Friday, January 29, 2016

The #FridayReads Review (1/29/16)



Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!


>> CURRENTLY READING <<
Reawakened (Reawakened, #1)
Reawakened by Colleen Houck (ARC)
I've been sick this week so I wanted something lighter and fun, which I've heard this is. Only one chapter in and already disappointed, though - I'm not too crazy about the writing and there's way too much telling.


>> JUST FINISHED <<
Starflight (Starflight, #1)What You Always Wanted (If Only . . ., #8)

Starflight by Melissa Landers (ARC)
5 Stars. ALL THE STARS. A thoroughly entertaining sci-fi with a wild and unpredictable adventure plot and a cast of some of the most vivid characters I've ever read. Already slated to be my Best 2016 Read! Review to come.

What You Always Wanted by Kristin Rae (ARC)
4 StarsAn effortless contemporary romance with a personally relatable main character and one of the sweetest love interests I've read, despite his sporty proclivities. Even better than Kristin's first book! Review to come.


>> READING NEXT <<
QQ Sweeper, Vol. 1
QQ Sweeper vol. 1 by Kyousuke (PBK)
A backlog of new manga was finally processed at the library so I'll be reading through quite a stack this weekend! Included is the first volume of this new series, which I've heard good things about.


So what are you reading this week?

Friday, January 22, 2016

The #FridayReads Review (1/22/16)



Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!


>> CURRENTLY READING <<
Starflight (Starflight, #1)
Starflight by Melissa Landers (ARC)
This book has exceeded all my eager expectations with its wild and unpredictable adventure plot and cast of some of the most vivid characters I've ever read. Sadly almost finished. :'(


>> JUST FINISHED <<
Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)The Seven Deadly Sins 11

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (ARC)
2.5 Stars. A predictable fantasy that was occasionally engaging but I mainly found disappointingly formulaic. Review to come.

The Seven Deadly Sins vol. 11 by Nakaba Suzuki (PBK)
3 Stars. This continues to be an entertaining if overly populated series. Mainly in it for Meliodas's backstory though, and hope we're coming up on at least a few more interesting tidbits soon.


>> READING NEXT <<
Raging Sea (Undertow, #2)
Raging Sea by Michael Buckley (ARC)
The publisher was the sweetest and sent me an ARC so I'll be devouring it as soon as I finish devouring Starflight!!


So what are you reading this week?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

{Reading Quirks} A Matter of Format (i.e. Solely Softcover, Hardly Hardcover, Never Digital)



Over the past few years I've discovered I have some pretty odd reading quirks, so I thought I'd share them to possibly explain some of my more unusual eccentricities. If this Reading Quirk applies to you as well, do Comment!


A Matter of Format
(i.e. Solely Softcover, Hardly Hardcover, Never Digital)

Books fall into three basic physical formats: hardcover, softcover, and digital. My quirk: I almost exclusively read softcover, rarely read hardcover, and never read digital. Why?



Hardcovers...are too much. Yes hardcovers are expensive, but mainly for me they are big, heavy, and bulky. Reading them can be a struggle, sometimes painfully so since I have wrist and finger issues, and this makes them not only hard to read comfortably but degrades the reading experience for me. Also, because of their heft and price I take hardcovers more seriously, and if the story inside disappoints it's a much bigger deal. Despite all this I will read hardcover if I absolutely positively need to, but only if it's all I have and/or the story is a must read.



Digital...is not for me. The three main reasons: (1) My eyes can't read on a screen very long (no matter how "paper-like" it is, my eyes know better); (2) Holding the book enhances the reading experience; and (3) I don't read digital simply on principle. I read "books," and a book is "a printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers." (Google) If it ain't printed, I ain't interested.



(And when the web inevitably crashes and digital devices fail, I, tucked away in my fortress of books, will have plenty to read during the ensuing chaos of The Dark Ages, a Sequel.)



No hardcovers and no digital...leaves Softcovers. Light, pliable, and less expensive, softcovers make for a lighter read both physically and mentally. I'm less apt to take the book and the story inside as seriously (or be as critical) as I would a hardcover, and where reading hardcovers can be uncomfortable reading paperbacks can be relaxing, even if I'm not enjoying the story inside as much as I'd hoped.



