Blandings Castle and Elsewhere ★★★★☆

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Title: Blandings Castle and Elsewhere
Series: Blandings Castle #5
Authors: PG Wodehouse
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Humor
Pages: 229
Words: 82.5K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org

The first six stories all take place at the book’s namesake Blandings Castle; they are set some time between the events of Leave it to Psmith (1923) and those of Summer Lightning (1929). Lord Emsworth of Blandings Castle is depicted as a gentleman farmer, growing prize pumpkins and especially concerned with his prize pig, Empress of Blandings; he is also concerned with his nieces and nephews as well as the love life of his younger son Freddie Threepwood. The seventh story concerns Bobbie Wickham, an acquaintance and sometime fiancée of Bertie Wooster, who also appears in three of the stories in Mr Mulliner Speaking. The last five are narrated by Mr Mulliner and are set in Hollywood among the movie studios that Wodehouse knew from his time as a screenwriter in 1930–31.

For more detailed synopses, please visit:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blandings_Castle_and_Elsewhere

My Thoughts:

A nice light collection of short stories. The Blandings Castle short stories were everything I could have wanted and were close to a 4.5star rating. Sadly, the rest of the short stories about others aren’t as good. In fact, the one with Bobbie Wickham annoyed me to no end. Wickham is the most annoying girl ever and I didn’t like her in the Jeeves & Wooster stories and I certainly didn’t like her here. The hollywood movie stories simply reinforced my views on Hollywood as a den of iniquity that makes Mos Eisley look like a convent by comparison.

I had dipped my toes back into the Gulag Archipelago this past weekend as I was feeling pretty good after reading MHI Bloodlines and I was only able to get through 5 percent on my kindle before I had to stop. Even One Piece yesterday didn’t really get me out of the funk it put me in. Thankfully, this did the trick. Not that I’m recommending that course of action to any of you, but if you do ever decide to read Gulag, then have some lighter material on hand, you’ll sorely need it.

And I’m done. I’m getting worded out here folks. It is a good thing it is almost the end of the month. I’ll have to come up with some sort of plan to change things for June. That gives me just over a week to think of something and talk about it in the monthly roundup & ramblings.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Hope!! ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Hope!!
Series: One Piece #22
Arc: Baroque Works #11
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 188
Words: 8K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(187_388)

“1”

“The Leaders”

“4:15 p.m.”

“Hope!!”

“Water Luffy”

“Nico Robin”

“The Royal Mausoleum”

“Crocodile-ish”

“Red”

“The Sand-Sand Band’s Secret Fort”

Despite his agents’ defeats, Crocodile is still confident that his plans to take over the kingdom are nearing fruition. With Alabasta embroiled in a civil war of his own design, Crocodile needs only to destroy both warring parties in one fell swoop to take control of the country. Knowing that a cannon is the most practical way of fulfilling this purpose, Nefertari Vivi and the Straw Hat Pirates try to find its hiding place before it is too late. Meanwhile, Crocodile searches for Pluton, forcing King Cobra to lead him and Nico Robin to an ancient stone called a Ponegliff underneath the castle. But when Nico Robin says the Ponegliff has no information on the Pluton, Crocodile tries to kill her and escape before his cannon is fired. Monkey D. Luffy, having recovered and learned from their previous encounter, engages Crocodile in battle.

My Thoughts:

Now, with LESS Vivi. Oh thank goodness. She and Sir Crocodile have a little dialogue back and forth and I actually found myself agreeing with him simply because I disliked Vivi so much. Ughh, I don’t like being in that position.

Everybody is pretty much kung-fu fighting everybody else and the Navy gets involved helping the Straw Hats pirates and the Loyalists and the Rebels try to reconcile all the while the forces of Baroque Works are causing chaos and destruction AND there is supposed to be a bomb that goes off at 4:30pm which will leave a crater 3miles wide.

Luffy ends up fighting Sir Crocodile AGAIN while everybody else looks for the bomb or the mechanism to set it off. We get a smidgeon of back story on Nico Robin, the infamous Ms All Sunday who while being Sir Crocodiles #1 helper has also helped the Straw Hats in previous volumes. The following picture pretty much sums up the kerfluffle between Crocodile and Luffy.

