Hey everyone, welcome to the end of August – its nearly time to catch the Hogwarts Express from Kings Cross to start a new term at wizarding school! Or in my case, I’m nervously waiting to start back at university…
Before I get bogged down with big assessments, it’s time to talk about what I’ve read this month. So without further ado, lets begin the wrap up! Fair warning, there may be spoilers.
First up is the first volume of The Seven Deadly Sins by Nakaba Suzuki. It follows The Sins who were once a great band of warriors, but disbanded after being accused of trying to overthrow the kingdom. When the Holy Knights threaten to destroy the kingdom, princess Elizabeth sets out to reunite The Sins, rescue her family, and unite the kingdom. The first volume establishes everything nicely and we start to understand some of the characters. It’s a fun read, and easily worth 4 stars. I also trialled out reading this on my Manga Rock iPad app.
The next novel was a reread for me, and that is Little Star by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It has to be said, it’s one of my favourite books. A horror, drama novel, it follows the lives of two very different girls and the way they perceive the world and others around them. Theres was found in a carrier bag in the woods and since her rescue, has been hidden away from the world, in order to protect her and her angelic voice. On the other side of the story is introverted Teresa, who doesn’t fit in with her family and school. The novel focuses a lot on the trials and tribulations of growing teenage girls, friendship and belonging, mental health, the price of stardom and the problems that come with it. A solid 5 star read.
I then read Haunted on Bourbon Street by Deanna Chase, which is the first book in the Jade Calhoun series. Jade moves into a new apartment in New Orleans, only to find out that its haunted. Jade struggles with relationships and friends as an empath – and things get more difficult with the haunting, and her attraction to Kane, the sexy landlord who co-owns the local strip bar. I rated this book 2 stars, as I felt like I’d met the characters and the plot before. The novel essentially tells you who the evil ghost is quite early on, and it became a predictable novel.
I also read volumes 6 and 7 of Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba. These two volumes continue on the desperate battle between Light and L, and how they manipulate others to suit their needs. During these two novels, there is a conflict between the task force and the new owners of a Death Note, who are using it more as a business opportunity and success ladder. Vol 6 was 4 stars, and then I rated Vol 7 as 5 stars – it was really pushing the plot. And now I’m adding the rest of the series to my Wish List on Amazon…
I’m a huge Coraline fan, so I thought it was natural to read the graphic novel version of Coraline. Neil Gaiman wrote the original story, and P. Craig Russell adapted and illustrated this book. It follows the plot of the novel really well, as Coraline moves into a new house and is bored with her life. She finds a set of Other Parents and everything starts to change. I was impressed with the art – it was cute, but dark at the same time to appeal to children. A solid 4 stars as it was a quick read, but enjoyable all the same.
The next two books on my list are part of a series – Gotham City Sirens volumes 1 and 2. Vol 1 was written by Paul Dini, Guillem March, Tony Bedard, Scott Lobdell and Marc Andreyko. Vol 2 was written by Tony Bedard and Peter Calloway. Both volumes follow the friendships between Catwoman, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, and how they team up to form a power group. Each girl has their own trials and tribulations and can be quite hard hitting for the DC Universe. I really connected to Harley Quinn’s stories and in the end, it was slightly uncomfortable reading. Both were worthy of 5 stars.
Speaking of the DC Universe, I read Batman: Harley Quinn by Paul Dini. This was a collection of Harley Quinn themed stories, following from her debut in the comics to where she stands now in the New 52 universe. It shows how Harley’s popularity has risen and she has catapulted into the hearts of many fans. Whilst it was quite a quick read, it was worthy of 5 stars.
The next FOUR books are the first four volumes in the Black Butler series by Yana Toboso. The series follows Ciel Phantomhive, the young head of the Phantomhive family. Ciel has a demonic butler, Sebastian Michaelis. Sebastian keeps Ciel safe and in line, as well making sure the house is not destroyed by the incompetent chef, gardener and maid. Ciel is also tasked with being the Queen’s Guarddog, who solves crimes in the London underworld. Some of the sections in the manga are almost filler, but I think it’s a case where I found the anime preferable to the original source material, sadly. So in this case, I rated Vol 1 as 5 stars as it was a solid start. Vol 2 and 3 were both 4 stars, as I knew the storyline well. Sadly Vol 4 was only 2 stars, as I found it bland.
Continuing the manga theme, I read the first two volumes of Sword Art Online: Mothers Rosary by Reki Kawahara and Hazuki Tsubasa. During this arc of the story, Asuna is struggling with her home life and the relationship she has with her mother. During her time in the video game, she goes to duel Absolute Sword aka Yuuki. Asuna and Yuuki form a friendship when they work together in a Guild. I’m already well aware of what happens as I’ve seen the anime, and it’s a real tear jerker. The manga does a good job of showing friendship, love, compassion and strength. Both were worthy of 5 stars, although I have to wait until September for the next volume…
I read a complete box set this month. That box set collected the first 10 volumes of Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino. The series follows Yuki Cross, the adopted daughter of a headmaster as she guards the Day Class (human students) from the Night Class (vampire students). Yuki is childhood friends with Zero Kiryu, a man who despises vampires. It doesn’t help matters that Yuki has a crush on childhood hero, and vampire, Kaname Kuran. The plot has twists and turns and its an addictive page turner – although I’m sure everyone is sick of love triangles! The art was gorgeous – almost erotic in places! I read the first five books a while ago and rated those 5 stars at the time. Now I was able to finish the series and rated Vol 6 as 3 stars. Vols 7 and 8 were rated 4 stars for the action and plot. Vol 9 was sadly 2 stars – we had this massive build up and it fell flat. The final book of the box set (Vol 10) was rated 3 stars, as I had mixed feelings over the ending.
So that completes my third wrap up for this blog! Let me know what book/books you have read in the month of August – whether it’s paper/hardback, audio, eBook, graphic novels or manga. They all count! Of course, if you have any recommendations, please feel free to let me know!