cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Books 116- 117

KahlessKahless by Michael Jan Friedman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

More like a 2.5. I just couldn't get into this one. It's told in alternating chapters. In the present day, the clone of Kahless and the emotional state of the Klingon empire is on a knife's edge. A scroll in the original Kahless's own hand has turned up and it blows the mythos out of the water. It would be the equivalent of Jesus's diary showing up and we learn he was just a man who did great things with the help of friends and that maybe that really great thing we thought he did, actually that was Peter. That is what the Klingons are facing and Worf's faith is shaken.

So the present story line follows an embattled Kahless with Worf, Kurn and Picard to help save Kahless and Goworn from a conspiracy to overthrown Goworn and Kahless and to sever all ties to the Federation (mixed in with a little Alexander angst that honestly goes nowhere).

The past storyline is the 'actual' story of Kahless who ended up an accidental outlaw who didn't really want to overthrow the evil overlord Molor but eventually was led to that point. Some of the stories of Kahless we heard during the actual series pops up here but in a more believable form and then, as stories do, we see the story inflate into the mythos we know the Klingons have about Kahless.

Maybe it was just overly long (about 300 pages) or something but it seemed to drag. I wasn't invested in any of it. Picard just seems to be along for the ride and honestly the story could have been told without changing much if he were gone. I've had this in my TBR pile for a decade so I'm glad I got it read so I can move it on out of here. I won't be keeping this one.

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Itsuwaribito, Vol. 1Itsuwaribito, Vol. 1 by Yuuki Iinuma

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One of my students recommended this one and I have to say I'm being generous with that third star. It's more like a 2.5. The art is good, reminding me of Rurouni Kenshin or Naruto somehow. I would put the storyline at Naruto's younger audience level.

It's an interesting idea but the execution isn't quite there. Utsuho was overly honest as a child which lead to his village and parents being murdered by Itsuwaribitos, liars, thieves, criminals, sort of the worst of the worst. He was raised by monks but he spent most of his time getting good at explosions and lying and thieving. Still, the head monk inspired Utsuho and after something terrible happens he wants to use his abilities to lie and cheat to help people who won't find help through honest means.

So an interesting beginning. The next story is also interesting and he acquires his traveling companion, the very naive, young talking tanuki, Poochi.

And then it starts going off the rails a little. Like Naruto, Utsuho is very loud and brash and that's just not my sort of character. Utsuho and Poochi travel the countryside looking for other people to help and basically crossing every other Itsuwaribito they meet. The problem is Utsuho's lies and tricks are too shallow. He says one thing and next panel over, oops no I was lying. Wait that was a lie too. This gets tiring after a while and character development comes to a halt.

If the library system had this, I would maybe read another volume or two but at the time of this review it doesn't. I know this is a rather popular manga but it's not for me.

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Tags: manga, sci-fi

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