Monthly Archives: April 2012

Review: Death Note Vol. 1: Boredom by Tsugimi Ohba

Title: Death Note Vol. 1: Boredom
Author: Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata
Series: Death Note Vol. 1
Genre: Manga
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal Purchase
Pub. Year: 2005
Purchase: Amz/B&N/TBD

Blurb from Amazon:
Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects – and bored out of his mind! But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, and notebook dropped by a rougue shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal… or his life?

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I love the Death Note anime so I had to read the manga that inspired it. I have to say, the anime stuck fairly close to the first volume of the manga.

Light Yagami finds a death note and starts using it to kill criminals of the world. He believes the world is “rotten place” so why not clean it up by getting rid of people who are guilty of committing crimes. His logic makes sense (at least it did to me). It also makes sense that he would do start killing people. His father is the commissioner of the NPA which is similar to the FBI so he is knowledgeable of the criminal system and how faulty it can be at times. In Light’s mind, he is not doing anything wrong; rather he is fighting for justice.

Light is an intelligent teenager. It shows in how gains access to his father’s computer, hence, why he knows the privileged information that only the NPA knows. He changes his tactics (not the method of killing) in order to get L to suspect the NPA of leaking information and L falls for it. Light goes out of his way to create a safe place for the death note. He creates a safe that will light up on fire if anyone tries to force their way in. He is calculating in how he outsmarts Raye in order to obtain his name because a name and a face are necessary to kill someone. If you don’t have one or the other, that person will not die. This fact was proven when L confronted Kira in the televised event.

The manga is fast paced. I think it cover about 4 episodes of the anime in one volume. Light wants the world to know that there is someone out there judging people for their crimes so he just kills people by heart attacks. The heart attacks become his signature move. The world ends up calling him “Kira” which is “killer” (that is not translation, Kira doesn’t mean killer, it just sounds like killer). Kira ends up confronting “L”, the world greatest detective who figures out Kira in Japan by broadcasting specific television events. It’s intense in the anime and in the manga (even if I knew what was coming). Raye Penber of the FBI is also introduced in the manga. Kira plants the seed of suspicion between the NPA and L so L has the FBI investigate the families of the officers.

Let’s talk art style because when it comes to manga, art is crucial. It was so strange to see Light as innocent face teenager when he first started using the death note. (In my head, he is always appears as he did in the final episode of the anime; manic and egoistical). I didn’t really care for the art. It wasn’t as dark as I expected it to be considering the subject matter. It was fairly light and soft except when it came to Ryuk, he was drawn with hard edges. It was still pretty good in bringing detail in to the pages. I like the fact that the rules of the death note are used as dividers between chapters. The basic rule is that a person whose name is written down will die of a heart attack in 40 seconds.

5 butterflies it receives from me. The concept if fantastic, the ideas spouted by Light and L make sense, and the storyline is pretty great.

5 BB- Total Keeper

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26 in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: First in a Series, M/G/V Challenge, Serial Killer, TV Addict,

Interview with Jacqueline Gardner of Thoughtless

I’m really glad to have Jacqueline Gardner here. She is the author of Thoughtless, a young adult paranormal novel.

Jacqueline Gardner works as a Story Editor for the production company, Labragirl Pictures.  Her love of storytelling began at an early age when she would make up stories with her grandmother before bedtime.  In early 2010, she completed her first novel and has been stuck on writing ever since.  She resides in Colorado and loves hiking, writing, fantasy fiction, and all things cupcake.

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The Interview

In a sentence, please tell us why readers should pick up your novel.

It’s a fun and entertaining read that lets you see what it’s like to be a high school mind-reader!

Why did you decide to have a main character that could read minds?

It was a thought I had one day, and I went with it! I write what I love and I had a lot of fun with the main character

What was one of the most difficult scenes to write in Thoughtless?

Probably the ending I wanted to leave things open for book two, but at the same time I wanted readers to feel like most of their questions had been answered.

Bridget and Terrence’s first “date” was more of a blind date, would you ever consider going on a blind date?

I’ve never been on a blind date. I was always the one who set up my friends. But first dates are awkward, blind date or not!

