I read three books recently, none of which grabbed me. Rather than making whole posts about books I don’t care about, here are three teeny-tiny mini reviews!
A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori
This manga has tons of things I’m interested in: a Mongolian bride struggles with the differences between her culture and fitting into her new husband’s culture along the Silk Road in the 19th century. I LOVE that setting, and Mongolians remain the coolest people on the planet IMHO (see here for proof). I stopped reading after the first volume because I was totally creeped out that the bride, who is significantly older than the groom, has more of a mother-son relationship than a husband-wife one. And like, they jump between the two types all the time. Even if that kind of relationship is acceptable in other cultures, it made me unable to enjoy the rest of the otherwise beautiful story. Want to see my expression the entire time?
Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo
I want to read some influential, important manga works, and lots of people recommend Akira. Post-WWIII Tokyo, and multiple factions are struggling for power, information, and a WMD government experiment known as Akira. In theory it’s a cool story, but even while I was reading the penultimate volume 5, I wasn’t eager to make it to the final volume 6. I think there are so many characters that the character development is spread too thin. With the exception of two characters who undergo dramatic changes, we don’t really see any individual progress. It just isn’t the manga for me.
Endgame: The Calling by James Frey
Twelve teenagers from all over the world, who have been training their whole lives to kill each other in Endgame, battle it out in a world-crossing adventure. It’s like Battle Royale, James Bond (they have zero hindrances in regards to money, weapons technology, fake IDs, or being stopped by guys with guns), and Hunger Games, + alien overlords. Though I like the idea of how this book pairs clues and secret messages with internet adventures that gives clever readers the chance at winning real-life gold, the story for the story’s sake is predictable and poorly executed.
And don’t get me started on the theme of, “Yay for diversity, we have characters from all over the world! … in order to determine WHOSE RACE IS THE BEST.” I’m crossing my fingers that the characters stop fighting under this purpose in future books.
ps I got Endgame as an e-ARC from Netgalley, but that obviously didn’t change my opinion of the book.