I hope that everyone has been having a good week, and looking forward to a fun weekend.
Things have been going fairly well here, though there have been a few hiccups, and I can still do what I like to do.
Recently, I have gotten some books from Amazon and was looking to get to them after the last review, but a book that I had been expecting to arrive from Barnes & Noble showed up a bit quicker than usual, as it came from a location that rarely has what I ordered.
Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 7 by Kore Yamasaki.
As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
Chise and Ainsworth have finally patched things up, and look forward to a nice little chat, as they go back their normal lives.
However, their lives are about to be interrupted again when Chise meets Cartaphilus in a dream where he does not seem to be so menacing, and a new situation involving the dragons under Lindel's care that may have some connections with the dream starts to occur.
I kind of liked this book.
Just like many of the other volumes in the series, from the moment that I opened up this book and started reading, I did not want to put it down for any reason, though I do have to satisfy the same needs that every other human has to deal with.
While Yamazaki did not start right off where the last volume left off, which was when either an old or new enemy started to move, things still seemed to be relatively interesting, and Yamazaki is still just as good as she ever was at drawing people in to the world of her story via taking a slow enough pacing to get the reader engaged.
Regardless of the medium, works of fiction need to be able to suck the reader in, so that they can enjoy it all the more, and possibly forget most minor of problems, as nothing we create will ever truly be perfect.
Of course, the ways to suck in the audience differs greatly, depending on both the medium. For prose, the thing needed is enough details for the audience to create an image their mind. Manga like this, however, needs to have a writer that is competent enough to be able to write in a way that does not turn off the reader, since the job of giving the audience images to work with has already been done through actual artwork, and Yamazaki continues to deliver quite well in this area.
Hopefully, she can keep up this level of quality, because I do not want to see her to peak out just yet.
I also liked how a few things were answered or had surprising reveals.
Back in volume 4, there was talk of a college between Ainsworth and people that get properly introduced in this volume, instead of just names and going between different scenes, and I was wondering about why they were so interested in Chise, as well as what they meant by talking about her future, and what they were.
While nothing was really answered, beyond the fact that a few of those people do want to study Chise, there seems to be something major at work, and it help to further my interest in reading the next volume as soon as possible, which is something that is necessary to maintaining a reader's interesting in a work.
However, what really made this stand out is the surprise reveal about what happened towards the beginning of this series.
Back in the first volume, before Chise was sold off to Ainsworth, it seemed like Chise was put up for auction against her will, which alone made me wonder what her life was actually like and how she got, and it played upon how broken she was because of her terrible past.
But in this volume, we are introduced to the person responsible for auctioning off Chise, and we find out through the conversation that he and Chise had was that Chise put herself up for auction.
Chise's background was already a complete mystery, other than the horrible treatment she received from relatives, and she that she put herself up for auction now makes me want to know exactly why she would do that.
After all, I doubt that anybody would really put themselves up for auction, over committing suicide, in this day and age.
Then again, there are people out there that go into prostitution and do other things that our society frowns upon, and I am not exactly and expert in human psychology, so what I think would happen is only just a possibility.
Still, this kind of development makes me want to see who Chise was before meeting Ainsworth and how she got to where she is now, and adds to my interest in purchasing the next volume right now, though it does not come out until February 2018 according to the product page on Amazon, especially considering that there are only about three chapters that have not been compiled into volume, yet have been scanlated.
If the reader's interest is not continually maintained, they might eventually drop a series and never come back to it.
However, because Kore Yamazaki remembered one of the things that intrigued me in the first place, which is an element of mystery and giving readers more questions, the interest is maintained for a bit longer, and it makes me want to give her a good round of applause.
Another nice thing that I liked about this book was the humor.
While it is not exactly unique, when compared to either the rest of the series or anime and manga in general, Yamazaki still manages to execute things well enough to the point where I still find myself laughing quite a bit.
Yes, the relationship between Ainsworth and Chise, as well as the journey they are going on to discover themselves, is an important thing in this series, but if there had no really been any humorous moments to lighten things up, things would have become awfully dull, just like they did in Spice & Wolf Volume 10, and I probably would have been a little disappointed in this book.
However, because Yamazaki remembered how important humor was to make these characters even remotely interesting, things were able to remain as good as I remembered them to be, and it makes me feel like giving Yamazaki a bit of applause.
The thing that I liked the most though was how the volume ended.
Even though many, but not all, of the volumes seem to end in a way that things are relatively peaceful or somewhat happy, with some sort of mystery, this one ended during the incident that Lindel got everyone involved in ended on more of a cliffhanger as to what exactly happened to one of the characters.
Now, these kinds of cliffhangers are not really high up there on my list of things that gets me excited, because it is often not done right or, in the case of Secret Volume 1, is not exactly the best, but this was just about right, though still not exactly perfect, because I was still interested enough to find out what would happen, because the way everything progressed meant that there was an actual chance failure and nothing was revealed when it should not have been.
If Kore Yamazaki had been able to write the last chapter in the volume as well as I remembered, I probably would have been much more disappointed, and would have probably taken it out the people Mag Garden for choosing to make this the final chapter of the volume.
However, because it did end somewhat well, I feel like giving both groups a pat on the back for a nice job done, as I at least felt like I wanted to continue on with the series, and doing that much is at least the bare minimum needed for a good installment.
Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at least that would be able to stand on its own.
Because my interest was held from beginning to end, some things were answered and more questions cropped up, there were some laughs, and the ending was okay, this was a fairly decent read.
Although I did like this book, there are some issues.
However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about, such as typos, and one thing that I already eluded to, nothing really bothered me too much.
As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.
Considering that there was quite a bit to like, even if it was not right up there in the outside standing category, this was worth reading.
I recommend this to fans of The Ancient Magus Bride, as they will like this the most.
As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but do not expect the kind of the quality that is present in other volumes, which should probably be read before this.
If you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon or buying the reviewed title from Amazon, so that I can continue following this series and find more worthwhile reads for you guys, and do whatever you do when when find something that impresses you.
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