The hitch... Most books are initially released in hardcover, with a paperback to follow a year later (if I'm lucky and a paperback releases at all). Sure you can sometimes get your hands on a foreign paperback (long live Book Depository), but usually only with really popular or random titles. My only hope: Advance Reader Copies (ARCs), my preferred softcover of choice. Why? Find out in the next "Reading Quirk" installment!


What format do you prefer: hardcover, softcover or digital - and why?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Review: The Invisible Library (Genevieve Cogman)

The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library #1)
Title: The Invisible Library
Series: The Invisible Library, Book 1
Author: Genevieve Cogman (site)
Publisher: Tor UK
Release Date: January 15, 2015
Genre: Adult Paranormal Mystery
Told: Third Person Singular (Irene), Past Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (disturbing content, violence, mild proposition)
Format Read: Paperback (purchased)
Find OnGoodreads 
Purchase OnAmazon | Book Depository
Summary:

The first installment of an adventure featuring stolen books, secret agents and forbidden societies - think Doctor Who with librarian spies!

Irene must be at the top of her game or she'll be off the case - permanently...

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she's posted to an alternative London. Their mission - to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it's already been stolen. London's underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.

Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested - the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene's new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.

Soon, she's up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option - the nature of reality itself is at stake.


*          *          *

In a Sentence: A stellar library story concept that turned out to be a rambling mess of a mystery I could not follow.

Before I get into my deeply disappointed review, I must first note that I am not one for mysteries. I have great difficulty keeping all the characters and clues straight and struggle to follow the lines of thought and evidence and catch all the subtle hints. By the time I reach the end of the mystery I rarely care who did what with what where, and just want it to be over and done with. So when I discovered this book was not in fact the library adventure story I'd assumed but instead a book-focused mystery story, I despaired. But since the concept was still a really interesting one (and I'd paid good money for the book), I braced myself and dove in. I have read and enjoyed mysteries before, so I hoped with its bookish concept and British wit this would be another exception. But concepts and wit can only take a story so far for me if the main thread - here the mystery - isn't sound, and the mystery here was unfortunately a complete muddle thanks to messy writing, a chaotic world, and inconsistent magics and characters.

The Writing & Mystery: A rambling writing style can be a lot of fun when it has British wit at its disposal, but since the story here was a mystery the rambling created a mess of confusion and incoherency. Despite the characters taking too much time to hash out every little thing I followed almost none of their logic and reasoning, and the order in which they got their information and put things together was all over the place. Because of this the mystery element I naturally struggled with was completely incomprehensible, and eventually I had to read without mentally processing anything because I knew I'd never make sense of it.

The Magics: Another thing that was unfortunately all over the place was the magics, usually the best part of a book for me. They were complicated and rarely explained, but even when they were explained I found myself thinking "Doesn't that go against the rules?" or "Why didn't they do this, it's completely in their wheelhouse" which only served to frustrate me further. As with the mystery I eventually gave up trying to force logic upon the chaos and endeavored to enjoy the action for its sake without letting sense get in the way. I will say the Language (Library magic) was an interesting concept with very unique elements, but sadly I don't feel it was utilized to its full potential.

The Alternate Reality: The alternate London where the story spent most of its time was a chaotic mess of paranormal, steampunk, and Victorian elements. I expected the trio going in and gleefully anticipated a Gail Carriger-esque setting, but instead of what I know can be harmonious elements I found a complete disharmony. For the most part the elements stood separate, rarely meshing, and when they did mesh formed anything but coherency. I will admit the world was supposed to be a "chaos" one, which meant things weren't supposed to make complete sense, but it was still supposed to possess some and I really couldn't find it. There was nothing new with the steampunk or secret society elements, and aside for some little bits here and there everything was just as you'd expect and lacked any sort of dazzle.

The Library: I thrive on all things library and as a concept the Library here did not disappoint, even if it had little opportunity to. But when it did have the opportunity to dazzle, it didn't. We wandered through it for quite some time at the beginning and end of the book but saw almost nothing, and based on the events of the final chapter most likely even less of it will be seen in the next book.

The Characters & Creatures: The characters were on the surface rather fun, occasionally witty and somewhat interesting, but any deeper and they, like the story, became highly inconsistent. I really tried to get to know them, especially main character Irene, but I just couldn't keep up with the contradictory shifts of opinion and mood and personality. The role of the dragons was a one I hadn't come across before (although I rarely read about dragons so perhaps it wasn't all that unique), whereas the paranormal creatures and the Fae followed common laws and practices and so sadly offered nothing different.

