Peter Darling by Austin Chant

*This review is spoiler-free*

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Synopsis:

“Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is.

But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook—and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.”

-Goodreads 

Admittedly, I never read the original by J. M. Barrie as a child, but I’m fairly certain I would not have loved it nearly as much as I did this more mature and dark retelling of the beloved children’s classic. I am familiar with the story as I have watched more than one film adaptation of the original novel. Although Peter Darling feels like a much more grown-up version of the original the novel captures the fantastical elements, sense of adventure, and magic of the original story.

“That’s the trick of growing up. Nothing stays the same.” Hook sounded oddly sympathetic. “You see the faults in everything. Including yourself.”

Upon Peter’s return to Neverland he finds that the world he loved and longed for while he was away has shifted and drastically changed. It comes across very clearly in the story that Peter’s return and eventual disappointment in the tone of peacefulness and contentment within Neverland was unexpected and jarring; having returned to the only place he felt he could live authentically and where he made the most sense to himself. The disorienting effects of seeing that the Lost Boys had moved on without him, gotten a new leader, and that the battles against Hook and his crew ended spur Peter into actions that have very real and devastating results. 

As a cisgendered unicorn I cannot attest to the authenticity of the representation in this novel; however, it is important to note that the trans and queer rep in this story are own voices. This leads into one of my absolute favorite aspects of the novel…and that is…the portrayal of Peter’s body. I have not read many novels with a transgender main protagonist, and even less with a male trans main character, but I so greatly appreciated the author’s decision (whether conscious or not) to not emphasize and include incredibly detailed descriptions of Peter’s body. While consuming media that has trans representation I often get a sense of trans bodies being fetishized and exploited. Oftentimes including a completely unnecessary obsession with what body parts, organs, and genitalia are present on a transgender individual’s body, as if the presence or lack thereof, has any bearing on the legitimacy of their gender identity.

He bit his lip, struggling to make words out of the war waging itself in his chest.
“I don’t know what this makes me,” he managed at last.
Hook laughed, not unkindly. “It makes you whatever you want it to make you.”

The novel very honestly delves into, and examines with great transparency, the dangers of misgendering of trans and genderqueer individuals.  While Peter is in the “real world” he is constantly misgendered.  He is frequently told what he can/cannot do, how he can/cannot present himself, what he can/cannot wear, and is constantly cornered into disgusting gender roles that are not conducive to his gender identity.  It is very easy to make the leap into an understanding that the trauma he experienced bleeds into his life while in Neverland, especially after his return. It’s apparent through the desperation in which he tries to entice violence and revels in brutality. Peter’s character plays into stereotypically masculine gender roles and perpetuates toxic/hyper masculinity while in Neverland. 

Peter Darling is incredibly well written. Also, it is very easy to lose yourself in the atmosphere of Neverland. Granted, these things are very true about the novel, I did have some issues with the pacing, the progression of the story, and the development of the romance. I fairly easily forgave this…as the novel is barely over 200 pages and also includes an amazingly well done character arc for Peter. I would recommend this novel to fans of the original story, readers who love fairytale and classics retellings, readers who are looking for well-done transgender representaion, and those looking to read more own voice fiction. I give Peter Darling a rating of *7 Unicorn Horns*…Happy Reading!

 

 

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The Grim Reaper and an Argent Cavalier by Irono

*This Review is Spoiler Free*

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*Sorry, this post is a little late, courtesy of my wondrous procrastination skills. I’ll get to everyone’s comments soon.

The Grim Reaper and an Argent Cavalier (or Shinigami to Gin no Kishi) is another random pick from Crunchyroll’s online collection that caught the attention of my superficial eye. Well that and the fact I just finished re-watching Kabeneri, wanted more thrilling action and (un?)death, saw the words “Grim Reaper” and went for it.  

Synopsis:

In a world where humans live at the mercy of the Grim Reaper and the Larvae, his soul-devouring monsters, one young man sets foot on a thorny path to protect everything he holds dear—even if it means falling into darkness himself…

-Crunchyroll

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Rating: 7/10 Unicorn Horns!

Overall the story isn’t bad, and i did enjoy reading it, but I just couldn’t help but feel it could have been MUCH better. While it definitely has some pretty good elements, it occasionally dips into too common tropes (primarily when it comes to the main character: Cyan). This is something I found pretty disappointing, since it really takes away from a lot of the more thrilling moments. Overall the few twists and group of side characters made this a pretty good read. For only about 6 volumes a good amount happens, but I think it would have benefited from being a little longer.