Bridget is going to attend Hartfield Manor in England, would you mind giving us a sneak peek into her new life?

Yeah! Bridget is about to become the “new kid” in a school with students just like her. We’ll meet new characters, see Bridget’s powers develop and learn more about the coven. Yes, they’re planning a comeback!

What advice would you give to an inspiring writer that is interested in being self-publish?

Find a solid critique group and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

What has been the most rewarding experience regarding Thoughtless?

I learn a lot about myself with every story  write. I drew on my own high school experiences when I wrote Thoughtless. Looking back, there are a few things I would have done differently. But Bridget is all about moving forward. She’s realized that dwelling in the pasts gets you nowhere. I believe that too 🙂

Quirky Information:

What is the oddest tasting cupcake you have ever had?

I haven’t come across one yet! I know some people aren’t fans of savory cupcakes but I like both sweet and savory. A cupcake is a cupcake.

If you be a goddess, which one would you be?

I love the ocean. I’ve always felt comfortable underwater. Is there a female sea goddess who could take Poseidon? I would be her.

The counterpart to Poseidon would be his wife, Amphitrite, goddess of the sea. Excellent choice.

Last quirky question, Ferret or Chinchilla?

Chinchilla. Ferrets are stinky.

Thank you so much for the interview.

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Blurb from Amazon:
When Bridget finds a dead cheerleader in the janitor’s closet, she becomes the killer’s next target. High school just got worse. It’s bad enough that she can hear the shocking truths that pass through her classmate’s heads. Now she has to worry about staying alive, and all clues point to the one person whose thoughts she can’t read – her boyfriend Terrence. Someone is taunting her, threatening to expose her secret. And when Bridget tries to single out her blackmailer, she’s nearly beaten to death by a mind controlled minion with fiery eyes.

But when Bridget finally comes face-to-face with the killer, suddenly a horde of brainwashed students programmed to destroy her life doesn’t seem so bad.

Jacqueline can be found at her  Website, Twitter, Facebook

Thoughtless can be purchased at Amazon and Smashwords

Wishlist Wednesday # 10

Wishlist Wednesday is hosted by Pen to Paper. It is the place to showcase one book that has been on our wishlist. Click on the image if you feel like joining in on the fun.

On My Wishlist is: Memento Nora by Angela Smibert

Blurb from Amazon:
In the future, it doesn’t pay to remember.

In Nora’s world you don’t have to put up with nightmares. Nora goes with her mother to TFC–a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. There, she can describe her horrible memory and take the pill that will erase it. But at TFC, a chance encounter with a mysterious guy changes Nora’s life. She doesn’t take the pill. And when Nora learns the memory her mother has chosen to forget, she realizes that someone needs to remember. With newfound friends Micah and Winter, Nora makes a comic book of their memories called Memento. It’s an instant hit, but it sets off a dangerous chain of events. Will Nora, Micah, and Winter be forced to take the Big Pill that will erase their memories forever?

The title capture me right from the start. I love the word Memento. It sounds so classical. The novel seems like a fascinating dystopia novel. Who hasn’t wish that for a pill that can make us forget certain events in life? Or life in general when we have reached rock-bottom. I love the concept of this novel. From the Amazon reviews, it seems pretty good.

Guest Post + Giveaway with Bella Street of Kiss Me, I’m Irish

Let’s give a warm welcome Bella Street of Kiss Me, I’m Irish.

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Love and Mischief With Cornish Pixies

by Bella Street

The ideas of sweet, child-like faeries are largely a product of the Victorian age. In ancient lore, faeries  were a mischievous, and sometimes downright murderous, lot.

And Cornish pixies (or piskeys) could be be the most magical and evil of all.

According to Pixie Folklore and Legends by Enys Tregarthen, God once called on Adam and Eve after they’d been driven from Eden. Eve was washing the children (she had a lot by then) but still had some unwashed. She presented the clean children to God, and when He asked if she had other children, Eve said no because she was embarrassed that some were still dirty. God was upset at her deception and so decreed that the children Eve hid must remain hidden. The children went away into the forests, hills, and remote places where they remain invisible from man, ‘not good enough for heaven and not bad enough for hell’.

