cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Books 89 & 90

No. 6: The Manga, Volume 09 (No. 6: The Manga, #9)No. 6: The Manga, Volume 09 by Atsuko Asano

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

No. 6 volume nine ends the series and it's hard to review of course without spoiling the ending. I will say that it is happier than I expected but a little too easy too. There will be a few mild spoilers in this since I just can't avoid them.

It opens with Shion, Dogskeeper and Rikiga desperately trying to find Rat medical help before he bleeds out and they do manage to find a doctor to help. As seen in the last volume, the correctional facility is burning and the walls around No 6 are falling. The citizens, upstanding and otherwise, are being gunned down.

Yomin is trying to foment rebellion but Shion manages to stop them. We learn the truth behind No. 6 and Rat's true destiny. Shion's too.

That's where it is a bit too easy. The threat ends too easily and the clean up of what’s left of the town is also too easy. But it is happy except for one thing. It's a tough one for the shippers but it is open ended. I know this was adapted from a novel. Now I wish I could read those myself. I'm not sure if there is more or if we'd ever see if there is. I'll just say I loved this series. It's beautifully drawn and well told. Shion and Rat are wonderful characters.

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The Other Side of MidnightThe Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Now this is how historical mysteries should be written. I felt immersed in the 1920s. The writing was atmospheric. I do have to say that like most of St James's historical mysteries this is both a standalone and thick with the paranormal.

Ellie is the Fantastique like her mother before her, a psychic who can see the dead and find lost objects. However in the last years of her mother's life, Mom was debunked by James from The New Society group who does psychic research. Ellie now only does lost objects and refuses to talk to ghosts. That is until George Sutter darkens her door. His sister, Gloria, was murdered at a séance and throw into a pond but before attending the séance Gloria had left a note 'tell Ellie to find me,' as if she knew these were her last days.

And she probably did because like Ellie, Gloria was a true psychic. Against her better judgment, Ellie does it. After all she and Gloria had been good friends before their falling out. Gloria was one of the few true psychics in the world, the only one Ellie knew outside of herself and her mother, a kindred spirit. And while Ellie was a strong, independent woman she was far more traditional. Gloria was the epitome of a London Flapper, a complete hedonist, drinking and partying all night, taking lovers where she would.

Ellie is left trying to figure out why Gloria broke her own rules about going to a house to do a séance instead of doing it in her own flat and why she didn't tell Davies, the harsh unpleasant woman who was her de facto manager (and potentially wannabe lover depending on how you want to read it). Why did Gloria take a job suggested by Fitzroy a wealthy wastrel who used to be Gloria's lover? What role did Ramona, a fake psychic play in this since she too was there? And is it possible Gloria's estranged brother George works for MI5?

As Ellie works her way through all this, she meets back up with James from the New Society. She has such conflicted feelings about him. James ruined her mother and her by extension in the process of doing his job as an investigator. On the other hand, she knows she lusts for him, is half in love with him. His skills as an investigator would come in handy.

The story weaves the past and present back and forth into an interesting tapestry. I almost gave it five stars but I thought the end was a bit weak, one of those you didn't quite have enough to solve it. Also, ghosts play a huge part in the ending. Still, I enjoyed this one.

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Tags: dystopia, historical mysteries, manga, paranormal, sci-fi

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