The characters are likeable with a few that genuinely had me wanting to learn more about them. That being said, I actually found most of the other main cast and side characters much more appealing than the two main pair. In fact it is because of them and a few pretty unique elements that made me give this a 7 instead of a 6 rating. The world building didn’t stand out too much for me (I really don’t remember much about it), but those few characters certainly did. 

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I wanted to review this, but while writing realized I really can’t say much about it without spoiling something 😅 lol, so that’s all I can say about it. I’d recommend this to anyone looking for an entertaining, light, short read to pass the time with. Despite it’s length it’s got a good amount of action, magic, twists, drama, and touch of romance to go with it.

Sun-Ken Rock by Boichi

*This Review is Spoiler Free*

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Hey guys! Long time no post 😋

Sorry for the long, long absence, but I’m finally back now and am excited to check out everyone’s sites 🤗 I will be taking my time over the next while to reconnect with you guys. 

As for today’s review I decided to finally, after a couple years of subscribing, check out the manga Chrunchroll has available on their site. I picked out three random ones I never heard about before based purely on the covers and started reading. That’s how I came across the unique experience that is Sun-Ken Rock.

Synopsis:

This story, initially taking place in Japan but primarily set in Korea, starts out pretty mild and hilariously quirky. Main character, high school delinquent Ken, falls for a girl named Yumin and confesses his feelings only to be rejected.

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Turns out Yumin decided to move to Korea to work on becoming a distinguished cop, so couldn’t return his feelings. Surprisingly, this doesn’t deter our protagonist Ken. He drops out of school and follows the love of his life to Korea. Which seems romantic…or in my opinion kinda really creepy, but reality hits and Ken finds himself hopelessly unemployed and dirt poor in a foreign country with no one to rely on. Except a mysteriously ambitious man who, after seeing him in action, becomes determined to persuade Ken to become a gang boss. 

Rating: 8/10 Unicorn Horns!

I actually really struggled to figure out a rating for this one. It starts off like a gag manga, pure humour with no serious or thought provoking scenes. But this story’s tone amazingly progresses and changes right along with the main character. From a character that’s kind, incredibly naive, simple, unmotivated, and quirky to one possessing kindness with a much more serious, intelligent, determined and thought provoking actions/beliefs both Ken and the story change in bounds. 

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This is something that blew me away. I don’t think I’ve ever come across another action packed story that’s written quite like this one. With the lighthearted way things start off, even the way it was drawn, I wasn’t expecting much. But then with each story arc things became more serious, complex, and shockingly dark, every bit of which is reflected in the growingly detailed and improving artwork. The flow comes off awkwardly here and there especially during the transitions from darker scenes to comedic relief, though this could just be due to translation. Overall Boichi does a noteworthy job at balancing the many contrasting themes in this story.  

This story filled with action, crime, scheming, comedy, mafia bosses, and a bit of romance has quite a bit going for it. And aside from the uniqueness of the changing tone, there is also quite a bit of cross-national story telling (mainly taking place in Korea, but also involving Japan and another country), immigrants from diverse backgrounds, and even the mentioning of a few historical events from different countries. This really comes through in most of the side characters as well. They all have dynamic and/or complex personalities that stand out and left me with a clear impression of their character.

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I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a unique reading experience, as well as fellow lovers of action/crime. Though I would warn away anyone with sexual abuse triggers, as some of the darker scenes are…well…really dark. Oh and despite there not being even a hint of it in the beginning, a few ecchi scenes come up later on, so naturally if that bothers you skipping this may be best. Otherwise I’ve been really enjoying this so far, and look forward to finishing it!

Thanks for reading 😁

The Sunshine Blogger Award; Part 3!

Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Answer 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers to receive the award and write them 11 new questions to answer.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your blog-post
  • Rules are to tweak; Take it easy.

Yay!! Another award nomination!! Last Minute Stuff is the blog that nominated me this time around, and I’ve got to say (and not just cuz it’s a rule): Thanks a ton for the award nomination!! Please take the time to check out their blog, and award answers: here

 

The Questions & Answers

 

1. What is that question you hate to answer the most?

I’m a semi-lazy person (really just a regular old lazy one, but “lazy” just sounds too self-depreciating), so questions that take a considerable amount of thought and emotion, and force me to deny my innermost desires and attributes are the hardest for me to face. Really, they’re like unforgiving torture. 

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2. What’s the most horrible a.k.a. “It tasted delicious in my head” recipe you came up with? If you don’t cook, what’s the most gross thing you ever ate? Here’s mine!

