Friday, October 7, 2016

W.i.t.c.h. The Full Story: Part II Chapter 7 - Yan Lin

So I've been getting requests for another chapter of Witch the Full Story. Last night, I lost internet, phone, and cable so I decided, might as well. So here's the new chapter where we see what young Yan Lin can do. :)

Chapter 7
Yan Lin

The former Guardian could not count the times she had done this in her life time. Too many of her friends had been imprisoned here and died here. Too many failed attempts at freeing the innocent had taken place here.
But that was a long time ago.
And now, these children were lax.
The second Yan Lin passed through the portal it slammed shut right behind her. She flew as fast as she could and hid behind a pillar some 200 yards away. There she crouched and waited. No one came.
Yan didn’t know whether to feel extremely lucky or insulted.
Better to do this without being noticed, since I have no back up.
Pain shot through her at the thought, but she shoved it away. Being young again obviously made her weak to old emotional wounds. She realized that she wasn’t in the dungeon just yet. Instead she’d landed near the guards’ barracks outside the castle itself. There ways to go, and little time to act.
She gripped the Heart.
Where? She inquired of glowing gem.
Down came the reply.
She started to move out of her hiding spot when a gruff laugh froze her.
“Don’t think I’ve ever seen Vathek so happy about letting a rebel starve to death,” one guard’s deep bass rumbled. “I mean, he normally enjoys doing something more… Painful. I mean, just letting him die in the southern oubliette? That’s not….”
As they’re voices faded away Yan thanked the Creator for stupid gossips. Now she knew where he was. She only needed to figure out where the southern oubliette was.
It was almost like a game of tag, except everyone else didn’t know they were playing. She jumped from hiding spot to hiding spot searching for a hole in the dark. Several times she was sure she had been spotted by the guards but the rebels had not broken into the palace itself for over half a century. The guards knew that problems would only come from the prisoners, and they were treated so badly that within the first two days all resistance was crushed.
Yan learned everything she needed to from the gossiping guards who kept trying to one-up each other. His name was Kaleb, and descended from rebels. His father had been one of the two leaders who had rebuilt the rebellion after Nerissa’s betrayal. He wasn’t a leader, but had some information of value. Turned out he was tough. No matter what they did to him, even when they killed a child right in front of him, he never gave in. He spat, kick like a mule, a cursed them through it all. Nothing subdued him.
Yan grinned as she flew through the labyrinth. It was an honor to meet someone that tough. Cassidy had been that tough. Yan hoped Will was that tough. She suspected the redhead was.
Time is short, the heart informed her. Go, and I will tell you if it is wrong.
She thanked the Heart, and started to move.
Yan jumped. She’d let her guard down as she reminisced.
“Intruder!” The Guldon sounded the alarm.
Time to reveal thyself. Attack and keep moving.
Yan didn’t hesitate to summon a blast of hurricane wind that tossed the guards around like paper. She opted for speed over stealth and moved a tornado through the barracks and down to the prison below. Now it was a guessing game. Being underground bottled up the win which was her guide, so her sense of direction was gone. She had to pick a direction and let the Heart correct her.
I doubt you will give me a hint?
So very helpful.
Despite her flying in basically circles for a bit she moved quickly, flying at close to top speed, down stairs and in and out of corridors filled with screaming and crying and dead prisoners. Yan did her best to ignore those she couldn’t save, focusing instead on finding the one boy who would perhaps ends this suffering. She also ignored the guards, who couldn’t keep up with her. By the time she was down to the third level they were everywhere.
Yan had started training at 10 years old to be the new generation of Guardians, as each had before her, until her generation was broken with betrayal. Her winds shielded her from arrows, reflecting them back onto the archers, buffeting those with nets and weighted chains into each other’s aim, knocking those with spears into walls and their companions. She quickly blew through them onto the fourth level.
The prisoners soon caught onto what was happening, and began to help her. They tripped up and strangled what guards they could reach, shouting jeers and cheers at the guards and her in turn. The din made it harder for them to find her, and they were distracted beating back the prisoners rather than focusing on her. She made her way deeper and deeper until the Heart called to her again.
This level.
She began flying. It told her when she missed the turns, when to turn right or left. Certain she was going in circles she flew on until…
You passed it, go back.
When she reached the previous corridor lined with cells, the Heart informed her it was here. She landed and walked into the dark until the Heart called a halt.
You stand above him now.
Wishing that Halinor was there to light the chamber, she fell to her knees, and began feeling the floor for the edge of the lid to the hole they’d stuck Kaleb in. The thunder of feet and roar of the guards grew closer.
I need light.
The Heart lit up brilliant, and saw she the trapdoor immediately. As the pink stone’s light faded, she called to her power and used it to carry her voice down into the stinking pit below.

