Friday, February 28, 2014


evernight #1
claudia gray
harper teen
published 2008

Bianca wants to escape.

She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school when the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory.  Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

Then she meets Lucas.  He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way.  Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful - even when it comes to caring about him.

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied.  Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

Fuck this book.

The ridiculous of the storytelling drove me insane.  I can't really review this without spoilers so just so you know SPOILERS AHEAD....

My first huge beef with this book is the prologue.  Bianca mentions her 'new friends'.  When we get to this scene in the book you realize she's known all but two of these people for maybe 3 minutes.  Wow, you make friends that fast?  The second thing?  In the prologue vampires are mentioned.  So there you go.  We now know this is a book about vampires (if you didn't already know).

What you're led to believe during the first almost half of the book is that something strange is going on and it has something to do with the school.  Lucas, Bianca's love interest (whom she falls in desperate love with IMMEDIATELY and is ridiculous about it ever after that) is suspicious of everyone and everything at the school and wants to protect Bianca, but she isn't sure there's anything to be protected from besides social outcast-ness despite the fact that she tried to run away from school the day of orientation.

Then, all of sudden, 40% into the book, Bianca BITES LUCAS WITH HER FANGS AND DRINKS HIS BLOOD.  WTF.  From then on we read about how she grew up knowing she was a vampire child and drank blood every morning with her breakfast and her father is 1,000 years old, blah, blah, blah.  Are you kidding me?  Again, WTF?!

Now it would be one thing if the story was told from Lucas's point of view and all of a sudden we're like, whoa the chick's a vampire!  Holy crap!  Because Lucas didn't know that.  But the story is Bianca's story.  We're in her head and she knows she's a vampire.  She knows her parents, her roommate, the headmistress, the teachers, she knows they're all vampires!  Therefore, we should know they're vampires.

And then this happens:
"A hundred dollars! That's only half what it cost!" I protested. And it was worth so much more than money. I'd worn it virtually every day for months, the visible symbol of the love I felt for Lucas. How could this man look at it so coldly?
Um, maybe because he's a pawnshop dealer, a stranger to you and you're an idiot?!

See, I already hate Bianca.  She's got no personality, not backbone, no spunk.  She's wishy washy and whiny.  She's completely oblivious to everything around her.  When the first meet, Lucas mentions his great-great grandfather went to Evernight 150 or some odd years ago and broke the stain glass window.  Now, we know (after we find out about vampires) that this is the first time Evernight has allowed humans into the school.  Therefore, something is not right about Lucas's story.  And she never puts it together.  Even though she remembers the story and even tells it to her parents and the only interesting character in the story, Balthazar.

I just can't stand her.  It gets worse and it makes me insane.  The book ends very incomplete.  There is no closure and it's obvious there is another book after (for the record, there's 5) but I don't even care.  I want to know nothing else about Bianca and Lucas.  I wish they would die and the story would move on to another character, but I doubt that will happen so I'll just leave now, thanks.


pretty little liars #6
sara shepard
published 2009

In picture-perfect Rosewood, Pennsylvania, ash-blond highlights gleam in the winter sun and frozen lakes sparkle like Swarovski crystals.  But pictures often lie - and so do Rosewood's four prettiest girls.

Hanna, Aria, Spencer, and Emily have been lying ever since they became friends with beautiful Alison DiLaurentis.  Ali made them do terrible things - things they had to keep secret for years.  And even though Ali was killed at the end of seventh grade, their bad-girl ways didn't die with her.

Hanna's on a mission to corrupt Rosewood's youth, starting with a very attractive sophomore.  Aria's snooping into her boyfriend's past.  Spencer's stealing - from her family.  And pure little Emily's abstaining from abstinence. 

The girls should be careful though.  They thought they were safe when Ali's killer was arrested and A's true identity was finally revealed.  But now there's a new A in town turning up the heat.  And this time Rosewood is going to burn.

