Promo Post: Bones Wires by Michael Shean

Title: Bone Wires
Author: Michael Shean
Series: Standalone
Genre: Science Fiction
Pub. Year: 2012
Purchase:Amz/ B&N

Blurb from Amazon:
In the wasteland of commercial culture that is future America, police are operated not by government but by private companies. In Seattle, that role is filled by Civil Protection, and Daniel Gray is a detective in Homicide Solutions. What used to be considered an important – even glamorous – department for public police is very different for the corporate species, and Gray finds himself stuck in a dead end job.

That is, until the Spine Thief arrives.

When a serial killer begins harvesting the spinal tissue of corporate employees all over the city, Detective Gray finds himself plunged into the first truly major case of his career. Caught in a dangerous mix of murder, betrayal and conflicting corporate interest, Gray will find himself not only matching wits with a diabolical murderer but grappling with his growing doubt toward his employers in the dawning months of the American tricentennial. A thrilling mystery set in the same world as the Wonderland Cycle, Bone Wires is a grim trip into the streets of the empty future.

Review: Wolf’s Rain Vol. 1 by Keiko Nobumoto

Title: Wolf’s Rain Vol. 1
Author: Keiko Nobumoto
Artist: Toshitsugu Iida
Series: Wolf’s Rain Vol. 1
Genre: Manga
Format: Paperback
Source:  Library
Pub. Year: 2003
Purchase: Amz/ B&N

Blurb from B&N:

Four wolves on the run from mankind answer the highest, most dire calling-they seek the legendary Paradise. From the creators of Cowboy Bebop and Escaflowne comes this new manga take on the hit suspense anime Wolf’s Rain. Humans thought the wolves died off two centuries ago in this bleak post-apocalyptic wasteland. But some survivors lurk among the humans by mentally cloaking their animal bodies. One white wolf, Kiba, scours the land for the scent of the Lunar Flower that will lead them all to Paradise…

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Random: Starting to notice a pattern. Watch anime, then read the manga version.

I love the anime of Wolf’s Rain so I had to pick this manga up. It’s a much faster pace than the anime though.

Character wise, the majority of the anime cast is present in the book. The wolf pack consists of Kiba (the emotionless but true believer of Paradise), Tsume (cynical of Paradise), Hige (always hungry) and Toboe (the kid). They are not best friends and just join forces because when you are being shot at, it’s the only rational thing to do. We have Detective Hubb Lebowski and his ex-wife, Dr. Cher Degre. Cher is the scientist who is analyzing Cheza the Lunar Flower and key to Paradise (so the wolves are tracking Cheza). There is also Quent the wolf hunter and his dog, Blue. They may play an important part later because he is determined to kill the wolves. The villain is Darcia who looks fantastic with his crazy porcelain mask and black hair flying everywhere. He is what a villain should should like. Strong and paralyzing. Everyone is pretty much interested in Cheza and her abilities.

What Paradise is..is Paradise like the Garden of Eden. The wolves are looking for it because they are near extinction. It’s not explicit as to why Kiba is looking for it but it could be a new home for the wolves because it looks like only wolves can track Cheza down. Cher has to analyze Cheza for the sake of science. What Darcia wants with Cheza is not explicit in the manga yet but like all good villains, I hope he will eventually reveal why he is after the Lunar Flower’s abilities.

Like I said, it is fast paced so perhaps not all the character are completely open to the readers. All the main characters are introduce right way but it is easy to keep track of them because they are drawn with unique features. The plot is pretty simple, everyone is looking for Cheza. They just want to find or have her. There are some minor sub-plots like Toboe meeting Tia and learning about the flower legend and the complicated relationship between Hubb and Cher.

Overall, it was pretty decent. It’s not a complicated plot, it’s just “Find Cheza.” All the characters are unique so there is not problem to identify them but they haven’t been given much of a personal background. They almost appear one dimensional but they are not. The art is amazing and so is the dialogue. The dialogue can be funny at times like Tsume saying that if they (the wolves) have to resort cannibalism that they shouldn’t eat Kiba because “he is full of crap.” I think it is hilarious; Tsume with his cynical and sarcastic is probably the best character of the series.

