Monday, January 19, 2015

Skies of Dawn (book) by Fuyumi Ono, translated by Alexander O. Smith

Skies of Dawn is the fourth book in Fuyumi Ono's The Twelve Kingdoms series. I've been debating what genre to put it in. It'd definitely fantasy. I'd also argue that it's epic fantasy - this book alone covers 100 years and multiple kingdoms.

Review:

I have now finished all of the books in this series that were licensed and translated into English. If I could ask for one Tokyopop license rescue that hasn't already been announced, I'd ask for this. Ono created a fascinating world, and I'd happily read more about it.

Skies of Dawn is probably the most complex book in the series so far, because it doesn't just deal with one main character, but rather three: Yoko, Suzu, and Shoukei. Readers who've read the first book should be familiar with Yoko. Skies of Dawn picks up almost where Sea of Shadow left off - Ono chose to skip Yoko's defeat of the false king and the death of the King of Kou, and began instead with Yoko's coronation. Yoko quickly learns that her problems aren't over – her new kingdom, Kei, is a mess. As King, she has the power to make things better, but she doesn't even know where to start.

The two new characters, Suzu and Shoukei, are located in completely different kingdoms. Suzu is a Japanese girl who was transported to the Twelve Kingdoms one hundred years ago. After a few years, she became the servant of a flying sage in the Kingdom of Sai, which granted her immortality and the ability to understand all languages. Although her mistress is cruel, she doesn't dare leave, out of fear that she'd lose her new linguistic skills. Shoukei also had a painful history. Thirty years ago, her father was King of Hou. He was so unyielding and brutal that he, his wife, and his kirin were eventually killed by his own people. Shoukei was spared but forced to live the life of an ordinary villager.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Prince Who Charmed Her (book) by Fiona McArthur

The Prince Who Charmed Her is a Harlequin Medical Romance.

No read-alikes list this time. I'm feeling lazy, and coming up with read-alikes lists for Harlequin romances always takes me a lot of time.

Review:

This is another one of the books that was in my used bookstore Harlequin Medical Romance bargain pack. It didn't work for me, but at least I liked it more than Her Christmas Eve Diamond.

Dr. Kiki Fender is working on a cruise ship as a way to escape. Nine months ago, she'd had a whirlwind romance with Prince Stefano of Aspelicus. Soon after he suddenly left her, she'd learned she was pregnant. She spent the next few weeks hoping he'd contact her, but he never did. Kiki miscarried at 18 weeks, and there was still no word from Stefano. Now it's mere days before what would have been her due date, and Kiki is shocked to encounter Stefano while treating a passenger suffering from a severe allergic reaction.

Stefano had meant to call Kiki and explain himself, but he'd been delayed by an accident and a long rehabilitation period. By the time he'd recovered, she was long gone. Their sudden reunion on the cruise ship shocks him as much as it does Kiki. Even if he can't mend things between them, he at least wants to explain himself and apologize. Unfortunately, it seems as though everything he says and does just makes Kiki more upset with him.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Her Christmas Eve Diamond (book) by Scarlet Wilson

Her Christmas Eve Diamond is a Harlequin Medical Romance. I got it as part of a used bookstore bargain pack a while back.
 
Review:

Well, crap. This was supposed to be some nice, fluffy fun. Instead, I now want to cry, and not in a good way.

Cassidy Rae is a Scottish nurse. She was badly hurt a few years ago when her Spanish fiance went back to Spain and cut things off with her when she refused to go with him. All she wants to do is take care of her grandmother, who has Alzheimer's, and find herself a nice Scottish guy. She's not happy when a fortuneteller tells her that she's going to be a Christmas bride, and that her groom won't be from Scotland.

Soon after getting back to work, Cassidy meets Brad, a new doctor at her hospital. He's from Australia and probably won't stick around any longer than her fiance did, but she can't help but be charmed by him. The attraction is mutual, but Brad has something he hasn't told Cassidy: he has a young daughter named Melody. Melody's mother, Alison, took off with her in the middle of the night two years ago, and he's been looking for her ever since. Odds are good that Alison fell in love with an American doctor and moved to the United States with him – Brad just doesn't know exactly where. When he finds out, will that be the end of his and Cassidy's romance, or will she unbend enough to reconsider her decision never to leave Scotland?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bossypants (audiobook) by Tina Fey, read by the author

I needed a change in work-time listening, so I decided to go back to audiobooks for a while. This one seemed like it would be fun.

