Ready Player One: A Review

ready player one cover

Hello everyone! I’m back with the first review of the new year. My thesis is written, I’m in my last quarter of graduate school, and I hope to get back to bloggin’ and reviewin’ after a brief hiatus.

I had heard so many good things about Ready Player One, so when I received a copy of it for Christmas, I was extremely excited to read it. And, it was literally my first book of the new year—I started reading it a little after midnight.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is such a well-written and well-thought out book. Even though it’s science-fiction, the future that Cline creates is very plausible, especially when we take into consideration the role that technology plays in our lives, the popularity of VR, and how more and more games are being played online (and with other people).

I could go on and on about this aspect of the book, but I think what really grabbed me was how real and relatable the characters were, along with their relationships with each other.

I found myself rooting for Wade, aka “Parzival,” and getting emotional over the bond between Daito and Shoto, the bestfriendship between Wade/Parzival and Aech, and the budding romance between Wade/Parzival and Art3mis.

Seriously, I typically hate romance in most books because it tends to come across as cheesy, contrived, and unnecessary to the overall plot. But, the romance between these two characters was so nicely done—it evolved organically, and they got to know each other as people. There was a great friendship between them, healthy competition (they were playing a game, after all), and mutual respect. I loved it so much.

One thing that I did have a problem with—and this is pretty minor when taking the whole book into context—was that, towards the end, things felt a little rushed and seemed to work out a little too well for Wade/Parzival. But he is the hero and the Oasis is a virtual reality world (and, ultimately, a video game), so that’s okay. I can forgive that.

Overall, Ready Player One is such a great, fun read with believable characters and a lot of great references to nerd culture. I also think this is a very accessible sci-fi book, and I would recommend it to anyone who doesn’t typically read science-fiction and may want to dip their toes into the genre.

You can buy the book here or check it out from your local library (libraries are important, so please support them).
Have you read Ready Player One? What about the movie? Let me know down in the comments!

Son of Rosemary: A Review

Son of Rosemary Cover

Hello my fellow bookwyrms! I’m finally back after a busy summer of working on my thesis. Although, I don’t think this fall quarter is going to be any less busy, but I’m going to do my best to bring you a review on a regular (or semi-regular) basis.

So, without further ado, here is my review of Son of Rosemary by Ira Levin, the sequel to the super spooky Rosemary’s Baby.

Son of Rosemary picks up a little over 27 years after the events of Rosemary’s Baby, with Rosemary waking up from a coma. The last thing she remembers is sitting down at a desk in her apartment (the same creepy on the lived in in Rosemary’s Baby) and Andy was 6-years-old. Now, she awakes to see the doctors and nurses (and everyone else) wearing buttons that say, “I heart Andy.”

We soon find out that this is her Andy, all grown up and in a position of power, where he’s trying to change the world for the better (or so he says). But, he’s the son of Satan, raised most of his life (while his mother was in a coma) by the members of a Satanic cult.

Is he the Anti-Christ? Is everyone falling for his ruse? And, where does Rosemary fit into this? Does Andy take after his mother or his father?

I’m not going to give away the answers because that would spoil the story. You’ll just have to find out for yourself.

However, while I enjoyed reading this for the most part, it does drag a lot in the middle. It was almost like the author couldn’t quite figure out what direction he wanted the story to go in, so we have a bunch of scenes in the middle that don’t quite go anywhere.

But, then it finally does pick up and the creepy factor kicks in again, and a bunch of deliciously horrifying things happen.

(Spoiler Alert: Satan himself makes an appearance and I’m sure you can imagine Rosemary’s reaction.)

Unfortunately, the ending falls flat. I won’t give that away either, but I feel like it was a big cop-out for the author and he could’ve ended it at a different point in the story that would’ve been much more satisfying.

(Spoiler Alert, the last one I’m going to give you: After Satan shows up, he brings Rosemary down to hell with him, lying that it won’t be so bad. Rosemary realizes his lie and screams, “You said it wasn’t hellfire!” And, THAT is where Levin should’ve ended the story.)

