Manga Review: Dawn of the Arcana vol.1 by Rei Toma

11029842Dawn of the Arcana Vol.1 by Rei Toma

Series: Dawn of the Arcana (#1)

Published: January 1st 2009

Publisher: VIZ Media LLC

Goodreads: “A medieval fantasy where a princess’s mysterious power alters her fate! Reads R to L (Japanese Style).

Princess Nakaba of Senan is forced to marry Prince Caesar of the enemy country Belquat, tantamount to becoming a hostage. While Caesar is pleasing to the eye, he is also selfish and possessive, telling Nakaba outright: “You are my property.” With only her attendant Loki at her side, Nakaba must find a way to cope with her hostile surroundings, her fake marriage…and a mysterious power!”

 

Review:

Let’s talk about the art of Reimei no Arcana/Dawn of the Arcana, shall we? Can we just take a good look at it and be honest? It’s beautiful! And trust me, Rei Toma’s stories are worth reading as well. I just have a huge urge to own all of the volumes of Reimei no Arcana… I must collect them all!
My budget is kind of tight though, so I only own the two first volumes, I’ll collect them whenever I can anyway 😉

Reimei no Arcana is set in a kind of medieval world with fantasy elements, it is set in two different countries; although this first volume is mostly set in Belquat, the Southern kingdom.
Princess Nakaba of Senan (the Northern kingdom) marries Prince Caesar of Belquat in order to somehow appease the war between the two countries, even though political marriages have had place for years, between Senan and Belquat, the two countries always end up fighting each other.

Belquat is richer and more prosperous, while Senan always has bad harvests, due to it’s colder weather and harsher climatic conditions. “Belquatians” also consider themselves to be superior intellectually – we’ll see if that proves to be right or not.
All the royals have black hair, and anybody else with blond, brown or red hair are from a lower cast, and finally, there’s the Ajin. Ajin are demi-humans with animal features and senses that surpass those of humans.

Nakaba has red hair, even though she’s a royal, as such, she’s been rejected and restrained throughout all her life. I’m not sure about whether this is true or not, because it’s not been explained very much -yet- in this first volume, but it would seem she’s been locked up in a tower for a long time, much like Rapunzel.
Nakaba and Caesar can’t stand each other at first, as a matter in fact, Caesar is kind of violent towards her in the beginning. I’m sure they’ll fall in love with each other soon enough.

All in all, I really liked reading this, I’m reading the 2nd volume as soon as I can.

4 Chibis

Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Series: The Mortal Instruments (#6)

Publisher: Walker Books

Published:  May 28th 2014

Summary: “Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last instalment of the internationally bestselling The Mortal Instruments series.
Erchomai, Sebastian had said. I am coming.
Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat him – must they journey to another world to find the chance?”

Review

I’ve waited 2 years to read this book. Why, you ask? Because I was devastated by Clockwork Princess, which came out in 2013, and have been since plagued by its ending (you can see why in my review). So, I knew from the epilogue that some stuff would go down on City of Heavenly Fire (CoHF) and was scared shitless of what I was going to find out. That, and I couldn’t make myself read anything in the shadowhunter world without thinking of Will, so there’s that. Anyway, CoHF was a great book to read (not during midterms like I did), and I laughed, sighed and teared up a bit. However, there were some things that left me thinking and wondering whether this book could have been better.

Now, I’m going to be spoilerly as can be so I’d refrain from reading more if you are planning on reading City of Heavenly Fire (although most people have read it a long time ago, I’m just late for the party woohoo!)