The Romance: There was almost no romance to speak of, which here I appreciated. In the beginning Irene was propositioned by someone she had known less than a day which really did not fit, and I was happy when she turned them down and after some brief consideration pretty much put the entire matter of romance right out of her head. She was even given another possible romantic interest later on but never once considered them in that way, which I cannot say I have ever really read the likes of before and found very refreshing. Not that romance won't come up in later books, probably with both of them, but at least by then Irene will have known both for more than a week.

The End: The end made no sense to me, where they headed next and why more of a mystery than the entire book combined. As I came up on the final few chapters and considered the climax implications I was actually beginning to look forward to possibly reading the next book after all, but then what I'd been hoping for was shattered as the characters headed in basically the opposite direction. I can see said hopes maybe becoming the contents of book 3, but I don't think I can take another book like this one in between, which is exactly what was promised.

Conclusion: I wanted SO MUCH to love this book, but while I adored the concept I was deeply disappointed and frustrated with the contents. If I hadn't paid good money for it I wouldn't have finished it, and do not plan to spend any more money or time on any other books in the series. If you enjoy book-fueled paranormal mysteries and don't normally have trouble with a rambling story, then perhaps give it a try.

Diverse Elements: bisexual characters

For Fans Of: paranormal mysteries

Scribble Rating
1.5 of 5 Scribbles


Friday, January 15, 2016

The #FridayReads Review (1/15/16)



Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!


>> CURRENTLY READING <<
Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (ARC)
It's been a slow read but I should finish this weekend. While the writing is good enough and the action is occasionally engrossing, most of the time I struggle because it is so completely formulaic. But I am interested to see how it ends.


>> JUST FINISHED <<
Tsubasa: WoRLD CHRoNiCLE 1Noragami: Stray God 7

Tsubasa: World Chronicle vol. 1 by CLAMP (PBK)
3 Stars. Sadly not quite as good as I'd expected, but it picked up at the end so I'm excited enough to purchase the next volume.

Noragami: Stray God vol. 7 by Adachitoka (PBK)
4 Stars. While it can get a little wordy on occasion, the artwork and story continue to get better and better. Can't wait for the next volume!


>> READING NEXT <<
Starflight (Starflight, #1)
Starflight by Melissa Landers (ARC)
I'm getting really antsy to read this so I may have to squeeze it in before my Meyer binge!


So what are you reading this week?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday: The Inquisition (Taran Matharu)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blogging event hosted by Breaking the Spine, in which one spotlights an upcoming release they are eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:


The Inquisition (Summoner, #2)
Title: The Inquisition
Author: Taran Matharu
Release Date: May 10, 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Summary:
More demons, epic battles, and fights to the death: introducing the unmissable next installment in the Summoner Trilogy...
On trial for a crime he did not commit, Fletcher must face the Inquisition who will decide his future - the process is grueling, lead by those who will do anything to see him suffer and haunted by ghosts from the past with clues to Fletcher's tragic origins.
But Fletcher has little time to dwell on these new revelations when the king announces a deadly challenge to the graduating students at Vocans. One that involves entering Orc territory to complete a risky mission. With loyal demons by their sides, commoners and nobles, dwarves and elves must overcome barriers of class and race and work together to triumph. The reward: a fortune in gold, the safety of an empire and PEACE.
With the entire empire watching, Fletcher has much to prove, but there are those out to get him and it soon becomes clear that there's a traitor in their midst, trying to thwart the mission and create unrest within the Empire.
With everything stacked against him, Fletcher must use everything in his power to fight his way to victory.

Why I'm Looking Forward To It: I enjoyed The Novice (see my review here) so I look forward to continuing Fletcher's story in this sequel!


So what book are you waiting on?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

ZERO DAY Blog Tour: Jan Gangsei's Research Top 10 + Giveaway


Welcome to my stop on the ZERO DAY Blog Tour, presented by Irish Banana Tours! Today author Jan Gangsei shares the Top 10 interesting facts she learned doing ZERO DAY research, all of which I found fascinating and I think you will too! At the end you can enter to win a finished hardcover of this thrilling YA read, and do be sure to check out the rest of the ZERO DAY Blog Tour!


THE BOOK

Zero Day

Title: Zero Day

Author: Jan Gangsei
Release Date: January 12, 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Summary

Eight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping case of the decade. Addie vanished—and her high-profile parents were forced to move on.


Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the oval office after a tumultuous first term. Then, the unthinkable happens: the president’s daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family’s fold, but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the president’s political circle who find her timely return suspicious.

When the NSA approaches Darrow Fergusson, Addie’s childhood best friend and the son of the president’s chief of staff, he doesn't know what to think. How could this slip of a girl be a threat to national security? But at the risk of having his own secrets exposed by the powerful government agency, Darrow agrees to spy on Addie.

It soon becomes apparent that Addie is much more than the traumatized victim of a sick political fringe group. Addie has come with a mission. Will she choose to complete it? And what will happen if she does?

THE AUTHOR

Jan Gangsei grew up in small-town Vermont, reading Nancy Drew mysteries, putting on backyard shows with her best friend and dreaming about exploring the world. After college, she landed a job as a newspaper reporter covering politics and the police beat, and was astonished to discover she could actually get paid to write and tell stories. Since then, she's lived in Key West, New York City, DC and Barbados. She's now settled with her family in northern Virginia, where she writes full time with a cup of hazelnut coffee in one hand and a Jack Russell terrier named Watson curled under her legs. Her debut young adult novel, ZERO DAY, publishes with Disney-Hyperion in January, 2016. 

Some random facts about Jan:

* Soon after she learned to walk she was stuck on a pair of skis (Vermont law), which she promptly removed and watched as they slid down the mountain solo -- likely explaining her future love of physics (and staying safely in the lodge).

* She's a graduate of the DIA's attache program for spouses, where she learned how to properly set a table, wear an evening gown, and disable an attacker with a few well-placed kicks. She suggests you don't ever sneak up on her in a dark alley, especially if she's wearing heels.

* She has tons of favorite authors, but some of her biggest influences growing up include: Judy Blume, Margaret Atwood, Edith Wharton and Kurt Vonnegut. (Also, whoever wrote the copy for the back of her Cheerios box, which she's pretty sure she'd memorized by third grade.)

* She loves meeting new people, and interacting with other readers and writers. Drop her a note and say hello here or on Twitter!
TOP 10
Interesting Facts Jan Gangsei Learned Doing ZERO DAY Research

Ooh, what a great topic! DC is my city, so I’m quite familiar with a lot of the settings in the story (and went on several field trips to make sure I had things right!). But along the way, I learned a number of things I didn’t know. So here they are, in no particular order!

1. It’s actually possible to hack a newer model car’s operating system and, in theory, take control of it. Scary, huh? (Makes me glad to drive a very basic FIAT that I actually have to use a real key to start…)

2. Secret Service code names date back to when electronic communications weren’t encrypted; now they are used more out of tradition than necessity. Generally, the First Family’s names all start with the same letter.

3. Speaking of letters, DC’s streets go from A-W, but there’s no J Street (something I never noticed until I started routing a fictional motorcade through town!). Legend has it the “J” was excluded because DC designer Pierre L’Enfant harbored a deep hatred for Chief Justice John Jay. But no, it was simply because typography hadn’t been standardized yet, and J’s and I’s were often used interchangeably. (I personally think the fictional version is more interesting!)

4. You can also hack into all sorts of medical devices—pacemakers, insulin pumps—just by using a Bluetooth connection, and in theory kill someone with them. (h/t to my doctor brother and his cardiologist best friend for alerting me to this. Also, note to self: BE NICE to doctor brother and cardiologist best friend… ;)

5. If Darrow attended Sidwell Friends (the private Quaker school that serves as the inspiration for Cabot), he’d have to find somewhere else to flex his biceps because there’s no boys crew team at Sidwell, just girls.

6. While living in the White House, the First Family picks up the tab for their own food, toiletries, personal dry cleaning, etc. (the government obviously foots the bill for official functions). Every month, the family is presented with a bill for household expenses (something that has occasionally come as a shock to new White House residents – First Lady Rosalynn Carter was said to be quite put off when she got her first bill and saw how much more expensive DC prices were than back home in Georgia!).

7. The Secret Service has never had a traitor in their ranks—the NSA, CIA and FBI have all been infiltrated by foreign spies, but no member of the protective service has ever been corrupted by an outside government. (One more reason Agent Alvarez rocks!)

8. The White House’s quarter-mile jogging track where Addie runs was installed back in 1993 for then-President Bill Clinton because his frequent off-premise jogs were disrupting DC traffic (as if the constant motorcades and blocked roads around here aren’t enough!).

