Monday, October 17, 2016

Manga Monday (10) : Horror Manga I want to read.

Hey everyone, welcome back to another Manga Monday! Since it's inching ever closer to Halloween I figured now would be the perfect time to share some stories that I've yet to read but sound delightfully disturbing to say the least.

In no particular order, here are my choices:

1. Jisatsu Circle by Usamaru Furuya

This series starts with 54 young women gleefully jumping in front of a train together and committing suicide. One girl name Saya Kota survives unharmed and becomes obsessed with death. She forms a Suicide Club and starts recruiting members to join. Her best friend Kyoko tries to stop her and the other members from completing their task of committing suicide. However, Kyoko quickly realizes other forces much stronger than her don't want that to happen. 

If this plot seems familiar it is. This manga is based on the 2001 Japanese film Suicide Club by Sion Sono. The Manga differentiates from the film by adding a survivor to unravel the very complicated plot and it also simplifies the story some while adding in more back story to the characters not really fleshed out in the film.

2. Emerging by Hokazono Masaya

Can a modern, westernized society stand up to the brutal forces of nature? When an ebola-like virus pops out of nowhere in the middle of Tokyo and begins brutally infecting and leaving behind a field of infectious corpses in its wake, modern Japan does not have the capablities to contain the disease behind bureaucratic red tape and laws. What would it happen if, to Shinjuku, one of the biggest districts of Tokyo, a man came to empty of his blood in the street at broad daylight? How would the political and sanitary authorities manage the drama? Think, please, about the question as long as you still have the possibility of it because for the professors Onodera and Sekiguchi it is already too late! An emergent virus begins to insinuate itself slowly into the arteries of the Japanese capital?

Emerging is a Manga after my own heart. I love Plague stories especially those based on very real viruses. For me that just makes them creepier and more intense.

3. I am Hero by Hanazawa Kengo

The story revolves around 35 year old Manga artist assistant Hideo Suzuki whose life seems to be stuck around his exhausting but low-paying job, unfulfilled dreams, strange hallucinations and unsatisfying relationships. He sees himself as a supporting character in his own life, has low self-esteem, resulting in frustration.

One day, the world as Hideo knows it is shattered by presences of a disease that turns people into homicidal maniacs, whose first instinct is to attack and devour the nearest human. Armed with only his sporting shotgun, he runs for his life, meeting strangers along the way. All the while, he and his companions struggle to stay alive, while questioning their moral choices.

I keep meaning to pick this Manga up but it always seems to slip my mind when I actually mean to. Nonetheless, I am Hero is a zombie tale that I really, really, want to read. I've heard nothing but good things about its story and plus I know a movie was based on it so I'll definitely like being able to compare and contrast the two once I've read it.

4. Apocalypse no Toride by Yuu Kuraishi

Framed and convicted of murder, Yoshiaki Maeda has just arrived at Shouran Academy Juvenile Detention Center. He is placed in Cell 4 and is soon greeted by his fellow inmates Gou Iwakura, Masafumi Yoshioka, and Mitsuru Yamanoi, all of whom have been detained on varying charges and sentences. Already believing life to be laden with misfortunes, Yoshiaki finds, to his dismay, that the prison is in the midst of a violent power struggle.

However, things are about to get even worse—little do the inmates and employees know that the outside world has been thrown into chaos by a sudden zombie apocalypse, and a van carrying infected humans has just crashed into the prison, abruptly introducing them to the undead threat.

Yup, this is another Zombie Apocalypse Manga. What can I say, I love my zombies. I don't really know much about this Manga but I was drawn to it because of the artwork and also as I mentioned already Zombies. I'm hoping to track down a copy of this soon so I can devour it.

5. Hive by  Kyusam Kim

This is not your typical invasion story. Gigantic oxygen-doped bees are attempting to dominate the human race by reversing the food chain. Lee is a middle-manager at a large company who has only one thing on his mind: save his family from the bug-apocalypse.

Yup, you heard that right this is a bug apocalypse. After reading and devouring The Hatching (not a Manga) earlier this year I've been tracking down a lot of bug related stories. This Manga or Manhwa as it is Korean fits that bill and then some.

This is a small sampling of a very long list of Manga on my tbr. These choices however are right near the top of that list so that is why they were chosen for this particular post. If you'd like to see more of my choices leave me a comment below and I might just post a pt. 2 in the coming weeks.
Well I guess that's about it for this week.
Are you excited for Halloween ?
Have any spooky reading recommendations you'd like to share?