Here's what I really don't like about this series:

  1. The ever present high-pitched, familiar giggle.  Each one hears a giggle when something goes wrong and they turn around but, *gasp* no one's there!
  2. How can there be this many nutcases in one small town?
  3. All their parents are jerks or just as dumb as they are.
  4. Nothing they do makes sense.
  5. I could buy the first 'A', but two?  Nope.
  6. How is this one person EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME?
  7. I do not buy that a 12 year old had a beauty so amazing that not only high school boys were enamored over her, but grown men as well.
  8. The repetitiveness involved in the storytelling.  Every book has had at least one flashback to a scene when Ali was still alive that is supposed to hold some clue about her killer.  Each girl has to first remember the memory and then they revisit it multiple times through out the book.  It is nearly like reading the same page over and over and over again.
  9. Yet despite these 'clues' the girls continuously get shit wrong.
  10. None of them have learned from any of their mistakes - and there have been plenty.

I still have 7 books to read to finish off this series.  I have to admit that the desire to know what happens does keep me going, but while I'm reading I get so irritated.  But I must know what happens!  It's truly evil.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

a fatal grace

a fatal grace
armand gamache #2
louise penny
published 2007

Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder.

No one liked CC de Poitiers.  Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter - an certainly none of the residents of Three Pines.  CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone, right up until the moment of her death.

When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Sûreté du Quebec, is called to investigate, he quickly realizes he's dealing with someone quite extraordinary.  CC de Poitiers was electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake, in front of the entire village, as she watched the annual curling tournament.  And yet no one saw anything.  Who could have been insane enough to try such a macabre method of murder - or brilliant enough to succeed?

With his trademark compassion and courage, Gamache digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life to find the dangerous secrets long buried there.  For a Quebec winter is not only staggeringly beautiful but deadly, and the people of Three Pines know better than to reveal too much of themselves.  But other dangers are becoming clear to Gamache.  As a bitter wind blows into the village, something even more chilling is coming for Gamache himself.

In Still Life I grieved with everyone over the loss of the murdered victim, Jane.  Penny wrote about her in life as well as in the memories of friends and she was someone the small village of Three Pines would miss greatly.  The victim in A Fatal Grace, CC de Poitiers was the exact opposite.  She was awful and there weren't many in the village who were sad to see her go, if anyone.

The murder was intricate, complicated and hard to pull off.  The suspect pool was large, but the number of people who had the means were few.  It made for an interesting story and the return of Nichol was an interesting side story.  But there was a lot going on that the reader isn't really privvy to yet.  It was almost as if the purpose of this book is to set up events that will happen later in the series.  There are many references to the Arnott case, which happened some time before the events in Still Life.

It was a little frustrating.  I don't like reading a book and feeling like I'm missing things, as if I've skipped a book somewhere or am reading something out of order.  So I suppose I should jump right into the next book to see if all my questions are answered.

This story, besides the Arnott stuff, felt pretty unbelievable in the way everything came together at the end.  It was a good mystery, but really a set up for another book.

Friday, February 21, 2014


the pure trilogy #1
julianna baggott
grand central publishing
published 2012

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters....

Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before.  At an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and wear, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small.  Pressia is on the run.

Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash....

There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked.  Pures.  Partridge, a Pure, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely.He thinks about loss - maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter.  When a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.

When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

I can barely explain how much I loved this book. These are big bold words, but I think I loved this more than I did The Hunger Games or Divergent.  At times I put the book down to collect myself for a minute because something disturbed me so much.

Dusts, Groupies, The Meltlands, The Good Mother.  These things will haunt me.  Pressia, Partridge, Lyda, El Capitan, Bradwell.  These characters will stay with me always.

There were just so many holy shit moments, things I never saw coming.  I don't know if it was because I was so into the story that I didn't have time to look ahead or put the pieces together.  I didn't stop long enough to think about it.  I just read.

The story skips around to different points of view.  Usually this frustrates me because it feels sometimes difficult to follow, but I didn't seem to have a problem.  There were times when the story is being told from Partridges point of view, but would jump over to Bradwell for a minute and while that seemed weird I wasn't confused.

