Weekend Reads: Urban Fantasy & Japanese-style Western Manga

Ah, the birds are chirping. The bees are buzzing. The pollen is off whimsically poisoning. It smells and looks like a typical Spring day on the West Coast. Lucky for me I get to miss all of this as I am snoring away the live-long day in bed with Kheb, and let’s be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This Saturday, my plan is to wake up much later than normal and then spend time watching more simulcast serials I’m behind on. Later in the evening, I hope to spend my time with family and eat great food. Sunday will be devoted to reading, studying, and conjuring dark and magical tales of splendour. Overall, I cannot complain about the weekend before me.

I am at present only reading one book! Last week, I briefly mentioned how I have been sticking with monotony when it comes to my reading. While I did read the first couple of chapters for two specific books, I mostly did that to gauge which one my extant mood preferred. Single-focus reading has been helping me successfully steer away from burnouts and slumps. The only exception to my monotony shall be manga volumes as they are very quick and easy to consume in between the heavier content of the urban fantasy I’m currently obsessed with.

I have two books to share with you on this fine, lethargic morning. The first is something I picked-up on a whim at the library to help satiate a craving, and thus far it’s surprised me with how immersive it has been. The second one is an epic fantasy novel with a premise I couldn’t resist! I did read the first chapter, as mentioned above, and I have a feeling it’s going to become a new series to keep an eye on. Lastly, I’ve got some handfuls of a Japanese-style Western manga that I discovered earlier this year and have been loving so bleeding much; without a doubt, it’s a new favourite series of all-time.

Check ‘em out down below and let me know what you’re currently reading! ♥

Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond

Suspicious Minds is an adult urban fantasy novel and the first instalment in the Stranger Things extended universe! This specific book is a prequel that takes place in the year 1969 and follows Dr Brenner as he sets-up a laboratory in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. The story follows a group of individuals who cautiously take part in the psychological experimentation being offered by Brenner.

I’m currently half-way through this book and I fucking love it! The writing is simple and straightforward, making it accessible for adult readers and older teenagers. The story started off rather regular and basic as the cast was introduced, but as we learn more about the experimentations, the story gets creepier and more daunting. It’s subtle enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stick up, but without filling you with such strong and discomforting feelings of dread (at least not yet). I had read many mixed reviews about Suspicious Minds, so I wasn’t sure what to expect of it. Nevertheless, I’m vastly enjoying myself!

A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne

A Plague of Giants is an adult epic fantasy book that’s the first in an all-new series by the author who wrote The Iron Druid Chronicles. It involves an intricately carved world involving shape-shifting bards, fire-wielding giants, children who can talk to astounding creatures, and a group of normal, dysfunctional individuals who shall change the fate of the realm in impressive ways.

The first chapter showed me a lot of promise and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the world-building and fantasy bits will be able to satisfy my craving for classical elements from the genre.

Golden Kamuy Volumes 4 to 9 by Satoru Noda

Golden Kamuy is a seinen, Japanese-style Western manga series that I tested out in the beginning of May and fell in love with it almost instantly! The story is about a man known as the Immortal Sugimoto, who promises his dying comrade during a war that he would look after the man’s family. After the war ends, Sugimoto searches for a means of acquiring financial stability so he can uphold that dying wish. One night while camping, he learns about the ultimate treasure in existence. In order to acquire that treasure, Sugimoto would have to stake his life and death on the hunt. After deciding that the risk is well worth it, he encounters an Ainu girl who agrees to assist him with his quest.

When I saw that my library finally had the rest of the available volumes on their shelves, I placed them on hold so that I could catch-up! You can definitely expect to see them in my wrap-up at the end of May.

Those are all of my present and planned reads! If you are a fan of Stranger Things and are feeling impatient for the start of Season Three (it’s coming in July!!!), then I highly recommend you give the novels a try. The first one is quite fantastic thus far.

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4 thoughts on “Weekend Reads: Urban Fantasy & Japanese-style Western Manga

  1. Looking forward to your thoughts on Stranger Things, I just finished the rewatch of the first two seasons last night. Plague of Giants sounds awesome, and Golden Kamuy looks like a fun read!

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