She waited as long as she dared. Praying that he was not curled up beneath her, she summoned air, compressing it into a small ball, flew up to the ceiling, and then threw it. It crumbled and fell into the darkness. Still praying he still lived, she fell down into the darkness below.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

All Hallows Eve (Poem)

So an anonymous request came in on my Tumblr for me to write a poem about October or Halloween. I took the challenge and this came out. It's not along my normal poems (word vomit seems a good description) but I quite like it.

Here's All Hallows Eve!

The wind has changed
A chill is sneaking
Creeping upon you
Crawling through your clothes

Children’s laughter echoes
Dancing among the trees
Catching in the leaves
Twisting in the brisk air

Sweets tickle your nose
Enticing your senses
While the moaning wind
Reminds you

To watch in the dark
And keep your door locked tight

After all
Tis the season

Of All Hallows Eve

Sunday, September 4, 2016

W.i.t.c.h. The Full Story: Part II Chapter 6 - Cornelia

I LIVE!!!!!

It's been YEARS since I last cracked open this fanfic and actually worked on it, least of all posted a new chapter. But it's been recently rediscovered and fans have been asking for a new chapter. I read 4 books in 4 days this week, so might as well work on actual writing beyond just reading other's work.

So I spent the last two hours working on it and here it is!!!

Chapter 6

“Where’s Taranee and Will?”

It took Cornelia a few seconds before she could answer Hay Lin with the huge cupcake she had just stuffed into her mouth. “What?”

Hay Lin repeated her question. Cornelia didn’t spot them but she wasn’t worried. “They said they were going to the bathroom.”

“That was nearly fifteen minutes ago.” Hay Lin pointed to a clock.

“What’s going on?” Irma asked, her face flushed. She had been flirting and dancing with her biggest crush, Andrew, and with Matt’s gorgeous cousin, Sean.

Hay Lin waited for Alchemy and Elyon to join them, both chatting about the boys they’d been dancing with as well before repeating her question. She continued explaining while Elyon called their cells. Both cells rang where the girls had left their purses at the table.

“Should we split up and start looking for them?” She asked.

“Maybe we should get a teacher—” Cornelia started to say.

“Hey!” Nigel Ashcroft, one of Uriah’s flying monkeys, called from behind. “If you’re worried about your friends go to the science hallway. They’re there.”

“What did you do!?!” Elyon demanded, glaring at him.

Nigel shook his head. “I didn’t think Uriah would go that far.” He looked at her and Elyon and said flatly, “I’m going to get a teacher. It was bad.”

He turned and headed for Mrs. Knickerbockeer.

“Hay Lin, Irma, and I are going to head over there right now,” Cornelia. “It was us three that decided to bring them into the group, so we’re going to help fix this. I’m not going to lose two good friends because Uriah’s a major jerkface.”

“Alchemy and I will come with Mrs. Knickerbocker!” Elyon said, getting up.

When they got there Cornelia was so enraged she couldn’t speak for almost a solid minute.

They had tornTORNboth Taranee and Will’s dresses so they could put huge toads down their backs. Then they had dumped pond water and mud all over Will. Quiet, grumpy, always scared, and tough Will was curled up and crying as a quiet Taranee held her.

“Come on,” Cornelia said, grabbing Will’s limp arm, and gently tugging her to her feet. “We’re getting out of here.”

Irma put her arms around the sobbing Taranee, and helped her get up. Mrs. Rudolph arrived, took one look at them, and ordered the boys to office. Cornelia didn’t leave Will or Taranee as they rinsed off and changed into spare gym clothes in the locker rooms. Will moved from tears into quiet rage while Taranee had mellowed from sobbing to quiet tears. The five girls escorted their friends to the office where they could hear Mrs. Knickerboker yelling at the boys through the door. The now healthy counselor talked to Taranee and Will and promised the boys wouldn’t bother them again. When they told the others that, Cornelia doubted it, but didn’t say anything as they headed for the front field in front of the school entrance.

“What now?” Taranee sniffed.

“Let’s have a sleepover at my place!” Hay Lin said. “We can have tea and cookies and talk about who we wish would get run over by a truck.”

