BOOK BLITZ: Of Brine & Blood, by B. Longino Smith (Brine series #1)


Hello, there! Welcome to the book blitz for the first book in the Brine series, by B. Longino Smith: Of Brine & Blood! This blitz is hosted by Xpresso Book Tours 🙂

Of Brine & Blood
by B. Longino Smith
Brine Series #1
Publication date: May 1st, 2016
Genres: Adventure, Romance, Young Adult

summary

In 1700 century England, a women’s purpose is only served in a home. But Kitrina Harvey has no home and the only place she feels will keep the memory of her father alive, is at sea. However, when she inexplicably finds herself on the ship of the infamous female pirate captain, Charlotte de Berry, she may have counted her good fortune too soon.

While Kit may have found a family among the motley crew of outlaws, and perhaps even a special interest in a particular pirate named Gage, is she ready to be a pirate herself?

Kit must ask herself what she is willing to do to please the pirate captain, made even more complicated when she finds out that her life is much more entangled in Charlotte’s than she originally believed.

Can she kill even when she discovers that she and Charlotte share a common enemy?

Set atop the planks of the great Athena, Of Brine & Blood is a fictionalized retailing of one of history’s infamous female pirates, through the eyes of a girl coming of age among the contrasting themes of love, revenge and power. Liberally sensationalized, Of Blood and Brine, follows the twisting trail of Kitrina Harvey’s life, as she recounts Captain Charlotte de Berry’s own story of love, loss and murder.

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purchase links

You can find Of Brine & Blood in both paperback & ebook formats 🙂

Amazon

excerpt

Thomas adjusted his spectacles again and lowered the parchment to look at me. I nodded letting him know that I had understood and agreed to the articles. With that, he produced a quill from his breast pocket and handed it to me. He then laid the parchment on the railing of the deck and held it open so the wind would not catch it. I quickly scripted my signature and then held out my hand to return the pen. Thomas received it with his right hand but then made to grab my still extended arm with his left. He continued to hold my wrist as he replaced the quill in his pocket.

Holding my palm close to his face, he reached to his belt with his unoccupied hand, unsheathing a small blade. I automatically took a step back, tugging my hand as I went. But Thomas pulled me abruptly back to him, and in one fluid swipe, he pricked the flesh on my thumb.

As he let go of my wrist and went to replace his dagger, I stared in astonishment at the small drop of blood beginning to pool on the pad of my finger. Now, Thomas held the parchment out for me again, but this time I was confused. Reading my misunderstanding, he again took my hand and directed my thumb to the scroll pressing it next to my name. When he let go, I retracted my hand, but left behind was the red, wet smudge of my thumbprint in blood.

I looked up at Thomas with wide eyes. He seemed amused by my expression and continued to look smugly at me for a moment more before he turned to the captain. She had been watching us and her dimpled smile had returned.

“Do you have any questions, Kitrina?” she asked. I shook my head more in habit than in directly answering her question, feeling the accelerated beat of my heart in the flat of my thumb. “Alright then, Mr. Hamilton, please show Kitrina to a bucket and brush to swab the main deck,” she directed.

Thomas made for the stairs, and I followed, but soon spun back towards her. “Aye, yes, I do have a question, Captain,” I stammered trying to get out my question, as it formed in my mind.

She looked down at me, her dark eyes appearing to peer intrudingly deep into mine, waiting for me to go on.

Sheepishly I asked her, “What is our trade, Captain? Where is this ship destined?” I was suddenly, and embarrassingly, aware that I did not know the nature of our voyage.

At this, she threw her head back laughing. She lifted her grip on the helm, and it began to spin, slowly at first, but gradually it picked up speed sending the boat in a wide turn. Her laugh, growing from a small chuckle in correlation with the speed of the helm, echoed into a maniacal cackle.

Sails shifted, and men upon the deck rushed to account for the change of direction, pulling lines and adjusting the riggings. Smaller objects tumbled from portside to starboard and crashed into the rails. Thomas and I both made a grab for the deck railing to steady ourselves.