4 BB-Ready for capture

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76th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: M/GN/VG, TV Addict, Science Fiction, Dystopia, First in a Series

Review: The Highway Shooter by C.E. Chesscher

Title: The Highway Shooter
Author: C.E Chesscher
Series: Standalone
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Format: E-book
Source:  MuseItUp Publishing
Pub. Year: 2012
Purchase: Amz/ Smashwords/MP
I received this novel free of charge from MuseItUp Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb from Amazon:

In The Highway Shooter: A South Texas Cozy Mystery, newspaper reporter Glennis Dunning and Deputy Sheriff Jake Briggs join forces to fight for justice for a Hispanic teenager wrongly accused of murder.

As Enrique Sandoval awaits his murder trial, disenfranchised Latinos, convinced of the teenager’s innocence, rise up for the first time ever to challenge the entrenched power structure. As Latinos flex their new-found power, a labor movement arises from neighborhood meetings in 1967 Pettrolius, Texas, a Coastal Bend oil town.

Dunning and on-again, off-again boyfriend Briggs mount an effort to bridge the racial divide and restore order before the town spirals toward disaster. The pair has a month to disentangle the real murderer’s web of deceit. If they fail, an innocent boy faces the electric chair, and the town’s wounds may prove permanent.

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As it turns out, I’m not a fan of cozy mysteries. I never knew that until this book. Or maybe it is just this book. I have to admit, I don’t have a lot of positive things to say about this book.

Character wise, Glennis Dunning was a good main character. She was independent and questioning of her 1960’s society. She was like “No man tells me what to do and I don’t report to any man” so she was pretty cool. Deputy Briggs was the man Glennis wasn’t reporting to and he seemed a little slow. He wasn’t a captivating male lead because he didn’t have a defining feature that made him stood out. He wasn’t sarcastic or funny; he was just there.I didn’t particularly cared for the villain or the supporting cast.

Let’s get down to went wrong, for me, in this book. One of the most crucial things is how Glennis goes about solving the case. There is not one shred of physical evidence that could be admitted to a court of law. It’s all conversations and what people tell her. It’s hearsay is what a lawyer would say and I agree. I think she is a smart lady for putting it together but it’s not pieced together elegantly. And if the villain had not revealed what he knows in a fantastic Law & Order style, then Enrique would have gone to jail. Keeping quiet is the always the right move for the villain but really, when are villains rational?

Another issue with this novel is the amount of dialogue. It read like a play and that is frankly annoying because I’m not reading a play, I’m reading a novel. A lot of the information was revealed through dialogue or events that as readers we are not privilege to but that’s going along with how the case was solved. It wasn’t lacking in details but there is something missing in the book. It may that it needed more world-building…I guess.

What it did right was just the handling of relationship between the characters. Glennis and Jake have a complicated relationship and it shows. Glennis tends to get mad at him quite often but they do work together well. The relationship between Glennis and her mother is an important one because it showcases where Glennis’ independent streak comes from.

The political nature of this book was believable and great until Chesscher decided to portray the Hispanic leader as a sleazeball. It pretty much ended my positive view on the way the tensions were highlighted. The tension between whites and Latinos was apparent in the way the town was divided and how the Sandoval family was treated. The politics of the book are a hit and miss with me because it hits right at the mark of what the Hispanic community went through during that time but having a sleazeball as a leader just devalues it. It’s a little disappointing but I suppose I understand where the author is coming from. If the white leader is a sleazeball, then so must the Hispanic one in order to be fair.

In the end, this book is not for me. Not because it is badly written or subject matter. It’s not for me because I prefer serial killers over innocent bystanders, people with legal training over reporters, and book that don’t deal with politics unless they are really political books.

2 BB-Library

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75th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: Men in Uniform, E-book

Review: Batman Year One by Frank Miller

Title: Batman Year One
Author: Frank Miller
Series: None
Genre: Graphic Novel
Format: Hardcover
Source:  Library
Pub. Year: 1987
Purchase: Amz/ B&N

Blurb from Amazon:
A deluxe trade paperback edition of one of the most important and critically acclaimed Batman adventures ever, written by Frank Miller, author of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS!

In addition to telling the entire dramatic story of Batman’s first year fighting crime, this collection includes reproductions of original pencils, promotional art, script pages, unseen David Mazzucchelli Batman art and more.

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It is really hard to properly review any Batman-related item because I love Batman so I’m extremely biased. Extremely biased.

