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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
Code:Breaker, Vol. 01 - Akimine Kamijyo This first volume of Code:Breaker wasn't necessarily bad, but had very little that made me want to continue reading.The mystery surrounding Rei and what Code:Breakers and Deviant Breeds are should, in theory, have inspired me to want to know more. The difference between Rei when he's trying to act like an ordinary high school boy and Rei when he's being a merciless killer is remarkable – he's so hard to read that it's tough to say for sure whether his small kindnesses towards dogs and children were true kindness or inspired by something else. His vague explanation about Code:Breakers, that they're “nonexistent” and can't be punished by the law, imply that he's working for powerful people, but this first volume only shows readers the barest sliver of whatever is backing Rei's actions. At this point, it looks like he gets ordered to go out and kill people, with no restrictions put on him. If other people die while he's going after his true targets, well okay then.Of course, Rei is no ordinary assassin – he has that hand of fire, after all. There are indications that Sakura may unknowingly have some connection to the organization Rei works for, and she may also have special abilities of her own (Rei can't burn her with his fire). At this point I am...still only mildly interested.Part of the problem, I think, is that Kamijyo lets readers know some of what was up fairly early on, and then doesn't move things much further for the rest of the volume. The basic template is this: Sakura bursts in on some bad guys who laugh and indicate they will do Bad Things to her. There is a quick demonstration of their willingness to do bad things to other decent people (or animals). Rei appears and kills all the bad guys, painfully, after saying “An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. And evil for evil.” Sakura can do nothing but feel horrified and outraged at the murders he has just committed. It was somewhat repetitive, so, if I do continue on with this series, I hope that Kamijyo shakes things up.And also lays off the emotional manipulation a little. I sniffled a bit after the scene with the first quivering dog, thought Kamijyo cheated with the introduction of the second quivering dog, and was completely unmoved when the drug-addicted guy was dragged on-page and dropped a cellphone featuring a photo of his formerly happy family, complete with adorable munchkin.One thing I did like about this volume was the way Kamijyo poked fun at the potential for romance between Sakura and Rei. Sakura's intense focus on Rei and determination to keep him from hurting others is frequently mistaken by her classmates for romantic interest. When another guy tries to fight Rei for Sakura's affections, Sakura puts herself bodily between them. Everyone around them thinks she has feelings for Rei and is trying to protect him, when, in reality, she's worried that Rei might kill anyone who tries to hurt him. The mismatch between what everyone thinks is going on and what's really going on is worth a laugh.At the moment, I'm not sure if I'll continue with this series. I think it has the potential to grow more interesting, but this first volume didn't really grab me.(Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)