Review – Down Among The Sticks And Bones by Seanan McGuire

Down Among the Sticks and Bones
By: Seanan McGuire
Website: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31450908-down-among-the-sticks-and-bones
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Tor.com
Series: Wayward Children #2
Rating:


I have always loved portal fantasies, those books where a group of children fall through the back of a wardrobe and enter a world of fantasy and magic. Last year, Every Heart A Doorway piqued my interest based on its new spin on this familiar scenario – what happens when someone comes back to our world? Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire is dark, stunningly written, and utterly beautiful.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones has some of the loveliest prose I have read in quite some time. It’s the sort of writing that normally makes my father look fondly at the book in hand and say ‘people don’t write like this anymore’. Reading McGuire’s work is a real treat. I devoured this book; it was a one sitting read.

Review – Juana and the Dragonewts’ Seven Kingdoms Volume 1 by Kiyohisa Tanaka

Juana and the Dragonewts' Seven Kingdoms Vol. 1
By: Kiyohisa Tanaka
Translator: Adrienne Beck
Release Date: (English) January 16, 2018; (original)
Publisher: Seven Seas
Series: Juana and the Dragonewts' Seven Kingdoms
Received From: Publisher
(All reviews are our own, honest opinions.)
Rating:


I’m always looking for a new fantasy story, a genre which has been just a little bit lacking these last few years as the isekai genre has taken over just about everything. Juana and the Dragonewts’ Seven Kingdoms by Kiyohisa Tanaka is a beautiful, fun fantasy with a lot of heart. I’ve heard it related to the Ancient Magus’ Bride, and while I’m not completely up to date with either the manga releases or the anime, I can see why. This is a fantasy story, one where a human girl, maybe the last one, finds herself . But instead of being from the point of view of a human suddenly plunged into a fantastical world, we are given the opposite – a fantastical creature living in a fantastical world finds a human without fully knowing what it is or what to do with it.

Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto, Vol. 1

Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto
By: Nami Sano
Release Date: (English Translation) August 4, 2017; (original) January 15, 2013
Publisher: Seven Seas
Series: Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto
Rating:


I have made a point to borrow as many manga from my local library as possible. This decision was fueled partially to fray the costs of buying hundreds of volumes a year, but also as an attempt to get the library to purchase more manga titles. One of my recent borrows was Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto Vol 1 by Nami Sano, a manga in a genre my husband refers to as ‘strange people doing strange things’ but but would also fit into the wonderful ‘beautiful boys who do things well’ genre.

Review – Chi’s Sweet Home Vol. 1

Chi's Sweet Home Vol. 1
By: Konata Konami
Release Date: June 29, 2010
Publisher: Verticle
Series: Chi's Sweet Home
Rating:


There are certain books you stumble across repeatedly whether they are mentioned by friends or are included in lists or articles online. One manga I kept coming across is a story about a cat that looked absolutely adorable. I’ve finally read Chi’s Sweet Home, Vol. 1 by Konata Konami.

The story follows Chi, a cute little kitten that gets separated from its mother and siblings only to be found by a little boy visiting a park. Chi is taken home by the family even though they aren’t allowed pets in their apartment. What follows are a series of cute happenings and hi-jinks around Chi’s new home.

Review – Food Wars! Vol. 1 by Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki

Food Wars! Vol. 1
By: Yuto Tsukuda (writer); Shun Saeki (art)
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Series: Food Wars!
Rating:


Out of all the many genres of manga, shonen is hands down my favorite. I haven’t read every shonen title, but I’ve certainly read a lot of them. I thought I’d seen every sort of battle shonen there was. And then Food Wars! strolled into my life. Food Wars! Volume 1 by Yuto Tsukada and Shun Saeki is a shonen manga based on food.

That’s right, folks. Behold the bold creativity of a shonen battle manga based on cooking!

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)
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
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 – 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
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.