Thursday, August 31, 2017

My May Reading: Manga, Mirrors and Mice

My May reading is introduced to you by Samus Aran!

  • Agatha Christie “They Do It With Mirrors” (Miss Marple #6) [UK]
  • Karuho Shiina “Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, Vol. 6-8” [Japan]
  • Takako Shimura “Wandering Son, Vol. 8” [Japan]
  • Graeme Manson, John Fawcett, Heli Kennedy “Orphan Black: Helsinki” [Canada]
  • Ambelin Kwaymullina “The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf” (The Tribe #1) [Australia]
  • Inverna Lockpez “Cuba: My Revolution” [Cuba, USA]
  • Torben Kuhlmann “Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse” [Germany]

They Do It With Mirrors
“A sense of danger pervades the rambling Victorian mansion in which Jane Marple's friend Carrie Louise lives. Used as a rehabilitation centre for delinquents, the building teems with dangerous inmates, one of whom attempts to shoot the administrator, Lewis Serracold. Neither is injured.
The same cannot be said of a mysterious visitor – shot dead simultaneously in another part of the building. Miss Marple must use all her cunning to solve the riddle of the stranger's visit... and his murder.”

Miss Marple books are so cosy. Until the murders start, that is. =D This novel isn't the best Miss Marple story, but it was a quick, fun read nonetheless.

Kimi ni Todoke
“Chizu is surprised by the sudden homecoming of Tôru, Ryu's older brother and her childhood crush. But old habits die hard when Chizu can't seem to get enough courage to declare her love. But this is the one time Chizu won't be able to count on Ryu to be supportive of her – not when he wants her for himself!”

I just can't with this manga, too cute and beautifully drawn. I love so many of its characters, not just the main couple!

Wandering Son, Vol. 8
“Shimura Takaro’s Wandering Son has been rightly hailed as one of the most progressive and enlightened treatments of gender identity in the history of comics. The eighth volume continues to explore the lives of its characters with insight and sensitivity.”

In this volume the kids finally go to school in the uniforms they always wanted to wear – Nitori, a trans girl, wears a girl's uniform, and Yoshino, a trans boy, wear a boy's uniform. Although someone thinks that Yoshino is just mimicking their friend, a girl who sometimes wears a boy's uniform for fun. Also, I really hope Nitori's transphobic and very selfish sister shuts up one day, she's so horrible, a bully! <.<

Orphan Black: Helsinki
Spoken in hushed tones, the word means almost certain death for the clones of Project Leda. Learn the dark secrets of this codename in this special event miniseries by co-creators John Fawcett and Graeme Manson.”

Hesburger! Murder via sauna! Booze and metalheads! They really tried hard to make it feel “Finnish”. =D They failed, though. It looks and feels like it's North America but with “Finnish” things sprinkled on top. My husband, who is a Finn, raised his eyebrow at the presence of an Internet café there. We both were puzzled by the sauna having the temperature settings on the outside (so someone in the story locks a person in and sets it to very hot to kill them, and it looked like a thing from American TV, not something Finnish). There was also a tree house, common in America but not so much here. And a school had such tall fence around it! And no bikes or bike racks but lots of parking space for cars. Couldn't they Google photos of the Finnish schools before drawing it? =D

Anyway, it's a good story for the fans of Orphan Black. I recommend reading it after watching season 4, otherwise it spoils too much. The art is nice, except when they sexualize Rachel too much...

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf
“The world has ended, and the society which emerged from the ruins of environmental catastrophe is obsessed with maintaining "the Balance": preserving harmony between humans and nature. But there is one problem. Anyone born with an ability is deemed an Illegal, a threat to the Balance. They are feared, controlled and detained.
Ashala Wolf has run away to escape this fate, and lives in the Firstwood with her pack of Illegals, named the Tribe. But when she is captured by Chief Administrator Neville Rose, she must use all her resilience to protect the Tribe. Injured and vulnerable, with her Sleepwalker ability blocked, Ashala is forced to succumb to a machine that will pull secrets from her mind. And beside her is Justin Connor, her betrayer, watching her every move.
Will the Tribe survive the interrogation of Ashala Wolf?”

What a refreshing post-apocalyptic book! It has an unusual story structure which I enjoyed a lot. There were many twists that I didn't see coming! And I liked the characters, most of them with cool superpowers. Ashala is Aboriginal, and I liked how her people's mythology was woven into the story (too spoilery to share more, sorry ;p). I'm definitely going to read the rest of the trilogy.

Cuba: My Revolution
“Seventeen-year-old Sonia, a medical student with dreams of becoming a modernist painter, is caught up in Fidel Castro’s revolution from the moment it captures Havana on New Year’s Eve 1958. While her eccentric mother hatches an increasingly desperate series of plans to flee Cuba, Sonia joins the militia and volunteers as a medic at the Bay of Pigs — where she encounters her mortally wounded high school sweetheart as an enemy fighter, then is arrested and tortured for treating another CIA-trained brigadier. Scarred, yet clinging to her revolutionary ideals, she seeks fulfillment in an artists’ collective, only to be further disillusioned by increasing repression under Castro. Finally, she flees to America where she has been a painter and influential arts activist.”

This story was a bit too dark even for me (graphic violence, torture, war). It wasn't bad, but I certainly didn't really love it, not sure why. I guess, simply not my cup of tea.

There was a bit of Russian used in the book by a native Russian speaker character but it was incorrect sometimes. For example Russian т was spelled as t. o_O And some of the phrases sounded too close to Google Translate, to be honest. Writers, other people's languages are NOT a pretty decoration you can thoughtlessly sprinkle on top of your books, please hire native speakers to help you, thanks.

Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse
“A story of toil and triumph—inspired by Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight! These are dark times... for a small mouse. A new invention—the mechanical mousetrap—has caused all of the mice but one to flee to America, the land of the free. But with cats guarding the steamships, trans-Atlantic crossings are no longer safe. In the bleakest of places... the one remaining mouse has a brilliant idea. He must learn to fly! Torben Kuhlmann’s stunning illustrations will capture the imagination of readers young and old with the death-defying feats of this courageous and persistent young mouse.”

This book is so cute and the illustrations are magical! It's a story of a tiny, fluffy inventor and dreamer who works hard and achieves his goal. : 3

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