CoHF begins with the shadowhunter’s world at the footstep of a war even they can’t imagine what’s going to be like. Sebastian is on the move, Jace and Clary can’t do the deed without burning up (literally burning up), there’s trouble in paradise for Alec and Magnus, and who the hell knows what’s going on between Izzy and Simon. In all my honesty, when Cassandra Clare announced that some important characters were going to die, I thought immediately that it was going to be either Alec or Magnus. Let’s just say, CC has a flair for the dramatic and after Clockwork Princess I was expecting the worse (yes, one of them dying after their breakup would be the worst thing for me). But fear not, none of these precious characters have died! Now, I was incredibly surprised with the death of dear Jordan, who I honestly couldn’t remember that well but still felt an affinity for. I was shocked when Sebastian killed him in front of Maia, along with the massacre that had happened in the Praetor Lupus (hope I’m writing that right). I was expecting war and devastation, but Sebastion went full bloodthirsty psychopath and reached extremes even I didn’t think were possible.

The Endarkened, shadowhunters turned bad by the Infernal Cup, were a surprise as well. I thought there was going to be a way to cure them, some sort of turnaround for them. It was heartbreaking to see warriors mourn their lost and even worse having to kill their relatives, their friends, just because there was no way of bringing them back. Worst of all, Amatis. I was hoping for a salvation for Luke’s sister, but the way it all ended, I was left heartbroken with the last look of recognition.

I loved Simon’s jokes, and absolutely adored Alec when he was in a good mood. Who doesn’t, he’s hilarious too! One thinh I pitty was not remembering Maureen, at all! Well, didn’t matter that much, though.

Now now, there was some stuff that just didn’t bode that well with me. First of all, when the gang is in Edom, they are in the caves. Some stuff happened before and Jace is now free of the heavenly fire (I told you there were big spoilers). So, obviously, he can finally have sex with Clary. Sexy times in a cavern in the middle of a demon realm, who wouldn’t? The question here is, why did Jace go prepared and have a condom with him. Now, let’s think. The gang had to prepare real fast to leave for Edom. They were gathering water, food and essential stuff. Did Jace really think “well, I have heavenly fire inside be that lights up whenever I feel things but maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to do the deed with Clary there, who knows, it might happen, so I should just take this condom with me.”. I know that Cassandra Clare was probably promoting safe sex, which I completely approve of! However, it was so ridiculous! These scene was completely out of context, and I bet Jace had other worries other than finding condoms when he was preparing for a suicidal mission.

The other thing that I did not like, even though it was the one that brought most tears to my eyes and made me feel things, was making CoHF an extension of The Infernal Devices. I loved that series with all my heart. But please, it ended there. I wanted more Tessa and more Jem, sure. I wanted them to have a happy ending and the epilogue in Clockwork Princess happens in The Mortal Instruments’ world, I know. But it all felt like a cheap shot. Like the author was trying to make the readers feel by making them think about the book that wrenched their heart before. And now, we have to think about Jem being mortal, while Tessa remains immortal, AGAIN. Also, all those William Herondale references. Are you trying to kill me? Again, cheap shot. There are other ways of making the readers feel. Like Simon. I was spoiled on that because I opened on the very last page of the book when I bought it, knowing it wasn’t part of the story, but what I got was an ad for Shadowhunter Academy thingie that told me Simon was a Shadowhunter and we could follow his story there. Come on, that’s just stupid! Who puts that at the end of the book, when that’s the major ending of the story?? For fucks sake. Well, at least we got to meet the real Jonathan Morgenstern, without the demonic eyes and psychopathic soul. I feel for Jocelyn having lost her son again, and I’m sad that we didn’t get to see more of Jonathan.

I will read Lady Midnight to know more about Emma Carstairs. I didn’t know she was going to appear so much on CoHF but I’m intrigued. Also, I’m predicting more Tessa and Jem there (and Church!). If I think Shadowhunter series should end, yes I do. The author should stop writing about the world. But I like it, and will probably read more. It’s my guilty pleasure.

3.5 Chibis

Book releases: March 2016

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but this month so many awesome books are being published, I must share them all with you. Keep reading 😉

One of the most awaited books of this year, Lady Midnight promises – am I the only one who is dying to have one copy on my hands? I believe not!