My memory for this one is actually a bit hazy, it was that bad. All I can remember is wanting to try some new combination of flavours (pretty much every seasoning in my cupboard), tasting it, and wondering “WHY THE HELL DOES IT TASTE LIKE THIS?!?!?”

I then tried so, sooo many things to get it to taste better, but then everything I did just made it worse, and worse. It was like something out of a horror movie. Seriously. Even writing about it is giving me chills. 

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3. Chicken or bacon? Explain gravitational waves. Don’t google; I’ll know.

Hahaha, this is easy. You know every time you set a firm food limit in your head, telling yourself “just one more” or “only on special occasions”, but then flash forward a few hours days and you’re stuffing your face, wondering where your resolve went? It’s gravitational waves my friends. That food is sending out waves that act like “eat-me!!” command magnets to your stomach, forcing it down your throat and into your stomach before you even know what happened. It pulls you in like gravity. It’s especially worse around foods like chicken and bacon, but applies to any of your guilty pleasures. 

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4. When was the last time you helped-out a stranger? Or anyone?

I do it quite a bit, but mostly only in small ways. Opening doors, helping with directions (aka pointing them out to someone more useful, I’d just get them lost), helping older folks with bags, etc. Thought the last “big thing” I can remember was almost a decade ago…

5. If you were given any superpower for only one day, which day would you choose? (guess you weren’t expecting that..)

I was thinking teleportation at first, all those countries I want to visit could be done in one day without the ridiculous cost! But then I figured one day for all those countries wouldn’t be nearly enough. Plus that’s something I could actually accomplish someday with my own human powers.   

So I’m so going with shape shifting!! It would be beyond awesome to be a bird/whale/wolf/mouse/bear/okayI’llstopnow. I mean how cool would be to experience the world through their eyes/senses?

6. Which language do you think in? (Yeah I’m assuming you’re bilingual.)

Sadness, I only wish I was bilingual, but I’m pretty sure the pitiful amount of French, and so-minuscule-I-might-as-well-not-even-bother-to-acknowledge-it Japanese don’t count. But I do think in a wide variety of English accents. That counts for something right? Right?

7. The funniest thing you’ve seen someone do in public?

My sister’s slip and fall on ice…sorry, I blame the sadist in me. 

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8. Have you won any contests/competitions/olympics maybe? Which was the last one?

….umm….well…these blogger awards count, right? What about anime watching/book reading awards? Do those count? Cause if they do I am on a roll!

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9. What’s the most useless (according to others) talent/s you have?

English accent impersonations. I can’t impersonate actual people, but can do almost every type of English accent there is.

10. What’s the best Wi-Fi name you’ve seen?

I’ve seen many, one of which I cannot for the life of me remember, but the runner up is:
“Mi-fi-not-yours” 

11. The last time you tried something for the first time? (Yeah rack that brain)

Uggh! So much thinking! Umm…well….if we’re talking activities that’s a lost cause lol, but food? I’ve recently been trying out authentic Japanese cuisine (just finished with Indian).

I’ve tried Salmon Teppanyaki (loved it), Inari & Unagi sushi (mega loved them), and Takoyaki (sorry, but I hated the taste/smell…also just can’t do those little suction cups). Next up is the terrifying looking Natto. Then I’ll be moving on to another nation. 

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1. Unagi Sushi     2. Takoyaki

Please check these bloggers out if you haven’t already. I couldn’t pick everyone that deserves it, but these are some of the best blogs I’ve come across!

Nominations/Honourable Mentions 

Also, I know most of you have done this award at some point, so if you’re one of those people, seriously, no pressure. Please just consider it a honourable mention if you’re not up for doing it again. I just really wanted to give you a shout out. Thanks for reading!

My Questions  

Choose any Anime/Manga/Movie/Novel/Comic/Graphic Novel/T.V. show for your answers

  1. Which post did you most enjoy writing this year? (provide a link please!)
  2. Who is your favorite side/supporting character? 
  3.  Which fictional character would you want to have as a mentor? 
  4. Which fictional magic system do you wish you could be a part of? 
  5. If you could speak another language what would it be and why?
  6. Name your favourite hobby outside of reading/watching anime. When did you start it?
  7. What is the best story you’ve read/watched so far this year?
  8. How would you survive a zombie apocalypse?
  9. What story are you most looking forward to this year?
  10. What is your favourite dessert of all time?
  11. What is a book/anime/movie/game that you wish everyone would read/watch/play at least once?

 

The Liebster Award (Part 2)

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THE RULES:

~ Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their post.
~ Answer the 11 questions they asked you.
~ Come up with your own set of questions.
~ Tag your chosen 11 bloggers and don’t forget to tell them as well!