In Bossypants, Tina Fey talks about her childhood, her father, comedy, feminism, Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, parenting, and more. I didn't always follow the shifts between topics very well, and some things that I'm guessing were sidebars and section breaks in the original book were a bit odd when read aloud. Even so, I'm glad I listened to it rather than read it. I was never a big viewer of SNL, and I've never seen 30 Rock, so I mostly know Fey for her Sarah Palin impersonations. When she rattled off lists of various people's best SNL sketches, I rarely had any idea what she was talking about. The details about 30 Rock meant even less to me, but Fey's narration kept it from being boring.

While some parts seemed a bit strange in an audiobook format, others were very good. For example, disc 1 ended with Fey directly addressing listeners, asking them to take a break for an hour and try to picture the guy she'd just mentioned, who was supposed to have looked like a “handsome Robert Wuhl.” Later in the audiobook, Fey cut to an actual audio clip of her first impersonation of Sarah Palin. She also frequently mentioned image files that were supposed to have been part of the audiobook (I didn't go looking for those, so I can only comment on the audio aspects of the book).

That's pretty much it, I guess. Bossypants made for a nice few hours of listening. Some parts were more humorous than others, and there was some nice behind-the-scenes info (off the top of my head, I'd say the bit about Sarah Palin's appearance on SNL was my favorite). I also enjoyed her comments about women in the workforce and in the media.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Night Gardener (book) by Jonathan Auxier

The Night Gardener is a middle grade horror novel that takes place in 19th century England. I checked it out from the library.

Review:

Molly and Kip are two siblings who escape the Great Famine in Ireland only to find themselves orphaned and penniless. Kip doesn't know the full truth – in order to protect him, Molly told him that they'd simply gotten separated and their parents would come for them soon. In the meantime, they need money and/or a place to live, so Molly lies about her age and gets hired as the Windsor family's new maid.

The Windsor family home is creepy and strange. It and the enormous tree next to it have nearly become one. Branches have grown through the walls, and the Windsors forbid Molly and Kip to do anything about it. Molly has to clean up mysterious muddy boot prints throughout the house every day, and Kip swears that he saw someone moving around outside at night. Then there's the locked room with the green door, the one room in the house Molly isn't allowed to enter.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Lost Planet (book) by Rachel Searles

The Lost Planet is middle grade science fiction, the first in a series. I checked it out from the library.

Review:

While I was cataloging this for my library, I became intrigued by the girl on the lower right corner of the cover. Reviews told me that her name was Mina, and that she was an android who'd basically raised Parker, the boy on the lower left. That sounded pretty cool, and the cover practically screamed “fast-paced action,” so I decided to give it a shot. Unfortunately, it didn't work as well for me as I'd hoped. Mina and Parker's relationship was entirely the wrong reason to read this, since they didn't actually have much of one.

Parker finds and rescues an unconscious, wounded boy outside his home. That boy turns out to be Chase, the book's primary protagonist. Chase can't remember his own identity (they got his name from a chip in his head), how he got there, or why he was wounded. He doesn't even know basic things that just about anyone should know, or why he said “Guide the star” when Parker first found him.

Chase desperately wants to find out more about himself, but Mina, Parker's android bodyguard, seems determined to keep him locked up. Parker breaks Chase out, but, to Chase's frustration, he only does it so the two of them can do some shopping and sight-seeing. Things quickly go very, very wrong, and the two boys find themselves on the run and in grave danger. The only safe place left may be with Asa, Parker's guardian, but first they need to find Mina and avoid slavers and Fleet soldiers.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Glass House (live action movie), on DVD

The Glass House is a thriller. I'm pretty sure I first saw it not long after it came out, way back in 2001. The characters are nothing special, the story doesn't really do anything unusual, and there are some bits that don't make sense. I still enjoyed it, even on a re-watch.

The story: Ruby Baker and her little brother are taken in by Terry and Erin Glass after their parents are killed in a car accident. Terry and Erin's house is huge, slick, modern, and kind of sterile – not really very kid-friendly. It's a big change, and everyone has to do some adjusting.

