Bride of the Water God [volume 3 - 7] by Mi-Kyung Yun
Damnit.  I had really liked the first two of this and sort’ve splurged on this next lot to keep going and was only rewarded with the dreaded korean manhwa angst.  The love triangles (spiderwebs? tangled knots of yarn?) came out full force and now everyone is sad and second guessing themselves and making terrible choices without first getting all the information they need to make those choices.I guess I’ll keep following this manhwa, but I’m a lot less enthused about it then I originally was.Picture in my head: Saoh.  Just Saoh.  The artwork of this series is so beautiful, but Saoh just steals the spotlight.

Bride of the Water God [volume 3 - 7] by Mi-Kyung Yun

Damnit.  I had really liked the first two of this and sort’ve splurged on this next lot to keep going and was only rewarded with the dreaded korean manhwa angst.  The love triangles (spiderwebs? tangled knots of yarn?) came out full force and now everyone is sad and second guessing themselves and making terrible choices without first getting all the information they need to make those choices.

I guess I’ll keep following this manhwa, but I’m a lot less enthused about it then I originally was.

Picture in my head: Saoh.  Just Saoh.  The artwork of this series is so beautiful, but Saoh just steals the spotlight.

Fruits Basket [vol 1 - 23] by Natsuki Takaya
I got some serious Furuba feels not that long ago thanks to tumblr and got a hankering to read the manga.  Going on an online book search produced the horrible realisation that it had been released by TokyoPop, meaning that I had a snowballs chance of getting the entire set new or reasonably priced second hand.  Lamenting to a friend, it turned out she had bought them all when they were still readily available and promptly leant them to me. Joyous joy!The basic idea of Fruits Basket is that Tohru Honda has recently been orphaned and goes to live in the forest in a tent, not wanting to be a bother on those nearest and dearest to her (however much they are happy to be bothered).  However, one evening she stumbles into the lives of some members of the Sohma family (primarily Yuki and Kyo) who are cursed by the vengeful spirits of the chinese zodiac and is taken in.  Needless to say all their lives change.I really don’t think I can properly write about how much I love this series.  All the characters are wonderful, the storyline is great, the artwork starts off good and progressively becomes even better (most noticably after the mangaka’s surgery and recuperation.)I had a much longer ramble about the zodiacs and how the curse affects them (not just physically), but it honestly became too long a piece for what I want this blog to be.  Therefore I’ve cut it out and just want to say how happy I am with the emotional characterisation this series has.Character Love: I still adore Kyo.  Yuki is a beautiful soul, Tohru deftly slips by the shoujo heroine damsel stereotype with grace and all the other characters, both zodiac and not, are fleshed out to wonderfulness… yet Kyo is forever my heart stealer.I love: how the curse was broken.  There was no sudden cure.  Yes it was hastened along by certain circumstances, but it wasn’t all about finding the magical ingrediant that would cure everything instantly.  Furuba isn’t the kind of story where an adventure quest for a cure-all would have worked.  The author played it out to a happy ending perfectly without resorting to high adventure quest hijinks.  Love love love.

Fruits Basket [vol 1 - 23] by Natsuki Takaya

I got some serious Furuba feels not that long ago thanks to tumblr and got a hankering to read the manga.  Going on an online book search produced the horrible realisation that it had been released by TokyoPop, meaning that I had a snowballs chance of getting the entire set new or reasonably priced second hand.  Lamenting to a friend, it turned out she had bought them all when they were still readily available and promptly leant them to me. Joyous joy!

The basic idea of Fruits Basket is that Tohru Honda has recently been orphaned and goes to live in the forest in a tent, not wanting to be a bother on those nearest and dearest to her (however much they are happy to be bothered).  However, one evening she stumbles into the lives of some members of the Sohma family (primarily Yuki and Kyo) who are cursed by the vengeful spirits of the chinese zodiac and is taken in.  Needless to say all their lives change.

I really don’t think I can properly write about how much I love this series.  All the characters are wonderful, the storyline is great, the artwork starts off good and progressively becomes even better (most noticably after the mangaka’s surgery and recuperation.)