So, with that being said, do I recommend Son of Rosemary?

Yes and no.

While it’s a fun read for the most part (and I say at least give it a chance), it’s definitely not a satisfying sequel to Rosemary’s Baby and the ending will make you want to hurl the book across the room.

If you want to give it a chance, you can grab the paperback from Amazon.

See you guys next time! And, since October is almost around the corner, I’d love to hear what spooky books/stories you guys are reading this Halloween season. Let me know down in the comments!
Currently Reading: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson

“His name is Adrian”: A Review of Rosemary’s Baby

 

Rosemary's Baby cover

 

Hello, hello! Sorry for the lack of blog posts, but I’ve sort of been in a weird place emotionally (it was the 4-year anniversary of my father’s death earlier this week) and I’ve had a lot on my plate lately (not to mention, I’ve just been taking some personal time for myself).

But, now I’m back with a review of Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin.

I actually watched the movie before I ever picked up the book and it’s one of my favorite horror movies.

And, now, after having read the book, it’s one of my favorite horror novels.

The basic premise of the story, without giving anything away, is that a young couple move into an Upper West Side apartment called Bramford (against their friend Hutch’s warnings), and things gradually become creepy and dire, and Rosemary finds out that her neighbors aren’t who they seem.

That’s the gist of it. Because I had seen the movie before I read the book, I know what was coming and spent a good portion yelling (in my head, of course), “NOOOOO. GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE.”

But, before I go further, let me mention that the movie actually sticks VERY close to the book. In fact, I can’t think of anything that was in the book that wasn’t in the movie (or anything that was changed significantly).

So, for all of you bookwyrms who want a quality book-to-movie adaptation, Rosemary’s Baby is it.

The book is delightfully creepy and at times I couldn’t put it down. Ira Levin also balanced the right amount of detailed description and leaving the rest to your imagination.

The only gripe I have (and this is a gripe I have with almost all horror movies and books) is that Rosemary ignores quite a few red flags from the beginning and, personally, I would’ve been like, “Yeah, I’ll stick with my original, safe, not-creepy apartment choice.”

Then again, we wouldn’t have a story if she had paid attention.

You can purchase Rosemary’s Baby from Amazon. And, be sure to grab the movie while you’re at it!

Ira Levin also wrote a sequel to Rosemary’s Baby called Son of Rosemary (which I’ve already ordered and it’s on its way). You can also grab it from Amazon.

We’re only a few months away from Halloween, guys! I want to hear about your favorite spooky book. Tell me about it in the comments.

 

Currently reading: The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

Favorite Book-Related Apps

I was a very bad blogger and didn’t bring you guys a blog post like I promised. Last week was kind of rough emotionally for me—I lost my dad in 2014 and this Father’s Day felt particularly hard. I think it was because I’m currently writing a memoir about the time in my life when I was taking care of my dad and it’s bringing up a lot of memories and emotions I haven’t processed in a while. So, I guess I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to blog.

Which is why I’m bringing you a new blog post today!

A few months ago, I got a library card after years of not having one, and I’ve been utilizing it much more. I love the fact that I can use my library card with so many book-related apps.

So, I thought I would share some of my favorites!

Without further ado, in no particular order:

1. Hoopla: I love Hoopla and I’m always recommending it. All you need is your library card and an account, and you can download e-books, audiobooks, TV shows, music, movies, and even comic books and graphic novels. I mainly use it to download and read comics and graphic novels, and I love it. I’ve caught up on the The Sandman series and I’ve even read some of the Dark Crystal comic books. There are so many to choose from (can you say Adventure Time and Steven Universe? Oh my god). The cool thing is that when the due date rolls around, your download is automatically removed from your phone, so you don’t have to worry about late fees. I highly recommend Hoopla. You can get the app in the iTunes store or the Google Play store.

