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The House Of The Spirits 

It does live up to expectations of a saga. As this story slowly unravels and balances the first person narration and mostly third person narration so incredibly well. The main narrator of the entire story is Esteban, who at times disgust me of the way he thought that Clara was his. And that she should be willing to share everything with him. 

As for Clara, in her own right, she is a strong woman. She would put her foot down and leave him, which she does in this book for her own daughter. The way that she is always so incredibly wise and aware of the world, and how she is portrayed is like a clairvoyant sometimes. Where she doesn’t try to speak. And her abilities really quite magical, and the way it is presented places this book into magical realism. Where sometimes certain events barely have any explanation, and this does pass due to the way Clara appears so incredibly aware. 

As for the family, which they are all rather crazy. Esteban with his obsession with Rosa and became a reason why he married Clara in the first place. Clara with all her abilities yet choosing not to interfere in many of her fates. Blanca, and her eventual life working hard and doing what she likes. All the while giving birth to a daughter. And Jaime and Nicolas, both of which finds their own strange path. Nicolas moving from one point to another without much thought, Jaime and his constant need for helping the poor. 

I really liked how their entire family became part of politics eventually. Such as Esteban running as a conservative, Jaime standing on the opposition side. As for eventually what happens to Alba and her, I would say that another party has come into power and one that is indeed a cruel tyrant. 

As for the story slowly beginning and ending, it all ends with Alba. And this saga has been quite entertaining really. Such as Clara deciding once and for all leaving, even though they still kept up appearances. Blanca and her affair, Jaime and Nicolas where both their paths diverged so incredibly much. And Alba, who grew up in this ridiculous environment.

So, this is a good book. More in the part that it developed characters over the years, and yet still kept their essence in the way that I could still recognize them. All the while spanning years and years with three generations of the family. And well, this books handles it all well. With how bizarre some of them are, and eventually having Esteban realise that he on some level had faulted. And Blanca deciding to let her first love go, after seeing that he was unwilling to be chained to her. 

And the way Alba views the world at the end. I would say that all this took a lot of work and planning, given how each character eventually had their own role to play and their own role to fulfill. And even seeing Esteban begging on his knees was nice indeed, and the way that he simply wants Alba back is really heartwarming too. 

So this is a family saga, and centered about their entire family and lives. And the way that somehow a lot of things eventually come back to them, and a lot of times there aren’t a lot of answers seeing as how Alba changed, and how mysterious she was at the epilogue. So, I would say that this book is more about the family than anything else. And each character was handled well for me, at least within the Trueban family. 

Rating: 4 out of 5′

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Mistwood

Well, this was an unexpectedly good book. I liked Isabel from the very beginning and the mystery behind her past, revealing it to be even more than what she expected herself to be too. 

As for the two princes, both sides have their own story. And arguably, Rokan is a far better choice than Kaer. He has enough common sense not to think that the throne should be his, and acknowledged both sides of it. That his father had done what he could to maintain the kingdom, and despite usurping the throne, his father kept power within them. 

I think that Isabel doesn’t have much of a personality, and is quite a blank slate. Except that she develops eventually, and thinks deeper about the two princes. Despite being the shifter, she isn’t just magic, she has a lot to discover about herself. And I really like the ending when it revealed who she was and what she was. It was an unexpected and good twist there. 

As for the court politics, that is something that I deeply enjoyed here. Seeing that Rokan had to face a lot of pressure, revolts from both sides. And how the court is handled, with the different parts having completely different situation. I really liked political intrigue and how it helped form the magic here, and the sorcerers too. 

As for Clarisse, who is pretty different from Isabel in her own way. Isn’t her friend but neither is her enemy, she is a really good character to this dynamic. Whether she intends to betray her own brother or to save him, or to help him towards the end. And mostly, at the beginning when she was wary yet capable of trusting Isabel. That is an interesting character, and also impacted Isabel quite a bit. 

Most importantly, the plot is good, slowly moving but eventually revealing countless twists and secrets. Whether is it about the past, or how the shifter had disappeared. It was handled very well, and also the last addition where it revealed about what Isabel actually was, had been a very nice mix. 

Overall, I would recommend this to those who want a good high fantasy set in medieval times. This is one filled with twists that you would not expect and also a lot of court intrigue too, and with a tinge of magic but enough for typical fantasy readers. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

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These Ruthless Deeds

This has been a joy to read. The last book left Evelyn having to mourn her sister’s death, and well, there are much more twists in this book than I initially thought. 

All the while still managing to make me laugh out loud every time. Especially the interactions between the three main characters. They clearly are the funniest bunch here. 

As for the entire plot, I really didn’t seem so many things coming. Except for that last twist as for who was the head. It was a bit on the easy side, but one which gave her plenty of motives too. Since there weren’t a lot of characters from the nobility at the beginning of the story. But a lot of them, aren’t what you would expect and some come as pleasant surprises instead.  

Despite how light hearted and fun it seems on the surface, beneath it hides a lot more about the actual theme of the story. What should be done? Should someone make the decision to save just one person or a hundred? Should someone have the right to say who had the greater good? I really liked how those tragic moments within the entire story served to this theme. Even those moments have a much deeper depth when looked down. 

