Book Review – Alice in the Country of Hearts: White Rabbit and Some Afternoon Tea Part 1 by QuinRose

Title: Alice in the Country of Hearts:  White Rabbit and Some Afternoon Tea Part 1

Author: QuinRose

Illustrator: Mamenosuke Fujimaru

Format: Paperback

Published: 2015

 

After pushing through the monstrosity that was last weeks book that shall not be named, I opted to read something light and fun this week.  Yes, another Alice manga.  For those who have been reading this blog for a while you know that this is my obsession.  I don’t know why but I love the story, the idea of an independent Alice who is not looking for love and yet surrounded by it (and gun fights) just intrigues me.  This story had by attention from the start and I love the infinite possibilities that branch from the story.  What if Alice chooses not to love?  What if she falls in love with the March Hare?  What about the Cheshire Cat?  What if instead of falling in love in the Country of Hearts she doesn’t fall in love till the Country of Joker?  There are an infinite number of ways things could go and I love it.  I also love how the love when it is chosen develops.  It also doesn’t hurt that the characters are attractively drawn and are very vibrant.  I am after all a sucker for a good story and great characters make for a good story.

 

Anyway, with my obsession with Alice in the Country of Heart series I always wondered what it would be like to have a story where Alice might actually fall in love with Peter White the White Rabbit.  It is a difficult story of course, because he was the one who kidnapped her away to Wonderland and he can be a ‘little’ over the top with his affection.  Honestly in almost every story there is a hate that resides with Alice towards Peter.  Honestly one can’t really blame her for that.   Still the idea has always intrigued me and as I’ve learned more about the character Peter White the more curious I got.  Such as Peter being her “Sunday Afternoon”, always there, always loving, and only wanting what is best for her.  It is clear in most manga and in this one in particular that Alice’s safety and happiness is all Peter wants.  While he would love to be with her romantically speaking he will settle for her being there in Wonderland and happy.

 

This story honestly has done a masterful job of exhibiting the relationship between Alice and Peter and helped push things beyond physical attraction or a sudden change of character personality.  In the story there are many occasions where Alice over hears conversations that show her more of Peter’s character and his love for her beyond the apparent crazy obsession he has for her.  Honestly with out any kissing and hardly any hand holding the romance in this story was impeccable.  The soft quiet moments between Alice and Peter though rare and few were swoon worthy and the suspense in the story didn’t feel like a trope (classic Alice getting dragged into mafia wars or kidnapped.)  Okay so you could call what happened as a kidnapping but it wasn’t a classic kidnapping and that made the story all the more real.

 

Honestly, I loved everything about this manga.  There is not a single thing I would change, it had me laughing, sitting on the edge of my seat and swooning.  It was impeccable despite the fact that my two favorite characters Mad Hatter (aka Blood Dupree) and March Hare (aka Eliot) did not exactly feature in this book.  I think over all I am actually going to give this book a rare 5 out of 5 because I enjoyed the read that much and had no complaints about anything including the art as that was done my the original artist of the series.    With my high rating I will notate that this isn’t ‘the’ book to start with if you are looking to jump in on this Alice series but at the same time it isn’t the worst either as it will give you a clear picture of everything that is going on and you do not need to have past experiences with the story to derive enjoyment out of the story.

Book Review – Alice in the Country of Clover The March Hare Revolution by Quin Rose

Title: Alice in the Country of Clover: The March Hare Revolution

Author: Quin Rose

Illustrator:  Ryo Kazuki

Published: 2012

Translated: 2015

 

It has been a while but I bring you yet another Alice story.  Since my last binge I think I have covered all Alice books but the latest releases which I am at the mercy of my library to eventually get in at this point.  Of course, knowing that I am a massive March Hare/Eliot fan, I have been chomping at the bit and salivating for this manga.  Then when you toss in the title and the content of past Eliot centric books I was certain that this book was going to be about Eliot’s past and how he broke the rules and shouldn’t be around but Blood rescued him.  (A lot of this is covered in country of Joker and in other Eliot centric stories.) Yet, this story was not what I expected it to be, not to say that it is bad thing.