Let me know in the comments below what you'd like me to cover in the next couple of weeks and also what you're reading or watching currently (if anything). I could use some recommendations!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Review: The Giant (Quarantine #4) by Lex Thomas

Publisher: Carolrhoda lab
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publication Date: September 1, 2016

In the violent early days of the quarantine, Gonzalo joins a gang of thieves who live in the ductwork of McKinley High School. There he falls in love with Sasha, but as he grows too big to fit, he is forced to leave without her. 

A year later, he scours the infected zone for her. No matter how many murderers, puncture wounds, or militia he has to survive, Gonzalo can't give up on Sasha. 

In the fourth installment of the Quarantine series, Lex Thomas delivers two intertwined stories about love and longing, which merge in a conclusion where the fate of the entire infected zone hangs in the balance.

*Small Spoilers Below
Quarantine: The Giant is the fourth book in the Quarantine series. As a person who felt less than fulfilled by the conclusion to the story in The Burnouts (the supposed last story in the series btw) I was really happy to learn that the story would continue in The Giant. However, that excitement quickly faded once I had the book in my hands and here's why:

My first issue right off the bat with The Giant had to be the story. Now I feel like I should note that I  love the world and most of the characters within it but I was really disappointed once it became obvious this was more a companion tale than an outright sequel to the main story. Had this been marketed as a companion maybe I'd feel differently but  as far as I can tell this is supposed to be in the main line and help bridge the gap between Book 3 The Burnouts and the yet announced Book 5 in the series. 

Which brings me to issue Number 2. Did we really need a full length novel following Gonzalo? I'm sure many will disagree with me on this but I don't believe so. The Giant really felt like filler vs. serving a purpose to further along the much more complicated and larger plot. I say this because we still don't know many details about the epidemic. You know, the whole point of the series in the first place. Instead Gonzalo who is a fascinating character I should point out spends most of the story obsessing over a girl who he barely had time to form a real relationship with in the first place. In the grand scheme of things their relationship was just that of two kids crushing on each other  because they were both available and damaged by the events at the school vs. having a deeply formed unbreakable bond like that of say Hermione and Ron from The Harry Potter series or Katniss & Gale or I suppose Peta from The Hunger Games. Both of those couples suffered  intensely but still managed to make their relationships feel genuine. 

Now despite my many issues to the contrary The Giant wasn't all bad. 

First off, I appreciated that the Author at least mentioned characters from the first books. Sure, I'd rather have another full book following The Loners but at least they were mentioned as still being around and trying to resolve their situation now that they are "Free".

Secondly, I really was happy to see some of the main scenes from the first two books from an outsiders perspective. The moment The Loners unite is a big one and it's cool seeing Gonzalo's part in that through his eyes. 

Lastly, even though I hated watching Gonzalo's obsession with Sasha it did at least allow us to see more of the world inside the quarantine zone. His travels also establish that the more things change the more they stay the same. 

Final Thoughts
I hate wrapping up any review on a sour note but I truly wish the Author chose to continue on with  the main story  and characters outside of Quarantine instead of writing a full length novel following one of the many side characters throughout the series. Did this character have a story to tell? Absolutely! Did it need a full novel to tell it? No, it did not. 

With that being said, I'll be rating Quarantine: The Giants by Lex Thomas ★★★.

*Copy reviewed won through publisher giveaway. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any which way for providing them.

About the Author(s)
Lex Thomas is the pen name for the writing team of Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies. Their first novel, QUARANTINE: THE LONERS, earned a starred review from Booklist, and Huffington Post Books praised it, saying, "You will not be able to put this book down."

Lex received a BA in Drama and English from the University of Virginia and has worked as an actor, director and writer. Thomas graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, and now writes, and exhibits his realist oil paintings in Los Angeles.

Lex and Thomas met in a writers' group in Los Angeles. Their friendship developed as they tried to blow each other's minds with clips from bizarre movies. In 2005, they became a screenwriting team, and found that writing with a friend is much more fun than doing it alone.

Visit them at

If you would like to read my review of Quarantine: The Loners you may do so by clicking here!
If you would like to read my review of Quarantine: The Saints you may do so by clicking here!
If you would like to read my review of  Quarantine: The Burnout you may do so by clicking here!