Magnus Chase and The Gods of Asgard: The Ship of the Dead-Should You Read It?

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Rating: 4/5

This is the third installment in Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase series following The Sword of Summer and The Hammer of Thor. Once again, Riordan does a splendid job of integrating diverse characters and comedy to bring Magnus’s adventure to life.

Now that Loki is free, Magnus and his friends, both dead and living, must stop the Ship of the Dead from sailing, or Ragnarok will soon follow. To prevent Loki from releasing the ship from it’s icy hold on the one day of the year that it is warm enough for the ice to melt, Magnus is gifted a big, yellow viking ship from his father, Frey. With this ship, which can conveniently transform into a spiffy yellow bandanna when not in use, takes Magnus and his companions across the borders or the nine worlds to stop Loki. Let’s not forget, the boat has been named thus: The Big Banana.

Along the way, Magnus, Samirah, Hearthstone, Blitzen, Alex, Halfborn, Mallory, and T.J. all face a number of trials that effect reaching their goals to prevent Ragnarock, as well as effecting many of them on some personal level. During the entire journey, Samirah is participating in Ramadan, a pert of her culture that forces her to fast, to not eat, until after sunset. Even though she does not eat or drink during the day, she powers through the quest with her friends with a headstrong attitude. The crew is taken by the sea god’s nine daughters and are aiming to find a special mead so that Magnus can defeat Loki in a flyting to capture him. Magnus, T.J., and Alex find themselves having to face a stone giant-T.J. fighting the giant while Alex makes a stone warrior to fight one made by the giant. Hearth and Blitz assist Magnus in defeating Hearth’s father, who has now turned into a hideous dragon because of his greed and the magical ring that he chose to wear, Halfborn and Mallory have broken up, and the tension between the two is high. Mallory finds out who her mother is. More giants….

Throughout, Magnus learns more and more about his friends, but especially about Alex as they both go on the most adventures together. Magnus feels at ease with Alex at his side (whether Alex is male or female doe not matter to him) as they search for a clue in his uncle’s mansion, create a ceramic soldier together, suffer the freezing cold to near-death, and bring Loki down together. Their relationship is one of the most interesting aspects of the novel, and the two trying to figure out how they feel about each other is one of the driving aspects that has me itching for the next novel.

One of the things I continue to praise about Riordan is his incorporation of multiple types of diversity into his novels, and Magnus Chase by far has the best types of diversity to expose young readers to including racial/religious diversity (Samira is Middle Eastern), gender diversity (Alex is gender fluid), and disability diversity (Hearth is deaf). These are all excellent characters that show not everyone needs to be perfect, that everyone should be who they are and who they want to be. The Norse gods are ever interesting in how Riordan incorporates the lore, and the next adventures should be exciting for Magnus (and us readers, of course), so if you have not picked this series up, I would say yes, you should read it. The humor is a nice tough to the reading; you know it is a good book if it can coax an actual, audible laugh out of the reader!

Some fun things:

The Costco edition comes with a neat little poster: Image result for magnus chase costco poster

The Barnes and Noble edition comes with a Norse insult generator:Image result for magnus chase barnes and noble insult generator

The Walmart edition comes with a neat bookmark (Hearthstone?):Magnus Chase - Ship of the Dead - Bookmark

The Target edition comes with a make your own viking longship pull-out craft:Magnus Chase - Ship of the Dead - Viking Longboat Diagram

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The Last Namsara-Should You Read It?

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5

I was lucky enough to meet Kristen Ciccarelli at an Epic Reads author meet up where she shared about and signed her debut novel The Last Namsara. How Ciccarelli describes this book is like How to Train Your Dragon meets Game of Thrones, a very interesting combination of ideas, to be sure. Is this description accurate? Kind of. I had many flashback to Christopher Paolini’s Eragon from the Inheritance Cycle.

This contains some SPOILERS and many instances in later plot, so read with caution.

This novel features the daughter of the dragon king, Asha, who has burn scars from the First Dragon, Kozu, when he wreaked havoc across Firgaard when she was only eight years old. It was Asha’s fault that the dragon came, for she was telling the Old Stories, and stories draw dragons. Asha becomes labeled with the title of Iskari after one of the goddesses of the world lore, a bringer of death. To make amends for her bringing Kozu to Firgaard, Asha must now hunt dragons and bring their heads back to her father, the dragon king.

