Okay, so I'm a sucker for anything Anno does, so I went and bought this first-run special edition for this final volume of the manga, too. And I'm glaOkay, so I'm a sucker for anything Anno does, so I went and bought this first-run special edition for this final volume of the manga, too. And I'm glad I did - we get a different cover, a complete-set manga holder you can build (you can check my instagram @thatusagiko for progress), a mini-artbook with new art from the REBUILD series as well as the old series, and a CD that the artist for the manga made (I still need to listen to it) all bundled together. The art is wonderful, and I couldn't be happier.
I'm really sad this run is over, and that the North American edition will NOT be getting this version for release (instead, Viz has been frantically putting together a final 3-in-1 omnibus that has volumes 12-14 in it), and that release has been pushed back until February 2015. I'll still be reading the translation, though.
For those who hated "End of Evangelion", well, I'm trying not to spoil you, but if you've been reading, you'll see where things in the manga have been going. It's had slight (but in some areas, very important) changes compared to the TV show, and this final volume is no exception. There's also a nod to the REBUILD series in the extra little chapter at the end, which made me really happy. All in all? A fantastic ending, and I think EoE haters will be a little happier with this deliciously different canon (since the manga is canon, right, guys? right?) ending. ...more
This one was a pleasant surprise, though I wish it had been longer. "When My Heart Was Wicked" is a snapshot of what can happen to someone as a causeThis one was a pleasant surprise, though I wish it had been longer. "When My Heart Was Wicked" is a snapshot of what can happen to someone as a cause of an unstable, dangerous childhood trying to become an adult - but through the lens of Francesca Lia Block-esque magical realism. I loved this one, and it makes me feel like Stirling will be one awesome author to watch. If you're looking for a little magical realism in your tough stuff YA issues book, "When My Heart Was Wicked" is definitely the one you want to pick up.
My biggest problem with this book - the lack of development with the antagonist of this book (or well, perhaps the most major one, as there were really two), Cheyenne. While we understand she's a bad mom, kinda a bad person (though redemption seems possible in the end), we don't really understand a lot of her. She feels like a shallower version of the mother in "White Oleander" (in fact, a lot of this book feels like that book, but with more magic and witchery instead) - maybe slightly mad, or a sociopath, but with love for her daughter that's just been twisted up in all sorts of ways that psychologically "normal" people cannot understand. However, she is really pretty abusive, and does cause harm to others - both magically and normally. But I wanted more - we get slight flashes of her motives and her roots in this book, but we don't quite get enough to go on for everything to feel really solid.
So for Cheyenne in general, I think we needed one good last edit.
But for Lacy? Her character development (which, was also used as worldbuilding in one of the most creative ways I've ever seen) was spectacular, and I felt as if I were right there with her. Using her astronomical sign (Gemini) to help develop her character was brilliant move on Sterling's part - the good twin, and the bad twin. Also, the idea of her "bad self" as redeveloping in an egg was a great idea as well, and I felt like it fit very well. She was quite the sympathetic protagonist, with a little bit of unreliable narrator thrown in for good measure. All of the tricks of the trade were used for Lacy, and they all worked. I don't think I've seen that in YA recently from debut authors - or if I have, it's been only a handful. Bravo.
As for the general worldbuilding (outside of Lacy), I felt that Chico was far more developed compared to Sacramento. Or rather, if Chico was the "light", Sacramento was the under-developed "Dark". I feel like we could have had more details there about the neighborhood, about the school, about all the places Lacy was currently in and had been to in the past with her mother, etc. I wanted more details other than the Demeter's Daughter shop and the house. I really wanted more there so that the "outer" world felt more complete.
Otherwise? One of my favorite debuts of 2015 so far. If you like Francesca Lia Block's brand of magical realism (also echoed in Janet Fitch's "White Oleander"), you're going to want to pick up this book. "When My Heart Was Wicked" is out now from Scholastic in North America, so be sure to check it out when you get the chance!
(posted to goodreads and other places, including birthofanewwitch.wordpress.com)
Man. If you guys liked book one, "Passionaries" is definitely going to knock your socks off. Going to places that I didn't think Hurley would go in thMan. If you guys liked book one, "Passionaries" is definitely going to knock your socks off. Going to places that I didn't think Hurley would go in this retelling/modernization of the lives of three Catholic saints, "Passionaries" shows the lives of three girls forever changed and now with the weight of the world on their backs with all of the creepiness that I was hoping for. If there's an awesome retelling middle trilogy book out there for the year, it's definitely this one.
Hey, Vertical? Think you could translate the original novel now? The manga's awesome and all but I'm pretty sure the source material would be even morHey, Vertical? Think you could translate the original novel now? The manga's awesome and all but I'm pretty sure the source material would be even more awesome (if the anime and this manga are anything to go by). ...more
Definitely different fare from Pearson, whose Jenna Fox series is the only work I'd read from her so far. I'm happy to say that "The Kiss of DeceptionDefinitely different fare from Pearson, whose Jenna Fox series is the only work I'd read from her so far. I'm happy to say that "The Kiss of Deception" blows all of her previous work (that I've read) totally out of the water, and adds some more wonderful content to the very small YA high fantasy canon. With Lia as a wonderfully dynamic character leading the charge, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't drooling over the next installment and wanting it right now. If you're looking for some awesome new YA high fantasy with a great female MC (or even if you're not), go ahead and give "The Kiss of Deception" a try.
Go read the rest of the review on the blog, as apart of the blog tour on July 17, 2014!...more
Now that, ladies and gentlefolk, is an ENDING. Between "Ignite Me", "Infinite" by Jodi Meadows, and "Into the Still Blue" by Veronica Rossi, I definitNow that, ladies and gentlefolk, is an ENDING. Between "Ignite Me", "Infinite" by Jodi Meadows, and "Into the Still Blue" by Veronica Rossi, I definitely have three contenders for best concluding trilogy books of the year. But Mafi goes all out in this last installment of "Shatter Me" trilogy - so much so that there's bullets flying everywhere, as well as broken hearts, and a main character that has made such an amazing progression/evolution that just remembering it takes my breath away. There's also "Unite Me" (the paper publication of the novellas) to talk about, and we'll get to those in a bit. But seriously, guys, one of the best novels of the year? It has to be "Ignite Me".