2018 Mini-Reviews to Wrap Up the Year

2018 Mini-Reviews to Wrap Up the YearThe Earl and The Fairy, Volume 01 by Mizue Tani, 香魚子
Series: The Earl and the Fairy #1
Published: 6 March, 2012 by VIZ Media LLC
Genres: Manga
Pages: 182
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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Before I do my annual New Year’s blogging resolutions, I want to take a few moments to wrap up 2018. Over the past few months, I’ve barely touched my blog, but I haven’t completely stopped reading. I want to start 2019 with a clean slate by sharing some short thoughts on some of the books that I don’t plan on writing full posts about (mostly manga).

The Earl and the Fairy is a short manga series about a fairy doctor who is helping a man travel to the fairy kingdom to reclaim his birthright. I read it in a tent this summer when our camping trip turned super rainy, and binge-reading a bunch of manga seemed like the best way to spend the day.

2018 Mini-Reviews to Wrap Up the YearThe Earl and The Fairy, Volume 02 by Mizue Tani, 香魚子
Series: The Earl and the Fairy #2
Published: 5 June, 2012 by VIZ Media LLC
Genres: Manga
Pages: 210
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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One of the things that I did like about The Earl and the Fairy is that it relatively short, and doesn’t feature huge cliffhangers. Volumes 1 and 2 form a complete story arc. While I enjoyed the series when I read it, it wasn’t particularly memorable. And while I’d originally planned on buying 3 and 4 shortly after reading the first two volumes, I don’t think I’m going to bother, unless I come across them in a cheap manga bin at a convention. There are plenty of other series that I’ve started and have more interest in continuing.

2018 Mini-Reviews to Wrap Up the YearThe Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2) by Patrick Rothfuss
Series: Kingkiller Chronicles #2
Published: 2 April, 2013 by DAW
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 1167
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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I really enjoyed The Name of the Wind, and was so excited to get around to starting The Wise Man’s Fear. I started reading and kept waiting for something to happen, but it never did. I made it several hundred pages into the book, thinking that a larger plotline would start and it wouldn’t just be a rehashing of Kvothe’s school angst whilst pining after Denna, but as he finally branched out and started doing things, I realized that I just didn’t care about him anymore, nor about finishing the book. It’s sad, because I wanted to like this one and came into it with such high hopes. But at the end of the day, even my SOs promise that I’d get to a part with View Spoiler » couldn’t make me keep reading it.

2018 Mini-Reviews to Wrap Up the YearTableau Numéro 20 by Est Em (えすとえむ), Jocelyne Allen
Published: 8 October, 2013 by SuBLime
Genres: Manga
Pages: 179
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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Tableau Numero 20 is a little bit different than most of the manga I’ve read so far. It’s a collection of short stories, all of which are atmospheric m/m romances. The short story format means there’s room to be more experimental and artsy. This was an impulse buy, and I ended up liking it a lot.

2018 Mini-Reviews to Wrap Up the YearSpirits & Cat Ears, Vol. 1 by Miyuki Nakayama
Series: Spirits & Cat Ears #1
Published: 21 February, 2017 by Yen Press
Genres: Manga
Pages: 208
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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Spirits and Cat Ears is about a super shy and social awkward cat girl who travels with her human familiar to become a priestess specializing in exorcisms. It’s your basic ecchi trash (scantily clad anime girls, shallow plot, random light bondage for seemingly no reason), but it’s the kind of guilty pleasure that I enjoy. And I do enjoy the premise of someone learning to slowly overcome her social anxiety and come out into the world. I’ll probably continue the series.

2018 Mini-Reviews to Wrap Up the YearThe Ancient Magus' Bride, Vol. 5 by Kore Yamazaki, Adrienne Beck
Published: 5 July, 2016 by Seven Seas
Genres: Manga
Pages: 184
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift
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I’ve been obsessed with the Ancient Magus Bride series, and Volume 5 is a great continuation. I love the art, the fae lore, and the complex worldbuilding. It’s the kind of series that stirs up feelings, makes you think, and leaves you breathlessly waiting for more. It’s delightful, and I want to recommend it to everyone.

2018 Mini-Reviews to Wrap Up the YearThe Girl from the Other Side: Siúil, A Rún, Volume 1 (The Girl from the Other Side, #1) by Nagabe, Adrienne Beck, Lys Blakeslee
Series: The Girl from the Other Side #1
Published: 24 January, 2017 by Seven Seas
Genres: Manga
Pages: 180
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift
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This one was really good. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world where people who live outside the walls can turn into twisted monsters. Anyone who steps outside is considered contaminated, and isn’t allowed back in. There’s a little girl, and she’s been left outside. She befriends/is befriended by a monster, who wants to help her stay alive and also keep her innocent childhood. Beautiful artwork and compelling story.

2018 Mini-Reviews to Wrap Up the YearDon't Be Cruel: 2-in-1 Edition, Vol. 1: Includes vols. 1 2 by Yonezou Nekota
Series: Don't be Cruel #1
Published: 14 June, 2016 by SuBLime
Genres: Manga
Pages: 308
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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A two-in-one volume in a series of m/m romance. And props on the 2-in-1 edition, as manga can get expensive, not because the books cost more than an average paperback, but because each volume can be read in an hour or two, versus a traditional book that would take much longer to read. The basic premise of Don’t Be Cruel is that one student catches another one cheating on a test, and blackmails him into a relationship. As the story goes on, it becomes more obvious that it’s consensual and that both characters have feelings for each other, but it takes a little while to get there, and starts out feeling a bit rapey.

2018 Mini-Reviews to Wrap Up the YearThe Case Study of Vanitas, Vol. 2 (The Case Study of Vanitas, #2) by Jun Mochizuki
Published: 23 May, 2017 by Yen Press
Genres: Manga
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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I adore this series so far. The artwork is incredible, and has a Victorian steampunk aesthetic. The plot revolves around a vampire and a human who together are trying to figure out why ‘cursed’ vampires (who are kind of like werewolves or zombies, in that they’ve been turned into a feral perversion of their normal selves) are filling the streets of Paris. And this volume involves a masquerade ball, where the already stunning artwork has a chance to truly shine. I just want to stare at it all day. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of work that went into drawing it all.

3 thoughts on “2018 Mini-Reviews to Wrap Up the Year

  1. You’re killing me! I was doing well not requesting books from the library, but I just requested at least 3 from this list! (Clearly I just need better self control.)

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