Will cracked a smile. “While that sounds awesome I have to ask my mom.”

“So do I,” Taranee said. Both looked glumly at each other.

It took a bit as both mothers wanted to know where they would be, and Hay Lin had to talk to them. Taranee’s mom had actually been to Hay Lin’s restaurant so she eventually said yes, while Mrs. Vandom took a bit of convincing. It wasn’t until Will hissed, “Hey, you’re the one who packed cookies in my lunch to try to bribe friends, and I made some,” that her mother agreed, so long as she picked her up first thing in the morning.

“Strict, huh?” Cornelia asked.

“You should try having a cop for a dad,” Irma said when she nodded.

“Or a judge for a mom,” Taranee added.

Hay Lin had been on the phone with her parents clearing everything with them. That was smooth as they were used to impromptu sleepovers with their only daughter’s friends. But she was frowning as she hung up.

“What’s up?” Irma asked.

“Grandma isn’t there,” Hay Lin answered, frowning. “She left a note, but still, I’m worried.”

“Well, she could just be at the store or something,” Cornelia assured her.

“No, Mary, my grandma’s aide, does the grocery shopping,” Hay Lin pointed out. “I just wonder where she could be.”

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

International Women's Day 2016

Today is International Women's Day (for some of you the day is over) but I honored this a few years ago about talking about some of the most female empowering novels I had read, The Sevenwaters Series by Juliet Marillier, and Black Jewels by Anne Bishop (seriously go read that). This time I want to talk about another series, this time in the world of manga: Dengeki Daisy by Kyousuke Motomi.

Now if I wanna be blunt, manga is very sexist. Women are usually scantily clad and look beyond fake. They're quiet, and reserved, or wild and crazy. Rarely are they realistic. They seem to be more for fanservice or simply to show that only good girls get ahead in life. They always smile, and are happy go lucky, and girls with real feelings are evil or bad, or straight up nuts. If they act more like you, a normal girl, they are more for fan service that anything else. It's ridiculous.

I've been to several panels where female voice actors talk about how frustrating it is. They rarely play a character who has any depth to them unless they're playing the opposite gender. Now you can argue about how it's because it's comics, but it really isn't. Ever watch a Kung Fu movie? Check out The Forbidden Kingdom, or even Hero. Female characters with depth in Asian media usually are crazy. The good ones are silent and smile and are always poise. Sure, they can fight, but they aren't allowed to feel. Catching Tiger Hidden Dragon is much better at it, but most manga fails.

This one does NOT.

At first it seems to be. Teru's older brother and parents are all dead and since apparently it's fine for a teenager to live on their own there (yeah it's illegal in my state at least) she lives alone. But she does have a cell phone her brother gave her before he died with the number to text a guy named Daisy who'll protect her.

Cliche, I know. Even the email is all happy-go-lucky. Then he moves the phone, and you see what Daisy knows is really going on. She's not "fine" and school isn't "fun". She's currently being sprayed with a water hose by the student body president while protecting her friend. She's lying to Daisy.

Teru is realistic. She's trying to hide that she hates school, her only friends are losers, and she's beyond lonely. Like most kids, she thinks she can  handle it on her own (she can't). She cries, and gets angry, and cusses. She gets into trouble and her friend aren't all amazing. They're good people, but they have sex and drink sometimes and make really stupid decisions. They pass and fail tests, and aren't always happy or bouncing from one high to a low. They're teenagers. They're real.

Then Motomi ups the stakes to keep it interesting. Her brother had some program and he and Daisy used to be computer hackers. An enemy murdered her brother and a program he died for is probably in her phone. She faces down guns and criminals, and ends up kidnapped more than once.

Sure she could fight them off, but that would feel fake. She cries, she screams, and while she doesn't know any martial arts (neither do I) she eventually learns how to fight back. Yes, most of the time she's rescued, but I recall her taking a pipe or shovel to the back of someone's head to get away. She gets beat up, and has to move from her apartment, and her friends get caught up in it, but Teru isn't holier than thou, trying to be a hero. She runs for help, and protects people in turn.

Basically, she's the most realistic girl I've seen in a manga. EVER. And I read a LOT. She falls in love, and tells Kurosaki (the male lead) to go bald. She gets angry and hold grudges and doesn't forgive easily. I love her. It's beautiful and doesn't teach girls they need to stay positive as much as they need to stay strong. It doesn't say you need a guy to save you, it says you need your friends and family to save you sometimes, and sometimes you're the one doing the saving.