2. Libby: Libby is an app that I just recently downloaded and so far I’m liking it. All you need is your library card and pin number, and you’ll be able to download a variety of e-books and audiobooks, and from what I can tell there’s a large selection. I used Libby to download the e-book version of Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the book, but the plus side is that Libby gave me the opportunity to read it without wasting money on it. So, that’s nifty. The only downside is that, unlike Hoopla, the e-books and audiobooks aren’t always readily available, so you may have to put some items on hold. But, I still recommend it if you want to listen to audiobooks without having to pay a subscription fee, or read an e-book without spending money if you find out a certain book wasn’t your cup of tea. You can find it in the iTunes store or the Google Play store.

3. Manga Master: Okay, so this one isn’t a library app, but it’s still a really cool (and free) manga reading app. I love manga, but unfortunately I don’t have the money or the space to collect ALL the manga I want to read. So, Manga Master is a great option because I can read newer and older manga, and I can read it to my heart’s content. I’m currently making my way (slowly) through Angel Sanctuary, an old favorite of mine, and I have many more waiting for me in my Favorites. It’s great if you’re a manga fiend and you want to read ALL THE MANGA, and it’s also great if you want to read a certain manga but are unsure of whether you want to commit to it. And, there are SO MANY to choose from. I downloaded the app from the Google Play store, but I’m sure you could find it (or a similar one) in the iTunes store.

4. The Jacksonville Public Library App: This app is exclusively for my local library, but I’m sure there are similar apps for other libraries around the country. I like it because I can use the app to put books on hold and also renew the books I have checked out. It’s really handy and convenient, so if you live in Jacksonville (and have a library card), I’d recommend downloading the app. And, if you don’t live in Jacksonville, check out whether your public library has its own app.

That’s all for now folks! In the meantime, let me know what you’re reading (or listening to). Anything good?

I’m currently reading Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Pirates and demons and seraphs, oh my!

Terror of the Deep: A Review of Steve Alten’s “MEG”

MEG Cover

 

In addition to loving dragons, I also love dinosaurs. And I love prehistoric monsters. I love underwater creatures. I love alligators. I love sharks.

I love gigantic, prehistoric sharks.

So, it’s no wonder that I would love MEG by Steve Alten.

Why didn’t I pick this up sooner?

MEG is about a female Megalodon shark that has managed to survive for thousands of years and has decided to leave the deepest depths of the ocean in search of food and a place to birth her pups (baby sharks are called “pups,” for those of you who didn’t know).

And, of course, since she’s a 70-foot Megalodon, this causes a lot of problems for both humans and sea life.

I love this book and couldn’t put it down. I also loved how some parts were told from the shark’s perspective. I’m always a fan of that kind of storytelling.

I also enjoyed how the main character, Jonas Taylor, had a deep respect for the Megalodon, even though she ends up eating almost everyone he cares about.

And, he does have to kill her, but it’s out of survival. So, while my animal loving heart took a hit when that happened, I understood why. The guy was on the threshold of death.

It was one of those “kill or be eaten” moments.

There is a “surprise” at the end (more a surprise for the characters), which leaves things open for the next book in the series (that’s right, it’s a series and I need all of the books, ALL OF THEM).

While I enjoyed the book immensely, there were a couple things I didn’t enjoy. First off, the gore kind of got to me. There’s a part at the beginning where a Megalodon eats a T-Rex, and the way the T-Rex dies is described in graphic, bloody detail. I’ve never been a fan of gore, especially not when animals are involved. And, as someone who has always had a deep, deep love for dinosaurs, that part put a bad taste in my mouth.

There are a few other scenes sprinkled throughout the book that I had a hard time with.
Another thing has more to do with shark conservation. With a book like MEG where the “monster” is a 70-foot shark that basically goes on a killing spree and the fact that MEG is being made into a movie, I’m a little concerned about what this will do for shark conservation. Books (and movies) like this always make me concerned that people won’t be able to differentiate between fiction and reality when it comes to sharks.

But, that has less to do with the book and more to do with how ignorant some people can be. I just love sharks so much.

If you want an action filled book reminiscent of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park, then definitely pick up MEG. Despite some of my reservations, I still love the book and plan on picking up the second book in the series.

