Review: A Conjuring of Light, by V.E. Schwab

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A Conjuring of Light, by V.E. Schwab

Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Rating: ✮✮✮✮

“Scars are not shameful, not unless you let them be. If you do not wear them, they will wear you.”

(^This song reminds me so much of this book.)

I have no idea how to review this book. I really, really don’t. I feel like I’ve said everything already in my reviews for A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows. The character development, the world-building, the writing – all of it is magnificent. The entire series is a masterpiece.

Was A Conjuring of Light a bit slow? Yes. It’s a 600+ page book, and there was a lot of traveling involved. Was the ending a bit underwhelming? Yes. Definitely yes. Do I think the previous books were better? Absolutely – but this book still had the thing that I love the most, the thing that really made me fall in love with it. When it comes to books, there is one quality that I admire the most. I love crafted writing and I love a lot of action, but there’s something that a book can have that a writer can’t really learn. It’s an attribute to the book that develops all on its own.

Potency. Semblance. Realism. When a book opens itself up and completely swallows you, when it doesn’t leave a trace of doubt that any part of it wasn’t meant to be. A writer can learn how to build a world and shape it to their will, but it takes an extra push to make it truly come to life, and that’s not something that is done easily. When a book is real enough to make me forget that I’m reading – when I forget that it’s a story, not something that actually happened – that is my favorite thing. That is what Shades of Magic has.

A Conjuring of Light is the last book in the series. It is over 600 pages, and it is still not enough. It left me aching for more. Finishing it is like coming out of warm water into the shivering cold. I am tempted to beg for a spin-off series, except that I know how those things usually go, and I am restraining myself (almost).

I could disect this book the way that I usually do, but the truth is that I just want to enjoy the pleasure that it brought me while reading it. Sometimes it’s impossible to express why we love something, and I’m having a hard time finding the words for the magic of this series.

Review: Rebel of the Sands, by Alwyn Hamilton

25776221Rebel of the Sands, by Alwyn Hamilton

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Rating: ✮

The world makes things for each place. Fish for the sea, Rocs for the mountain skies, and girls with sun in their skin and perfect aim for a desert that doesn’t let weakness live.

To say this book is dull is a bit of an understatement.

I love Arabian mythology. A while back, I did some research for a story I was working on. I only wanted some information about ghouls, but then I got caught up in the legends of the First Beings. I spent hours scrolling through websites, soaking up information. That’s why I was so excited by Rebel of the Sands – but its problems start at the very beginning. The author tries to mesh the Middle East with the Western genre, but it succeeds more in the later than the former. It doesn’t blend. The parts where the author delves into the myths are overshadowed by shootouts, politics, and a revolution that is shoved into the last part of the book.

See, that’s the other thing. I understand the importance of Ahmed’s revolution, but because it isn’t an important part of the book up until the end, I can’t be made to care about it. Most of the book is made up of Amani and Jin traveling around the country together (and staring lustfully at each other, of course), and by the time I got to the meat of the book, it was too late. I was bored out of my god damned mind.

The relationship between Amani and Jin is extremely unbalanced. They meet at a pistol pit, escape a burning building together, and the next morning they are fleeing for their lives, putting their necks out for a person they barely know. Amani throws all of her dreams of traveling to Izman, the capitol of Miraji, out the window, ones that she’s had for years, all for a boy that she’s known for two months. They start swooning over each other instantly, but the attraction between them isn’t there. They feel like two characters from different stories shoved together and forced to play a part.

Then there’s the writing. For one thing, it’s melodramatic. Everything is trying to be so intense and tragic, but it’s not working. It’s a little cheap, like those SyFy movies my dad likes to watch, just to laugh at the shitty graphics. Compared to An Ember In The Ashes – which has a lot of similar themes, if you look closely – it fails, miserably. And then there’s this:

The head that rose to look at me was the color of sun at high noon over a sand dune…I was on to the next stall already, to a Buraqi the color of cool dawn light over dusty mountains. The next one was the endless dark of the desert at night.

Those are all in the same paragraph, and those kinds of sentences are repeated over and over again all throughout the book. Like, I get that you need to be creative, but is there really anything wrong with saying that something is black? How about ebony? Stygian? On second thought, now that I think about it, does it really matter what color the Buraqi are at all? She’s only using them as a distraction; it’s not like they’re significant.

I’m rambling.

