Sanctuary - Melissa Marr, Xian Nu Studio Yup! You guessed it! I am still going strong with my manga binge. I don't plan to stop anytime soon. I'm just having so much fun with these. I cannot wait to keep going~ So I decided that after the last bomb I reviewed (seriously, that manga was utter crap) I had to go for something that had a little more promise. A little more. I've read the first three books of the Wicked Lovely series and... I have mix feelings of it. I liked the first book enough to read the second. The second was okay but I hated the main character with all my heart and found myself only liking the yaoi parts (Niall and Irial are just smex!!!). And the third book... was the worst in the bunch. Nothing happened in it. It basically a waste of time. So... it's a hit and miss with me. BUT! I did like the series as a whole enough to look into the manga series. When I saw that my library has all three volumes, I checked those babies out like a BAMF. Well, I read the first one and it's... eh, okay. I liked it and there were some parts I even went fangirly over but there are somethings, like in the novels, where I was just not into it. There were some good points to the story, but a lot of it was like... "WHA-!?" And some parts that just made me roll my eyes. Point is... I think I'm just so-so with this book.

Let me start off by saying... I have a love/hate relationship with Melissa Marr. I love her writing. I think it's absolutely brilliant and when she gets something down, you bet your ass it's going to be awesome. However, there are some moments where I feel that she just... doesn't get it. She thinks that love has to be right there and then and there's no need to learn about the other person. Another thing that bothers me about the stories that she writes is the fact that she makes all girls appear pathetic when it comes to men. The degrade themselves just so that they can be with the guy for just one more moment. It's annoying and it really comes off as if this is behavior that's okay for teenage girls to go through. It's not. Girls should be strong and not go to the guy first. Especially if he shows little interest in being with you in the first place. Marr also has a habit of writing instalove. Really? You meet for the first time and right away you're in love? That's what happened with these characters in this manga (more on that later). One thing that really confused me with this manga is the fact that it just right into the plot. There wasn't a lot of backstory so anyone going into this would be confused to high heaven. If you didn't read at least the first two novels of the Wicked Lovely series, you would be REALLY confused by this manga. Hell, I was confused for a good half of it and I read the first three novels. Basically, it's a manga meant just for the fans of the series. Not saying that's a bad thing but anyone who is curious and goes into it without much research would be lost quite a bit. Still, I do like Melissa Marr and respect her as a person... I just have my issues with her at times.

I must say that I do love the artwork. Xian Nu Studio did an excellent job in drawing this manga. It's very nice and easy on the eyes. Even the comical scenes are great to look at. One thing I will say about the art that wasn't really to my liking were some of the character designs. Especially with the males. Sure, when their shirts are off they look like males but when you can only see their face, you could swear they are women. The men are REALLY feminine looking. I don't have a problem with that. I read a lot of manga so I am used to men looking some what like girls. But in this manga they REALLY look like girls. There's no distinction unless one of the characters say so or their shirt is off. I also had a bit of a problem with the way Jayce's hair is drawn. It looks bizarre. It appears, to me, as if he has branches or weeds in his hair. I don't think it's an appealing look for him as a character. Other than that, I think the manga is beautifully drawn. I like how the setting is drawn and I like the way the faeries are drawn. They have a lot of details put into their design and I love them all the more because of that. So the artwork is okay in my book!

Some of the characters I had an issue with. The first being our female lead, Rika. I love that she can fight and all that. She doesn't really need anyone to defend her in that aspect. However, she's a little pathetic when it comes to men. She had a relationship with Keenan, the Summer King (of you read the book, you'll know who he is), and despite the fact that she said she doesn't have feelings for him, she still cries over him. Even though he did shitty things to her... she still CRIES over him! You can't be serious! You should never shed tears over a man who did you wrong. It's pathetic and weak. Speaking of being pathetic, Rika stalks her love interest, Jayce, for a long time before she had the guts to show herself to him and expect for him to like her right away... AND HE DOES!!! Instalove at its finest, people! DX She threw herself at him when she thought that he was going to distance himself from her. Rika, a little tip. If a guy questions having a relationship with you, DON'T FORCE HIM TO BE WITH YOU!!! DX One last thing that I didn't like about Rika was that she seems to be a girl that just wants a relationship and it doesn't matter with who. I say this because her friend, Sionnach (I call him Sion for short), was flirting with her and then she starts questioning some feelings towards that. (I know it sounds vague but I'm trying not to spoil it here.) Bah... I hate girls that just want to be with someone without trying to stand on their own. -_-" Moving on! Jayce... he was okay. Typical nice guy. He wasn't too amazing. He was just kinda... there. There to be pretty. Still, I didn't hate him so that's a plus! Then there's Maili, one of the antagonists in the manga. I have to say that I LOVE her character design. I don't know what about it makes me happy but it does! I think she is really beautiful. More beautiful than Rika. Her personality... well, she's evil. A bitch. I like that in my characters. XD Needless to say, I enjoyed her a lot. I didn't get to see much of her but that's okay. I'm sure she'll appear in the other volumes. Last character to talk about Sion! I love him to bits! I mean you get certain hints about him (which I will not say) but I think he's cute, fun, hilarious, sweet, a bit flirty, and everything else I like in a male. He has a female face, too, but that didn't really bother me since he just came off as a fun character. In fact, he's the only reason I am going to pick up volume two. Well, him and Maili.

To sum everything up, it's a good read. It's not the best but it certainly is far from being horrendous. I'm quite glad I gave this manga a try. It was entertaining even if it did have its faults. I cannot wait to read the second volume. Do I recommend this series? Yes but only to those who have read the novels. Non-fans would just not get it. Be warn. There are moments that might drive you up the wall if you have little patience for... well... stupid girls. But you might find yourself enjoying it. Give it a go. Wouldn't hurt you none if you've already read the books. ^_^