There are hints fairly early on that there's something not quite right about the Glass household. Ruby's calls are maybe being monitored, Terry is kind of creepy, and Erin might have a drug addiction. Ruby's brother, appeased by video game consoles, is perfectly happy with his new life, so Ruby does some digging on her own.

Dragons: Dawn of the Dragon Racers (CGI animated short film), via Netflix

It's been a while since I last saw either of the movies, but I'm pretty sure Dawn of the Dragon Racers takes place between the first and the second. Hiccup, Snotlout, and Astrid argue over who invented dragon racing, which leads to a flashback of dragon racing's beginnings. A big boat race called the Regatta is taking place soon, and there's some panic, because a bunch of sheep have gotten lose. The various dragon riders round up the sheep, and, despite Hiccup's complaints, the whole thing turns into a competition. While Hiccup's dad is away, everyone realizes they kind of enjoyed the dragon racing, and it gets turned into an actual game, with points and rules.

This was...okay. I'm not sure why most of it was structured as a flashback, rather than just being a short film set in the recent past. The animation was nowhere near the quality of the movies, but the characters' efforts to outdo each other and gather the most sheep were kind of fun to watch. Hiccup couldn't seem to decide whether to protest everyone's competitiveness or join in on the fun. I was a little surprised that no one accidentally set Fishlegs' boat on fire while going after the sheep, although that didn't stop his plans from getting ruined anyway. He got over that amazingly quickly.

Meh. I didn't go into it expecting much, with it only being 26 minutes long. I don't regret watching it but have no desire to ever rewatch it. At the same time, I haven't watched any of the other How to Train Your Dragon shorts and have no idea how this one compares.

Happy New Year! Plus, some goals

I don't have many specific reading goals, since those tend to paralyze me and then depress me when I don't meet them. One that I've been doing each year since I joined Goodreads is read a certain number of works. In 2014, my goal was 125, based on what I'd managed to finish the previous year. I surpassed my goal, so this year I'm aiming for 142 works.

Other things I'd like to accomplish:
  • I want to get back to privately rating everything I read and watch. I had ratings for the stuff I'd read last year, because of my LibraryThing account, but I had nothing for the things I watched, and I realized I missed that.
  • I want to finish more of my physical TBR/TBW pile. I don't have a specific goal, like “X number of DVDs and books a month,” but I need to do something, because I'm out of storage space again. I have multiple copies of some things, which isn't really necessary. For example, I have several releases of Cowboy Bebop and plan on donating one copy to my library once I finish deciding which one I'm willing to part with.
  • In 2014, I started a BookLikes reading list of science fiction and fantasy by women authors. It now has 264 books on it, with only a few authors making repeat appearances. Prior to putting this list together, I had thought I was well-versed in women SFF authors. It was amazing to realize how limited my reading has actually been, and how most lists tend to cover the same dozen or so women. I'd like to read more books from this list, and maybe recreate the list over at LibraryThing.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Worst things I've read and watched in 2014

Except for the movies and TV shows, which I didn't privately grade this year, these are things that got 1.5 stars or less (although not all of them - again, based on "gut feelings"). I hate that it's so much easier to explain why I disliked something than why I liked it.

