Thursday, January 29, 2015

Skip Beat! by Yoshiki Nakamura

Skip Beat! by Yoshiki Nakamura  -- 1016 pages
v. 1  184 pages
v. 2  208 pages
v. 3   208 pages
v. 4  208 pages
v. 5    208 pages
Instead of wallowing in despair when her famous boyfriend (Shotaro) dumps her after using her to make it big, Kyoko goes to work for the rival showbiz company to become even more famous than Sho. Unfortunately, Kyoko doesn't know the first thing about acting and bumbles her way through by sheer luck. The illustrations are great and tell the story as well as the words. This is a very light, easy read sure to please many.

Black Butler v. 19 by Yana Toboso

 Black Butler v. 19 by Yana Toboso, 176 pages

Ciel Phantomhive and his devil of a butler are investigating strange happenings in the woods. They and Ceil's four dedicated servants encounter a village in the woods filled with strange and hostile people. Just when you thought nothing could harm Ciel and Sebastian, the woods take their toll on them. 

Puella Magi Oriko Magica by Magica Quartet

Puella Magi Oriko Magica, v.1 by Magica Quartet - 144 pages
Puella Magi Oriko Magica, v. 2 by Magica Quartet - 160 pages

In this manga two-book series, Oriko has a vision of the future where her hometown is destroyed by a witch.  So she sets out to kill the girl before she can get her powers.

This series did not make any sense to me.  The characters were not developed in any way.  And it was difficult to distinguish in the artwork between the characters sometimes.  When I looked it up online I discovered that this is actually a sub-series to the Puella Magi manga series.  Maybe if I had read the others it would have made more sense.  A lot of the stuff they had in the synopsis was not evident in the books at all to a reader new to the series.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney

The Last Apprentice
Grimalkin The Witch Assassin
Book 9
by Joseph Delaney
387 Pages

This is the ninth book in The Last Apprentice series and focuses on the character Grimalkin who is the most feared, the most ruthless and the most deadly of all the witches in the county. She has never been defeated, but can she survive an enemy created for the sole purpose of destroying her?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ironskin by Tina Connolly

Ironskin by Tina Connolly  302 pages

Jane Eliot wears an iron mask.
It's the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain - the ironskin.
When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation" - a child born during the Great War - Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.
Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn't expect to fall for the girl's father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her scars and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey.
Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things are true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of a new life - and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

A Death in the Smal Hours by Charles Finch

A Death in the Small Hours by Charles Finch --- 310 pages

Charles Lenox, member of Parliament and happily married father of a newborn daughter, still finds himself occasionally hankering in his soul for his former avocation as a notable amateur of criminal detection.

But when Lenox is awarded the signal honor of making the opening speech on behalf of the government at the new session of Parliament --- a sure sign that he is an up-and-coming man in the ruling Liberal Party --- he resolves to use this opportunity to advance the cause of relief for England's poor.

He soon realizes that he will need a few weeks away from the pressures of London in order to prepare this important speech. Lenox seizes on the happy chance of an invitation from his favorite uncle Freddie Ponsonby to bring his family to visit Uncle Freddie's beautiful, secluded rural estate in Somerset.  That Uncle Freddie has appealed to Charles for assistance in solving the vexing case of vandalisms in the nearly village of Plumbley, will provide Lenox with a welcome diversion.

It seems but a minor distraction until a local constable is brutally set upon and murdered in the middle of the village in the small hours of the night. Lenox steps up his investigation, with the assistance of his rakish but gifted protege Lord John Dallington, and they identify the man responsible. Everything seems to be neatly sorted out until Uncle Freddie is kidnapped.  Then Lenox discovers that his simple case is far more complex and dangerous than he at first imagined.

Cleverly plotted and well written, Finch is developing an interesting cast of recurring characters in this series of Victorian mysteries.

Click HERE for a review from Publisher's Weekly.

Click HERE for a review from Kirkus.

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods by Rick Riordan - 318 pages

This is a retelling of the Greek myths, mainly concerning the 12 major Olympian gods, as told by Percy Jackson.  There is a fair amount of humor and snark incorporated into the stories which made them fun to read.