When one of the heroes of her world, a Namsara of the past visits bearing gifts from the Old One, a deity that the realm once believed in, Asha begins to question her purpose as the Iskari. Asha receives a set of slayers, a dragon, and fireskin (she cannot be burned), she realizes that the war waging within the world around her and within the walls of her own city has been long-deep, going farther back that Asha understands.

Betrothed to a total ass, Jarek, Asha’s father explains that is she kills Kozu, the Old Stories will vanish with the death of the first dragon, and her engagement will be off. Little does she know that Jarek and the king have been working together since Asha was burned all those years ago. With the gifts from the Old one and the help of a skral (slave), Asha finds a new meaning to her life and understands that her father is the one who must die, not Kozu. When Asha tells the old stories to draw out the dragons, the dragons, in return, share their own stories, images from what they know of history. Once, dragons and people used to live and work together, but someone betrayed the dragons, even though society thought it was the other way around.

With epic fight scenes and battles, forbidden romance, and dragon magic, this story is fast-paced, exciting, and an all around fantastic debut novel. While I feel that I gave quite a bit of information on the story plot, there is such a vast amount that I have barely scraped the surface of. One of the unique elements to this book is that the stories being told actually get their own pages, as if reading from an ancient book of stories, making it fun and easy to reflect back on the stories as a reader if I want to read one or two of them again just to reiterate the lore or history of the world as I am reading.

The only reason this is a 4.5/5 and not a 5/5 is that it was actually hard to get into at first. The development of the world and understanding the history came at a methodically progressive pace, not too fast and not too slow, but many of the ideas being presented were a bit convoluted and hard to grasp at first. I also had some major expectations about dragon riders for this novel wondering, “Is this going to be the next Eragon?” and it just felt like it took way too long for Asha to ride a dragon and share a link with the dragon. I really like the dragons as characters and think that they could have been developed even further as intellectual beings.

Overall, a fantastic debut novel that I would suggest to any fantasy fan and am already spreading the word to every reader I know about what a great and quick read this novel is, a great edition to any bookshelf.

Some official art from Cicarelli’s website:

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Kozu, the First Dragon. With his death, so too shall the Old Stories die.

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Namsara brings laughter and love; Iskari brings destruction and death.

On another note, Ciccarelli claims there will be at least one (maybe more?) novel in the series, but will feature other events going on in the world, for Asha’s story is over (even though her story is just beginning)!

Should You Read It?-Honorable Mentions Part 14

Old Man Logan by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino

Genre: Graphic Novel/Super Hero

Rating: 4/5

Related image Image result for old man logan vol 2

While I really enjoyed the single volume of Wolverine: Old Man Logan, I found that these first two volumes of a longer on-running version of the story really add to some of the ideas presented in the original. Wolverine finds himself waking up in the past and aims to change the past by killing a number of super villains before they can group together to destroy the heroes as well as the future. When Logan begins his quest to kill those who have harmed him and the X-men in the future, he finds that he might be in a different past, one where the future will not end up the way he has lived through it. In this past, the real Wolverine is dead, an encased metal statue for all to admire. Logan aims to find a place for himself in this new life and he chooses the place where his wife lived when she was young. Even though it is a different past, she still seems to be the same person. When the Reavers show up, Logan learns that no matter where he goes, trouble will follow, for there will always be someone to come after him. As he ventures, he still insists that doomsday will come.

Overall, I really enjoyed these first two volumes and would not mind continuing to follow this series. The story was portrayed in an artistically unique way, with vivid coloration for moments of pain or anguish (such as getting shot/stabbed). This changed the effect of reading these graphic novels. They are also much better than Wolverine: Old Man Logan, because they take some of the apocalyptic ideas from that graphic novel and really take the time to expand on those ideas and develop the world in a way that the reader does not get in the original. Old Man Logan: Berzerker has one of the issues from Wolverine: Old Man Logan where Logan utterly destroys the Hulk clan, an epic issue If I do say so myself, and Old Man Logan: Bordertown contains an issue of the X-men from the old comics, which was likewise interesting (although I am not a fan of most comic book artwork from before the 2000’s). Overall, great addition to Logan’s story and I would recommend it for any Wolverine or Marvel fan.