I got my copy from a local used bookstore, Chamblin Bookmine, but you can find a copy on Amazon.

 

Have you read MEG? Do you plan on seeing the movie? Let me know down in the comments!

The Tragic Story of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Acheron: A Review

Acheron Cover

Paranormal romance used to be my genre of choice way back in high school (I was a hardcore fan of Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series). But, I’ll admit that I haven’t touched much (if any) paranormal romance since then.

I chalk this up to my pretentious English major mindset and seeing the genre as beneath me (plus, I really just wanted to expand my horizons and read things that didn’t have to do with vampires and werewolves).

I’ll admit that I’m STILL in this mindset.

So, when my friends kept recommending Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series to me, I was a little hesitant to pick it up. I enjoyed Infinity, the first book in Kenyon’s Chronicles of Nick series (that sort of crosses over with the Dark-Hunter series) and I owned a copy of Acheron because I took a liking to the character after being introduced to him in Infinity.

But, paranormal romance tends to have a lot of…well, romance, and that’s not really my cup of tea. I want action. I want adventure. I want magic.

However, when my friend Kenna of Fan Girl Gang wrote a blog post about Sherrilyn Kenyon and her stories, I thought, “Okay, Sarah, time to take a chance on this series.”

So, I cracked open Acheron.

I was warned it would destroy my emotions.

Oh my god.

First off, even though Acheron is part of a series, it reads like a standalone. And, to be honest, I’m glad I started with this particular Dark-Hunter book, because it was SO GOOD.

It was surprisingly well-written. I loved the incorporation of Greek mythology and even Atlantis and the Atlantean gods. I love myths of any kind.

The world building was superb with a lot of detail and all of the characters were well-written with a certain amount of depth to them that kept me interested and invested.

This actually felt more like a historical fantasy novel, instead of paranormal romance, which I appreciated.

Acheron’s story is indeed tragic and at times it was hard to get through the book because so many god-awful things were done to him, even as a child. I’m not going to go into detail because I don’t want to give anything away, but, man, Acheron was an emotional read.

But, he does get a happy ending after struggling so much. Acheron is officially my favorite character after reading this book.

While I enjoyed this book for the most part, I do have a few minor gripes.

The first one is the overuse of “[Insert character’s name] growled.” (And any variation of that.)

Look, I have never once “growled,” and while that makes sense for a character like a were-animal or even a vampire, it doesn’t make sense for EVERY character and I really think Kenyon could’ve picked some different descriptive words to show a character’s anger or frustration. It gets a little repetitive (and annoying) after a while, especially when a human keeps growling like they’re some kind of animal.

But, as I said, that’s a minor gripe and doesn’t keep me from enjoying the book.

The second gripe is the character Tory and the fact that she seemed a little too perfect, at times. I would’ve liked to have seen her fleshed out a little bit more with some additional flaws, because she came across as a little too much like a savior character. And, her relationship with Acheron felt like a whirlwind romance. I’m happy Acheron found someone who loved him unconditionally, but Tory was just a little too perfect and a little too good for my taste.

I guess I’m of the belief that you can have skeletons in your closet or have an imperfect family, and still be a good person and love someone unconditionally.

We see that with Acheron. Tory on the other hand? Eh. I liked her, but I’d say that she bordered on a deus ex machina type of character.

But, despite these gripes, I still really enjoyed Acheron, and now I’m addicted. I have Styxx (the story of Acheron’s “twin” brother) coming in the mail and I’m currently reading another Dark-Hunter novel, Dragonsworn.

I’m also eying some other books in the series.

And, I’m more motivated to finish the Chronicles of Nick.

I’m bordering on obsessed, guys.

I didn’t need another series to be addicted to, but here we are.

 

Check out Sherrilyn Kenyon’s website for her most recent books and info on the Dark-Hunter series (and others).

Have you read anything by Sherrilyn Kenyon? Let me know down in the comments!