I had a much longer ramble about the zodiacs and how the curse affects them (not just physically), but it honestly became too long a piece for what I want this blog to be.  Therefore I’ve cut it out and just want to say how happy I am with the emotional characterisation this series has.

Character Love: I still adore Kyo.  Yuki is a beautiful soul, Tohru deftly slips by the shoujo heroine damsel stereotype with grace and all the other characters, both zodiac and not, are fleshed out to wonderfulness… yet Kyo is forever my heart stealer.

I love: how the curse was broken.  There was no sudden cure.  Yes it was hastened along by certain circumstances, but it wasn’t all about finding the magical ingrediant that would cure everything instantly.  Furuba isn’t the kind of story where an adventure quest for a cure-all would have worked.  The author played it out to a happy ending perfectly without resorting to high adventure quest hijinks.  Love love love.

Young Avengers - Alternative Culture & Style>Substance by Marvel ComicsI was really pumped to read these.  Young Angers was continuing?  And not as just a smaller part of a giant cross over of doom?  Yay! …and then it just wasn’t what I was wanting and really felt way out of the loop.  Obviously things have happened outside of the Young Avengers in the greater marvel universe continuity that have affected the team that I have no idea about and it’s really left me with no idea of who the characters are anymore.Cassie/Stature is dead?  I…what? When?  How?  I have no idea about Eli/Patriot (arg, I miss him).  Kate/Hawkeye has hooked up with Kree warrior Noh-varr (who was mind controlled to kill them back in Civil war, so how did this happen? When?) and has been having space adventures?  Billy/Wiccan & Teddy/Hulkling made some sort of pact to not be superheroes at some point.  Tommy’s moved out of Billy’s parents place (when did he move in?) because they drove him round the bend.And then there’s Kid Loki.  I was looking forward to seeing him because I’d been hearing great things from fans about his run in recent comics… and sadly I completely did not like him at all.  Buh.Miss America seems interesting enough, but everything about her seems to be wrapped in mystery so that she is really hard to connect with.  Keeping a character mysterious does not mean keeping the readers confused.  Or maybe she’s appeared before and once again I’m just missing a big old gap of knowledge needed to make this make sense.  That’s definitely the case with former mutant David Alleyne whom I have never seen or heard of before.In any case, I’m sad because these comics didn’t turn out to be as great as they previously were for me.  The great Marvel Universe has swallowed chunks of them and I’m left feeling disorientated and disconnected.In the future: I may keep reading, just for Speed.  Tommy, come back!  I kept getting excited when I saw a white haired guy just a little down the page, then always getting hit with disappointment when it was Noh-varr.  I’m possibly a bit pouty at him because of this.

Young Avengers - Alternative Culture & Style>Substance by Marvel Comics

I was really pumped to read these.  Young Angers was continuing?  And not as just a smaller part of a giant cross over of doom?  Yay! …and then it just wasn’t what I was wanting and really felt way out of the loop.  Obviously things have happened outside of the Young Avengers in the greater marvel universe continuity that have affected the team that I have no idea about and it’s really left me with no idea of who the characters are anymore.

Cassie/Stature is dead?  I…what? When?  How?  I have no idea about Eli/Patriot (arg, I miss him).  Kate/Hawkeye has hooked up with Kree warrior Noh-varr (who was mind controlled to kill them back in Civil war, so how did this happen? When?) and has been having space adventures?  Billy/Wiccan & Teddy/Hulkling made some sort of pact to not be superheroes at some point.  Tommy’s moved out of Billy’s parents place (when did he move in?) because they drove him round the bend.

And then there’s Kid Loki.  I was looking forward to seeing him because I’d been hearing great things from fans about his run in recent comics… and sadly I completely did not like him at all.  Buh.

Miss America seems interesting enough, but everything about her seems to be wrapped in mystery so that she is really hard to connect with.  Keeping a character mysterious does not mean keeping the readers confused.  Or maybe she’s appeared before and once again I’m just missing a big old gap of knowledge needed to make this make sense.  That’s definitely the case with former mutant David Alleyne whom I have never seen or heard of before.

