Yes that is his leg that is missing.  We then get to what appears to be a pub, where there is a young boy and what is basically  a suit of armour. Everyone starts talking about alchemy, and it is revealed that aforementioned young boy and suit of armour are a couple of brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric. Just remember that Edward is the one with his body and Alphonse is the soul in steel. If you want to know exactly how this happens, read the manga. It also turns out that Edward is the FullMetal Alchemist, which is another way of saying he is extremely good at alchemy. The whole series, I think, is basically them trying to fight off enemies with their powers which, as is typical in shounen, they do fairly well. Its actually pretty hard to sumarrise this....
The story was good and easy to understand. There are a few interesting plot twists, but most of it is pretty simple: fighting with a bit of witty dialogue in the middle of it.
I liked the characters....sort of. Although we don’t get much character development (this contains fourchapters. You can’t expect character development in four chapters), you get a lot of backstory for Edward and Alphonse. The other characters such as Rose the nun and that priest person weren’t particularly stand out, but worked well with the story. My current favourite character is Lust, even though we see her in five pages only. Lust is  depicted as a curvy woman who’s nail/claw thingy can go straight through a man’s head. Seriously, I want to read the next volume just so I can see how the rest of the deadly sins are portrayed.
The art was well drawn. I don’t particularly like the style that much (I prefer it to be more flowy and soft, but thats rare in shounen) but the clean lines go well with the atmosphere of this series.
Overall:  I give this strength three tea because I can see why it has a pretty large fan base, and I would like to carry on with Full Metal Alchemist, but its not really a must read for me.

On My Wishlist 6

*insert usual rambling about OMW being hosted by Book Chick City etc...*

So, in memory of the zombie/ apocalypse that never happened, I thought I’d theme this weeks wishlist around zombies/apocalypses just for the fun of it. Here you go.

Sunday 22 May 2011

Book Review: Bloody Kiss by Kazuko Furumiya

Title: Bloody Kiss
Author: Kazuko Furumiya
Series: Bloody Kiss #1
Published: Published August 11th 2009 by TokyoPop
Length: 192 pages
Warnings: Teen for mild sexuality, mild violence, mild gore, mild fanservice (Tokyopop’s rating)
Other info: Volume 2 was also published by Tokyopop.
Summary : When Kiyo inherits her grandmother’s house, she gets a lot more than she bargained for. You see, also living in the home are two hot vamp1ires, Kuroboshi and his servant Alshu! Then things go from weird to bloody crazy when Kuroboshi decide’s to make Kiyo his “bride”-his only source of blood.
Review: it’s all centred around Kiyo, who inherits a house from her grandmother. She goes in and finds Kuroboshi and Alshu, a couple of vampires. Kuroboshi fake attempts to drink her blood, and gets knocked out. He then forces Kiyo to help him clean up, then things happen and she agrees to let them stay. And also Kuroboshi wants to make Kiyo his only blood source, which kind of makes her mad when she learns the term for this is “bride”. Yeah…its just a  really short comedy and I cant really go into much more detail than this or I might as well give you the book to read...
I like the plot. What there is of it. And actually theres quite a lot of it for the start of a series that spans two volumes.  Its fairly detailed, and while the majority of the book is comedy, both laugh out loud, and slightly perverted types, there are a few more serious notes in this.
The characters are easy to connect with and have strong personalities. Kiyo is a girl who is in no danger of being a Mary Sue, because of the way she talks back and tends to slap Kuroboshi. Kuroboshi and his way of taking half the things Kiyo says in a perverted way is slightly annoying, but funny anyway. Alshu doesn’t particularly do much, just really there to add comic relief.
The comedy is the strong point in this. Some of the jokes will not be appreciated by some people, but some will, such as Kiyo turning up with a cross, Kuroboshi telling her that they don’t hurt vampires, and Kiyo hitting him around the head with it.
I like the art in this. Its detailed and realistic, and the traditional shojo style of the drawings compliment the story. The little extras such as the rough sketches of  various scenes and the gender-bended Kiyo and Kuroboshi were a nice little touch.
Bloody Kiss only really takes up three quarters of the 200 pages.  The final quarter is one shot manga called Angel Love Song. I wont go into too much detail, but its a sweet little love story involving a singing contest and the typical  shojo character development and so on. 

