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Reviews from October 2020 (23)

You Leave Me Speechless

Komi Can’t Communicate, volume 1

By Tomohito Oda  

17 Oct, 2020



Tomohito Oda’s manga Komi Can’t Communicate (Japanese: 古見さんは、コミュ症です。, Hepburn: Komi-san wa, Komyushou desu.) has been serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday since May 2016. The English translation of volume one was published in 2019

Shouko Komi is revered by her fellow students at elite Itan Private High School. The beautiful student never responds to attempts to converse with her, which her classmate take as an indication that they are but worms beneath Komi’s feet, a status with which the teens are surprisingly comfortable. 

Komi is not aloof. She is too terrified to speak.

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Uh Oh, We’re In Trouble

Prime Deceptions  (Chilling Effect, volume 2)

By Valerie Valdes  

16 Oct, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

1 comment

2020’s Prime Deceptions is the second volume in Valerie Valdes’ Chilling Effect series.

In the previous volume Captain Eva Innocente escaped the clutches of a criminal empire known as the Fridge, giving it a black eye in the process of regaining her ship La Sirena Negra. Prudence would suggest adopting a low profile. Eva is terrible at being prudent, as suggested by the fact that when the book opens, someone is shooting at her.

Eva at least knows better than to accept job offers from her duplicitous sister Mari. As it turns out, knows better” is different from does not.” In Eva’s defence, the task seemed so straightforward.

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Though Cowards Flinch and Traitors Sneer

The Last Girl Scout

By Natalie Ironside  

15 Oct, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews


Natalie Ironside’s 2020 The Last Girl Scout is a standalone post-apocalypse adventure. 

After the war, what was once the United States is a patchwork of pocket nations interspersed with radioactive wastelands overrun by zombie hordes. In the middle of one such wasteland lies an enigmatic structure known as the Citadel. The Ashland Confederated Republic decides to seize it. Result? Two companies march into the wasteland. Two survivors straggle back. 

Common sense would suggest that it would be wise to leave the Citadel alone. But when Ashland learns that another pocket nation is targeting the Citadel, it does what it should have done at first: send a scouting mission into the wasteland. Commissar Magnolia Mags” Blackadder very reluctantly agrees to join the mission. 

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Take Passage Overland

Hiero’s Journey  (Hiero Desteen, volume 1)

By Sterling E. Lanier  

11 Oct, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


1973’s Hiero’s Journey is the first volume in Sterling E. Lanier’s Hiero Desteen series. 

7476 AD: Accompanied by the intelligent bear Gorm, Secondary Priest-Exorcist, Primary Rover, and Senior Killman Hiero Desteen rides his telepathic war moose Klootz into the heart of darkest former America in quest of a fabled computer. Whatever a computer” might be.

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With a Moo-Moo Here

Silver Spoon, volume 1

By Hiromu Arakawa  

10 Oct, 2020



And what has Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist, The Heroic Legend of Arslan) been doing? Writing another manga, of course.

Hiromu Arakawa’s Silver Spoon (Japanese: 銀の匙, Hepburn: Gin no Saji) is a Japanese coming-of-age manga series, serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday from 2011 to 2019

Yuugo Hachiken is a disappointment to his demanding father. He has studied hard and tried to live up to his father’s dreams, but he never seems to please. He’s given up; he has no long-term goals and no hope for the future. He decides to effectively run away. He’ll enroll in a vocational agricultural high school in rural Hokkaido, far from his bustling native Sapporo. 

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Sing It Out Loud

A Song for Quiet  (Persons Non Grata, volume 2)

By Cassandra Khaw  

8 Oct, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


2017’s A Song for Quiet is the second volume in Cassandra Khaw’s Persons Non Grata series. 

Blues musician Deacon James leaves his father’s funeral and discovers that he is being stalked by a persistent madman. Life in Jim-Crow-era America is already hard enough for a black musician; there’s no room for complications. Whatever the lunatic wants, Deacon wants no part of it.

What John Persons would like to do is save Deacon, but Persons’ communication skills could use some work. 

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Mean Old World

Spinning Silver

By Naomi Novik  

7 Oct, 2020

Special Requests


Naomi Novik’s 2018 Spinning Silver is a standalone fantasy novel. 

Miryem Mandelstam comes from a family of Jewish moneylenders in the pocket kingdom of Lithvas. It’s just too bad that her father has no aptitude for the job; he gives loans to anti-Semitic neighbours who have no intention of ever repaying. Miryem’s family lives in abject poverty. 

Young Miryem eventually takes her father’s accounts in hand. The people of her nameless village could laugh off her father’s timid requests for payment, but they cannot say no to the determined young woman. Her family fortunes improve dramatically. 

This is risky: rich Jews are Jews worth robbing. As it turns out, Miryem attracts the attention of a predator even more dangerous than her neighbours: the king of the Staryks. 

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