Monday, October 12, 2015

Reviewing the Mail: Week of October 10

This week I'm back to normal, Mama Bear-style: not too many books (like the dozen-plus I've had the last three weeks) and not too few (like the zero books I had for two weeks before that). This week, I have four books that came unexpectedly in the mail and one that I kickstarted but will throw in anyway, just because.

As usual, there are The Disclaimers. The books that arrived unexpectedly were, well, unexpected. I don't necessarily know all that much about them, and I haven't read them yet. But I can tell you the home viewer about them using my secret Internet powers of reading and surmising and typing.

And that's just what I'm about to do.

First up is the new Mistborn novel by Brandon Sanderson, because I know Sanderson's agent and editor and because its the only prose skiffy book this week. This one is Shadows of Self, and it continues in the fantasy steampunky vein of The Alloy of Law -- there was a previous trilogy set in this world, and that one was medievaloid, but for this sequence Sanderson has jumped to a different part of his timeline. Shadows continues the story of Waxillium Ladrian, frontier lawman turned citified nobleman, and is a Tor hardcover available right now.

I also have three manga volumes from Yen, all recently published. And, coincidentally, they're volumes one, two, and three in their respective series, so I have to present them that way, right?

Horimiya, Vol. 1 comes from Hero and Daisuke Haigwara. (Yes, "Hero." Perhaps it doesn't sound quite so pompous in Japanese.) It's another highschool love story, in which the popular girl girls for the quiet loner boy when she sees him outside of school as a tattooed, pierced bad boy. The lesson, I gather, is supposed to be "everyone has secret depths" rather than "highschoolers are incredibly shallow."

Yet another series showing an inexplicable fascination with Lewis Carroll on the part of manga-ka: Alice in Murderland, Vol. 2, from Demon From Afar's Kaori Yuki. In this one, the heir to a particular estate gets eternal life -- but only after murdering all of his or her siblings. (One does faintly wonder how this estate can ever get handed down, if the holder has eternal life, but leave that aside -- there's always assassination to consider.) Our heroine is Claire, who has the detriment of actually loving her
older sister -- but the benefit of having a murderous secondary personality.

And last from Yen is So, I Can't Play H, Vol. 3, a manga by Sho Okagiri from the original light novel by Pan Tachibana (and using character designs by Yoshiaki Katsurai). It's clearly some kind of harem manga -- relatively steamy, too, since my copy is sealed in plastic -- and the girls suddenly living with our hero seem to be, as is also typical, supernatural in one way or another.

I also wanted to mention, rather than throwing it into a "Incoming Books" post all by itself, that the new book of Justin Pierce's webcomic Wonderella has arrived: A Hero For All Seasons. It collects a whole bunch of comics, includes a new thirty-page story, and has no ISBN, so it's probably not going to be available for sale in any of the usual places. (And it's not even for sale on the Wonderella store, I note.) So I'm not trying to brag here, but I have this, and you will have a tough time finding it. Because if you snooze, you lose.

On that cheery, note, this week's installment of "Reviewing the Mail" ends.

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