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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

J LHLS Archives: May 2008

Thursday, May 8, 2008

An Infamous Army
A novel of Love, War, Wellington and Waterloo
by Georgette Heyer.
Originally published in the United Kingdom in 1937 by William Heinemann, reissued by Sourcebooks, Inc. 2007.

Review by Ida Vega-Landow

"I have got an infamous army;
Very weak and ill-equipped,
And a very inexperienced staff."
Wellington to Lt. Gen. Lord Stewart, G.C.B., 8th May 1815

So begins this epic novel by Georgette Heyer, with a quote from the Duke of Wellington, a modest man and a brilliant strategist, ultimately responsible for winning the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon Bonaparte's last stand. Ms. Heyer sprinkles quotes from Wellington throughout the novel in an attempt to authenticate this historic romance by letting the general speak for himself. Her attempt was successful, in fact a little too much, as the story tends to drag whenever she writes about the war itself. In my humble opinion, she doesn't write enough about the romance. Speaking of which... [more]

Posted by Ida Vega Landow @ 10:27 PM PST [Link]

A Strange and Mystifying Story, Volume 1
By Tsuta Suzuki
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc

Review by Ryes

I'll bet anyone who follows manga translations online know of Tsuta Suzuki. She's relatively new but she is one of the best debut manga artists, in my opinion. Licensing A Strange and Mystifying Story is one of the best decisions Juné has ever made and I am so happy to have a copy of it in my hands!

The main story in this manga is about Aki Yamane, whose family is cursed with a strange illness. Because of this, everyone in the Yamane family die young. Just when Yamane feels like he might be on his deathbed, he finds the strange fossil tooth that his grandfather pointed to before he died. When he held it in his hands, the tooth grew into a demon. [more]

Posted by Ryes @ 05:53 PM PST [Link]

Endless Rain
By Yuuya
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc

Review by Ryes

Endless Rain is a disappointing volume. It might have worked better if the story was split into two or three volumes, but as it is now, all the plot points are cramped together and a lot of integral details are left out.

The story starts off with Akira's mother's death. Akira and his younger brother Nao are in a bad situation now. Even though Akira has a job, they'll be living alone on a meager income and Nao is blind and so has special needs. A srange man brings Nao to Akira at the hospital to see their mother one last time. It is raining. [more]

Posted by Ryes @ 05:50 PM PST [Link]

The Prime Minister's Secret Diplomacy, Volume 1
By Youka Nitta
Published by 801 Media

Review by Ryes

The Prime Minister's Secret Diplomacy is one of Youka Nitta's latest works and it is awesome, just like her other works! I really didn't expect any less from one of the great yaoi triumvirates (i.e. Youka Nitta, Ayano Yamane, Kazuma Kodaka).

Koushi Yoshinaga is a celebrated diplomat from Japan and his skills can't be matched. Just recently, he became engaged to Michiko Shiraishi, the daughter of one of the most influential diplomats in Japan. Tomohiro Shiraishi, Michiko's brother is assigned as a translator and his work brings him in contact with Yoshinaga. But Tomohiro finds out secrets about Yoshinaga that could ruin both Yoshinaga's career and his engagement with Tomohiro's sister. [more]

Posted by Ryes @ 05:48 PM PST [Link]

Don't Blame Me vol. 2
Story and Art: Yugi Yamada
Published by Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1-56970-740-5
ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-740-1

Review by Kris

I'm not really in the mood to summarize the complicated plot of Don't Blame Me vol. 1 here, so be sure to check out my Don't Blame Me, vol 1 review. If you have a desire to read this series (and I say you should read it) you'll definitely want to start with the first book. [more]

Posted by Kris @ 05:44 PM PST [Link]

Yaoi Gothic
By Yaoi Press Artists
Published by Yaoi Press

Review by Ryes

Yaoi Gothic is a collection of artwork from the artists of Yaoi Press, an original English language yaoi publisher who occasionally translates mangas not from Japan or Korea. There's some good and bad aspects of the artbook, but I feel that this could have been handled a lot better, considering there were about four or five artists whose works were featured in here.