When she finally angled her chin back down at me to speak, her eyes were dancing. “Why, where ever the wind may take us!” she howled. She grabbed the helm again, at last pulling the ship out of its turn, but threw her head back and continued to snicker. The sound was ominous.

As Thomas pulled me towards the steps, I could feel that shock had frozen my face into a mixture of bewilderment and terror. I hurried to rearrange my features but leaned into Thomas as we walked to retrieve a pail and brush.

“Is she mad?” I whispered, unable to hold in my inquiry, seeing the wild look in her eyes again, though my back was now to her. He turned his head sharply, and I immediately regretted asking it, for I was sure to be punished for speaking ill of the captain. When he spoke, his expression settled into something less severe but still stern.

“I have been sailing with Charlie for five years and have been at sea for twelve before that. I have never seen her equal at sea. She hears the call of the ocean as if it speaks directly to her. She has an unparalleled intuition and knows what ships to run towards and which ones to run from. She is fair with her men and I hold her at the highest respect,” he said before pausing and setting me with a firm look again to convey that I should understand he meant every word.

Then he continued, “But mad you ask? Yes, in that regard too, I have never met her equal.”

the author

Brittany lives with her husband and daughter just two miles away from the beach on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. The backdrop serves as a constant reminder, and motivator, in her nautical historical fiction projects.

Her current series in progress, the Brine Series, has been a story that she has ‘picked at’ for over five years. In the beginning, Brittany only had the undeniable compulsion to bring the vivid characters in her mind, to life, by recording their story on paper. However, only more recently have her characters become increasingly disgruntled by not having their story shared with others. Brittany’s husband sided with her characters.

In the winter of 2015, after the first installment of the Brine Series, Of Brine and Blood, was complete; the second book, Of Bitter and Brine, was written and being revised; and the third installment, Brine: The Beginning, was outlined, Brittany’s husband had had enough of talking about characters that were only real in the Smith household. As a Christmas present, Steven sent Of Brine and Blood off to a (fabulous) editor, unbeknownst to Brittany until Christmas morning.

With the overwhelming encouragement from Victoria (fabulous editor extraordinare), and the unwavering support from her husband, Brittany began her publishing journey. She is indescribably excited to be sharing her characters and their adventure with others.

Brittany also feels as though this brief bio does not adequately include the recognition of her daughter, mother, father, sister and all others who have been invaluable sources of motivation, inspiration, and support.

To get updates on new releases in the Brine Series, please visit her website.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

giveaway

One lucky winner will take home a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter link bellow and good luck 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That’s it, thanks for reading! I’m really pinning for this one, haha!

assinatura

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Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal, from Emily Rodda (Rowan of Rin #3)

Hi, there! I *finally* sat down to write the last review on my reading marathon for Rowan of Rin series!! Yay *–* Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal is the third book in the Rowan of Rin series, by awesome Emily Rodda ❤

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from my Instagram 😀

the story

All was well in Rin until Rowan and his mother’s summoning to Maris, the sea shore village. Their source of magic and power, a mysterious Crystal, is in danger as its keeper is dying and, for political reasons, the task of picking up another keeper falls on Rowan’s family hands.

As it usually goes regarding the candidates for the position, the mission is risky and dangerous for Rowan and his mother, but they have no choice. If Maris fall, the whole land will be easy prey for the Zebak to conquer.

The thing is, Rowan’s mother is poisoned on the first hours of the competition and Rowan has to take her place and safe her life. His only help are the three people suspect of poisoning his mother.

Will Rowan be able to think clearly enough to safe his mom? Will he be able to choose the right person to be the next keeper of the crystal?