Another super female power comic is Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and others.

Ms. Marvel follows Kamala Khan, a Muslim American from New Jersey (and NO they didn't celebrate 9/11, if you believe that GO AWAY). When she sneaks out to a popular kids party a mist gives her powers and suddenly she's Captain Marvel back when she was just Ms. Marvel. Once she gets more control she goes by Ms. Marvel and saves her family, classmates, and fellow New Jersians from everything including aliens, giant robots, mad scientists, and even the END. It's awesome. 

And it's awesome because she's a fangirling nerd with strict parents trying to be cool while also having superpowers. It's normal comic book stuff, it just so happens her parents from Pakistan, and she goes to a youth group at the local mosque instead of a church. Her friend wears a hijab, she doesn't. Her brother want to be a priest, her dad wants him to get a job. Her mom wants her to wear longer sleeves, she wants to try sleeveless.

It's real and shows better than almost anything else I can think of what it's like to a Muslim American. THEY'RE NORMAL. I adore the story, and can't wait to read volume 6. It's beautifully done and I think her fangirling when she fights alongside every superhero she used to write fanfiction over is HILARIOUS. 

I love both of these series and I'm sad there's no more Teru, but excited for more Kamala. Here's to all the ladies all over the world, whether their American, Muslim, Japanese, or whatever. Ladies, you can rock it anyway you want to (so long as it doesn't hurt people).

Remember to check me out on Twitter, YouTube, Goodreads, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Figment!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

January 2016 Monthly Wrap Up

Yay! I'm onto this year! Now I'm only 2 months behind!!! BUT! If I can get through this quickly that means that I move onto Feb and as it's the beginning of March I'LL BE CAUGHT UP! (On here at least.)

Now a few things:

A) I am doing NO challenges whatsoever this year. At all. Ever. I have done 1 readalong for one book. That was all so far, and I don't know if I'll be doing anything else this year, because I burned myself out last year and the year before that. I did say I was

B) I have given myself a little challenge to read at least 3 giant books. I read one, ONE all year last year because I was so worried about numbers. Well I'm not now. I'm reading lots of graphic novels like last year (I'll have my year wrap up posted soon, I promise) because I'm picking up a giant book in between. It may take me all year to read these big books but I can do it!!!

C) Year of Valdamar - No longer happening this year. I'm too burned out. I did too much. So I will tackle that started in 2017. Yup. It was a last minute thing but I've enjoyed picking up whatever the heck I felt like. I started on Star Wars and Manga and now Batman is in charge. *shrugs* I kinda love it. Valdamar will happen, I swear. I'm not buying 400 books for nothing (okay there's like 50 of them not 400 but STILL)

Now onto to what I read! After the last two months, you'll see what I meant by burnt out.

From Far Away Vols 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 by Kyoko Hikawa


I finished up From Far Away at the end of last year and the beginning of this year. I really enjoyed rereading one of my favorite romance manga. I just enjoy this series and think if you want to try Shojo, something light, fluffy, but with plenty of action and fantasy, try this series.

Kanan: The Last Padawan Volume 1 by Greg Weisman, Pepe Larraz, and Mark Brooks


In case you missed me last year and the year before where I made it clear not only am I a big Star Wars fan, but a big Clone Wars, and now Rebels fan, I am. I was obsessed with Clone Wars after I stumbled upon an episode where some bounty hunters took on Anakin and Obi-Wan, and then there was Count Dooku, and it was phenomenal.

Basically the show does what the prequel series couldn't--makes the characters real. The banter is hilarious. Seriously, go pick it up. Clone Wars is on Netflix, so if you can, WATCH IT. It's so good.

In the behind the scenes for Rebels they mentioned this comic, and I found it on Amazon and bought it, right then, then finished watching the video (all on YouTube). Rebels follows Ezra, a force-sensitive teen who runs into a group of rebels know as the Ghost Crew back before the official Rebel Alliance, who are led by a female Twi'lek pilot named Hera, and Kanan, who is a surviving Jedi Padewan.

How he survived is unclear, but the comic explores his past, as well as some adventures that we may or may not see in the show. Among the shows creator is a person whose title is Keeper of the Holocron, aka the person is knows all of the Star Wars stories, canon as well as Legends, so they won't contradict each other (like Clone Wars did over and over again).

