Monday, August 31, 2015

The Ancient Magus' Bride vol 2

This is a review for The Ancient Magus' Bride vol 2 by Kore Yamazaki
I gave this book ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5 stars, I loved it.

This is a review for the second volume in a series.  As such there will be spoilers for the first volume in this review.  If you wish to read my review of the first volume you can find it here.

Chise Hatori was just an unwanted orphan shoved around from relative to relative her whole life until she ended up being auctioned off the the highest bidder.  The man who purchased Chise is very kind to her though his outward appearance is unusual.  He gives her gifts, teaches her to be a mage and promises to take care of her but there may be something lurking in the shadows.

This volume continues the journey Chise makes into a new world.  A world of magic, fae, alchemy, mystery and danger.  Chise continues to encounter many new and amazing things as she lives her life with Elias.  She is learning to use her power and learning about her own unique abilities.  Being a Sleigh Beggy means she has access to great amounts of magical power but there is a cost to using it.  After each use she sleeps for days at a time to recover.  Elias knows that it could be even more dangerous to use her powers and he is attempting to find a way to prevent the worst case scenario.

This volume features new adventures and new kinds of supernatural beings to learn about.  Chise encounters mythical fae, spriggans, black dogs and alchemists.  Each new encounter is interesting and keeps readers on their toes.  Bits of Chise and Elias' pasts are being slowly revealed.

I am really enjoying this series.  There is a great balance of mystery, supernatural lore, and daily life.  Elias doesn't coddle Chise, he tells her the truth, he may not always volunteer all of the facts but he doesn't lie to her when she asks him questions.  He is willing to let her attempt to do things on her own before offering assistance.  He seems to have a dark past but he has many redeeming qualities and I just love the "bad guy trying to redeem himself" plot device.

This series is great.  Honestly, the only downside to it is having to wait in between volumes.  The characters are complex and they grow and change as the story goes on.  The plot is rich, the details are wonderful, and the story flows.  If you enjoy supernatural stories you should really give this one a chance.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Magical Girl Apocalypse volume 4

This is a review for Magical Girl Apocalypse volume 4 by Kentaro Sato.
I gave this book ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5 stars, I loved it.

Hospital of Horrors

This is a review for the 4th book in a series, as such it will not be spoiler free.  If you would like to read my reviews of the previous volumes of this series you can find them here, 1, 2, & 3

Synopsis:  Kii Kogami's live has been a living hell since the magical girls arrived bringing death and destruction with them.  His school was destroyed but he and a few other students escaped.  They finally found a safe haven at a shopping mall.  Their haven didn't stay secure for very long and they were once again forced to run.  In all of the chaos this time their group was split in half! One half is safe in a local hospital with their injuries treated, the other half is transported 10 years into their past where they make a shocking discovery.

Kii is no longer sure that Tsukune is the girl he thought she was.  Kaede finally confesses that she has been in love with Kii for years and risks her life to save Kii.  They are rescued at the last minute by soldiers and head of to find the others at the hospital.  The hospital may not be as safe as they thought it was.  Is that magical girl the one they killed before?  One of the magical girls seems to be able to talk, can they use this somehow to save themselves?  What is up with the magical girl on the cover?  Her magical powers might prove to be a serious problem!

This series is constantly changing the rules on the reader.  You think you have it figured out and suddenly the ground shifts and everything is different.  It is done really well and without leaving the reader reeling, it keeps the reader hanging on the edge of their seat for more. Discoveries were made by several people in this volume that may finally solve the problem of where the magical girls came from and what they want.

I can't wait for the next volume to be released.  This one ended on quite the cliffhanger.  If you enjoy mayhem and zombies you should check this out.  If you are squeamish or don't like gore, this probably isn't for you.  There is a lot of gore but there is a lot of humor to balance it out.  To quote this volume "Watch an anime you moron.  Read a manga."