Miller reintroduces Bruce Wayne, Jim Gordon, Catwoman, and Gotham City to the readers. Bruce Wayne still has the same background story of his parents being murdered. He tries to have the playboy personality. He shows his commitment to trying to clean up the city. I wasn’t expecting Catwoman to show up in the first book. Catwoman is pretty awesome (in general) and her history is changed. She doesn’t have a costume right at the beginning of the book. The most fascinating character to me was Jim Gordon. He has an interesting background that I didn’t expect or know. His wife is Barbara, not his daughter like in the animated series. I always knew he was a clean cop but Miller shows that clean doesn’t always mean a wimp because Gordon places his enemies in their place. Gordon appears to be the moving forward factor in this book.  Harvey Dent makes a quick appearance as well. Interestingly enough, he seems to be on the side of Batman instead of chastising him.

The villains, oh, I’m a huge fan of Batman villains and villains…mostly. Since it is at the beginning of Batman’s career, the well-known and crazy villains are not in the book. The villains are common people and the corrupt police officers. That’s an important feature because Batman hasn’t perfected his crafts and it makes sense to take on villains that are not as “out there.”

Artwork, I really love it. It is so different than manga artwork. For starters, there is a color. It’s amazing how much that changes the attitude of the work. The artwork appears to be more of a classic style of comic so there are more block-like shape characters but a little darker. There is a dark mood in Gotham City.

There are some extras features at the end of the book like a letter from Miller describing his thoughts on Batman. Extra sketches and rough drawn sketches. They are nice to see.

At the end of the book, Gordon mentions The Joker and his threat to the city just like in Batman Begins. That was great of Christopher Nolan to give a nod to this graphic novel.

5 BB- Total Keeper

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74th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: M/GN/VG

Review: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Vol. 1 by Ichiro Okouchi

Title: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Vol. 1
Author: Ichiro Okouchi
Series: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion Vol. 1
Genre: Manga
Format: Paperback
Source:  Public library
Pub. Year: 2008
Purchase: Amz/B&N

Blurb from  Amazon:
In the year 2010, the Holy Empire of Brittania declared war on Japan. Powerless to stop them, Japan surrendered in less than a month. Freedom was lost and Japan was renamed “Area 11” and its people became known as “Elevens.” Lelouch is a Brittanian and his friend Suzaku, born an eleven, has achieved the status of honorary Brittanian. As a boy Lelouch vowed to crush his own government, but now seven years later and in high school, he’s accepted that he can’t change anything. That is until he meets a mysterious girl that gives him the power to control people’s minds – the power of Geass! He dons a mask and becomes the ruthless terrorist known only as Zero, destroying any who might stand in his path – including his boyhood friend Suzaku!

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What you need to know: Political drama at its best.

Code Geass is one of my favorite anime, I love the show. I was thrilled to see the manga in the library so I had to pick it up. Wow, it is similar to the anime but there are differences.

First thing is first though, let’s meet our wonderful cast. Lelouch, as the blurb says, is a Brittanian who suffered at the hands of the Empire and wants to bring down the downfall of the Empire. He has a sister, Nunnally, who has health problems because of what the Empire did to Lelouch’s family. Suzaku Kururugi,an Honorary Brittanian, who is friends with Lelouch and works for the Brittanian military. He believes in changing the Empire from within. Kallen Stadtfeld, half-Brittanian, half-Japanese girl, who believes the Empire needs to be change by force. C.C is the being that grants Lelouch his Geass which he uses to control people. We also meet students from Ashford Academy (the high school Lelouch attends) but they are not that important yet. Still want to meet his Academy friends? Milly is the class president, Shirley likes Lelouch and finally, Rivalz drives Lelouch to his gambling games.

Plot-wise, it’s the same as the anime. Lelouch wants to bring down Brittania because he wants to avenge himself and his family. Once Lelouch obtains the Geass, he begins the process of acquiring his “chess pieces” to move against the Brittanian Empire as well as gathering information as to who killed his mother. There are two intertwine plot lines already being established which is fantastic. Prince Clovis mentioned another royal member, Prince Schneizel, who may know more about the death of Lady Marianne (Lelouch’s mother) so I’m looking forward to meeting his manga persona. Prince Schneizel is pretty awesome in the anime series.

There are major differences between the anime and the manga. One of them is how Lelouch discover who Kallen really is and what she does when she is “sick.” The very first time that Lelouch dons the mask of Zero is different and the event is more intimate but less majestic. New events have been added to the manga that were not in the anime such as the defacing of Prince Clovis’ statue and Lelouch saving Kallen while they were on campus. Certain events have remained the same like Lelouch’s interest in gambling, Prince Clovis and Lelouch’s showdown, and C.C’s appearance and gift.

