Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rating : 2.5/5
Number of Pages : 192
Series : #7 Bizenghast
Format : Manga
Reason for Reading : Manga Challenge 2011

The penultimate in the series sees the final war begin. Many surprises are in store for Dinah and her friends and unfortunately most are not good. The artwork is still stunning, but it felt like mostly filler and a stepping stone to the final showdown. I loved this series at the beginning, but have gone off it lately. The story seems stilted and like it's drawn out for the sake of extending the series. My main worry is that now Tokyopop has shut down in the USA that the final installment won't get published. I really want to see how it all wraps up, despite not really enjoying this section.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

I love the OUAT Challenge. Any excuse to read fairy tale, fantasy, myth and folktale based books is good in my book (pun not intended). there were a variety of different challenge options as always and this time I went for a mix of Quest the First and Second. I specifically read five books for the challenge and tried to do one from each genre (although myth and folklore are hard to distinguish at times) and mix up the formats I read.

1. Baba Yaga Laid an Egg - Dubravka Ugresic (folklore/mythology)
2. Return to Labyrinth v4 - Jake T Forbes & Chris Lie (fantasy)
3. The Young Merlin Trilogy - Jane Yolen (folklore/mythology)
4. Howl's Moving Castle - Dianna Wynne Jones (fairy tale)
5. Fables v12 The Dark Ages - Bill Willingham (fantasy/fairy tale)

I loved all of them and can't pick a favourite. Book two was a beautifully drawn manga and book five a trade paperback. The first a mix of fiction and non fiction and books three and four young adult. I haven't written most of the reviews yet, but promise to do so in the near future and add them to the review site. I can heartily recommend all five to anyone who loves this challenge for when (it had better run again...) it happens next year.

As the challenge covers genres I love, most of the other books I have read for other challenges could also have been slotted nicely into the challenge. Here are some of my favourites :

Fairest of All - Serena Valentino (fairy tale)
The Safe Keepers Secret - Shannon Shinn (fantasy)
Fables 13-15 - Bill Willingham (fantasy/fairy tale)
Darkest Mercy - Melissa Marr (urban fairy tale)
Storm Glass - Maria V Snyder (fantasy)

Bring on Once Upon a Time VI already!

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rating : 4.0/5

Number of Pages : 327
Series : Canongate Myths Series
Format : Myth Fiction/Non Fiction
Reason for Reading : Once Upon a Time V Challenge

This is a collection of Baba Yaga myths and stories told as short stories and a letter. The first follows a writer on a voyage to Bulgaria, the land her mother is from. Her mother has recently died and she is trying to reconnect with her. The second tells of three old women taking a holiday together in a spa as we look back over some of their life choices. The final section is a letter summarising all the Baba Yaga myths and stories to an uninformed reader and it raises some very interesting questions at the end.

The book looks at growing older, femininity, the differences in the myths and stories and the unlocking of secrets long buried. I didn't know much about the myths beforehand, just the essentials that she is a witch who lives in a house with chicken legs. It was fascinating to read more and see her in a more updated setting.

This book can be read in one sitting or as three separate sections. I read it all in one go, but definitely plan on going back and reading it again (especially the final section with all the myth details). I got totally caught up in the stories and wish that all myths had such concise but incredibly detailed summaries. I love this whole series and can highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in myths and stories. It fits in really nicely with the others in the collection, it's diverse and spans many different cultures. Looking forward to continuing with more in the near future.