 

Five Ghosts (Vol 1+2) by Frank J. Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham, et. al

Genre: Action/Adventure/Literature/Graphic Novel

Rating: 3.5/5

Image result for five ghosts vol 1Image result for five ghosts vol 1

This series is interesting, to say the least. It features a treasure hunter named Fabian Gray who have a piece of Dreamstone embedded in his chest. The Dreamstone causes him to be haunted by five literary ghosts: Robin Hood, Count Dracula, Merlin, Miyamoto Musashi, and Sherlock Homes. Each ghost can take over Fabian’s body and gives him the power of that character, such as katana skills as Musashi or magic and wisdom as Merlin. As Fabian discovers new places and new treasures with his research assistant, Sebastian, trouble continues to find him. Throughout the story, someone seems to be after Fabian, but it is unclear just why yet,unless they want his Dreamstone. There are also sprinkled snippets about his sister having lost her spirit or some such event, which is also unclear, but what is clear is that Fabian is trying to find something to bring her back. In the second volume, Fabian joins his thief friend Jezebel as they search for the Isle of Dreams, leading Fabian to decide between his past and present.

Initially, I gave The Haunting of Fabian Gray a 3/5 and Lost Coastlines a 4/5 resulting in a 3.5/5 for the first two volumes. The first volume was interesting, but it took awhile to figure out what was doing on and to be drawn into the story. The end didn’t have me caring much to continue, but I had the second volume anyway, so why not see where it goes. The second volume develops more of the story and ends well with potential for more adventures. The art itself even has an adventurous feel to it, like 1950’s movie posters. Overall, I enjoyed the story and feel like it has potential, just not enough to bring me to volume three…

 

Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection  by Don Roff

Genre: Horror/Art/Postapocalyptic

Rating: 3/5

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This book is written in journal format by Robert Twombly, claimed to be found in a cabin in Canada with no survivors. It is filled with colorful illustrations depicting death by zombie in a number of ways. It chronicles the apocalypse in journal form as a lab tech working in the city, his escape, the survivors he encounters, and the speculation about the origin of the disease being from a certain chemical in specific foods. He uses illustrations to document what he learns about the undead as well as his experiences, dating each entry as the months go by.

I only give this book a three rather than a two because the art is interesting and appealing, despite the story being somewhat cliche and unoriginal. The journal entry thing is nothing new, and the title say “year” but only spans from January 2012 to March 2012, which is misleading on the given information as well. The writing is kind of bland and the events in journal format are not as exciting or unique as they possibly could have been. The story also ends abruptly (assuming something happened to the author) in a way that seemed rushed and rather pointless. At the same time, anyone can die at any time in the zombie apocalypse, also making this ending slightly realistic to the situation.

 

Hold me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan

Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Screenplay/Musical

Rating: 4/5

Image result for hold me closer tiny cooper

This novel is a companion piece to John Green and David Levithan’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson. In the novel, the supporting character, Tiny Cooper, is writing a musical about his life being gay, knowing from early on but not wanting to admit it. The musical is entitled Hold Me Closer. While snippets and bits are mentioned in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, this novel is the musical that Tiny wrote within the world of the novel. Not only does Act I develop his understanding of gayness in early childhood, but Act II goes through his 18 ex-boyfriends, one of them being Will Grayson (not the best friend of the same name). He goes through the various boyfriends and why they did not work out, mostly on the end of the other boy, and not Tiny. There’s always something, whether it’s because Tiny is too fat, won’t have sex with those who do not appreciate him enough, or that they perhaps found someone else. Tiny’s relationships are rather short-lived until he meets Will, a boy struggling with depression and his own concept and realization that he is gay, something Tiny has long embraced and hopes to share with Will.

I had no idea there was a companion piece to the main novel, so I thought this was pretty exciting. Reading something meant to be a play/musical with some narrative aspects was a fun change from regular novels. It really adds to the world of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, because the musical is a major driving point for Tiny, but we only get to see a song or two and snippets of Tiny’s creation of the musical as he relates his thoughts and creativity to his friends, Will and Jane. It was an enjoyable piece to be read with the novel, and even funny in a stand-alone-way, but having read the main novel beforehand makes a big difference to the context of the story, especially in Act II.

