Yana Toboso’s manga Black Butler follows a young earl named Ciel Phantomhive who lives in a manor house right outside of London and is known for being a giant of commerce. There’s only one problem: Earl Phantomhive is a 12–year-old boy who just lazes around his house while others in the corporation slave away to produce both candy and toys. Although Phantomhive has a team of devoted staff members, none can touch his butler, a mysterious man named Sebastian, who is always ready, willing, and able to carry out his master’s wishes. Whether he needs to probe London’s seedy and dark underbelly or save his master from a dinner party gone awry, Sebastian is good at his job—almost too good to be human.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, May 20th, 2014||No Comments »|
Raymond Buckland, who has been called the “father of witchcraft” and has long been a revered figure in the Pagan community, has briefly turned away from writing about spirit communications, Wicca, witchcraft, and divination for a walk down the Victorian side. His new novel Cursed in the Act takes the “father of vampires,” a.k.a. Bram Stoker himself, and re-imagines him as a cross between Supernatural’s Sam and Dean Winchester with a bit of Sherlock Holmes thrown in for good measure.
It is 1881-era London, and after a famous actor is poisoned on stage while his understudy’s killed the night after the incident, stage manager Harry Rivers and his boss Bram Stoker must team up to discover who sabotaged the actor and why. Although they discover that Mr. Irving has a long list of enemies, many whom would happily see him dead, the dynamic duo soon discover that the perpetrator has turned to magic to wreak havoc on the play and shut it down. As Irving and Stoker fight to save Mr. Irving from supernatural mischief, they soon become the new target for the nefarious magician.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, April 3rd, 2014||No Comments »|
In Just So Happens, which is Fumio Obata’s debut graphic novel, he challenges the idea of “home is where your heart is” and examines the pros and cons of being an outsider with his main heroine, Yumiko.
Yumiko is running from her past in Japan and thinks she has it made. She’s living in London and life is good—she’s got a great job, a wonderful boyfriend—plus, her family in Japan is too far away to have any impact on the lifestyle she chooses. However, her orderly world is turned on its head when her brother calls her with bad news: their father passed away recently in a mountaineering accident. Once Yumiko arrives in Toyko, she finds herself immersed in the traditional Japanese rituals surrounding life and death. She must also confront her past and make a choice about where her home, and her heart, truly lies.
Thanks to Obata’s delicate but powerful illustrations and the wondrous way in which he weaves his tale, readers will be sucked into Yumiko’s journey. Dignified and nuanced, Just So Happens is a spectacular page-turner that shows off both Obata’s art and his writing.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, March 25th, 2014||No Comments »|