• manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: Keppeki Buchou no Mousou

    Keppeki Buchou no Mousou – Setsuna Kai

    At the corner of the company cafeteria full of employees who are enjoying their meals together, Endou Kurenai always eats his own lunch alone due to his sour face kept being misunderstood. Then, a newcomer cook in the cafeteria, Ayabashi Hisame, notices the situation and offers his cooking. But, the mysophobic Endou who couldn’t even stand the cafeteria’s plate, only leaves with a word, “Sorry…”, without lifting his chopsticks at all. Ayabashi, who doesn’t know about it, keeps struggling and refuses to give up. And this straightforward novice cook somehow evoking Endou’s delusion…!

    “Mysophobic Chief’s Delusional Tasting” is a tale of scowly chief, Endou, whose scary expression belies a lively imagination. He eats alone, having scared off his co-workers, so he entertains himself by daydreaming.

    Enter cute new cafetaria cook, Ayabashi, who took it upon himself to befriend the chief by tempting him with various dishes. At first, the germaphobe chief refused until he noticed Ayabashi’s hard work. Soon he found himself tasting the dishes and then his imagination devolved into more salacious territory as he imagined what Ayabashi’s fingers taste like.

    Wild imaginings aside, this is an adorable story that reminded me of my all-time favorite ace romance story, His Quiet Agent by Ada Marie Soto. They are both stories about winning the hearts of picky eaters by lovingly force feeding them delectable dishes.

    This one-shot also featured a similarly ostracized and misunderstood protagonist with a brilliant mind and a popular love interest determined to break through their walls. It’s a winning combination that works well with fluffy, humorous stories.

    I wished this was a full-length manga. There was no actual romance here. This was more of a prequel than anything else. The manga was a fun look at what promised to be quite an interesting couple. If only Endou would have the guts to make a move and make his dreams come true.

  • book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: Discovering Destiny by Abigail Kade

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    Familiar Magick: Discovering Destiny – Abigail Kade

    Who would believe that pretending to be your next door neighbor’s boyfriend for a simple family dinner would change so many lives forever? As two witches from two very different families learn how their destinies are intertwined, they realize they may be the only hope for their kind to survive what’s coming for them all.

    Atherton Blackwood

    Once upon a time, I was the heir to my family’s seat on the High Council of Witches. After one horrific night, the Council was no more and all the families went into hiding. The likelihood I would ever find my mo shíorghrá, my soul mate, was gone. But by fate or luck, I’ve finally found my other half. Tobias Wyvern was destined to be mine, but we’re discovering that’s not all destiny has in store for us. I need to find out if our future will be our own, or if it will be determined by a prophecy that was written before either of us were born. I’ll do whatever I have to do, go wherever I have to go to find a way for us to be together. Even if it means going home.

    Tobias Wyvern

    I invited my next door neighbor, Arthur, to a family dinner to get them off my back, but what I’m finding out is that my whole life has been a lie. I was always told we were the only witches left in the world, but that’s because my family was too frightened to tell me the truth. They signed a contract when I was a child, but had no intention of following through. The Wyverns and the Blackwoods would never be united if they could prevent it. Things happened and they were able to disappear, but now Atherton Blackwood is here to claim me, and I’m ready to be claimed. However, claiming me now has consequences far beyond a vow to each other. By coming together, we’ll set into motion a destiny neither one of us could ever have predicted.

    My first thought upon reading the blurb was that Discovering Destiny was Romeo and Juliet, witch version.

    It wasn’t.

    Familiar Magick is built upon the tragic history of witches. There are families of witches that specialized in various elemental magic. One day, malevolent entities killed the witches en masse. There were a few families who managed to stay alive. The survivors scattered and went deep into hiding, practicing their magic in secret.

    This is a short book of only 126 pages. It did not dwell too much on the details but it was able to establish a fairly well-conceived world, enough to give the series solid bones to work with. There was nothing groundbreaking or new here but this was the part I enjoyed the most.

