cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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books 7-9

Bleach #28 by Tite Kubo

In all honesty, I think this manga could be improved by taking the core group and cutting down the other characters and never see them again. There are just so many and this manga ends up offering up even more.

Easy to sum this one up. Aizen and his men are plotting. They think they have Orihime under their thumb. Orihime gains better understanding of her powers and thinks she can foil Aizen. Ichigo, Uryu & Chad are in Hueco Mundo to save Orihime. Renji & Rukia show up to save Ichigo et al who have run across some bizarre hollows including the one of a child, Nell, who becomes attacked to Ichigo. It ends up with Ichigo fighting a disgraced Arrancar who wants to kill him to regain Aizen’s graces.

It’s your standard Bleach stuff. It’s not horrible but I wouldn’t buy it either. Glad the library has it.

Daniel X: Watch the Skies by James Patterson & Ned Rust

I recently read a review where they complained James is only in it for the money and seeing the sheer amount of chapters for OTHER books (I think there were 5) attached to this I can see where that argument came from. I know this is the second in the series. I missed the first (had a different co-author too) but you didn’t really need it.

Was this James Patterson at his best? Not even close. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t bad. In fact it was entertaining enough, a very fast read but it’s like popcorn, eaten then forgotten. I’m having trouble remembering the beginning and I read the thing in a day. Daniel isn’t going to stay with me I’m afraid.

So, who is Daniel? He’s an Alparian alien hunter who can make himself look human. His powers include mostly whatever he can imagine. He points his finger and imagines it’s a gun, bang it’s a gun. Daniel was orphaned by Alien #1 (on the List’s top most wanted list) but that doesn’t stop him. Daniel is accompanied on his hunting down of wanted aliens by a gaggle of friends…all imaginary but he can make his imaginary friends real, which he does, along with his murdered parents and sister. His friends are your archetypical computer geek, affable muscle, vegetarian-feminist-animal rights activist etc. In fact, really, there are a whole lot of Larry Stu-ism and cardboard cutout action heroes going on. Daniel is personable enough to get you past that…almost.

Daniel has to foil #5, fish-like creature who turns out to be an alien director/producer, using and killing humans to get intergalactic ratings (didn’t I see this in the Longshot comic books back in the late 80’s-early 90’s?). #5 is also using the ladies of the town to help him take over the world. It’s meant to be darkly funny and it does work. Would I run out and buy it? No but that’s what libraries are for.

Lost Souls by Lisa Jackson

In spite her being a multiple NY bestselling author, this is the first time I’ve read her work that I know of. The library has multiple books by her and after this, I will not be racing to get them. It starts out interesting enough. Kristi Bentz is going back to school to be a crime writer. Her dad is New Orleans Super Cop. Kristi ignores his concerns about All Souls College where four women have gone missing. When she gets there, as an English major, taking one forensic class being taught by Jay McKnight, her former high school sweetheart (gee wonder where THIS is going to go). Naturally Kristi has to look into the case to get her first big true crime story.

This thing hinges on coincidence, way too much really. I did try to see if Kristi was in other books by Jackson (goodreads has this as book #6 in the New Orleans series but the names weren’t the same in 4 or 5…) because she’s been the target of a serial killer not once but twice already and she’s only 27. Setting her up as a waitress and taking vampire in literature classes with a vampire cult on campus that all four girls belonged to, just telegraphs ‘hey Kristi will be caught by the vampire dude by the end.’ Three times a victim? The coincidences get worse, she ends up renting one of the missing girl’s apartment. The apt manager, a young man, Hiram, knew Tara the missing girl and is in all Tara and now Kristi’s classes. Next coincidence, naturally is Jay taking a night job at the college while working days in the crime lab in N.O. Next coincidence, Kristi’s former college roommate is now teaching at the college and warns her about the cult and the list goes on.

Still, it was interesting enough until about just past the halfway mark then it goes entirely off the rails. Everyone has to act like an unprofessional moron in order for this plot to work. (and since it’s such an obvious plot that makes it even worse). Jay doesn’t go to the cops with the stuff Kristi has found out, the cops never even bother to look into the disappearances etc. It hurts the story’s case as well that at this Catholic college, the priest has suddenly hired nothing but hunky men for the English department (has this ever happened on a campus anywhere and they might ALL be in on it??). Not to mention that this college doesn’t function like a real college at all in fundamental ways that like 10 minutes of research would have fixed. (as a professor myself, I’d like to see a school where the teachers have time enough to deck out the room in proto-vampire style or has a schedule that has NO professor names on it and you get whatever time slot the computer says you do. Stuff like that, annoying).

I started skimming when it was obvious the villains were recreating Elizabeth Barthoy’s Blood Countess stuff. Then they made eye-rollingly bad connections to the actual countess and I started skimming in earnest just to get to the end. Which was predictable, stupid and made worse by an epilogue that promises another book with these people. There were so many clichés and plotlines needing fools to push it forward that by the end it’s painful.

Tags: manga, mystery, young adult

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