Since they have X-men like powers in this situation, it has a lot about how this powers should be used. Who should run them? And really who was revealed to be the head at the end, also gives her insight towards this. It really is great to see that these authors have managed to answer these questions and leave it to us. With people with extraordinary abilities, it gives a lot of questions that needs to be answered. 

As for Evelyn’s decisions here, and how it reflects in the book title. I really enjoyed that Evelyn wasn’t perfect, and well she sometimes made decisions not nearly as moral sometimes. And how she eventually realised that she isn’t all that different from them. I really enjoyed that and the ending, where it left everything as a cliffhanger yet a lot for Evelyn to reflect upon at the end. 

So overall, I really like this book for what it is, and how it balances the funny moments and really dark moments in this book. I always enjoyed a book with both comedic and dark elements, and well this does this really well. 

I recommend this to those who like young adult novels set in the Victorian Era who want to see something rather different, and one which had plenty of comedic moments and dark ones too. So, I recommend it to anyone really. And those who have enjoyed the previous book. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Stalking Jack The Ripper 

This book is utterly perfect. The mystery of Jack The Ripper, and the main character. To me, this was perfect in my eyes. Even if I could have seen where it would head with the characters, and who would be the murderer at the end slightly before it was revealed. The murderer’s motives were at least plausible and decent enough to be real. 

And from the beginning, Audrey Rose was a fantastic female characters. She isn’t obsessed with propriety, or even about how deserving of their fate those women were. She only thought that they also had mothers, they may also have children, they would definitely have a family. They might have only done this out of pure necessity not because of their choice. And that is what I like her for. 

Also, for the fact that she is skilled at forensic science and always tries to fulfill her curiosity. At the very beginning, against her father’s wishes she finds a way to do what she likes. And all the while, she doesn’t just fall head in heels for the first guy she meets. Their relationship is a developing one, where it goes from banter and eventually he helps her when it is most needed. 

Thomas comes off as conceited and arrogant from the very first page he is introduced. He knows a great deal, and loves to show off his knowledge. But the one thing that does set him apart is that he isn’t a complete jerk, he gets it that Audrey still needs her reputation, and he respects her for who she is without ever demeaning her. The way he acts arrogant is one that is in his personality, but never sounding incredibly rude if you ask me. And having his own charm lying in the way he speaks not his good looks, which I have been waiting for years for such a character. 

As for her family, there are some issues with them. Her aunt is religious and rather pious, which was quite okay if you ask me. She didn’t play a rather important role. Liza on the other hands was slightly more interesting, given that she allowed herself to love a variety of men. And well, let’s just say I pretty enjoyed a quote that she said. That Liza chooses who she wants to be and in certain times, she shows different sides of herself. To me, that was a rather interesting side of the story too. 

As for her father, I do admit that he has his faults but at the end he redeems himself instead. I rather like the ending for his decision and realizing that he wasn’t doing a pretty good job. Well, you would find out what would make him reflect on his choices. And well, I did like the ending where Audrey would leave to learn forensic science in Romania, which is why the next book is set there. Well, I definitely will be catching and continuing this series should the next book also have the same sort of mystery this provided me with. 

Since the ending, and no matter what the murderer will be someone that hurts Audrey rather deeply. And well, I cannot wait for the next book to be released since this has given me so much of a joy. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Pandora Hearts 


I really like this manga, due to its pacing and the way it has managed to handle everything and end it quite nicely. All the while losing some characters which to me developed to be quite a favourite. So, to me this manga has been a much better one as compared to others. 
To me, the pacing of some mangas can be a little better. But here, everything is revealed at the right time and slowly builded a completely different picture. And well, twists came when I really least expected it. Really really least expected. 

And well, the entire premise is at first quite unclear to me. About the abyss and time warping. Which was handled really well and gave a fantastic story as it went along. To me, characters development and even deaths were as well done as they were supposed to be. And the ending to me, was perfect for such a story. 

So, for me Pandora Hearts was quite perfect in many ways. The plot, the characters, the foreshadowing and slowly the revealing. And despite it having a hero at the center, this hero is quite different. He after all, suffers from having quite a difficult family background which is also balanced by having some pretty good people there with him. 

The way Alice and Gilbert eventually went on to become very important, and all the twists associated with them is quite unexpected to me, yet I had the feeling that it was coming anyway. 

Eventually, all the characters have a part to play. And most aren’t just an addition, even sometimes for powerless characters they all have their own abilities. And well, all characters got what was coming for them in the end, though most villains redeemed themselves at the very end. Including the villain which you won’t really see coming until a while later. Then the entire situation becomes really weird and at the same time making a lot of sense from afar. Such as what Oz is, and why Jack also inhabits his body. And also what Alice is. 

And well, this was a pretty perfect manga to me. With a proper ending, well at least I won’t be left waiting for an end to this. Do I recommend it? Well you should just check it out and see whether it is to your taste. I can assure you, it has a bit of comedy which balanced out the pretty dark moments in this manga. 

