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Familiar Diversions

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

Currently reading

Peter Darling
Austin Chant
Land of the Lustrous 2
Haruko Ichikawa
Progress: 60/192 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
Rowyn Ashby
Progress: 89/537 pages
FREE: Locke & Key
Tatiana Maslany, Audible Studios, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, Kate Mulgrew, Haley Joel Osment, Full Cast
Progress: 91/806 minutes
Tarot Cafe, The Volume 5 - Sang-Sun Park Pamela and Belus make sure that everything works out all right for the young singer who was going to have to pay for a magical contract with his life. Afterwards, Pamela lets her friends know that she's decided to take a trip to Scotland by herself. Belus and Ash are already not getting along well (they are both apparently attracted to Pamela, and she seems to be attracted to them both as well), but Belus is also suspicious that Ash has something bad planned for Pamela in Scotland. Belus and Ash both follow Pamela when she leaves for her trip. Pamela ends up following a mysterious man in a robe, who turns out to be Victor, the monk who tried to kill Ash and Pamela long ago.Belus was right to be suspicious of Ash, as Ash's plan is now put into effect - Pamela gets exposed to a perfume that causes a person to fall into a dream, from which they cannot awaken, of their most painful memory of the past. Pamela dreams of the monk, of everything falling apart with Ash, and of Ash's apparent death. The person who made the perfume for Ash has plans of his own (I think this person is a guy, but I'm not sure...) - he needs the life-strength of an immortal being like Pamela to create a perfume that will restore his youth and beauty. He does manage to create a perfume, but Belus replaced one of the ingredients with poison, and the man dies. Belus wakes Pamela up in the only possible way, by letting her hurt him so that she can taste his heart's blood. Although things appear grim, when Belus next appears he's bandaged up and nearly good as new. In the last part of the volume, Pamela's store is visited by an old man who's trying to help his only friend, a young boy who is repeatedly abused by his father. The man, who is actually an old tree, gives up his trunk so that the boy can live and grow up to be a great and kind man.It's been a while since I've read the earlier volumes in this series, so I had a little bit of a problem following what was going on and remembering who all the characters are - although there's a "story so far" page, it's incredibly unhelpful. The relationship between Pamela and Ash is particularly confusing to me. She loves him, or did love him at one point, but he wants to punish her for some reason. Perhaps he blames her for his supposed death so long ago? One scene from Pamela's past also seems to indicate that at one point Ash actually told Pamela that he could never love her - did she blank that memory out, or was she so in love with him that she couldn't believe he could possibly mean what he'd said?Unlike Ash, Belus seems to genuinely like (maybe even love?) Pamela. He was certainly willing to risk dying in order to wake her up. I'm not sure how great his risk of death was, since I think he's nearly as difficult to kill as Pamela (who is immortal). Pamela still seems determined to believe that their relationship is entirely based on the contract that they have with each other, rather than any deeper feelings, but I wonder how long that's going to last.The final part of the volume was a bit jarring, since it was such a sudden departure from the overarching storyline involving Pamela and her past, but it was still a sweet story. It was kind of cliched, though, and I'm sure I've seen stories like it before, where some ancient tree or something gives up its life for the human being it cares for.As far as extras go, there's a several page long preview of the first volume of Sang-Sun Park's Ark Angels, in which a trio of sisters from the future try to rescue animals on the brink of extinction. In this preview, the girls are trying to save one of the last Guam Fruit Bats. It's a bit goofy, which, in my opinion, doesn't really fit Park's art style.(Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)