So maybe they have a reason to be annoyed. But a quick note to the kids—don’t fight bath time!

When they’re in a good mood, pixies might clean your house when you’re not looking (please come to my house—see I left out milk for you!), and have parties complete with tiny horses and chariots when you’re asleep. If you happen to wander into a ring of stones or toadstools, you’ll be pixie-led, destined to wander aimlessly, speaking jibberish (or maybe that was too much whiskey—which oddly enough rhymes with piskey—but I digress).

Truly evil pixies are called spriggans and have been known to steal babies from their cribs, leaving behind one of their own kind called a ‘changeling’. A formerly sweet, perfect child grows into a sullen troublemaker. Who’s with me in saying they’ve met one? I know, right?

Kiss Me, I’m Irish explores a bit of this world against the perhaps not-so-magical backdrop of a jaded musician trying to break into the music business coupled with a young lady with a weakness for Irish gentlemen and romance novels.

Bella has been kind enough to offer a paperback or E-book copy of Kiss Me, I’m Irish so let’s have a giveaway but first the blurb.

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Emily Musgrave is heading a direction she never wanted to go in Regency England–namely a convent to turn her from her waywardness. But it’s more loneliness than rebellion that motivates her to escape her certain fate. 

Liam Jackson is going nowhere fast in modern-day Tennessee. Playing his Dobro in seedy bars and backward dives along with his fiddling sister, Tinker, is doing nothing for his music career–and even less for the dark places in his soul. 

Pixie dust and thieving mischief can not only change time-lines, it can change hearts–because a girl can only get so far without a little magic in her life

Giveaway Time (International): Winner can choose between a paperback copy or an e-book.

Contents end on April 17.

Giveaway is now CLOSED. Thank you to everyone who participated.

That’s it. It’s a simple entry. Following is not required but it is appreciate it.

Bella Street can be found at webstite, blog
Kiss Me, I’m Irish can be purchase at Amazon, B & N, Smashwords

Review: Dead Girl’s Dance by Rachel Caine

Title: Dead Girl’s Dance
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Morganville Vampires # 2
Genre:  Urban Fantasy, YA Paranormal
Source: Personal purchase
Format: Paperback
Pub. Year: 2007
Purchase: Amazon/ B&N/ TBD

Blurb from Amazon:
Claire has her share of challenges. Like being a genius in a school that favors beauty over brains; homicidal girls in her dorm, and finding out that her college town is overrun with the living dead. On the up side, she has a new boyfriend with a vampire-hunting dad. But when a local fraternity throws the Dead Girls’ Dance, hell is really going to break loose.

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What I will remember: The blurb is really misleading, it’s much more about the biker gang than the fraternity dance.

This novel continues right off where Glass Houses finishes. It gives it a weird vibe, at least to me, it just seems like the second novel is a continuation of the first novel instead of a standalone novel. It has a new plot but it still feels heavily tied to Glass Houses. It’s not a book a person can read without reading the first one because the biker gang is there, Michael’s condition is accepted and not explained, and so is the vampire-dominated town.

Morganville is a messed-up place to live in if you are human because the law is pretty much nonexistent even if police officers exist. The police can’t act against the vampires because the vampires control the paycheck. The humans don’t trust the police either. Spoiler alert: Claire is drugged and a victim of an attempted rape and she does nothing about it. Instead of reporting it, she has Sam (a vampire) threaten the man who attacked her. The law is just a dog without a bite, no way to enforce unless a vampire requests it. No one really gets punished for their crimes against humans. Only crimes against vampires will be judged.

It wan an enjoyable read but there is still something off with this novel. I think it is how much trouble Claire gets in within 48 hours and somehow manages to leave without a serious injury. She just keeps getting deeper and deeper into vampire politics; it is hurting her emotionally and physically but more importantly, I don’t think she is going to be able to leave Morganville when she is done with her two years in school. She may be too heavily invested in vampire politics.