 

The first thing that jumped out at me in this story was the fact that there is a lizard and a spider on Eliot’s scarf when it comes to the art work something that has been very subtle in the past if it has always been there.  It threw me off a bit but at the same time not enough to break the story for me to say the least.  What did throw me though was the art work, it was different than what I am used do.  Of course the characters are recognizable as always and of course I expect the art work to be different considering that it wasn’t Mamenosuke Fujimaru’s work as most of the books are.  However, there are artists who manage to come close to drawing similar to Mamenosuke while other’s fall short, such as Job who draws thinks long and lean.  Ryo Kazuki is another artists who does things differently but instead of long and lean Ryo goes more for a soft bubble look.  The hair instead of sharp angles as most manga I’m used to is, has a softer more curved look to it.  It threw me off for the first few pages.  Eventually however I got lost in the story and the art became second nature.  I do know that I did appreciate how clear emotions were on the faces of the characters giving the story added life instead of constantly having sound effects notate emotion, or ambiguous drawings that left me guessing at times (the latter of which Job is occasionally guilty of).

 

Anyway the story is of the developing romance between Alice and Eliot. There isn’t a lot of action, such as an epic plot to pull Alice away from her love or massively put her life in danger.  The focus of the story as on Alice and Eliot, as they spend time together and Alice realizes that there is more to her and Eliot than just friendship.  The twist and pull of the story that helps give things momentum is the fact that Alice is having dreams of her sister and is wavering on whether to stay or to go back home.  She is also frightened by the kind of dangerous life she would have if she stays with Eliot as he is the second in command of a mafia and they were attacked during one of their outings.  (Honestly I loved that bit as Eliot was so amazingly protective that it made me a little bit giddy.)

 

In the end the story was sufficiently cute though not overly heavy or dramatic in regards to romance, very light and airy.  Yet it was still rather good and sweet and I found myself giving out a sigh as I closed the book and content that only a very small portion was devoted to a preview of another story rather than a 1/3 of the story being devoted to a preview.  Over all I think I would give this book a 3 out of 5 pages.  While there are several Eliot centric books that are on my ‘wish to  own’ list (read as most – if not all)  this one will not be making the list.

Book Review – Alice Love Fables by Quin Rose

Title: Alice Love Fables: Toy Box

Author: Quin Rose

Illustrator: Mamenosuke Fujimaru

Format: Paperback

Published: 2013

Now that I have nearly caught up with all off the Alice themed books at my library I am slowly waiting for them to get in the latest releases of Alice books. I know this book was released in 2013 but it took until now for my library to get the book in and I admit I was excited. I knew by reading about the book that it would have some short stories that weren’t Alice themed in it but I was not expecting over half the book to not be Alice.   I felt a little jipped that a book about Alice based on the tile was only half Alice.

The portion of the stories I read were decent. They were all very short and very quick so I felt suddenly cut off and the story didn’t give much, such as the one focused on the Bloody Twins. Then the Story with Gray Ringmark was cute and good and even better than the book Lizard’s Aid (which I did not review). I just wish the story had gone further.

In the stories that I read there were some laugh out loud moments that were rather cute that I enjoyed. Then the best two stories in my opinion was the story focused on Peter White. I’ve always wanted to see what it would be like if Alice could get past the fact that Peter stole her away and forced her to stay in Wonderland. This is why I’m looking forward to the Peter centric book that should eventually come to my library. The next best story was of course the Mad Hatter story which if you’ve read any other Alice review you know that is one of my favorite pairs but you should note that this says something when the March Hare story didn’t even register as comment worthy. The Mad Hatter story was unexpected and adorable and quiet honestly then end of it had me giggling with happiness as it was super cute and not something I expected to read for Alice and Blood Dupree.

