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Friday, December 29, 2017

One-Punch Man Vol 1 - ONE

In a world where villains and supernatural creatures are bombarding the citizens and destroying cities, superheroes are needed to keep the world safe. Saitama is one such hero. Sort-of. Saitama seeks out these monsters to challenge his strength and speed. The only problem is he's far better than any enemy he comes up against.

He's given up hope of ever finding a worthy opponent, but life has a funny way of providing other challenges. An aspiring superhero is so impressed by Saitama he begs to be his apprentice. Saitama agrees, but he's no teacher. Both he and his apprentice fumble around trying to figure out how to make their working relationships lucrative for them both.

One-Punch Man is a hilarious parody of the popular super hero shows in Japan. Well-known tropes constantly make an appearance and ONE manages to twist them on their heads and make me laugh out loud. If you love action anime and need a laugh, give this series a try.

Books in the Series:
One-Punch Man Volume 2
One-Punch Man Volume 3
One-Punch Man Volume 4

Television Series:
One-Punch Man

Monday, December 25, 2017

Now updating Mondays and Fridays!

Things are changing and I have more time to spend doing one of my favorite things: Reading! This means more reviews posted each week. I will once again be updating both Monday and Fridays starting in January!

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Circle - Dave Eggers

When Annie first offers Mae a job at the technology giant, The Circle, Mae turns it down at first. But after she grows tired of her dead end job and horrible boss, she decides to take the offer.

"Customer Experience" is easy for Mae, but when she finds being social both on campus and online somewhat challenging at first. Her loyalty to the company is questioned when she disappears for a weekend to care for her family, but when it's revealed the company can get her parents on much needed medical coverage, Mae quickly changes her attitude. Wooed by campus culture and tantalized by a mysterious lover who comes and goes unbidden, Mae sinks deeper into isolation from the real world.

As Mae's status grows in the company and she rises in popularity on social media, she abandons her old life and her humanity.

While I enjoyed the story and seeing how far the CEOs of The Circle were willing to go to complete their vision, I found Mae to be an extremely bland character. With the novel being written in third person limited there should have been more internal conflict and personal revelation in the narrative.

The Circle illustrates how some people may be easily led, while others will resist until the end. Worth reading for political and social commentary, but not for character development.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Tuning the Symphony - William C Tracy

Rilan Ayama has been training to become full Majus for years, practicing her talents in changing the Grand Symphony. Although she will be facing the tests alone against the instructors, she will be graded against her rival Vethis and only one of them can become Majus. The other will have to wait months before they can even attempt to move out of apprenticeship again.

Rilan is confident in her abilities, but when she receives a cryptic message from her closest friend Origon, she's thrown off her game. When it's all over, she's finally able to meet with Origon, who reveals he needs to travel off-world to find his brother. Instead of going straight to her duties, Rilan agrees to travel with Origon to lend her emotional support and symphonic abilities.

The mystery of his brother leads them to risk their own lives in search of answers.

During the first portion of the book the reader is treated to amazing synaesthetic prose, where Rilan changes the colors of the symphony to suit her needs. It reminded me of my own experiences with music->color synaesthesia. The story moves quickly on to Rilan and Origon's relationship and then on to traumatic experiences as they search to discover what happened to Origon's brother. This short but intense piece was a delight to read and even contains illustrations of the various species for the reader to better visualize the interaction between species. I look forward to reading more offerings from this author, especially if they are set in the same universe.

Books in the Series:
Merchants and Maji: Two Tales of the Dissolutionverse

Recommended Reads:
Singers of Nevya - Louise Marley
Singer From the Sea - Sherri S. Tepper
Singer of All Songs - Kate Constable

Friday, December 1, 2017

Power Rangers - Alexander Irvine

Jason was a star football player on the varsity team until he got caught pulling a prank on school grounds. Kimberly, a classic queen bee, is in trouble for punching somebody in the face. Thrill-seeking Zack bumps into Trini, a trouble maker herself, on one of his adventures. Then there's sweet and awkward Billy. Nobody's really sure how he got in detention.

Fate brings these five teens together and they suddenly find themselves at the center of a battle with an ancient evil who has just awakened. With the help of Alpha Five and Zordon, the teens must come together as a team to save earth. If they each can't awaken the power within them to awaken the ancient power of the Zords deep beneath the earth, their planet may be doomed.

The hit 90s TV series by the same name was campy and filled with the typical moral lessons expected of the time. This movie novelization is a far-cry from the original. Where in the original the teens were good role models for the target audience of kids, this new version shows troubled kids who must each overcome their own issues: performance pressure, peer pressure, belonging, carelessness, and familial obligation. Although much grittier in nature, the book still has moments of corny humor hearkening back to its predecessor.

I found myself rolling my eyes at many moments, but also smiling in fond memory. This novelization is nothing special, but it is fun to read.

Movie:
Saban's Power Rangers 2017

Original Series:
Might Morphin' Power Rangers - The Complete Series