Sunday, July 25, 2021

REVIEW: Blood of My Blood (book) by Barry Lyga

Blood of My Blood is the last book in Barry Lyga's I Hunt Killers trilogy. It's a YA thriller. I got my copy via interlibrary loan.

This review contains major spoilers for the previous book. If you haven't read it and plan to, stop reading right here.


Blood of My Blood picks up right where Game left off, which means it starts on a nerve-wracking note and just ramps up the tension from there. Howie is bleeding out on the floor of Jazz's home, after potentially accidentally killing Jazz's grandmother. Connie is in Billy's clutches. And Jazz is in a storage unit with a bunch of dead bodies, doomed to die of blood loss, dehydration, or infection if no one finds him.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

REVIEW: The Last Wish (short story anthology) by Andrzej Sapkowski, translated by Danusia Stok

The Last Wish appears to be the first work in Sapkowski's Witcher series, although it's technically a collection of short stories. I bought my copy brand new.

This review includes slight spoilers.


Geralt of Rivia is a Witcher, someone who has been made to undergo extensive mental and physical conditioning since childhood in preparation for becoming a monster slayer. This book is essentially a collection of short stories detailing some of Geralt's adventures. Many of his encounters read like twisted fairy tales - there are heavily altered versions of "Beauty and the Beast" and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," plus a striga (strzyga), a genie, and more.

Geralt starts off as a loner, traveling from one town to the next in the hope that someone will be willing to pay him to deal with a local monster. Later in the volume he gains a regular traveling companion, a bard named Dandelion.

REVIEW: The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent, Vol. 3 (book) by Yuka Tachibana, illustrated by Yasuyuki Syuri, translated by Julie Goniwich

The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent is a slice-of-life fantasy series with romantic elements. It's licensed by Seven Seas Entertainment under its Airship imprint. I bought my copy brand new.


This volume takes place a year after the beginning of the series. Sei is still working on becoming comfortable with her status as the Saint (and in fact still thinks that no one is really sure that she's the Saint, because she's a bit dense in that respect), but she's finally ready to start traveling to problem areas with the palace knights. The first place she and the Third Order knights are being sent is Klausner's Domain, which is sometimes referred to as the alchemist's holy land due to its focus on herb production and potion making. The problem: although Sei used Holy Magic in the previous book to dispel the Miasma in the woods near the palace, she still has no idea how she did it. There's no guarantee that she'll be able to help Klausner's Domain.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

REVIEW: Roujin Z (anime movie)

Roujin Z is a 1991 sci-fi anime movie. I checked it out from the library.


Takazawa, an elderly invalid, is cared for by a volunteer nurse named Haruko. However, the program that takes care of Takazawa and many other elderly Japanese is overburdened and unable to support all the people that could use it, so the Ministry of Public Welfare proposes something new: the Z-001, a computerized "smart" hospital bed that can take care of a patient's every need without any input from a human being. Takazawa's family (who we never see) volunteers him to be the first patient in a Z-001.

Haruko is convinced that the Z-001 couldn't possibly replace the kind of care a real nurse could provide. Her worries seem founded when Takazawa somehow transmits a message to her, asking for help. With the aid of a bunch of elderly hackers, Haruko does her best to free her patient.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

REVIEW: Game (book) by Barry Lyga

Game is a YA thriller, the second book in a series. I bought my copy used.


(I'm starting off with spoilers for the first book. You've been warned.)

In the first book, Jazz was kidnapped by the Impressionist and rescued by his friends. Also, one of Jazz's teachers was killed, and Jazz's dad, the serial killer Billy Dent, escaped from prison and killed the social worker who'd been assigned to Jazz.

Now a cop from the NYPD is at Jazz's door, asking for his help. Neither the NYPD nor the FBI can find a pattern behind the Hat-Dog killings, and they think Jazz, with his unique upbringing and insight into serial killers, might be able to help. Jazz does too, so he eventually agrees to go along. His girlfriend Connie goes with him.

However, there's more going on than Jazz realizes, involving his dad, his own history, and possibly even something worse than his dad.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

REVIEW: The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent, Vol. 2 (book) by Yuka Tachibana, illustrated by Yasuyuki Syuri, translated by Julie Goniwich

The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent is an isekai fantasy romance series. It's licensed by Seven Seas Entertainment. I bought my copy brand new.


Yuri Drewes, the grand magus who initially summoned Sei and Aira to this world, has awakened from his coma and now wants to perform an Appraisal upon both of them. Sei is less than thrilled - despite her saint-level display of powers in the previous volume, she still hopes to live a quiet and relatively anonymous life. 