The volume ends with Luffy and Crocodile having their final showdown and about 30seconds before the big bomb goes off. Oh no, the suspense is KILLING me. Hohohoho….

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Asterix and the Normans ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Asterix and the Normans
Series: Asterix #9
Authors: Goscinny & Uderzo
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 53
Words: 3K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org

The story begins with Vitalstatistix receiving a missive from his brother Doublehelix in Lutetia (Paris), to ask for the education of Doublehelix’s teenage son, Justforkix. Justforkix then arrives in a sports car-like chariot. The village holds a dance in honour of his arrival; but he is unimpressed by the traditional way of dancing, snatches Cacofonix’s lyre, and sings and plays in the manner of Elvix Preslix (the Rolling Menhirs in the English version). Some of the younger villagers dance to this new form; but Cacofonix tries to show off his own skills, and is struck down by Fulliautomatix. Justforkix thereupon suggests that Cacofonix’s talents would be better appreciated in Lutetia.

Meanwhile, a Norman crew arrive in Gaul to discover “the meaning of fear”, on grounds that they are fearless to the point of not understanding the concept, but have heard of people “flying in fear”, and believe that being afraid will grant them the ability to fly. Most of the Gauls welcome the chance of a fight; but Justforkix is horrified and decides to return home. Viewing Justforkix as an expert in fear, the Normans kidnap him to teach them; but this fails, and he remains their prisoner until Asterix and Obelix come to the rescue. A small Roman patrol is also involved in the resulting fight. At length, Norman chief Timandahaf orders an end to the battle and explains his mission to the Gauls. To teach the Normans fear, Asterix sends Obelix to fetch Cacofonix, while himself remaining as a hostage. When Obelix reaches the village, he finds Cacofonix gone to perform in Lutetia, and pursues him through a series of tell-tale clues.

Meanwhile, Timandahaf becomes impatient and tries to force Justforkix to teach the secret of flight by tossing him off a cliff. Just before this can be carried out, Asterix challenges the Norman warriors; and seeing him surrounded, Justforkix gains the courage to fight as well — albeit to no visible effect. Obelix and Cacofonix stop the fight, and Cacofonix’s discordant songs are exhibited to the Normans, which provokes their first real fear, and an immediate retreat to their homeland. When Asterix questions the Normans’ interest in fear, Getafix replies that courage is achieved only by having first been afraid, and superseding the fear to the desired effect. Thereafter Justforkix is claimed to have gained courage himself, and the story ends with the customary banquet, but with Cacofonix as guest of honour and Fulliautomatix tied up, with his ears filled with parsley.

My Thoughts:

Goscinny and Uderzo use the “hip young kid who is pretty dumb” trope (I wanted to say “again”, but looking at my other Asterix reviews Justforkix hasn’t been in any of them) and they use it well. Justforkix is the absolute epitome of a 60’s teenager and to be honest, a teenager from almost any modern era. He’s brash, rude, thinks he knows everything and won’t listen to his elders.

The Normans were just as amusing as the Gauls. They were trying to find out what “fear” was and as such they were talking about it like it was an artifact. They thought it could make them fly, as they had heard the phrase “fear gives you wings”. It made for some very amusing back and forth conversations.

Sadly, there were several times where I could tell that the characters were making word play jokes but it completely passed over my head. I couldn’t tell if it was me being ignorant of a situation, the translators doing a bad job or if it was referencing something from the 1960’s that I had no knowledge of. Usually Hock&Bell have done a bang up job of translating the jokes into something a modern reader can understand. And I can’t believe I just wrote that. 1967 is not some ancient and hoary mystical time that we don’t know about. While I wasn’t to be born for another decade, it’s part of the modern age. And since this translation was done in 2005, that really negates the “1960’s is Ancient Mystical History” idea.