I’d like to give a huge thanks A Happy Little Bookworm for the nomination!! They have an awesome blog filled with great book reviews, tags, awards and other cool original post ideas. So please head over there to check them out if you haven’t already: here

 

The Questions & My Answers

 

1) What are your favourite book to movie conversions?

This is a pretty hard one for me, since I usually dislike movie adaptations. I’m pretty sure the one I every really liked was The Hunger Games movie adaptations.

2) What genre of books are you hoping to read more of in 2018?

Fantasy and some non-fiction. Fantasy because I have so many unread ones on my shelves, and non-fiction because I almost never read any.

3) What is your favourite blog post (by a blogger other than yourself) that you’ve seen in the last 2 weeks?

In truth, I’ve actually come across quite a few amazing posts, lists, and reviews. But if I narrow it down to one, I’d have to go with “The Beating Heart of a Creative” by Kimchi-sama. I only just came across the post, but it was such a powerful one, with words and a message that I really needed to hear that I needed to share it here and ask you guys to please stop by and spend some time to read it. 

4) What is your most anticipated release for the remainder of 2018?

Book: A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

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Anime: Not including season 2+ releases- things would get a bit crazy otherwise

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Movies:

Battle Angel Altia

and Ready Player One

 

Favourite fictional couple from a book you recently finished?

Book: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

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LOVE THIS BOOK TO PIECES!! I’m not giving names, but that couple was PERFECTION!!

Manga: Noragami by Adachitoka

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I cannot tell you the joy it brought me to have finally caught up with collecting this series, and be able to finally start reading them! 

Where and when (place & time of day) do you most like to read and/or blog?

Reading: 24/7. Lol, but seriously. There is no time/place I won’t try to get away with reading. I’ll even read while walking on the street.

Blogging: Usually during commutes or once I’m home at night. 

Favourite bookish setting that you would most like to visit?

Really just about every magical/fantasy world I’ve came across lol. But the first ones that pop into my mind are:

Books:

Fire by Kristin Cashore or

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Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

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Manga:

Made in the Abyss by  Akihito Tsukushi

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Both places have their own share of dangers, but would be SOO amazing to visit in real life. Especially all those exotic creatures!

Favourite non-human character from any book you’ve read?

I primarily read books about people so I could totally just choose one, or so I thought. Once I started…well yeah…

  • Fell from Fell by David Clement-Davis
  • Soren and Gylfie from Guardians of Gahoole by Kathryn Lasky
  • Cinderpelt from Warriors series by Erin Hunter
  • Faithful from Alanna by Tamora Pierce
  • Rannoch from Fire Bringer by David Clement-Davis
  • Beast from the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter

What was a book that you didn’t like as much as you were expecting to?

Mystic by Jason Denzel

How do you track the books that you read (if at all)?

MAL for manga

Goodreads for everything (books, manga, graphic novels)

And finally, one fact that not many people know about you?

…umm…a family member and I recently built a new bookshelf for my overflowing books! Yeah! Of course…I already need another one, lol.

I’ve known my current friends for many, many years so there isn’t anything I can think of that they don’t already know…so I guess I just went with something I haven’t mentioned on my blog yet. 

 

My Questions

  1. Kiss, marry, kill. Which character (book/movie/manga/game/etc.) would you want to Kiss, Marry, or Kill?
  2. Do you still remember your favourite childhood book/TV show? If so what is it?
  3. What are some of your favourite characters?
  4. Is there a TV show/movie release you’re really looking forward to this year?
  5. iPhone or Smartphone?
  6. Do you have any hobbies other than reading?
  7. Have any hated/really disliked character(s)? Name your most despised book/manga/graphic novel/show/etc. character(s).
  8. What was the last book/manga/graphic novel you read (or anime/show/movie watched) that turned out to be unexpectedly better than you had anticipated?
  9. Which book/anime/manga/show has recently made the most impact on you?
  10.  Which fictional magic system do you wish you could be a part of? (Includes: any Anime, Manga, Movie, Novel, Comic, Graphic Novel, or T.V. show) 
  11. What is your favourite blog post? (one that you’ve done recently)

 

Nominations

Please check these bloggers out if you haven’t already. I couldn’t pick everyone that deserves it, but these are some of the best blogs I’ve come across!

Also, I know most of you have done this award at some point, so if you’re one of those people, seriously, no pressure. Please just consider it a honourable mention if you’re not up for doing it again. I just really wanted to give you a shout out. Thanks for reading!