• manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: The Wize Wize Beasts Of The Wizarding Wizdoms

    The Wize Wize Beasts Of The Wizarding Wizdoms – Nagabe

    Deep in the forest lies a mysterious school of magic: Wizdoms, an institution attended by beastmen of all kinds. These studious fantasy creatures have come to live, learn, and perhaps even fall in love in this enchanting space. In this collection of BL stories by master mangaka Nagabe, follow the beauty and surprising humor of magical beasts with human hearts.

    A mixbag of humorous inter-specie love affairs featuring, IMHO, slightly disturbing anthropomorphic animals.

    Alan & Eddington: The Gifted & The Average: Hare pining for Cat concocts a love potion but flubs the forgetting spell. So Cat remembered every dirty little secret Hare confessed. Hare wished the ground would swallow him up while I died of second hand embarrassment.

    Florio & Nicol: The Hunter & The Hunted: Always sleepy Wolf uses Goat as pillow. Leaves bitemarks afterwards. Goat is nervous, annoyed but also a little…exhilarated? Hmm…

    Fermat & Emil: The Teacher & The Pupil: Prof Dragon tutors young Dragon on the finer points of mathematics. Young Dragon gets adorably shy and squirmy, Prof Dragon feels unexplained feelings. Proceeds to do complicated calculations. Whatever it is, all I got was pedo vibes.

    Marley & Collette: The Cold-Blooded & The Warm-Blooded: Serious winter co-dependence business between roommates Deer and Lizard. Took very good advantage of cuddle weather. Let’s hope Deer gets his spring.

    Doug & Huey: Courtship & Friendship: Crow stakes claims on the oblivious and ever optimistic Peacock desperate to get a girlfriend by secretly telling everyone Peacock has a girlfriend. Funny with sinister undertones.

    Allhoff & Carreras: Food & Games: Mischief loving Vampire Bats share blood through mouth-to-mouth transfer learn a new way of playing with their mouths. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past the image of regurgitated food.

    Cromwell & Benjamin: The Good Talker & The Good Listener: Quiet faculty staff Unicorn, shunned by his tribe for being gay, is the go to demi-human for those needing an ear for their problems. Prof Griffin is his regular visitor. One day, Griffin notices Unicorn is in a subdued mood and tells him it’s his turn to listen. But is Unicorn ready to talk? Soft and sweet. My favorite.

    Mauchly & Charles: Beast & Man: Bear and Human form a friendship after Bear rescues lost Human. Human feeds Bear blueberry pie. Bear teaches Human the art of doing nothing. Had floofy heart-to-heart talks on freckles and markings. Another favorite.

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  • book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: The Fall by X. Aratare

    36431060. sy475

    Winter Haven: The Fall – X. Aratare

    Gay romance is forbidden in this 1930s gothic romantic suspense story, but a greater darkness than prejudice haunts our lovers’ steps.

    When Carter Thomas discovers the elaborate clockwork door in the Dupre Mine, he seeks out Etienne Dupre, the sheltered son of the mine’s owner, for answers. Both young men have long secretly loved one another from afar.

    But even as their summertime love affair flames hot and forbidden, they discover secrets about Etienne’s heritage and the dark plan Armand Dupre has in store for his son. If the door is opened then Etienne – and perhaps the world – will all be sacrificed to Armand’s lust for power.

    Can Carter and Etienne stop Armand or has their fate already been written in stone?

    An M/M gothic romantic suspense story for the darker months


    The Fall tells of a mysterious door that was found inside a tunnel in a mine. Who made the door? What is behind it? Dare they open it?

    The book is part of the extensive Winter Haven universe and contained what I have come to recognized as the author’s signature style. X. Aratare‘s stories are gothic, heavily atmospheric, and paranormal with internal dialogues that are ‘thought out loud’ rather than told to the reader. There are creepy father figures with questionable designs on their sons. The pure and innocent is juxtaposed against the worldly and dark. The delicious USTs unfold in their distinct electrifying prose. And of course, the cliffhangers are of hair-pulling intensity. These elements came together spectacularly in The Vampire’s Club, the only other series of theirs I have read.