In any case, I’m sad because these comics didn’t turn out to be as great as they previously were for me.  The great Marvel Universe has swallowed chunks of them and I’m left feeling disorientated and disconnected.

In the future: I may keep reading, just for Speed.  Tommy, come back!  I kept getting excited when I saw a white haired guy just a little down the page, then always getting hit with disappointment when it was Noh-varr.  I’m possibly a bit pouty at him because of this.

Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers by Marvel ComicsThis seems to be a side story made to address the issue of Teddys ancestory and how that ties in with the Skrull not-so-very-secret-now invasion, but in a way that doesn’t affect the main part of the story that’s happening elsewhere in the comic continuity.  Just the writers going, “arg, this needs to be addressed or people are going to ask why.” So throwing the Runaways and the Young Avengers together again as Xavin realises that Teddy, as the missing crown heir of all Skrulldom, is in some serious trouble if found by the wrong skrulls during the invasion.  (And really 95% of all skrulls are going to be the wrong kind in an invasion of Earth.)
I did enjoy this, but I found the inner artwork to have a vibrant, plastic look that I wasn’t as crash hot on.  It wasn’t bad by any means, but it was not my favourite style either.  Eh, personal taste and what-not.Image in my head: Xavins look of horror upon seeing Teddy.

Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers by Marvel Comics

This seems to be a side story made to address the issue of Teddys ancestory and how that ties in with the Skrull not-so-very-secret-now invasion, but in a way that doesn’t affect the main part of the story that’s happening elsewhere in the comic continuity.  Just the writers going, “arg, this needs to be addressed or people are going to ask why.”

So throwing the Runaways and the Young Avengers together again as Xavin realises that Teddy, as the missing crown heir of all Skrulldom, is in some serious trouble if found by the wrong skrulls during the invasion.  (And really 95% of all skrulls are going to be the wrong kind in an invasion of Earth.)

I did enjoy this, but I found the inner artwork to have a vibrant, plastic look that I wasn’t as crash hot on.  It wasn’t bad by any means, but it was not my favourite style either.  Eh, personal taste and what-not.

Image in my head: Xavins look of horror upon seeing Teddy.

Siege: Battlefield by Marvel Comics
Contains:Seige: LokiSeige: SpidermanSeige: Captain AmericaSeige: Young AvengersSeige: Secret Warriors
Ehhh, I admit to not being overly struck on this.  I got it because I thought it had a lot more Young Avengers in it, but I found out through reading that it has very little of them appearing really, and I’m not so keen on the enormous crossover to purchase the rest of the graphic novels in this set to see if they might pop up again as cameos or more.
What I managed to nut out was that somethings happened to Asgard, the team has been split apart by some sort of circumstances and 99% of said team are questioning themselves.  These sort of crossovers are why I left you comics, don’t make me sad that I came back.
As usual:  it was Speeds parts that sucker punched me in the feels.

Siege: Battlefield by Marvel Comics

Contains:
Seige: Loki
Seige: Spiderman
Seige: Captain America
Seige: Young Avengers
Seige: Secret Warriors

Ehhh, I admit to not being overly struck on this.  I got it because I thought it had a lot more Young Avengers in it, but I found out through reading that it has very little of them appearing really, and I’m not so keen on the enormous crossover to purchase the rest of the graphic novels in this set to see if they might pop up again as cameos or more.

What I managed to nut out was that somethings happened to Asgard, the team has been split apart by some sort of circumstances and 99% of said team are questioning themselves.  These sort of crossovers are why I left you comics, don’t make me sad that I came back.

