Pre-Hiatus Review Highlights

Hey guys! I’d just like to do an overall highlight of some of the reviews posted before I went on hiatus. I missed doing one for the months prior and would still like to highlight a few, so here’s a condensed overview of the reviews I posted before going on break (Click on the title to read more):

Best Snowball (Series)
*By “Snowball” I mean a series/book that starts incredibly slow, but is worth the wait*

Shaman King, Vol.1: A Shaman in Tokyo by Hiroyuki Takei

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The series is about a young Shaman named Yoh, who in the first volume is starting at a new school in Tokyo…Through a series of events which involve ghosts, supernatural occurrences, and encounters with a “thug” named Ryu, Manta and Yoh become friends…In this volume we are introduced to Admidamaru, a 600-year-old samurai ghost and to a fellow Shaman named Ren who has a particularly sinister interest in Yoh and Admidamaru…

I give Shaman King, Vol. 1: A Shaman in Tokyo a rating of 7 out of 10 Unicorn Horns. Overall the story was not amazingly entertaining, but that did not bother me at all because the story quickly picks up towards the end and you can easily identify the main focus/purpose of this initial volume in the series.

Best Artwork

Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodríguez

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After their father is killed, Tyler, Kinsey and Bode move to the family estate, Keyhouse in Lovecraft, Massachusetts with their mother Nina….The youngest of the Lovecraft siblings, Bode, comes across a key that unlocks a Ghost Door which separates the soul of the person who “walks” through from their body. In the nature of all good fiction the story is not easy sailing from then on and the family soon has much more to worry about than just healing and moving forward.

I give Locke and Key a well deserved 7.25 Unicorn Horns out of a possible 10. In addition to the well executed storyline this graphic novel has exceptional artwork. Gabriel Rodríguez’s illustrations in this series is mind-blowing and his art style lends itself so well to the story.

Best Character Development

Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 1 by Mizuho Kusanagi

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Yona of the Dawn is a fantasy set in a kingdom called Kohka. The story centers around main character princess Yona as she prepares for her 16th birthday. Yona, the only child of widow King IL, is a pampered young lady, but things quickly change. Very quickly. As most know nothing good happens for royalty on their coming-of-age birthdays. 

Rating: 8.5/10 Unicorn Horns. I did NOT at all expect for this story to turn out the way it did. I can promise watching this fiery spirited princess transition into a determined warrior with open eyes to the reality of her kingdom is every bit worth it.

Most Thought-Provoking Story

The Beauty, Vol. 1 by Jason A. Hurley & Jeremy Haun

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“Two years ago , a new sexually transmitted disease took the world by storm. This S.T.D. was unlike any other that had come before. This was a disease that people actually wanted. “Victims” of this epidemic were physically changed by the virus. Fat melted away, thinning hair returned, skin blemishes faded, and their facial features slimmed. It became known as the beauty.” Pg. 1 of The Beauty

Rating: 9.5/10 Unicorn Horns! One thing I loved was the bits of real life socially controversial thoughts and ideas about beauty woven in here and there…

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Monthly Highlights – March

Well…this Wrap-Up style post is going up quite far into the month of April. I didn’t want to miss out on doing one for the month of March, so I decided it’s better late than never! Let’s do this!

So, here are my selections for the four categories I chose for this Monthly Highlights post!

Best Artwork/Illustrations 

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Title & Author: I Hate Fairyland, Volume 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young

Series: I Hate Fairyland

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 8/10 Unicorn Horns

Synopsis:  “An Adventure Time/Alice in Wonderland-style epic that smashes its cute little face against grown-up, Tank Girl/Deadpool-esque violent madness. Follow Gert, a forty year old woman stuck in a six year old’s body who has been trapped in the magical world of Fairyland for nearly thirty years. Join her and her giant battle-axe on a delightfully blood-soaked journey to see who will survive the girl who HATES FAIRYLAND.”  Goodreads

Most Underrated Read 

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Title & Author: Fires of Invention by J. Scott Savage

Series: Mysteries of Cove

Genre: Fantasy – Steampunk

Rating: 8/10 Unicorn Horns

Synopsis:Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and “invention” is a curse word.

Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, whose father died in an explosion—an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.

Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlike anything they’ve ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on—and quite possibly their very lives.” –Goodreads

 

Most Interesting Powers/Magic System  

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Title & Author: Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan & Deborah Biancotti

Series: Zeroes

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: 7/10 Unicorn Horns

Synopsis: Don’t call them heroes.

But these six Californian teens have powers that set them apart. They can do stuff ordinary people can’t.

Take Ethan, a.k.a. Scam. He’s got a voice inside him that’ll say whatever you want to hear, whether it’s true or not. Which is handy, except when it isn’t—like when the voice starts gabbing in the middle of a bank robbery. The only people who can help are the other Zeroes, who aren’t exactly best friends these days.

Enter Nate, a.k.a. Bellwether, the group’s “glorious leader.” After Scam’s SOS, he pulls the scattered Zeroes back together. But when the rescue blows up in their faces, the Zeroes find themselves propelled into whirlwind encounters with ever more dangerous criminals. And at the heart of the chaos they find Kelsie, who can take a crowd in the palm of her hand and tame it or let it loose as she pleases.

Filled with high-stakes action and drama, Zeroes unites three powerhouse authors for the opening installment of a thrilling new series.” –Goodreads 

 

Worst Overall Read  

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Title & Author: The Edge of Never by J. A. Redmerski

Series: The Edge of Never

Genre: Romance

Rating: 2/10 Unicorn Horns

Synopsis: Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.

Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.

But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?” –Goodreads

Updates Going Forward

Hello Everyone! So, as I mentioned in a recent post (I Have Returned!) there will  be a few changes here on Maniacal Book Unicorn going forward and I want to go into further details about those changes in this post.

While I was on hiatus I re-evaluated a few goals that I had set for myself when I first started this blog. There were a couple of things that I had set out to accomplish each month in order to have a wider variety of the types of Book Reviews that I posted. I had met most of the ‘variety’ related tasks I wanted to accomplish with the exception of two…which I will go on to bore you with 🙂

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1. A Romance Book Review each month – I don’t tend to read very much romance related content so this is something that I have to remain conscience of so that there can be more variation in the genres/sub-genres of fiction that I review. So far I have posted a few romance related book reviews, mostly New Adult novels, but it’s something I have to hold myself accountable for.

2. A New Release Book Review each month – I have not been nearly as disciplined with this goal. A good portion of the reviews that are posted here on MBU were not read very recently before writing the review. And in cases where I have recently read the book I am reviewing it’s generally not something that was published within the past 60 days. So, going forward I want to ensure that each month I post one book review of a novel/graphic novel/manga that was published within the 60 days before I post the review.

There is also a couple things that I want to have posted each month that are not book review specific and that are also fairly new ideas that I mulled over while I was gone, and have decided to go ahead with doing. Once again allow me to bore you with aforementioned ‘things’ lol. 

1. A Post that is not a Book Review – Each month I want to make sure that there is something that goes up throughout the month that is  not a book review. I grappled with this idea before I had started this Blog, but I never felt confident/comfortable enough to actually put myself out there like that. Although I am still very nervous and apprehensive about doing this, many a people wiser than I have said that a person must take risks. So in the spirit of taking a leap of faith I will be posting a D.I.Y., sample of writing, discussion post, etc. each month.

2. A ‘Monthly Wrap-Up’ Post – Now that I’ve aired out all that self-doubt lol…I will let you know about this next goal, which I’m actually pretty excited about. Some of my favorite types of posts on book-/reading-centric blogs are those of the ‘Monthly Wrap-Up’ variety, and I want to try my hand at doing one each month as well. The way that I have decided to do this is to feature four picks from what I have read/reviewed that month that best matches four questions from a list of about 20 that I have created. I plan to post the list of questions sometime before I post the first Monthly Wrap-Up this month, I just have a bit of ironing out to do because some of the questions are quite similar at the moment.

Thank you for patiently reading through this post and I look forward to exploring new territory and having new experiences on Maniacal Book Unicorn! Happy Reading! 

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