    The Fall had a more subdued effect a.k.a. I’m not as gaga over it as TVC. I wasn’t as strongly drawn to the characters. I wanted something more from the story and I was left hanging over Carter and Etienne’s future.

    Etienne is the only son of the Dupre family with bloodlines that could be traced back to royal families from his late mother’s side. His circumstances, being an asthmatic, was limiting in many of ways. He was confined to the house, under the strict watch of his father, Armand. It did not leave much for him to do so character-wise it was hard not to see him as nothing more than sweet and pretty. He wasn’t totally helpless. He was always curious and eager to escape to the wider world but when he finally learned his true nature and was only starting to spread his wings, the story ended. Tsk!

    Carter had more freedom so he was more-fleshed out. He was the head miner in the Dupre mine. He had a strong sense of responsibility. He cared for the welfare of his fellow miners. Even if he was poor, he was educated and dreamt of becoming an archaeologist. Armand trusted him and treated him with a measure of respect. Carter is a great seme. He’s gentle, caring and protective but he’s not the most memorable character in the Winter Haven line-up.

    Armand Dupre is Etienne’s always impeccably dressed father. By most accounts, he’s a good boss who paid his miners well. By all appearances, he is a devoted father who made sure his sickly son is well-cared for. His real obsession is power. So much so that he studied the occult. And was willing to sacrifice his son.

    Armand had the uncanny ability to tell what Carter and Etienne are thinking. I suspect he really can read minds. In terms of evilness, nurturing a progeny as a sacrifice to The Unnamed One is up there on the scale but then again, he gave subtle hints and tacit approval that the two young men should get on with it and I was close to liking the guy.

    A huge chunk of the story is Cartier and Etienne’s courtship and forbidden romance with nothing to stop them except society’s disapproval. It was all very sweet and touching. It was nothing I haven’t seen before. Except that the author has a way with words and could ignite sparks out of a simple conversation on a porch swing like no one else. I liked that their writing is sensual rather than sexual, focusing on the eliciting squees rather than stirring up lust.

    The door and what lies behind it ties the story to the greater universe. Carter is trapped inside. Etienne’s fate is much worse than dying young. Armand lays his soul bare or… does he?

    A Faustian bargain is struck.

    At what price?

    What happens when He comes calling?

    We’ll never know unless you pick up the other books which are not about them anymore.

    They were told to go to Winter Haven to be with Etienne’s kind and we are told the general outline of their future. Then it ended with Carter and Etienne riding off towards the sunset. I was left in the dust gaping like a fool.

    THAT’S IT?!!! (ノ`□´)ノ⌒┻━┻

    P.S.

    The Vampire’s Club books here

    Rating:
    3.5 Stars – that place between like and love

    Soundtrack: Pet
    Artist: A Perfect Circle
    Album: Thirteen Step

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  • Uncategorized

    Don’t fret precious I’m here, step away from the window
    Go back to sleep

    Lay your head down child
    I won’t let the boogeyman come

    Counting bodies like sheep
    To the rhythm of the war drums

    Pay no mind to the rabble
    Pay no mind to the rabble

    Head down, go to sleep
    To the rhythm of the war drums

    Pay no mind what other voices say
    They don’t care about you, like I do, like I do
    Safe from pain and truth and choice and other poison devils,
    See, they don’t give a fuck about you, like I do.

    Just stay with me, safe and ignorant,
    Go back to sleep
    Go back to sleep

    Lay your head down child
    I won’t let the boogeyman come
    Count the bodies like sheep
    To the rhythm of the war drums

    Pay no mind to the rabble
    Pay no mind to the rabble

    Head down, go to sleep to the rhythm of the war drums

    I’ll be the one to protect you from
    Your enemies and all your demons

    I’ll be the one to protect you from
    A will to survive and a voice of reason

    I’ll be the one to protect you from
    Your enemies and your choices son
    They’re one in the same
    I must isolate you
    Isolate and save you from yourself

    Swayin to the rhythm of the new world order and
    Count the bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums

    The boogeymen are coming
    The boogeymen are coming

    Keep your head down, go to sleep, to the rhythm of a war drums

    Stay with me
    Safe and ignorant
    Just stay with me
    Hold you and protect you from the other ones
    The evil ones
    Don’t love you son,
    Go back to sleep

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