• manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: Beast & Dispar

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    Beast – 4U

    A beast frontman who has nothing but a body to believe in. A bizarre beautiful white dragon who wants to tame him and get his hands on him. Three pieces of muddy history that began in the late 80’s.

    Dispar – 4U

    Miha has always felt like an outsider, even within his own family. Sohwa takes full advantage of that, forcing him to do his biddings. However, an incident takes place that helps Miha and Sohwa to reflect and figure out what they are feeling for each other.

    A double feature for Christmas with two riveting dark psychological manga about fucked up relationships.

    Beast is the prequel, set in the 80s. Korean Jeon Doo-in, known as the Beast, works for a Chinese mob boss, Baek Ryong, known as the White Dragon. I picked this up because it reminded me so much of Captive Prince.

    Doo-in does whatever Ryong tells him to do. Their relationship has always been antagonistic. At first glance, it seems like the larger man is some sort of very rude, highly aggressive indentured slave. There was a big scene of him being chained to the wall and whipped. I immediately thought of that scene where Laurent had Damen whipped.

    There is a strong BDSM element here. Their sex frequently involves pain and blood play. The power dynamics is explicit with the dominant White Dragon fully clothed and the uke Beast naked. Later in the main story, the Beast gains power and is showed with some clothes on beside the White Dragon.

    I really enjoyed the enemies with benefits thing they had going on and how they always gravitate towards each other. As the story progressed, we see stronger, more complex feelings and deeper ties between the two. I liked this one more than the main story.

    Dispar is about Doo-in’s two sons. Miha is the older brother, the illegitimate son who is hopelessly in love with his younger brother. He tends to be submissive and passive. Sohwa is younger by 8 years but he’s bigger and more dominant. He’s also the biggest asshole there is. He’s the favorite causing Miha to feel left out. According to his bio, Sohwa loves Miha but doesn’t know it yet. Whatever.

    The two are sleeping together, or more like, Miha lets himself get used by his younger brother just so he can get whatever crumb of affection he can get. Their already complicated relationship got even more convoluted when Sohwa was stabbed and had amnesia.

    The story has the same vibe as Stalking Killing where the abused one is obsessed with his abusive love interest. I wasn’t really rooting for the two because I wasn’t drawn to any of them as characters. But there was something about the story that kept me reading.

    It’s a very compelling manga by itself. Aside from the psychological aspect, we also get mystery, revenge, love triangles, and very intriguing side characters. With the additional motivation of seeing Doo-in and Ryung together again, I finished all the existing chapters up to the part where the mangaka went into hiatus. It’s a testament to how good it is because I normally wouldn’t read anything with more than 10 chapters and certainly not one with 30 chapters and still ongoing.

    I won’t go outright and recommend this because I’m pretty sure this is not most people’s cup of tea. Please do heed the TWs: trauma, rape, incest, abuse.

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  • book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: Psycho by Onley James

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    Necessary Evils: Psycho – Onley James

    August Mulvaney has always been exceptional. As the genius son of an eccentric billionaire, his off-putting behavior is often blamed on his high IQ. They say there’s a thin line between genius and madness. August is both—a brilliant professor loved by his students and a ruthless, obsessive killer tasked with righting the wrongs of a failing justice system. And he’s just found his latest obsession: Lucas Blackwell.

    Lucas Blackwell was once the golden child of the FBI, using his secret talent as a clairvoyant to help put away society’s worst. Until, with a touch, he discovers his co-worker is a killer and his life falls apart. Now, the world thinks he’s crazy and that co-worker wants him dead. He seeks refuge at a small college, hoping to rebuild his life and his reputation. But then he runs into August Mulvaney. Literally.

    August is immediately intrigued with Lucas and his backstory. He doesn’t believe in psychics, but there’s no missing the terror in his eyes when they collide in the hallway. Now, August has a problem. Lucas knows his secret, and August knows he wants Lucas. And August always gets what he wants.

    Can he convince Lucas that not all killers are created equal and that having a psychopath in his corner—and in his life—might be just what he needs?

    Psycho is a fast-paced, thrill ride of a romance with an HEA and no cliffhangers. It features a psychopath hell-bent on romance and a disgraced FBI agent attempting to redeem himself. As always, there’s gratuitous violence, very dark humor, and scenes so hot it will melt your kindle. This is book 2 in the Necessary Evils series. Each book follows a different couple.

    August is freakin’ AWESOME!!!

    We first meet August Mulvaney in Unhinged, Book 1 of Unnecessary Evils. The series is about a family of psychopaths raised by eccentric billionaire and psychiatric genius, Thomas Mulvaney. Atticus, August, Aiden, Archer, Asa, Avi, and Adam, were handpicked for their special psychological profiles, adopted, and trained to be secret vigilante killers. Each is equally talented in other fields, with carefully cultivated public personas that helped them pass as normal.

    August is the second oldest son. He loves music and enjoys the gruesome wetwork that even some of his brothers find distasteful. He doesn’t like the screaming though, hence the music. Publicly, he is a tenured theoretical physics professor, much loved by his students and well-respected by peers. It says a lot about him that he is dubbed as the weirdest psycho in the family of psychopaths. And decisive man that he is, it took only 7 seconds for him to decide that Lucas Blackwell, adjunct professor, disgraced FBI agent, and psychic, was the one.

    I loved this book so much! The cast is fantastic! I loved all the Mulvaneys. Every one of them is outstanding and gorgeous so it’s pretty hard to pick a favorite. But August could just be it. His characterization was brilliant. He is a very fascinating, complex person who always has an interesting side waiting to be discovered.