Art-wise, I love the images. They are really defined with good solid lining. The inclusion of little funny scenes make the manga funnier than the anime and it’s a good dash of humor when the situation is dark.

Overall, I really like the manga version of Code Geass. The new scenes didn’t really bothered me and it makes the manga seem new because what happened in the anime may not necessarily pass in the manga.

5 BB- Total Keeper

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73rd in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: M/GN/VG, First in a Series, Science Fiction

Review: Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Title: Flight
Author: Alyssa Rose Ivy
Series: The Crescent Chronicles # 1
Genre: New Adult Fantasy
Format: E-book
Source:  Bewitching Book Tours
Pub. Year: 2012
Purchase: Amz/ B&N
I received a copy of this novel from BBT free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb from Barnes & Nobles:

Sometimes you just have to take flight.
A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.

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If you are expecting a paranormal book with lots of excitement, then let me the one to burst your bubble. If you are expecting a paranormal romance, then you are correct. I admit, I was part of the first group. I kept waiting for action that never came.

When it comes to the paranormal genre, I’m used to fast paced action happening every 60 pages like sex scenes in an Anita Blake book. It’s jarring when the pace slows down and nothing (exciting) happens. What is lacking in action is made up by the development of a real relationship (more like a fling). This is a romance book that is tinted with paranormal elements. The pace of the romance and the book (in general) is really great.

Character-wise, only the main characters are truly developed so Allie and Levi. They are both quick with their words and are just plain interesting. Allie is one of the realistic main characters that I have come across. She varies in her emotions; pride, resentment, love, and anger and all the emotions fit at the right time. Levi was interesting with his attitude. He wasn’t a jerk as much as he was cocky, a little too cocky. The secondary characters like Jared and Owen, friends of Levi, are not developed as characters. Some basic information is given about them but not enough to know them. Same thing with the adults and the villains.

World-development, it was unique and new. What Levi is, is not what I was expecting. They  are a very unique form of shifters. Some background is given as to their role in New Orleans which is deeper than expected. There is a royal family and some prejudices against other types of paranormal creatures (that is to be expected yet it still is surprising). The book barely dips itself into the paranormal world so it’s another “good introduction book” for those new to the paranormal literature.

(Little Spoiler up ahead)
I’m super happy that the book ended on a sour note. I am thrilled. Allie has a right to be beyond angry and she is behaving like a real person instead of that “Yeah, I like you so I’ll forgive you right away.” She may like him but she is being realistic about the emotional turmoil that Levi has inflected. (Spoiler Here)What really ruffles my feather is that Levi said (and I’m paraphrasing) that if Allie had never ran away, then she would not have kidnapped and almost raped (End).  It’s like “Are you seriously playing the blame game with someone who did not know what the ring meant?” It immediately brought down his likability as a character which was already down because he kept vital secrets from Allie that she should have known prior to physically being with him.  To make matters worse, the whole relationship read like a summer fling to me and not a true relationship. They both keep their past mainly hidden and they never discussed their future or hopes for the future. It’s a relationship that is fun but superficial on some level. On a different level, Levi invites her to his paranormal world but without explanation before he traps Allie in New Orleans, it means nothing.

I like the book because it has a new paranormal creature. It’s creative. At the same time, it’s not fast paced and I don’t believe in the relationship is as real as Levi thinks it is. It reads like a fling yet it is not, apparently. I’ll read the second book in the series because I want to see Allie’s anger (eventually, it will fizzled out) and see how it becomes a true relationship.

3.5-Pretty to look at, maybe capture

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72nd in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, Self-Published, Where are you reading?-Louisiana

Review: A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

Title: A Certain Slant of Light
Author: Laura Whitcomb
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Paranormal
Format: Paperback
Source:  Public library
Pub. Year: 2005
Purchase: Amz/B&N/

Blurb from Amazon:

In the class of the high school English teacher she has been haunting, Helen feels them: for the first time in 130 years, human eyes are looking at her. They belong to a boy, a boy who has not seemed remarkable until now. And Helen—terrified, but intrigued—is drawn to him. The fact that he is in a body and she is not presents this unlikely couple with their first challenge. But as the lovers struggle to find a way to be together, they begin to discover the secrets of their former lives and of the young people they come to possess.

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Cover Love: Love it, the cover actually points towards an event in the book so it is beautiful and useful

I knew I love the book the moment I saw the cover but story within the pages cements my love for it. It is so haunting and lovely at the same time.

