THE LIEBSTER AWARD

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Here are the rules for the Liebster award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and answer the eleven questions they have written for you
  • Nominate 11 people and give them 11 different questions to answer

I want to extend an incredibly belated THANK YOU to Michel  at the Raistlin0903 Blog for nominating me for The Liebster Award! Even though this response to the nomination is incredibly late, if you have not checked out Michel’s post, please do! While you’re over there don’t forget to follow his Blog because he consistently puts up great content! 

The Q’s and A’s:

What is your favorite game genre?

I don’t play many games, truthfully it’s pretty rare that I’m playing a game. If I have to pick a game genre though, it would be action/adventure.

What is your favorite book genre?

Nope! I refuse to answer this question! I automatically veto the requirement to answer this blasphemous question lol. I am WAYYYY TOO INDECISIVE to ever be able to pick just one book genre! I can narrow it down to my favorite genres though, so I will just do that. My favorite genres are Fantasy and Science Fiction-and if I go with the very, incredibly broad understanding of Fantasy and Science Fiction I can shove quite a few sub-genres into that answer for both novels, comics/graphic novels and manga. 

What region do you prefer for comics? ( Asia, America, Europe?)

I’m just going to change ‘region’ to ‘regions’ because I honestly can’t choose between American comics/graphic novels and Japanese manga. I love them both equally; however, I have been reading much more manga in recent years than comics.

Why did you start blogging?

I don’t really know how to say/type this in a way that won’t end up sounding like a strange pity party lol. The honest truth is that I didn’t have anyone to talk to about books. I don’t have any bookish friends (except 1) and so there was no one for me to rave about an amazing book I had just read to, or anyone for me to recommend some of my favorite reads to, or to have bookish conversations where I could gush about the books I’d just bought, or that could understand the struggles of reorganizing your bookcases without giving you judgemental looks. Blogging about books is an opportunity to get to interact with like minded people who are interested in similar things to me that I can talk to in a safe space where my seemingly weird bookish habits are not judged. It’s gives me the ability to speak freely and honestly about books while being able to maintain a level of anonymity if I choose to.

What is the trashiest game you played, or book/comic you ever read? 

BL (Boy Love)/Yaoi manga…I do not even have to think very hard about this question. I am unashamed of my love of BL, although the genre is incredibly problematic for a plethora of reasons, I still love its trashy goodness!

Have you ever tried surströmming and if not, how do you think it tastes? Have you ever tried   mämmi?

I have tried neither of these foods. I do like fish…and culturally fermented/salted fish is a staple part of my diet, especially while I was growing up. So, it’s possible that I would like surströmming if I got to cook it how I would normally cook sardine, mackerel, cod, or herring. I’m almost certain that I would enjoy mämmi based solely on the fact that it is a desert lol.

What is the most disgusting (tasting, looking and/or smelling) national delicacy you know of (where you live?)

I live in Canada and we are known for our absolute infatuation with Tim Hortons. Yes, I’m aware that a particular restaurant can’t be considered a national delicacy, but Timmy’s is such a hallowed and beloved place that everything there might as well be a Canadian national delicacy. Tim Hortons is a coffee shop franchise that is incredibly popular here. You can get hot and cold beverages, donuts, pastries, and various sandwiches there…and I love Tim Hortons. BUT…ughhhhhh I CAN NOT STAND HONEY CRULLERS! It’s a donut (I think?!?) and it has a glaze, I’m fine with the first two components…yay for sugar coated carbs, but the inside of it turns my insides. The inside of one of those wretched things is moist, and not in a good way. The texture makes me feel like I’m eating soggy something…I can’t even think of anything to compare it to. Moral of the story-it’s disgusting!

What is the funniest word you have heard (and if not in English what does it mean?) 

I recently watched the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast last week Wednesday so of course I have got to pick expectorate/expectorating.

Please share one personal thing about you. Why that one in particular?

Hmmm…a personal thing about me…let’s see…I like reading? Question didn’t say that it had to be something personal that other people didn’t already know, so…yup that’s my answer. I chose this particular personal thing to share because I don’t necessarily like to get personal…and that was the most impersonal personal thing I could think of!

In the console war, where do you stand? 

Uhhh, what’s a console? Okay, I’m not that gaming illiterate but I don’t really have a stand on any side of the console war because I don’t really play games. I will choose Play Station because it’s the system that I’ve had the most experience with…and although it’s not mine, there is one in my house.

Which Anime series have you watched that really had you on the edge of your seat? (And if you don’t watch/like Anime, which tv series) 

The most recent anime series that had me on the edge of my seat while watching it  would have to be Re:Zero.