My point is that sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with being simplistic. Going overboard and trying to sound artistic and clever can backfire, and make the story difficult to read. It can also disrupt the moment. Particularly in fight scenes, it’s better to be sharp and to the point, because it amplifies the viewer’s perspective. Rebel of the Sands doesn’t do that, and so its punches aren’t thrown as hard as they could be.

Rebel of the Sands had a lot of promise and a cool concept, but a horrible execution. It picks up at the end, but by the time you get to the action, you’re practically dragging yourself through it. What it needed was less traveling, more buildup, and a lot more focus on Arabian mythology.

Project Bungou Stray Dogs: Poems of the Goat, by Chūya Nakahara

2550921Original Title: 山羊の歌

Author: Chūya Nakahara (中原 中也, Nakahara Chūya)

Translator: Ry Beville

Genres: Literature, Poetry

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮

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The gateway to the shrine is draped in sunlight

The leaves of the elm are fluttering gently

The cobalt shade of summer beneath the trees at noon

Is working to ease my lingering regrets


Project BSD

Note: Due to length, the quotes used in this review are excerpts, not the entire poem.

Since I have started this project, I’ve learned so much about these authors and how they inspired their characters in Bungou Stray Dogs. There is something satisfying about putting a piece together, about figuring out a characteristic and connecting it with something that happened in the author’s life or one of their stories or poems. Because of this sense of familiarity, there are some authors that I have sought after explicitly in order to attain it.

Chūya Nakahara was such an author (well, poet). Because Chūya is my second-favorite character in Bungou Stray Dogs after Akutagawa, I wanted to read his work more so than others. Chūya Nakahara has been argued as modern Japan’s finest poet, and when someone slaps a title like that on a person, it makes their work irresistible. The problem is that Chūya’s work in English is extremely hard to get a hold of. I usually order books that I can’t find through Mel-Cat, but the only ones that are listed under his name are in Japanese, and I’m far from fluent enough to be able to read them.

So, of course, that meant that if I wanted to read the English translations, I had to buy them – and I finally got around to purchasing Poems of the Goat.

And it’s beautiful.

This longing that consumed me in my youth of quiet sadness

Is on its way to disappearing into the darkened night.

Even with the sentiment that there is something lost in translations, even without the visual effects of the Japanese language, even without the tone that is offered through different Japanese pronouns, these poems are so beautiful. They’re full of love and loneliness and insecurity, themes that reveal Chūya Nakahara as a person, and themes that I am drawn to on instinct. I was swept away by the haunting visuals, the elegant language, and the flowing, musical style that he was acclaimed for.

I love poetry because it feels personal. I love that the poet is free to either be vague or blunt, whimsical or dark, emotional or detached. It opens a window into their soul, into who they really are. By reading Poems of the Goat, I have glanced into the soul of Chūya Nakahara, and I love it so much.

Review: The Upside of Unrequited, by Becky Albertalli

30653853The Upside of Unrequited, by Becky Albertalli

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQIA

Rating: ✮✮ +½

I don’t entirely understand how anyone gets a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. It just seems like the most impossible odds. You have to have a crush on the exact right person at the exact right moment. And they have to like you back. A perfect alignment of feelings and circumstances.

This book was a little meh for me. There were pieces of it that I liked, but I didn’t enjoy it so much as a whole.

The Upside of Unrequited has a lot going for it. It’s hilarious, quirky, and cute, and it’s full of so many wonderful things that I like to see advocated in books: Molly and Cassie have two moms, they’re part of a biracial family, and they’re Jewish. Cassie is a lesbian and her girlfriend, Mina, is pansexual. Molly is overweight, which is something that does not happen enough in books, especially where YA is concerned. There are also some topics discussed concerning sex and body image, and although Molly’s thoughts are painful and discouraging and to be honest, pretty insulting, I can’t say I haven’t had the same ones. It’s not that they’re true, it’s just that they’re manifestations of insecurity. They speak to every person who has ever felt sensitive about how they look.

One of the problems is the story. Much of it is focused on Molly’s crush on Reid, as well as her relationship with Will, and the endgame of getting a boyfriend. It’s really uncompelling. Another problem is the underlying current of the relationship with her and her twin sister, Cassie. After Cassie gets a girlfriend, they start to grow apart and fight a lot, and Cassie says some extremely rude things to her sister that, if I were in Molly’s shoes, I would not take. Such as:

“Do you want to help us paint mason jars?” I ask, after a moment.