Helen makes a very compelling character; she loves literature so she clings to those who like literature. She needs to be attached to a living person so she can continue to exist in the world of the Quick (the living). The ghosts called themselves Light (if they aware that they are dead). It’s when Helen meets James that she begins to consider her needs. James is a Light inside of Billy (a recovering drug addict). James introduces Helen to the idea of possessing a body that a soul no longer wants. The possession of the bodies helped both of them move on with their lives and be somewhat happy for awhile.

Helen posses Jenny and has to deal with a super conservative Christian family while James posses a drug addict. By helping the lives of the individuals they are possessing, they are bringing closure to their own stories by remembering their memories of their final moments. They died with the belief that they were sinning and probably deserve their death but as the memories come back, they start to remember what really happened.

Helen as Jenny helps the family move on from their extremely closed minded view of the world. Helen makes a better world for Jenny to live in and tolerate. James as Billy struggles to make a better life for Billy because Billy was such a troublemaker. In the end, he manages to bring closure to his brother.

Normally, I have issues with books but I can’t find anything that would decrease the rating of this book. Some may take issue with the portrayal of Jenny’s family. The family is hardcore Christian so deeply religious. I don’t have a problem with it because the type of philosophy the family claimed is very true. It’s also very true that certain lifestyles do smother people and Whitcomb showed both sides of the equation. Billy had extreme freedom while Jenny’s freedom was restricted and they both were just drowning in misery. Hating their very existence that Billy and Jenny were glad to have someone else take over their lives because they couldn’t deal with their lives. The book is sad on some level because the possessed individuals are so young.

I love the ending, it is very Titanic like. Anyways, I really liked this book. I will be on the lookout for another book by this author because I like the story she told.

5 BB- Total Keeper

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71st in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: Ghostly

Promo Post: Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Title: Flight
Author: Alyssa Rose Ivy
Series: The Crescent Chronicles # 1
Genre: New Adult Fantasy
Format: E-book
Source:  Bewitching Book Tours
Pub. Year: 2012
Purchase: Amz/ B&N

Blurb from Barnes & Nobles:

Sometimes you just have to take flight.
A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.

I will be posting the review tomorrow so feel free to come back to read it.

Review: Earrings of Ixtumea by Kim Baccellia

Title: Earrings of Ixtumea
Author: Kim Baccellia
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: E-book
Source: MuseItUp Publishing
Pub. Year:  2012
Purchase: Amz/ B&N/ MP
I received a copy of this novel free of charge from MuseItUp Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb from Barnes & Nobles:
Fifteen-year-old Lupe Hernandez dismisses the legend about her Mexican grandmother’s magical earrings as a silly fairytale, despite recurring nightmares of human sacrifice. But when the earrings thrust her into the parallel world of Ixtumea, she must confront the very thing she shuns the most — her cultural heritage.

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Cover Love: Not my favorite.

This book would have been great if it had spent more time developing the background of the characters and showcasing their motivations.

Lupe, the main character, is probably the only character that is fully fleshed out while everybody else is one dimensional. Lupe has a wide range of emotions; she has strength and moments of weakness but mainly moments of hesitation. She is struggling with her social and cultural identity. Her battle is one that is very relatable to individuals who are a part of two worlds so she is interesting.  Unfortunately, Lupe never really grows into herself or has true faith in her abilities. Lupe remains the damsel in distress that needs to be rescue even though she shows moments of strength. I believe that Baccellia did this in order to showcase Concha’s motherly instinct towards the daughter (Lupe) that she abandoned. It is disappointing because we have a main character that should have become stronger as the book progresses but doesn’t. Lupe was a great character because she started to understand and embrace the world she is a part of but the surrounding cast just killed her. No other character stands out as well. There is Teancum who is supposed to be a great warrior but never shows it. Ixchel the Spider Goddess was beautiful but just there. Abish the Head Maiden is the caretaker but just there.

I love villains, they have complex reasoning (tragic background) for taking over the world but I couldn’t figure out Malvado ( love his name though). He is really one-dimensional in his desire to take over the world and what little we know about his background isn’t enough to make him a complex villain. Apparently, his father is from Lupe’s world but he is living in Ixtumea. It looks like at one point Malvado lived in Lupe’s world because he has modern bed sheets and he really likes them. The question is how did he get there and how did he become stuck in Ixtumea? I don’t have an answer because the book never explains it. How did he get involved with the Jaguar god? Another question with no answer.

