Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spooktacular Giveaway!

 Welcome, one and all,
to the
Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!!

I will be giving away:

A $10 Amazon Gift Card!

This giveaway is open to anyone who has access and can purchase items from Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 12, 2012

Feature and Follow and Book Blogger Hop

It's that time again!
Book Blogger Hop and Follow Friday!

First up, Follow Friday:

Question of the week:
What book do you think would make a great Halloween movie? Please explain in graphic detail of goriness…

 The Serenity Falls Trilogy by James A. Moore... hands down, the most gorey, disturbing, awesome set of books I've ever read.

These books are NOT for the faint of heart. They remind me a little of Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury...

G.M. Dark: Excuse Me?! I think not!
Well... ok fine, maybe not... I mean, there *IS* a creepy carnival in the Serenity Falls Trilogy, just like in Something Wicked This Way Comes... but unlike Something Wicked, Serenity Falls is a straight up set of horror novels. In Serenity Falls there is no "Pricking of the Thumbs"... your thumbs would just be ripped right the heck off your hands. Or maybe you'd be forced to eat them... or maybe your loved ones would... it's hard to say.

Maybe it's a bit more like Carnivale...

dark, gritty, spooky and haunting... but with a lot more violence. A LOT more violence.

Gore, zombies, flesh fileting, rape, murder, abuse, torture, magic, fire, water, blood, mind control, death, broken body parts, evil dolls, evil carnival, witches, warlocks, ancient curses... you name it, these books have got it, and they aren't light on the details.

Any character you like, or fall in love with... chances are they'll be dead by the end of the series (this really isn't a spoiler... it's more like something you have to brace yourself for (no one is exempt, not even children)... some characters *do* make it through, I promise).

Moore doesn't shy away from torturing anyone. There is no safety in age, gender or disability. If you're in these books, there's a good chance you're going to end up dead as a doornail... and it won't be quick or easy.

Next, Book Blogger Hop!

Question of the week:
With Autumn upon us and Halloween drawing near, what books remind you of fall? What ones do you enjoy reading that are about autumn?

Ray Bradbury, Ray Bradbury,
Ray Bradbury!!!!

Something Wicked This Way Comes

I LOVE this book, and it's centered around Halloween. It's perfect for evoking that scary, creepy feeling that comes along with Halloween... and it also has that hint of crisp fall throughout the book.

G.M. Dark is a wonderful, creepy antagonist.

The Halloween Tree

Set on Halloween, that point of Fall right before winter... this book is a short, wonderful tale about the history of a lot of our favorite costumes. It's also neck deep in the same kind of creepy flare you find in Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Manga Review: Gate 7 by CLAMP, Volume 1

 Gate 7: Volume 1

Chikahito Takamoto - main character, obsessed with Kyoto history, in High School. I have to be honest, if his name is historically significant, I'm unaware. I know little to nothing about the whole Warring States period of Japanese history, or any of the time surrounding that... so to truly appreciate this story, I'm going to have to do a little research.
Hana - girl who lives in house with sakura and tachibana
Sakura - Tall, light-haired dude who is generally good natured.
Tachibana - Dark haired dude who is generally sour natured.
Hidetsugu - guy with little girl demon oni who seems to be in charge of the house Chika-chan is living in (Hidetsugu represents the spirit of Toyotomi Hidetsugu ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyotomi_Hidetsugu ) )
Mikoto - Hidetsugu's oni
Mitushide Akechi - snotty guy who attacks them with his Oni (who looks just like him with elf ears) (also another of the historical figures ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akechi_Mitsuhide )
Enka - Akechi's Oni
Dairokutenmaoh - most powerful oni, MIA
Nobunaga - human who made a contract with most powerful oni, MIA (also another historical figure: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobunaga )

In the first volume, Chikahito finally gets to take a trip to Kyoto (he lives in Tokyo) to see the ancient temples that fascinate him so much. Unfortunately, once there, he gets sucked into an incident with Hana, Sakura and Tachibana as they battle. Hana then gives him a kiss, which acts to draw him back to Kyoto to live (through a bunch of really weird circumstances)

He moves into Hana, Sakura and Tachibana's house where he acts as chef to pull his weight, and attends a local school. Hana is obsessed with noodles, so having a chef in the house isn't a bad plan.