Cassie laughs harshly. “Um, no.”

“Wow,” I say.

“Jesus Christ. Molly, stop.”

“I’m not doing anything.”

“Ugh—you’re looking at me like…no. I mean, no offense, but do I want to paint fucking mason jars with you and Grandma? Or do I want to hang out with my girlfriend?”

And the thing is, she never apologizes for that – or for anything else she’s done, which includes getting drunk at a party and then assuming that Molly will drive herself home, even when she knows that she’s had a drink. When they start to talk toward the end, she spins it around, and Molly ends up apologizing instead. Then they move on to the wedding, and it feels like so many threads in their relationship are left untied.

Another thing that’s nagging me is that everything – the story and the characters – kind of run together. Nothing felt very distinct, and a lot of the characters felt the same as another character, or multiple characters. None of them connected very well, either. It felt two-dimensional. The writing started to get repetitive after a while, too; I lost count of how many times Molly mentioned something going on in her stomach or her heart. I liked Reid, but Molly around him was an annoying hamster wheel.

It was not a bad book, but it didn’t impress me as much as I was hoping it would. If I were to recommend it for anything, I would say for a good laugh.

Reasons Why I Am A Horrible Human Being + Time and Place Book Tag

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So, before I begin this shindig, here are my aforementioned reasons:

  1. I have not posted anything in over a month.
  2. I gave no notice that I was going away for a month, which could mean that I was a) unable to attain an internet connection, or b) that I was dead.
  3. I had no proper reason for going away at all.

If I am being perfectly honest, it was because I wasn’t well. Whenever I have a lot of free time, my mind tends to wander, and it goes places that I don’t like. I need things to occupy myself, otherwise, I start to go crazy. Essentially, what I’m trying to say is that I should’ve been putting more effort into the blog instead of practically abandoning it altogether.

I am back now. If I need to step away for a while, I will make sure to give notice.


I stole this from icebreaker694, per usual. There are no specific rules. It was created by Jen Campbell on YouTube, and her description goes as follows:

Pick ten books from your shelves that you associate with a specific time and place in your life. Tell us the story behind your choices and what the books are about.

Here we go!


Openly Straight, by Bill Konigsberg

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I read this book while I was in the middle of figuring out my sexuality. I was very confused, and this book, along with Rafe’s confident personality, helped give me the extra push that I needed to come out to myself as bisexual. It would take another year for me to figure out that I was gay, and then another half of a year to come out to my parents. This book is the first in a long line of dominoes.


Vampire Kisses, by Ellen Schreiber

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I remember checking this book out all of the time back in middle school, and even a couple of times in high school. I was transfixed by it. There is always going to be a part of me that loves black clothes, graveyards, heavy metal and haunted houses, and this book represents that part.


The Amazing Book is Not On Fire, by Dan Howell and Phil Lester

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Okay, honest confession time: I don’t really watch neither Dan nor Phil anymore. It is not on purpose; I have tried watching their videos, but I think I have matured and outgrown their sense of humor. Tragic? Yes. Extremely tragic. However, they – as well as this book – take me back to the days I spent holed up in my room, clicking video after video, because at the time, it was the only thing that could make me laugh.


A Trick of the Light, by Lois Metzger

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When I was fifteen, I developed an eating disorder. I will not go into it because it is a story for another day. I didn’t like this book, but it hits it so spot on. It tells the story from the perspective of anorexia, and the unreliable voice in Mike’s head is exactly what it feels like to live with the disorder.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling

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Is this a cliché? I think it is. Oh well. Instead of the first book, I chose the last one because I remember the exact moment that I finished it. I was twelve, sitting in social studies (when I was supposed to be working, of course), and I remember closing it and looking around the room, thinking, What the hell do I do now? It was like this big part of my life was over with, and now I had to read other books. The problem was that, after Harry Potter, for a while, I didn’t know how.


The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa

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I’ve mentioned this book a lot, and I’m going to mention it one more time because it represents somebody important to me – my best friend. These books were her baby. When I showed her that I had checked out The Iron King, she freaked out and started screaming that they were the “BEST BOOKS IN THE WORLD” and “I LOVE THEM MORE THAN I LOVE CHOCOLATE-COVERED ESPRESSO BEANS.” (She really loves chocolate-covered espresso beans.) This is not the first book we’ve bonded over, but it was one of the biggest. It also represents how I fell back in love with the infamous paranormal romance genre.