9. There are rumored to be numerous safe houses scattered around northern Virginia, hidden in plain sight. You really never can tell who your neighbors are around here—as one family discovered when they put their lakefront home “Alvictus” up for sale in 2014. A little digging by their realtor unearthed that the Manassas estate was once a CIA-run safe house, used to hide away Russian defectors during the Cold War. Hopefully hidden cameras and bugs didn’t convey with the washer and dryer…

10. The NSA has already set their sights on the next generation of cryptographers and cyber sleuths – aspiring codemakers (and breakers!) can join the NSA’s CryptoKids program here: https://www.nsa.gov/kids/.

And that’s it! This has been a lot of fun, Skye! Thanks for having me and hope you enjoy ZERO DAY!

~     ~     ~     ~     ~

THE GIVEAWAY
Zero Day

Enter below for chance to win one of three finished hardcovers of ZERO DAY! US only.

Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn't


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!


Top Ten 2015 Releases 
I Meant to Get to But Didn't

Polaris (Avalon, #2)Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Death Marked (Death Sworn, #2)The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen, #1)Fallout (Lois Lane, #1)
Tracked (Tracked, #1)Ink and Bone (The Great Library, #1)Reawakened (Reawakened, #1)Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)Their Fractured Light (Starbound, #3)
  1. Polaris (Mindee Arnett) - Loved Avalon so I'm dying to finishing Jeth's story! Avalon re-read will be required, though (darn ;).
  2. Red Queen (Victoria Aveyard) - How can I possibly resist such a gorgeous cover and amazing reviews?
  3. Death Marked (Leah Cypess) - Really enjoyed Death Sworn so I'm looking forward to finishing Ileni's story! Surprisingly don't think I'll need a Death Sworn re-read, which is rare for me, but it was very memorable (wouldn't mind a re-read, though).
  4. The Orphan Queen (Jodi Meadows) - I've heard such good things I'm now itching to try it. Want to get my hands on The Mirror King first though, so I can binge the duology.
  5. Fallout (Gwenda Bond) - Teenage Lois Lane. Enough said.
  6. Tracked (Jenny Martin) - I was part of the street team so now that I have an ARC I'm excited to finally read the story!
  7. Ink & Bone (Rachel Caine) - Library plus alchemy on an alternate timeline! Finally got an ARC so it's on my short pile.
  8. Reawakened (Colleen Houck) - This sounds like a really fun read and I love Egyptian mythology.
  9. Illuminae (Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff) - Not quite my usual sort of read but it's gotten such amazing reviews I have to give it a try.
  10. Their Fractured Light (Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner) - As soon as I get my hands on a softcover, I am devouring this final beauty!


So what 2015 releases are you looking forward to reading this year?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Manga Review: Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE Series (CLAMP)

Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, Vol. 1 (Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE #1)Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, Vol. 28 (Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE #28)

Series Title: Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE
Author: CLAMP
Volume(s) Reviewed: 1-28 (complete series)
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: April 2004 to November 2010
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Adventure
Content Rating: Teen (violence)
Format Read: Paperback (purchased & library)
Find OnGoodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | Book Depository
Summary:

To collect the pieces of Sakura's memories scattered through many unknown worlds, Sakura and Syaoran contract world-hopping Mokona from the Time Witch Yuko, and with fellow contractors Kurogane and Fai travel to many worlds. Along the way they discover much about each other and about themselves, and struggle against one who would use the power of Sakura's memories to alter everything they have ever known.

*          *          *

In a Sentence: A fun and exciting but also serious and convoluted story of just how far someone will go to fulfill a wish.

Story: How far would you go to protect someone you love? To see someone you'd lost just one more time? To see another's desire granted? All these questions are the basis of this epic and complicated saga about wishes, curses, and the prices one must pay to fulfill them.

The first half of the series is a lot of fun with minimal over-arcing intrigue as the group travels to different and fascinating worlds collecting Sakura's memories. We get to know and care for the characters as they get to know and care for each other through dangerous and exciting adventures. What series arc intrigue we do collect comes in bits and pieces and flashbacks that should but don't really prepare you for the sheer mass of multi-layered mystery ahead. Once you get into the mid teens, things take a darker turn that slides into a convoluted second half of mysteries layered upon answers layered upon mysteries as secrets and lies are revealed and multiples of familiar faces come into play. By the early twenties the story moves fast and gets seriously complicated, so be prepared to power through to the conclusion once you hit them or you may get a little lost.

