Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon by Fujino Omori
This manga was not quite as interesting at I thought it would be (but I did go in with no expectations). Despite this lack of expectation, I thought it was one of those online world things (like Sword Art Online or .hack//SIGN), but no. It is similar to an online world, but that world is real and making a living off of killing monsters in a dungeon is how the world works. Bell serves his goddess, who powers him up to advance his adventurer skills, but when a high level female saves him in a deeper level dungeon, he is infatuated, and everything he does is to become strong in her eyes. The art is pretty good and the world takes some online cliche’s, but with a realistic twist, so I am somewhat interested in seeing where this story goes.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Original Screenplay) by J.K. Rowling
This book is in the “Honorable Mentions” category, rather than getting it’s own full review because, basically, it’s the movie screenplay. This means is pretty much word-for-word from the movie. While this is the case, the book is still interesting in its description of screenplay terminology and makes for an interesting perspective for aspiring screen writers. The book itself is very appealing to the eye with its ornate gold lettering and designs of some of the beasts on the cover. If you remove the dust jacket, a beautiful gold Niffler sits in the center of the cover. I gave the screenplay a 5/5 because, despite it being the movie equivalent, it was interesting to read it as the screenplay that brought about the wonderful movie.
A note on the characters: I really enjoyed the fact that the main characters were adults, making the piece more nostalgic for those of us who grew up with and alongside Harry, and now we can see the more adult side of things. It was also fun for children with the interesting beasts and the support of saving magical creatures from extinction. Newt was well played out, as were the other characters, and each character seemed to have a unique quirk or trait that made them different, rather than being plain and boring.
The Dragon Conspiracy (The World of Eldaterra #1) by P. R. Moredun
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Historical
This book wasn’t too bad, but there are reasons it has a 2/5.
The World of Eldaterra features a boy names James who walks through a magical sea arc and finds himself in Eldaterra, the Old World. Here he meets two dwarves, a talking dog, and a wizard who tells him of his fate to save both worlds from evil. In a parallel plot line, we get to see fifteen years into the past where a man is investigating a mystery of murders. Both James and the detective find themselves pit against an enemy that many thought long gone. Banished from Eldaterra, the female dragons make do in the human realm, unable to have offspring. Now James must get rid of this evil threatening both worlds.
This book was originally self-published and is for a young adult audience (based on the given age of James at 14 years old). Despite the target audience, the book doesn’t detail the world of Eldaterra fully, rather we see a glimpse and we are back in England, making the world-building feel half-assed. This is my second time reading the book, although the first time, when I was around the same age as the protagonist, it did not hold my attention the way many other young adult novels did. It had the thing that interested me, dragons, but it didn’t really give anything unique about them or any reason for me to keep reading. Another issue with this book is that is is the first in the series…but there have not been anymore published, as far as I could find out. Researching the first novel itself led me to very little information about it. Being published in 2005, you would think there would be another one by now, which shows a lack of interest for Moredun’s readership and a pointless venture when reading in hopes of another, only to find that there isn’t one. On another note, it was an okay read, but not something I would recommend or read again.
What-the-Dickens by Gregory Maguire
Genre: Speculative Fiction
When Dinah is trapped inside her house because of a major storm, her cousin and English teacher, Gage, decides to kill the time by telling her a story about skibbereen. Skibereen is the scientific term for Tooth Fairy, and there’s more than one. What-the-Dickens is an orphan, rogue tooth fairy who is trying to figure out just what he is and how Tooth Fairy life works. Of course, Tooth Fairies must keep themselves hidden from the terrible humans who will capture and kill them, so stealth is key when exchanging coin for tooth.
Yet another retelling of a children’s fairy tale, Gregory Maguire retells with an interesting appeal to children. Compared to many of his other novels, this novel is a bit more light-hearted and still has that mystical feel about it.
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace by Terry Brooks
While the novel is an adaptation of the movie, it is actually slightly better, believe it or not. Where it is nearly the same, it adds some extra bits to our vision of Anakin and his life on Tatooine before Qui-Gon arrives. We also get a bit more from Darth Maul-he actually has a hint of dialogue! Rather than a passive apprentice, we actually get to see that he is a Zabrak that can think for himself!
The novel is well-written and easy to follow for adolescent and adult readers and is good for any fan of the franchise. It adds a bit more to what we know of the movie events and gives a bit more to the characters that we don’t really get in the movies, especially with character names and feelings toward various actions and events.