Lady Midnight (Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare

8th March

25494343.jpg

The third and last of book of the series – I’ve only read the first one, much to my embarrassment, I know I’m missing out, or so tells me Ana.

The Winner’s Kiss (The Winner’s Trilogy #3) by Marie Rutkoski

29th March

20443235.jpg

I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge fan of Wendy Higgins, and this one is a Fairy Tale retelling! Need I say more?

The Great Hunt (The Great Hunt #1) by Wendy Higgins

8th March

22428707.jpg

Speaking of fantasy, I’ve never read anything by this author, but I’m a total junkie for beautiful covers, so this one has a direct pass to my TBR.

Burning Glass (Burning Glass #1) by Kathryn Purdie

1st March – comes out today folks!

23677316.jpg

Ughh, another final book! And once again I’ve only read the first book of the series!

Half Lost (The Half Bad Trilogy #3) by Sally Green

29th March

20814993.jpg

I love me some Mia Sheridan, I have no words for how much I love her books – I haven’t even read this one and I already feel myself swooning.

Midnight Lily by Mia Sheridan

1st March – TODAY!

27863344.jpg

We’re missing a historical romance!

Not anymore 🙂

Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys #1) by Julia Quinn

29th March

25657772.jpg

Who likes Allie Condie? You’re in for a treat!

Summerlost by Allie Condie

29th March

17731927.jpg

And who missed Melissa Marr?! I know I did 🙂

Seven Black Diamonds (Untitled #1) by Melissa Marr

1st March – Today people!

25816519.jpg

And at last, but definitely not least, a new series by Shelly Crane! I love the Significance series so much, I’m expecting big things from this one 🙂 I mean, what else could I want, it’s sci-fi, it has an UNBELIEVABLY BEAUTIFUL COVER…

The Other Side of Gravity (Oxygen #1) by Shelly Crane

15th March

25708672.jpg

With nothing to add, I bid you an amazing reading month, happy reading!

Novella Review: The Assassin and the Healer by Sarah J. Maas

18333581.jpgThe Assassin and the Healer by Sarah J. Maas

Novella of the book: The Assassin’s Blade 

Series: Throne of Glass (#0.2)

Published: 22nd March 2013

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Goodreads: “Meet the Assassin: beautiful, defiant, destined for greatness. Celaena Sardothien has challenged her master. Now she must pay the price. Her journey to the Red Desert will be an arduous one, but it may change the fate of her cursed world forever…”

Review:

I so want to see Yrene Towes again, she seems like such an interesting character – not to mention that I totally sismance her with Celeana.

Celeana has been staying at the White Pig Inn, Innish, a small port town, for a few days, her goal is to reach the Red Desert, where she is to meet the Mute Master of Assassins, who’ll train her for a month. This is Celeana’s punishment for destroying the slave-trade agreement between Arobynn and the Pirate Lord of Skull’s Bay.

Yrene, a girl whose mother was killed for being a healer, works a the Inn, as she wants to win enough coin to be able to go to Torre Cesme, where she can learning the art of healing. However, her boss is constantly cutting her salary and tips, and raising the rent of her small room.

Their paths cross and Celeana changes Yrene’s life.

“For wherever you need to go – and then some. The world needs more healers.”

4.5 Chibis

Novella Review: The Assassin and the Pirate Lord by Sarah J. Maas

13415554.jpgThe Assassin and the Pirate Lord by Sarah J. Maas

Novella of the book: Assassin’s Blade

Series: Throne of Glass (#0.1)

Published: January 13th 2012

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s

Goodreads: “A Throne of Glass novella.

On a remote island in a tropical sea, Celaena Sardothien, feared assassin, has come for retribution. She’s been sent by the Assassin’s Guild to collect on a debt they are owed by the Lord of the Pirates. But when Celaena learns that the agreed payment is not in money, but in slaves, her mission suddenly changes—and she will risk everything to right the wrong she’s been sent to bring about.”

