Monthly Archives: December 2018

Book Review: Blue Exorcist, Vol 14 by Kazue Kato

Blue Exorcist, Vol 14     

Author: Kazue Kato

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: January 5,2016

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/202 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

While attempting to rescue Izumo from the clutches of the Illumunati madman, Professor Gedoiin, the exwires find themselves not only separated from one another but facing zombies! One by one they defeat their foes and assemble as a group  once more, only to face Gedoiin. Gedoiin reasons that it’s only right for humans to experiment on humans, as they’ve experimented on animals for a long time. Just then her captors bring out Izumo. Ren goes into action and finds himself facing off with Shima! Rejecting the help of the exwires, Izumo agrees to take the Nine Tails inside herself. Can they stop the Nine tails without hurting its vessel, Izumo?

This volume of Blue Exorcist is not as Ren-centric as others. It showcases the exwires more as a team. We get a glimpse of Suguro and what he was like before he became his current buff and strong self. And Izumo sees another side of her otherwise weak and selfish mother. Professor Gedoiin is one of the creepiest villains we’ve encountered so far, and he doesn’t get any better in this volume. I’m still not entirely sure that Shima is the traitor he seems to be, either.

To be honest, I’m not sure what purpose would be served by implanting the Nine Tails in Izumo, but I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes now. Another good volume, can’t wait for more!

 

 

 

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Wednesday Briefs: December 26, 2018

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

In Pieces #33 (8.6) by Julie Lynn Hayes

“I’m afraid he wasn’t any help,” Deacon said so softly that Ryan wasn’t sure he heard him.

“That poor girl,” Ryan said. “I can’t even imagine… I mean…” Words failed him.

“Yeah, exactly.” Deacon gave him a wry smile.

Suddenly Ryan remembered something Ben had said, the night they’d seen Abby crying. When she’d claimed to have seen a ghost or something. “Do you know who Brandon is?” he asked.

“Brandon? That’s Abby’s boyfriend.” Deacon gave Ryan an appraising glance. “Why do you ask?”

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Book Review: Blue Exorcist, Vol 13 by Kazue Kato

Blue Exorcist, Vol 13    

Author: Kazue Kato

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: June 2, 2015

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/202 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

 

The exwires have been sent to rescue Izumo Kamiki from the Illuminati. Unknown to them, the Illuminati also hold Izumo’s mother, Tamamo, using her as a vessel for the Nine Tails. They intend to substitute Izumo for the dying Tamamo.

A symphathetic member of the Illuminati tries to help Izumo escape their clutches, but is caught by Michael Gedoin, one of the researchers. He orders Izumo to be taken back to the lab. A distraught Izumo realizes she can rely on no one – especially the traitorous Shima.

The exwires head to Dream Town Inari, where they figure out that those people who eat the local food fall under the sway of the Illuminati. Lucky for them, they’ve already been fed the antidote, thanks to Shiemi! Yukio calls for back-up from Mephisto, but as usual, it isn’t forthcoming. Finding what they believe to be the secret entrance to the laboratory, the exwires force their way in only to be met by an unexpected foe – zombies! The situation goes from bad to worse as they find themselves separated from one another.

In this volume of Blue Exorcist, the exwires work together in order to rescue their friend, whether she admits to needing their help or not. The villains have a field day as they press on with their terrible agenda. Also in this volume we get our first look at Lucifer – the beautiful man behind the odd mask – and we gain some understanding of why he inspired the devotion he does among his followers. On the other hand, Professor Gedoin is his antithesis – he is utterly obnoxious and repellent, but very devoted to Lucifer. Rin and his friends are growing and maturing as they continue to work together. Things are certainly heating up, looking forward to the next volume!

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Briefs: December 19, 2018

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

Denied: Chapter Sixty-two by Cia Nordwell

Danie approached me. I put down my fork, suddenly not as hungry as I’d been before. “Hello,” the A.I. said.

I nodded to him briefly, chewing the bite in my mouth. “Hello,” I said politely when I could finally swallow. I had to wash it down, and still it felt like a lump stuck in my throat. “What are you doing here?” That came out harsher than I intended.

“Just getting something to eat.” Danie shrugged and glanced away. “Sorry I bothered you.”

“No, I’m sorry.” I was being rude. “I didn’t mean to say it that way. I just 

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Book Review: Blue Exorcist, Vol 12 by Kazue Kato

Blue Exorcist, Vol 12    

Author: Kazue Kato

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: November 4, 2014

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/202 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer:  Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Kamiki confronts Takara at the Festival and asks him point blank if he’s in the Illuminati, as Arthur Angel and Lightning deal with one of the two Vatican spies. Arthur reveals his ruthless side when he says that since there is another spy, he doesn’t mind if this one dies! Under torture, the spy reveals that the Illuminati are going to kidnap a girl from the Japan Branch within the hour, and that girl is none other than Izumo Kamiki!

Shura instructs the exwires to begin a search for Kamiki. Meanwhile, Kamiki is still confronting Takara when help arrives… except this help isn’t quite what anyone bargained for. How can this trusted person be a member of the Illuminati? Nothing is what it seems, apparently. As if things aren’t confused enough, Mephisto arrives on the scene. One can never be sure what side he’s on. And right behind him is Lucifer, Mephisto’s big brother, who makes no bones about being a part of the Illuminati. According to Lucifer, they have declared war against the Knights of the True Cross. Lucifer and his cohorts depart – with Kamiki – to everyone’s chagrin. Mephisto instructs Yukio to take the exwires and get Kamiki back!