Overall:  Strength 4 tea to this fun manga that fans of comedy, vampires and romance will like. Anyone looking for scary vampires should go elsewhere.

Friday 20 May 2011

Book hop #8

Book Blogger HopWelcome to Death Books and Tea!
Here we review books for young adults, normally dystopian, horror, paranormal romance, that thread of things. We also read a lot of manga, and occasionally read other types of books, possibly because our book club is shadowing an award or something like that.
Thank you for coming from Crazy for Books if you're new to this site, and if you're an old follower thank you for coming back!
Please settle down, have tea and cake with us, and if you like this blog, please follow us!

Now for this weeks question...
If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world (from a book), which book would it be from and what would that place be?
Doesn't this sound kind of familiar...oh well... Once again, the world of Black Butler, by Yana Toboso. (review of volumes 1&2 can be found here) Demons, shinigami, chainsaws, zombies, circuses and tea in the Victorian era? Love.

Now your turn...leave a link and I'll stop by at some point in the distant future...

 PS At time of writing, DBT has 75 followers. I promise to do a giveaway if we ever reach 100!

Thursday 19 May 2011

Book Review: The Demon Trappers Daughter/Forsaken by Jana Oliver

Title:  The Demon Trapper’s Daughter aka Forsaken (US/UK titles respectively)
Author: Jana Oliver
Series: The Demon Trappers #1
Published: February 7th 2011 by MacMillan Children's Books
Length: 448 pages
Warnings:  demons, witches, magic, a bit of romance
Other info: The website is http://www.demontrappers.co.uk , and you can find Jana Oliver here. Book 2, Soul Thief/Forbidden, should be out in August.
Summary: Riley has always wanted to be a Demon Trapper like her father, and she's already following in his footsteps as one of the best. But it's tough being the only girl in an all-guy world, especially when three of those guys start making her life more complicated: Simon, the angelic apprentice who has heaven on his side; Beck, the tough trapper who thinks he's God's gift, and Ori, the strikingly sexy stranger who keeps turning up to save her ass. One thing's for sure - if she doesn't keep her wits about her there'll be hell to pay...

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 11: Unwholly by Neal Shusterman

 Waiting on Wednesday is  a weekly bookish meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where we show off books that we want to read but have not been published yet.

Title: Unwholly (Unwnid #2)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Release Date: Some time 2012
Goodreads:  Sequel to Unwind.
Blurb to book 1, Unwind: Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.
The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

Why I want it: I just finished Unwind, and thought it was absolutely amazing. And while some parts of it were tied up nicely, ******’s speech (censored for spoiler alert) promised something more to come.  Which I assume will be seen in Unwholly.

What’s everyone else waiting on this week?

Tuesday 17 May 2011

In My Mailbox 4

In my Mailbox...
Not on Sunday! Because I didn't have the time then...well, its here now. Also features books I got a while ago but did not do IMM then so they didn't get featured...its hosted by The Story Siren, weekly for most but whenever I get round to it for me... enjoy...