And, for those of you who missed my last post, after Sunday, my posts will be dropping down to once a week. I’ll be working on my MFA thesis/memoir this summer, so most of my reading and time will be dedicated to that. I do hope you stick around, though!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Sorry for the lack of blog posts this week! I’ve had a busy, fun-filled week. It was the last week of the spring quarter at SCAD, I got to (re)connect with my cousins (which was much needed), and I volunteered all day at MOSH on Thursday (and went to a tea workshop).

I was a social bookwyrm this week, and now I’m ready to settle down and continue reading “Acheron” by Sherrilyn Kenyon. You gotta have balance sometimes.

But, I thought I would pop in today and make a post about some of the changes that are coming to my blog. After next week, my regular two-posts-a-week schedule will be bumped down to only one post.

Why? Because I will be working on my MFA thesis over the summer, and I’ll need to do some “research” (i.e. reading all of the relevant memoirs I can get my hands on, since that is what I will be writing for my thesis) in addition to working diligently on it (and tutoring as much as I can).

My goal is to have a working draft by the start of the fall quarter. But, because I love this blog and want to continue with it, I thought bumping the posts down to once a week would be a good idea. This will allow me to read what I need to read for my thesis, but also read some fun stuff for reviewing on this blog.

Again, balance.

This is of course, temporary. Once I have my thesis written, I’ll switch back to two posts a week.

I’m excited about getting started on this new project. It’s an important story I need to tell (and, hopefully, I can get it published in the near future).

Sooo, be patient and stick with me!

In the meantime, let me know what you’re reading down in the comments! I love getting recommendations for reading material.

 

And, since I’m reading “Acheron” by Sherrilyn Kenyon, I wanted to know if you have read any books by her. If so, which ones are your favorites? This is my first foray into her Dark Hunter series, and I’m really enjoying “Acheron” so far. But, man, his story is tragic!

The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Keatley Snyder: A Review

Witches of Worm Cover

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m obsessed with anything to do with witches (and dragons, of course). Maybe it has to do with being born two days before Halloween and being brought home from the hospital ON Halloween. My first glimpse of the world involved witches, ghosts, black cats, and such.

So, when I discovered The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, I was excited to read it. I mean, witches AND a cat. Named “Worm.” The blurb on the back promised a creepy, atmospheric, Goosebumps-esque read:

“Cats. Jessica never liked them. Especially not a skinny, ugly kitten that looks like a worm. Worm. Jessica wishes she’d never brought Worm home with her, because now he’s making her do terrible things. She’s sure she isn’t just imagining the evil voice coming from the cat, telling her to play mean tricks on people. But, how can she explain what’s happening?

Witches. Jessica has read enough books to know that Worm must be a witch’s cat. He’s cast a spell on her, but who can she turn to? After all, no one will believe that Worm has bewitched her…or worse!”

Awesome description, right? This book promised a lot but didn’t quite deliver. While I loved the premise and the basic plot of the story, it fell short in a lot of areas.

First off, I hated the main character and the fact that she had very few redeeming qualities. I guess I expected a character who was essentially good, and then really did become bewitched. But, from the beginning, Jessica was moody and petulant and often reminisced on her borderline abusive friendship with Brandon (I’m not even joking, the kid punches her in the face and almost breaks her jaw). Jessica’s mother is absent most of the time.

And, when Jessica encounters Worm, as a kitten, her first instinct is to let him die simply because he’s ugly, she hates cats, and she can’t be bothered to take care of him.

Maybe it’s because I’m such an animal lover, and the “uglier” (I say that in quotation marks, because ugly is subjective) an animal is, the more I want to love it. So, this immediately put a bad taste in my mouth. Regardless of how ugly he is, he’s a defenseless kitten.

Not only this, but as Worm grows, Jessica frequently abuses him, both verbally and physically.

Look, I know plenty of people who don’t like cats, for one reason or another. But, Jessica was straight up mean and nasty.

This is why Worm hissed at you, Jessica. This is also why you don’t have any friends.