 

The Between: An Original Story in the World of The Ones by Daniel Sweren-Becker

Genre: Near-future Fiction/Young Adult

Rating: 4/5

The Between: An Original Story in the World of The Ones by [Sweren-Becker, Daniel]

This short takes places between The Ones and The Equals by Daniel Sweren-Becker. The best part: It’s free, which shows that the author is more invested in his fans than the money, considering we, as readers, support the author anyway; it’s like a little gift for being a devoted reader! It is a very quick roughly 30 page story available on the Kindle that shows what happens to James at the end of The Ones after being captured.

This short story Features James and some of the Ones who have been taken to an internment camp. With new laws being passed, the Ones are lower citizens, and the government wants them to believe that the camps will keep them safe from the people trying to harm them. James knows the truth, though. The government wants to treat the Ones with a vaccine that will revert their genetics back to normal (however that works), and James shares the truth with the other Ones in the camp. Some cannot handle the truth just yet and aim to escape by taking their own life, but the rumor spreads, and James aims for a rebellion from the camp to escape. When his plan is ratted out by a fellow One, he is moved to isolation and devotes himself to never being vaccinated, or dying, if all else fails.

This is a great transitional piece between the first and the second book in the series and gives some context to the what the camps are like as well as what happens when someone aims to start a revolt. With one of the characters being depressed by the situation, there is a suicide prevention notice at the end of the short that encourages seeking help for those who feel depressed, so that they can be saved, because all lives matter. The writing style is fine-tuned and the pace is quick with high stakes presented from the start. A great freebie for any fan of The Ones.

 

The Hate U Give-Should You Read It?

Image result for the hate u give

Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Contemporary Fiction/Realistic Fiction

Rating: 5/5

This was a heart-pounding, stunning debut novel by Angie Thomas. I had seen it everywhere before finally deciding to pick it up. Literally a week after I bought it, one of my university professors said I have to read it, as I am an educator as well as a lover of young adult books. Thus, I started reading it a bit sooner than planned, and I am bummed that I did not pick it up much, much sooner.

This story is told from the perspective of a Black sixteen-year-old girl whole is living two different lives, that of the ghetto in Garden Heights, and that of the high style of Williamson. In Garden Heights, there are gangbangers, drug deals, people get shot too often, and the education system is lacking, which is why Starr’s parents send her the hour drive to Williamson, a school in the suburbs that can offer her the education and socialization she needs away from Garden Heights. When she is in Garden Heights, she keeps to her Black friends and speaks often in slang that shows she is from the ghetto, but at Williamson, being one of the only Black students at the school there, she keeps her Garden Heights life pretty secretive and speaks properly, accepted by the White population there, not to mention her White boyfriend, Chris.

At the very beginning of the story, Starr goes to a Garden Heights party consisting mostly of Black people, but with a light skinned person here or there. When she has a run-in with her childhood friend, Khalil, the two begin to catch up after not seeing each other for months, but of course, shots are fired at the party. Khalil and Starr rush out to avoid the bullets. When they have a great evening catching up with each other in Khalil’s car as he aims to drop Starr off at home, a police officer pulls the two over. The officer is not very understanding and shows aggression, in which Khalil questions the officers motives. When Khalil asks why the officer pulled him over, the officer does not give a reply. Eventually Khalil complies. While the officer is checking Khalil’s information, he is toled by the officer to stand still, but Khalil aims to check on Starr, who seems scared. When he leans in to asks if she is okay, BLAM, BLAM, BLAM, BLAM. Khalil is shot dead by the officer, an event that drives the whole rest of the novel. This is not spoilers, for it is within the first 25 pages, and it is heart-stopping. The drive for justice keeps the reader going, wondering if Khalil’s death will be justified.

All Starr has to go on is the officer’s number: One-Fifteen. Until she finds out his name is officer Cruise, she uses this number to identify him. When first asked to tell the police what happened, those interrogating Starr twist the questions from the officer to Khalil: was he in a gang? Was he a drug dealer? Did he have drugs on him? This is not why Starr chose to share about what happened. Of course, the officers make Khalil into a negative criminal to justify the officer’s actions, when to Starr and her community, this is a hate crime and comes down to simple color: Black and White.

Eventually a group called Just Us for Justice seeks out Starr to represent her in a court of law and help her justify Khalil’s murder by speaking out against officer Cruise. Starr prepares to share with a judge and jury, hoping that the officer will be convicted.

