May 15th, 2016

yellow roses

April 2016 reading

April 2016 reading:

7. Spice & Wolf: Volume 6, by Isuna Hasekura (232 pages)
Lawrence and Holo decide to go after Eve, seeking restitution, but they find that's easier said than done. Eve is wily and blocks the river with a wrecked ship, leaving them to determine their path. They also meet young Col, who joins them on their trek. Gathering rumors, Holo and Lawrence uncover a possible Church plot, which makes seeking Eve even more important.

8. Spice & Wolf: Volume 7, by Isuna Hasekura (208 pages)
This is a series of short stories. Holo is a character in the first, though not the perspective character. This may take place post-series but the timeline is unclear, and Lawrence doesn't appear. The second is a side story after Lawrence was stabbed shortly into their trip involving buying Holo's town girl outfit, from Lawrence's perspective. The third story is from Holo's perspective, and takes place during her illness after the heist pulled off with Norah the Shepherdess--and a lot of Holo is revealed in it. All were enjoyable.

April pages: 440

Pages to date: 2,197

Progress: 8/52


April 2016 comics/manga reading:

82. Revival: Volume 6, by Tim Seeley (144 pages)
83. What Did You Eat Yesterday?: Volume 1, by Fumi Yoshinaga (200 pages)
84. Case Closed: Volume 57, by Gosho Aoyama (192 pages)
85. Black Widow: Volume 3, by Nathan Edmondson (178 pages)
86. Dance in the Vampire Bund II, Scarlet Order: Volume 1, by Nozomu Tamaki (192 pages)
87. Legendary Star-Lord: Volume 2, by Sam Humphries (160 pages)
88. Guardians of Knowhere, by Brian Michael Bendis (112 pages)

April pages: 1,178

Pages to date: 16,000

Progress: 88/200
book collector

Book 47

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater




It's always hard to review the last in a series without giving it all away. Let's just say I'm very happy with how it ended (and Ronan's closing lines that suggest these characters could be back for more down the road.) I think a lot of the shippers will be very happy but if I have any quibbles (and I do) it might be with the execution of the ships.

I admit it, I'm probably upping the star count just a bit but when I think of all the series I've read lately and how much crap I've waded through, it deserves that last star. I did find the pacing of this one a bit uneven and there is a lot of strange stuff, including new characters (several of them) which seemed an odd choice, especially Henry Cheng. Oh yeah he's been around here and there but he seemed to get nearly as much 'screen time' as several of the others. Luckily he's a likeable character. The pacing issues for me were more evident at the beginning and ending (which is odd usually it's the middle that gets muddy). It's a bit slow to go and the ending is chaotic. In fact there's almost no looking for Glendower til the last third. There is also this repetitive device being used which will either work for you or irritate the crap out of you.

It can't be easy to try and tie up the various plot threads of all the Raven boys, dead and alive (now including Henry), Blue, Maura, The Grayman, the Greenmantles, the other Lynches, Gwenllian and Artemus. That might account for some of the pacing issues. For a good part of the book, Ronan and his dreaming is central. Gansey and his 'president's men' as Henry calls them is also Central. Blue's role is muddier. I felt more like no one really knew to do with Blue through half of this.

It seems like I'm talking only about the negative and maybe that's because I don't want to give away all that was good about this and spoil it for everyone. (and there is a slight spoiler after this). And there was plenty of good. Finding Glendower went to the logical (if a bit anticlimactic) conclusion. Surely everyone knows Blue is eventually going to kiss Gansey and that was...strange. Not how I thought it would play out in many ways. It was nearly a magical kiss in the darkest sense of the word. In fact, dark is a good word for this whole book. This one borders on horror in a very good way. The other kiss in the book seemed out of the blue (no pun intended), well not for one of the participants but sort of for the recipient since the ideas of bisexuality and mutual attraction were perhaps to subtle for me (or not there at least as far as my memory can recall but you can't trust that). On the other hand, it would be an interesting partnership.

I did love this whole series. I'm sorry it's over. I didn't want to finish reading it because then it would all be over. On the other hand I had to read it because I had to know how it ended. Ironically, Gansey said the same thing about finding Glendower. And earlier when I said she tried to tie up all the plot lines, I didn't mean there was a nice neat bow at the end. A lot of characters are left unresolved. You'll see. And oh, I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Stiefvater on her book tour in Cincinnati and she was funny, energetic and kind. Just saying.



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