I don't know.  This was different.  My library actually has this in the adult fiction section instead of the YA section and while I don't think it's too mature for teens it was definitely disturbing.  For me, even more so when they got to the Meltlands.  When I finally got a grasp on what had happened, what the Detonations caused I thought it was terrifying.

We're left with the perfect continuing series book.  There is some bit of an ending, but you know the story goes on.  You know there's more, but you're not left with this awful cliffhanger.  Nonetheless, I finished this book at 1:20am and ran to the library this morning to get the next book.

It was just that good.

Monday, February 10, 2014


kathryn erskine
published 2010

In Caitlin's world, everything is black or white.  Things are good or bad.  Anything in between is confusing.  That's the stuff Caitlin's older brother, Devon, has always explained.  But now Devon's dead and Dad is no help at all.  Caitlin wants to get over it, but as an eleven-year-old girl with Asperger's, she doesn't know how.  When she read the definition of closure, she realizes that is what she needs.  In her search for it, Caitlin discovers that not everything is black and white - the world is full of colors - messy and beautiful.

This is one of those books where the author has too much going on in their head and tries to put it down on paper.  Then because of the subjects she touches on, school shootings and Asperger's the book is lauded to be amazing and wins awards.  It becomes The Book Everyone Should Read.

I don't think that's untrue.  I think that Mockingbird does give us a good insight into what it means to have Asperger's, but kind of in a way that the author read a lot of books about what having Asperger's is like and then put it into her fictional setting.  At times it feels incredibly contrived.  Caitlin never feels like a real person to me, but like a caricature of a child with Asperger's.  But of course, I have no experience with anyone with Asperger's so I'm not a good judge.  It's just to me, Caitlin felt like a made up character (which, of course, she was) who never became more than that to me.

In a sort of acknowledgement or afterword, Erksine talks about the Virginia Tech shootings and how close that was to her home, how it affected her.  She wanted to write a book that talked about it.  I don't know that this feeling came across in this book.  The school shooting was not something discussed at length in the book because it wasn't something that Caitlin necessarily understood as anything but The Day Our Life Fell Apart.  We were privy to the process of dealing with losing a sibling and at a weaker view losing a child, but not really what it meant after that.

I think maybe I would have liked the book more had it just been Caitlin dealing with everyday life and counseling.  Wading through mainstream school and life with a single father who seems to not really know how to deal with her.  The introduction of a school shooting seemed unnecessary.  It didn't bring anything relevant to the table.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

where'd you go bernadette

where'd you go bernadette
maria semple
little brown & co.
published 2012

Bernadette Fox is notorious.  To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears.  It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica.  But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle - and people in general - has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands.  A trip to the end of the earth is problematic. 

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence - creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

Now, I can see how a lot of readers could find this novel inconceivable.  All of these things that happen seem to be out of the realm of normal possibility.  For starters, what 7th grader wants to go to Antarctica?  But really, if you wade through the craziness there are shining nuggets of truth, of real life.

Bernadette is truly suffering.  Reading the emails from Ollie-O (which is a ridiculous name) and the back and forths about what kinds of parents they want at the school it's no wonder Bernadette wants nothing to do with them.  And she tells her husband this, but he seems to just brush it off.  Mostly, I think, because it has nothing to do with his work.  She has this horrific neighbor who hates her because she doesn't know her.  The catty emails are enough to drive me insane.

The character that I just couldn't like was Elgin.  He spent their entire marriage ignoring Bernadette.  He worked ridiculous hours and immersed himself in his own genius.  When he finally begins to pay a bit of attention it's the end of the world.  At a time when he is supposed to be helping Bernadette he can talk of nothing more than how she is ruining his life.  How crazy she is.  He never once gives her a chance to speak or explain.  The only person who stood up for her was Bee.

