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Children of the Whales, Vol. 1

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In this post-apocalyptic fantasy, a sea of sand swallows everything but the past. In an endless sea of sand drifts the Mud Whale, a floating island city of clay and magic. In its chambers a small community clings to survival, most dying young from the very powers that sustain them. Chakuro is the Archivist for the Mud Whale, diligently chronicling the lives and deaths of hi In this post-apocalyptic fantasy, a sea of sand swallows everything but the past. In an endless sea of sand drifts the Mud Whale, a floating island city of clay and magic. In its chambers a small community clings to survival, most dying young from the very powers that sustain them. Chakuro is the Archivist for the Mud Whale, diligently chronicling the lives and deaths of his people. As one of the saimia wielders, whose life spans are cut short by their own magic, he knows his time is limited and is determined to leave a better record than his predecessors. But the steady pace of their isolated existence on the Mud Whale is abruptly shattered when a scouting party discovers a mysterious young girl who seems to know more about their home than they do…


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In this post-apocalyptic fantasy, a sea of sand swallows everything but the past. In an endless sea of sand drifts the Mud Whale, a floating island city of clay and magic. In its chambers a small community clings to survival, most dying young from the very powers that sustain them. Chakuro is the Archivist for the Mud Whale, diligently chronicling the lives and deaths of hi In this post-apocalyptic fantasy, a sea of sand swallows everything but the past. In an endless sea of sand drifts the Mud Whale, a floating island city of clay and magic. In its chambers a small community clings to survival, most dying young from the very powers that sustain them. Chakuro is the Archivist for the Mud Whale, diligently chronicling the lives and deaths of his people. As one of the saimia wielders, whose life spans are cut short by their own magic, he knows his time is limited and is determined to leave a better record than his predecessors. But the steady pace of their isolated existence on the Mud Whale is abruptly shattered when a scouting party discovers a mysterious young girl who seems to know more about their home than they do…

30 review for Children of the Whales, Vol. 1

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jesse (JesseTheReader)

    this was such a nice and calm story until the end came in like a wrecking ball. consider me shook.

  2. 4 out of 5

    [Shai] Bibliophage

    Probably because of the translation from the original Japanese manga, that's why the story and dialogues are not that good. The beginning is a bit bland or maybe because, I repeat, from the translation. I can't help it, but I fell asleep on the four consecutive nights that I've tried to finished the first half of this manga. However, the best part starts on Chapter 3 and it continues to get better as the story continues. Thanks to VIZ Media LLC and Simon & Schuster for the reading copy of this. Probably because of the translation from the original Japanese manga, that's why the story and dialogues are not that good. The beginning is a bit bland or maybe because, I repeat, from the translation. I can't help it, but I fell asleep on the four consecutive nights that I've tried to finished the first half of this manga. However, the best part starts on Chapter 3 and it continues to get better as the story continues. Thanks to VIZ Media LLC and Simon & Schuster for the reading copy of this.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer

    Check out more manga and graphic novel reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... In an endless desert floats the Mud Whale, an island city of clay moving by magic, containing a small community where most die young their life spans cut short by their own magic. Chakuro diligently chronicles these deaths determined to leave a better record than those who came before. When a scouting party he's a part of discovers a young girl who knows more about their island than they do, everything changes... GAH!! T Check out more manga and graphic novel reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... In an endless desert floats the Mud Whale, an island city of clay moving by magic, containing a small community where most die young their life spans cut short by their own magic. Chakuro diligently chronicles these deaths determined to leave a better record than those who came before. When a scouting party he's a part of discovers a young girl who knows more about their island than they do, everything changes... GAH!! The art is GORGEOUS!! I mean it really takes my breathe away... This is the first time I kinda wish the art was were in full color with soft pastels... NOT that the black and white art was compromised but I can just imagine the dreamy colorless world they live in! I never had trouble figuring out who the characters were nor did I get them mixed up! And the settings were like characters themselves they were so well thought out and drawn! This is a super cool dystopian manga! I kept saying... oh this is so cool... Oh wow, that was such a neat thing... GAH, this is just getting better and better... There is this slice of life aspect with the flying migration of the crickets plus this sci-fi part with the machine from the heavens that takes emotions to survive. This is NOT an easy going manga... NO! There are battles and the solders were creepy, crazy, cool! It was JUST ONE VOLUME and yet we learned so much about the world and things advanced at just the right pace. There are three leads and I really enjoyed each one. There is Chakuro, a rather sweet and naive boy who records everything. There is a girl, Lykos, and her ferret whom they find who is an emotionless fighter. And there is the moles leader, Ouni, who is the most gifted of the thymia users. He is the rebel and blows opens the things the elders would rather be kept secret... The only thing that gives me pause is that there are A LOT of minor characters we are introduced to (which isn't bad) and I struggled a little with who they were and why I was to care about them. I'm sure I will get to know them more as the series goes on... Otherwise the world building is quite cool paired up with the gorgeous art... I won't say much but the norm of the mud whale is established then compared to the girl's whale so that you can understand that something mysterious is going on... and Chakuro is there to witness it all! The end DOES NOT DISAPPOINT! It is shocking and just... wow! GAH! This is a creative, compelling post-apocalyptic fantasy world and I totally need the next volume! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Art ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Leads ⋆⭐⭐⭐⭐ Others ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Plot ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Tension ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Development BOTTOM LINE: If you are a fan of the dystopia, post-apocalyptic or fantasy genres then this is the manga for you... Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. ______________________ You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my manga and graphic novel reviews in a special feature called Saturday Morning Cartoons...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jananie (thisstoryaintover)