But the important thing is that Asterix and Obelix got to do a lot of biff’ing and bam’ing of somebody new (the poor Romans, they need a break from all that thumping after all) and roast boar was enjoyed. That’s pretty much all I really want from these books.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Utopia ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Utopia
Series: One Piece #21
Arc: Baroque Works #10
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 188
Words: 8K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(187_388)

“Stalemate”

“Oh Come My Way Karate”

“2”

“Climate Baton”

“She Who Controls the Weather”

“Tornado Warning”

“Utopia”

“Cutting Steel”

“Mr. Bushido”

Sanji and Mr. 2 Bon Clay exchange blows, until Bon Clay discovers the sea cook’s weakness and he transforms to resemble Nami to distract him. Bon Clay dominates the fight, but Sanji is able to defeat him after exploiting Bon Clay’s vulnerability when he transforms. Nami fights Miss Doublefinger, partner of Mr. 1, and a Devil Fruit user who can create spikes anywhere on her body, during which she struggles with how to use her new Climate Baton weapon. Unfortunately, most of that weapon’s abilities are nothing more than magic tricks. One street further, Zoro battles Mr. 1, who possesses the ability to create blades anywhere on his body. Meanwhile, Vivi reaches Chaka, the acting captain of the royal guard, but before they can stop the fighting, Crocodile and “Ms. All-Sunday” Nico Robin arrive.

My Thoughts:

The fight between Sanji and Mr 2 had me laughing. Mr 2 can make himself look like anybody else and so he chooses Nami’s face to distract Sanji. While it was funny, the actual fight itself dragged on with Sanji and Mr 2 simply kicking at each other. I’m not a huge fan of drawn out fights with limbs and body parts whizzing all over the place with devil-fruit enhanced whizziness.

However! We DO find out why Sir Crocodile has been after the kingdom all along. Drum Roll Please! PLUTON. No idea what that is beyond it is supposed to be a super weapon. And King Cobra doesn’t know where it is. So Sir Crocodiles goal is to get this super weapon and forge a government that not even the world government can stop and thus become tyrant of the world. Pretty ballsy!

There’s more long drawn out fights that I skimmed through and finally got to the end of the volume. Can’t say I cared particularly one way or the other.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Showdown at Alubarna ★★★☆☆

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Title: Showdown at Alubarna
Series: One Piece #20
Arc: Baroque Works #9
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 207
Words: 9K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(1_186)

“30 Million vs. 81 Million”

“Grand Line Level”

“Showdown at Alubarna”

“Alabasta Animal Land”

“Supersonic Duck Quiz”

“Roar”

“Squadron Leader Karoo”

“Moletown Block Four”

“Oh… Is That So?”

“4”

Luffy fights Crocodile; despite many hits, his opponent is unfazed. Crocodile, using his devil-fruit ability to dissolve and reintegrate whatever part of his body Luffy attacks, toys with him until he impales him through the chest with his prosthetic hook and buries him in the sand. The rest of the Straw Hats hurry to intercept the rebel army. They cross the desert on a giant crab, cross the river Sandora and are picked up on the other side by Karoo and his squad of spot-billed ducks. In front of the capital, the high-ranking Baroque Works agents try to intercept Vivi and are lured into the city by disguised Straw Hats. Vivi tries to stop the rebels, but the enraged army storms past her. She flees from Mr. 2, who chases her into the city (where Sanji comes to her rescue). On the other side of the city, Usopp and Chopper battle the agents Mr. 4 and Miss Merry Christmas.

My Thoughts:

This was just ok. Vivi is front and center as somehow she is the only one who can stop the rebels and get the country back on track. Her father, the king, appears to be a puling idiot and the advisors to the king are as dumb as him. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for why everyone does what they do. Imagine Luffy without the charisma and twice as stupid.

We do get to see Team Luffy coming into their own. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the various fights presented (half the time I couldn’t tell what I was looking at), it was obvious that they had gelled as a team and had begun their own climb up the power ladder.

Even Usopp impressed me. I didn’t think that was possible.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Asterix in Britain ★★★★☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Asterix in Britain
Series: Asterix #8
Authors: Goscinny & Uderzo
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Comics
Pages: 53
Words: 3K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org

Julius Caesar has invaded Britain and succeeded in his conquest; but a single Gaulish village in Kent remains independent. One member of the village, Anticlimax, is dispatched to Asterix’s village to enlist the help of Getafix the druid in providing magic potion for the British rebels. It is decided that Asterix (Anticlimax’s first cousin once removed) and Obelix should accompany him, to help transport a barrel of the potion; but while beating up a Roman galley in the English Channel, Obelix mentions the mission, which is reported to the Roman high command in Britain.

