Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Review: The Case Study of Vanitas by Jun Mochizuki

30621341. sy475 Title: The Case Study of Vanitas
Series: The Case Study of Vanitas Volume #1
Author: Jun Mochizuki
Source/Format: Gift; Paperback
More Details: Manga, Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Yen Press; December 20, 2016 (First published April 22, 2016)

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Synopsis from Goodreads...
Step once more into the imagination of Jun Mochizuki, creator of New York Times-bestselling PandoraHearts! A tale of vampires and curses set in a whimsical and dark steampunk Paris unfolds! On the streets, rumors abound of a clockwork grimoire said to sow curses among the vampires. Now, guided by the Book of Vanitas, the gears begun to turn, and the story of two men, Noe and Vanitas, takes shape...
I haven’t kept up with manga by Jun Mochizuki for a while, but I was curious about her latest series, The Case Study of Vanitas. The story so far seems fun and quirky, but there are also a number of hints and vague statements that are already strongly alluding to the tragedy that is going to take place in this series. Even so, I liked the first volume of this manga. It does a lot of heavy-lifting by introducing the main cast of characters, the alternative and steampunk version of Paris, as well as some of the history, lore, technology, and the magic system present in this world. There were several points that were particularly fascinating to me, such as some of the abilities that the vampires + others displayed throughout volume one—particularly the titular character (Vanitas) as well as the book of Vanitas (I really want to know what’s going on with that). The vampires here are interesting. It doesn’t appear that they’re affected by sunlight—although there could be a reason for that explained in later volumes, we’ll see—although they do have some of the more usual traits such as strength, quick healing, immortality, red eyes, etc.. It also seems that moons + astrology have some significance in the story, and I want to know more about it. Volume one also mostly wrapped up what appears to be the first arc of the series, and there were many hints of what’s to come. So I’m interested, and I want to see what goes on in volume 2.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Music Monday (100): Epic Music Edition

   Rules:
  • Music Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren Stoolfire at Always Me that asks you to share one or two songs that you've recently enjoyed. For the rules, visit the page HERE 
To ring in the New Year, we're starting with an epic music edition of Music Monday. It's also our 100th Music Monday post...

Breana: During my break from blogging, I finally watched King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017). I loved the movie, and I've been listening to the soundtrack. This is one of my favorite songs....



Adri: Of all the 163 hours of Horizon Zero Dawn I've played, the thing that hooked me the most was the soundtrack. Each track does exceptionally well for setting the various feelings/environments presented throughout the game. For example, when there are no machines present, the music sounds like all is calm but not yet out of danger. Other times it just sounds straight up like danger is on the horizon, which you'll hear in the song I selected for today. As much as I like all of the 103 songs (including the soundtrack for the DLC), I boiled it down to one: The Future By Its Throat by The Flight


Andrea: Okay, so we're talking about epic/theatrical music this week, and only one song came to mind--Chariots of Fire by Vangelis. Whenever I listen to this song, I feel that I am going to achieve something great like my exercise and reading goals for 2020. Enjoy!



What epic/theatrical music do you like or have listened to? 


Thursday, January 16, 2020

I'm Back + Some 2019 Thoughts, Blogging Goals, & 2020 Book Books I'm Looking Forward To


It’s been a while, but I’m finally ready to get back to blogging. I have quite a list of things I need to cover today including: some of my thoughts from 2019, my blogging goals for the year, and a list of the 2020 releases and other books that I’m looking forward to reading.

A lesson from 2019

I had originally wanted to post this before 2019 was over, I, however, never got around to finishing it. By the time I did, it was already January, and what I had to say was easily edited down to about an incredibly short paragraph. So it goes: one of the main things I learned and accepted about last year was that plans fall through. No matter how good the plan is, how well thought-out it was, there’s always some variable that’s waiting to throw the proverbial monkeys-wrench into it. It happens. It does. On another similar note, I also realized it’s also okay if my priorities weren’t on the blog. I know in November and December of 2019, my priorities weren’t on Our Thoughts Precisely. I had other more important things to worry about, and as a result, a lot of the posts I thought I would write are still sitting unwritten. It happens, and that’s okay.

2020 Goals

I want to read The Hobbit and the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. That’s it. I don’t have any other blogging goal besides getting those books off my TBR list before 2020 is over.

