ARC Review ~ Crueler than Dead, Vol. 1

Book: Crueler than Dead, Vol. 1

Author: Tsukasa Saimura

Illustrator: Kozo Takahashi

Genre: Manga, Zombie Apocalypse, Horror

Publisher: Ablaze Publishing

Release date: October 12, 2021

My Rating: ★★

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No one knows where it started … But when the world finally realized what was going on, it was already too late.

When Maki Akagi wakes up in a lab full of corpses, she learns from a dying soldier that she is the result of a last-ditch experiment to cure humans of a virus turning them into zombies. Accompanied by a young boy who also miraculously escaped, she will have to try to get to the very center of a devastated Tokyo filled with bloodthirsty monsters. The dome located there contains the last survivors of mankind. And humanity’s very survival depends solely on a few drops of this miraculous vaccine…

Inspired by Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira), The Walking Dead, Romero classics, and new zombie films like 24 Hours Later, Crueler Than Dead delights in the meticulous detail of decomposed flesh, with a wicked and hungry eye…evoking a modern vision of a zombie world that is terrifying and tension filled.

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Book Review ~ The Escape Game

Book: The Escape Game

Story & Art: Hanaka Haruse

Genre: Shōjo manga, Thriller, Horror

Publisher: Shogakukan Asia

My Rating: ★★★

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Fuuka is on top of all the trending activities on social media. The latest craze? An escape game that is so difficult, there hasn’t been a single successful challenger yet! With her not-quite boyfriend Sougo in tow, she wins the coveted invitation to the game! But their excitement soon turns to trepidation when the ominous host of the game greets them at the door. What dark secret is he hiding?!

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ARC Review ~ We Live, Vol. 1

Book: We Live, Vol. 1

Author & Illustrator: Inaki Miranda, Roy Miranda

Genre: Graphic novel/Comics, Apocalypse, Dystopian

Publisher: AfterShock Comics

Release date: May 18, 2021

My Rating: ★★

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The year is 2084 and the world has changed. Wracked by calamities and crawling with mon-sters, the last remaining humans face a dangerous existence.

And now, the Earth has been sent a message from the deepest reaches of space – a dark countdown to the extinction of all humanity. But there is hope! Five thousand children will be rescued by these mysterious message-senders.

This is the journey of Hototo, one of the lucky five thousand – but only if his teenage sister, Ta-la, can safely deliver him to the nearest Beacon before time runs out.

WE LIVE is a world of violence and beauty, a unique tale of the apocalypse as told by Inaki Mi-randa (Catwoman, Batman Beyond) and Roy Miranda, that invites both dread and hope.

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Book Review ~ Love and Heart, Vol. 1

Book: Love and Heart, Vol. 1

Story & Art: Chitose Kaido

Genre: Shōjo manga, Young adult, Suspense

Publisher: Yen Press

My Rating: ★★★

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After a messy breakup, college freshman Yoh Yagisawa returns home only to find she has an unexpected male roommate! Introducing himself as her old childhood friend who moved abroad, handsome Haruma Hirose is back to do a homestay. He’s totally hot, super nice, and always there when Yoh’s in trouble… but could Haruma’s timing be a little too perfect? Plus, the house next door, where he claims to have lived-didn’t the family there all commit suicide…?

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Book Review ~ Dick Fight Island

Book: Dick Fight Island

Story & Art: Reibun Ike

Genre: Yaoi/BL Manga, Romance

Publisher: SuBLime

My Rating: ★★★★

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Eight mighty island warriors battle to become king. The deciding factor? The one who comes last, of course!

Eight islands represented by their best warriors must battle it out in a tournament to decide their king. To win this battle of endurance, it’s not the last one standing but the last one coming that matters!

The tournament to choose the next king of the islands is about to begin. The rules are simple—whoever comes first loses! Participating warriors protect their mighty swords with armor that grows larger and more elaborate with each tournament. But one warrior has returned from studying abroad with a technique certain to force a pleasurable eruption! Is there a competitor alive able to withstand it? Or is this deft warrior destined to become king?!

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Book Review ~ Versailles of the Dead, Vol. 1

Book: Versailles of the Dead, Vol. 1

Story & Art: Kumiko Suekane

Genre: Manga, Historical Fiction, Horror

Publisher: Seven Seas

My Rating: ★★★

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Marie Antoinette is about to become queen of France. While en route to marry King Louis XVI, her carriage is attacked by bloodthirsty zombies and everybody dies—except for Albert, Marie’s twin brother!

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Book Review ~ Secret XXX

Book: Secret XXX

Story & Art: Meguru Hinohara

Genre: Yaoi/BL Manga, Romance

Publisher: SuBLime

My Rating: ★★★★★

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Shohei’s just trying to find love in a pet shop, so why are all these bunnies making it so difficult?

Shohei loves bunnies! He loves them so much he’s even taken to volunteering at a local pet shop. Store owner Mito is as sweet and kind as the fuzzy critters he cares for, and it’s not long before Shohei finds himself wanting to cuddle with him as much as the bunnies! But Shohei is hiding a dangerous secret, one that makes this dream an unlikely reality.

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Book Review ~ Not Your Idol, Vol. 2

Book: Not Your Idol, Vol. 2

Story & Art: Aoi Makino

Genre: Shōjo Manga, Young Adult, Suspense

Publisher: VIZ Media

My Rating: ★★★★

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“This is exactly why she got herself stabbed by a fan.”

Heartbroken Nina Kamiyama is a former idol. She’s decided to live her life by keeping her past identity a secret, but her situation intensifies when another discovers who she really is. Who can she trust?

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ARC Review ~ Yojimbot: Metal Silence, Part 1

Book: Yojimbot: Metal Silence, Part 1

Writer & Illustrator: Sylvain Repos

Genre: Comics, Dystopian, Sci-Fi

Publisher: Europe Comics

Release date: April 21, 2021

My Rating: ★★★

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In a dystopian not-too-distant future in Japan, Hiro lives with his father on an island populated by androids, where they eke out a meager existence while trying to keep out of sight. But when they run afoul of a troop of high-tech military thugs, Hiro’s dad sacrifices himself to save his son, turning Hiro’s already-bleak world upside-down. He is then rescued by a samurai robot called a “yojimbot,” and together they seek to avenge his father’s death and make contact with a mysterious associate known only as the “rights holder,” before the soldiers and their drones close in…

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ARC Review ~ Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms

Book: Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms

Author: Crystal Frasier

Illustrator: Val Wise

Genre: Graphic Novel, Queer Romance, Young Adult

Publisher: Oni Press

Release date: August 10, 2021

My Rating: ★★★★

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A sweet, queer teen romance perfect for fans of Fence and Check, Please!

Annie is a smart, antisocial lesbian starting her senior year of high school who’s under pressure to join the cheerleader squad to make friends and round out her college applications. Her former friend BeeBee is a people-pleaser—a trans girl who must keep her parents happy with her grades and social life to keep their support of her transition. Through the rigors of squad training and amped up social pressures (not to mention micro aggressions and other queer youth problems), the two girls rekindle a friendship they thought they’d lost and discover there may be other, sweeter feelings springing up between them

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