In Britain, the barrel containing the potion is confiscated from a pub cellar owned by Dipsomaniax, along with all the barreled “warm beer” (bitter) and wine in Londinium, by the Romans, who set about tasting the barrels to find the right one. Soon the whole unit assigned to the testing is hopelessly drunk; whereupon Asterix and Obelix steal all the barrels labelled with Dipsomaniax’s name, but Obelix is himself drunk and starts a fight with some passing Roman soldiers. During the commotion a thief steals the cart with the barrels. Anticlimax and Asterix leave Obelix at Dipsomaniax’s pub to sleep off his hangover; but while Anticlimax and Asterix go in search of the thief, the Romans capture the sleeping Obelix and Dipsomaniax, and raze the pub.

In the Tower of Londinium, Obelix wakes up and frees himself and Dipsomaniax out of the jail, and the three heroes, after a search, find the potion in use as a pick-me-up for a rugby team. After this team wins their game, the protagonists seize the potion and escape on the river Thames, where the Romans destroy the barrel and release the potion into the water. At the independent village, Asterix eases the Britons’ disappointment by feigning to remake the potion, with herbs Asterix got from Getafix (later revealed to be tea). With a psychological boost, the village prevails against the Romans, and Asterix and Obelix return home to celebrate.

My Thoughts:

This was a lot of fun. English, Irish and Scottish people are made fun of quite a bit and I laughed my head off. There is one scene where Asterix, Obelix and Asterix’s cousin order ONE cup of wine to see if it is wine or the missing magic potion. The innkeeper assumes they are Caledonians (scots) because they are so cheap. I roared with laughter. Since this was written well before the movie Braveheart was made, I knew there weren’t going to be any blue bottoms being flashed.

Then you have a scene where Obelix gets drunk testing out all the wine barrels and he turns into a sloppy, sentimental drunk who is afraid that Asterix won’t be his friend anymore. And then jumps a whole patrol of romans because he thinks they are gong to take Asterix away. Once again, I laughed out loud.

I don’t know if this book was actually funnier than previous ones or if the subject of making fun of the English just hit the right note, but my goodness, I was smiling through the whole story. And the whole “how the english became tea drinkers” was great!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rebellion ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Rebellion
Series: One Piece #19
Arc: Baroque Works #8
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 216
Words: 9K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(1_186)

“Battlefront”

“Rainbase, the City of Dreams”

“The Kingdom’s Strongest Warrior”

“Beginning”

“Koza, Leader of the Rebels”

“Rebellion”

“Bananagator”

“Mr. Prince”

“Release”

“Rush

Karoo brings news of Crocodile’s treachery to the king, who decides to attack Rainbase and sends Pell (the country’s strongest soldier) to scout ahead. Smoker awaits the Straw Hats in Rainbase and chases several of them into Crocodile’s casino, where they fall through a trapdoor into a cage. After defeating Pell, Crocodile’s partner Miss All-Sunday captures Vivi and brings her to the casino; Baroque Works’ final plan is set in motion. The king is abducted, and the rebellion supplied with weapons. Mr. 2, impersonating the king, admits stealing the country’s rain. In response, the rebels attack the capital. Crocodile leaves the cage surrounded by his oversized crocodiles, while the room floods with water. Chopper lures Crocodile away from the casino, while Sanji enters it and fights the crocodiles. One of them spits out Mr. 3, and Sanji forces him to open the cage by creating a key. Smoker, aware of Crocodile’s plan, calls for reinforcements while the Straw Hats head for Alubarna. Luffy, however, stays behind to take on the warlord.

My Thoughts:

Vivi didn’t talk as much in this volume so I enjoyed that aspect a LOT more.

Baroque Works finally begin their big plan of destroying Alabastra (I’ll admit, I’m still not clear on the “why” or what Sir Crocodile hopes to accomplish by this) and that gives the Straw Hats a concrete enemy. Luffy is as brash and loudmouthed as he’s ever been and ends up leading the Straw Hats into a trap. Sanji rescues them and everyone but Luffy heads off to the capital to hopefully prevent a fight between citizens of the country. Luffy stays behind to fight Sir Crocodile.