I think that what this book really tried to say was how people have the ability to greatly harm or greatly help another person.  That sometimes we just have to stop being assholes and try to be human beings.

the lightning thief

the lightning thief
percy jackson & the olympians #1
rick riordan
ya/middle grades/fantasy
published 2005

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper.  And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse - Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him.  When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe.  She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea.  Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends -- one a satyr and the other demigod daughter of Athena -- Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

My daughter has read these and it's been driving her crazy that I haven't read them yet so we can watch the movies.  I told her I would start reading them this month and ever since the 1st of February she's been asking how much I've read.  While she doesn't love these as much as Harry Potter she sure does love them.

I love Greek mythology.  It's probably one of my favorite things I learned about in school so this series already has a point in its favor just because of the subject matter.  I love how Riordan brings the mythical characters into the real world.  The story moved along quickly and there was always something to keep you biting your nails.

What I didn't like?  The betrayer was too obvious to me.  And I felt like it should have been obvious after what happens in the Underworld, but no one ever saw it until the end.  Kinda lame.

But all in all I thought this was pretty good.  It's no Harry Potter, but it'll do.  ;)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

my kind of mystery

I know, I know....another reading challenge.

It is getting slightly out of control, but I just can't help it.  This one runs from February 1, 2014 through February 28, 2015 and it sounded like fun!

My Kind of Mystery is hosted by Riedel Fascination and it is everything having to do with mystery!  You can find the rules and sign up here.

There are four levels and I'm going to start with 'Hidden Doorways'.

  • Secret Messages 5 - 10 books
  • Unearthing Clues 11 - 20 books
  • Hidden Doorways 21 - 30 books
  • Lost Artifacts 31 - 40 books
Seems like a good place to start.  I'm going to try a few different new (to me) mystery authors that have long standing series so maybe I'll make it to Lost Artifacts, but for right now I think Hidden Doorways is right up my alley!
  1. A Fatal Grace - Louise Penny
  2. Killer - Sara Shepard
  3. A Catered Murder - Isis Crawford
  4. Storm Front - Jim Butcher
  5. Heartless - Sara Shepard
  6. The Serpent's Tale - Ariana Franklin
  7. Dust to Dust - Tami Hoag
  8. The Darkest Evening of the Year - Dean Koontz
  9. Wanted - Sara Shepard
  10. The Thousand Dollar Tan Line - Rob Thomas
  11. A Wanted Man - Lee Child
  12. Every Secret Thing - Laura Lippman
  13. Twisted - Sara Shepard
  14. The Cruelest Month - Louise Penny

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

chew, vol. 6: space cakes

chew, vol. 6: space cakes
john layman & rob guillory
image comics
published 2012

While Tony Chu - the cibopathic federal agent with the ability to get psychic impressions from what he eats - clings to life in a hospital ICU, his twin sister Toni steps up to take center stage. Toni is cibovoyant, able to see the future of anything she eats, and lately she's seeing some pretty terrible things.

This was sad!!!!!!!!!!!  I don't like sad in my funny comics!  Boooo

That being said, the story moved along at a pretty fast pace.  Olive is working with Savoy now to track down The Vampire.  Tony is still in the hospital, but I think maybe the events in Space Cakes will result in a speedy recovery.

There's one thing I've noticed about these books that I like that I didn't think I would.  Sometimes they'll go on this 2 - 4 page story and then say 'That didn't happen' or there will be a page at the top it says 'These are out of order, this should be at the end', but you've basically already read it and at first it seems confusing, but you get it.  In anything else that kind of stuff would annoy the heck out of me, but here it works.

So I'm all caught up to what my library has to offer.  *sigh*

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

chew, vol. 5: major league chew

chew, vol. 5: major league chew
john layman & rob guillory
image comics
published 2012

Tony Chu - the cibopathic federal agent with the ability to get psychic impressions from what he eats - has been kidnapped! He was ambushed, knocked out, brought to a remote location, and bound securely. His captor intends to feed Tony from a menu of his choosing, to find out what Tony can see, in order to learn from him. His daughter, Olive, has been kidnapped for the exact same reason. Two kidnappers, two captives, and two very different outcomes.

I think my favorite part of this series is when they introduce a new ability someone has. Wouldn't that be cool?