As usual:  it was Speeds parts that sucker punched me in the feels.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DefoeI had a terrible time trying to get through this as I could not stand Robinsons character. He was a wangsty, self-absorbed, self-entitled pratt who carelessly abused his priviledges.  And by the end of the years upon years of exile he goes through on the island, when he finally gains the companionship of others, he’s still a superior yet self-effacing, racist burke.  Urg.  (Not to mention his terrible, cruel treatment of animals.  Yuck.)Something that added to my troubles was that the book has no chapter breakup, making it a long and tedious read.  I felt like I was never getting anywhere.  And taking the dislike I had of the main character into account, I kind’ve wanted to throw the book across the room in revenge against the text.I think I persevered on this for the same reasons people climb mountains.  To say they did it and for the pure joy of completeing such a difficult task.New word learned: viz. Odd spelling learned: murthered for murdered.  Funnily I just kept hearing Robinson talking with a lisp.  D:

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

I had a terrible time trying to get through this as I could not stand Robinsons character. He was a wangsty, self-absorbed, self-entitled pratt who carelessly abused his priviledges.  And by the end of the years upon years of exile he goes through on the island, when he finally gains the companionship of others, he’s still a superior yet self-effacing, racist burke.  Urg.  (Not to mention his terrible, cruel treatment of animals.  Yuck.)

Something that added to my troubles was that the book has no chapter breakup, making it a long and tedious read.  I felt like I was never getting anywhere.  And taking the dislike I had of the main character into account, I kind’ve wanted to throw the book across the room in revenge against the text.

I think I persevered on this for the same reasons people climb mountains.  To say they did it and for the pure joy of completeing such a difficult task.

New word learned: viz.

Odd spelling learned: murthered for murdered.  Funnily I just kept hearing Robinson talking with a lisp.  D:

Battle Magic by Tamora PierceI went out and bought this as a birthday present to myself.  Best idea this year.  Woot woot!Briar!  Rosethorn!  Evvy!  Oh you beautiful people.  It’s like someone picked through my brain and gave me exactly the people I wanted from Emelan.So, this is set after Street Magic but before The Will of the Empress and gives the reader all (?) the details that Briar alluded to previously.  It’s the journey home to Emelan for the trio… with a quick swing through a couple more countries on the way that just happen to end up at war with each other because one country is lead by a power hungry tyrant.  (I kept wanting to call him an idiot, but he’s not… he’s an already power, used to getting his way, terror.)I felt so much for Evvy in this, it Street Magic I was sort’ve ‘eh’ about her.  I didn’t like her nor dislike her and I was perhaps a little too focused on Briar and Rosethorn.  But what she goes through in this book is a horror and I just wanted to scoop her up and protect her until she was okay to protect herself again. 
Picture in my head: Luvo, heart of a mountain and cutest piece of rock in the history of ever.
But also: the mountain gods mooning Briar, because I know if I was a god that was rarely seen to move, that’s what I’d do too.
So!  Now I just have to get Melting Stones?  And then I’ll have all of Tamora Pierce’s books.  At least until the Numair books come out.  And you can bet I’ll be slingshotting out of my seat to get a copy of those.

Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce

I went out and bought this as a birthday present to myself.  Best idea this year.  Woot woot!

Briar!  Rosethorn!  Evvy!  Oh you beautiful people.  It’s like someone picked through my brain and gave me exactly the people I wanted from Emelan.

So, this is set after Street Magic but before The Will of the Empress and gives the reader all (?) the details that Briar alluded to previously.  It’s the journey home to Emelan for the trio… with a quick swing through a couple more countries on the way that just happen to end up at war with each other because one country is lead by a power hungry tyrant.  (I kept wanting to call him an idiot, but he’s not… he’s an already power, used to getting his way, terror.)

I felt so much for Evvy in this, it Street Magic I was sort’ve ‘eh’ about her.  I didn’t like her nor dislike her and I was perhaps a little too focused on Briar and Rosethorn.  But what she goes through in this book is a horror and I just wanted to scoop her up and protect her until she was okay to protect herself again. 

Picture in my head: Luvo, heart of a mountain and cutest piece of rock in the history of ever.

But also: the mountain gods mooning Briar, because I know if I was a god that was rarely seen to move, that’s what I’d do too.

So!  Now I just have to get Melting Stones?  And then I’ll have all of Tamora Pierce’s books.  At least until the Numair books come out.  And you can bet I’ll be slingshotting out of my seat to get a copy of those.