    OMG. WHAT. THAT WAS SO GOOD. was not expecting that. definitely going to continue, I'm so curious. Loved the main character Chakuro and super intrigued by the world! OMG. WHAT. THAT WAS SO GOOD. was not expecting that. definitely going to continue, I'm so curious. Loved the main character Chakuro and super intrigued by the world!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    4.5 stars This was an excellent start to what promises to be a fascinating and compelling fantasy manga series <3 CotW follows Chakuro who is the archivist on the Mud Whale (a floating island in an ocean of sand) and documents everything that happens on the island to preserve the island's history for future generations. Chakuro is one of the "marked" which means he wields Thymia - a power fuelled by emotions - and results in a reduced lifespan (approx. 30 years). On one of his expeditions, he enco 4.5 stars This was an excellent start to what promises to be a fascinating and compelling fantasy manga series <3 CotW follows Chakuro who is the archivist on the Mud Whale (a floating island in an ocean of sand) and documents everything that happens on the island to preserve the island's history for future generations. Chakuro is one of the "marked" which means he wields Thymia - a power fuelled by emotions - and results in a reduced lifespan (approx. 30 years). On one of his expeditions, he encounters another floating island and a lone girl is found and brought back to the Mud Whale, although, she keeps referring to the Mud Whale as 'Falaina' which I believe to be the real name of the floating island. We're not sure why she seems to know more about the island than the residents themselves but she is the lone survivor on her island which breeds a plethora of questions. It is also discovered throughout the course of the story that she too wields Thymia (like Chakuro) and remains on the island until that terrifying and upsetting cliff-hanger which left me shook!! All in all, a really solid start to the series with plenty of world-building, delightful artwork and a thoroughly engaging story!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Victoria ♡

    Re read this recently as I just finished the anime, the art is beautiful, but I’m just not sure on the story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    GrilledCheeseSamurai (Scott)

    Interesting story. A floating island called the Mud Whale drifts across the sandy wastes. 90% of the population on the Mud Whale have a type of magic fueled by emotion. Those with the 'mark' rarely live past the age of 30. Up to this point no one on the Mud Whale knows why they are there or where they come from. They haven't even seen another person besides those they live with on their floating Island. Until now... 3.5 🌟's out of 5. Interesting story. A floating island called the Mud Whale drifts across the sandy wastes. 90% of the population on the Mud Whale have a type of magic fueled by emotion. Those with the 'mark' rarely live past the age of 30. Up to this point no one on the Mud Whale knows why they are there or where they come from. They haven't even seen another person besides those they live with on their floating Island. Until now... 3.5 🌟's out of 5.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mili

    I don't often read manga. I picked this one up when I was browsing a shop with a friend and she suggested it to me ( ages ago haha) and it was great! Fluffy start and getting to know the world. It is mysterious and intense at the end! I don't often read manga. I picked this one up when I was browsing a shop with a friend and she suggested it to me ( ages ago haha) and it was great! Fluffy start and getting to know the world. It is mysterious and intense at the end!