Review:

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord tells a story of 16-year-old Celaena Sardothien, she dresses like an aristocratic lady, with silks and expensive gowns, likes to read books all night long, and happens to be part of an Assassins’ Guild, called the Assassins’ Keep. This Guild is mastered by the infamous Arobynn Hamel, a man whom I definitely wouldn’t  like to encounter.

This novella starts off at this exact same guild, located somewhere in Rifthold, capital of Adarlan, where five assassins are gathered at the long table. They hear bad news, as two of the seven of the most trusted assassins are missing, one of them, Gregori has been taken by royal guards, and the other, Ben, Celeana’s mentor is dead. – Arobynn wishes to seek retribution, as such, Celeana’s and Sam’s mission is to travel to the Dead Islands, Skull’s Bay, and deliver two letters to Captain Rolfe, Lord of the Pirates.

However, when Celeana and Sam deliver the letters they realize that Captain Rolfe’s punishment is to pay a substantial sum of money to Arobynn and deliver to him a hundred slaves. – As soon as Celeana realizes the inhuman conditions in which the slaves are being kept, not to mention that the destiny of many children will be to be sold to a brothel, she decides that she must do something to prevent the trade.

I guess that this novella is a good starting point to those who wish to begin reading this series. Although I have already read the first three books of the series, I don’t remember much of it, just the essential I guess, so this is also, kind of a good re-starting point for me.

In addition, if you’re craving for the usual arrogance and badassery from Celeana, I assure you, you won’t be disappointed.

description

4.5 Chibis

Book Review: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

 

13576132.jpgThe Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

Series: The Murder Complex (#1)

Published: 10th of June 2014

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Goodreads: “An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.”

Review:

(WARNING: Angry review/rambling coming up, if you don’t wish to read anything negative related to The Murder Complex don’t read this. You have been warned!)

You’ve got to admit, the cover is fantastic, but good God, this was such a pain to read.

This book has too many faults, the first one being the fact that it was way too fast-paced, I couldn’t even keep up with all that was going on. The world building was delivered on the first few pages, the information about this dystopian world is basically dropped on you, and you have to memorize it right then to be able to understand what will happen further on.

Second thing I couldn’t stand were the characters, I didn’t like a single one of them. At first I thought that I might’ve liked Meadow, but no. Even if at first glance she seemed all cool and badass, she is just a whiny teenager, who believes she’s the shit. And the blind devotion she had towards her psychopath parents, what-the-hell. She grows up to the age of sixteen never pressing her dad to tell her the truth about her mother’s death, even though it was obvious that what she had been told was total bullshit.
The other main character, Zephyr, is a pussy, I’m sorry but there is no better word to describe him. He’s a fucking pussy. The first time Meadow met him he was crying because he felt guilty over killing twelve people. Of course, he never questions why he’s committed not one, not two, not even three, but 12 murders?! He just goes with it.

Third thing I really couldn’t stand on this book was the INSTA LOVE. People, insta love is SO OVER right now. Nobody believes or even swoons over insta love, unless it’s some kind of werewolf mate-bond thing. If I read a book with insta love it at least has to be believable in some way. This “thing” between Meadow and Zephyr obviously wasn’t believable to me.

The only thing that would’ve made this book good was if it ended with the death of every character. That at least would’ve been original.

description

2 Chibis

Ana’s Book Review: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass (#4)

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Published: September 1st 2015

Summary: “The queen has returned.
Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .
She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.
She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.”

Review

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS. OBVIOUSLY.

I’ll only say this once: if you haven’t started reading the Throne of Glass series what are you doing with your life? This series is one of the best out there, it’s life itself and come on, everyone has been raging about it since the first book came out in 2012. Sarah J. Maas has done something beautiful with the series and I am now going through a book comatose: the phenomena in which you finish a book and every single book you pick after that feel like crap and you get the feeling that no one else can write a book as good as the one you’ve just read. This is a shitty phase to go through because you want, you NEED to read something else because of all the feelings you have but nothing satisfies you. Continue reading