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Familiar Diversions

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

Currently reading

Space Battle Lunchtime Volume 1: Lights, Camera, Snacktion!
Natalie Reiss
Progress: 20/120 pages
Fluency
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: A Novel
Becky Chambers
Progress: 148/441 pages
The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas, Bill Homewood, Naxos AudioBooks
Progress: 667/3165 minutes
A Matter of Oaths
Helen S. Wright
Progress: 101/277 pages
Report on the Selected Problems of the Technical Departments of the University of Illinois Library
Raynard C. Swank
Progress: 20/42 pages
Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Cases
Professor Roy Benaroch, The Great Courses, The Great Courses
Progress: 34/725 minutes
Morning Glories, Vol. 1: For a Better Future - Joe Eisma, Nick Spencer, Rodin Esquejo Reading this was, for me, like watching the first season of Lost. It's weird, freaky, and often horrifying, and I'm still not sure what's going on, but I'm totally willing to see where the series is going to go.Admittedly, I wasn't sure how I felt about this graphic novel at first. In much of the manga I read, characters' expressions are really important. While the colors in Morning Glories are pretty, I thought characters' expressions had a tendency to look stiff or otherwise a bit off. It was also a little hard for me to tell some of the characters apart. For instance, there were multiple girls with black hair that I had to look over a few times, just to make sure they weren't the same girls, or possibly related to the same girls, who appeared in other parts of the volume. Considering that there are at least a couple characters who I think legitimately have doubles (maybe??), I would have appreciated it if all the characters had been easier to tell apart.The story and setup were so interesting that any issues I had with the artwork seemed minimal. The volume starts off with a scene in a hospital that I still don't understand – nobody's faces are shown, and I have no idea who the β€œshe” being referred to is – and goes right into scenes with characters who, other than Miss Daramount, have yet to show up again. Three pages into a seemingly normal classroom scene (albeit with at least one genius student and a very strict teacher), and readers are treated to an explosion and an escape scene. One of the escapees is gruesomely killed by some guy who can put his hand inside people.If things had continued this way, I don't think I would have liked Morning Glories very much. It takes more than a freaky, prison-like school with lots of action and possibly paranormal goings on to make something interesting. I was thankful when the story began focusing on the newest crop of students. There were still weird, freaky things going on, but at least one thing, the characters, stayed relatively stable.Those characters were, for the most part, interesting, or they at least showed the potential to be interesting. Presumably all six new students are geniuses, although only Casey really had a chance to shine in this arena. I don't see myself ever empathizing with Ike, but I imagine he'll be a fascinating character to watch as he tries to survive in a place where it doesn't matter how clever and ruthless he is if he doesn't fit the Academy's mysterious criteria. Jun, Zoe, and Jade may all have some kind of connection to the Academy. Really, the only character who is so far not very interesting is Hunter. It makes me wonder what Spencer plans to do with him. I hope he's not just there to be a possible love interest for Casey.There are so many strange and/or horrific things going on in this volume that I'm not even sure what to say about it all. The teachers obviously want something from the students and expect to unlock some kind of potential in them. The moment they decide that potential isn't there, they have no problems with killing the students. Whatever it is the teachers are trying to accomplish, it appears to have something to do with a giant spinning object inside the school. Which is maybe connected to some girls who were kept prisoner back in 1490.It's all confusing and exciting. Whether this series will be a good one or a complete flop will depend entirely on how things shape up in future volumes, but right now things are looking good.(Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)