Books and stories:
  • A Lot Like a Lady (e-book) by Kay Springsteen and Kim Bowman - I was expecting a fluffy and forgettable historical romance. Instead, I got a bunch of characters who didn't react in ways that made any sense. This e-book is no longer being sold, and, quite frankly, nobody's missing out on much. Correction: this book is now available for purchase, although it wasn't when I reviewed it.
  • Spoonfuls of Sugar (e-short story) by Elizabeth McCoy - I keep trying McCoy's stuff, hoping to find something as good or better than her Queen of Roses. So far, things haven't worked out, but most of her works have eventually grown on me. This one, however, had some serious problems.
  • Wings of Destruction (e-novella) by Victoria Zagar - I knew, going in, that this post-apocalyptic asexual romance would probably not be very good, but I was still disappointed. Also, I now have an extremely low opinion of Less Than Three Press. Congratulations, you put out a typo-free e-book. However, a well-edited work is more than just typo-free.
  • Trusted Bond (book) by Mary Calmes - Change of Heart was a guilty pleasure of mine. I was hoping for more of the same from this, the next book in the series. Instead, I got a confusing, rape-y trainwreck.
  • The Paratwa (book) by Christopher Hinz - A huge chunk of this book was just plain boring, and Hinz did badly by all his female characters. This trilogy started out great and ended so badly that I was left angry with myself for all the time I wasted on Books 2 and 3.
  • Die, Snow White! Die, Damn You!: A Very Grimm Tale (audio book) by Yuri Rasovsky, featuring a full cast - This featured good voice acting, but everything else was pretty bad. I loved Rasovsky's Sweeney Todd and the String of Pearls, so I was very disappointed by this one.
  • Flying Solo (e-short story) by Wade J. McMahan - This was a pointless short story that wanted to be funny and wasn't.
  • A Promise of Romance (book) by Kyoko Akitsu, illustrations by Tooko Miyagi, English translation by Translation By Design - This is supposedly a m/m romance. It was a "meh" read with a silly premise, right up until one of the male leads raped the other one. The guy who was raped hated his rapist until he suddenly decided he loved him. So much NO.
  • Snap! And the Alter Ego Dimension (e-book) by Ann Hite Kemp, illustrated by Zak Kemp - This was a stiff, clunky read, with characters that never felt like real teens to me.
Manga and graphic novels:
  • No Matter How I Look At It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! (manga, vol. 1) by Nico Tanigawa, translated by Krista Shipley and Karie Shipley - I didn't see the slightest sign that Tomoko might later grow as a person, and I couldn't bring myself to read past this first volume. I loathed her and the way she constantly judged others, whether they were strangers or "friends." At the same time, I hated that readers were expected to laugh at her.
  • The Devil Within (manga series) by Ryo Takagi, translated by Christine Schilling - The only good thing about the series was that it was short. The romance was gross, and the supernatural stuff made no sense. Even the art could have been better - Takagi had zero torso-drawing ability.
  • Angel Nest (manga) by Erica Sakurazawa, translation by Yuki Nakamura  - I had seen Sakurazawa's works recommended a lot, so I was surprised at how bad this was. The art was nice, and Sakurazawa does an amazing job with curly-haired characters, but the stories themselves were pointless.
TV series:
  • Diabolik Lovers (anime TV series) - So much blood rape. Did anyone out there actually want Yui to end up with one of these monsters? If so, why? Why would you want something like that? I honestly do not understand.
Movies:
  • Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (live action movie) - "I really want to save my mother, except now I've fallen in love with this guy who I just found out is going to die. Because of that love, I'm totally okay with the idea of being stranded in the past!" And the ending was pointless.
  • Babylon 5: The Gathering (live action movie) - As much as I like the series as a whole, this is not a good movie. Thank goodness this isn't where I initially started watching the show, or I'd never have continued on.

Best things I've read and watched in 2014

Although it felt like I hated a lot of things this year, according to my stats I actually loved more books than I hated. These lists are based mostly on my 4.5- and 5-star ratings, although there are a few 4-star ones I felt deserved a mention. Everything is listed in no particular order, and I've chosen not to list everything I rated highly, for reasons that mostly boil down to "gut feeling." I also opted not to force myself to list a certain number of works.

