Book Review: Uzumaki by Junji Ito

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KurÔzu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. According to Shuichi Saito, the withdrawn boyfriend of teenager Kirie Goshima, their town is haunted not by a person or being but by a pattern: uzumaki, the spiral, the hypnotic secret shape of the world. It manifests itself in small ways: seashells, ferns, whirlpools in water, whirlwinds in air. And in large ways: the spiral marks on people’s bodies, the insane obsessions of Shuichi’s father, the voice from the cochlea in your inner ear. As the madness spreads, the inhabitants of KurÔzu-cho are pulled ever deeper, as if into a whirlpool from which there is no return…

– Synopsis taken from Goodreads

“Spirals…. this town is contaminated with spirals.”

Rating: 5/5

You know how we all fear in our life from things? Developing phobias or disgust towards certain things? I believe we each has this unexplainable terror when it comes to admitting we are afraid of something. Being afraid sometimes forced you to admit you are weak but in all honesty, I disagree. Its liberates you really, a weight off your shoulder cause then you know, you are not alone in this. Junji Ito in my opinion, takes simple things, objects, themes and dreams and spiral it (get it spiral? LOL) into a blood chilling tale of suspense.

Uzumaki aka Spiral is an ordinary simple story based in Kurozu-Cho, a small town in the off coast of Japan. It’s a run of the mile place, people knows each other, nothing exciting happens here, it’s a peaceful place to be. Well, that is until strange phenomenons start occurring. A fixation on spirals infects this town, causing mass panic, people going insane, monsters appearing, the weather changing here and there, nothing is ever the same…

I love horror stories, especially when its something like a small unremarkable town such as Kurzuo-Cho starts to go really bizarre. Junji Ito wastes no time by showing us in a collection of short series, each event is connected, how this town slowly sharpened into a spiral. No one is safe from it, except Kirie and Shuichi are main leads and we experience their struggles, their fear and not knowing what the hell is causing all of this. You right away invested for these two to be safe, to make it out alive, and all of the grotesque circumstances just keeps you glue to the pages, flipping one after another. It sorta reminds me of other works such as Silent Hill, Stranger Things, Dark but it’s clearly done better.

Now what really makes Uzumaki stands up there as one of the all time manga that people should read is Junji Ito himself as an artist. His drawings, his details to his creations, from the eyes, the face, the grotesque it’s all pretty. You can’t stop appreciating it, and you just want to see more, you gotta get more, like a cup of good coffee or this sweet delicious cake you can’t stop munching on and on and then you realize what you have done and you regret it. I mean look at this page!

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I had never seen something so- I don’t think I had the words. It’s breathtaking really. I can just stare at that spiral tongue, over and over and over…

Oh my, I guess I too has fallen for the Uzumaki.

You should all join.

Come and join.

You’d like it here 😀

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Book Review: Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

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Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos.

Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart.

– Synopsis taken from Goodreads

It had begun – the instinct of the Valkyrie, pushing aside my humanity to become a weapon. When the Valkyrie in me took over, I was little more than a scythe for the Grim Reaper of the gods.

Rating: 3.5/5

Amanda Hocking holds a very special place in my heart. I grow up with her books. I started with the Trylle trilogy, its continuation series the Kanin series (which is probably one of her best works). I gone through The Hollows series, still haven’t read her other works like My Blood Approves or the Watersongs which I hope I will one day and hack, I even read the god awful Virtue.

Now what is the point of mentioning all of this? Well to put it simply I love her a lot because when I read her books I’m instantly teleported to another realm. I’m mesmerized by her characters, the world, the writing that I forgot everything else. So when I saw Between the Blade and The Heart in the bookstore I knew I had to grab this book and start reading it. And I did, and I liked it!

The book is about Malin, a Valkyrie in training who’s trying to get her license on. The Valkyries in this story are sort of executioners whose main job is slaying-nay let’s make it sounds more mainstream friendly for our viewers, returning immortals back to their place. Now she doesn’t pick who to go after and instead she’s following orders like a good subordinate she is. Life is pretty much the same routine for Malin. Do the work, go to school, avoid her amazing ex-girlfriend and become a Valkyrie like she was always meant to be. Then Malin life’s going out of proportions when Asher, a son of a valkyrie seek her help to find out who murdered his mother years ago and thus a spiral of mystery and adventure soon follows.

I love Norse mythology and to see Amanda taking a shot at it and squeeze her own taste into it and crafting it to a book makes me scream in joy and besides, more valkyrie exposure is good since not a lot of people have the opportunity to learn what Valkyries are.

Let’s not beat behind the bush and plainly say it, what you see is what you get. It’s a simple plot with good pacing, nothing is going too far ahead and we get to experience everything. Amanda wastes no time to introduce us to this futuristic world clashing with fantasy elements,  how mortals and immortals lives side by side, the Valkyries been the population controls natural cleaners and how everything is a bit messy nowadays. Now to be honest reading for the first time from the summary it made me feel confused  since it wasnt what I was expecting. I thought I was in for a high fantasy of some sort but somehow I like this world even better. However, we don’t get to spend too much time in it.