Ezra's Gamble by Ryder Windham


Ezra's Gamble is an odd book. It's supposed to be canon and it's not. It doesn't fit with the show, and it doesn't fit with the novelization of the first two episodes of the show. It's an adventure that Ezra supposedly goes on the two days before he meets the Ghost Crew. It's odd, doesn't fit very well, and is rather blah. As a big fan of other Star Wars kids novellas, and several written by Ryder Windham, this is definitely the worst so far. I have read around 60 of these kinds of Star Wars books, and seriously, not impressed.

The Rebellion Begins by Michael Kogge


The Rebellion Begins is the novelization of the first two episodes of Star Wars Rebels, and as you can see, was more along the lines of what I expect from Star Wars novellas for kids. It matched the episode brilliantly, and even added in some scenes we don't get to see by sticking with Ezra during this time. It starts before the episode ends, and includes the bonus scene at the end. I do like it, and recommend Rebels fans pick it up.

A Bride's Story by Kaoru Mori


I originally started A Bride's Story several years ago (somewhere during the period of unemployment that's rather a blur to me) but DNF'd it (for those unfamiliar with the term, it means Did Not Finish) because there's nudity. But I saw an online review and decided to try it again (mostly cause I forgot).

This time I fell in love with the story and artwork and culture and just did my old trick from Elf Quest - blocked it with my hand. DO NOT READ THIS AT WORK, I don't y'all getting in trouble or something. Now there are some volumes that don't have nudity, but this one does. So if you don't care or can handle it, read this.

This follows the story of Amir, a bride in her late twenties who was married to a 12 year old boy. How they're relationship works is awesome, because he's not a kid to her, he's her husband, and it doesn't feel creepy.

This takes place in Asia, around Mongolia. I love learning about different cultures, and the details of the different cultures this manga portrays is awesome.

Grayson by Tim Seeley, Tom King, Mikel Janin, Stephen Mooney, and Jeromy Cox


Grayson picks up after Nightwing volumes 1-5 and Justice League Trinity War, but basically everyone thinks Dick Grayson is dead, and only Batman knows otherwise. Rather than stand around twiddling his thumbs in some foreign country he has gone undercover in Spiral at Batman's request, to see just what these guys are up to. Neither Batman nor Dick are sure what they're up to.

I enjoyed this and the flash forward that goes like 15 years in advance was really interesting. Hopefully my library will pick up the next volumes!


A Bride's Story Volumes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 by Kaoru Mori


In the next six volumes the story has expanded to include 5 more brides and their individual stories along side Amir's.

First we have Amir's brother and cousins ordered to drag her back home to marry her off to an abusive family for money for her clan. It's an interesting story and while I didn't want the guys to win, it is obvious they're caught in the middle and don't really want to bother Amir or her new family.

Then the European explorer takes off and meets a lovely lady in volume 3, who has been married multiple times, and they fall in love. While it's a tragedy, it's still brilliantly done.

Volumes 4 and 5 follow a pair of twins round I think India, who are determined to be married. They're adorable and they're husbands end up being perfect for them, absolutely lovely.

Volume 6 goes back to Amir, and her father is bound and determined to get his daughter away from her husband, even though they're in love. Her brother Azel turns out to be a great hero and he and her cousin do their best to keep her safe while upholding the family honor. It's my favorite yet, and I would love to see more of him!

The last volume I read in Jan is my least favorite. It takes place in Iraq, almost entirely in a bathhouse. What I was able to read was alright but it was just too much. So it only gets a 2 out of 5 from me. I enjoyed when it turned to the last bride who's house was destroyed in the conflict between her town and Amir's clan. That was the best part, really.

All in all, when I reached the end of the chapters I could read, I got depressed. This series is so good!

Deadpool Volume 1 by Daniel Way and Paco Medina


With the Deadpool movie coming out, I decided I needed to learn more about this character. While I won't see the movie until it comes out on cable (it's rated R and I try not to watch them, as you can tell with the nudity issue and stuff), I thought about the comics which bleep out most of the cussing.

I wasn't disappointed. It was great. I enjoyed it, but while this is the beginning of Deadpool, the place to start for newcomers, it's still not much of an introduction to the Marvel universe and since I'm a newbie I was lost at first. This felt more like 52 which isn't where I would recommend newbies to DC start (start with Modern, check out my video about that HERE).

That being said, obviously I enjoyed this as that only knocked it down 1 star rather than 2 or 3. It's really well done.