Sunday 15 May 2011

Book Review- My So Called Afterlife by Tamsyn Murray

 Title: My So Called Afterlife
 Author: Tamsyn Murray
Series: Afterlife #1
 Published: February 26th 2010 by Piccadilly Press Ltd
 Length: 184 pages
Warnings: romance (has forgotton how far this goes, not too far.) , ghosts,
 Other info: There are currently two more books in the series, My So Called Haunting and My So Called Phantom Lovelife
Summary : Aaargh!' Stumbling backwards, the man's face flooded with embarassment. 'How long have you been there?' My mind fizzed furiously. He could see me. He could actually see me! I could have hugged him! Well, I couldn't, but you know what I mean.
Fifteen-year-old Lucy has been stuck in the men's loos since she was murdered there six months ago and Jeremy is the first person who's been able to see or hear her. Just her luck that he's a seriously uncool geography-teacher type - but at least he's determined to help. Once he's found a way for her to leave the loos, she's soon meeting other ghosts, including the gorgeous Ryan. However, when Jeremy insists that she helps him track down her killer, she has to confront her greatest fear...
 Review: Lucy was murdered in a toilet and is now a ghost. Not the most fun position for teenage girl to be in, especially as no-one can hear her and its pretty boring. And then Jeremy comes in, can see and hear her, and wants to help her solve her murder. She meets lots of ghosts, like stuck up Kimberly, was-suicidal Hep and  dreamboat Ryan. Jeremy then says that she needs to track down her killer, something Lucy isn’t particularly keen on. However she does, which is the basis of the book. 
The plot was original and funny. out of all the YA books out there, theres not too many that focus on  ghosts. I liked the little subplots  going on underneath Lucy’s adventure, such as getting Hep’s unfinished business finished, and the exorcism TV show. The romance wasn’t particularly bad or good, just being an average part of the book that I don’t think added or took anything away from the story.
I liked the characters and their strong distinctive personalities. I never got mixed up with the characters, which is good, and each was well built and easy to imagine.
I like the voice that was kept up throughout the book. It made Lucy easy to connect with and a little more real. The friendly narrative was easy to keep up with, explaining everything thats going on, and kept going at a pace fast enough for me to enjoy it.
There didn’t seem to be much that really stood out for me. It  was funny, light and a really easy read, but there was nothing that seemed to make it extremely amazing. The fact I read this a couple of days ago (weeks by the time this goes on the blog ^__^) and can only give you a quick summary should show this. This book is interesting and a good book, but theres nothing that really will stick in your mind forever. Maybe its due to its length-184 pages isn’t that much to pack a lot into.  I would like to read the sequel though.
Overall:  Strength 3 tea to My So Called Afterlife, a quick read for anyone who likes ghosts and romance. Mainly for girly girls. If you’re looking for spooks and gore, this isn’t it.

Saturday 14 May 2011

Book Review- Vampire Knight vol 1 by Matsuri Hino

Title: Vampire Knight vol. 1
Author: Matsuri Hino
Series: Vampire Knight #1
Published: January 2007 by Viz Media. First published in Japan in 2005 by Hakusensha. First published in magazine Lala in 2004. First published in English in Shojo Beat in 2006.
Length: 200 pages
Warnings: vampires, gore, violence, guns. (my recommendation) “Sexual themes and violence” (Viz rating)
Other info: There are currently 11 volumes out in English the twelfth should be published later in the year. Matsuri Hino has written Captive Hearts and Meri Puri. Vampire Knight is still ongoing.
Summary (blurb):Cross Academy is attended by two groups of students: the Day Class and the Night Class. At twilight, when the students of the Day Class return to their dorm, they cross paths with the Night Class on the way to school. Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu are the Guardians of the school, protecting the Day Class from the Academy’s dark secret: the Night Class is full of Vampires!
Yuki Cross has no memory of her past prior to the moment she was saved from a vampire attack ten years ago. She was adopted by the headmaster of Cross Academy, and now works alongside Zero to guard the Academy’s secret. Yuki believes that vampires and humans can co-exist peacefully, but her partner has different ideas...
Review: My book 4 of Parajunkee’s Vampire Challenge.
The story begins with a girl who looks about three (but is five) about to be attacked by a vampire. A boy who looks about eight comes along, kills said vampire, is a vampire himself, and walks off.
Cut to present day: Aforementioned girl is revealed to be Yuki Cross. We’re at the Cross Academy, with a day class and a night class. The night class are all extremely beautiful and adored by the Day class. This is because they are all vampires. The Night Class walk to school, and would be attacked by the Day Class if it wasn’t for Yuki, whose job, as school guardian, it is to keep Day and Night Classes separate. Kaname Kuran is revealed to be the boy who looked about eight and is now dorm president. And then Zero Kiryu turns up, who is the other school guardian. The rest of the volume is really an introductory thing, which does have a plot of its own. We learn that Zero is a vampire, we meet a couple of vampires, one of which bites Yuki and ends up with a slap from Kaname, and we meet the headmaster of Cross Academy, whose dream it is that vampires and humans can co-exist. In case you haven’t guessed, this goes badly, which is basically what the whole of this volume revolves around.
The story is good. There’s a lot more going on than I said earlier, but I tried to summarise it all. It’s interesting as everything happens in a fairly quick period of time and is fairly fast paced.
The characters are slightly stereotyped, with the damsel in distress caught in a love triangle between Mr. Perfect and angry young man. The romance is a lot of “who will she go for”, which I suppose is interesting to those who like that sort of thing. Characters other than Yuki, Zero and Kuran don’t really serve much purpose other than as comic relief, in this volume anyway. The art is especially pretty, detailed and realistic.
This isn’t a Twilight clone. I know this because it was published BEFORE Twilight. However, t
here are a lot of similarities (the love triangle, the Mary Sue, and many more) that means people do compare t
Overall: I give it strength 3 tea because I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t outstanding. It’s a good read for any vampire fan, especially Twilight fans, but to anyone else, it would just be average.