Starr becomes an activist for social change as she joins members of her community to fight for Black justice and to clear out the gangs and drug dealers in her community that are sending the wrong message to the world, that are adding truth to stereotype, when it is only a few, and not the many, who are as such.

This book was so great at showing the Black perspective and breaking down racial stereotypes. This book I recommend for all young readers to gain a better understanding of a perspective that either relates to them, or that they may not understand and need to see the other side. I highly recommend this book to educators and encourage reading and writing about social change as it pertains to this novel. One of the best things about this novel is that it is contemporary, revolving around issues that we still have in our society today, issues that some people may be ignorant about or may just want to ignore, issues that reflect our nation’s past and demonstrate a fight that is still being fought, the fight for equality.

 

The Midnight Star-Should You Read It?

Image result for the midnight star

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Rating: 4/5

This is the third and final installment to The Young Elites (trilogy). While this book was enjoyable, it was not quite up to par with the first or second book in the series. Having read all of Marie Lu’s other books, including Warcross and the Legend Trilogy, I have very high expectations of her work.

This book starts strong a few months after where the second one left off. Adelina is now a conqueror, the White Wolf. She continues to conquer various nations, her cruelty growing. Her reign and ties with the daggers make being enemies tough but necessary. When planning to conquer the Daggers country of dwelling, where her sister has been rumored to be, Adelina receives some strange news and is unsure of how to approach the situation: Raffaele sends a letter telling Adelina that her sister, Violetta, is dying. Adelina takes this as some kind of trap, that Raffaele and the Daggers are holding Violetta hostage, and Adelina takes her Roses into battle against the daggers. With Adelina’s growing violence, some of her own turn against her.

Being captured by the Daggers, Adelina sees first-hand how her sister really is dying, how the Young Elites are dying, being poisoned by their own powers. A Pathway to the Underworld has opened up, the place of origin for the elite powers, and it is poisoning the Young Elites and their entire planet.

Now the Daggers and the Roses must band together and head to the realm of Moritas, the realm of death, and close the opened seam between worlds. As Raffaele says, the elites are to “be forever young,” because their powers were never meant to be leaked into their world. Now they must give their powers back to save themselves and their world. When the Daggers and the Roses come face-to-face with a number of gods and goddesses, those who have bestowed the elites their powers and give them their special alignments, they must find out what it means to truly have power through sacrifice.

Adelina, so immersed in her power, plans to give it up just like the other elites, but when her sister does not make it to the realm of the Dead, not alive anyway, Adelina nearly loses her mind.

*****SPOILERS*****

The end is interesting, frustrating, and awing all at the same time. To save Violetta from the Underworld, Adelina gives her life so that her sister may have more time, even though that also means leaving her lover, Magiano. Violetta realizes this sacrifice almost too late, but she makes her own deal with her goddess as well. Adelina becomes a star, a special star that shines to earth every night at midnight, like a similar legend in the world lore of The Young Elites: 

“If you are very quiet and do not look away, you may see the brightest star in the constellation glow steadily brighter. It brightens until it overwhelms every other star in the sky, brightens until it seems to touch the ground, and then the glow is gone, and in its place is a girl.
Her hair and lashes are painted a shifting silver, and a scar crosses one side of her face. She is dressed in Sealand silk and a necklace of sapphire . Some say that, once upon a time, she had a prince, a father, a society of friends. Others say that she was once a wicked queen ,a worker of illusions, a girl who brought darkness across the lands. Stilll others say that she once had a sister, and that she loved her dearly. Perhaps all of these are true.
She walks to the boy, tilts her head up at him, and smiles. He bends down to kiss her. Then he helps her onto the horse, and she rides away with him to a faraway place, until they can no longer be seen.
These are only rumour,of course, and make little more than a story to tell round a fire. But it is told. And thus they live on.
-“The Midnight Star”, a foltale”
― Marie LuThe Midnight Star (Goodreads Quotes)

While the folklore of the story was an interesting element, it took away from the realism that had me immersed in the series as a reader. While magic powers are of the fantastic realm, the world itself felt very real…until the Underworld was introduced as a real place that the Elites would go to and the gods and goddesses are real beings in the world. This just took a bit too much away from the story for me in a way that actually made this the only book by Marie Lu that I can say I am not quite satisfied with. I did not say I didn’t like it, because I did, but it was just not quite on par with her other novels.

Evergreen-Should You Read It?