Tsubasa: WoRLD CHRoNiCLE volume 2 by CLAMP


The second volume of World Chronicle where the trio is in Narai Kanai and have to save it from the dead taking over and destroying both worlds gets creepier and creepier. The fact that only Tsubasa can see the people of both worlds clearly adds to the creep factor. I am really enjoying it, and can't wait to see more of this odd world!

And that's everything I read in January! (Told you it was a lot less than December. That post was HUGE) Thank you guys so much for reading, and I hope you had a good beginning to the year.

You can follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Figment for all the fangirling, book stuff, and my fanfiction which is probably awful.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

December 2015 Monthly Wrap Up

Hey guys! I know I said I would post this shortly after the November one, but my hand's been driving me nuts, so I'm doing it now, and then will post my January and February Wrap Up's as it's near the end of February. My year in review as well as the 2015 KittyBook Awards will be YouTube videos. I haven't had a chance to work the next video beyond filming it but expect it soon! :)

I read a LOT in December, mostly to try to meet my Goodreads goal, which was a little ridiculous, and it was  I have 27 different books to talk about. Yeah. That's a lot. *glances at my right hand* Please survive this...

Okay so if you want to see all my emotions put in gif form right after I finished it, check it HERE.
Basically as this is the 12th volume of the latest ElfQuest story I will say this READ ELFQUEST IF ONLY TO GET TO THE AMAZINGNESS OF THIS SERIES I ADORE IT IT'S AWESOME OKAY I'M DONE TYPING IN ALL CAPS.

Yeah, it's awesome. :)

I started the month by reading the last chapter in the last volume in one of my favorite series ever. Dengeki Daisy is a must read if you like manga. Teru's older brother and parents have passed away, but before her brother died, he gave her a cell phone with a number to email/text (unsure which it is exactly) to a man named Daisy who will help her in anything she needs. But she's been lying to him and now he's checking up on her to make sure she's alright. Oh, and he's also the greatest hacker in the world, and her cell phone may have some important program in it that various organizations are attempting to cease by any means necessary.

I expected this to start off cute, and while the text/email (again I'm not sure which it actually is) reads cute and like the girl is super happy go lucky, but then Kurosaki moves the phone and we see Teru facing down bullies spraying her with water, and she's screaming insults right back at them. For once in a shojo the MC is a typical girl, not soft spoken, or super positive. She has serious trouble forgiving, and doesn't think everyone in the world is worth saving. She has no special abilities, and is super sassy.

I love her. She's my favorite female lead character ever. She faces insane odds over and over and while the first time she faces someone with a gun she freezes. Later in the series while being held against her will and forced to attend a big party she stand on top of a table and bellows the Japanese national anthem just to tork them off. I adore this series, and loved every second of it. I'm so sad it's over but seriously, read this manga! Best shojo EVER! (Unless you ain't large age gaps between love interests, then don't read it)

This was apart of my ElfQuest Reread. You will see that I read a lot, because I finished it. Fire Eye follows Jethel, who has now taken the name Fire Eye after the events of New Blood. After he was captured and escaped from his old friend Ahn-Lai, now Lord Ahn-Lai of Passage, Jethel has been staying in the Forevergreen, and eventually starts taking care of the forsaken children who flee to the forest to avoid abuse and neglect.

This is an interesting series and while it has no real end, it matches up perfectly with what's being going on in Final Quest, at least so far. I am eager to see what becomes of Jethel and Chot after the ending. I will explain where to read this when I do my ElfQuest Series Review coming in the next few months on my YouTube Channel.

ElfQuest: World Pool by Wendy and Richard Pini Parts 1 & 2
3/5 Stars

King's Cross is the biggest What If in ElfQuest. What if Cutter was half human? This is a very dark turn of events for ElfQuest where the tribe is from a newer time and is taken prisoner by the Djun. He forces Bearclaw to sleep with Shuna and they have Cutter. Very twisted, and yet I really do enjoy it. I'm glad there's only part 1 and 2, so it's about 40-50 pages long, which feels just enough for this darkness. And yet, I'm glad it exists. A solid 3 because it was fun, but too dark.

Hikaru no Go Volumes 20, 21, 22, and 23 by Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata
5/5, 5/5, 4/5, 5/5

I finally managed to finish reading Hikaru no Go after it ceased serialization in Shonen Jump in 2006. Yeah, took me almost 10 years to finish this series, and it finished publication in 2011. >.> I'm bad sometimes.