One of the downsides to this book is the black and white interior. Color images would have been great, especially for some of the artists who were displayed. But I got over this quickly. The artists made do with the monochromatic limitation and the shading and patterns were excellent. [more]

Posted by Ryes @ 05:43 PM PST [Link]

Don't Blame Me vol. 1
Story and Art: Yugi Yamada
Published by Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1-56970-741-3
ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-741-8

Review by Kris

I've seen Yugi Yamada-sensei's books on the shelf at my local Borders. I've seen them advertised in the back of several of my other Juné manga. I've also read reviews on some of her titles. But, here's my major confession, I've never read anything written by Yamada-sensei. When we learn to read we're always taught not to judge a book by it's cover. Well, when it came to Yamada-sensei I was judging the contents inside by the cover. I must admit that even though I was not terribly impressed by the covers, I was wrong. [more]

Posted by Kris @ 05:38 PM PST [Link]

Love Circumstances
Story and Art: Aco Oumi
Published by 801 Media, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1-934129-17-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-934129-17-3

Review by Kris

Love Circumstances is another steamy release by 801 Media, Inc.

Yamaguchi and Takagari were best friends, but they started dating over their summer break. Even though they are in love, Yamaguchi has some insecurities. He doesn't seem to know what Takagari sees in him. Not only that, but Takagari wants to kick it up a notch and take their relationship to the next level. [more]

Posted by Kris @ 03:20 PM PST [Link]

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Story and Art by Sanae Rokuya
Published by Juné, imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1-56970-714-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-714-2

Review by Linda Yau

Red was an unusual story that I am surprise to say that I cannot find a similar comparison in bl with. The most similar in plot concept I would say that would resemble this is Seirei no Moribito. However their only similarity is of princes running away from their royal identities. The stark difference is the age of the princes, the bodyguard, and the fact that Red is a shonen-ai graphic novel. I hope this review won’t sound as off putting as I seem to make it appear to be and I actually read this book in an hour’s commute. [more]

Posted by Linda Yau @ 08:33 PM PST [Link]

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Vampire Hunter D, Vol. 2
By Hideyuki Kikuchi
Adapted and Illustrated by Saiko Takaki
Digital Manga Publishing

Review by Tom Good

With so many vampire stories crowding into the Nosferatusphere these days, a vampire tale needs some good hooks to keep it unique and interesting. This volume of Vampire Hunter D certainly has a great selection of visual elements. It's got the goth-cowboys-with-laptops aesthetic. It's got some hooded bad guys whose robes are drawn with cool hatching patterns that make them look like evil pinstriped monks. And it's got a new character, Lina Sween, whose wide-eyed and somewhat possessed look reminded me of Helena Bonham Carter in Sweeny Todd. [more]

Posted by Tom Good @ 10:26 PM PST [Link]

Story and Art by Toko Kawai
Published by 801 Media, Inc.

ISBN-10: 1-934129-00-3
ISBN-13: 978-1-934129-00-5

Review by Linda Yau

When I first picked up this book a long while ago, I had to put it down because I felt too rushed to read it so knowing that I wouldn’t enjoy it. I had to not read it until now. I had already read Affair by Shiuko Kano last year, so I was left with a favorable opinion by 801. Bond(z) is a collection of short stories. The blurb on the back cover is only the synopsis for the first story. I am apologizing in advance, if I give too much detail of the stories. [more]

Posted by Linda Yau @ 09:23 PM PST [Link]

Monday, May 5, 2008

Happiness Recommended
Story and Art: Souya Himawari
Published by Juné, imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1-56970-742-1
ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-742-5

Review by Linda Yau

As most BL stories go, Happiness Recommended was an entertaining fast read with a sweet heartwarming story -two main chapters and a bonus story. To recap the main story, Yukiharu Hiraga believes that he is an orphan after his grandfather suddenly passed away. This is not the case when he learned that he has six younger brothers. They were separated when Yukiharu was three and his grandfather had disowned both his parents. [more]

Posted by Linda Yau @ 03:37 PM PST [Link]

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