Image result for evergreen manga vol 1Image result for evergreen manga vol 2

Genre: Manga/Romance/Drama

Rating: 4/5

I am beginning to like Seven Seas’ North American branch more and more, as they tend to publish more mature manga and manga of a variety that you do not see as much with other NA publishers, like Viz. I first picked up Evergreen because it had attractive art, the story sounded unique (and in a sense, it is), and there are only four volumes, which makes it easy to collect, keep, and reread.

In this manga, Manga Club captain Hotaka was born with a congenital heart disease that prevents him from doing a lot of activities that other students normally do. The physical scar on his chest has left him to be somewhat insecure about his physical appearance. Everyday he admires swim-team member Awaya Niki, both beautiful and talented. His view from the club window can only do so much though.

When Hotaka has a private appointment to fulfill his PE requirements with the teacher, he swims in the pool and Niki saves him, noticing his scar in the process. Now that he is up close and personal with her, he decides to develop their friendship. Someone begins a rumor that Niki must only be acting like Hotaka’s friend to get close to the class hunk (and womanizer), Soga. Eventually, Hotaka learns the truth, that Niki has been admiring his Manga Club stories for a long time, and she has been collecting every issue. Oddly enough, Hotaka’s own personal story is similar to Niki’s, so she feels that she can relate to him.

For some reason, Niki begins avoiding Hotaka, not wanting to communicate. Hotaka had high hopes and finds this reaction to be very strange. Perhaps they are both afraid to admit their feelings for each other.

When they do finally admit their feelings to each other and begin dating, Niki has a major revelation from her past about who Hotaka is, and it changes their relationship for the rest of their lives.

Overall this was an enjoyable read, but not something I am overly excited to recommend to random passersby. Fans of manga in general might enjoy this one, but the ending didn’t settle well with me and the story was interesting, but also felt a bit wasted. I did give it a higher rating because it did have unique qualities to draw a reader in, and the art was nice. The potential of the story dropped in the last volume though. The twist was extremely interesting, but also a let-down as a reader.

Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe-Should You Read It?

Image result for edgar allan poe manga classicsGenre: Manga/Short Story/Horror

Rating: 5/5

This was an absolutely fantastic release for October, 2017. Not only was it released during the fun, spooky month of the year, but I personally was teaching “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Raven” to my 8th grade class, both of which are artfully illustrated in this Manga Classics Edition.

I am a huge advocate of using manga and graphic novels in the classroom because I believe that they make complex texts more accessible for below grade level readers as well as English learners, which is important when aiming to keep an entire class on the same level of comprehension and understanding, starting with each individual student’s reading and learning level.

This Manga Classics edition is somewhat unique in that it is their first edition that is short stories rather than a novel (although The Jungle Book Manga Classics Edition did have some of the other short works of Kipling). This volume contains “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Raven,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher,” all of which are drawn by a different artist. At the end of most of the short stories is a page of interesting facts about the manuscript, the publishing history, and Poe as it relates to each specific story, such as the fact that Poe was paid $10 for his manuscript of “The Tell-Tale Heart,” nearly $300 in the 2017 economy.

Each story is unique and cryptically drawn, adding a whole new context to each story, which can be good, but also not so good. For example, reading the manga version of “The Tell-Tale Heart” after reading the short story was very different; the meaning, to me, was changed based on the way the story is depicted in the manga. Where in the short story it is unclear and debatable whether or not the narrator is insane or intentionally a murderer, the manga depicts from the beginning that the narrator is telling the story to someone resembling a psychiatrist from the beginning, which would make sense in that the narrator addresses “you” often, and yet we the reader do not know who the “you” is. Either way, the manga version, as all Manga Classics editions do, use the actual text from the original literature, although it might be moved around to justify pacing in manga, or may be shortened, it is still legitimate text written by the author, meaning students can cite thorough textual evidence even from the manga version of the story.

If you do choose to pick this manga up, I would highly suggest reading the short stories first and making your own inferences and speculations about the text before seeing a visual representation, because that could change the way a reader understands the text. It was also fun to read the story first and develop my own imagery in my head and compare that image to that of the manga.

Out of all the manga classics, this one is definitely one of my favorites (and I have them all), within the top three. I would suggest this for English teachers and English learners alike when studying Poe, or anyone who is a manga lover; yes, read this book!