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 10 - Juliet Immortal

 Waiting on Wednesday is  a weekly bookish meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where we show off books that we want to read but have not been published yet.

Title: Juliet Immortal
Author: Stacey Jay
Release Date: September 13th 2011
Goodreads: These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume."
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
The most tragic love story in history . . . Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love

Why I want it: This looks like a really interesting take on Romeo and Juliet...add to the fact that I never particularly liked Romeo anyway, and I love classics redone, and there's nothing else like this out there, this looks like something I need to read.

What are other people waiting on this week?

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Book Review- Alice in the Country of Hearts vol 5 by QuinRose and Hoshino Soume

 Title: Alice in the Country of Hearts volume 5
 Author: QuinRose and Soumei Hoshino
Series: Alice in the Country of Hearts #5
 Published:  by Tokyopop
 Length:192 pages
Warnings: suggestive situations, mild violence, alcohol
 Other info: If you haven’t read this series before, it’s probably best if you read the review of volume 1. I’ll keep this spoiler free though, so read on if you want!
Summary :
 Review:  A ball is going to be held in the Country of Hearts, and Alice does not want to go at all. especially once she knows that Blood Dupre, mafia boss/mad hatter/irritating person will be there. However Boris the Cheshire Cat, Gowland the Duchess and Julius the Clockmaker  get her there, where she meets with Blood, Vivaldi (the Queen of Hearts), Peter White (the Rabbit) and others. Somehow she ends up in Blood’s territory,   where she is invited to his rose garden, and learns about the relationship between him and Vivaldi. It ends on a cliffhanger that makes me think that Quinrose is trying to bring Alice in the Country of Hearts to an end.
So the plot was interesting, slightly slowed down from other volumes and a bit boring. Theres a bit more serious stuff going on here, but there’s still a good dose of comic relief that makes it a quick light read. The characters all have distinct personalities that are completely different to those  of their corresponding characters in Alice in Wonderland, but still recognisably them.
The comedy probably isn’t to everyone’s liking. I enjoyed it though-this is one of my favourite comedy mangas. Theres some that the majority of people will like (ie Julius asking Ace to lead  him and  Alice to the ball, in the hope they will get lost enough that they miss it completely), but some jokes are slightly more mature which will be completely lost on younger readers.
The art is pretty, as always. Most of the time its simple and realistic, which really work for this manga and its storyline, theme,  etc. However the use of chibis (super deformed characters used for comic effect normally) that comes up occasionally also suit the manga, and the situations and they’re not too overdone. Its interesting seeing the characters in formal wear-especially Boris, now in a suit as opposed to his normal punk wear and pink feather boa. He still has the tail piercing though *laughs*
The ending makes me want the sixth volume NOW. I’m not going to giveaway spoilers, but if you read it, you will want to read it too.
Overall:  Strength 4 tea to a quick light read that WILL make you laugh. Recommended especially to those who enjoy classics re-done, Alice in Wonderland, cute things and a bit of romance.
PS: Why does Julius the Watchmaker and Elliot the March Hare look so much like Acheron and Kyrian from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series?

Monday 9 May 2011

On My Wishlist 5

Hosted by Book Chick City, this is  where we get to show off all the books that we desperately want but sadly, do not have… I actually got Katy to join in, so the books in red is Nina’s wishlist, the books in purple are Katy’s wishlist and the books in black are what we both want…So….

Black Butler volume 6 by Yana Toboso, because the rest of the series is awesome, in ouropinion anyway, and we want to carry on with the series and see what happens next.

Hetalia vol 3 by Hidekaz Himaruya because we love this series where history has been abridged into a book about pastaaaaaaa!!