Tony is working at a new job and he's surprised to find he actually likes it. Though I would think that any job away from Applebee would be a good job. Except for maybe Colby's new boss. I'm almost caught up with the series, well, maybe halfway there, and I still have so many questions. Who is Olive's mom? Why is she living with Tony's sister? What happened to the toe girl?

I like how there is the running story line (the Vampire) and then other cases too so it doesn't feel like we're on some endless quest.  Keeps everything fresh!

Monday, February 3, 2014

chew, vol. 4: flambé

chew, vol. 4: flambé
john layman & rob guillory
image comics
published 2010

These are strange times for Tony Chu, the cibopathic federal agent with the ability to gey psychic impressions from the things he eats. Strange writing in extraterrestrial script has appeared in the skies of Planet Earth - and stayed there. People don't know if the End Days are upon them or not, but they don't seem terribly concerned about the laws of the FDA, and what was once the most powerful law enforcement agency is rapidly descending into irrelevancy. So where does that leave the FDA's best agent, Tony Chu?

All kinds of crazy stuff going on.  No one knows what the writing is, but maybe someone had an idea and now they're after Tony's family.  In the meantime, Tony & John may have screwed up a case completely after finally being assigned a case that wasn't about getting them killed.

The Vampire makes an appearance and Savoy is lurking in the background and I think it's all leading up to something pretty crazy, but we're not quite there yet.

chew, vol. 3: just desserts

chew, vol. 3: just desserts
john layman & rob guillory
image comics
published 2010

Things are looking up for Tony Chu, the cibopathic federal agent with the ability to get psychic impressions from the things he eats. He's got a girlfriend. He's got a partner he trusts. He even seems to be getting along with his jerk boss. But his ruthless ex-partner is still out there, operating outside of the law, intending to make good on his threats against Tony and everybody Tony cares about. It's just a matter of time before their investigations collide, blood spills and, inevitably, body parts are eaten!

I felt like this was a volume full of background. There wasn't much of a specific plot going around, but certain things were revisited and we get more background on Tony. There's the rooster from International Flavor, Mason shows up for a second, we meet his previous partner and Tony's family (he has a lot of siblings!). There's not a specific case in this volume, just either wrapping things up or connecting the dots to other cases.

I've become quite attached to Tony at this point nonetheless so I'll read on and anyway, with a cliffhanger like that how can I not read the next volume!?

chew, vol. 2: international flavor

chew, vol. 2: international flavor
john layman & rob guillory
image comics
published 2010

Cibopathic detective Tony Chu - able to get psychic impressions from whatever he eats - has a strange new case.  A newly-discovered fruit which, when cooked, tastes remarkably like chicken, leads Chu to a small Western Pacific island, an island full of secrets, intrigue...and murder!

Agent Chu is reunited with John Colby, his former partner in the Philly PD.  Now Agent Colby is working for the FDA with a bionic head.  He hasn't changed much and he adds a lovely layer of ass kicking humor to the book.

Chu is on the hunt for this fruit that tastes like chicken.  On a lead to the whereabouts of this fruit he runs into his brother who is opening a restaurant on the little island where the laws on poultry are much more relaxed.

Rumors of vampires start circulating when a body from the first book makes an appearance and Mason is still hiding out somewhere.

Not as funny or as gross as the first book, but it's still very entertaining.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

the hangman

the hangman
armand gamache #0
louise penny
grass roots press
published 2011

On a cold November morning, a jogger runs through the woods in the peaceful Quebec village of Three Pines. On his run, he finds a dead man hanging from a tree. The dead man was a guest at the local Inn & Spa. He might have been looking for peace and quiet, but something else found him. Something horrible. Did the man take his own life? Or was he murdered? Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called to the crime scene. As Gamache follows the trail of clues, he opens a door into the past. And he learns the true reason why the man came to Three Pines.

I pride myself on following the clues in the books I read to their logical conclusion and for the second time Penny's killer took me by surprised.  To my credit this was a shorter story so there wasn't a lot of story to go on, but still while I was reading I was questioning things and for some reason the killer's true identity alluded me!