So, throughout the book, Worm tells her to do these mean things to people, and Jessica does them without question and there are often no real consequences for her actions. People get upset with her, but no one is hurt, no lives are ruined, and Jessica continues to go on being angry and blaming everything on Worm. There’s no growth. She doesn’t learn any lessons, except for MAYBE at the very end. And, even then, it’s not that much of a lesson. It takes Brandon finally calling her out for her to realize her behavior (and, even then, it’s questionable because Brandon was kind of a terrible kid, too).

Can you tell I don’t like Jessica?

But, the story has its merits, regardless. It is well written, and I like the fact that the author got her inspiration from a book about the Salem Witch Trials called The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry into the Salem Witch Trials by Marion L. Starkey. The book even appears in the story as a reference that Jessica uses to try to learn more about Worm and her situation.

I also like the message behind the story, that, “we invite our own devils and we ourselves must exorcise them.” Basically, the moral of the story is that no one makes you do bad or terrible things. You choose to do them and, eventually, you must own up to them.

In my opinion, this is a great lesson for kids to learn. Which is why—despite my dislike and dissatisfaction for many parts of this book—I would recommend it as quality reading material for kids. It’s a good cautionary tale.

But, if you’re looking for a story with witches and lots of magic…yeah, this isn’t that story. I was expecting creepy witches to be masquerading as Jessica’s harmless, elderly neighbors or Jessica finding out that she is indeed a witch and learning to come to terms with that. But, nothing particularly magical happens, so I was disappointed.

The one good thing is that Jessica does sort of end up loving Worm by the end of it, AFTER HE ALMOST DIES.

Seriously, I cared more about this creepy cat than I did about the main character.

Worm can come live with me. He can be my witchy companion.

 

This book does have some great lessons in it, and it’s a Newberry Honor Book. I would give it a chance. You can buy The Witches of Worm from Amazon, and I would recommend checking out her other books, The Egypt Game and The Headless Cupid, both of which I’ve heard good things about.

 

What’s your favorite spooky/witchy story? Let me know down in the comments!

A Review of Jerry Spinelli’s “Stargirl”

 

Stargirl Cover

 

“I wonder if I’ll ever get another chance. I wonder, but I don’t despair. Though I have no family of my own, I do not feel alone. I know that I am being watched. The echo of her laughter is the second sunrise I awaken to each day, and at night I feel it is more than stars looking down on me.”

 

This book was recommended to me by reader Kristen. Before this, I had never heard of Jerry Spinelli. I’m glad I decided to take a chance on this author, though, because Stargirl was a quality read.

In essence, this is a story of nonconformity. “Stargirl” shows up at Mica High and, at first, the student body is intrigued by her. Stargirl manages to quickly win them over with her eccentricities, her charm, and her positive personality. The main character, Leo Borlock, quickly falls head-over-heels for her.

Everything is going right in their world until the student body decides to shun both Stargirl and Leo. Desperate to be accepted by his fellow Mica High students, Leo urges her to become “normal.” But, of course, in high school nothing is that simple.

I thought this book was very well-written. The language and descriptions were beautiful. And, I thought the theme of conformity vs. nonconformity (and also bullying, because that’s basically what the shunning is) was really relevant for most high school students.

This definitely needs to be a more widely read book and if I were a teacher, I would consider making this required reading in my class.

There were things I loved about the story and things I didn’t love.

I loved Stargirl’s carefree spirit and the fact that she seemed to genuinely care about the people around her. I loved her pet rat Cinnamon. I also loved Leo’s love for Stargirl and how he never stopped loving her, even after she moved on. Leo was a sweet kid and I wish there had been more guys like him when I was in high school.

The thing I didn’t like was how flat Stargirl felt as a character. She was lovely, sweet, eccentric, and almost too pure. There was no motivating force behind her actions, nothing that really gave her depth. She was almost this magical being that quickly came and went (which I guess was ultimately the point of her character).

I would’ve liked to have seen more of an exploration of why she was the way she was, and the positive impact she made on people. She did nice things for everyone, but there was no meaning or impact behind her actions. The people who liked her couldn’t really explain why they liked her.