2020 Books I’m Looking Forward To
  • Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire (January 7, 2020): in the latter half of 2019, I really got into the Wayward Children series, and I ended up reading all four books in preparation for Come Tumbling Down. The book is already out, and I hope to read it sometime soon.
  • The Last Emperox by John Scalzi (April 14, 2020): The Interdependency is one of the science fiction series I’m currently reading. After the end of The Consuming Fire, I’m really looking forward to seeing what Scalzi does with the series in the third book.
  • A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn (March 10, 2020): I’ve a read a couple of books from this series, and I’ve liked them. The synopsis for A Murderous Relation seems exciting, so I’m looking forward to it.
  • The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman (January 7, 2020): The Secret Chapter is another book that’s already been released. I’m looking forward to it, and I hope to read it soon.
  • Flyaway by Kathleen Jennings (July 28, 2020): This is one of the novellas I’m looking forward to. I mean, the synopsis on Goodreads says “gothic delights,” which pretty much sold the story to me.
  • A Crown So Cursed by L.L. McKinney (sometime in 2020?): A Dream So Dark was one of my favorite sequels released in 2019, and I’m really looking forward to the third book in The Nightmare-Verse series.
  • The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives In Your Home by Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor (March 24, 2020): So far I have enjoyed the Welcome to Night Vale books, and I’m looking forward to the third one in the series.
  • Prosper’s Demon by K.J. Parker (January 28, 2020): Prosper’s Demon has an intriguing cover and synopsis, and I’m really looking forward to it.
  • The Memory of Babel by Christelle Dabos (May 12, 2020): I have enjoyed the series so far, so The Memory of Babel is one of the 2020 book releases I’m most excited about.
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (June 30, 2020): I finally read Gods of Jade and Shadow, and I loved it as much as I thought it would. So I'm looking forward to Moreno-Garcia's next novel, Mexican Gothic. 
  • Axiom's End by Lindsay Ellis (July 21, 2020): The synopsis is interesting, so Axiom's End has to be on this list.
Backlist Series & Book I Want To Try
  • Lord of the Rings + The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch
  • Tensorate series by J.Y. Yang
  • East by Edith Pattou
Comments from Andrea 
Over the past couple of years, my life has been full of unexpected evens. So my goal for 2020 is to get back into blogging. One of the books I'm looking forward to this year is The Last Odyssey by James Rollins. Cheers to new adventures!
This post is long enough as it is, so for now I’m going to leave it at that. Regular blog posts resume next week. What are some of your 2020 goals? And what are some of the 2020 new releases or backlist books you’re looking forward to?
 

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year! It's 2020...

Happy New Year! It's 2020. We're not back to blogging yet, but we will be sooner or later. We hope everyone has a great day today.


Friday, December 27, 2019

My Favorite Music of 2019

I tried to listen to as much new music as I possibly could in 2019, and I have a number of albums that I’ve added to my regular playlist because of it. So today, I’m going to go over some of the albums, songs, and EPs I listened to in 2019. I don’t have any specific criteria for this list other than the fact that I listened to it this year.
Albums I’ve already talked about…
Breana's picks:

Albums & EPs 
Breana's picks:
  • Hot Pink by Doja Cat: With Doja Cat, I never know what to expect. Her music is versatile and unique in its sound, which is something that was demonstrated on her new album, Hot Pink—released on November 7, 2019. As a whole, Hot Pink has some of Doja Cat’s best music, which is why the album is on this list.
  • Hounds of Love (2018 Remaster) by Kate Bush: Kate Bush is an artist I started listening to recently. Her song Running Up That Hill was mentioned by Sherry @ Fundinmental on THIS Music Monday post, which inspired me to listen to the entire Hounds of Love (2018 Remaster) album. It’s now one of my favorite albums to listen to.
  • Charli by Charli XCX: Charli was one of my most anticipated albums of 2019, and I liked it. There were a lot of interesting collaborations on it like the ones with Christine and the Queens and Troy Sivan.
  • VOLTA by Cirque du Soleil: Cirque du Soleil always has good music. That being said, I really love the VOLTA soundtrack.
  • Crush (Ep) by Ravyn Lenae: Ravyn Lenae is another artist I started listening to in 2019. I love the sound of all the songs from Crush. It was worth the listen.
  • Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse Soundtrack: I’m kind of late to this one, but oh man, this is probably my favorite movie soundtrack to-date. It fit so well with the movie.
  • 85 to Africa by Jidenna: Jidenna’s follow-up to The Chief (2017) was one of the albums I was looking forward to, and it was pretty great. There was a lot I liked about it.
  • Whack World by Tierra Whack: Whack World is the shortest album on this list. Sure, it has fifteen songs, but each one is only a minute long. That being said, Whack World is excellent.
Adri's picks:
  • Chronologic by Caravan Palace: I was already hyped about this album, and it did not disappoint. 
  • Shadow Works by Kerli: I have to admit that I didn't listen to this album much when it first came out. However, when I got back to it, it really grew on me. Now I can't get enough of it. 
  • Cosmic Wind by Lion Babe: I was so excited when I saw that Cosmic Wind had fifteen tracks, and I enjoyed every single one of them.
Singles 
Breana's picks:
  • Time Flies by Rico Nasty
  • Roof by Rico Nasty
  • Candles by Angel Haze
  • Hot Girl Summer by Megan Thee Stallion featuring Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign
  • Motivation by Normani
  • Good Thing by Zedd and Kehlani
  • Hazy Shade of Winter by Gerard Way featuring Ray Toro
  • Spoiled on Xmas by DainĂ¡
  • All Me by Kehlani featuring Keyshia Cole
Adri's picks:
  • Brave New World by The Spiritual Machines
  • East by Oshun 
So that’s about it for today. This is just a portion of the music I’ve been listening to throughout the year. I know I missed some stuff, but it is what it is. What is some of the music you listened to in 2019? Tell us about your favorite albums, EPS, or singles down in the comments below.



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