Fearscape by Nenia Campbell: review

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Fearscape by Nenia Campbell

Series: Horrorscape #1

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Age Group: Young Adult

Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery

Publisher: Self Published

Release Date: November 29th 2012

Synopsis: He followed her because he wanted to own her. She trusted him because she wanted excitement. There’s a saying that curiosity can kill … but Valerian Kimble is beginning to learn that satisfaction might just be worse.

Fourteen-year-old Valerian lives in an age where antiheroes and bad boys are portrayed as the romantic ideal, and good guys are passe and boring. So when Gavin Mecozzi, the school’s brilliant but twisted loner, begins to show an interest in her after a chance meeting in a pet store, Val is intrigued. He’s charming and poetic and makes her feel things that she thought were only possible in books–

Fear.

Because somebody is stalking Val. Somebody who wants to hurt her. Own her. Possess her. Maybe even kill her.

As her meetings with Gavin unravel into a more complex and frightening relationship, Val can’t help but wonder if the new boy in her life is her depraved and obsessive stalker.

And whether he’s capable of murder.

Time is running out.

My Thoughts:

I am not lying when I say that Fearscape gave me the chills. This book shows the reality of a poisonous relationship. Instead of being portraying the relationship as romantic like other books do, Fearscape shows the relationship as it really is: dysfunctional, frightening, and chilling.

Val is an extremely sweet and naive girl. She doesn’t see the world as a scary place that contains risk and bad things. This might be why it takes such a long time for her to figure that Gavin is her creepy stalker even though it was completely obvious-so obvious that I don’t even count it as a spoiler. Her ignorance sometimes frustrated me but I will say that it never seemed forced. But despite her flaws I really liked Val. I wanted to reach into the book and help her along the right path…a path that didn’t lead her into darkness and trauma.

Gavin was just frightening. He is insane, possessive, cruel, and NOT romantic. I sometimes caught myself looking around my room to make sure that Gavin wasn’t coming after me O_O He is the type of psychopath who can easily manipulate people with only words. I genuinely feared him and it scares me that disturbing people like him are starting to become popular as love interest. *shudders* And because Gavin was able to scare me so much I think the author is smiling in self-satisfaction 😛

Val’s friends were underdeveloped, I think but it doesn’t matter much. This is Val and Creepy Stalker Gavin’s story and the author writes their story pretty darn well.

The pacing is absolutely perfect. There was always something strange or frightening popping up in this story. This made the book pretty addicting. Fearscape had me drifting to it whenever I had spare time! This isn’t a fun, happy story at all but it is entertaining. And since this book is quite short and takes little time to finish, it makes the perfect read if you are busy, busy, busy!

Some moments in Fearscape are the kind of moments that fuel nightmares. In those moments I could feel Val’s fear and feeling of helplessness. The dark and gloomy atmosphere of Fearscape affected me greatly. I felt unsettled and disturbed.

Fearscape isn’t for everyone but I do recommend that you give it a try. It may open yours eyes or it may just scare you. Either way this very short book is worth the read! I can not wait for the sequel. Fearscape finishes off with a killer cliffhanger so I am kind of tearing my hair out in anticipation.

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Future Diary Vol.3 by Sakae Esuno: review

Future Diary, Volume 3Future Diary Vol.3 by Sakae Esuno

Series: Future Diary #3

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery, Psychological, Thriller, Paranormal, Shounen

Publisher: TokyoPop

Release Date: September 1st 2009

Synopsis: Yukiteru Amano, a junior high student, has trouble making friends. He views himself as a spectator from the sidelines and often writes down what he sees in a cell phone diary. Tormented by solitude, Yukiteru interacts with his imaginary friends Deus Ex Machina, the God of Time and Space, and Muru Muru, Deus’s servant. One day, Deus grants Yukiteru’s cell phone the ability to record the future for the next 90 days. Yukiteru is then forced to participate in a battle royale with eleven other people, each of whom also have a diary that can predict the future in some unique way. The rules of the game are simple: before the world ends on day 90, the contestants must find and kill all the other contestants, and the last one standing will become Deus’s successor.

Note: This manga is aimed at an older audience.

My thoughts: There are moments in Future Diary that are unintentionally laughable. Well, this volume is different. The whole thing is unintentionally laughable.

The story in each volume of Future Diary is pretty much all the same. A new diary holder is introduced and Yuki and Yuno must defeat that certain diary holder in an epic battle of wits and future telling. This time the villain is a sociopathic six year-old obsessed with poison. Yuki and Yuno must defeat this dangerous child or else!

Reisuke Houjou (the dangerous six year-old) is a character that is hard to hate. Awhile he is the villain and does get close to killing Yuno and Yuki he does provide some laughs-mostly from the fact that he is a six year-old obsessed with poison. He is kind of cute in a morbid way. I am starting to like Minene, the cosplaying bomber, more and more. She is becoming a more important character and unlike most of the diary holders she is still alive after the volume she is introduced in. Minene is currently in an alliance with Keigo who is also becoming more important.

Yuki also manages to do his part in this game of survival. He helps keep Yuno alive quite a few times. This might cause Yuno to get more obsessed with him as time goes on even though she is pretty darn obsessed with him as it is now.

My only issue with this volume is the fact that the villain is a child. I rather not see a six year-old die in a game of survival. I will still continue this manga as it seems that Rei is the only child-villain in the series.

This manga never fails to be fast paced and exciting no matter how unrealistic it gets. The unintentional laughs* are pretty entertaining. Sakae’s art is not mind blowing but it is able to tell the story clearly and it seems to be getting better 🙂

*or maybe they are not unintentional?