One of the major problems that I have with the book is the story of Redemption for the mother of Lupe, Concha. It is just dragged out for 30 pages and it was annoying because the author pretty much points towards redemption the entire time but just prolongs it. There is also the fact that Baccellia never reveals how Concha betrayed Balam or how did Malvado convince Concha to betrayed her heritage. Yeah, she had a really bad incident (which I thought was raped but that is not it) but we never see how she met Malvado. I would’ve thought that was crucial to understanding why Concha turned to darkness and killed the father of her child. She is not repentant about her involvement in the death of Balam ( not that we get to know him since he is only mentioned in passing). Her redemption is just false to me and it is an attempt to bring a happy ending to the book (which is unnecessary). Her sacrifice is great but that alone cannot undue her betrayal, the abandonment of her daughter or her constant murderous thoughts (that is really secondary though).

This novel is just at the edge of being a great book and that is so frustrating. It has great mythology behind it. The Mesoamerican history hasn’t been used greatly in young adult books so it makes the book unique. It has a relatable main lead character in Lupe because cultural issues have always plague teenagers who are trying to fit in. The problem is that there is no background to the characters. Baccellia build a great world but the characters are just not there. Still, I did enjoy reading the book.

3 BB-Pretty to look at

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70th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, YA Mythology, Science Fiction

Review: Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 1 by Nobuhiro Watsuki

Title: Rurouni Kenshin
Author: Nobuhiro Watsuki
Series: Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 1
Genre: Manga
Format: Paperback
Source:  Public library
Pub. Year: 2003
Purchase: Amz/ B&N

Blurb from Amazon:

A hundred and fifty years ago in Kyoto, amid the flames of revolution, there arose a warrior, an assassin of such ferocious power he was given the title Hitokiri: Manslayer. With his bloodstained blade, Hitokiri Battosai helped close the turbulent Bakumatsu period and end the reign of the shoguns, slashing open the way toward the progressive Meiji Era.  Then he vanished, and with the flow of years became legend.

In the 11th year of Meiji, in the middle of Tokyo, the tale begins. Himura Kenshin, a humble rurouni, or wandering swordsman, comes to the aid of Kamiya Kaoru, a young woman struggling to defend her father’s school of swordsmanship against attacks by the infamous Hitokiri Battosai. But neither Kenshin nor Battosai are quite what they seem…

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To know: I’m writing the characters by their first name then last name instead of the Japanese way.

Rurouni Kenshin, what can I say about it except that I love it. I’ll admit that I watched the anime first (but that was such a long time ago that I don’t remember much of it).

Each chapter of the manga introduces a character so let’s meet them. Kenshin Himura, the protagonist, may come off as aloof and a little silly but he is not to be underestimated. He can be serious and he has interesting beliefs about what it means to have power and strength. Kaoru Kamiya is the first person Kenshin really befriends in the new town. They have a comedy-somewhat abusive relationship going on. It is funny because Kaoru has a temper that she is always unleashing on poor Kenshin. Yahiko  Myojin is the son of a former samurai and Yahiko now spends his time being a delinquent (reform delinquent). He has a good heart and likes to annoy Kaoru. Sanosuke Sangara is a man looking for a good fight and thinks Kenshin can deliver it.

The characters have a funny relationship because they are just ragging on each other (and mainly Kenshin). There are funny but rude (not really) comments to each other. Watsuki draws a lot of funny faces so the manga is quite a laugh at times. Kenshin does speak weird at times; he is always like “This one no longer fights” and he is referring to himself. He never really says “I” which always brings a smile to my face (cause it is not common to read that).

Plot wise, there isn’t a larger arc going on yet. It’s much more about the introduction of core characters. There are people interested in Kenshin because of his past as a Battosai. It doesn’t look like anyone is out for revenge but people are just bored so they want to fight Kenshin. Right now, it is Sanosuke who is interested in fighting Kenshin because he was hired to do so (and he would like a good fight). I’m interested in seeing how the battle progresses. Hopefully, a villain appears in the second book.

Art style, it was pretty good. Great use of solid lines. Nothing is really drawn lightly. Watching the anime, I knew Kenshin never really (but on occasion) drew blood from his opponents so I was a little confused by the fight scenes. Whenever a person is hit by the sword, it looks like blood is being spilled. Turns out, it represents the speed of the sword (I guess). It took a little to get used to but I’ll know for the the second volume.

I’m looking forward to picking the second volume in the series. The fight between Sanosuke and Kenshin should be good.

4.5 BB-Ready for capture, Total keeper

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69th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also classifies for: M/GN/VG, TV Addict,