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the analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

I just wanted to start this review by saying that things got even more intense so sudden on this book that I actually shivered a lot of times and was left second-guessing even Rowan, the main character. I WAS LEFT SECOND GUESSING BY A BOOK THAT IS RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN! I’m amazed with Emily Rodda’s writing skills. She proves that a good children’s book is never silly on the eyes of an adult, haha! I mean, this is a middle grade book, but still. If this volume was any indication, I’m positive that things will get even darker in the next two volumes and, knowing Emily as I do, the end will blow my mind and leave me hangover, haha! But without further ado, FIVE STARS! ❤

The narrative follows the previous’ volumes style, always in third person from Rowan’s point of view. I really like how he is growing up and maturing little by little on each book and how he manages to remain true to his feelings and beliefs even when facing the most terrifying situations. AND WITHOUT STOP BEING A KID! HOW DO YOU DO THAT, RODDA?!

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The plot got more complex this time. As a web of lies is in front of Rowan’s eyes, we can’t be really sure of anything until the very end. Rowan is a great observer and very tenacious for his age, but he lives a situation that would make even an adult go insane. It’s normal to see him afraid, unsure and second-guessing even himself – and taking the reader with him. I almost ate all my nails reading, haha!

As Rowan leaves Rin once again, we meet new characters and I really wish we get to see some of them again, as they left a very good impression, haha! I loved to read about Maris and to see how they are different of Rin’s people and from the travelers. The most surprising was to see that no one cared about the differences, facing it all with normalcy and respect. It’s wonderful to see so many cultures coexisting in such a beautiful harmony. No one loses their identity and they still mix wonderfully! I wish real world was like that too, haha!

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I would like to highlight how the maturing process of Rowan reflects directly on the story. As a child, he saw everything black and white. Up until the last book, he still saw a lot of things like this. On the Keeper of the Crystal, Rowan starts to understand the grey area and how to deal with it. Seriously, Rodda simply rocks hard!!! ❤

I can’t wait to put my hands on the fourth volume of the series and, if you like fantasy, adventure, riddles and wonderful protagonists, YOU HAVE TO START READING THIS SERIES!!

5star

Thanks so much for reading! ❤ Have you read anything by Emily Rodda?

assinatura

Ps: Here are the reviews for the previous volumes on Rowan of Rin:

RODDA, EmilyRowan of Rin, Rowan of Rin #1 (review here!)

RODDA, EmilyRowan and the Travelers, Rowan of Rin #2 (review here!)

I also made a huge post about my love for Emily Rodda, that you can check here 🙂

Red Queen, from Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen #1)

Hello, there! I’m feeling like a winner at the moment because I managed to put up two reviews today, haha!

In March, the lovely Jess from Mud and Stars agreed to start a book club with me and our first read was Red Queen. You can read her review here and if you don’t know her, please take a moment to stalk her blog. She’s one of the most kind and sweet human beings ever!

I’m already late in my own chronogram, so let’s go, haha!

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from my Instagram!

The Story

(Goodreads blurb)

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart…

The Analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

I simply have to say that I don’t understand all the hype around this book. I admit I’m not a hardcore fan of dystopian books, but Red Queen got my attention. The premise had potential, everybody seemed to be speaking only good things about it and the cover is gorgeous. What I actually got was a blanket made with a piece of every famous recent dystopian book series that reached the stars. I was constantly thinking of The Hunger Games (and I only saw the second movie!), The Selection, Star Wars, Pokémon and so on. Yes, you read it right, Pokémon. We’ll get there. What I’m trying to say is that Red Queen is not an awful book by any means, but it isn’t original or brilliant either. I’m happy that the author got famous and the book sold well, as deep inside we want all authors to succeed, but I just don’t understand the circus, you know? After some epic scenes, tons of eye rolls, a couple of clichés and almost zero emotion, I think Red Queen is only a three stars book: enjoyable, but not brilliant by any means.

I’ll keep this review short because I have more complaints than compliments.