Leo, though, does say she makes him see things in a different way, but her influence on him doesn’t seem to change him in any significant way. He stays the same nice kid and goes on to become a set designer (a career path that was inspired by Stargirl).

But, despite those things, it was still a fun, enjoyable read and I would recommend it for anyone looking for a nice middle-grade read. The language and the writing isn’t overly simplified or dumbed down, which I appreciate.

I’m definitely interested in checking out the rest of Jerry Spinelli’s books. You can purchase Stargirl (and any of Spinelli’s other books) from Amazon.

 

Have you ever read anything by Jerry Spinelli? Let me know down in the comments!

She is the One Name Sailor Moon: The Stars Arc (vols. 11 & 12)

Stars Arc Covers

Here it is. The end of the Sailor Moon manga series. The Stars Arc seems to be the most popular amongst fans (and after reading it, I can understand why), and these two volumes correspond with the 2nd part of the last season of the original anime. However, the anime finished before the manga was complete and there are some large differences between the plot.

But, guys. This manga. This arc.

Where do I begin? The manga itself is so complex and I really wish that we could’ve gotten more than twelve volumes. There are manga out there that are less complex and have way more volumes than Sailor Moon. Way more.

The Stars Arc introduces so many different Sailor Senshi from other parts of the galaxy. This arc was very fast-paced and felt almost rushed, but I would argue that most of the arcs were like that.

Still, though, we’re introduced to the Sailor Starlights who are…gender fluid? If that’s the correct description. When they’re not in their Senshi form, they present as male and when they transform, they present as female. I thought they were really fascinating, but we barely learn a thing about them.

In fact, that’s how most of the other Senshi in the arc are handled. To be honest, I could read many, many more volumes centered around all of the Outer Senshi and their back stories.

Sailor Galaxia and Sailor Cosmos were super interesting. Galaxia had this thirst for power where she thought that if she wiped the different outer planets/moons of scum, the galaxy would be a better place. It kind of reminded me of Thanos (for all you fellow Marvel fans out there) and his belief that committing mass genocide was making the different planets in the galaxy better places. I live it when I can make connections between my favorite fandoms.

Sailor Cosmos…so, here’s a bit of a spoiler alert. Sailor Chibi Chibi is actually Sailor Cosmos (or a part of her, called her Star Seed). Sailor Cosmos is implied to be a future form of Eternal Sailor Moon. As Sailor Cosmos explains, “If I can attain the same courage as Eternal Sailor Moon, to throw away and take in everything, that is when I shall truly become Sailor Cosmos.”

I love the constant use of “if” in the series, showing that no one’s future (or the multiple versions of it) is set in stone, and that it ultimately depends on the choices we make.

I thought these two pages from the last volume were especially poignant:

Stars Arc Page 1

Stars Arc Page 2

Sailor Moon decides that no matter how difficult their paths and their fates are, she wants to carry on with her loved ones instead of completely starting over. Because, as lone as she’s with the people she loves…that’s what matters.

I love Usagi. I love her so much. I love her unwavering capacity for love, and I love the evolution she goes through.

The volume (and the series) ends with Usagi and Mamoru getting married and happily contemplating their future and the future of the galaxy.

Mamoru points out, “Even if one day, we all have faded away, and new Sailor Guardians…new heavenly bodies are born…Sailor Moon, you will likely be forever immortal.”

And, the thing is, Sailor Moon really is immortal, at least for the multitude of girls who grew up watching the anime (and even reading the manga), who are now adults and STILL passionately love Sailor Moon. In our hearts, she will never die, even if the anime has ended and no more volumes of the manga are being produced.

She is the one on whom we can depend.

She is the one named Sailor Moon.

 

And, ladies and gentlemen. Fellow nerds. That is my review. Are you emotional right now? Because I am.

I hope you enjoyed my Sailor Moon manga re-read and review.

What’s your favorite thing about the manga or the anime (either the original or Crystal)? Let me know down in the comments.

 

Stay tuned for more reviews! I just have to emotionally recover.