The Ruins of Gorlan, by John Flanagan

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Yes, yes, this one is on here, too. It’s because Ranger’s Apprentice solidified a bond with my brother that had been missing for years. I have almost nothing in common with him; there is nothing that we share an interest in besides Harry Potter, and this. While I was reading it, we would talk about the books constantly. Sometimes we still do.


The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater

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This is the part where there would normally be an awkward silence.

The Raven Boys is my favorite book, as I have mentioned, repeatedly, at least ten times a day for the past year. The reason why it’s on here, though, is because it changed me as a writer. The Raven Cycle became the mountain that I wanted to climb, the light that I wanted to reach. I finished the series and thought, “I want to write a book that will make a reader feel exactly as this series makes me feel.”


Drum Taps, by Walt Whitman

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Emily Dickinson was my first favorite poet, but Walt Whitman was the one that made me understand why I love poetry. This collection is about the Civil War, and it made me cry – and I mean cry. I was sobbing so hard, I couldn’t even read the page. After that, I started to write poetry myself, though I’m not confident enough to share it with anyone.


Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë

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I do not like Wuthering Heights. I think I might like it more if I read it again, but I’ll save that for a rainy day. I bought my first (yes, first) copy of Wuthering Heights when I was in sixth grade. I was roughly eleven years old. I had no idea that it was literature, and so when I started to read it, I felt like someone had smashed me over the head with a brick. Is this English? What does that word even mean? This was written when? And so forth. Wuthering Heights was my first classic, and I didn’t finish reading it until I was fifteen. It reminds me of the moment I realized that there was a whole other world of books that I hadn’t discovered yet, ones that I wouldn’t be able to read until I was much older.


Whew. Okay, this was actually extremely hard for me to do. Because I am lazy, I will tag Gretchen @ Chicnerdreads and Sophie @ Blame Chocolate, because they are awesome, and also because I don’t think they’ve done this yet. If they have or they don’t want to, then, well. 😉

All right. I’m starving, so I will go make a sandwich. Until next time!

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Review: Eliza and Her Monsters, by Francesca Zappia

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Eliza and Her Monsters, by Francesca Zappia

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Rating: ✮✮✮✮

There are monsters in the sea.

Warning: This is a slightly personal review.

Eliza and Her Monsters is extremely relatable. It deals with social anxiety, which is something that a lot of people suffer with. It shows how, despite all logic, our minds can twist our biggest fears around and turn them against us.

I relate with Eliza on a lot of levels, but my personal experience reading this book might be a little different. See, I used to be exactly like Eliza. I didn’t realize it, but throughout high school, I didn’t talk to my peers very often. I purposely avoided working in groups or attending any of the events, including prom. I ate lunch in the library, even though I wasn’t supposed to, because I hated the idea of sitting in the cafeteria. I tried to hide as much as I possibly could, all because I was terrified of talking to my classmates and having them either ignore me or shut me down. I didn’t want them to even look at me.

My senior year of high school brought a lot of changes to my life, and I started to open up a bit more. By the time I graduated, I had gained some confidence. I wasn’t popular, but I wasn’t invisible, and I was comfortable with that.

I have mostly overcome my social anxiety – mostly. I’ll admit that sometimes I get extremely freaked out whenever I have to talk to someone that I have a crush on, and my best friend will attest to this, because she’s had to listen to me fret and whine for years. I didn’t realize how far I’d come until I read Eliza and Her Monsters and I saw in Eliza who I used to be.

I was so frustrated with her. A lot of the time, I thought Eliza was being extremely immature, especially when she shut out her family. Every time her parents would try to approach her and get her to spend time with them, she would throw a fit, like she was twelve years old. She was abrasive, disrespectful, and selfish. She gave no thought to how others felt or what their problems were.

I used to be just like that. I used to do all of those things, and reading them through different eyes – from the outside looking in – completely sucked. It was also an eye-opener.

Every time Eliza’s parents talked to her about how private she was and how she needed to be more sociable, I saw reflected in them my own parents, saying the exact same thing. I remembered how much those kinds of words irritated me – but, reading them again, I wasn’t. It was like I was finally understanding what it was my parents had been trying to drill in me for so many years.