The narrative style was first person styled from Mare’s point of view only. Then the problem started. By the end of the book, I couldn’t stand Mare. I felt she was too shallow, our personalities didn’t matched 😦 She was too indecisive, hotheaded and really selfish. Also, I’ve never been attracted to character with deep existential doubts or that have a strong need for self-categorization to keep breathing. I guess I took my mom’s speech of “you are not everybody to have this or that too” a bit too serious while growing up, I don’t know. Or maybe I just hate labels and can’t respect people that need them to establish themselves as someone.

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The plot was the strongest point of this book. Although I was able to predict the twist, I still liked to see things changing and happening. Mare is the ranting kind of narrator, so it was incredibly difficult for me to get past some parts in the book. Thank God Jess was there for me, haha! Also, I suffered with an unique problem that I don’t hold against Red Queen or Victoria Aveyard at all: I’ve read the Brazilian Portuguese edition for Red Queen and it was so bad. The translation was rough and often too literal, without any care in it for the sentences to make sense. I’ll give a simple example.

In Brazilian Portuguese, we only need one word to say that we are sorry and it is “desculpe”. So when Mare apologizes to Cal more to the end, she thinks something like this: “I hated saying these three words, but I felt that was all I had to say”. Something like this, right? Well, the Brazilian Portuguese sentence was like this:

“Desculpe.” I hated to say these THREE WORDS…” [in BP, of course]

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I mean, seriously? THERE ARE NO THREE WORDS! No adaptation at all. I can only imagine the confusion that a non-English speaker from my country felt on this part. But, as I said, I don’t hold this against the book in any way or against the author, it’s not their fault. I hold it against the Brazilian publisher. Moving on.

I discussed this book with several people along my read and I have to quote what an offline friend said about Red Queen: “Mare is not a likeable character. You’ll keep reading Red Queen not because you like Mare; you’ll do so because she is surrounded by a highly interesting world and awesome people.” (M, Jenny – love you, doll!). She is right, of course. Cal and Maven’s relationship were a breath of fresh air in the middle of Mare’s ranting and I also loved Julian to the core. Also, I loved to hate the queen, haha! ❤

Oh, and I’m so sorry for all the fangirling you had to endure on my part, Jess! I know you’ll never think of Cal and Maven together on the same way again, sorry LOL

Also, I’d love to compliment Aveyard on the blood system. It was incredibly cool and one of the things that most excited me on this book ❤ Also, the gifts were cool. It made me think that I’d be the top student on the Silver elite class, as I’ve been a Pokémon fan since 1998 and a hardcore gamer since 2003, but they were cool. Oh, and the fighting scenes! THEY WERE EPIC AND SO GOOD! [I’m talking about the arena ones, okay? Nothing that happened in a ball, because that was the epitome of lame]. Those are the things that make me say that I want to continue on this series.

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there, there, Red Queen. I shall read Glass Sword.

Overall, it was an easy book to read despite the large and constant eye rollings. If you like dystopian, don’t mind instalove, lack of originality and clichés, and love epic battle scenes, Red Queen should suit you 🙂

3star

That’s it and thanks for reading! Also, I’m sorry if anything that I said may have sounded offensive, that wasn’t my intention at all. And, of course, thanks so much to Jess, that put up with my endless ranting and gay fangirling during March ❤ (And will be doing it again in April, haha! This girl is a fighter, honestly ;D)

For those who still haven’t read Red Queen: that you may love it more than I did. For those who read it and loved it to the core: I hope you can keep loving it for the both of us.

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thank you.

assinatura

Rowan of Rin, from Emily Rodda (Rowan of Rin #1)

Hi, again! I’m sorry, I’ve been reading a lot on the past few days and I can’t put up with my own rhythm to blog about them, haha! Today I bring to you another re-read: Rowan of Rin, from brilliant Emily Rodda!

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from my Instagram 😀

The Story

Rowan always felt a stranger on his own village. People in Rin were expected to grow up handling every physic aspect of life with perfection. But not Rowan. He was always too skinny, too thin, too scared… Useless. All the kids always made fun of him. The only thing that he never failed to do was to look after the village’s bukshas, a kind of breed between cow and sheep.

