Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is all about recommendations. So I am going to go with my Ten Graphic Novel And Manga Recommendations.

I’ve been reading more and more manga and graphic novels lately, and I’ve really been enjoying them (perhaps too much because I keep ignoring my older books in favor of manga I have recently bought). So I’d like to highly some of the ones I have read recently and really enjoyed.

  1. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples. Is this a surprise to anyone? This series is amazing and if you haven’t started it yet, you need to. Cannot wait for the next volume to come out.
  2. Erased by Kei Sanbe. I’m only two volumes in, because that’s all that’s released so far, but man, talk about a story that sucks you in.
  3. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier. This was such a wonderful and unique story. I loved it, my son enjoyed it, now I just need to get hubby to read it.
  4. A Silent Voice Yoshitoki Oima. A story about a deaf girl who got bullied, her bully and their growth from that moment on.
  5. A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori. This series is filled with rich art and a wonderful story to boot. It’s not something I thought I would enjoy, but I’m loving this one.
  6. Wolf Children by Mamoru Hosoda. I didn’t absolutely love this one, but the more I think about it, the more I appreciate the story. The anime was good as well.
  7. Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba. I haven’t read all of these yet, but I’ve really enjoyed what I have read and will be finishing this series soon.

And now some honorable mention for series that have been recommended to be, both directly and indirectly, but I haven’t read yet.

  1. Orange by Ichigo Takano.
  2. The Ancient Magnus’ Bride by Kore Yamazaki.
  3. Nausicca of The Valley of The Wind by Hayao Miyazaki.
  4. Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya.

Series Review: .hack// Legend of The Twilight

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

About ten years ago, my husband bought me this trilogy after I had showed interest in the .hack video games. Since then, the books, along with the games, sat on my shelves severely neglected. Finally, I decided it was time to read this trilogy.

I realized very quickly that this wasn’t the best starting point for me. After a quick internet search, I found out that there are many different .hack series, inlcuding the games, other manga and anime series and this was not the first of them. Even so, I decided to keep reading and hoped it would all make sense in the end.

Despite not having read, watched or played any of the previous series, I came to enjoy this trilogy. It does vaguely reference things that happened in the previous series, but you certainly don’t need to have read or watched the other series to get through this one, it just helps.

These books were pretty quick reads. I got through all three in one day. Really my only big complaint is that sometime I could tell which character was talking. They all look vaguely similar, especially the hair styles, so when it’s a close up of their face, I didn’t always know who was talking. Also, there were times when I wasn’t sure if a character was thinking something, saying something or if it was some other external dialog going on.

Overall, I liked these books, but I felt that I would have enjoyed them much more had I read the series in order, and of course watched the appropriate anime and played the right games before diving into this one. That being said, you certainly don’t need to do that. If you want to read this trilogy and not touch the other .hack series, then you can do so without being lost.

Book Review: Warcraft Legends Vol. 1

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

For a number of years now, close to 12 to be exact, I have been playing and following the lore of World of Warcraft. Technically my love of this world started well before this, back to when I was younger and watched my day play the original Warcraft game and then I ended up playing too. Although it wasn’t until I started playing World of Warcraft that I truly because immersed into the full story and lore of the games. Because of this, I have been slowly accumulating and reading all of the books set in this world. Up until recently I had only been reading the novel, though I knew there were plenty of comics and graphic novels to be found. Finally, I decided to dive into the graphic novel aspect of the series and started with the Legends series.

The Legends graphic novels had four different stories in them, following different characters and hit on different aspects of the lore. Overall, this was an okay book, but I feel like I would have liked it more had it focused on a single story, instead of these short stories and snippets of stories.

I did enjoy the art in this volume, it really was great, but I found the stories themselves to be a bit on the dull side. Perhaps that is because Richard Knaak is one of the writers and I have yet to read an interesting Warcraft book by him. I feel like the length of the stories also attributed to my not loving this book. The one shot stories felt far too short and then the story that is stretched out over all the volumes I wasn’t overly interested in. Sure I liked it, but I wish it could have had it’s own book for it just to have it more focused on.

While I didn’t love this book, I will continue to read the rest to see what other stories will pop up and how that continuing story will work out.

Book Series Review: Bird & Squirrel

                                                                        

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Back in January, my son got Bird & Squirrel On The Edge from one of his friends on his birthday. My son is not a reader, so seeing the excitement over the book told me this was something special. Then the fact that he read this book as soon as we got home from the party, instead of playing with the toys he got, I knew this was a great book. That same day we went online and ordered the other three books. A week later, we had the full series and my son eagerly started reading them as soon as he got home from school. Then as soon as he was down he brought them to me and asked if I wanted to read them. Seeing how much he loved these books, I knew I had to, plus I was curious about the books.

I read all four in one sitting. They were fast, fun reads. I can certainly see why my son enjoyed them so much. I have to say that between the friend heavy story line and the artwork, this was a wonderful collection of books. I won’t go into too much detail, but I will say that I think these are excellent books for kids, that show the value of friendship and the joys of adventuring with that friend, even if it is very unexpected.

Like my son, I do hope that there are more books coming out in this series, because it would be great to continue to see the friendship of Bird and Squirrel evolve with each book.

Monday Progress Report

Reviews Posted Last Week:
In Shade And Shadow by Barb & J.C. Hendee

What I did Last Week

Read

I read a lot last week. Mostly it was thanks to the 24 hour read-a-thon on Saturday, otherwise, I might not have finished a single book. First up, I finally finished The Battle of The Labyrinth. This one wasn’t as strong as the previous books in the series. I’ll be posting a full review in the coming weeks.