  9. 5 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    One of those trickster style books where everything seems happier than it is till shit goes down. Except unlike Made in Abyss, this one didn't hook me emotionally. We have a group of people in basically a sand type world who find a girl and they bring her back to their village. It is ALOT of world building and to be honest the exposition dump seems endless at points and I was bored. Luckily the art itself was solid to make me finish and of course the final chapter, which is probably what most pe One of those trickster style books where everything seems happier than it is till shit goes down. Except unlike Made in Abyss, this one didn't hook me emotionally. We have a group of people in basically a sand type world who find a girl and they bring her back to their village. It is ALOT of world building and to be honest the exposition dump seems endless at points and I was bored. Luckily the art itself was solid to make me finish and of course the final chapter, which is probably what most people will be talking about, is shocking and brutal. But I don't feel it was a 100% earned. Not horrible but didn't do much for me. Might check out second volume down the line. A 2.5 out of 5.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Derek Royal

    This is the first Abi Umeda I've read. Here, she creates a complex, deeply layered storyworld, one that, at times, challenges immediate comprehension. There were several times that I had to back and reread sections so as to better taken in the nuances and details of the people and setting. But this is to the narrative's benefit, not a criticism. To some degree, this is a post-apocalyptic story, but one in a world that is not our own. I'll definitely go on to read future volumes. This is the first Abi Umeda I've read. Here, she creates a complex, deeply layered storyworld, one that, at times, challenges immediate comprehension. There were several times that I had to back and reread sections so as to better taken in the nuances and details of the people and setting. But this is to the narrative's benefit, not a criticism. To some degree, this is a post-apocalyptic story, but one in a world that is not our own. I'll definitely go on to read future volumes.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Pauline Fireheart

    My first manga. Thanks to my little brother for this one :)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Gorgeous illustrations, compelling characters and story. I would definitely keep reading if I had a shorter to-read list! I see the anime is also on Netflix, so I might check that out...

  13. 5 out of 5

    beverley ✨

    ordered vol 2 & 3 immediately, i think this is a manga series I will absolutely love

  14. 4 out of 5

    JenLovesBooks

    Okay, there was a lot going on in this manga, but it didn't take away from how good it was. And by a lot, I mean the many characters that filled the pages, along with the factions and names given to each gift. Well, if you can call it a gift, because for most of those on the Mud Whale (an island vessel adrift the endless sea of sand) their life spans are extremely short. There was a lot of mystery when it came to this book and how they all came to be floating through the sea of sand. There was e Okay, there was a lot going on in this manga, but it didn't take away from how good it was. And by a lot, I mean the many characters that filled the pages, along with the factions and names given to each gift. Well, if you can call it a gift, because for most of those on the Mud Whale (an island vessel adrift the endless sea of sand) their life spans are extremely short. There was a lot of mystery when it came to this book and how they all came to be floating through the sea of sand. There was even more of that as it got to the last few pages, which really set up the reader for more goodness. Or, in their case, a handful of trouble, combined with a million more questions about their existence. And there's a lot going on in those pages! There's navigating on a sea of sand with only their "power. There's a sole survivor of another floating island no one has answers for. A crime committed that's been kept secret for as long as they can remember. Then, if them dying young wasn't enough, they have the fight of their lives in those last pages. Can't wait to read more!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Online Eccentric Librarian

    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ Children of the Whales is about as close to a Miyazaki movie as you are going to get. From the character designs, to the subtle characterizations, the random fantasyish setting, the innocence of children and machinations of adults, the intrusion of war into that innocence, and a subtle beauty. That influence is all over Children of the Whales to the point where this feels almost like an homage. Story: In a world where More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ Children of the Whales is about as close to a Miyazaki movie as you are going to get. From the character designs, to the subtle characterizations, the random fantasyish setting, the innocence of children and machinations of adults, the intrusion of war into that innocence, and a subtle beauty. That influence is all over Children of the Whales to the point where this feels almost like an homage. Story: In a world where the sea is made up of sand that you cannot step on, 'ship cities' called mud whales lazily cross the expanse. Most of Chokuro's small island's population has magical abilities that eventually translate into a short life span. The non magical elders guide and administer the colony since they live a long life. When the mud whale comes across another island, they expect it to be empty like the others they have passed - and so do a simple scavenging run. But young Chakuro, the obsessive archivist of their colony, comes across a lone survivor - a girl his age with martial abilities and a tale of having buried everyone on her island. But she also knows much more about their islands than they have been told by the elders - and her warnings are about to come too late to save Chakuro's people from a hiding horror. By the end of this first book, we get a "the Village" movie type of feel. The elders are clearly keeping things from the magical marked kids - and everything is about to go very wrong for the peaceful island. The story isn't specified as coming from Earth but the islands greatly resemble air craft carriers or tankers that have been covered in mud and odd buildings - and glide along the sea of sand by some unknown means. As with all manga of this nature, we are given very little in the beginning and the story will build from there. The character designs are lovely though very ambiguous - it can be hard to tell gender for several of the characters. In fact, I thought Chokuro was female for half the book. There are intriguing ideas within and certainly this is a unique concept with thoughtful world building. It will be interesting to see where the story goes from here. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Interesting world concept, beautiful art. Enjoyed it. Looking forward to seeing where it is going.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kayla (BOOKadoodles)

    A #GetGraphic Read—I haven’t been this shook by an ending since watching episode five of Attack on Titan. Broaden your horizons and try manga, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.