I am still pretty introverted. I detest parties. I hate being by myself in a group of strange people – but I’m not as afraid to talk anymore. As a matter of fact, the right person would probably say that I have a harder time shutting up.

The best part about Eliza and Her Monsters was Eliza’s maturity. She learns how to conquer her anxiety and keep herself from getting worn out, and that is important to every person who has ever suffered from social anxiety. It has some nerd culture, yes, and quite a bit of the Francesca Zappia charm – of which I have grown fond of since I read Made You Up – but the most important aspect, and the one that will appeal the most, is how Eliza overcomes her fears – how, essentially, she slayed her monsters.

Review: The Eternity Cure, by Julie Kagawa

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The Eternity Cure, by Julie Kagawa

Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Paranormal

Rating: ✮✮✮✮ +½

“Run. The end draws nigh, and the sun will soon set for all your kind. How long can you evade the dark, I wonder?”

Well, holy shit. Julie Kagawa took everything that I wanted from The Immortal Rules and delivered it in The Eternity Cure on a silver platter. I don’t know why I’m so surprised.

The Immortal Rules was good, but I still found it wanting. I couldn’t stand the girl-hate, and due to the extensive traveling, a few parts were slow. It also didn’t feel nearly as dark as it could’ve been, with Allie a very unconvincing narrator when it came to describing her struggles with her “demon”. Because I love Julie Kagawa’s writing so much – plot-driven, dynamic, and straight-forward – I still enjoyed it, but there was something missing.

Whatever it was, The Eternity Cure shoved it down my throat. For one, it’s a blood festival. Not only is there more action, but the battles are more gruesome. The world that Allie and Zeke live in becomes more twisted, and that’s something that I’ve never seen from Julie Kagawa before. It was a delight. Sarren, who was mostly just a distant memory in The Immortal Rules, appears more often and reveals his true psychopathic nature. This series was originally marketed as dystopian, but the further it goes on, the more it skewers into horror – especially where that ending is concerned.

Allie has also matured. No longer hiding her true nature, her melodrama is kept at bay, and since she is also no longer quarreling with Ruth, there isn’t any girl-hate – and I can’t tell you enough how big of a relief that is. The worst part about The Immortal Rules was the feud between Allie and Ruth over Zeke. It was a gigantic obstacle that kept getting tripped over, preventing the story from flowing smoothly.

Additionally, there’s Jackal. Jackal appeared at the end of The Immortal Rules as the raider king hunting down Zeke’s family, and he reappears early on in The Eternity Cure. He adds the sarcasm and wit that I remember in The Iron Fey series, with Puck. It’s an element to Julie Kagawa’s writing that I’ve grown found of, and while Jackal is a gigantic asshole and his sense of humor is much blacker, he’s so endearing. He’s the icing on top of the cake.

“Well, I have good news and bad news,” he announced. “The good news is that the jeep is still where we left it, and I got the damned thing working again.”

“What’s the bad news?” I asked.

“Something took my fuzzy dice.”

I’m starting to grow really fond of this series, the same way that I did with The Iron Fey. It delivers the creepy, bloody, vicious vampire story that I had been craving for.

Project Bungou Stray Dogs: Tangled Hair: Selected Tanka from Midaregami, by Akiko Yosano

1142106Original Title: みだれ髪 (Midaregami)

Author: Akiko Yosano (與謝野 晶子, Yosano Akiko)

Translator: Sanford Goldstein and Seishi Shinoda

Genres: Literature, Poetry, Tanka

Rating: ✮✮✮ +½

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Without returning…

O my feelings

In this gathering darkness of spring

And against my koto

My tangled, tangled hair.


Project BSD

I cannot verify how good I am at reviewing poetry. I can’t critique poetry the same way that I can books; I can only generate my personal opinion, not the quality of it. There were some that I didn’t like or understand, but Tangled Hair was a beautiful collection over all.

Tanka is syllabic, and it follows a structure of 5-7-5-7-7. Similar to the haiku, it also contains themes of nature. There’s a lengthy introduction that delves into the history of the tanka and also its evolution, leading up to where Akiko Yosano plays a roll in it. It rambles on and quite a bit of it is unnecessary – there’s a lot about Tekkan, Akiko’s husband, and all of his past lovers that was pretty boring – and in the end, it entails what can be easily understood by reading the poetry itself: it’s feminine, it’s erotic, and it’s sensual, just like Akiko herself.

