November 23rd, 2015

Ugly Duckling by Iris Johansen

book 154:  The Ugly Duckling by Iris Johansen

This is a cross-over romantic suspence.  It started out okay.  Some parts were a bit over-the-top which allowed its romance origin to shine through, but at least the plot was relatively fast-paced and didn't wallow in sexual stereotypes.  When sex actually came, it was a bit of a let down, though.  It's like she couldn't figure out how it should happen naturally for these characters, so it felt forced and lost its potential to stir the emotions.  The later part of the book felt choppy, somewhat undeveloped, and a bit predictable.  The overall story is that a plain, boring woman who lost her family and was seriously injured in an assassination attempt is given a gorgeous new face and works with a handsome underworld agent, naturally with whom she will fall in love, to get her revenge.

InuYasha Volume 19 by Rumiko Takahashi

book 155:  InuYasha Volume 19 by Rumiko Takahashi

It turns out Sango's brother, Kohaku, was purposefully released by Naraku to lure Kagome away from her companions and dispose of her while stealing her Shikon Jewel shards.  Kohaku resists the command to kill, though, causing the group to realize that while Naraku still pulls the strings, Kohaku retains some of his own soul and could potentially be saved.  Meanwhile, Sesshomaru, InuYasha's half-brother, investigates the reason why InuYasha seems to change periodically into a full demon.  He finds out that if the transformations continue, InuYasha will eventually lose his soul and become a mindless killing machine.  The brothers' father left the sword Tetsusaiga to InuYasha to protect him from that fate.  InuYasha, concerned about not being able to easily wield the now-heavy sword (since its being repaired with his own fang) and having it consequently taken from him leaving him vulnerable to his demon blood, learns from Totosai, Tetsusaiga's creator, that to gain the strength to master the sword, he must surpass his father and defeat his father's old enemy Ryukotsusei.

Animal Dictionary by Jane Werner Watson

book 156:  Animal Dictionary by Jane Werner Watson

This is another of the Little Golden Book series.  It annoyed me more than anything.  I understand that it is simplified for the beginning reader, but you can be simple and accurate.  It has animal names and features listed in alphabetical order with an illustration and small blurb of text next to each.  I wouldn't call the text definitions, really.  Sometimes they sort of are, but other times they just give an anecdote about the animal or item in question, like "Cows give us milk.".  Several of the blurbs are either wrong or misleading.  Considering this is being presented as a non-fanciful text, I think more effort would have been into checking facts.  Plus, some of the pictures are not well researched, for example I don't think panda bears are generally that anorexic and I don't believe narwhals fish with their tusks.  Also, if you are using this book to teach the alphabet, they leave out "U" and "X" altogether.  Overall, not impressed.
smirk by geekilicious

Book 128

Dogs: Bullets & Carnage, Volume 10Dogs: Bullets & Carnage, Volume 10 by Shirow Miwa

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My enthusiasm for this is beginning to flag a bit as the story line seems to be spinning its wheels. You can tell we're near the end but both the art and the story has gotten a little sloppy and stretched.

Heine and Badou, along with Giovanni, have left Naoto behind as they go underground to face Einsturzen. Naoto follows them with Bishop but is he really a friend or an enemy pretending to be a friend?

Unfortunately for Heine (and Giovanni) Giovanni isn't quite himself and not completely in control. Worse Giovanni's brain is decompensating. As for Einsturzen, Frankenstein had nothing on her. SHe has become something as monstrous on the outside as she is on the inside.

And the rest of the volume is one protracted fight scene.

Among the fights we do get snippets of story line, history and present day but it's starting to feel like Bleach a few nuggets of story buried in so many fight scenes they've become monotonous.

I'm following this to the end which should be soon. Or at least I think I am because I like Heine and Badou (and Naoto for the most part). I just wish it balanced battle and plot better like it did in the earlier volumes.

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