Maverynthia: Library of the Labyrinth of Blue

Writer, blogger-er and twitter-er

Reading progress update: I've read 261 out of 491 pages.

Another - Yukito Ayatsuji, Karen McGillicuddy

I'm putting money on either Misaki or Sakakibara being "The Casualty", maybe both.

Reading progress update: I've read 34%.

Tess of the Road - Rachel Hartman

So we get a lot of backstory about Pathka and the Quigtl which is nice to have and bit more about Tess's childhood.

Too much Jargon plus a rape plot.

Mars Girls - Mary A. Turzillo

I got this book from Apex via their Apex Minions program in trade for an honest review

Diversity: Kapera is black as is her parents. There are a few side character that are Asian? Maybe. It's hard to tell their true culture as the author seems to have mashed this culture with that culture.

The first thing that put me off to this book is the piles of jargon they dump on you. We have hab-rat, mears, cuys, kweez and a ton others. While there is some explanation for some of them, you forget it by the time the next one has come up.

Another thing that majorly put me off was the rape part later on in the book. It's basically "we have to rape you to repopulate stuff". This is due to the Facer religion who have "face bindis" on their heads. Not sure if it's cultural appropriation however it made me face palm. A face bindi is a tiny face on the head that usually shows the true emotions of the wearer.
So these Facers basically want to go back to Earth and start some colony or something, I was confused about where they were going but it was going to take 100 years to get there.

So of course Nanoannie, one of our heroes, has to be forcibly married to someone so he can rape her and she can get pregnant. Fortunately she's married to a guy that doesn't have an interest in her as she has no interest in him. However it implies both with the men leering at the unwilling women in the church and later with just mentioning the other women, that they are raped.
I should mention that Nanoannie is around 14 years old. Yeah.

Next is Kapera. She has leukemia so a good portion of the book she is unconscious. The only black character with a major speaking part is devoiced for a good portion of the book. I rally can't recall why she's important to the book other than having a micro disc and her relationship to her parents who are the research scientists.
She's also not "African" but the jargon term "Kiafrican" which is not explained how that came about.

Overall I'm not really sure what the major plot is as the duo is kidnapped and escapes capture many times.  It really isn't until the middle of the book the plot seems to appear. Given the many names and corporation name drops it's really hard to follow who is with who.

What really killed any final interest in this is when Nanoannie has Kapera wrist-com and types out in bad phoneticish words. It was hard to read, and with the "hic" when she has hiccups in the cuy ball every line,I just stopped caring.

It doesn't really strongly establish it's characters from the start so trying to remember what's going on is hard. It also like to borrow and mash up different cultures and has a good portion that is a rape plot.

Somewhat good, but fails with the tropes

Karneval, Vol. 4 - Touya Mikanagi

So we start off pretty good with Gareki going to school and Karoku and then we fall into the the trope of Gareki having to be better than Tsubame in just days, because man. Then we have Tsukumo and her partner needing saving by a man for what happens to them.

 

Overall the story is brought down by it's misogyny.

All downhill from here.

Rhysmyth: Volume 2 - Lincy Chan, Anthony Andora

The thing I hate most about this is that there is a lot of forced characterization in this one, probably because this was going to be a three book series and then was cut short to two, because that's the way TokyoPop did things.

Another thing is all the panty shots. However seeing as the writer is a dude, it explains a lot. That being said the ending is very lackluster and had this been part of a bigger series it would have been good however being only two books long, it's very unsatisfying.

Reading progress update: I've read 116 out of 192 pages.

— feeling what?!?
Rhysmyth: Volume 2 - Lincy Chan, Anthony Andora

This is turning out to be a disappointment. Of COURSE Elena loses because girl. Shounen heroes don't get the same treatment. They will keep winning until the middle of the season before they his a wall and have to train.

 

Women are never allowed to be "too good".

Reading progress update: I've read 84%.

Mars Girls - Mary A. Turzillo

I really wanted to like this book more, but it's starting to pull out the calling everyone 'bitch' and suddenly having Nanoannie tap into her sexual side to react to pheromones just so she can be caught.....yet again. This book kind of feel like a Nano project and the author just ran out of ideas for plot, so the character keep getting caught and tied up and have to get out.

No only that we indeed have the black character with 'hoodoo' that she is using to 'just know things'.

 

Not only that i kind of lost what was going on in the plot and it seems very disconnected at this point other than a Facer died and now they want to freeze everyone and go back to Earth.

 

Also I think there might be some pedophilia going on and I think Nanoannie says she's only 14yo and the guys she's getting with are much older.

Reading progress update: I've read 93 out of 192 pages.

Rhysmyth: Volume 2 - Lincy Chan, Anthony Andora

So of course Elena is our and Taylor is in. Another mandatory panty shot for no good reason...

We continue the dance coliseum battles.

The thing that bothers me about the art is the grins all have pointed teeth and they all look the same.

Return of terrible tropes

Broken Angels, Volume 2 - Setsuri Tsuzui, Setsuri Tsuzuki

So with this book we have the return of the predatory lesbian trope as well as the "gay men are crazy" AS WELL as the "bury your gays".

Really this one just felt forced, we have what we assume to be a man that was just really in love with his wife, so when she killed herself he got a bit obsessed. However it turns out he love Sakura his assistant and he murdered his wife. Where then he kills himself. In the middle of all this are some dolls added for a supernatural element.