They go to meet Hidetsugu, who ?owns? the house and decides to allow Chikahito to stay when Hana tells him Chikahito is the opposite of her (not that we really know what Hana is, we just know that Hana says they are alike in the ways of "not"). Chika-chan also finally gets to see an Oni, Mikoto, who travels with Hidetsugu.

At the end of the story they run into Akechi (many of these people (Hidetsugu, Akechi, etc), Chikahito recognizes as historical figures. Akechi challenges them to battle.

Just before that, Hidetsugu's Oni, Mikoto, explains how Oni work to Chika-chan.

The story itself is intriguing, and the main character, Chika-chan, is adorable, likeable and someone I want to learn more about, but the most amazing, fascinating thing for me about this series is the mixing of CLAMP styles.

This series incorporates the beautiful, delicate, intricate, detailed artwork of the caliber you'll find in X/1999 with the adorable, cartoony, chunkier style you'll find in their work like The Tsubasa Chronicles. Over the years, CLAMP has exhibited several art styles, but for whatever reason, Gate 7 has just struck me as the most beautiful marriage between them.

Some examples:

Beatiful, X/1999 style artwork:

This is Hana, one of the main characters... look at that beautiful line work 0_0 Especially around the eyes and hair. These aren't even the best examples... there are some really amazing fight scenes as well... but I tried to choose non-plot important images. XD

Now... here is Hana again:

This is her in a more chibi, adorable, sort of The Tsubasa Chronicles like mode... where human forms get more "cartoonish" in proportion and expression... it's amazing. Especially since in the image above you can see how in the next panel she's right back to being "Serious Hana"... and when you view it in context of the entire manga, it works... amazingly.

What also impressed me though was the mixing of the styles IN one panel. Tachibana and Sakura are almost always drawn seriously... even when others are not:

Chika-chan and Sakura

Hana and Tachibana

I love it, because you can continue to see them as "Two serious dudes" even when everyone else is being goofy.

This isn't the only comic you can find this marriage of styles in, XXXholic seems
to do this as well... but for whatever reason, Gate 7 is the one that has really struck me as the perfect marriage of the two.
Here's another example of a very cartoony style.

Gah, aren't they just friggin adorable?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
by Mary Roach

This book, despite its rather morbid topic, is incredibly interesting.
Mary Roach covers everything from how human corpses first started being used in medical research, to transplant technology, to the benefits of using cadavers in crash simulations to edible delicacies made from human cadavers.

Mary Roach's style is humorous, but respectful, although admittedly, sometimes she just says what we were all thinking. Her work is serious investigatory journalism and each chapter for me was eye opening.

Some of the things that have been done are just unbelievable when it comes to cadavers, or in some cases, to living folks. Roach doesn't shy away from the morbid, so if you are incredibly squeamish, this book is not for you.

It is an amazing, informative book about our bodies lives after our life has ended.
I recommend everyone who thinks they can handle it, give it a go.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

 To join in the Waiting on Wednesday fun, click the image below:

This week my choice is:

Mistle Child
Book 2 of The Undertaken Trilogy
by Ari Berk
Release Date: February 12th, 2013
In life, in death: family remains.

    Silas Umber has finally come into his own as the Undertaker of Lichport when a mysterious invitation calls him beyond the marshes to Arvale, the ancestral manor of the Umbers. There, his extended family endures, waiting for a living Undertaker to return and preside over the Door Doom, an archaic rite that grants a terrible power to summon and bind the dead in judgment.
    As Silas assumes the mantle of Janus, the Watcher at the Threshold, deep below the earth in the catacombs and sunken towers, grim spirits grow restless at his arrival--hungry for freedom and eager for vengeance against a family with a long history of harsh judgments. Now, Silas must right an ancient wrong and accept that even a house of ghosts can be haunted by its past--for in matters of family, we are who we were.
Delving deeper into the haunting world of ghosts, ancestors, and eldritch lore, Ari Berk returns to the series that Publisher's Weekly calls "thought-provoking gothic fantasy," with a style the School Library Journal praises as "reminiscent of the classic gothic works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Shirley Jackson."
I *loved* loveloveloveloveloved Deathwatch and cannot wait for the sequel, Mistle Child. 
You can find my review on Deathwatch here:

and you can find my interview with the author here: