Book Reviews

Manga Classics: Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

Title: Manga Classics: Sense and Sensibility
Author: Stacy King
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sense and Sensibility is my second favorite Jane Austen novel, so I was a little hesitant going into this manga since it has a lot to live up to. 

The Dashwood family lived at Norland Park in Sussex, England. We find John Dashwood visiting his sickly father, Henry. Henry’s dying wish is for John to take care of his mother and sisters as John is left with the entire estate. With the suggestion of his atrocious wife, Franny, John doesn’t give his sisters and mother-in-law any money, but only a place to stay.

When Franny’s brother, Edward, arrives, Elinor becomes quite attached to him. However, Edward’s sister disapproves and makes it clear to the Dashwood ladies. After a letter from Sir John Middleton, he offers the lady Dashwoods a home in a nearby cottage. While at dinner the next night, the girls meet Colonel Brandon, who quickly becomes enraptured with Miss Marianne; however, she deems him far too old for any romance connection.

One day while out walking, it starts to rain, Marianne sprains her ankle, and Willoughby comes to her rescue. As things start to become steamy between the two, Willoughby is sent to London on business by his aunt. Is that the real reason, though?

The Middletons receive two new guests: Anne and Lucy Steele, who are young women like Elinor. They have a secret. What is it? And does it affect our Miss Dashwoods?

Will Elinor and Marianne ever find true love? Or will things continue in a downward spiral for them?

Of course, nothing can compare to the original! However, this was only slightly behind. This would be a great read for someone who can’t quite read Jane Austen books yet. As I usually say, these Manga Classics are so pleasant because they breakdown the stories, still portraying the intended message, but weed out all of the ineffective descriptions. The only thing I was a little disappointed with, is that Margaret was kind of just thrown in at the end. I almost forgot about her. And in the original, we see Edward interact with her and it makes my heart melt! Otherwise, another great manga by Manga Classics and Stacy King!

 

Book Reviews

Manga Classics: Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

Title: Manga Classics: Jane Eyre
Author: Stacy King
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

We start our story in England in the early nineteenth century. Jane Eyre is living with her aunt after the death of her parents. After constantly being treated unkindly by her aunt and cousins, Jane is given the opportunity to attend school, which she immediately takes.

Little did Jane know that school would not be much better. The older children tricked the younger ones out of food, clothes were thin against the cold, and hygiene was sparse. However, she soon finds solace out of new friend, Helen Burns, and teacher, Miss Temple. But nothing good ever stays long for little Jane.

After Jane Eyre finishes school, she becomes a governess at Thornfield. On her way to deliver a message, she helps a man who has fallen off of his horse. Before she can figure out who he is, he leaves.

The poor girl…after finding true love, she is deceived and not all is as it seems. Will things ever go right for Jane? Will she ever find love and happiness?

Jane Eyre has been on my TBR list forever. Not unfortunately, this was my first rendition of it and I loved it! I definitely have to read the original text soon! Honestly, I am more than impressed with the Manga Classics and hope to have my children read these one day!

Book Reviews

Manga Classics: Great Expectations

Great Expectations

Title: Manga Classics: Great Expectations
Author: Stacy King
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The last time I read Great Expectations was in one of my high school English classes and I remember not being a fan of it. I really enjoyed this Manga and the storyline! In high school, I remember not being able to get into the story because of all of the descriptions. I am a very straightforward person and it definitely led me astray from the theme of the book. This was very enjoyable because the reader was able to find description in the art, but, in this case, actually added to the story, for me. Maybe I’ll take one more crack at the novel because I had such a positive experience with this Manga!

We start in the early nineteen century following Pip browsing through a churchyard in rural Kent, England. While perusing, an escaped prisoner looking for some food stops him and demands to see Pip’s parents, however, Pip lives with his sister and her blacksmith husband. Pip sees the man taken into custody and later is sent to live at Miss Havisham’s house.

Miss Havisham is a bipolar, old lady who still lives in her past when she was to be married. As a revenge of sorts, she has a young girl, Estrella, make Pip fall in love with her. But, the more time that Pip spends at Miss Havisham’s, the more he wants to live a life like the elite.

In his favor, Pip receives a message that he will fall into an inheritance, so he starts living like he always dreamed. He assumes Miss Havisham is behind this.

One day, an old friend visits, and he treats him like a commoner. When in reality, this friend was just delivering a message that benefited no one else but Pip. Ugh! He is so intolerable and probably the worst character ever created!

Who is Pip’s benefactor? What is the deal with Estrella? What is the relationship of everyone in the story? Will Pip ever realize his actions and change back to his old self? What price will Pip pay to reach his aspirations?

 

Book Reviews

Manga Classics: Les Miserables

Les Miserables

Title: Manga Classics: Les Miserables
Author: Stacy King
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

So, I know this was a movie, and a musical, I believe, but I initially had no idea what it was about or any interest in the storyline.

We start our story with Fantine searching for honest work with her illegitimate child. Unable to find work, they leave to a small town called Montfermeil in rural France. In order for them to experience a better life, Fantine pays the Thenardiers to watch her darling Cosette.

Five years earlier, 1815, in Digne, Jean Valjean is released from prison after serving nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread and is just looking for a nice, warm place to eat and sleep. However, no one in town is buying it and won’t give him the time of day. Bishop Myriel kindly lets him in. Blaming society for not being able to find honest work, his only means of survival turned to stealing, not only for himself, but his sister’s family, as well. Bad behavior strikes again when he steels the “silver”ware from the Bishop and gets caught by soldiers, but when turned in to the Bishop, the Bishop said they were a present to make Jean “an honest man”. And who does he end up being?! None other than the Mayor Madeleine of Monfermeil!

