Category Archives: Historical

Review: Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin

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Title: Manga Classics: Pride & Prejudice
Author: Jane Austin; Stacy King; Po Tse (Illustrator)
Publisher: UDON Entertainment & Morpheus Publishing
Publication Date: August 19th 2014
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Paperback, 377 pages
Source: eCopy from the Publisher via NetGalley

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Beloved by millions the world over, Pride & Prejudice is delightfully transformed in this bold, new manga adaptation. All of the joy, heartache, and romance of Jane Austen’s original, perfectly illuminated by the sumptuous art of manga-ka Po Tse, and faithfully adapted by Stacy E. King.

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Classic is not really my cup of tea. I always avoid it, in fact. I remember my first classic way back in high school. I had to read it for school, of course. It was a good read but not an enjoyable one. But having able to experience classic in another clever way is fantastic. I got to see their manga adaptation of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne first, which is really incredible with that stunning artwork.

This is also a great adaptation but the repetition of the words “Pride” and “Prejudice” throughout the story ruins the dialogues especially in the ending. The artwork Po Tse provided in this manga is totally gorgeous. I liked how he portrayed each characters and how he turned them into cute chibi version especially Mrs. Bennet character. It made the reading more enjoyable and humorous. But the roses that sometimes surround the character quite bother me. I mean, girls will surely appreciate and love that but a typical guy, I think it’s a no.

Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable and fantastic read.

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Review: Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Title: Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter
Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne; Stacy King; Crystal Chan; SunNeko Lee (Illustrator)
Publisher: UDON Entertainment and Morpheus Publishing
Publication Date: March 10th 2015
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Paperback, 308 pages
Source: eARC from the Publisher via NetGalley

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A powerful tale of forbidden love, shame, and revenge comes to life in Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter. Faithfully adapted by Crystal Chan from the original novel, this new edition features stunning artwork by SunNeko Lee (Manga Classics: Les Miserables) which will give old and new readers alike a fresh insight into the Nathaniel Hawthorne’s
tragic saga of Puritan America.

Manga Classics editions feature classic stories, faithfully adapted and illustrated in manga style, and available in both hardcover and softcover editions.

Proudly presented by UDON Entertainment and Morpheus Publishing.

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This classic to manga adaptation is incredible. It is a brilliant way of making classic literature more appealing to the younger generation who’s not really that fond of reading classics and hesitant readers alike, like me, who usually avoid it.

I haven’t read the original novel so I can’t do comparison between the two. But I’ll just look into how effective this manga is. First off, SunNeko Lee’s artwork is with no doubt very stunning and captivating. She made the characters and the backgrounds alive and vivid that will keep you engage with the story. And finish it in one sitting down. Also, Stacy King used the modern text in the dialogues instead of the original one. Which is very okay to those people who struggle with vocabulary. Well this is really an enjoyable read. Highly recommended!

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Review: Sophronia L. by Tim Bridwell

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Title: Sophronia L.
Author: Tim Bridwell
Publisher: Folded Word
Publication Date: December 1st 2014
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Paperback, 372 pages
Source: Physical Copy from the Publisher via Goodreads

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Sophronia Lambert, a schoolteacher on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, lives a quiet life; that is until Nantucket whaling captain James Folger comes ashore. Realizing he is the man who killed her deaf brother, she decides to pursue vengeance – first at home, then at sea-sailing to the far side of the world as his bride. As she grapples with madness and morality, Sophronia’s quest mirrors that of her island community: to find a way forward amidst the pressures of a brutal industry, a nation mired in Civil War, and a past darker than the ocean’s abyss.

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Okay. I really really loved this book. Tim Bridwell’s debut novel is fantastic. I never thought that I’m going to enjoy the hell out of this book. Because historical is not really my cup of tea, yet Tim managed to keep me interested with his captivating and beautiful writing.

It’s poetic. It’s dark. It’s gothic. It’s eerie. It’s thrilling. And very imaginative. With a sly humor and a hint of romance thrown out in the story. Though the scenes between Sophronia and Absalom were limited (yes, I’m one of those readers who crave more of them), the moments between them were heartfelt. The chessy stuff was carried well throughout the story. And from the beginning, I thought that there was going to be a love triangle. And I’m really glad it didn’t happen at all. Because Capt. Folger was your mad guy.

And if you’re asking me if there was a HEA, yes buddy, there was. But still you have to brace yourself for the death of some characters. It was painful. Or was it just me who felt too much for the characters? Never mind. The conclusion was satisfying with a glimpse of the future.

Tim Bridwell didn’t just take us to the history of Martha’s Vineyard and the old whaling industry but also explores the heart of human nature. It was an awesome read with this awesome book. Highly recommended!

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Review: The Bells of Times Square by Amy Lane

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Title: The Bells of Times Square
Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication Date: December 15th 2014
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Ebook, 326 pages
Source: eARC from the Publisher via NetGalley

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Every New Year’s Eve since 1946, Nate Meyer has ventured alone to Times Square to listen for the ghostly church bells he and his long-lost wartime lover vowed to hear together. This year, however, his grandson Blaine is pushing Nate through the Manhattan streets, revealing his secrets to his silent, stroke-stricken grandfather.

When Blaine introduces his boyfriend to his beloved grandfather, he has no idea that Nate holds a similar secret. As they endure the chilly death of the old year, Nate is drawn back in memory to a much earlier time . . . and to Walter.

Long before, in a peace carefully crafted in the heart of wartime tumult, Nate and Walter forged a loving home in the midst of violence and chaos. But nothing in war is permanent, and now all Nate has is memories of a man his family never knew existed. And a hope that he’ll finally hear the church bells that will unite everybody— including the lovers who hid the best and most sacred parts of their hearts.

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Walter was his, and no one could take that away.

Do you know Katy Perry’s Thinking of You song? It’s one of the few songs I fall in love with. Listening to it everyday. Devouring each lines. Such a beaufiful piece. Well, I’m not here to talk about the song, but that reminds me of this book. Especially, Nate’s life after the war. This was a beautiful piece like the song. So emotional and so inspiring. And heartwarming. Loved this story! By the way, this was my first Amy Lane book and this wouldn’t be the last.

But truth be told, I had a hard time liking the story at first. Because I felt disengaged with the characters. They seemed so distant and I couldn’t find a way to feel them. Like, Walter was doing this and that dramatic stuff, crying and shouting and I was in my room reading that part, emotionless. So I almost decided to DNF it. But, thanks God, as I gave it another try, everything started to click. From the characters, to the plot, to the tension. Everything started to be very good. And I found myself unable to put this down. And asked myself why the hell I even tried to stop reading this book? this heartbreaking beautiful book??

For you, Nate and Walter, why gave me such heartache?? But thanks Amy for the HEA. Don’t really know what to do without that.

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