Hikaru no Go follows the story of Hikaru, a 6th grader looking to make some cash to buy manga in his grandpa's attic, trying to find junk to sell. When he finds an old Go board, he starts hearing and seeing Fujiwara-no-Sai, an spirit of the greatest Go player who ever lived but committed suicide before he could play the "Divine Move".

These volumes follow the end of the series, where Hikaru is a pro and trying to move up in the ranks to stay toe to toe with Akira Toriyama. The only reason 22 is a 4 out of 5 is because what happens with Sai. I felt he left too soon, and that they hinted at it, and suddenly it happened. Hikaru's reaction made sense because it was very sudden and I'm not sure it's done well. Then again, the best plot twists take you by surprise. As a writer I approve. As a fan it ripped my heart out. But it ended strong and I kinda wished it would go on.

For those wondering what Go is, it's an ancient type of chess from Asia, popular in China, Korea, and Japan, as well as having teams world wide. Don't worry, the series explains it as you go along beautifully, so I could understand the basics of the games enough, and the characters explain things. Also there are little explanations of Go basics in the volumes as well as when it was in Shonen Jump. Another thing I love is that the Go games were looked over by a pro who made sure each move made sense and was completely correct. The amount of work that went into this is staggering and I just adore it for that even more.

So not only did CLAMP bring us a sequel to xxxHOLiC, but now one to Tsubasa!!! The second I found it I was reading it like mad, and powered through all the chapters in this volume in one sitting. After the insane events of XXX/Tsubasa cross over ending where the universes were saved by Tsubasa and Watanuki, Watanuki has discovered that Tsubasa has to make a dangerous and difficult decision in the next world he travels to. Upon reaching that world, Tsubasa learns he can perhaps meet with Syaoran, his father and clone if he saves Nirai Kanai, but at what cost?

This really feels a bit like the story never stopped. I'm sad that Sakura isn't in it, but as she is the princess and heir to the throne of her world, it makes sense. Fai and Kurogane are the same, and I loved seeing White Mokona again. The gang is back for a little adventure and it's already ripping my heart out.

Goodness I missed this! :)

From Far Away vols 8 and 9 by Kuoko Hikawa

Yet another reread, I had started this again randomly earlier in the year because it's my favorite romantic manga. I read all of these series back in high school, a friend of mine would bring tons of manga to school and she let me read this series on the bus. I read many a series that way, including the beginning of Fruits Basket, Fushigi Yugi, and this.

I adored this series when I first picked it up back then and it has withstood the test of time as a cute fun series. Noriko is a Japanese middle schooler with crazy dreams about a different world. When a terrorist places bombs around the city, Noriko stands next to one when it goes off. Instead of dying, Noriko is blasted into the world from her dreams when she meets Izark, a warrior with powers who helps her, especially as she is the Awakening, who will awaken the Sky Demon. Whoever controls the Awakening controls the Sky Demon, and can rule the world.

This volume Noriko and Izark are back together and have been helping different world leaders in various countries, but things are getting hairy so they have to separate from the others, and then they finally meet the being behind everything. It's really well done and these volumes are when the pace really picks up.

Catwoman Vol 4: Gotham Underground by Ann Nocenti, Rafa Sandoval, and Jordi Tarragona

The fourth volume of Catwoman takes place literally under ground, in the series of tunnels beneath Gotham were plenty of enemies and people live. We see a completely different culture with completely different rules, and Catwoman gets trapped down there and tries to get out. She goes through different clans each with their own traditions and rules, and gets caught up in the fight while trying to make it back to the surface of Gotham.

It's really interesting and a nice take of how there are indeed lots of different cultures out there where entire group rejects the typical Western society. It was intriguing, but as you can tell from the cover, Joker's Daughter is the main villain, and she rather...disgusting. Not the best volume but still well done I think.

The Protector by Carla Capshaw

I am not the biggest fan of romance, but when I read Carla Capshaw's The Gladiator, I loved it, and this is the sequel. And before you judge, it's NOT a trashy romance. This is from Steeple Hill's Love Inspired collection, meaning it's a religious romance with nothing beyond like, hand holding and maybe 1 kiss. There is no sex, which means I can actually read it!

This is the sequel to The Gladiator, which follows Adiona, a rich widower, and Quintus, a gladiator slave. And she falls for him, and he and her have been hurt. It's just cute fluff, really, but it does touch on how women were treated in the era more so than the first book. There is a third one but I don't know if I'm going to read it.

