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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

To Terminator, With Love
Wes Kennedy
Progress: 10 %
Of Fire and Stars
Jordan Saia, Audrey Coulthurst
Progress: 156/389 pages
Book, Line and Sinker
Jenn McKinlay
Progress: 91/274 pages
Princess Prince
Tomoko Taniguchi
Progress: 310/336 pages
Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness
Peter Godfrey-Smith
Progress: 41/255 pages
A Rational Arrangement
L. Rowyn
Progress: 179/537 pages
FREE: Locke & Key
Tatiana Maslany, Audible Studios, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, Kate Mulgrew, Haley Joel Osment, Full Cast
Progress: 91/806 minutes
Gamerz Heaven Volume 1 - Maki Murakami I saw this at a used bookstore and picked it up because sometimes I need a little crazy in my reading, and Maki Murakami is good for that. It wasn't until later that I learned that Gamerz Heaven is a 4-volume series, and ADV only put out 2 volumes in English. Which means, unless I hunt down scanlations, I'll never get to finish the series. So annoying...Anyway, at least this volume delivered on the craziness. No, there wasn't a giant robotic panda (read [b:Gravitation|224615|Gravitation, Volume 01|Maki Murakami|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347957084s/224615.jpg|1482147] if you don't know what I'm talking about), but there was Murakami's usual over-the-top male protagonist (wearing a t-shirt with a logo that changed every few pages, or even from one panel to the next) and a virtual reality world that was a mix of destructive monster battles and mundane reality. For example, the first time the area boss appears, he's buying a pack of cigarettes at a convenience store. Everyone at the store kneels before him because he's the boss, but that doesn't stop the store manager from calling the cops on him after he turns the place into a pile of rubble.Those with at least a little gaming knowledge will probably appreciate this volume the most. Gamerz Heaven (the game) laughs in the face of learning curves. Within seconds of entering the game, Kaito has to figure out how to equip a weapon and battle a monster. The next time he logs on, without even getting a chance to level up, he runs into Rush, the area boss. The third time he logs on, he finds himself face-to-face with the final boss. Since all Kaito has been able to do so far is beat low-level monsters, run away, and spit blood, I'm curious to see how he'll manage to survive in the next volume. His friend Kawashima seems to be a more able fighter in the game than him, but I doubt even she would be able to fight the final boss so soon after beginning to play the game.This volume introduced some mysteries I'd like to find out more about. Who created Gamerz Heaven, and why did that person send the disc specifically to Kaito? Ren, Kaito's game creator friend, seemed particularly interested when Kaito mentioned Rush, so I wonder if there's a real-world Rush and if Ren knows him. Also, why does Itsuki hate Kaito so much? She actively encourages bullies to go after him, and she arranges things so he'll probably be expelled. So far, my guess is that she's also linked to Gamerz Heaven. Her hairstyle is somewhat similar to that of the final boss, so maybe her game avatar is the final boss?It's a little frustrating, knowing that I might never find out the answers to all my questions, and volume 2 might bring up even more. What I've read so far has definitely piqued my interest, and it would be nice to see how things turn out.I should note that, as is usually the case with Murakami's works, the characters are so-so. Kaito's a game-obsessed maniac (although thankfully not as whiny as Gravitation's Shuichi). Kawashima playfully uses him as a punching bag while also maybe nursing a slight crush on him. Ren and Rush are both badass, which we mostly know because that's what we're told and because they both bear a strong resemblance to Gravitation's Yuki. Itsuki is mysterious, a little menacing, and not much else. Nata is supposedly adorable (Kaito squee'd over him a lot, but I wasn't particularly impressed). And the volume's other characters are barely worth mentioning. This is the sort of series you read for the premise and the craziness, not the characters.All in all, I like the series so far and, if all 4 volumes were available, my guess is that I'd probably be reading them. I've submitted an ILL request for the second volume, because, what the heck, I might as well. Bring on the never-going-to-finish-this-series pain!Extras:One page of translator's notes, which was somewhat helpful.(Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)