I really tried to make sure that all the Blogs that I nominate had not previously been nominated for The Liebster Award. So hopefully this will be your first time doing this and you won’t have to hate me for having to do it again 🙂

Here are my 11 Nominees:

IgnitedMoth

Orang-utan Librarian 

Dinosaurs, Donkeys and MS

A Court of Coffee and Books

Let’s Talk Anime

Lives In Stone

Milliebot Reads

Jeana’s Book Nook

Elemental Quill

Geybie’s Book Blog

Twin Reads

And here are the 11 questions to answer: 

  1. What is your favorite type of Blog to read?
  2. What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
  3. What is your guilty pleasure?
  4. What’s your preferred or most used Social Media outlet?
  5. Which of these-Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner or Desert- is your favorite type of food, and is there any particular dish that is your favorite from those categories?
  6. What is you favorite type of series to binge watch? (Or a series that you have recently binge watched)
  7. Where would you want to go on a dream vacation?
  8. Is there anything that you collect? If not, is there anything that you used to collect or that you would like to start collecting in the future?
  9. Where do you prefer to find book/anime/movie/game recommendations?
  10. Give a random fact about yourself.
  11. What is a book/anime/movie/game that you wish everyone would read/watch/play at least once?

Zeros by Scott Westerfeld

*This Review is Spoiler Free*

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I can’t say I love all his books, but I will say I am definitely a fan of Scott Westersfeld. So I was genuinely excited about his new series Zeroes…well new at the time seeing as this was published late in 2015. Aside from the author the premise seemed pretty interesting as well so, like with many of his books, I added it to my collection.

Zeroes is YA about a group of diverse teenagers born with special, and somewhat unique/original abilities. The story bounces from each of  six main character’s POVs, but starts off with just two, Ethan and Kelsey. Ethan (code name Scam) has just come from a date and using his unique ability- he thinks of something he wants, walks up to a person, and a foreign voice comes out of his mouth with enough intimate knowledge about the person to charm them into just about anything- tries to get himself a ride home. Unfortunately for him his ability appears to have a somewhat dark side, and ends up getting him into a very complicated situation where he’s forced to call up his old friends (Crash, Flicker, Anonymous, and Bellweather A.K.A Glorious Leader) each with there own special ability. 

Kelsey (A.K.A. Mob), a mysterious girl with the ability to feel the pulse an flow of a crowd and influence it, pulling or pushing them along with her moods, is mainly focused on just enjoying this crowd riding feeling at parties. Though all this fun comes to a screeching halt the night she crosses paths with Ethan and finds her father in deep trouble.

I honestly can’t tell if I really liked this characters or not. Watching them as they learning to use and control their abilities was pretty compelling, and I found myself anticipating the moments when they learned new aspects of their gifts, questioned their abilities, and revealed snippets of their childhood struggle with what they were and could do. But other than a few moments here and there, I can’t really say I loved any of them. The flow of the story and the diversity (race, economic background, gender, and overall personality) of the characters kept things interesting enough that even with less liked characters I didn’t feel the usual need to skip right over someones POV. The story line wasn’t action-around-every-corner interesting, but had a really nice flow going for it, balancing action with character insight and development.

Overall this was a good start to an interesting series. 7/10 Unicorn Horns

NEW RELEASE: Anonymous Noise, Vol. 1 by Ryoko Fukuyama

*This Review is Spoiler Free*

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Two words: The. Cover. Once again in my complete predictability I picked up a book, without even reading the premise, for no other reason than that I liked the cover. In my defense before buying it and taking it home using one of my now many gift cards, I did notice that there was a guitar on the front. I like guitars. See! I call that progress. Ahem, now to talk about this new shojo-shoujo?- (see, even more progress, now I’ve reviewed two of them. Ha!).

Thankfully my not-so-random manga pick worked out, as this story is was better than I expected considering my usual aversion to shojo. I can’t get too into thing, but his is primarily about a high school girl named Nino, two male childhood friends named Momo and Yuzu, lost connections, romance, and the music they share. MUSIC THEME!! Happiness all around! After seeing NANAYour Lie in April and recently starting up Nodame Cantabile anime series I can say I now have a realllyy strong interest in music themed things. I digress lol. The story begins with 5-year-old best friends Nino and Momo singing through the noise of his parents arguing. The manga shows a few humorous scenes of the inseparable pair together, before until one day when, without a word, Momo moves leaving Nino confused and alone with the pain of the sudden separation. Its this that leads her to meeting another young boy named Yuzu.

The scenes of how they meet as kids deeply ties into their relationship with music, and I was impressed with how Fukuyama conveyed their thoughts and feelings. I have a few early concerns with Nino’s character, but there is something about the way Fukuyama tells this story that has drawn me in. I liked the premise, the characters, and the art and the way the panels were arranged for some scenes. I can’t say I got to know the main characters too well yet, but will say I genuinely like them so far, especially Yuzu and the humour he shares with Nino. There is quite a lot left unanswered by the end of the volume so I’m looking out for the next release!