Last of the Jedi: Secret Weapon by Jude Watson

Secret Weapon is the 7th book in this series, and it's the third in Jude Watson's Star Wars universe, which seems to be its own, rather than Legends.

This series follows a Jedi Padawan named Ferus Olin that left the Jedi just before the Clone Wars started, so he survived Order 66. Afterwards he became a rebel and was recruited by Obi-Wan Kenobi to find other surviving Jedi to try to build a rebellion.

This volume takes place after Ferus has been recruited by the Emperor to change sides, and despite his closest friends knowing he's really there to undercut the Empire from the inside, some of them wonder, and the rest of the galaxy sees him as a sellout. This series I think is her best, and I really love following Ferus as he attempts to start the rebellion, even if it isn't canon or Legends.

Frosty the Snowman by Annie North Bedford and Corinne Malvern

This is the book that I bought, and read just to fulfill some of the reading goals I had set. I did not enjoy it, and I don't like that I own it. I really only bought and read it for the PopSugar Reading Challenge, which is why I am not doing a single challenge this year. It was a waste of my time and I was so stressed out about doing the challenge that I actually bought this. *sigh*

ElfQuest: Homespun by Wendy and Richard Pini

This is a short little story that was published in a magazine to promote ElfQuest. This was the introduction of the Preservers and Petalwing, back when ElfQuest Volume 3 was being published as single comics way back when. It's cute but super short, just a little something extra for fans. I recommend reading this at the end of the series or after volume 3, as it's just a bonus thingy.

ElfQuest: Worldpool by Wendy and Richard Pini

Worldpool is just another bonus grouping, and I recall that I had already reread these stories in New Blood and a few other titles. I enjoyed the stories in it so that's why it got a 3 star rating.

ElfQuest: Ashcan by Wendy and Richard Pini

This is strictly bonus pages, not really something you read but something you look at. I'd prefer this at the back of a volume rather than alone but it was on the website I kinda understand. I hope it will be included at the end of one of the Complete ElfQuest volumes.

Kekkaishi Vol 2 by Yellow Tanabe

I thought I had read this volume way back at the beginning of the year but I did not. I read MOST of it, I was short by 2 stupid chapters. So I finished it.

Like I said back in January, I am not too fond of this series mostly due to the grandpa being a straight up jerk. I don't like most of the relationship between the characters, but it starting to grow on me a bit. I'm not DNFing this, but I expect it will take me as long as Hikaru no Go to finish, maybe longer. It's about twice as long as HNG so it'll take forever.

The Heroic Legend of Arslan by Hiromu Arakawa
Based on a novel series by Yoshiki Tanaka Vols 1, 2, 3, 4

5/5 Stars

I actually read this in September, but I didn't realize that I could add it on Goodreads. I read up to date on during December so I'm adding this at the end. I adore this series and can't wait to see what else the brilliant Arakawa does next!

This follows the story of Arslan, a crown prince whose nation is invaded by the enemy army. His father is presumed dead, and the enemy is hunting Arslan to execute him publically. But even worse than the European invaders is the man in the silver mask, who has a personal vendetta against the royal family of Pals and vows to personally execute Arslan before his people.

This is yet another time where we see European and Asian cultures clash, but neither are shown in a good light. Both sides in this conflict are awful and have terrible histories and have done horrific things. And the innocent citizens of Pals and Arslan are caught in the middle.

This is based on a series of novels, but was adapted by the brilliant mangaka Hiromu Arakawa, who's name might sound familiar to you as the mangaka (author of both story and art) of Fullmetal Alchemist. It's brilliantly done, sitting solidly at a PG-13 or Teen rating, with some blood, language, and adult humor, but nothing too extreme. She's great at what she does, and even when the story isn't hers (such as with Hero Tales) her style is in every page, as she is in charge of the art, and layout of each page. I just found out there's 1 more chapter I have yet to read and I can't wait to get to it!!!

And that is everything I read in December! Stay tuned for my January and February Wrap Ups which will be posted on here, as well as my 2015 KittyBooks Awards and Year Wrap Up on my YouTube Channel. Follow me on Goodreads and Twitter for info about what I'm reading, and Tumblr and Pinterest for all my fangirling stuff. I will also attempt to get back into my fanfiction writing on Figment, so don't count me out of that! I can do quite a lot in between calls at work (all with permission of course).

I may also post my year in music as well, I'm not sure. I want to. It's fun to figure out what music rocked my year.

Hope you enjoyed! See you soon!