Monday Progress Report

Reviews Posted Last Week:
The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher

What I did Last Week

Read

I did a decent amount of reading this week. First up I read Warcraft: Bonds of Brotherhood. While it wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be, it was a pretty big let down to be honest, but I’m still glad that I read it. I’ll be posting a full review of this one soon.

 

 

Next I read Erased Volume 3. I read this one that day that it arrived because I was so eager to continue the series. I really, really enjoyed this volume and cannot wait to keep going. I’ll be posting a full review of this one soon.

 

 

Then I reread Dangerous Depths, yes again, even though I reread it only two weeks ago. I really wanted to revisit this one quickly before diving into the next one. You can read my review of this book here.

 

 

 

Finally I read Sacred Seas. This book was so good! I will save all my thoughts on it for my review, which should be posted either this week or next – I will post it once the book is released, but it was such a great read.

 

 

Watched

On the TV and PVR I watched several episodes of The Incredible Dr. Pol and the latest episode of Alaska: The Last Frontier The I watched the first five episodes of Recovery of An MMO Jumkie, which I’m really enjoying and can’t wait for the next episode to come out. For Family Movie Night we ended up watching Saving Shiloh, which was alright, but no where near as good as the first movie.

Life

I didn’t do much this week. Mostly it was lots of writing.

What I Plan To Do This Week

Reading

No real plans for this. I may pick up something at some point during the week, I just don’t know what it will be yet.

Watching

I’ll be trying to keep up with things are they show up on the PVR but there is no guarantee.

Life

I will likely be mostly preoccupied with writing again. I didn’t write at all over the weekend, so I need to catch up on my word count a bit.

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Book Review: Erased Volume 2

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

After reading the first volume, I immediately wanted to know what was going to happen next. So I ordered the second volume and waited until it arrived several weeks later. I can’t go into much detail, because I don’t want to spoil the The story picks up right where the previous volume ends.

Once again, I enjoyed watching Satoru try to navigate the past, as well as the present, while trying to solve two different murders. It was interesting to watch him try to piece two different time line together, gathering what clues and evidence he could find along the way, while also avoiding getting too tangled up into either situation. In fact, it’s this double mystery that is one of my favorite aspects of this series. A single mystery would be interesting enough, but toss a second one in and you’ve got quite a story.

I have to say that the art is also growing on me. I wasn’t a huge fan of it with the first volume, but I’m certainly loving it more. I think as the story progresses with each volume, I will come to love it more and more.

I’m really looking forward to the next volume to see exactly what will happen next. So many things are up in the air at the moment and I can only guess at how things will turn out.

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: A Silent Voice

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A few months ago, I was watching trailers for various anime looking for something new to watch and to check out what movies were coming out in the future. Among the many that I watched then, was the trailer for A Silent Voice. I was intrigued by this anime and added it to my list to watch. Since it was based upon a manga, I wanted to read the manga first before eventually watching the movie, mostly so I could experience the original content first.

It took me a little bit to get into the story. One of the issues I had, right from the start, was how similar the two main characters names were. Shoya being the bully of Shoko, and they both occasionally went by the nickname of “Sho”, so sometimes it was confusing as to which Sho someone was referring to.

The series consists of seven volumes, with the first one setting up the backstory for the main characters, establishing Shoya as the bully and Shoko his unfortunate victim. As a bully victim myself, I sometimes have a hard time reading about bullying, and yet at the same time I wish there were more books out there that dealt with this issue. That is why I was drawn to this series, because so much of it’s story revolves around bullying, both the act as it happens and the long term effects it has on everyone, from the victim, the bully and the bystanders.

One thing I liked about this series is now it shows that the bully can also be deeply affected by what they have done. We all know the bully victim takes a beating every day, and that there are often long term side effects that stick around for many years, if not the rest of their life. But many people think that the bully is never affected in any way by all of them. Perhaps for some that’s the case, and they go on with life without any ill effects from what they did to others. But in the case of Shoya, he did feel shame and regret over what he did and wanted to make things right again.

Seeing the characters change over the course of this series really was great. It showed that people can change, that the bully can feel remorse, that the victim can forgive them. It also showed various reactions from those who had watched it all happen, and perhaps even participated a bit in the bullying themselves. I did have a few issues with it. For example, I find it really hard to accept that a bully victim would become friends with their bully later on in life, and even go as far as to have slight romantic feelings towards them. I can’t say that this would never happen in real life, but as someone who was bullied before, I can safely say that I would never ever be friends with the people who tormented me – I could forgive them, but never trust them enough to let them close to me. I also didn’t care for Tomohiro, someone who becomes friends with Shoya in the second volume, because I felt he was too much like a bully and was only going to complicate things – and in a way he did but not completely.

I feel like the one thing that didn’t translate well in the art was the sign language. Obviously it’s hard to draw people communicating through sign language when in manga form. It’s the one aspect of the series that I think will be better expressed in the movie.

Overall, I enjoyed this series. I didn’t absolutely love it, but it was good. The artwork was wonderful. I would recommend this series to anyone interested in it, and those looking for books that have bullying in them. I feel like it does a great job is portraying it. I will one day watch the movie to see how it compared to the manga. I will also be on the lookout for more by this author.

Book Review: Erased Vol. 1

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Erased is a manga that I might not have read. However, a couple months ago I was at the book store looking over the manga section, and displayed on the table were a number of manga and among the many volumes there was Erased. What made me pick it up, was how it stood out from all the others. All other covers were super colorful, where as this one is mostly white. I couldn’t help but have my eyes drawn to it, because it was so different from all the others. This prompted me to pick it up, see what it was about and I decided to get it, and I’m glad that I did.

I thought it was an interesting concept, for the main character, Satoru, to have the ability to move back in time a couple of minutes in order to prevent something from happen. To add an extra level to this, he has no control over this ability and it will continue to happen until he figures out what needs to be fixed. Imagine that, having to repeat the same few minutes over and over until you can spot something out of place, perhaps someone in danger, and then only after you fix that issue can you continue on with life. Now imagine that same ability suddenly transporting you back in time eighteen years. That is the basis of this manga.

I’ll admit, at first I wasn’t a complete fan of the artwork in this manga, but over time it grew on me. In fact, in a way, by the end, I really like it, because it was quite different from what I have come to expect from the manga’s that I have read before.

The story had me engrossed from page one and before long I was at the end. I loved watching Satoru struggle with reliving his childhood, while retaining all his memories, and seeing how he adapts to situations he already did years ago. Not to mention, he has that mission, thanks to his time travel ability, to spot what is wrong and do his best to fix it. Really my only complaint that it was over far too quickly and I wanted to keep going, but sadly the second volume wasn’t out yet. I have a feeling this series will become one of my favorite manga, especially if the following volumes are as good as this one was. I would highly recommend this book to everyone.

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.

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.