 

 

Then I read The Thousand Dollar Tan Line. Having watched the entire Veronica Mars series and movie last year, it was nice to revisit it with this book. I certainly enjoyed this book, though not as much as if it had have been an episode or movie, but still good. I’ll be posting a full review in the coming weeks.

 

Next up I read all seven volumes of Saga. This graphic novel series is so damn good, I was kicking myself for not starting it sooner, yet glad I waited because it meant I have seven volumes to chain read. I’ll be posting a full review in the coming weeks.

 

 

Finally, I read the three volumes of .hack// Legend of The Twilight. This short manga series was good, but considering I have never played any of the games, watched any of the series or read any of the other manga’s I definitely felt like I was missing something in the story. I’ll be posting a full review in the coming weeks.

 

Watched

I didn’t really watch much this week. I honestly can’t even think of a time when I have the TV on. We even skipped family movie night – because of the read-a-thon.

Life

Last week was, in my opinion, a big steaming pile of shit. The in-laws came for a visit, which I was expecting. However, I wasn’t expecting a big winter storm to hit and essentially shut down most of Northern Ontario for two whole days. Schools were closed, businesses were closed, thought he highways remained open despite poor conditions. This of course also meant I wasn’t able to go to the city to see Your Name, which really irked me. So I was stuck in the house, with the in-laws, the boy and the husband, and for the most part, I hide in the computer room and played World of Warcraft to help keep my annoyance and anger in check. Due to Your Name being in theater for only one day, I sadly couldn’t go see it some other day, so now I’m stuck waiting until it hits DVD later this year. Really the only upside was when the in-laws left and the storm finally subsided. Well, the read-a-thon on Saturday was pretty awesome as well, since it gave me the kick in the pants that I needed to get a bunch of reading done.

What I Plan To Do This Week

Reading

I’ll be reading some of The Complete Western Collection of Elmore Leonard. I started this short story collection on Saturday and got five of the thirty stories read. So I’ll be reading a few this week, and likely the next couple of weeks, to slowly finish it off.

 

 

I also plan on starting Cress. I’ve been dying to continue on with this series, but wanted to wait until I knew I had time to fully devote to reading it and not be distracted by things to enjoy this one.

 

 

Watching

No real plans for TV or movies this week. Might watch some things on the PVR, might not, only time will tell.

Life

No plans on this front either. Just going to see what the week holds for me.

Top Ten Tuesday

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is all about visuals. So I am going with the Top Ten Graphic Novels/Comics/Manga I Want To Read.

  1. Naussicaa of The Valley of The Wind. Love the movie and would love to read the manga.
  2. Saga. I’ve heard so many good things about this one that I want to read it.
  3. Nimona. Again, I’ve heard lots of good things about this one, so I want to check it out.
  4. Inuyasha. I have watched the anime series but would love to read all the manga as well.
  5. Ranma 1/2. Another case of I’ve watched and loved the series but have yet to read the manga.
  6. Wonder Woman. Especially the older Wonder Woman comics, but really any of them will do.
  7. Xena: Warrior Princess. I only found out recently that there are Xena comics, so I want to read them.
  8. She-Ra & He-Man. I have read a few of these newer comics, but I really want to read the rest.
  9. Star Wars. There are so many Star Wars comics/graphic novels out there, but I want to read them all.

Book Review: Wonder Woman Earth One: Volume 1

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

The publisher provided me with a copy to review via Net Galley.

This review does contain spoilers.

It has been some time since I have read, let alone reviewed, a graphic novel. So when I saw the chance to read and review the newest Wonder Woman graphic novel, I jumped at the chance. I have always enjoyed Wonder Woman, from the old 80s comic books, to the TV series staring Lynda Carter (yes, I watched a show made before I was born), to the 2009 cartoon movie, they all have a great quality about them. Naturally, I wanted to see what this newest version of Wonder Woman had in store.

This is a modernized retelling of Diana/Wonder Woman’s beginning, and I expected from this that some changes had to be made. However, I wasn’t expecting them to strip away the overall essence of Wonder Woman.

Though the art is good enough, I did find some of the panels to be completely ridiculous, especially those that depicted some of the characters in impossible poses. I get that comics often have things drawn inaccurately, because they want a certain pose to happen and it’s not possibly without bending the rules a bit, but they did bother me.

However, what bugged me the most was when Wonder Woman made her trip into “Man’s World”. Of course this was bound to happen at some point, as that’s where Wonder Woman truly tends to take off. Yet in this case, it was her reaction to woman that I found to be insulting. Yes, I expect someone who lived a sheltered life among only female warriors to view woman from man’s world differently, but to essentially see them as grotesque and deformed really irked me. It’s as though the writer wanted to insult woman, especially woman whose bodies aren’t perfect, and did so through Wonder Woman’s reaction. And let me just say, it takes a lot of offend me, but this did it.

Once this part happened I found it really hard to continue on with the book. I did, and it didn’t get much better. Honestly, I’m fine with the Amazon’s having lesbian relationships, it actually kind of makes sense in a way, I’m fine with updating Wonder Woman’s story a bit to better fit today’s readers, but I am not Diana’s view of the other woman. Sure, eventually she changes her mind, though not completely, but the damage was done.

I had hoped this would be the start of a new Wonder Woman series that I would enjoy, but I will not be reading the future books in this series. I’m sure there are people out there who will enjoy this, but I cannot.