    Destiny is the main theme and witches are fated to soul mates who compliment their magic. They’re also bound to very vocal animal familiars. They’re there as plot device and comic relief, serving as voices of reason and sources of annoyance, mostly nagging their witches towards various courses of action.

    Atherton is from the Blackwood Family. They specialized in wind magic, allowing them to affect the weather. His familiar is a raven, Lucy, a foul mouthed, foul tempered creature. She’s not that bad because she has Ath’s best interest at heart.

    Tobias is from the Wyvern family. They specialized in earth magic. In Tobi’s case, this allows him power over plants. His familiar is a cat, Chester. He’s well-spoken and has perfect manners. Excerpt when you try to scratch his belly.

    I have more descriptions for the familiars because the personalities of the two MCs weren’t as distinct, fully realized or that interesting. They were content to be swept along by their destiny, neither one questioned the state of things.

    Anyway, these two were destined to be together but were pulled apart by the evil forces who massacred the families. But as fate would have it, they ended up as neighbors 20 years after.

    Ath knew Tobi was a witch. Tobi was utterly clueless. He grew up with the knowledge that the Wyverns were the only witches left in this world. The two men were egged on by their familiars to ask each other out. Both were digging their heels. Tobi, because he’s shy and socially awkward. Ath, I don’t know.

    This part was both cute and frustrating. Cute with how the two were dancing around each other and throwing off sparks. Frustrating because, for the most part, they did nothing. Also, Chester was already talking to Ath secretly and explicitly telling him to make his move. So why didn’t the cat just tell Tobi about the existence of other witches? From what I gathered, there were no specific caveats about this thing. Also, cluelessness could be adorable but I couldn’t believe Tobi was actually that dense not to figure things out after some very obvious clues.

    The second part of the story was meeting the Wyvern family. Here, we meet horrid characters in the form of Tobi’s mother and brother. A mystery presented itself and unveiled a quest that will tie together all the books The two MCs were more active participants now, taking action to solve the riddle left by Tobi’s late father.

    I feel that the ending could have been executed better. It was going for a cliffhanger but it took the focus entirely off Ath and Tobi. It was like they were forgotten upon the introduction of the new characters who were going to be leads for the second book. I think it’s important for romance novels to end with something conclusive about the main couple even for HFNs and cliffhangers, especially if the series features a different couple each book.

    Discovering Destiny might have one-dimensional characters and wonky plot but it laid a good foundation for the series and had it’s share of entertaining moments. My interest was piqued by the next book, starring a nerdy fire witch and his leather daddy demon. Plus, there’s a fast-talking squirrel familiar. I say read this series opener to get the lay of the land so we could have the best experience out of the more promising sequels.

    3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it

    Soundtrack: You Were Made For Me
    Rating: Freddie & The Dreamers

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  • quote,  Uncategorized

    You were made for me (you were made for me)
    Everybody tells me so
    You were made for me (you were made for me)
    Don’t pretend that you don’t know

    All the trees were made for little things that sing and fly
    And the sun was made to burn so bright and light the sky
    Pretty eyes were never made to cry, they were made to see
    When I hold you in my arms I know that you were made for me

    You were made for me (you were made for me)
    Everybody tells me so
    You were made for me (you were made for me)
    Don’t pretend that you don’t know

    All the flowers in the field were made to please the bees
    For the fishe as someone made the rivers and the seas
    Every hand was made to to hold another, tenderly
    When I kissed you on your lips I knew that you were made for me

    You were made for me (you were made for me)
    Everybody tells me so
    You were made for me (you were made for me)
    Don’t pretend that you don’t know

    You were made for me (you were made for me)
    Everybody tells me so
    You were made for me (you were made for me)
    Don’t pretend that you don’t know

    Every hand was made to hold another, tenderly
    When I kissed you on your lips I knew that you were made
    You were made
    You were made for me