While I had a decent time with this, circumstances going on around me definitely affected my enjoyment. I was doing my federal taxes and it didn’t go well. So maybe this would have been a 4star read at a different time? I don’t know. Life is too full to wait for “the perfect time” to read and sometimes a decent book gets overshadowed. That’s life.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Heavy Weather ★★★✬☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Heavy Weather
Series: Blandings Castle #4
Authors: PG Wodehouse
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Humor
Pages: 218
Words: 82K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org

Plot introduction

With the Hon. Galahad’s reminiscences removed from the market, publisher Lord Tilbury is anxious to get hold of the manuscript, while Lady Constance Keeble and Sir Gregory Parsloe-Parsloe want to lay hands on it for quite other reasons. Lord Emsworth fears that Parsloe-Parsloe is out to spoil his prize pig Empress of Blandings’ chances at the forthcoming county show, and keeps detective Pilbeam on hand to keep watch. Meanwhile, Sue Brown is anxious to hide her old friendship with Monty Bodkin from her jealous fiance Ronnie Fish, giving his mother Lady Julia a chance to talk him out of the unsuitable marriage…

Plot summary

Monty Bodkin, despite his wealth, needs to hold a job down for a full year so when he is sacked from his job, he jumps at a tip that his old job as secretary is available, especially on hearing that his former fiancee will be on the premises.

Hearing that Monty is on his way, and concerned about Ronnie’s jealous nature, Sue heads to London, dines with Bodkin and warns him to be distant. On the train back, they both encounter Ronnie’s formidable mother and claim not to know each other. Lady Julia, having seen Sue and Monty at lunch together, tells her son about their suspicious behaviour, and Ronnie is at once convinced that Sue loves Monty.

Meanwhile, Connie and Parsloe-Parsloe, unaware of these developments, task Percy Pilbeam with obtaining Galahad’s manuscript, used to ensure Sue and Ronnie’s marriage is permitted. Lord Tilbury, also wanting the book, visits the castle and is rebuffed. Leaving, he calls on the Empress, but is locked in a shed by Pirbright the pig-man, instructed by a suspicious Lord Emsworth to guard the pig closely. He is released by Monty Bodkin, who he persuades to steal the book by offering him a year’s guaranteed employment—he is worried about his tenure at the castle, as Lord Emsworth suspects him, being the nephew of his rival Parsloe-Parsloe, of scheming to nobble his pig, the Empress.

Beach, catching Pilbeam in the act of grabbing the book, tells Galahad and is instructed to guard the book himself. When he overhears Tilbury and Bodkin plotting in the garden at the Emsworth Arms however, he sees the task is too much for him and hands the book on to Ronnie Fish. Fish is distracted by his loss of Sue’s love, but once the storm breaks feels better; he sees Monty Bodkin, drenched from the rain, and is friendly towards him. However, when he sees “Sue” tattooed on Bodkin’s chest, his mood turns sour once more.

Sue, having heard Ronnie’s kind words, is also cheered and rushes to find Ronnie; when he is once more cold and distant, she breaks down and breaks off the engagement. Bodkin finds Ronnie and asks him a favour—to get Beach to hand over the book, explaining he needs it to marry his girl. Ronnie, inwardly furious, chivalrously hands it over. Gally sees Sue is upset, learns all and confronts Ronnie with his idiocy. He explains about Bodkin and Sue, and Ronnie forgives her. Gally then confronts his sisters, threatening them once more with his book; although Julia is at first unmoved, when Gally relates a few of the stories it contains concerning her late husband “Fishy” Fish, she is defeated.

Bodkin, having engaged Pilbeam to find the book for him, tells the detective he is no longer needed, revealing where he has hidden the manuscript. Pilbeam steals it, planning to auction it between Tilbury and the Connie-Parsloe syndicate, and hides it in a disused shed. He informs Lord Emsworth that Bodkin released Tilbury, and Bodkin is fired. Pilbeam is summoned to see Lady Constance, and primes himself with a bottle of champagne. She is insulting, and Pilbeam vows to sell the book to Tilbury, who he calls promising to deliver it, but he retires to bed first to sleep off the booze.

Lord Emsworth, having moved the Empress to her new sty for safety, finds her eating the manuscript. Pilbeam sees this, and hurries to Connie and Parsloe-Parsloe, but is denied his fee when they find the pig has eaten the book. He then rushes to the Emsworth Arms, and gets a cheque out of Lord Tilbury, telling him the book is in the pigsty. Bodkin is on hand, however, and destroys the cheque and warns Emsworth by phone that someone is heading for his sty. Later, full of remorse, he offers Pilbeam a thousand pounds to employ him for a year in his agency.