We also have a story where Sunao plays the part of an angel to force two people to get together. It's not a very good story.

The final story is a one shot original where a girl has to battle some youkai. It's honestly a more compelling story than what is going on with the rest of the plot.

Reading progress update: I've read 76 out of 192 pages.

Rhysmyth: Volume 2 - Lincy Chan, Anthony Andora

this book feels a lot more rushed and... cheaper than the first book. there are a number of panty shots, not the ecchi style where it's like "whoah" with the wind but just a camera and short skirts. would think since this sports has you flipping around and stuff that you'd either wear some kind of leoptard or not wear skirts at all. That being said, this is a typical literal round combat narritive that they'd stick in a shounen anime. Not really one for good character building. Taylor even has a super quick moment of "Is this how i treat people?" and that's it. it feels forced and obvious. 

Overall the art so far has not been of a higher quality that you'd see on a published work form Tokyopop.I am thinking that htey rushed this out hte door as Ithink this came at the end of TP's lifespan. What sucks is that I know that TP owns the rights to this work.

Reading progress update: I've read 147 out of 192 pages.

Broken Angels, Volume 2 - Setsuri Tsuzui, Setsuri Tsuzuki

I want to say the main character is gender fluid, but It's not really stated. She doesn't seem to mind being gendered as a boy, but also doesn't mind a girl either. She also seems to be bi, if not aromantic and playing at stealing people girlfriends and such. The manga is kind of confusing on what Sunao is really feeling as the other characters seem to take main stage.

Reading progress update: I've read 105 out of 192 pages.

Broken Angels, Volume 2 - Setsuri Tsuzui, Setsuri Tsuzuki

So we have predatory lesbian, "psycho" killer gay/bi man who dies a tragic death telling his lover to carry on.

 

Really it's hard to make out the characters because they all look the same and have similar hair colors and styles. This artist was channeling some CLAMP there.

Now it's almost off the rails

Cardfight!! Vanguard, Volume 8 - Akira Itou

So remember that Psy-Qualia stuff... what if you could infect people with it. That's the new story arc they are going with. PsyQualia zombies that only live to battle other non-Psy Cardfighters and turn them into Psy-Qualia zombies.

I shit you not.

 

Stumble Twist & Crawl

Stumble Twist & Crawl - Olivia Hennis Nice short Ghoul/Vampire story

Another nice short story set in the Iron Garden world. I only wish to know more about what the characters are and how they fit into this world. The cover art is also really awesome a nice blend of light and dark going on makes it eyecatching. Defanately a good story for those into V:tM

The Hundredth Queen (The Hundredth Queen Series Book 1)

The Hundredth Queen (The Hundredth Queen Series Book 1) - Emily R. King TRIGGER WARNING: This book contains implied rape, domestic violence and some scenes of gore.

Diversity: This is set in a kind of "fake Sumerian" world which mean it's a mix of some Indian and Arabic traits. Such as it is, I assume everyone is not white.
Kalinda is implied to be bisexual but it's not outright stated and it can easily be "I love her, but as a friend" kind of way. So that's unknown.

I first want to state this book is way better than Red Queen. Where Red Queen made me want to burn the book a million time, I really never found a time where I was hating this book.
However there were a lot of times I rolled my eyes. Especially about the whole "died of a broken heart/no strength". See a person giving birth to a bhuta child put their own life in danger..because.... Just because. It might be explained later, but not in this book. So of course we have someone dying in child birth with really no reason for it. URRRGHHH.

See bhuta are basically "benders" like from Avatar. They can use the powers of Earth, Air, Water and Fire and Kalindaust so happens to be a fire bhuta. Insert a whole long dissertation about how she she's "omg soo thin" and "sooo plain" that nobody would ever want to claim her aaand of course the rajah shows up and does just that. Of course she doesn’t want that and starts plotting against him.
Insert Hastin the bhuta warlord that wants to fight back against Rajah Tarek’s oppression of bhuta people.... by of course being just as bad as he is. This was the other time that I came close to throwing the book against the wall. Really sick of the “the oppressed are just as bad as..” shit.
Then there’s the woman sacrificed as revenge fuel that creeped in there. This is after she has been forcefully wed, implied raped, and then beaten by her husband.
These are the things that brought the book down from an otherwise good story.
At no time does the protag act in a way that end us seemingly stupid or rash. She’s a good fighter and a good planner. So why couldn’t we just have it that her mom was too and that she’s “somewhere” instead of dead by childbirth from a ‘broken heart’. The girl hate is kept to a minimum and there are a number of times that the women work together to save each other and are actually friends. Even though a major plot point is fighting each other to the death.

Overall not a bad read. Better than Red Queen, but has a few things wrong with it that makes it a very good or excellent read. I might pick up the sequel maybe if I have a clean plate, but currently have too much of a backlog to have a super interest in it. It seems that the author might have done some research, but how much I am not certain.

The Case Study of Vanitas, Vol. 1

The Case Study of Vanitas, Vol. 1 - Jun Mochizuki It was going so good and then right at the end... Vanitas decides to sexually assault a woman (with a kiss) who is supposed to of course be super strong and of course she doesn't fight back because... plot and when she tells him to fuck off he's all "she loves me". No.. fuck that rape culture shit.

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