When they arrive at their destination, which is a theme park, they begin to realize something is not quite right here. Although supposedly visitors come to visit the Inari Taisha shrine, an inordinate number of them are obsessed with the food and with staying at Dream Town Inari. What’s up with that?

In this volume of Blue Exorcist, the exwires are faced with a major dilemma. Is one of their own a traitor, or is there more to the story, something they aren’t seeing? Betrayal is a bitter pill to swallow, especially in one who has been trusted as this person was. Rin gives him the benefit of the doubt, but Suguro is ready to rip his head off.

This volume also delves more deeply into Kamiki’s background than we’ve been before, and we catch glimpses of a horrific childhood, which has made her the standoffish, non-trusting person she has become. Not surprising, considering her parents. I don’t know what to think about the traitor in their midst – is he really a traitor, or is something else happening that we aren’t aware of? I’m inclined to give the person the benefit of the doubt, but I suppose time will tell. The appearance of the masked Lucifer is interesting. Who is the man behind the mask? And what is his agenda? A bonus at the end of the volume is an illustrated guide to demons, which is interesting.

So many questions that need answering! Looking forward to the next volume!

 

 

 

Wednesday Briefs: December 12, 2018

Here is a list of all the authors flashing this week, along with a brief snippet from their latest free work. Click the link after the snippet to be taken to the complete story on the author’s home page.

Here Kitty Kitty: Chapter 16.1 by Carol Pedroso

“We need more,” Helen stated and Kitryn growled. Friend or not, no one was using Fran for any reason.

“She has already given us more than we had and that caused her to pass out. I will not allow her to be hurt.”

“Peace, Kitty.” Helen held her hands u in peace and winced when Kitryn growled again at the old childhood nickname. “I wasn’t suggesting she be hurt. I was stating a fact. How can we rescue a fae, a mage, and any surviving seers, if we don’t know where they are?”

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Book Review: Blue Exorcist, Vol 11 by Kazue Kato

Blue Exorcist, Vol 11     

Author: Kazue Kato

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: March 4, 2014

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/manga/paranormal/210 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★

 Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

While Rin takes extra lessons to make up for getting a zero on an English quiz, Yukio goes to the Hall of Portraits to investigate one of the seven mysteries the ex-wires have been working on. There he runs into Shura, who is aware of the rumors regarding a certain portrait, which is said to show the observer the darkness in his heart. However, their meeting is no coincidence. She has come to tell Yukio he’s been summoned to go the Vatican the next day to give information on Todo, and she will accompany him.

Meanwhile, the ex-wires are tackling a different mystery, that of the statue of Johann Faust which moves at night. As they argue among themselves, the statue begins to move! As he observes Rin and the others, Yukio wonders about himself, wonders why Father Fujimoto chose to raise them, and if Rin is the son of Satan then what is he? Lost in thought he finds that he’s wandered into the Hall of Portraits. Or was that but a dream?

The ex-wires head to the Hall of Portraits after school, and find a cute doggy there, but it’s only Mephisto, up to his old tricks. He explains why this is the last mystery they can do, even though there are three others. The portrait in question is known as the family portrait, and it has recently become dangerous enough to require exorcism. The ex-wires must work together, each to his own strengths, to solve this mystery, and one steps forward to show unexpected leadership abilities. When the battle is won, Rin reminds Mephisto of his promise concerning the eye drops.

At the Vatican, Yukio has to agree to some harsh conditions and seal them with his blood! He tells them what he knows and, after he leaves, the matter of the Illuminati is discussed. It seems that they have spies within the Order! Two in the Vatican and one in the Japan branch. Shura is ordered to find the spy in the Japan branch.

A jealous Rin wonders why Yukio is meeting with Shiemi so often, but his brother is close-lipped about the matter. It’s not what Rin thinks – Yukio is helping to tutor Shiemi.

The Academy Festival is quickly approaching, time for the classes to decide what they are going to do. Rin suggests doing tonjiru and rice balls, which he can make, so his class goes with that. When he learns that on the second night of the festival a concert will be held featuring some bands that he really likes, Rin is ecstatic. Until he finds out the event is couples only! What is he going to do? He would ask Shiemi, but she isn’t a student at True Cross, and he knows few other girls. All of the male ex-wires have the same problem. Izumo turns them all down. Suguro has the opposite problem – he keeps receiving invitations that he has to turn down! Things take an unexpected turn when Shiemi suddenly shows up! Is this Rin’s chance to ask her to go with him?

I’m sorry there are no more of the seven mysteries to solve, it’s fun to watch the ex-wires in action, especially their interactions with each other. Rin has gained more of an acceptance from them, although they do remain aware that he is the son of Satan. I was confused when I noticed he keeps his tail out now, even at school, until I realized no one can see it who can’ see demons. Of course that includes his new friend Godaiin, who freaks out a bit when he sees the tail.

Mephisto is ever the troublemaker, while I still don’t know what to make of Takara. The Festival is a welcome break and a chance to see the ex-wires acting more like the teens they really are than wannabe exorcists. I like the growing triangle of Rin-Shiemi-Yukio, although I suspect that Shiemi’s feelings for Yukio are more hero worship than anything, and I’m not sure what Yukio’s toward her are. I’ve known for some time that Rin likes Shiemi, but maybe it’s good for him to think he has competition, even if it’s his own brother.

I dislike Arthur Angel as much as ever, but Lightning seems nice enough. I wonder who the Illimunati spy is. Takara is a too obvious choice. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Another good volume, bring on more!