Overall 6.5/10 Unicorn horns!

Fires of Invention by J. Scott Savage

*This Review is Spoiler Free*

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I received an Advance Reader Copy of Fires of Invention back in 2015 at BookCon in New York City. Savage was in attendance, and doing an author signing of his soon to be released (at the time) novel and of his previous works.  I had never read anything by this author before reading this novel in 2015 and went into reading it with no expectations. The story follows thirteen-year-old Trenton Coleman as he navigates life in the City of Cove. In Cove, creativity of any kind  is illegal and the City is structured in order to highlight the dangers of creativity. Throughout the novel the reader is introduced to Kallista Babbage, a girl whose father was a “creative type” that passed away in an explosion. Trenton and Kallista end up working together to build a machine after finding blueprints that it seems Kallista’s father, Leo Babbage, was working on before his death.  

This novel is an incredibly interesting and thoughtful read. The author is able to keep the reader engaged throughout the entire novel. The novel did not lag in any areas and was fairly consistent throughout. There were some pacing issues in certain parts of the novel in regards to certain plot points and events not having been fleshed out and explored as much as they could have been. I did read an ARC of the story and the final, published novel may not have contained those issues.

Overall, I give Fires of Invention a rating of 8.5 Unicorn Horns out of 10. The author accomplished what they set out to do in this novel. All the major plot points were well executed, the characters were dynamic and well thought out, the intrigue and mystery of Cove built organically and did not feel force-fed, and the story was complex and layered. This is a novel that I would recommend to ANYONE! The novel can easily be enjoyed by adult readers who do not tend to read middle grade fiction. And of course I would suggest that anyone within the target age range that is interested in Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian and/or Steampunk to give this novel a read. 

Midnight Stranger, Vol. 1 by Bohra Naono

*This Review is Spoiler Free* 

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Midnight Stranger is a Yaoi/BL Manga that follows, Roi and Xiu. Roi is a black goat spirit and is responsible for exorcising foul spirits and healing the sick. At the beginning of the manga, Roi is being attacked by villagers in a town plagued by illness. As the villagers see Roi’s ugly “goat” body they believe that this hideous creature must be the cause of the illnesses and they decide to kill Roi. Xiu saves Roi from the humans and grants him the ability to take human form. The story jumps forward a handful of centuries and the reader sees Roi and Xiu living together after all that time as Roi had decided to serve Xiu when he saved him. Xiu is incredibly apprehensive about humans and slightly despises them, but regardless of Xiu wanting very little to do with them, Roi is unable to deny his duties as a black goat spirit. The story progresses with Roi trying to suppress his romantic feelings for Xiu, going behind Xiu’s back to help humans, and an unlikely friendship. 

This story is totally Roi’s story, although the manga greatly revolves around both Xiu and Roi, Roi is definitely the star of the show. There honestly isn’t anything incredibly amazing or mind-blowing throughout the story that allows this manga to stand out from the rest in this sub-genre. BUT…it did stand out for me personally because 1. It was that first BL that I read with two main characters that were spirits/gods and 2. IT DIDN’T HAVE “RAPE OCCURS, THEN RAPIST CONFESSES FEELINGS TO VICTIM…because supposedly these feelings (of like or love) were there all along, the rapist just didn’t know how to act on said feelings and instead decides to rape….AND THEN VICTIM IS UNCOMFORTABLE WITH IT BUT AGREES TO RELATIONSHIP, OR AT THE VERY LEAST, CONTINUED COITUS” SYNDROME! On the other hand, if you read this critically, you will notice other instances and scenarios that obviously display abusive behaviors. However, as I’ve said in other Yaoi/BL reviews, BL will ruin your moral compass and as much as it pains me to admit this…most of the abusive behaviors and unhelthy relationship dynamic can be mentally glossed over and kind-of ignored. It’s like once you’ve read so much BL you go into it with very low expectations for consent and/or good examples of relationships and sex. 

Although I have read BL mangas that have an additional or side story besides the title/main story, I wasn’t expecting the “Hollow Romance” chapters to be as long as the were. Both parts of “Hollow Romance” collectively took up almost half of the manga. So just go into reading it knowing that. There is a second volume of Midnight Stranger if you would like to read more about Roi and Xiu. Although this BL is not the most memorable/impactful that I have read there are some really good moments and enough things happening throughout the plot to keep the reader entertained. The story also gains points with me for not succumbing to the SYNDROME mentioned in the above paragraph. Overall, I give Midnight Stranger 7.25 Unicorn Horns out of 10. 