As the years go on, the Thenardiers request more and more money from Fantine and she slowly gives away parts of her body to keep her daughter well-kept. After a misunderstanding and Fantine is sentenced to jail, Valjean asks the townsfolk if what was said is true, and Fantine is declared innocent. At this point, Valjean makes it his life goal to deliver Cosette to her mother and help in every way he can to ensure a good life. But all too soon, someone else gets in the way.

Years and years later, when Cosette is older, Marius and her secretly covet each other without the other knowing. Marius, a young man, raised by his grandparents, dreams of thanking the man who saved his father’s life in the war, a man named Thenardier. But the Thenardiers are around and always have something up their sleeves.

After reading this manga, I want to see the movie now! What is great about these mangas is that they are light, leave out pointless description, and are fast reads! I really enjoy this one and am actually excited for the next one because I hated the book in high school.

Will Cosette and Fantine be reunited? Will Valjean stick with his promise? Will Valjean ever be able to live peacefully without Jalvert always on his back? Will anything happen between Cosette and Marius?

Book Reviews

Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter

Title: Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter
Author: Stacy King
Rating: ★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The reader starts the story in the 19th century in Salem, Massachusetts. The narrator is a custom officer with dreams of becoming an author.

During the 17th century, in Boston, the Puritans ruled the land, despising all sins…great or small. When Hester Prynne cheats on her husband, she is forced to wear a scarlet letter “A” marked for adulterer. But that is not her only punishment, her baby marks her sin for all to see, as well as a prison sentence. But Hester will not reveal who the father is.

After being released from prison, Hester works on her embroidery to make a living. Soon, she is acknowledged by people with status for her skill. But after realizing whose work was behind it, Prynne was quickly shunned, even by people who needed help.

Eventually, the truth behind Pearl’s father comes to light.

As her baby, Pearl, starts to grow, the townsfolk look to take her away from her “sinful” mother. But whose child is Pearl really? Are things as they appear?

For someone who has never read Manga before, I found this to be an easy transition. Starting from the back instead of the front, you would think it would be difficult to get used to, but it was actually extremely habitual.

Book Reviews

Suicide Squad, Volume 5: Walled In

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Title: Suicide Squad, Volume 5: Walled In
Author: Matt Kindt (Writer), Sean Ryan (Writer), Jim Zub, Patrick Zircher (Artist), Andre Cuelho (Artist), Roger Robinson (Artist), Rafa Sandoval (Artist), Jason Masters (Artist), Carlos Rodriguez (Artist), Jim Fern (Artist)
Rating: ★★★★

Task Force X, the infamous “Suicide Squad”. A secret government program for imprisoning super villains and using them in deadly missions no one else would dare take.

All of our favorite villains have been freed from Belle Reeve! There isn’t only one Suicide Squad present on the scene these days. Another villain is looming: The Thinker. Infiltrating the Reverse Suicide Squad through radio frequencies, he plans to have the new team destroy the Suicide Squad.

While aboard a military cargo jet, Waller meets Dr. Algot Issen, a geneticist, and inquires about his genetic testing equipment to control super-powered beings. 

In order to stop O.M.A.C., Waller and James Gordon Jr. release a secret prisoner, none other than King Sharks’s dad, himself! But he is bent on killing Waller and anyone else who gets in his way.

James Gordon Jr. has coerced Harley Quinn to his side. However, as usual, Harley has some things up her sleeve.

But, as suspected, both Suicide Squads ban together in order to defeat O.M.A.C. But there is a secret revolving this being capable of mass destruction. What is it? What will happen with the Squads? Will the Thinker win?

Book Reviews

Suicide Squad, Volume 4: Discipline and Punish

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Title: Suicide Squad, Volume 4: Discipline and Punish
Author: Ales Kot (Writer), Matt Kindt (Writer), Patrick Zircher (Artist), Rick Leonardi (Artist), Neil Googe (Artist), Sami Basri (Artist), Carmen Carnero (Artist)
Rating: ★★★★

Supervillains recruited from prison, sent on covert missions and injected with a nanite bomb so we stay in line. A bad deal.

We last find ourselves with the almost-destruction of our beloved Suicide Squad. But, one member was believed to not have survived… But fear not, Waller and her team have figured out a new serum that brings people back to life!

A new sheriff is in town, adding a more kills and fighting into the pre-existing, butt-kicking team. Not only him, but the addition of a new super-fast feminine Squader.

And maybe that’s some of the true measure of love – – the kindness we give to those who are too damaged to ever perceive it.

Not falling in love, but staying in it.

Regardless of what comes.

But someone not part of the Suicide Squad and, perhaps, closer to Waller, shows up and plays a big role in Volume 4…James Gordon Jr. This guy is creepier than the Joker himself. And to make things more interesting…he is in love with Waller (hah! Didn’t know anyone could love her).

A giant monster built from dead bodies and controlled by the “Mother” rears its ugly head in this volume, however, I have a feeling she will show up more in the next volume (hopefully?).

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What I really enjoyed was that the reader was able to delve deeper into the lives of Deadshot and Harley Quinn prior to the Suicide Squad, and also, later of the Squad disbanded and had their nano bombs removed from their necks. Harley Quinn was not portrayed as being as weak as she had been in previous volumes.

This was definitely the best comic of this event so far! It was an easy, fast read that flowed well and kept the reader engaged and wanting more the whole time. If you didn’t like the previous volumes and weren’t thinking of continuing with the event, please do! This one makes it so worth it!