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Vicious 

I really like this book, with how it handled the themes of superheroes and whether they should exist or not. And even making both characters, neither actually is the better choice. Victor is quite vicious, but doesn’t think that the EO needs to be killed. Eli, on the other hand thinks that they are unnatural and deserving of death. 

In the middle of it all, it Sydney, who is important since she can revive the dead. Even till the very end. I think out of all, Sydney is the kindest of all of them. Though, I do admit that I did enjoy the fact that she had a lot of spotlight. And is extremely helpful to Victor in hunting Eli. All the more, she went through quite a lot too, when Eli tried to kill her and well, she was shot. 

I really like how it is more about the concept of superheroes and how at the same time they are viewed as monsters by Eli. And their papers, are they unnatural and should be destroyed or useful. This doesn’t give you a clear answer. But it tells you that killing people for the sake of the greater good isn’t always the best. 

And really, doesn’t justify sacrificing these lives just so the rest can live in peace. 

Particularly, I liked how Serena and Eli were partners. And how essential she was to ensuring that he remains a hero in their eyes. If not, well, we can say that it didn’t turned too well for him. Since he is a murderer rather than someone who is a hero. 

And the flashbacks were all perfect in giving depth to each character in just one book. I would say they are very relevant in revealing just what they have been true, and changes characters as it goes along. 

So, this is mostly a book about superheroes and the fact that sometimes there are really no good answers. At the end of the day, he it ends is like how this book should end. The villain gets captured rightfully under the law. So, I would say that the ending is suitable to the tone of this series. 

Overall, I would recommend this to those who want something a little more about the theme of superheroes. And see two people who are at opposite ends of each other, and one is the antagonist of the other. There is no real villain, they are just simply the opposite of each other. And well, both are neither the hero yet not completely a villain and well I relished this book on this fact. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

I normally wouldn’t add a quote, but this is probably one of the most true quotes I have ever come across. 

You don’t understand,” gasped Eli, “No one understands.”

“When no one understands, it’s a clear sign that you are wrong.”

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Chang Ge Xing (Manhua) 

I know I have posted a post about this with the same title. That was a drama while this is a manhua. I really enjoyed this work, even though right now it is on hiatus. To me, the real selling point on this work was how Chang Ge was thinking about her own identity, her revenge. And eventually finding a path for herself. Also, there is a sense of slow romance here. I sense that the ending for this series is Chang Ge marrying towards the Turks at the end, seeing as how she barely even left a name in history. All that she is known as is by her surname, and nothing else. So, chances are the author wouldn’t be able to make her name in history but still give a suitable ending which is that she married a Turk in the end, or she left the country which I think would the best way out. 

Despite crossdressing initially, the author added a lot of layers. Such as her struggling to identity with being a man and a woman at the same time. Whether her path was on revenge or to help Tang. Those were the moments which I savoured very much, about Chang Ge. 

Eventually, it also went towards her Heritage. Chang Ge is born to an Uighur mother, and her father. Both have some impression on her. And both leave a mark on her. It doesn’t feel as though it was either her father or mother, both sides have made her who she is. And well, I really liked this as well. 

As for Ashina Sun, depending on how you view it. He is someone who lives by his own heart and he isn’t a savage. He simply makes decisions based on his heart and feeling, and doesn’t let it down ever. It is clear given how he treats Chang Ge, even after finding out that she is a woman. And really, the way that he always tries to protect his tribe, those that were under him makes him not so much a ruthless commander. Just one who is stuck in a terrible situation, after he was taken from the Khitans. 

I admit that the historical context is really well done, and the art is glorious. Given that this is just at the beginning of Tang, I wouldn’t expect much on its riches. Since it is before Wu Zetian, where Tang reached its peak. But the Khitans, the Uighurs and the Turks especially all resided near the Tang Dynasty at the point. 

And Chang Ge’s decision to become one of the princesses who would marry outside the country, to me was realistic. There were so many instances which happens depending on the situation, Emperors either married their own daughters or someone close to the family. Not just random women of their clan raised to the title of Princess. 

I really enjoyed how this work was true to its history. The Xuanwu gate incident had indeed robbed Chang Ge of not just her father, but also all of her brothers. And the reality is painted well here. 

As for the arcs, I really began to ship the two of them together, since it was rather good to see their relationship grow closer and closer together. Both have their own development, and their own personalities. The romantic tension, could be said is there yet not completely so. But I do want to see them together in the end. And despite all, they are rather independent and both accept the decisions of each other rather than fight to be together. 

Ultimately, I guess this manhua appealed to this history lover and the fact I wanted to not just read about romance. But also about war, and a lot more. Here is a very good way of portraying Chang Ge, and there are some very intelligent moments and analysis. And the male and female characters, they are all quite different in their own way, and the women despite being in a patriarchal society aren’t merely just vases. 

So, I would recommend it to those who are quite tired of seeing women objectified or wanting a different sort of work from the usual shoujo work. Though, I would warn you that the manga is on hiatus and may not be restarted for quite a while. So, don’t pick it up if you want an ending to your series.