I still like the vampires though. Amelia still has this cold and porcelain appearance that makes her interesting. Sam is the youngest vampire in the town who is attached to Amelia and they have a unique relationship. It sort of twisted but fascinating in that Sam cares deeply for Amelia but she keeps her distance as an experiment. That is wicked of her (awesome and sad at the same time).

3.5-Pretty to look at, maybe capture

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25th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: Second in a Series, Morganville Series

Review: Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Title: Dead Witch Walking
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: The Hollows # 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Personal Purchase
Format: Mass Paperback
Pub. Year: 2008
Purchase: Amazon/B &N/ TBD

Blurb from Amazon:
The underground population of witches, vampires, werewolves—creatures of dreams and nightmares—has lived beside humans for centuries, hiding their powers. But after a genetically engineered virus wipes out a large part of humanity, many of the “Inderlanders” reveal themselves, changing everything.

Rachel Morgan, witch and bounty hunter with the Inderland Runner Services, is one of the best at apprehending supernatural lawbreakers throughout Cincinnati, but when it comes to following the rules, she falls desperately short. Determined to buck the system, she quits and takes off on the run with an I.S. contract on her head and is reluctantly forced to team up with Ivy, Inderland’s best runner . . . and a living vampire. But this witch is way out of her league, and to clear her name, Rachel must evade shape-changing assassins, outwit a powerful businessman/crime lord, and survive a vicious underground fight-to-the-death . . . not to mention her own roommate.

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What I love: Red hair, I love red hair.

I really love the world building of the Hollows and its origin story. Bioengineering gone wrong and killing a quarter of the human population. It allowed paranormal creatures aka Inderlands to reveal themselves and take their place in public. It sucks that people became afraid of science and medicine but I do understand where they are coming from.

What I like about the book is that the physical description of the characters, Rachel is mentioned as a redhead and there are repeated mentions of this. The characters have concrete looks that are reinforced by Harrison so the readers have a pretty good image of what the characters look like instead of our minds making up the physical attributes of the characters.  All the characters are really different from each other. Ivy is a vampire, Jinks is a feisty pixy, Nick is a human who knows about demonology and Rachel a witch. They all bring something different to the group. All the characters have professions that helped Rachel avoid the hit on her. She gets injured a few times but she survives nonetheless; Rachel is a real strong character. It takes gut to leave an organization that will probably try to kill you.

Certain parts of the story felt slow like the whole mink incident. Rachel disguises herself as a mink to gather evidence that  Trent, our antagonist,  is running biodrugs (which are illegal) but she gets trapped by him. It’s interesting but feels a bit dragged out. No, going after Trent three times feels sluggish and the last time, where she is successful, is sort of really simple and super easy.  Trent is probably a good antagonist because she only slowed him down. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does next.

It was a pretty good first book in a series. All the characters contributed to the plot and were unique. The plot was pretty interesting and left plot bunnies for the second book in the series. Even if the mink incident was slow, it was still a pretty interesting section of the book.

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5 BB- Total Keeper

24th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: 1st in a Series, Witches and Witchcraft, Cupcake War, Where are you reading? -Ohio

Review: By The Sword by Sara Flower

Title: By The Sword
Author: Sara Flower
Series: Standalone
Genre: Christian Fantasy
Format: E-book
Source: FMB Tours
Pub. Year: 2011
Purchase:Amz/B&N
I received this novel free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb from Amazon:
Seventeen-year-old Talya’s main goal is to bring down the Malinorian Empire. And Jalarn, the empire’s prodigy general, is at the top of her list of enemies to kill. Not only has Jalarn murdered Talya’s king, he’s almost killed her. Twice. But things don’t go as Talya planned when a visiting prophet sends her on a mission to the highly feared Hunter Forest. It is there that she must gain the allegiance of the forest’s inhabitants before Jalarn and his men do. Then, memories of a haunting vision resurface when Talya comes face to face with Jalarn. She makes a rash decision that sends her down a path she never imagined she would follow.

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Let me start by saying that this is a Christian fiction novel…and I didn’t know that when I chose to review this novel. I broke my own cardinal rules. That being said, the novel is not bad, it’ s just not my cup of tea. If religious novels are your thing, you might like it more than I did.