Over all despite the joys I had with some of the stories that were in the book not only did I feel cut that more than half the book was not Alice, but I also felt cut because I had expected stores from characters that I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting a few times such as Sydney Black or Jericho Bermuda and they were not there. Of course, the latter issue was a fault of my own rather than the book, but that disappointment coupled with the other disappointments I would only give this book a 2 out of 5 page review because it wasn’t much, cute, but not much. It is worth a read for a fan, but not really worth going out to purchase unless you are a fan of the other stories such as Crimson Empire which is one of the stories and has been featured in preview form in a number of the Alice books.

Book Review – Alice in the Country of Joker: Circus and Liars Game Vol. 6

Title: Alice in the Country of Joker: Circus and Liars Game Vol. 6

Author: Quinrose

Illustrator: Mamenosuke Fujimaru

Format: Paperback

Published: 2014

 

There are points when one reads a book knows that they greatly enjoyed, knows why they greatly enjoyed it and yet can’t really express in detail why the book was so good lest they blow the entire story and the entire point of reading. That is the case with this particular installment of Alice in the Country of Joker. This book was a fantastic read and has made the series one of the best Alice series to date in my opinion. What I got from this book was unexpected and enticing and has me clamoring and begging for the next and final book in the series.

 

I wish I could share with you just what makes this book end so well and what sort of cliff hanger you are left with and what a fantastic story that is crafted in this particular volume of Alice in the Country of Joker but I dare not. I implore you to read this series and see what happens for yourself as it is quite good. The most I can say about this story is Alice has chosen her love in this story and is dealing with the issues of this choice which gets to be a whole lot more than Alice or I as a reader expected.

 

Over all I think I would give this book a 5 out of 5 page review. I know many are not manga readers or big into a story line as presented in this book and for you I would say it is still a great read and worth the time but you don’t have to go out and read it like those who enjoy manga should. So despite the shortness of my review this book was a fantastic read filled with surprises and turns that I would not have expected and I absolutely loved and I think you will too.

Book Review – Alice in the Country of Joker: Circus and Liar’s Game Vol 4

Title: Alice in the Country of Joker: Circus and Liar’s Game Vol 4

Author: QuinRose

Illustrator: Mamenosuke Fujimaru

Format: Paperback

Published: 2014

 

Yes, I am bringing you more Alice. I am aware that I skipped over book 3. I feel bad that I missed reviewing that particular book but I don’t remember the exact details of what happened in that book and just know the general plot and it was something I enjoyed. Any way this book is pretty fresh in my memory and it was rather good. As you know from my past reviews that the March Hare is one of my favorite people to pair Alice with second was Boris till Bet on my Heart which was a fantastic read! (You can see my review to see what I rated it and I would recommend any Alice fan pick that novel up!) Any way the Mad Hatter is my second favorite person to pair Alice with and there are some moments in this book that made my inner fan girl get a little giddy with delight.

 

In addition to the fun little romance moments in this book there is also the matter of there being more information about Alice and her past and what being in the country of Joker entails. A running theme in a lot of the books features the concept of trying to make Alice forget her past and her regrets of the past. This becomes more prevalent as Alice finds herself falling into Joker’s prison and seeing her sister locked up. This bothers Alice as her sister is not deserving of such treatment. Joker and his prison are an ongoing theme as well as Alice tends to just fall in and the others try and pull stunts to rescue and pull her back out.   It is a concept that I am intrigued to learn more about and add a level of danger for Alice that is new and exciting to me.

 

One of the best reveals of the book isn’t entirely a reveal but an allusion that was given a little more detail than the last time I saw it. This allusion and my theory is one that I feel could be a spoiler though it is only a theory. So skip to the next paragraph  In another book I think it was the Art Book (I’m not sure) there was an allusion to a death that Alice was certain that it was a vision of her mother’s death but when I read the scene I had a feeling that wasn’t the case and that it was actually possibly her sister. In this book there is more revealed about this allusion that makes me think it all the more and I am most intrigued and excited about this because in a lot of ways it turns things on its ear. Alice might be finding Wonderland as even more of an escape than I originally though and there isn’t a sister to return to. I don’t know if I’ll ever learn the truth here but it is an exciting idea to allow to play in my head.