Tea: English Breakfast & Lavender from Bridestowe Gourmet
I didn’t expect to like this.  I love lavender scented things, but every time I’ve tried edible/drinkable lavender things before I’ve felt like I was eating concentrated perfume and it left such a harsh after taste.
I only ended up drinking it after I had served it to a curious friend whose face lit up with joy on her first taste.  I tried it, I really liked it. 
I bought this on a whim while visiting Bridestowe.  Go me and my whimsy for finally getting something right.
The side of the tin states:"Truly a tea for all occasions.  A blend of black tea and fine Bridestowe Estate lavender flowers."

Tea: English Breakfast & Lavender from Bridestowe Gourmet

I didn’t expect to like this.  I love lavender scented things, but every time I’ve tried edible/drinkable lavender things before I’ve felt like I was eating concentrated perfume and it left such a harsh after taste.

I only ended up drinking it after I had served it to a curious friend whose face lit up with joy on her first taste.  I tried it, I really liked it. 

I bought this on a whim while visiting Bridestowe.  Go me and my whimsy for finally getting something right.

The side of the tin states:
"Truly a tea for all occasions.  A blend of black tea and fine Bridestowe Estate lavender flowers."

Treasure Island by Robert Louis StevensonWooo!  high seas adventure of the old school kind. This was a very easy read, and much quicker to get through than Frankenstein was.  (oof, that was a slog.)
I was surprised at how much of the story was set pre-setting out.  I’d always somehow imagined that the majority of it all happened at sea, but that was possibly the smallest amount of it.  Most was setting up the characters to leave or time spent on the island.And all the way through I heard Long John Silver speaking in my head with the same voice as Captain Barbosa from Pirates of the Carribean.  Without looking into it, wouldn’t be surprised if he was used as a template for Barbosa’s character. 
Image in my head: Jim in the apple barrel.  (which oddly flickers out to Gonzo, even though I’ve never watched the muppets version.)

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Wooo!  high seas adventure of the old school kind. This was a very easy read, and much quicker to get through than Frankenstein was.  (oof, that was a slog.)

I was surprised at how much of the story was set pre-setting out.  I’d always somehow imagined that the majority of it all happened at sea, but that was possibly the smallest amount of it.  Most was setting up the characters to leave or time spent on the island.

And all the way through I heard Long John Silver speaking in my head with the same voice as Captain Barbosa from Pirates of the Carribean.  Without looking into it, wouldn’t be surprised if he was used as a template for Barbosa’s character. 

Image in my head: Jim in the apple barrel.  (which oddly flickers out to Gonzo, even though I’ve never watched the muppets version.)

Young Avengers Presents by Marvel ComicsWoop!  Short stories featuring some insight into the people that make up the Young Avengers.Eli gets to have a heart to heart with Bucky about being Patriot.  Confused young hero and I love it.Teddy manages to gets to talk to his birth father thanks to some sort of time paradox?  Yeah, that sort of storyline is always going to get me right in the feels.Tommy and Billy search for the Scarlet Witch in an attempt to find out more about their ‘mother’.  Children’s Crusade shows they didn’t search very well here.Stature and Vision hash things out with a surprise teamup against baddies in the middle.  Didn’t really stick with me.And then a short showing Cassie’s homelife.  Oof.  No wonder she’s stressed out to shrinking stage.Lastly Hawkeye earns her bow back from Hawkeye through sheer badassery and a little bit of self questioning.I thought: this happened before Civil War, but apparently its after.  Huh.

Young Avengers Presents by Marvel Comics

Woop!  Short stories featuring some insight into the people that make up the Young Avengers.

Eli gets to have a heart to heart with Bucky about being Patriot.  Confused young hero and I love it.

Teddy manages to gets to talk to his birth father thanks to some sort of time paradox?  Yeah, that sort of storyline is always going to get me right in the feels.

Tommy and Billy search for the Scarlet Witch in an attempt to find out more about their ‘mother’.  Children’s Crusade shows they didn’t search very well here.

Stature and Vision hash things out with a surprise teamup against baddies in the middle.  Didn’t really stick with me.

And then a short showing Cassie’s homelife.  Oof.  No wonder she’s stressed out to shrinking stage.

Lastly Hawkeye earns her bow back from Hawkeye through sheer badassery and a little bit of self questioning.

I thought: this happened before Civil War, but apparently its after.  Huh.