I love her writing.  I love Three Pines.  Armand is a wonderful character and his supporting cast are just as delightful.  The only thing I didn't love is the cover art.  All of her other books have gorgeous covers and this one, while it fits the story it was kind of out of place.  The story itself was too short to really get into, but a fun time filler.

bokurano ours, vol. 6

bokurano ours, vol. 6
mohiro kitoh
viz media
published 2012

Now the children know the truth: their opponents are human beings, just like them. Despite going into his battle with mixed feelings, Kirie finds one more chance to surprise his fellow pilots. Komo follows after him to what seems like an easy victory...until the enemy's tentacles threaten to overwhelm her.

I've got to admit....I was bored.  This one was soooooo boring to me.  The only interesting things Kirie did was go after Hatagai, but then even that amounted to nothing.  And then there were millions of pages of Tanaka going on and on and on and on about karma, talking in circles, saying the same thing. She even mentions how she's rambling!

Then his battle wasn't even shown.

We move on to Komo and then something happens that hasn't happened before so it gets exciting.  But then Koyemshi goes on in detail about particles and cells and elements and I thought I was going to die.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I know this is a scifi book and I know there's people out there who really enjoy those details, but I'm not one of those people so I almost died.

But thankfully, that's over with now.

bokurano ours, vol. 5

bokurano ours, vol. 5
mohiro kitoh
viz media
published 2012

Zearth's surviving pilots make a promise to each other: they'll never break down, they'll never cry, and no one's to blame. Yet after Maki's battle breaks open the core of her opponent a frightening discovery may test their new resolve. Inside, the children come upon a terrible shock - the truth about who they're driven to destroy.

So yeah, I was completely wrong about the enemy robots.  I think it was just wishful thinking on my part, but after Moji's battle and the choice he makes with his body I knew that was it.  The kids are really dead after their battles.  The one thing I don't get is why some of them live a bit after their victories and some drop dead right away.

Maki's story is just so sad.  These kids are just in a shitty place all because of some wacko that we don't really know anything about.  Why these kids?  Just because they stumbled upon that cave?  Or were they meant to find the cave?

And now that they know what's inside the core does that change anything for them?  Either choice they make is hopeless for them.  At the end of volume 5 there are still 7 kids remaining.  It's getting pretty bleak.

bokurano ours, vol. 4

bokurano ours, vol. 4
mohiro kitoh
viz media
published 2011

Having no interest in boys her own age, young Chizu develops a crush on her schoolteacher. After after a few tentative secret dates, her relationship with the older man takes an unexpected and violent twist. When Chizu finally takes control of Zearth, she's got two things on her mind: save the planet and exact revenge on her ex-lover.

These kids are way more mature than they should be at their age.  As it stands none of them have really had an easy life save for maybe Kodama but he was a strange bird so who knows.  We don't really get to see much into his life except for his love for his father.

And now there are two adults who have entered into the contract after the kids realized they were short two pilots.  Koyemshi is speaking to someone we can't see when the kids aren't in the cockpit.  He's an evil little fucker it seems.  So far my theories about the robot don't seem to be holding true so it shows how much I know about stuff!

bokurano ours, vol. 3

bokurano ours, vol. 3
mihiro kitoh
viz media 
published 2011

Saving the world is hard.  Saving yourself is even harder.  The underage pilots of Zearth are starting to crack under the pressure.  In the beginning all they wanted to do was play a fun game.  Now they're fighting for their lives and the fate of the planet.  Say goodbye to childhood.  It's time to grow up and be a hero.

This shit is fucked up.

There's no other way to express that.  It is really just fucked up.  First of all, you have to think about the psychological stress these kids are under.  They know they are going to die.  There's no way out, at least as far as they know at this point.  They either know they are next to die or they just know they are going to die shortly, but they don't know exactly when.  So every day they wake up knowing this could be the day they are called to pilot and then they will die.  

And they're around 12 years old.  Which makes the circumstances involving some of these backstories even worse.  *****spoilers*****  An affair with a teacher, gang rape, attempted rape,'s a lot to take in.  And then along come these adults who are half blaming the kids for the death toll the robots have caused.  They tell them they'll take care of everything so the kids think this is it, they're saved.  But the adults are just arrogant jerks.  

