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Hoshi no houseki - Star Jewel - Volume 2

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Worth reading 😎

The Goddess Investigation Club tries to solve the mystery of an attempted kidnapping while taking part in a series of challenges at school.

Synopsis

After a dead end in their investigation of the local fox goddess, an attempted abduction and chase through the city, and news of a fire at the video arcade, Jun, Riko, Yuji, and Aoi have had a rough time. A new series of school challenges to win MarduKoins seems like just the thing to give them some fresh motivation, as they team up to prove their academic and physical skill – and upgrade their MarduKard decks. As the challenges go on, however, they find some unexpected opposition... and begin to uncover some dark happenings in town.
With more on the line than winning a contest, can Riko and Jun outfox their enemies?

In the second volume of Hoshi no Houseki, we are reunited with The Goddess Investigation Club. The story starts right after the end of volume one. After being separated during the attack at the Game Center, Jun managed to help Riko escape from the men in suits trying to kidnap her and they hide during the night at Jun’s house. Riko seems to be out of danger for the moment, but a million other questions have arisen: who were the men trying to kidnap her? Why did they do that? And what did they want to do with her? To make things worst, the Game Center has burned out. And yes, that means poor Yuuji can’t play his favorite arcade games, but is it really a coincidence that the building was reduced to ashes after they were attacked there? Was there any connection between the two events?


During this volume the story takes a slightly darker tone. We still get some funny moments with the gang, but the focus of The Goddess Investigation Club changes from trying to understand what Riko is and finding out about her past to trying to decipher the events of that last night and investigating who wants to harm her. For the most part, I did like the difference in tone, but I do feel like it made the reading a little bit slower than the first book.


At first, the writing style felt too different from volume one and I couldn’t get myself to be completely immersed in the story. After reading a few chapters, though, the writing got more consistent and I enjoyed it as much as I did on the first volume. The description retains the cinematic feeling that I liked so much about the first volume, making me feel as if I’m experiencing an anime in a new way. Rosuuri continues to surprise me with their art throughout the book, and this time they had me salivating at the gorgeous illustrations of food and sweets. The challenges and games gained life through their art and it made the slightly more serious undertones of the volume have a nice balance with the fun and quirky events of the gang. Once again, I found myself going back through the pages to see the illustrations and look at the details I’d skipped as I read the story.


Although the story of the first volume grabbed me faster than this one, I’m still looking forward to volume three of this adventure so I can see how the crew faces the big game tournament. Readers who liked the first volume are sure to love this one as well. (3.5/5 stars)

Reviewed by

I’m a 22 years-old afro-boricua that likes reading about everything, but especially Latinx goodness and diverse voices. I'm in love with everything and anything Jane Austen, mysteries and healthy romances.

Synopsis

After a dead end in their investigation of the local fox goddess, an attempted abduction and chase through the city, and news of a fire at the video arcade, Jun, Riko, Yuji, and Aoi have had a rough time. A new series of school challenges to win MarduKoins seems like just the thing to give them some fresh motivation, as they team up to prove their academic and physical skill – and upgrade their MarduKard decks. As the challenges go on, however, they find some unexpected opposition... and begin to uncover some dark happenings in town.
With more on the line than winning a contest, can Riko and Jun outfox their enemies?

Prologue

A few hours had passed since sirens had filled the air, shattering the quiet of the dead of night. Most of Maruimachi still slept, but the area around the city’s video arcade was a hive of activity. While the fires had been extinguished, smoke still drifted into the dark sky, and firemen bustled in and out of the charred building. Police milled around outside, taking notes and barking orders.

A man in a suit stood out like a sore thumb among the uniformed emergency workers. He looked on impassively, cold eyes remaining on the building as the police officer at his side asked him questions. He answered, calm and collected, and the officer dutifully jotted his responses on a notepad.

Finally, the last of the emergency vehicles departed the scene. There was much to do, but the immediate crisis was over. The man returned to his own car, where his waiting aide opened the rear door. When he stepped inside, the aide took the driver’s seat.

“Back to your home, or the office, Vice President Tenjou?” the aide asked.

“Home, please,” Tenjou responded. “There’s time enough to begin clean-up in the morning.”

The car pulled away, leaving downtown for a more residential area. Silence dragged on. The aide glanced at the rearview mirror.

“Quite surprising that there could be such a powerful electrical short, isn’t it, sir?” he said, nervousness creeping into his voice.

The corner of Tenjou’s mouth turned up wryly.

“According to the fire brigade, it seems to have been caused by a freak bolt of lightning.”

“Lightning?!” The aide turned his head up, eyeing the clear night sky above. He cleared his throat. “Ah... hm. I see, sir. How unlucky.”

“Unlucky indeed,” Tenjou murmured. “But, now is not the time to dwell on... freaks of nature. This ‘accident’ presents us with a good chance to renovate and rebuild.”

The aide tried to smile. “You are forward-thinking as ever, sir!”

Tenjou smiled back, but it didn’t reach his eyes. “Always best to look for the opportunities in whatever situation arises.”

He turned away, looking out the window. When he spoke again, it seemed to be half to himself.

“With the game center out of commission for the time being, though, we wouldn’t want people’s attention to wane. I think it’s time we hold a tournament. The entry fees and extra sales will fund the rebuilding... and it’s a perfect chance to roll out Version 2.0.”

About the author

Miya Martin has written a variety of short fiction, video game scenarios, humor essays, and nonfiction. The Hoshi no Houseki series is her first foray into long-form fiction. She has a degree in East Asian Languages and Cultures, and is a regular consumer of anime and manga. view profile

Published on June 22, 2020

40000 words

Genre: Comics & Graphic Novels

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