Books and stories:
  • Nine Goblins (e-novella) by T. Kingfisher - This Pratchett-esque story about a war, a bunch of goblins, and an exhausted elven veterinarian was wonderful.
  • First Test (book) by Tamora Pierce - This one was a reread. I adore this book. It's a fantasy middle grade (?) novel about Keladry, the first female page of Tortall (not counting Alanna, who had to pretend to be a boy).
  • Kei's Gift (e-book) by Ann Somerville - A m/m fantasy book featuring slowly developing relationships and romance. A healer and a general invading the healer's country fall in love.
  • Code Runner (e-book) by Rosie Claverton - I loved this book even more than Binary Witness, although I have yet to review it and will probably need to reread it (such a hardship). It's a mystery starring an agoraphobic hacker and her ex-con assistant. Their relationship is wonderful, although they're going to have to sit down and have a good, long talk about things if it ever develops from a loving friendship into a romance.
  • A Lily Among Thorns (e-book) by Rose Lerner - A historical romance starring an ex-prostitute turned inn keeper and a chemist with a passion for dyes and clothing. I'm still a little surprised I liked this one as much as I did, considering how off-the-wall some aspects were.
  • Happy Snak (e-book) by Nicole Kimberling - This science fiction book featured a fabulously interesting look at an alien culture, from the perspective of a capitalistic snack bar owner.
  • Sea of Wind (book) by Fuyumi Ono - This was a reread. My favorite book in the Twelve Kingdoms series.
  • The MacGregor Grooms (book) by Nora Roberts - Another reread. This one is odd - the individual novellas aren't really all that strong on their own, but, taken as a whole, they become this warm, fuzzy blanket in book form that makes me ridiculously happy each time I read it.
  • Liege-Killer (e-book) by Christopher Hinz - This violent sci-fi thriller had me at the edge of my seat. Sadly, the next two books in the trilogy didn't live up to the promise of this first one.
Honorable mentions:
  • 14 (audiobook) by Peter Clines, read by Ray Porter - The ending had moments that struck me as being somewhat silly, but overall this was still a wonderful book to listen to.
  • Queen of Roses (e-book) by Elizabeth McCoy - A sci-fi book with an AI main character. I really enjoyed this one and hope McCoy writes something else starring an AI, even if that AI isn't Sarafina. If she announced another book with Loren in it, my poor little heart would probably explode. 
  • Be With You (book) by Takuji Ichikawa - This is a lovely book that seems like it might be a ghost story but is actually sort of science fiction. A widower trying to raise his young son while dealing with severe anxiety stumbles across an amnesiac woman who appears to be his dead wife.
Manga and graphic novels:
  • Saga (graphic novel series) written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Fiona Staples - I read two volumes of this, and both were excellent.
  • Chi's Sweet Home (manga series) by Konami Kanata, translated by Ed Chavez - If you love cats, you really need to try this series. It's full-color and has been flipped for left-to-right reading, so Japanese manga newbies should be just fine.
  • Skip Beat! (manga series) by Yoshiki Nakamura, translated by Tomo Kimura - I suppose this is technically a romance series, but it has an almost shounen manga feel. It's long, and still ongoing, but it's totally worth it.
  • Naoki Urasawa's Monster (manga series) translated by various people - A complicated thriller in which a doctor inadvertently saves the life of a killer and then devotes himself to trying to stop him. This one is best read in big gulps, so you don't start thinking too much about how terribly convenient it is that nearly everyone seems to be connected to Johan.
  • What Did You Eat Yesterday? (manga, vol. 1) by Fumi Yoshinaga, translated by Maya Rosewood - A food manga focused on the daily lives of Shiro and Kenji, a gay couple. I really wish I could try Shiro's cooking - it all looked and sounded so delicious.
  • Olympos (manga) by Aki - This one was bittersweet enough that I don't see myself ever rereading it (even glancing at my review was tough). However, I'm glad I at least read it once.
Unfortunately, this year I completely slacked off on my practice of privately giving grades to TV shows and movies, so I don't have ratings for any of that. However, I looked through my blog at what I reviewed in the past year, and here are the ones I still feel pretty good about.

TV series:
  • Natsume's Book of Friends (anime TV series) - Just thinking about this series makes me want to give Natsume a hug.
  • My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (live action TV series) - Every time I talked to someone about this series, they laughed at the title. ::sigh:: Anyway, it takes a few episodes to get going, but, once it does, it's lovely.
  • The Great Doctor (live action TV series) - This may have ruined me for other K-dramas. I'm watching City Hunter right now, and, although I'm enjoying it, I kind of wish I could just erase The Great Doctor from my brain and watch Lee Min Ho as Choi Young for the first time all over again. In addition, once you make it past the first four episodes, Eun Soo is a wonderful, mature, and strong heroine.
Honorable mentions:
  • Inu x Boku Secret Service (anime TV series) - This series has many, many problematic aspects, but the last two episodes are incredibly good. I wish the characters had been as complicated and wonderful throughout the whole show as they were in those final two episodes, although that still wouldn't have erased the age-gap issue.
  • Noragami (anime TV series) - I didn't review this one, although I wrote briefly about it. It was a bit too short, but I'd now really like to read the manga.
Movies:
  • Maleficent (live action movie) - I was surprised at how much I liked this one, considering that I don't really like Angelina Jolie. It definitely has its problems (the cheek bone CGI; Aurora will forever and always be the most boring Disney princess), but it's honestly the best movie I've seen all year - which isn't really saying much, since my movie-watching this year was bad-to-mediocre.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wings of Destruction (e-novella) by Victoria Zagar

Wings of Destruction is a post-apocalyptic asexual romance involving angels. It's published by Less Than Three Press and is 19,130 words long.