Until the bukshas’ lake rans dry and no one knows why.

Rowan knows he’s not a brave man as his father was before his death and that his own mother doesn’t believe in him to be strong, but he has to save the buskhas. The only creatures that ever believed him and never made fun of him. That trusted him.

So when he’s left with no other option but to travel to the Mountain with the other six villagers, Rowan decides that he will be brave for the bukshas.

Even if it scared him to death.

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The Analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

If you have read this post, you know that I LOVE Emily Rodda. I’ve read the whole Deltora Quest series (all three parts of it) and then I started reading Rowan of Rin. As always, Brazilian publishers took so long between a book and other that I stopped reading it on the second book and when I got myself the third book, I could hardly remember the story at all. Hence the re-read, haha!

Rowan of Rin was everything good that I knew I had felt on my first reading and more. With real and relatable characters, a wonderful setting and life-saver riddles, it had everything that I love about a fantasy/adventure book. Five stars again ❤

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The narrative is third person styled, from Rowan’s point of view most of time, but anyone can barge in during the book. Even Estrela, Rowan family’s buksha. I personally love Rowan, he’s an adorable kid ❤ He’s always true to himself, no matter how bad things look or sound. I’ll get there in a moment lol

Also, I love Rodda’s writing style. It’s so fluid, detailed and addictive! I’ve read this book in one single hour, as I didn’t remember how it ended, just some pieces of their adventure. (I also read the following book in one seating, haha! Only the third was spilt on two sittings as life is not fair.) I dare to say that the dystopian created and Rodda’s writing are the strongest points on this book.

Rodda’s main characters have a very good thing and a poor thing about them. They observe a lot and pay attention to so many nice things, but they tend to not think about themselves a lot. To this day, I’m not really sure of Rowan’s looks, haha! All people around him is easier to picture, but it’s like he’s a nice faceless boy. I mean, I imagine him just like the Grand Chase character thanks to the name, that is similar, but I don’t have a book official version, you know?

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This is Ronan, from Grand Chase! I miss this game so much, the Brazilian branch was closed on 2014 😦

But there’s another catch to Rodda’s characters. Each one of them is one type of person that you’ll find on a society. There’s the optimistic, the grumpy, the honest, the cheater, the workaholic, the loner, the wise… And so on. Still, they aren’t boring one you figure out which type each one of them will be, as Rowan brings the best on each of them. He rarely judges people, as he is always occupied trying to understand them. You gotta love the boy.

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Also, I really wished to know his age. Oh, well.

I feel the need of highlighting the world that Rodda created for this series. It starts small, with only the village of Rin, the bukshas’ lake and the Mountain, but keeps growing through the series, showing one more piece of it on each following book. ❤

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The first map is the only one present on this book. The other appears only on the next volume (picture taken by me from the Brazilian edition of the third book in the series, Rowan and the Keeper of the Crystal)

Overall, I think this is an ageless book. If you like dystopian, fantasy, adventure and doesn’t care about romance, you have to board my fangirling boat and read Rowan of Rin!

5star

Thank you once again for reading! ❤ Have you read any books by Emily Rodda?

assinatura

Book Author: Alexandre Dumas

Good morning and good Tuesday! 😀 In Brazil, we are having our annually Carnival, a holiday that started on Saturday, February 6th, and ends today. It is very weird to not have anything to do after a Carnival, like classes or work, but I think I can manage, haha!

Anyway, today is Authors from my Heart ❤ day! I’m aware that I skipped the manga author last week and I apologize. The post will go live on February 22th, a Monday, as there won’t be Match Made in Mondays in the foreseeable future and I will join another weekly meme. Which one? You will find out later today ;D

But let’s go back to today’s post! The author chosen is my first male, Alexandre Dumas!

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We first met when I was on elementary school, on 2003. We had to read The Three Musketeers for our Portuguese class and I fell in love, even being a child. Soon enough, I had read The Man in The Iron Mask and his version of Robin Hood. All books are in a sore need for a re-read, haha! Besides, I still want to read The Count of Monte Cristo.

 

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My first book from him, that led me into watching The Man in the Iron Mask, that 1998’s movie with Leonardo DiCaprio (btw, that movie rocks hard!), and that started my love for his works ❤

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I’m fairly positive that the version that I have read of Robin Hood was his version, but as I was too young and the book was borrowed from my school library, I’ll never know. Anyway, it was my second, as the Robin Hood made by Disney set some priorities among his works in my childish mind, haha!

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My last read book from Alexandre, as the end left me heart broken. As a child, I didn’t understand that movies could take liberties from their books, so I was expecting a happy decent enough end. Eh, no. Not at all. I cried a river that day and decided I needed a break from Alexandre, haha! A 13 years break so far, but okay.

Now, hopefully I’ll have the heart to read The Count of Monte Cristo, haha!

Thank you for reading! Do you like Alexandre Dumas’ books?

assinatura

Eerie Queerie!, from Shuri Shiozu

Hello, again! Another manga review from my dissertation times is on 😀 Eerie Queerie! is a light and fun boys love series from Shuri Shiozu sensei ❤

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The Story

Mitsuo Shiozu is a high school student with a very peculiar ability: he can see ghost. Moreover, some spirits manage to go as far as to possess his body to solve their unfinished business on this realm.

During one of those possession moments, Mitsuo meets Hasunuma, a very gentle and good-looking boy. As their friendship goes stronger (and more spirits come to their ways), Mitsuo needs to figure out what he feels for Hasunuma.

And, if it’s not asking for much, without losing his body to weird haunted souls.

 

The Analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

I’m that kind of person that wakes up one day and says: “hey, I think I’ll start a new manga series today!”. So I randomly search a title online, get it and read it to my heart’s content. Eerie Queerie! was one of those titles, found by chance in a catalogue. I didn’t expect to like it the way I did, as all I wanted was to have a nice time, haha!

Eerie Queerie! is a four volumes manga series, of the kind that improves with each passing chapter. The author develops her drawing style a lot and the story is involving to the point that you can’t stop reading. Overall, four out of five stars 😀

The narrative pace is slow and kind of confusing in the beginning. The reader can see flashes of Mitsuo’s life and then what he does to help the spirits around him to move on. Until volume two, there were more isolated cases than a sequential story, which isn’t necessarily bad. I though confusing, but okay.

The plot was simple, but full of twists. Every time a new character was introduced, I knew that I, as a reader, would have a headache trying to understand if the new person was good or bad. Btw, that was nice, haha! Other interesting thing is that, despite being a clear yaoi manga, the romance is not the main genre. The adventure and the spirit world have all the focus and that’s okay. Almost, haha!

I liked the main characters overall and found them to be very funny and charismatic, each on their own way. Mitsuo is the cutest guy and I felt sorry for him on more than one occasion for several reasons. My favorite was Hasunuma, as he was the most real and non-absurd one in the group, haha! (cof, and the most handsome, cof).

The art is the big flop in this series if you ask me. As I said, the author develops a lot during the chapters, but it went from weird to not so weird, haha! And I’m very picky with manga art, so good bye to one star.

Examples of the art*:

Mitsuo

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One thing that also made me take off that star is the relationship between Mitsuo and Hasunuma. They clearly have feelings for each other and they even say so many times, but we never got to see any kind of action. ANY. KIND. I got disappointed. It’s not because the series is not romantic that people don’t kiss and do stuff, ugh. The author makes the reader believe that the amorous feelings between characters are meaningless 😦

Overall, it’s a good ghost series, a light and funny read for those days when you don’t want to think and need a good laugh 😀

4star

That’s it, thanks for reading! How do you feel about the art style when reading a manga??

assinatura

 

 

*I do not own these images, they were found at Google and are here displayed with illustrative purposes only. They belong to  Shuri Shiozu sensei.