    He might be a genius with the IQ of Einstein and Hawking, but he was utterly clueless about relationships. So it was beyond endearing how he was so determined to make his relationship with Lucas work, he asked his family for help and even read five books on relationships.

    “What you are is mine. It’s my job to make you happy. I lack the capacity to do so on my own. I can’t love. I can’t feel guilt or empathy or remorse, any of the things that might help me understand what you need. All I have is research and context clues, which I’m not very good at interpreting. But I can give you what you need. I’ll do whatever it takes. But I can’t do it without help. Testing my theories is all I know.”

    Damn, these Mulvaney boys really know how to sweep somebody off their feet!

    Lucas is equally fantastic as well. He has a soft vulnerability that made August want to protect him. He spent some time in a mental health facility after he was ridiculed for identifying a co-worker as a serial killer through his psychic powers. The same killer making young girls disappear and taunting him about it.

    He immediately knew August was also one, after accidentally crashing into the professor. He was scared at first, but soon, he recognized August wasn’t the enemy. I loved how he accepted August’s quirks and how he fits. As August declared with absolute certainty within hours of meeting the man, “he’s perfect for me“. I wholeheartedly agree because he always brings out in best in August.

    Lucas crossed the room and pulled something from his pocket. August’s air pods. “I saw them in the center console and figured you could use them. I know the screaming bothers you.”

    August wrapped his arms around Lucas, dragging him in for a deep kiss, swallowing his cry of surprise. Kohn grunted in disgust.

    “It’s just headphones,” Lucas said.

    August shook his head. “It’s not just headphones. I don’t know what love feels like, but I imagine it’s like feeling I’m having right now.”

    Lucas’s face went soft, his smile radiant. “That’s the sweetest thing anybody’s ever said to me after cutting off another man’s nipple.”

    My favorite Lucas moment was at the epilogue, where he surprised August at lunch. Then he went on to relay the wild gossip about them circulating on campus. I LOLed at the part where he teased August about running away with his millions with the pool boy. They don’t even have a pool. It didn’t stop August from being adorably possessive and growly.

    Usually, when I get to the smexy parts, I stop reading or skim because I find them boring. August and Lucas are so amazing together and I loved them so much, I even enjoyed their love scenes. They are one of my all-time favorite couples!

    Like its predecessor, Psycho tackles very dark subjects. The mystery was super intriguing. It was a case of trying to pin down the killer who was also the federal agent assigned to solve the crimes he committed. When it was revealed what they were doing to the victims, it wasn’t anything too graphic but it did churn my stomach a bit. There are also scenes with torture, where pain was inflicted with glee. I highly recommend proceeding with caution.

    At its core, Psycho is a story of a man who found his person, fell in love for the first time, and wanted to do everything to make them happy. Only that man happened to be a cold-blooded serial killer and his person happened to have another serial killer hunting him. Looking past the blood and gore, it’s actually a very schmoopy, swoony book with some of the most quotable squee-tastic lines ever! All coming from an individual who cannot love.

    “Is it true you remember every word ever said to you?” 

    “Did Noah tell you that?” August asked,

    “He said you always wear headphones to drown out the noise. I’ve never seen you wear them.” 

    August brushed his hair aside, removing the tiny earbuds from his ears. “They’re not on. I don’t wear them around you.”

    “Why not?” 

    August frowned in confusion. “Because I want to remember every word you say to me.”

    You don’t need to be psychic to know, this one’s a keeper!

    5 Stars – absolutely perfect

    Soundtrack: I Always Knew
    Artist: The Vaccines
    Album: Come Of Age


    I always say, you meet one Mulvaney, you love ’em all. Start with the youngest, Adam the supermodel serial killer, and his feisty person, Noah, in Unhinged,.

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  • song,  Uncategorized

    SOUNDTRACK: I Always Knew by The Vaccines

    Soundtrack To Necessary Evils: Psycho by Onley James

    I Always Knew for August, a psychopath who cannot love, who knew in less than a minute that Lucas was his person. And was willing to kill or die on that hill no matter what. The first lines of the song remind me of their first meeting where Lucas literally fell to the floor after crashing into August and things clicked into place.

    Down, down in my bones
    Somewhere I’d never have known
    Right at the back of my head
    It hit me like a beam of light
    Hit me like a hook of the right
    And I could have fell to the floor

  • quote,  Uncategorized

    Down, down in my bones
    Somewhere I’d never have known
    Right at the back of my head
    It hit me like a beam of light
    Hit me like a hook of the right
    And I could have fell to the floor

    Cause you talk to me and it comes off the wall
    You talk to me and it goes over my head
    So let’s go to bed before you say something real
    Let’s go to bed before you say how you feel

    ‘Cause it’s you
    Oh, it’s always you
    Oh, I always knew
    Oh, it’s you

    I try my best to unwind
    Nothing on my mind but you
    Oblivious to all that I owe
    I’m hanging on to what I don’t know

    So let’s go to bed before you say something real
    Let’s go to bed before you say how you feel

    ‘Cause it’s you
    Oh, it’s always you
    Oh, I always knew
    Oh, it’s you

    It’s you
    Oh, it’s always you
    Oh, I always knew
    Oh, it’s you

    Well it’s you
    Oh, it’s always you
    Oh, I always knew
    Oh, it’s you
    I knew, oh I always knew
    Yes I always knew
    Oh, it’s you