As can be expected of CLAMP, the end is left open not only for the characters to make cameos in other series (according to the Translator, they appeared in Kobato!), but for possible sequel series someday. True to form, Tsubasa: WoRLD CHRoNiCLE started releasing August 2014 in Japan, and has thankfully been licensed by Kodansha for publication in America beginning December 2015!

Setting: Until the second half of the series when the group started lingering in worlds, my favorite world changed with every jump. The Hanshin Republic with its battle-ready, guardian-angel-like Kudan. The Country of Oto with its oni-hunters and Cat's Eye cafe and world secret. The Country of Shura with its endless war. Piffle World with its Dragonfly aircraft race. The Country of Recort, steampunk meets childhood fantasy with a library of magical books I'd kill to visit. They travel to over a dozen worlds that span all time and setting - desert and snow and tropical, tribal and Victorian and futuristic, flourishing and desolate, magical and technological. All show limitless imagination and artistic skill and are worth seeing.

Art: Amazing, as can be expected from CLAMP. This is their sweeter style, with mostly pretty characters boasting lots of personality and intricately detailed backdrops.

Characters: It's hard to go into any depth about the characters in this book because not only do some of them sort of change personality halfway through the series, but others change entire persons. With CLAMP, nothing - and especially no one - is what they seem, and before the end everyone and everything has no less than two gasp-worthy alterations. But no matter their changes, the main group and secondary characters are all interesting and fun to follow through thick and thin and many thrilling adventures!

Favorite Character: Fai D. Flowright, no contest. He begins fun and playful but as his true personality emerges due to time and violence he becomes chilling and thrilling and all the best spoilers!!

Special Note: Make sure to take stock of what every character is doing in every frame, because rarely is someone not doing something interesting! This includes even the extra background characters - you never know who will make a cameo.

Romantic Relationship: Sakura and Syaoran's romance is one for the ages as it spans not only time and space and worlds in this series but flows from its origins in Cardcaptor Sakura. It's sweet and tragic but no matter the obstacles your heart goes out to them and roots for them to somehow be together.

Series Crossover: This series crosses with another of CLAMP's called xxxHoLic. xxxHoLic was released in tandem with Tsubasa in America, and I initially read the two together, more or less (the volume pacing is wildly different). Apparently you don't have to read one to follow the other, but having read both I must say that a deeper layer of the convoluted onion opens up between both arcs so I definitely recommend, while perhaps not reading them "together," reading both near each other. If I had to choose which to read first, I think I would say xxxHoLic, because reading the entirety of Tsubasa first will ruin the mysterious beginning of xxxHoLic. (FYI the Tsubasa sequel series, Tsubasa: WoRLD CHRoNiCLE, crosses over with the xxxHoLic sequel series, xxxHoLic Rei.)

Conclusion: While the plot can get a bit complicated in the second half, with its dazzling worlds and highly engaging characters this CLAMP saga is worth a little confusion as the ladies truly let their limitless imaginations run wild through space and time. Highly recommend for contemporary fantasy manga lovers.


Scribble Rating
4.5 of 5 Scribbles


Friday, January 8, 2016

The #FridayReads Review (1/8/16)



Welcome to The #FridayReads Review, a regular Friday segment where I share what I've been reading the past week, and what I'm planning to read next! Want to join the Friday fun? Post your own #FridayReads Review and leave the link in the Comments below, or just Comment with what you've been reading!


>> CURRENTLY READING <<
Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (ARC)
Finally giving this a go. While the story is engaging enough to keep my interest, the plot is a seriously overused one and, while Mare does have a personality, she reads like a placeholder, a shell not physically fleshed out. I'll stick with it, though.


>> JUST FINISHED <<
Alcatraz vs. the Evil LibrariansThe Demon Prince of Momochi House, Vol. 3

Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson (ARC)
5 Stars. A clever and comical adventure with witty writing, creative characters, and a playful and ponderous plot. Loved this fourth read just as much as the first, and the reissue illustrations made a fun addition! Review to come.

The Demon Prince of Momochi House vol. 3 by Aya Shouoto (PBK)
4 Stars. This continues to be an interesting series, and I'm really excited to get my hands on vol. 4 after the last-page cliffhanger!


>> READING NEXT <<
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)
Cinder by Marissa Meyer (ARC)
Marissa coming to my local indie in February so I really need to get on this series soon!


So what are you reading this week?