Our main protagonist Malin is a good character, she’s smart, she’s sassy, she knows what she wants and doesn’t take bullshit which is great but she’s also flawed. She’s suspicious, judgmental and lacks some sense of feeling thanks to her mother raising her with the notion that Valkyries don’t feel love. Malin is fine, not my favorite character but she is a force to drive both the reader and the plot through. You feel for her, you want her to overcome her hardships and see everything turns out alright by the end. The supporting cast is fantastic like her best friend Onna, a sorceress in training, Asher the private eye who searching for his mother’s killer and Quinn, Malin’s ex girlfriend who Malin can’t decide what to do with her feeling towards her.

I think that this book should be read because it gives us more diversity in the YA genre. We got a bisexual person and it’s amazing to see it’s not that much of a big issue and Malin is treated as normal as everybody else. Who she loves is what she wants and that’s beautiful. I do think however that the romance could be better handle, but at least this love triangle has been dealt with caution and it was good. Perhaps in the Sequel we will get a better conclusion to things.

Amanda Hocking is one of my favorite authors, and this book even though his obvious flaws has some good points in it. Give it a try, It’s a fast read and we all can get a little escape from reality from time to time.

Spira’s Book Retrospection

Hello everyone, and welcome to my book retrospection :3

As you already know me, I generally like to over think things and over analyze them. Always did since childhood. I was dying to make up those connections between characters, uncharted some great mystery unfolding before my eyes, coming up with cool trivial or finding nice Easter eggs while at it.
So then why am I rumbling about all that to you?

Well I thought, why not re-read certain books I like, the good AND the bad and give you guys something enjoyable to read. Nothing greater than to watch a guy being tormented by a stupid book or get overly attached to some world only to see it burn am I right? 😉

Then how does this Retrospection works?
Here’s how it goes:

1) Each months I will be selecting one book from my library that I already read before and reread them. Once a week or maybe even twice a week, I’ll provide my share of thoughts with you all. I’ll present all my progress with the book along with all the cool intriguing facts I have come across and some witty to earnest commentary.
2)  I won’t just be picking just any books no! There’s gotta be a fair chance here, so first of, only books that I had at least read once can enter this retrospection. No new reads allow, unless I finished and decided to re-read it because I liked it so much.
3) Any books regardless of its format will be welcome.
4) I will be using the original copy of the book of which I read before, unless said copy is lost, damaged beyond repair or simply outta my possession at the moment.

So yeah, that’s about sums it. If you guys wanna help, I might take a few of your suggestions from time to time, make a poll and whichever votes win, I’d make that book this monthly re-read of mine.

Thanks for reading, and hey, welcome to my retrospection~

Review Policy

If you are an author or a publisher, I am more than welcome for you to contact me. I love reading stories in any type of format be it a book, e-book, comic book, manga, etc, etc. I’m mostly free most of the time and available for any type of service but keep in mind that sometimes I can’t read more than a few books at a time.

Whatever will be my reaction and review to your works it is my honest opinion. If I liked it, I liked it. If I didn’t like something I will point out the flaws at your work. I don’t hate, unless it’s hitting close to home. Please bear that in mind before sending your requests.

I prefer E-books usually since its easier to read and saves a lot of people the bother to send me a physical copy over seas, obviously.

You can contact me at tron234658@walla.com or raoul9089@gmail.com.

About the Librarian

Hi! 😀

I’m Spira, welcome to my blog 🙂

I’m just a regular type of guy. I’m 23 years old, average male, passionate reader with various love to books. I’m a pretty open-minded guy so I read every type of book except biographies and memoris. When I’m not reading, I spent all my energy into gaming, watching movies, tv shows, anime and shipping fictional characters. I live in Israel and usually I’m 24/7 online cause I have no life and got sleeping problems, lol.

So yeah, this is me, hahha ;p

You all probably must be wondering what’s the deal with the blog being played as of a library… Yeah, sorry about that. I just wanted to do a weird role-playing to it you guys. I thought it would be quite fun to make something unique to this blog. And I love books, so thought why not make it into a library? That could be pretty interesting.

About the Library

Hi! 😀

My name is Spira-Virgo, but please my friends call me Spira. 🙂

This must be your first time here. Ah, you don’t  know what it is? Why it’s a library, you silly nuggets ;p

I am its humble servant, tasked to keep it in its neat condition and offer assistance to all of those who seeks the library’s knowledge. We have tons of books of different variety: Fantasy, Science-fiction, Horror, Thriller, Romance, etc. We also have a vast collection of comic books, manga and other tomes and relics that are just waiting to be discovered! 😀
The library is open to everyone but they are certain rules that you all must follow:

1) The Library purpose is to help with your desires. You are all free to go and venture to any place so long you won’t disturb anyone else.

2) We welcome any type of discussion among our regular readers, new visitors or vagabond wanderers. Please keep in mind to have civilized conversations. Any foul play will result in immediate banishment from the library.

3) My job is to help you all however you like but don’t forgot I am just a lowly human being. I can’t do everything all the time.

Those are the rules, simple to follow and I hope you all have a good time visiting our library.