Since it is a Christian novel, there is a major emphasis on God, praying, and saving grace verses magic, witchcraft, demons, and the Devil. It is the Sanctus with God on their side versus the Malinorian with the Dark Lord or The Prince on their side. They are meant to be contrasted against each other with the Malinorian not just religiously but socially as well. The Malinoran in keeping women down, viewing them secondary to sons and a woman’s only worth is through marriage. The Sanctus, on the other hand, allowed women to be in the army and have a Queen so they seem a better society because they are not backwards in social structures.

Talya, the female soldier of Sanctus, is describe as having a “bloodlust” which is true so God gives her a mission to accomplish in order to quell it. The mission is essentially her salvation and a way to redeem herself from the actions she has committed. Like all good people who find grace through God, it is her ability to forgive and love that God wants her to find. Talya does change on this journey which is an interesting process. It is not about Talya having faith in herself but rather trusting in God that her actions are correct. Trust acts like a brick that must be reinforced throughout the novel (a little annoying but that is why it is a brick. No one likes to be bash in the head with a brick). It’s a different type of self-discovery that what I’m used to but still well written.

It is a story about redemption and finding your way back to God and following the will of God. My one issue with this novel is the fact that Talya (spoiler alert) no longer feels like she can take another person’s life when it comes to war. I take issue with that because in war, soldiers killing other soldiers is different than out right murder. Both men on the side of God or The Prince believe that they are fighting for the right side and each believe that the other side is wrong. They are fighting for their kingdom and there is nothing wrong with defending your kingdom. If people have to be killed, then they have to killed. I know it sounds cold but soldiers are not murderers unless they killed without orders. Perhaps I am wrong but it is just how I see it.

Overall, since it was the first Christian novel that I actually finished, I can say it was enjoyable to read. The battles were bloody and the self-discovery journey was necessary.

4 BB-Ready for capture

This tour was put together by Full Moon Bites Blog Tour’s. I received no monetary compensation for my review.

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23rd in the 150+ Reading Challenge:
Also qualifies for: E-book, Self-published, Witches & Witchcraft

Wishlist Wednesday # 9

Wishlist Wednesday is hosted by Pen to Paper. It is the place to showcase one book that has been on our wishlist. Click on the image if you feel like joining in on the fun.

On My Wishlist is: A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

Blurb from Amazon:
Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura’s dad left them. Convinced that “creative” equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination. Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked—and together may offer an escape from her fears.

OMG, this sound amazing. It walks the fine line of being insane and being creativity. I really want to get my hands on this book. Plus, the cover is amazing. I love the drowning girl or re-surfacing girl (depending on your view).

Monday News Flash # 4: April Edition

Monday News Flash was supposed to be a bi-monthly report about what to expect on Persephone’s Winged Reviews. Unfortunately, I have never been good at keeping up with schedules and I tend to fall behind only to do a marathon session of writing (which is how I study for school; results will vary depending on the professor and whether I like the subject). If there is one thing I can assure you of is that this randomly posted report will always be on a Monday.

The most important news I have is that my laptop is fix so expect an influx of book reviews because I have to catch up in writing them. Looks like April will be a good month where I can (hopefully) review more than 8 books.

Reviews to look forward to: The Dead Girl’s Dance by Rachel Caine, Kiss Me, I’m Irish by Bella Street, Maximum Ride by James Patterson, Vampyre Kisses and No Remorse by Elizabeth J. Kolodziej, By The Sword by Sara Flowers , Halo of The Damned by Dina Rae , Killer Bytes by Alan Williams , Thoughtless by Jacqueline Gardner and so many more (if I can write them out in time for March lol).

Authors that are stopping by: Bella Street on April 10, Jacqueline Gardner on April 12

I’m participating in the April Showers Giveaway on April 20-25, Halo of the Damned Giveaway on April 22, and the Spring into Horror Read-A-Thon from April 23-29. Man, that is one busy week.

In Hetalia News, England will be the topic of analysis and I am looking forward to that. With my computer fixed and all my hard drive intact, it means I can finally put new Hetalia related pictures up. What joy!

Let’s say goodbye to March and begin anew with April.