Review:

I bought this, after considerable internal debate, because it was tagged “asexual romance.” The reasons why it took me a while to finally hit the “buy” button included reviews that said it wasn't very good, its price-to-word count ratio (it cost about twice what I would normally be willing to pay for something this long), and angels (I don't read much angel fiction).

Anyway, this novella takes place an indeterminate amount of time in the future. An economic collapse plunged the world into chaos, and now everyone is either affiliated with a gang or living in fear of the gangs. If you're with one of the gangs, you're either a sex slave or you have a mate and are marginally protected. Martin, an asexual man, is scared and depressed. He's just been left by his latest mate – every one of them ends up wanting more from him than he's willing to give. Seeing no other acceptable options, he decides to kill himself by jumping off Spire Rock. He is saved by the angel Anael, who has been sent to evaluate humans and determine whether it would be best to destroy everything with Black Rain, thereby wiping the slate clean for God's next new world. The angel decides that Martin will be his guide as he makes his final decision.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Games keep sucking me in

I keep reading reviews of Dragon Age games that make me want to give one of them a try (looks like it'd have to be Dragon Age: Origins via Steam, because I haven't had a game console of any kind in over a decade). The reviews of Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II on Gossamer Obsessions make them sound particularly good. I have to keep reminding myself that the battles would probably turn me into a wreck. But the character interaction aspect sounds really interesting...

Speaking of gaming, I've now beaten the Demon Lord in One Way Heroics four times or so. I literally have his heart in a box, I think because I made him be my friend for a bit before I killed him. I guess that makes me an Evil Hero?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Dangerous and Unseemly: A Concordia Wells Mystery (e-book) by K.B. Owen

Dangerous and Unseemly is a historical cozy mystery. It's the first in a series and is 89,170 words long.

Review:

If I remember correctly, this made it onto my radar when I spotted one of the newer books in the series on Smashwords (although the author needs to do a bit of cleanup – Smashwords lists books 2 and 3 on one K.B. Owen page and book 1 on another). The cover intrigued me, I liked the excerpt, and the price wasn't bad.

Miss Concordia Wells is a junior instructor at Hartford Women's College in 1896. The college is going through some bad financial times, so it's not entirely a shock when the bursar is found dead, an apparent suicide. Her death turns out to be just the start of a very hard year, however. The president and lady principal of the college become targets of threatening notes and pranks. Also, Concordia learns that her sister is suffering from a mysterious illness. Concordia's personal life is further complicated by her attraction to Julian Reynolds, who occasionally teaches at the college.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Great Doctor (live action TV series), via Netflix

The Great Doctor (also known as Faith) is a Korean historical drama featuring romance, time travel, and even a few people with something like superpowers (one woman can burn people with her touch, Choi Young can produce lightning, one guy has super hearing and can kill people with his flute playing, and another guy can freeze people with his touch).

Review:

I started watching this series after reading Hello Book, So Long Sleep's review of it. It had previously been in my Netflix queue, but I'd avoided it because Lee Min Ho was in it. Lee Min Ho played Goo Joon Pyo in Boys Over Flowers, and I was worried about having to watch another smirking jerk of a love interest. Thankfully, Choi Young, Lee Min Ho's character in The Great Doctor, was about as far from Goo Joon Pyo as you could get.

At the start of this series, King Gong Min and his new Queen are traveling together with Choi Young and several others as their body guards. The Queen is badly injured and their doctor is only able to slow the bleeding. Without help, she'll soon die. There are signs of the magical gate that a legendary great doctor is supposed to have used in the past, so the King sends Choi Young to find the great doctor. The gate takes Choi Young hundreds of years into the future, to our time (which he mistakes for Heaven), where he finds Yoo Eun Soo, a plastic surgeon. After wounding a random man similar to the way the Queen was wounded and making Eun Soo save him, Choi Young drags Eun Soo back through the gate.

Eun Soo is convinced, at first, that she's just at the set of some kind of elaborate movie, but she eventually realizes the truth. As she gradually adapts to life in this new and dangerous time, others learn of her existence and either want to use her for their own ends or to kill her. Meanwhile, Choi Young tries to fulfill his duty to his king while dealing with his growing feelings for Eun Soo and doing his best to keep the promise he made to help her get back to her own time.
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