Fruits Basket vol 22 by Natsuki Takaya. We've not read the others to catch up (12-21), but we vaguely know what happens, so why not? We'll have to read it a t some point anyway...

So Long and Thanks for all the Fish by Douglas Adams. Arthur's made tea, become a caveman and learnt how to fly...I want to know what he'll do next...

Divergent by Veronica Roth. Because I started reading it in a bookshop and loved it...and sadly had no money to buy it...

The rest of Haruhi (vols 4 and onwards) by Nagaru Tanigawa I have to know what the SOS want to do about their popularity problems. And about the mysterious new transfer student (well actually I already know because I read spoilers but...)

Blameless by Gail Carriger... I want to know what happens to Alexia, and hopefully in time for the release of Heartles...somehow, due to the fact my library is so slow at processing books, I doubt this will happen...

Spanish dictionary. I lost mine somewhere...

Thats enough for this week...

Saturday 7 May 2011

Book Review- Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Title: Sisters Red
Author: Jackson Pearce
Series: Sisters Red #1
Published:  June 2010
Length: 324 pages
Warnings: gore (quite a bit at one point), werewolves, sex references, kissing, profanity, a lot of violence, hatchets and knives
Other info: The second book, Sweetly, is expected to be published later this year. Jackson Pearce’s website is here and you can find her on facebook too.
Summary  from Goodreads: Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.
Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?

Review: For me, you could split this book into two parts: the extremely hard to get into bit (the beginning), and the fast paced interesting bit (the end). It starts with a wolf attacking a house, ending in the death of a grandmother and a young girl, Scarlett being forced to fight said wolf (known as a Fenris) as younger sister Rosie hides. Seven years later, Scarlett and Rosie are still living at that cottage, and have been training themselves to be able to hunt Fenris, which they do very well. All that seems to happen is they go after a couple of Fenris, get snarled at, kill the Fenris and move on. oh, and we meet Silas, Scarlett’s hunting partner that Rosie falls in love with. Why was this part boring? I’m not entirely sure, but this world just seemed hard to imagine and not very engaging. I was seriously thinking about giving up, but the second one in the series looks good, so I made myself read on. and I'm glad I did because about halfway through, it really picks up.
On Silas’s advice, Rosie tries things completely unrelated to hunting and ends up falling in love with him. Scarlett is just Scarlett, trying to get her sister, her partner and herself to be as good at hunting as they can get. And the Fenris start looking for a new recruit: the Potential, and will continue to murder human girls whilst they hunt for him. Obviously, our little team of heroes have to go and find the Potential, because letting your enemies build their numbers is a bad idea, but it really doesn’t help that they don’t have any idea where to start.
I don’t know how Jackson Pearce did it, but the second half was much more interesting and engaging. I think its because she started to make changes in the different relationships, by getting Rosie to do something completely different, creating something new in the relationship[ between Rosie and Scarlett.
The other significant relationship is that between Silas and Rosie, which of course is romantic. In Sisters Red, I didn’t really mind the romance, probably because it a)drives the plot of the second half and if there was no romance the second half would not be nearly so interesting and b) it adds something else to Rosie’s and Scarlett’s relationship.
The thing I like best in Sisters Red is the relationship between Rosie and Scarlett. It goes from two sisters who do everything together to two sisters who know what they want to do to two sisters in an argument to two sisters who know exactly where they stand in the world.  Its very interesting to watch and very realistic.
In my opinion Silas was fairly boring. All he really did was kill a few Fenris and convince Rosie to do something different to hunting. Oh and—actually won’t talk here because that would spoil it.
The fact that (above spoiler is so) was pretty obvious when Silas first mentioned his sibling. I want entirely sure how it would work,  but it was quite easy to guess which slightly spoiled the story for me, because I don’t like things that are too obvious . Oh well.
I especially like the double narration that continues throughout out most of the book.  It gives both Scarlett’s and Rosie’s views and completely different voices. We learn a lot about the March Sisters, more I think than we would have learnt if we saw it just from one of the sister’s or a third person point of view.  This especially worked after the argument, when we saw both the separate views on it  and how they deal with it in different ways. The separate voices and the easy switch between both points of view adds a lot to both the sisters.
Overall:  Strength 3 tea to Sisters Red, a story for anyone who likes werewolves, romance, strong heroines and family relationships.