Review – In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle

In Calabria
By: Peter S. Beagle
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Rating:


Books steeped in myth and folktale are ones that I am always drawn to, so it is with no surprise that I found myself with a copy of In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle.

Claudio Bianchi needs no one, opting to remain on his farm with his animals and his poetry to the exclusion of everything and everyone else. But one day a unicorn that, if he isn’t mistaken, is about to give birth wanders onto his farm and calls it home. Suddenly entrusted with this magical appearance, he finds himself beset upon by those who want the unicorn for their own ends, some of whom refuse to take no as an answer.

Review – Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch by Ryo Mizuno

Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch
By: Ryo Mizuno; Hitoshi Yasuda (original concept)
Illustrator: Yutaka Izubuchi
Translator: Lillian Olsen
Release Date: December 19, 2017; (original) 19
Publisher: Seven Seas
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


There is nothing I appreciate more than a rerelease of an older title, especially when those of us in the US may have missed out on a translation the first time around. These are the light novels and manga of my youth, before my youth, the ones that have formed the genres and tropes we know today. Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch by Ryo Mizuno was first published when the concept of light novels was still new. Now, thirty years later, it is brought to the US for the first time.

Review – Uzumaki Vol 1 by Junji Ito

Uzumaki Vol. 1
By: Junji Ito
Translator: Yuji Oniki
Release Date: October 16, 2007
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Series: Uzumaki
Rating:


There is nothing quite like reading a great horror story, and with Junji Ito a reader can never go wrong. Uzumaki Volume 1 by Junji Ito is an utterly fantastic horror tale set in a city beset by something rather innocent appearing at first, but quickly grows to epidemic proportions.

In Uzumaki the town of Kuozu-cho is haunted by spirals. The patterns can be found in nature – plants, water, within the human body. All of these are innocent enough. But spirals begin appearing in other places such as the crazed obsessions of Suichi Saito’s father and slowly spreads.

Review – Extracted by R. R. Haywood

Extracted
By: R. R. Haywood
Release Date: March 1, 2017
Publisher: 47North
Series: Extracted
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


Have you ever read a book and, when it was finished, wondered why you sat there through everything? Usually I read books I’m not liking very much because I feel like I must be missing something. Surely there is a twist that will make everything worthwhile. Perhaps I’m simply not looking deeply enough, missing some sort of grand metaphor for all the trials and tribulations of the universe. Sometimes the plot, characters, or writing simply doesn’t live up to expectations.

Extraction by R. R. Haywood sounded like a fast paced time travel novel. I always love a good time travel story. Unfortunately, this book was the opposite of paced, and quickly proved to unravel in other aspects throughout the novel.

Review – Shiver: Junji Ito Selected Short Stories by Junji Ito

Shiver: Juji Ito Selected Stories
By: Junji Ito
Translator: Jocelyne Allen
Release Date: December 19, 2017
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


I have always loved horror stories. Yet few manage to evoke that raw fear and discomfort that so many strive for. Junji Ito’s works are one exception to that rule. Never have I come across a Juji Ito story that hasn’t managed to make me feel something. Releasing tomorrow, December 19, 2017, Shiver: Junji Ito Selected Stories is certainly no exception to the rule.

Throwback Thursday – The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld
By: Patricia McKillip
Website: http://www.patriciamckillip.com/
Release Date: September 17, 2017
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Award: World Fantasy Award for Best Novel (1975); Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Nominee (1975)
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


Patricia McKillip’s novel The Forgotten Beasts of Eld was republished by Tachyon Publications. This World Fantasy Award winning novel is a true treasure, a book that is most definitely worth reading.

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld is a standalone fantasy novel by Patricia McKillip. Sybel is a wizard, the latest in a long line of powerful wizards. She lives atop Eld Mountain, constantly calling the powerful and mystical creatures of long lost stories to her doorstep. Sybel is completely disinterested in the world of men, but that world comes knocking on her door in the form of an infant – a cousin whose mother is dead and whose kingly father, if he is truly the father at all, is apt to kill him. Slowly, Sybel is introduced to the world below, to love, to revenge, and more power than even she thought possible.

Review – Lumberjanes Vol. 1

Lumberjanes Vol. 1
By: Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Faith Hicks, Brooke A. Allen
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Series: Lumberjanes
Award: Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards for Best New Series & Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)(2015); Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Graphic Novels & Comics (2015)
Rating:


I’d recently heard some very good things about Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Faith Hicks, and Brooke Allen. When I found copies available in my local library I immediately delved in. This is a fun fantasy/mystery series that follows a group of girls at a Lumberjane sleepaway camp. The forest they’re camping in holds secrets, though, and seems to be filled with magical creatures. The story follows these girls as they go on various adventures and try to solve the mysteries of the woods.

Review – The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Vol. 1 by Kore Yamazaki

The Ancient Magus' Bride, Vol. 1
By: Kore Yamazaki
Translator: Adrienne Beck
Website: http://haiiroattachment.blog.fc2.com/
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Seven Seas
Series: The Ancient Magus' Bride
Rating:


I am very late to the party on this one. Usually I keep up with each season’s anime releases, but alas, I’ve fallen behind. But a new anime usually means amazon discounts on its corresponding manga, so I picked up the first volume of The Ancient Magus’ Bride by Kore Yamazaki.

Chise Hatori is the main character, a Japanese girl who was orphaned at a young age. She has long since gave up on everything, entering the realms of magical beings and was previously sold into slavery. When she is purchased at auction by an ancient, inhuman magus, Elias Ainsworth, Chise is given a new lease on life. Suddenly she finds herself freed and apprenticed to a mage. Now she has the ability to move forward – to learn about magic, her potential, and to heal.

Review – Zodiac War by NisiOisin

Zodiac War
By: NisiOisin
Illustrator: Hikaru Nakamura
Translator: Nathan A. Collins
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: VIZ Media
Rating:


I can’t believe I’ve never read a book by NisiOisin before. Not only that, I’ve only just started watching Bakemonogatari. Finally I can say that I’ve read something by this author! I happened to come across an absolutely beautiful copy of Zodiac War by NisiOisin in my local bookstore not too long ago and immediately picked up a copy.

This book is about the Zodiac War, a battle that occurs every twelve years between fighters which represent each of the twelve zodiacs. What you see is pretty much what you get here. The story opens with the introduction of this year’s Zodiac War by the overseer of the event before following each of the combatants as they utilize everything they possibly can in order to secure victory.

Review – Winnebago Graveyard by Steve Niles and Alison Sampson

Winnebago Graveyard
By: Steve Niles; Alison Sampson
Release Date: November
Publisher: Image Comics
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


Winnebago Graveyard is the story of a young family on a summer road trip. When they come across a fair, they stop for the day, intent on fun and absolutely no cell phones. As the day winds down and they’re set to go home, they find their Winnebago is missing, presumably stolen. When the fair’s employees are unwilling to help, they walk on to the next town. But the sheriff here is completely disinterested in their problems. The whole place feels off, wrong. Strangers aren’t welcome here, and soon a missing Winnebago will be the least of this family’s problems.