While Emsworth is being badgered by his sisters into denying Ronnie his money, a mud-spattered Lord Tilbury is brought in, captured by Pirbright. Gally and Sue then appear, informing Emsworth that Ronnie has the pig in his car and will drive off with it if denied his cash. Emsworth coughs up, and the happy couple depart, much to Gally’s satisfaction.

My Thoughts:

I was afraid this series, with it’s running gag about Lord Emsworth’s pig and the scandalous book and the young couples in love would get tiresome. I stand here to proclaim to you that so far, that fear has not materialized. I laughed my head off, yet again, at another Wodehouse humorous plot that was insane.

I hate to say it, but really, that first paragraph sums up my entire experience with this book. I was afraid it was going to be bad, it wasn’t and I had a great time. What is nice is that this is not a re-skinned Jeeves and Wooster. The butler in this series is most definitely NOT Jeeves and while most of the young people fit into the Wooster mold, none of them are Wooster. In some ways its a fine distinction but it gives this series some extra oomph and, I think, staying-power.

Of course, when I was reading Jeeves, by the third book I wasn’t thinking it would get tiresome either. See, I can make up drama about books with the best of them. And sometimes, you just gotta make it up because otherwise you end up writing a review that consists of “I enjoyed this book”.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Ace Arrives ★★★☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Ace Arrives
Series: One Piece #18
Arc: Baroque Works #7
Author: Eiichiro Oda
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Manga
Pages: 225
Words: 9K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_One_Piece_chapters_(1_186)

“Oh Come My Way Days”

“Ace Arrives”

“Landing in Alabasta”

“Come On”

“Spiders Café at Eight O’Clock”

“The Green City Erumalu”

“Adventure in the Kingdom of Sand”

“Yuba, the Town of Rebels”

“I Love My Country”

“Operation Utopia”

“Luffy vs. Vivi”

En route to Alabasta, the Straw Hats encounter Baroque Works agent Mr. 2 Bon Clay; naively, he shows them his ability to impersonate the voice, face and body of any person whose face he touches with his right hand. In Alabasta, Luffy goes to find something to eat. He encounters his older brother Portgas D. Ace and Captain Smoker, who chases him through the town. With Ace’s help, Luffy escapes. The top Baroque Works agents meet at a cafe in the desert. From there they are brought to a city, Rainbase, to meet Mr. 0. The Straw Hats cross the desert to the oasis of Yuba, where the rebel army reportedly has its headquarters. They find a ghost town, plagued by sandstorms. Vivi tells a story about herself and her childhood friend, Koza. In Rainbase, Crocodile reveals himself and his master plan to conquer Alabasta to his agents. When Mr. 3 reports his failure to kill Vivi and the Straw Hats, Crocodile feeds him to one of his oversized crocodiles. Although Luffy is discouraged, Vivi’s passion for the cause inspires him to persevere.

My Thoughts:

It was cool being introduced to Luffy’s older brother Ace, who is supporting a pirate captain named White Beard. Ace is pretty strong stuff even besides his devil fruit powers. He’s not around very long but it’s evident he’s being introduced now to make the fight between him and Luffy that much greater whenever it occurs. Now we just need Luffy’s Dad and Mom to show up, preferably as Ultra-Powerful world government Agents and voila, more family drama than you can shake a stick at. Of course, I’d be really pissed if that is what actually happens.

Vivi is really getting on my nerves now. She interferes multiple times with how the Crew do what they need to and causes things to be twice as hard. She forbids them from fighting with the rebels and acts like she can just wave her hand and make peace. She is the epitome of a spoiled child who has had everything handed to her her entire life. Thankfully Luffy tells her what she needs to hear, that Sir Crocodile is the real enemy, not the rebels, and that HE, Luffy, is going to beat the ever-living daylights out of Crocodile even if she doesn’t “like” violence as a solution.

There was more Vivi than Ace overall though, so while I enjoyed this volume, it left a slightly off taste in my mouth by the end. Boooooo!

Rating: 3 out of 5.