Yaoi Review: Shards of Affection

Shards of Affection
Story and Art: Duo Brand
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1-56970-594-1
ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-594-0

Review by Kris

In a shrine, in a forest, in the middle of the city dwells a priest who is the caretaker of the Goushintou. The Goushintou are swords that house spirits that battle evil. The priest is the one who runs the show for the Goushintou and makes decisions based on their abilities. Each story in Shards of Affection loosely revolve around these blessed swords.
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Book Review: Batman Unauthorized

Batman Unauthorized: Vigilantes, Jokers, and Heroes in Gotham City
Edited by Dennis O’Neil with Leah Wilson
Published by Benbella Books, Inc.
ISBN10: 1933771305
ISBN13: 9781933771304

Review by Linda Yau

With the New York Comic Con approaching in several more weeks, I figure it would be a good time to review this book. Batman Unauthorized is a series of eighteen essays that explores various aspects of the franchise of Batman. Topics cover from the sidekicks, to location, to possibilities, to villians, and even the identity/health of Batman; hardly anything is left unturned in this book. I bet the various writers in this book had fun researching for this book.
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Yaoi Review: White Brand

White Brand
Story and Art: Youka Nitta
Published by the Juné Imprint of Digital Manga, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1-56970-603-4
ISBN-13: 978-1-56970-603-9

Review by Kris

White Brand is a collection of short one-shots written and illustrated by the well-known master of yaoi, Youka Nitta. The longest one-shot is the title story, White Brand. Keshiki Asano and Izuru Fukaya were at one time very close but after Keshiki lost his father in a tragic accident he distanced himself from his cousin (yes, I mean Izuru.) Now they are students at the same high school. Keshiki still keeps his distance and Izuru wants to break down the barrier. It seems that Keshiki has an aversion to dark things because of the death of his father and Izuru has naturally tan skin. These two boys cared for one another once, can they once again?
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Book review: Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
By Vicki Myron with Bret Witter
Grand Central Publishing

Review by Kathryn L. Ramage

As a Master of Library Science and cat lover, I’m astonished that I never heard the story of Dewey before. The cat who lived at the public library in Spencer Iowa for eighteen years and acted as the library’s mascot, official greeter, and spokes-kitty seems to have well-known worldwide in his day; he was featured in a number of magazine articles, and even in two documentaries. (Also, the author turns out to have taken her degree from my own library-school alma mater, Emporia State University, just a few years before I was there.)
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Manga Review: Hitohira vol. 2

Hitohira vol. 2
Story and Art: Idumi Kirihara
Published by Aurora Publishing
ISBN-10: 1934496472
ISBN-13: 978-1934496473

Review by Kris

Over summer break the Theatre Research Group has its annual camp at the beach. Everyone is looking forward to surf, sand, and fun but Nono has planned every minute of every day while they are there and fun is nowhere to be found. She’s running them ragged. Since the official Theatre Club and the Theatre Research Group have their survival on the line Nono wrote an original play entitled Hitohira. It is a beautiful play and she cast Mugi as the play’s heroine. Nono is positive that Mugi will be an amazing leading lady, but Mugi isn’t so sure of that. Because of all of the pressure they’ve all been under war breaks out. We have catfights, nasty yelling fights, and all sorts of violent outbursts. Mugi feels like she is responsible for all of this and she doesn’t have the confidence so she decides to quit the club and leaves immediately. It’s the middle of the night at the beach, however, so it’s not too smart for Mugi to leave on her own. Nono insists that it’s time to go to bed so she does just that. Takashi, Kai, and Risaki go on the hunt to find her. Kai was the lucky guy to locate Mugi and because of their friendship, love may be blooming. After a day or two things work themselves out and Mugi accepts her role.
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Book Review: The Ultimate Guide to Well Being

The Ultimate Guide to Well Being
Written by Jason Pegler
Published by Chipunkapublishing Ltd.
ISBN10: 1847470068
ISBN13: 9781847470065

Review by Linda Yau

On the cover of this book, there is a figure quoted the Wolrd Health Organization of about one million people committing suicide on an annual basis, and then there is this expression of “If people change their perception we can make it zero.”
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Yaoi Review: I Shall Never Return vol. 5

I Shall Never Return vol. 5
Story and Art: Kazuna Uchida
Published by the Deux Press Imprint of Aurora Publishing, Inc.
ISBN-10: 1934496480
ISBN-13: 978-1934496480

Review by Kris

We find out what happens with Ken, Ritsuro, Moeko, and Kazuyoshi in this final volume of I Shall Never Return. I’m going to apologize for divulging any spoilers from here because volume 5 wraps everything up.