 

Over all I think I would give this book a sold 4 out of 5 pages as I thoroughly enjoyed the story and learning more things about this world that I have so fallen in love with. I look forward to learning more as Joker has by far been one of the most interesting story arcs to me.

Book Review – Alice in the Country of Clover: Cheshire Cat Waltz Vol. 7

Title: Alice in the Country of Clover: Cheshire Cat Waltz Vol. 7

Author: QuinRose

Illustrator: Mamenosuke Fujimaru

Format: Paperback

Published: 2013

 

If you have been following my posts you have seen that I have reviewed several books in this particular series. The last volume I reviewed was volume 4. I stopped reviewing the later book in the series because I felt that the series was getting dry and it was only giving a small snapshot of what was happening in the over arching story. With volume 6 it was an exceedingly small snap shot as about half or more of the book was taken up with a second story of Alice and Boris set in the country of Hearts, where Alice choose to work and live at the Amusement Park. There wasn’t much to tell about either story as we didn’t get much in save for Alice debating to move in with Boris in the main story and Alice and Boris trying to determine if they really had feelings for each other in the side story.

 

Either way volume 7 concluded both stories and I felt were worth reviewing as it is the conclusion of the series and some things happened, at least they happened in the main story. The books for a while have been setting up for a plot against Hatter and using Alice as a form of bait in this plan as she lived in Hatter Mansion before Alice started to consider living with Boris. (If you don’t want spoilers don’t read further and skip to the last paragraph which will be spoiler free.) In this installment the rival mafia decided to finally act and kidnapped Alice. There were a few surprise twists and turn and it was really neat to see pretty much every role holder work together to save and protect Alice. It was something that one does not usually see in any of the books. There were some surprises with some characters that I don’t wish to reveal here that I liked and it was good story particularly showing the great heart of Alice in it, as she was torn up by the death of a faceless.

 

The second story was decent as well but there wasn’t much to it really it was more a matter that things ended where Alice did decide to stay in the Country of Hearts because she has learned to care for those there in Wonderland, particularly Boris and that there is a closeness between Alice and Boris that they both know exists, but at the same time things leave off with nothing super serious between the two of them either.

 

Over all I would give the book a 3 out of 5 pages, and argue that with the way things were so terribly broken up that it would have made more sense to condense the Cheshire Cat Waltz by a book or two and in return create a new book or two for the Country of Hearts story instead of doing half and half in two books it would have made the read more interesting for both stories and a lot better and wouldn’t have cut into the sales of the books either as it would be an equal number of books to sell.

Book Review – Alice in the Country of Hearts – My Fantastic Rabbit vol 2

Title: Alice in the Country of Hearts – My Fantastic Rabbit vol. 2

Author: QuinRose

Illustrator: Delico Psyche

Format: Paperback

Published: 2013

 

So the Alice obsession continues and it is official between this book and the other books I have read some of them already reviewed others I have not reviewed yet, my favorite pairing from the series has changed.  Boris was my favorite with Alice but that has dwindled as I read through the Cheshire Cat Waltz.  As I’ve stated with other books with Eliot he has grown to become a very strong favorite.  This book as sealed things for me and Alice and Eliot is my favorite couple from the series.  While Eliot is rough on the edges and a hit man and number two in the mafia he has a sweet side that is adorable.

 

This book had me from the start as we learn more about Eliot that I had never known such as how he had purposefully broken a clock of his best friend so they couldn’t be replaced. The story goes on and Alice determines to go home so as not to hurt Eliot as she thought she had and she felt bad for leaving her sister.  What happens as she follows this path is both shocking and had me on the edge of my seat and almost ready to cry.  I will not state what happened because that is way too big of a reveal to spoil in any way, but it made the book a must read for me.  It was very well done and had the perfect ending.

 

I really feel that this book is a 5 out of 5 pages that was how much I enjoyed the story, and I encourage you that once you have a feel for the world which you might have from reading a number of my reviews you can delve into My Fantastic Rabbit volume 1 and follow it up with this volume which was absolutely superb.

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