Although the results are inconclusive (sort of), several things are now coming to a head. From the start, Prince Kyle never even acknowledged Sei's existence, much less her possible status as the Saint. Since then, Aira's abilities have grown at an amazing rate, but she hasn't done nearly as much that might indicate that she's the Saint as Sei has. Also, while Yuri technically hasn't confirmed that Sei is the Saint, her abilities have intrigued him, and he's not the kind of person to let interesting new magic pass him by. One way or another, Sei will have to further explore her Holy Magic, even if she isn't yet ready to admit that she's the Saint.

REVIEW: Talentless Nana, Season 1 (anime TV series)

Talentless Nana is a sci-fi psychological thriller series. I watched it on Funimation's streaming site.


In the near future, monsters known as the "Enemies of Humanity" began to appear. People with superpowers also began to appear, and these "Talented" were best able to fight the Enemies of Humanity. In the series' present, Talented children are sent to a deserted island for special schooling and training so that they can one day fight against the Enemies of Humanity.

The current class includes people like Iijima Moguo, a loud bully whose ability is pyrokinesis, and Kori Seiya, a flirty guy whose ability is cryokinesis. However, there are also several students who do their best to hide their abilities, because there are rumors that the Enemies of Humanity made themselves look human and have infiltrated the island.

The class's newest students are Hiiragi Nana, a cheerful girl who can read minds, and Onodera Kyoya, a mysterious loner who refuses to reveal his ability. Nana attempts to befriend Nakajima Nanao, a timid and supposedly Talentless boy. Soon, however, tensions rise as the rumors about invading Enemies of Humanity appear to have some basis in the truth.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

REVIEW: How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog): Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution (audiobook nonfiction) by Lee Alan Dugatkin and Lyudmila Trut, narrated by Joe Hempel

How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog) is nonfiction. I checked it out via one of my Overdrive accounts.


In 1959, two Russian geneticists, Dmitry Belyayev and Lyudmila Trut, began a selective breeding experiment to see if they could witness the process leading to domestication. They weren't sure that it would work or, if it did, whether it would happen quickly enough for them to witness the results. Fortunately for them, their experiment was successful, eventually resulting in foxes that displayed some of the same behavioral and morphological features present in dogs, which allowed them to then more closely study how their wild and tame foxes differed from each other in terms of hormone production, vocalizations, etc.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

REVIEW: Girl of Nightmares (book) by Kendare Blake

Girl of Nightmares is the second book in Kendare Blake's Anna duology. It's YA horror/paranormal fiction. I got my copy via interlibrary loan.

This review includes slight spoilers.


Anna is gone and Cas can't bring himself to move on. She was a ghost when he met her, and he was not only a living person, but also a ghost hunter - there was never any future for the two of them. But that doesn't stop him from thinking about her and missing her.

However, it seems like Anna might not entirely be gone. Cas keeps seeing and hearing her. The problem is that, wherever she is, she's being horribly tortured. Literally everyone tells Cas that he needs to forget about Anna and try to move on, but how can he when he keeps seeing her in so much agony?

REVIEW: Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?! (manga, vol. 3) by Yuu Toyota, translated by Taylor Engel

Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?! is a contemporary-set BL romance manga with fantasy aspects. It's licensed by Square Enix Manga. I bought my copy brand new.


Kurosawa is now temporarily living at Adachi's place for the flimsiest of reasons. They get a grand total of one evening and morning alone together before Adachi freaks out and turns it into a sleepover party by inviting Rokkaku over. In general, Adachi is struggling with a lot of confusing feelings. He really wants to be loved as he is, and he knows Kurosawa would do that, but at the same time he's still not sure how he feels about being in a relationship with another guy. If he came across a woman who was as into him as Kurosawa was, would he prefer her simply because of the gender issue? Plus, Kurosawa has a pretty significant jealous streak that could quickly become a problem.

REVIEW: The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent, Season 1 (anime TV series)

The Saint's Magic Power is Omnipotent is a fantasy romance anime based on a light novel series of the same title. I watched it on Funimation's streaming site. This first season is 12 episodes long.


Sei is an exhausted office worker who suddenly finds herself transported to a new world, along with a teen girl named Aira. It turns out that this new world is dealing with some kind of magical miasma that causes monsters to appear, and a saint from another world is occasionally needed to dispel the miasma. But which one of them is the saint: Sei, Aira, or both of them? 

Moments after the summoning spell is complete, Prince Kyle whisks Aira away, having immediately decided that the pretty young girl is definitely the saint. Sei is angry about being ignored and asks to go home, but that isn't an option. Plus, despite Kyle's certainty, there's no guarantee Sei isn't the saint. With nowhere else to go, Sei opts to work at the Medicinal Flora Research Institute, learning to make potions. She gradually makes friends and learns to love this world. But what will happen to this new life of hers if it turns out she's the real saint?