Morning wisteria,

Soft murmurs of love,

His hand on the back of my neck,

O powerless to detain him,

My lover of one night!

What makes Akiko’s poetry so shocking is not just the eroticism, but what it symbolized. The traditional tanka relates strictly to nature’s beauty; Akiko crushed the “Old School” style and turned the tanka, which had been dying across the nation as an art form, into something completely her own. There’s a lot of themes in her poetry that become repetitive – the color red, pink blossoms, a koto, priests and temples – but sometimes she still twisted it and wrote something new. This one is my personal favorite:

The clear spring inside me

Overflowed,

Became muddy –

A child of sin you are

And so am I.

The best part about Tangled Hair is that it’s bilingual. Because it’s so difficult to translate Japanese exactly into English, trying to replicate it to the letter is an impossible job, especially since tanka is based on syllables. To give you an idea, hanashimasu means “speaks/will speak” in Japanese – four syllables versus one or two, depending on the context. It’s unbalanced. Instead of trying to cram the English translation into the same structure, the translators let the poems run free, and included the poems in the original Japanese – both in kanji and romaji – to keep its authenticity. There’s also notes that explain the poems’ meanings, though personally, I think trying to dissect poetry ruins its beauty.

Tangled Hair is feminist poetry. Though there were some that I didn’t get, I love the themes that are depicted in this collection: sexuality, beauty, desire, and throughout, that undertone of naturalness that the original tanka prescribes.

Manga Review: Seraph of the End, by Takaya Kagami and Yamato Yamamoto

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Seraph of the End, by Takaya Kagami and Yamato Yamamoto

Genres: Shonen, Paranormal

Volumes: 14

Status: Ongoing

Favorite Characters: Mikaela Hyakuya, Krul Tepes, Shihō Kimizuki

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮

“Humans will do anything for their families. We’ll happily lie, cheat, make deals with the devil, or even become demons ourselves.”

When I write these reviews, I try really hard to keep myself from gushing all over the place and to maintain an analytical, serious persona – but this time, I don’t think I can do it. I love this manga too freaking much.

I got into Seraph of the End on complete accident. What started out as a mild curiosity blew up into a frantic obsession. I usually take my time watching anime to avoid burning out, so twenty-four episodes usually takes me about a week and a half.

I watched Seraph of the End in a single weekend. I couldn’t stop.

What surprises me the most is that Seraph of the End has everything that I hate. It has fantasy elements, but it is also a dystopian, which is a genre I can’t stand. There are vampires, which up until recently I couldn’t take seriously. Also, I kid you not, but almost every person in Yūichirō, the main character’s squad has a gigantic crush on him – including the men. Then there’s Mikaela, whose obsession with Yūichirō is so intense that he has very few other characteristics. He’s a character that was built to be complex but is portrayed as one-dimensional.

He is also my favorite character of the series and my precious vampire angel.

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The story is based around the idea that in 2012, the world was supposed to end. A virus spread that killed virtually all humans over the age of twelve years old, and in order to maintain their food source, vampires rose up and took control, capturing many and taking them down into vampire cities as livestock. Yūichirō and his adopted family at the Hyakuya Orphanage were such victims, and they lived like that for four years until Mikaela, Yūichirō’s best friend, plotted an escape that went horribly wrong. The rest of the orphans ended up dead, but Yūichirō managed to escape. He enters the Japanese Imperial Demon Army in order to become a part of the Moon Demon Company, a special branch designed to eradicate vampires, in order to get revenge for his family.

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The central theme is to live not just for yourself, but for your family and friends as well. Yūichirō maintains his loyalty to his squad, to Guren – who saved him four years prior, when he escaped – to the rest of the army, and to Mikaela. He starts out as a lone wolf that doesn’t rely on anyone, but comes to learn that he can’t fight alone. I love how – even if the mission depends on him to leave comrades behind – Yūichirō will scream, bluster, and at times disobey in order to keep those he cares about safe. Stupid? Yes, but I’m a softy, and I love the concept of ‘no man getting left behind’.

Seraph of the End is both beautifully written and drawn, with intense action, slices of humor, and a whole lot of tragedy. It’s one of those gripping, edge-of-your-seat stories that I’ve come to find I adore just as much as the sweet and romantic ones.

“No matter what you become, we will always be family.”