Half Bad by Sally Green

*This Review is Spoiler Free*

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When I first picked up this book I knew nothing about it, all I cared about was the gorgeous hardcover look. The series was a gift from a friend who also had no idea what this series was about, but knew I’d love it just for it’s look (a blatant case of judging a book by it’s cover but in this case? I care not lol). After admiring it’s beauty on my shelves for almost a year, I finally admitted to myself that the many, many books I’ve collected and not read deserved more than just outward admiration. It was long past time to get to know my books on a more personal level and love them for what’s on the inside as well (yes I’m aware I’m speaking of my books as the living beings they are =p). So Half Bad by Sally Green is one of the many I’ve got lined up on my to-read-this-year list. 

Though I really enjoyed going into this story with absolutely no expectations or having any idea what it was about, for all those who aren’t up for spending time and money on a book they may have no interest in- Half Bad is about a young boy named Nathan. Nathan, our main protagonist, is a witch, more specifically a half White and half Black witch. This very rare fact in the world of unseen magic users is something that brings Nathan a lot of trouble and a lot of pain- “a lot” being an understatement here. The story starts off with Nathan thinking of ways to “survive” the mental and emotional burden of being locked in a cage every night, and his jailer’s physical and psychological abuse. After we’re introduced to Nathan and his current circumstances, the story goes back to his family and how he came to be in a cage in the first place. 

I have to say I love this story. It’s not the best or most original out there, some things could have been done better, and many things were (to be completely honest) very predictable. Even so, I still loved this story. I loved the contrast- more like prejudiced and abusive discrimination- between Black and White witches despite them having very unoriginal powers. Despite some mild annoyances and repetitive behaviours/thoughts, I really liked Nathan. He’s angry with the world, distrustful of people, couldn’t read a single word to save his life, and makes some stupid choices. Even so I really liked him, and would say his anger is more than justified. I also loved or liked most of the other characters who come into play- most of his family, a handful I can’t name, and even his jailer I found myself liking (couldn’t help being interested in her personality). With few exceptions (three to be exact) I found most characters enjoyable.  

I’m on the 3rd book and, even despite my avid hatred of love-triangles and near-enough-to-it-insta-love (not actual inst-love since the romance happened over time, but quick and serious enough to feel a bit off), I still really enjoy this series as a whole. I genuinely liked the whole idea where White (supposedly good) witches and Black (supposedly bad) witches where quickly revealed to have equally good/bad personalities (though kind of wish they weren’t divided into White and Black for obvious reasons). It’s a pretty good read if you don’t expect an amazing and epic tale. The first book started off amazingly well, but did start to drop off a bit towards the end. If it wasn’t for that I’d rate this book 8/10, but deserves an honest 7.5/10 Unicorn Horns overall

I Hate Fairyland Vol. 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young

*This Review is Spoiler Free*

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LMAOOO!!! I’m still slightly new to the American comic book world -as much as I love the stories I’m admittedly a little afraid of all those Marvel volumes- but had started picking up and collecting some Image Comics to start with. I don’t have much to compare it to, but as a fan of comedic TV shows and movies I have to say that this is a good pick that caters to my type of comedy- sarcastic, a bit witty, crude and unapologetic. I’d recommend this to any fan of satirical comedy shows like Futurama, Family Guy, or Robot Chicken. I look forward to the 2nd installment and give it 7/10 Unicorn Horns

The story, pretty self-explanatory considering the title, cover page, and opening quote:

It was a nightmare. Nothing but the green of her hair…and the blood of my people.

– Thaddeus J. Star, R.I.P.

Is basically a parody of fairy tales in general, so on occasion you’ll recognize themes/elements from scenes of well known fairy tales. All within the first 6 or so pages you get a bit of an Alice in Wonderland parody where a young 6 year old named Gert is whisked away, yelling and screaming, into a fairlyland. After a brutal and very bloody landing, the Queen of Fairyland sends her on an epic journey with an optimistic looking fly named Larry as a guide to find the magic key that will open a door to her way back home. On the 7th page, 27 years later, we have a now alcoholic looking Larry and an angry and psychotic looking Gert floating on a magic boat, flipping off and threatening the moon (in creative curse words I have to say) for insulting her. After she successfully…and very, umm, violently expresses her feeling for the moon the story goes on to follow the hilarious and always eventually violent adventures of the certifiable 47 year old woman trapped in a 6-year-old girl’s body.

I enjoyed this comic quite a bit. Gert is an incredibly insane and violent character that was a lot of fun to watch, and Larry, the straight man and unwilling side-kick, well…there’s not much to say about him to be honest, but his stoic ways do compliment Gert’s expressive homicidal ways quite nicely. The story line is nicely creative in some places and predictable in other ways, Gert will always do something crazy/stupid, but even then I was often surprised with the “how”. You may be able to tell she’s about to demolish a town, but really anything goes when it comes to how she’ll do it. I enjoyed meeting the host of other random and often hilariously creative characters and creatures, but more than that I loved the art. I’m a big fan of the style and have to say I really loved all the vivid colours used as well.