Future Diary Vol.2 by Sakae Esuno: review

Future Diary, Volume 2Future Diary Vol.2 by Sakae Esuno

Series: Future Diary #2

My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery, Psychological, Thriller, Paranormal, Shounen

Publisher: TokyoPop

Synopsis: Yukiteru Amano, a junior high student, has trouble making friends. He views himself as a spectator from the sidelines and often writes down what he sees in a cell phone diary. Tormented by solitude, Yukiteru interacts with his imaginary friends Deus Ex Machina, the God of Time and Space, and Muru Muru, Deus’s servant. One day, Deus grants Yukiteru’s cell phone the ability to record the future for the next 90 days. Yukiteru is then forced to participate in a battle royale with eleven other people, each of whom also have a diary that can predict the future in some unique way. The rules of the game are simple: before the world ends on day 90, the contestants must find and kill all the other contestants, and the last one standing will become Deus’s successor.

Note: This series is for an older audience

*My manga reviews may contain spoilers

My thoughts: Volume two impressed me. It completely surpasses my expectations. I did like the first volume even though it was pretty average. The second volume ,though had great pacing and a plot twist that I didn’t expect at all!

The beginning is very light-hearted. Yuno and Yuki are going on a date at an amusement park(although Yuki is very reluctant). Yuno is pretty darn cute when she is not being a super stalker. This all ends rather quickly when Yuki goes into Yuno’s house and discovers a secret that Yuno does not want him to know. The rest of the volume Yuki is wondering if he can trust Yuno or not.

After this certain event Keigo(who is currently in an alliance with Yuki and Yuno) finds out that the terrorist from volume one, Minene has been captured by a cult group that goes by the name Church of the Seer. The Church of the Seer also happens to worship a girl who can tell the future and she just might be another diary holder. Things don’t go as planned when a person who calls himself the Hero of Justice enters the church and it is revealed that he is also a diary holder. Yuno and Yuki have to fight to survive the chaos and be careful not to reach a “dead end”.

I love the characters in this series even though some of them might not be the most realistic. I find it interesting that Yuno can switch from being a sweet and cute girl to a dangerous psychopath in a matter of moments. Tsubaski is a character that I feel really sorry for. The way she grew up caused her to be a bitter and unpleasant person. She made my heart ache. Then there is the Hero of Justice: the guy in a power ranger suit. He made me laugh at the oddest times… I believe that Minene will have a bigger role as the story progresses. I like her character and want to know more about her.

I love the fact that in this manga, survival is all about making the right choices. One choice can change the future completely and effect the game in a way nobody expects.

The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat. I never know what exactly is going to happen. I hope that more unexpected plot twist come later!

There are some moments that unintentionally cause laughter. I like that about this series. It is mostly serious but there are some times where something can happen that is so random or strange that it can make me laugh. Those moments are a good break from all the blood and suspense.

This mystery manga series is impressing and I will definitely finish it to see how it ends.

Future Diary Vol.1 by Sakae Esuno: review

Future Diary, Volume 1Future Diary Vol.1 by Sakae Esuno

Series: Future Diary #1

My rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery, Psychological, Thriller, Paranormal, Shounen

Publisher: TokyoPop

Synopsis: Yukiteru Amano, a junior high student, has trouble making friends. He views himself as a spectator from the sidelines and often writes down what he sees in a cell phone diary. Tormented by solitude, Yukiteru interacts with his imaginary friends Deus Ex Machina, the God of Time and Space, and Muru Muru, Deus’s servant. One day, Deus grants Yukiteru’s cell phone the ability to record the future for the next 90 days. Yukiteru is then forced to participate in a battle royale with eleven other people, each of whom also have a diary that can predict the future in some unique way. The rules of the game are simple: before the world ends on day 90, the contestants must find and kill all the other contestants, and the last one standing will become Deus’s successor.

*My manga reviews may contain spoilers

My thoughts: Future Diary is a manga that I doubt I will be forgetting anytime soon. The combination of future telling, cellphones, and death is an unforgettable one. The idea of the story is original and a breath of fresh air. The first volume of Future Diary is definitely not perfect but I enjoyed reading it.

Volume one is an introduction to the game and the two main characters Yukiteru “Yuki” Amano and Yuno Gasai. Yuki is not an impressive character. He can not fight, he is not smart, and he is not brave either. He is a normal young boy and the way he is acting is understandable. I am sure that Yuki will annoy some readers but I think the way he is reacting to the things around him is quite realistic. Yuno is a very…strange character.

She is obsessively in love with Yuki. She will do anything for her love for him without hesitation. Even if it means killing someone. These two are Future Diary‘s main characters and they make a very interesting pair. There are some other characters introduced that are participants in the game: Minene Uryu (a terroist), Keigo Kurusu (a detective), and another guy who is unnamed that gets killed almost immediately. I really want to learn more about the characters- expecially Yuno. They all have something about them that makes you want to know more about their personalities and past.

There is plenty of action and things happening in this volume. There is also a lot of suspense. I was never bored. In fact, I couldn’t stop reading. I just had to know what would happen next. I should also warn you that if you decide to read this manga you are going to need to suspend your beliefs a bit. There was one instance where a person escapes on a motorcycle that just popped out of nowhere.

The art is very clean and nice to look at. The actions scenes were decently drawn and the character designs were nice to. I have also noticed that Future Diary is the only manga that I have read where the students do not wear uniforms at school…

The first volume of Future Diary was good but it was a set up for the next volumes so I believe that the story will get better. I will definitely be reading next volumes of Future Diary.