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review 2018-11-24 16:54
Delicious in Dungeon (manga, vol. 4) by Ryoko Kui, translated by Taylor Engel
Delicious in Dungeon, Vol. 4 - Ryoko Kui,Taylor Engel

This starts with Namari and the Tansus' party, along with an ominous reminder that resurrection spells don't always work. Also, there's a bit of fantasy politics: the elves say the dungeon belongs to them and they want it back. Mr. Tansu tells the local lord to stall. Meanwhile, Laios' party has finally caught up to the red dragon.

Although they're woefully outmatched, desperate and risky moves help them win. Unfortunately, Falin has been reduced to mere bones. Marcille uses dark magic to revive her, which may have pissed off an elf (the one from the painting back in volume 2?).

(spoiler show)


This was a fun volume, with lots of action (and, of course, more cooking). I really liked Kui's artwork - not only is this a delicious-looking food manga, the action scenes are clear and easy to follow.

I was really surprised that Laios and the others came across the red dragon so soon. I figured that particular storyline was going to be dragged out for at least another few volumes. It'll be interesting to see where the series goes from here. It bugged me a bit that not a single person from the party asked Marcille why the spell she performed

is considered dark magic and what its drawbacks are. I have a feeling that's going to be extremely important in the next volume or two.

(spoiler show)


I loved the revelation that Senshi has cookware that doubles as high-quality shields and weaponry.

I'm looking forward to continuing this series. I want to see where the elf storyline goes, and I'm sure that the dragon's presence on the fifth floor, an area where it isn't usually found, is important in some way. And hey, the entire party still has to make it out of the dungeon somehow.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-11-24 16:37
Delicious in Dungeon (manga, vol. 3) by Ryoko Kui, translated by Taylor Engel
Delicious in Dungeon, Vol. 3 - Ryoko Kui,Taylor Engel

This one took me a bit to get my bearings on since I hadn't realized that these guys would appear again and therefore hadn't really mentioned them in my past posts. I believe this volume starts with the same party that the series regulars came across back when they found the treasure insects. They're revived and continue on, only to be killed yet again by fish-men. The series regulars see them, are attacked by a kraken, and make a meal out of kraken parasite meat - kraken, as it turns out, isn't tasty like real squid. They also make a porridge using grain and waterweed collected from fish-men. Then Marcille

uses up all her mana battling an angry Undine. The party comes across an old party member, a female dwarf named Namari. With her help, they eventually defeat and eat the Undine, which restores Marcille's mana. After that, the party wears Giant Frog skins to survive a tentacle choked area.

(spoiler show)


This is still a creative and fascinating series, even if Laios' and Senshi's insistence on figuring out how to eat literally everything they come across in the dungeon is a bit ick. The kraken parasite meal made my skin crawl. (And Laios deserved what he got for eating one of those things raw.)

In this volume, readers learn that Marcille and Falin met in school - Falin was skipping class to read in a real dungeon, which she'd observed enough to learn a lot about (back to the whole "dungeon ecosystem" thing). Marcille, meanwhile, wanted to learn how to create a safe dungeon, a place with all the benefits of a real dungeon (access to goods that can only be grown or found in a dungeon) but without the danger.

As usual, the story got a bit ridiculous, but in ways that made sense. I laughed at the

"okay then, I'll just drink the Undine to fix my problems" part (only these characters would propose drinking or eating the thing that nearly killed them in order to continue on). And the frog suit was silly and gross, but otherwise a believable solution to their paralytic tentacle problem.

 

(spoiler show)

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-09-16 06:45
Missing Abby by Lee Weatherly
Missing Abby - L.A. Weatherly

I assume this is set somewhere in England, based on the author's bio. It's written from the perspective of Emma, a 13 (or possibly 14?) year old girl who realizes that she was likely the last person to see her former best friend Abby before she disappeared. She reports their encounter to the police and is forced to think about a time in her life that she thought she'd left behind and that she desperately hopes no one at her new school will ever find out about. Although a part of her wants to try to continue with her life as normally as possible, she can't stop thinking and worrying about Abby, Abby's last words, and the events that eventually drove them apart.

This was aimed a bit younger than the YA I normally read, and some of my issues with it stemmed from the fact that I was too old for this book - definitely not the book's fault. Emma was concerned with how others viewed her in a way that made perfect sense for her age and experiences but that I found extremely frustrating. For example, back when she was friends with Abby, Emma loved sci-fi, fantasy, writing stories, and playing make-believe games in which she and Abby were adventurers fighting against an evil witch named Esmerelda. Some horrible bullying eventually led to her cutting herself off from Abby and attempting to completely remake herself, right down to her hobbies and interests (this isn't a spoiler - it comes up pretty early on). It struck me as a huge and emotionally draining amount of work for something that seemed likely to cause a new set of problems later on.

Although Emma's actions and thoughts often frustrated me, I could see where she was coming from. Every time she considered taking the route I wanted her to take - talking to an adult about her plans to find Abby, talking to her friends about the bullying she went through - something came up that made that route seem, to Emma, potentially more dangerous and/or difficult than the alternative.

This was a more realistic take on a "missing persons" mystery than I was expecting. Emma wasn't smarter than the cops, although she had knowledge, through her past connection with Abby, that turned out to be helpful. Also, there were no 13-year-olds battling adults in adrenaline-fueled climactic moments - instead, Emma mostly battled her own emotions and the reactions of some of Abby's friends.

I appreciated the scene between Emma and her friends near the end, and I liked the way the relationship between Emma and Abby's friends progressed, once I got past Emma and Sheila's horrifically awful first encounters. Unfortunately, one sore spot for me was the way Weatherly wrote about counseling. It wasn't so much Emma's reaction to the idea of it - horror and anger that her family thought worrying about Abby was crazy - but rather that her reaction was never really challenged. One character told Emma that she'd been to counseling before and that it wasn't what Emma thought. In the end, however, Emma's dad decided that it'd be better to just talk and listen as a family more. Readers were never shown that Emma's ideas about counseling were false.

All in all, this was pretty good, if occasionally frustrating and exhausting from an adult perspective. I did wonder how dated certain aspects were, though. This was originally published in 2004. The parental controls on Emma's internet seemed to be extremely strict - at one point, she mentioned that there was really only one site that she could go to that at all interested her. And is it still believable for that many parents and teens to be weirded out by teens who play Dungeons & Dragons and like sci-fi and fantasy?

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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url 2017-12-04 20:44
Kotaku: "How To Cook In Dungeons & Dragons"

Imagine an entire manga series based on this idea, and you get Delicious in Dungeon, one of the series I tried out during my vacation.

 

An adventurer's sister gets eaten by a dragon. He wants to rescue her but has no money to buy food, so he finally has an excuse to try something he's been intrigued about for a long time: cooking and eating the monsters he kills. It's a foodie manga featuring fictional foods. Hopefully I can write up review posts of the first couple volumes soon.

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text 2017-05-17 06:33
Part 2: Shelving What's on My Library eBook Wishlist
Raintree Trilogy - Linda Howard,Beverly Barton,Linda Winstead Jones
Don't Expect Magic - Kathy McCullough
Scent of Darkness - Christina Dodd
Darkness Unbound (Dark Angels Series #1) - Keri Arthur
To Walk the Night - E.S. Moore
The Mark of Nerath: A Dungeons & Dragons Novel - Bill Slavicsek

Any recommendations for reading any of these?

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