It's heavy, heavy stuff.  While Volume 2 made me incredibly sad this one just kind of made me feel ill, creepy crawlies and all that.  There's a whole lot of drama packed into these volumes, no doubt.

bokurano ours, vol. 2

bokurano ours, vol. 2
mohiro kitoh
viz media
published 2010

Saving the world is hard.  Saving yourself is even harder.  One summer, fifteen kids innocently wander into a nearby seaside cave.  There they meet a strange man who invites them to play an exciting new video game.  This game, he explains, pits a long giant robot against a horde of alien invaders.  To play the game all they have to do is sign a simple contract.  The game stops being fun when the kids find out the true purpose of their pact.


I liked the first book okay.  It was crazy weird and seemed to have a lot of potential.  Then all of a sudden it got really dark and incredibly sad.  So far each book seems to be focusing on two characters at a time in order of being 'called'.

Little pieces of the mystery of the 'game' are being revealed and nothing is good news.  Each kid has a story and these stories are not of the happy ending variety.  I was planning on moving onto the next book in the Chew series, but I think I'm going to have to finish up this one first.  I have some theories about the monsters they're fighting and I want to see if I'm right!

ōoku: the inner chambers, vol. 2

ōoku: the inner chambers, vol. 2
fumi yoshinaga
viz media
published 2009

Curious about why female lords must take on male names, the shogun Yoshimune seeks out the ancient scribe Murase and his archives of the last eighty years on the Inner Chambers - called the Chronicle of the Dying Day.  In its pages Yoshimune discovers the coming of the Redface Pox, the death of the last male shogun, and the birth of the new Japan....

This takes us back almost eighty years beginning around 6 years after the death of the last male shogun.  In the previous volume Yoshimune goes to Murase to ask about the Chronicle of the Dying Day and in this volume two the Chronicle plays out.

In the first volume there was some humor and attempts at lightheartedness.  Here is just a lot of bleakness, violence and tragedy.  Kasuga will not let anything stop her from saving the Tokugawa name.  Murder, kidnapping, whatever, she'll do it.  She is a terrifying character.

There was just a lot of sadness, but we got to see the transition from being a place that housed women for the shogun to a place that housed men who thought that their male shogun was still alive and favored men.  The secrets that were kept and doled out to a select few who were then doomed never to leave the Inner Chambers.

I am anxious to get back to Yoshimune to see how she will have taken this account and what she will do, if anything, to change the state of affairs in Japan.  And also, how she will deal with the Inner Chambers.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

7 billion needles

volume 2
volume 3
volume 4
nobuaki tadano
vertical, inc.
published 2011

On a clear calm night, while on a class trip to the beach, Hikaru Takabe decides to go for a walk to escape the shackles of school and peer pressure.  While observing the stars above a calm dark sea in an instant she is disintegrated when struck by a meteor.

Flash forward one page, and Hikaru awakes, from what seems like a horrible daydream of sorts, sitting amongst classmates in school without a scratch on her.  The meteor dream seemed so real she cannot believe she's alive, but given her relative aloof nature, she soon shrugs off the events and moves on with life.  However, one thing she cannot shake off is the strange buzzing she hears coming from her new pair of headphones....

This was on the border of being really interesting and making absolutely no sense to me.  Everything was good until volume three when the subspecies and the Moderator were the focal point and things got very science-fictiony.  It was intense.

I think that ultimately the series was about friendship.  It seems so simple and almost cheesy after all that, but when it all came down to it there seemed to be the overriding theme of loneliness.  Once Hikaru was taken in by Nao and Saya she wasn't so lonely and was able to open up more.  Which then prompted her to help Chika who she saw as herself before Nao and Saya.  Hikaru became a spectator (who actually mostly just ignored everyone) to an active human.  She participated in life which ended up allowing her to save the world.

More sci-fi than I usually read, but I enjoyed it thoroughly!

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