Monthly Archives: August 2016

The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín

The Call is a grim but very original take on Irish mythology, creating an atmospheric read with nuanced characters. The feel is dystopian and unfortunately there will likely be parallels drawn to e.g., Hunger Games. But the roots of this … Continue reading

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Burning Bright by Melissa McShane

Burning Bright was a pleasant surprise and one of my favorite reads this year. Author McShane avoids so many of the usual cliches in the romance/historical romance/fantasy genre to give us wonderful but nicely nuanced characters in a brisk adventure. … Continue reading

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Breath of Earth by Beth Cato

Here’s the thing about Beth Cato’s books: there is insta luv romance, they are well written, the ‘magic’ portions are interesting, historical aspects well researched, there is plenty of action, and the plot is creative. And yet, I’ve found that … Continue reading

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Into Aether by L.M. Fry

Sometimes, YA books can really hit a low by smacking every cliche on the cliche tree. With Into Aether, unfortunately, we have a really unpleasant book. Insta luv, bratty and unlikable main character, super perfect boy who inexplicably thinks poor … Continue reading

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Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby 3) by William Ritter

f the first two Jackaby books felt like ‘case of the week’ mini arcs, it is in this third book that the sinister main arc reveals itself. Returning to the atmosphere of the first book, little things now become tantalizing … Continue reading

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Orange Planet 1 by Haruka Fukushima

There’s bland – and then there’s confusing, pointless, unrealistic, and boringly bland. This falls squarely into the latter category: a complete waste of time with an idiot protagonist, stupid boys, and plot-by-numbers harem romance. Perhaps 8 year old girls love … Continue reading

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Tokyo Ghoul 8 by Sui Ishida

With Tokyo Ghoul 8, we get the full backstory on Touka and Ayato, the renewed Kaneki, and boss fights with Owl. Ishida carefully weaves pathos into his story of the siblings and their tragic upbringing. Love, betrayal, and conflict are … Continue reading

Posted in manga, urban fantasy | 1 Comment

Wanderer by Roger Davenport

I wish I could say that Wanderer added something new to the dystopian YA genre; but I have to admit that I felt that I had read variations of this story several times now. Sheltered but rebellious girl in safe … Continue reading

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Dragon Age: Magekiller by Greg Rucka

Dragon Age: Mage Killer remains very true to the Dragon Age world. In fact, it takes place during the entirety of the Inquisition game. The illustrations are well done and likenesses are true to the game. But the story is … Continue reading

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Throne of Novoxos by Tyler Chase

Admittedly, I had a hard time with this novel. Both the plot and the writing trod well worn tropes without really utilizing the sci fi setting. Characters were flat as cardboard, with the evil being eeeevil and the good so … Continue reading

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The Dragon Round by Stephen S. Power

With the Dragon Round, author Power has written a Count of Monte Cristo for the modern age. Literary but not overly wordy, this is a very carefully crafted story with nuanced characters and an intricate storyline. And although yes, this … Continue reading

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Interference by Kay Honeyman

Interference is a YA romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma. The typical ‘matchmaking’ machinations are there but with a contemporary midwest US setting. But where Emma was a kind soul trying to help others, Kate in this book often feels … Continue reading

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This Damned Band by Paul Cornell

This is a hard one to review: I didn’t enjoy reading any of it and thought it was a hot mess. But there are touches of cleverness (both in story and illustrations) that make it so hard to rate this … Continue reading

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Queen Bees and Wannabees by Rosalind Wiseman

In a perfect world, one would wish that all parents of teen girls (and boys) would be given this book as required reading. Author Wiseman lays the groundwork for understanding the complex social dynamics that affect girls in their developing … Continue reading

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Warship Jolly Roger by by Sylvain Runberg, Miki Montlló

Warship Jolly Roger is a book that should have everything going for it but somehow never comes together. A lot of it feels recycled from other places, the characters are rather flat and we already know what is going to … Continue reading

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Maid Sama 2 in 1, Volume 5

You’d think that by 10 volumes, this manga would become repetitive or slow down. But it is within these two volumes (9 and 10|) that the main arc finally begins and so the story continues to surprise with new twists. … Continue reading

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Black Clover 2 by Yuki Tabata

Black Clover 2 continues to build upon the legend of Asta and Yuno – the two ‘street rats’ who will rise up in the ranks of wizards with both desiring to take the top position. The story is building slowly, … Continue reading

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Haikyu!! 2 by Haruichi Furudate

Sports manga work by the characters; Furudate gets it right with Haikyuu. Volume one gave us two protagonists on opposite ends of the spectrum (quirky underdog Hinata and talented-but-socially-inept Kageyama) and smartly made it so that they balance each other … Continue reading

Posted in ARC, Book Reviews, manga | 1 Comment

Yona of the Dawn by Mizuho Kusunagi

Yona of the Dawn is a fantasy series about an immature and pampered princess who will have to toughen up and regain her kingdom after a terrible betrayal. The story and setting are very reminiscent of Yuu Watase’s Fushigi Yuugi … Continue reading

Posted in ARC, Book Reviews, Fantasy, manga, romance | 3 Comments

The Interminables by Paige Orwin

This book is a textbook case of how a cover can be completely misleading. What looks like a quirky, children’s type of tale is actually a dark, depressive, but beautifully imagined urban fantasy/alternate universe. Our protagonists are battle weary, suffering … Continue reading

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