Ken is currently taking photographs with his stepfather J in India while Ritsuro is still in Osaka preparing for his college entrance exams. Ken and J were able to walk away from the auto accident with a few bruises and scrapes but nothing too serious. Ken wants to get J to a hospital to get him checked out because he’s having dizzy spells but J really wants Ken to see the Himalayas. Kazuyoshi still isn’t speaking to Ritsuro because he’s still heart broken. But there are some storm clouds blowing in because of Ken and Kazuyoshi’s past. Because of this past and the thugs they used to hang out with Ritsuro gets caught up in the middle of it. Thankfully the cops show up but also because of this incident Ritsuro’s parents find out about the nature of Ken and Ritsuro’s relationship.
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Yaoi Review: Oh My God! vol. 2

Oh My God! Volume 2
Story and art by Natsuho Shino
Published by Deux Press
ISBN-10:  1934496448
ISBN-13:  9781934496442

Review by Jilly Gee

I’m beginning to have doubts that any couple at all will come out of this series in the end, let alone Jade and Yuto.  Nothing has changed between them from the first volume to the end of this one, no closer to each other than they were before.  Individually, however, they have come to realize some things.  More than just the clingy puppy from the previous volume, Jade purposely tries to get Yuto to handle some things on his own, to test his theory that the boy does indeed have powers himself and maybe even to boost Yuto’s defenses.  Yuto, however, is a bit slower to catch on; while he did realize rather quickly how to purify the ball, he still wonders why it is that he is able to do so.  They had both better speed up their grand revelations a bit, seeing as how the mysterious enemy has realized that something is out there disrupting their plans and the minions have started menacingly throwing their muscle around.
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Yaoi Review: Mister Mistress vol. 2

Mister Mistress, vol. 2
Story and art by Rize Shinba
Published by Deux Press
ISBN-10:  193449643x
ISBN-13:  9781934496435

Review by Jilly Gee

While the first book in the series had Rei simultaneously torturing and pleasuring Fujimaru for the seemingly selfish reason of feeding himself the sexual energy he needs as an incubus and Fujimaru loudly proclaiming the injustice of having to do these things with another man, the second book has Fujimaru saddened that he is seemingly just food and nothing more to the incubus, and Rei actually looking at Fujimaru with concern and trying to find out what the boy is feeling.  More is revealed about Rei’s relationship with Fujimaru’s grandfather when Fujimarau, a little jealously, questions Rei about it.  Not only is their relationship getting delved into, so is the fantastical side of the plot as a succubus comes into the picture and reveals more of Rei’s past and threatens his future.
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Book Review: Free Radical

Free Radical
Written by Michael Myette
Published by Pemberton Mysteries
ISBN-10:  1563154161
ISBN-13:  9781563154164

Review by Jilly Gee

With funding for his experiments having been pulled and the closing of his lab coming up, Matthew Quinn worked non-stop for days to find out why his polymer kept the mice alive.  Even if more funding had been forthcoming, he still would have worked those sleepless nights and days; Quinn was a workaholic, driving his girlfriend further and further away.  When he finally figures out why the polymer works and how to do it without the nasty side effects, Tasha tells him she’s had enough and dumps him right before he is kidnapped on the orders of Vladimir Michinski, a businessman who hides his illegal dealings behind legimate businesses, wants to patent the forumula as his own.  Defying the weak scientist stereotype, Quinn escapes from Michinski’s men and keeps his formula, but loses his freedom, having to hide from both Michinski and the police when Michinski frames him for a murder.
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