My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This volume deals with the aftermath of Laxus’s rebellion and presents us with the fantasia celebration. No sooner than that is done, it starts laying the ground work for the next big arc. Before it gets to that, life at Fairy Tail gets back to normal, with Lucy needing to make her rent. However, just as she’s about to go on a big mission with her friends, her father arrives, destitute. As he had given her a rather unhappy childhood and recently tried to force her home into a marriage, Lucy isn’t willing to help him. However, when she hears he might be walking into a trap, she does go to save him. Lucy has finally really grown from the girl we met in the first chapter. Yes, she still a bit flighty and lazy but she has gotten stronger, braver.
Then she, Erza, Gray and Natsu (and Happy) are selected to join a multi-guild alliance. A new Dark Guild has arisen, the Oracion Seis. They are only six members strong but deemed so dangerous that the guilds are banding together to put a stop to them. As they travel to meet their new team, the mangaka manages to introduce fourteen new characters at once (well a couple of them are older but we’ve not seen them in ages). The Blue Pegasus guild sends three young guys who look straight out of Ouran High School Host Club with their older leader, who keep trying to sniff everyone’s ‘perfume’ (and that includes the toilet’s), Lamia Scale has two members that have a checkered past with the Fairy Tail members and Cait Shelter sends only one little girl, mysteriously enough. However, impetuous mages and big egos mean the new alliance isn’t all it could be and Oracion Seis is deadly serious about taking them out.
This series is just fun. Yeah there’s plenty of fan service but for every big boob and panty shot, we have mostly naked Gray so it balances. Mashima doesn’t draw kids well though, proportion wise. Other than that I like the art, the characters are fun and I’m hoping this won’t turn into nothing but battles like last arc since I’m quickly bored with that.
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Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I picked up this book since the library had three of the series, looking brand new and because it dealt with psychometry, which I enjoy. My fear was that it would be too high school for me. I do enjoy YA books but some don’t make the leap to being enjoyed by all ages as well as others. This wasn’t bad (though if I weren’t scads of years beyond the target age I might have liked it even better).
Camelia (whose real name might actually be chameleon) is a young girl who nearly died one day after school as a car careens towards her. She is saved by a young man who races off immediately afterward but not before he examines her to sure she’s okay. His touch, however, was odd, leaving a lasting impression on her. When the new semester of school starts, Camelia is hanging with her two friends Kimmie (who wants to be a fashion designer and many of her lines revolve around this) and Wes (who never seems to develop beyond ‘quirky’) when she sees the boy who saved her. Ben is new to the school and he comes complete with a newly christened nickname, Ben the Butcher. Rumor has it he had killed his girlfriend but they couldn’t prove it.
Naturally Camelia wants to meet him and at least thank him for saving her life but Ben’s not interested in talking. They end up lab partners but the student body is in no mood to be forgiving of Ben’s rumored past. Parents are calling up to get him thrown out even though he’s done nothing. Much to Kimmie and Wes’s chagrin, Camelia is attracted to Ben.
To make matters worse, someone is leaving pictures, notes and gifts at Camelia’s house. At first she thinks it’s a joke by Wes but as time goes on the notes get more stalkerish. Unknown to Camelia, her stalker is real and getting more unstable as time goes on as evidenced by a journal the reader is privy too. Kimmie tries to get Camelia interested in going out with John, or she’ll make a play for him herself. John seems interested, Camelia is not. Nor is she interested in Matt, a friend she went out with for a couple weeks before downgrading the relationship to just friends again. Matt is still in the picture, though. And it looks like her mentor at Knead, a pottery shop, might have an unhealthy interest in her too. Spencer could just be an adult looking to guide a young pupil or he could be the stalker.
As Camelia goes out a few times with Ben two things happen: the stalker’s notes get more demanding and Ben finally confides in her that he can perform psychometry and that she is in danger. She’s not sure she can believe him and with pressure from friends it’s easy to believe he’s the stalker of her and a girl named Debbie who is also getting notes. But if Ben is right, then her life is in danger.
Over all, it’s an entertaining read. Camelia is a good, smart character. Kimmie isn’t bad. Ben is also well done. Camelia’s parents are well drawn too but it seems too coincidental that her mom is having troubles right now because several plot points just wouldn’t work if she had attentive parents. Being a quick read, I might pick up the new one from the library.
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