  18. 5 out of 5

    gudny

    i really loved this! it was kinda nostalgic in a way, because it’s been like almost two years since I watched the anime. i wished it made me more emotional though. like the anime.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anniken Haga

    Another one of the mangas suggested to me by the manga-guy at the comic shop, and one I am sure I will continue reading! I've looked at Children of the Whales a bunch of times but never bought it - my fear of spending money on yet another manga I wouldn't enjoy - until Adam suggested it to me. He thought I would like this manga because of the art style because I like A Bride's Story, Vol. 1, and he was right. While the art isn't as detailed in this book as in Bride's, it is still pretty amazing! Another one of the mangas suggested to me by the manga-guy at the comic shop, and one I am sure I will continue reading! I've looked at Children of the Whales a bunch of times but never bought it - my fear of spending money on yet another manga I wouldn't enjoy - until Adam suggested it to me. He thought I would like this manga because of the art style because I like A Bride's Story, Vol. 1, and he was right. While the art isn't as detailed in this book as in Bride's, it is still pretty amazing! I like that rough look it has, and the smaller details in the background. Of course, it helped that it had interesting characters and story from the beginning as well. The MC is this boy with all the feels, and that's so cute and relatable there was no question of me coming to like him. There are a bunch of other characters as well, almost too many to be honest, but it somehow works. The author has done an amazing job with introducing us to this world with the help of these characters. Just following them through everyday life for a while, until the end. WHAT'S UP WITH THAT ENDING?!?! So yeah, consider me interested in this series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anggrek

    Review of the TV anime series Children of the Whales / Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau This was another one that surprised me. I decided to watch it, not knowing anything about the manga, because I was drawn to the concept of little island-nations that literally move around in a sea of sand. The Mud Whale is one such island, and the people are mainly divided into two: those who can use thymia (basically--magic), and those who can't. I did no reading/research before I went into the series, so I kind Review of the TV anime series Children of the Whales / Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau This was another one that surprised me. I decided to watch it, not knowing anything about the manga, because I was drawn to the concept of little island-nations that literally move around in a sea of sand. The Mud Whale is one such island, and the people are mainly divided into two: those who can use thymia (basically--magic), and those who can't. I did no reading/research before I went into the series, so I kind of imagined a light-hearted, fun, adventure sort of story. It wasn't any of the above. Far from being light-hearted; from very early on in the series, we're already hit with multiple character deaths when an opposing island-nation invades The Mud Whale. The story therefore revolves more around war and survival rather than adventure; discovering the motive behind the attacks and the truth behind their existence rather than a cinematic exploration of the world. And as for fun? Well, Children of the Whales is as fun to watch as it is seeing your favourite characters being gunned down from all directions. Don't get too attached to anyone, is all I'm saying.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Judi Easley

    First thoughts: I really need to start remembering whose blog I was reading when I find a book I want to read. This is a perfect example. The review was for Volume 14, I think, the latest one out. But I wanted to read the first one in the series, of course. So I got busy looking for the first volume and completely forgot about making a note of the name of the reviewer. I think it was Dani, Perspective of a Writer (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5...). A wonderful story, the beginning of a c First thoughts: I really need to start remembering whose blog I was reading when I find a book I want to read. This is a perfect example. The review was for Volume 14, I think, the latest one out. But I wanted to read the first one in the series, of course. So I got busy looking for the first volume and completely forgot about making a note of the name of the reviewer. I think it was Dani, Perspective of a Writer (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5...). A wonderful story, the beginning of a culture. But things move right along as we get some of the backstory as well. The characters are well defined in writing as well as art. I have this for three weeks from the library and I'm sure that I'll reread it at least once before I return it. I know definitely I'll peruse the art several times. Thanks, Dani for the referral via your review(s).

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maja Madsen

    4,5 intens stars Chakuro a 14 year old boy, he is the archivist on the Mud Whale They live on an island in an endless sea of sand. One day an island is coming and stuff stars to happen. Wow that ending was action packed. It was a bit confusing at some point but it really took a turn and I really like it. The art style was amazing and the characters precious.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ishmael R.

    Short and fun read with a surprising amount of character development (for such a small book), and a nice cliff hanger we at the end. #Looking Forward to The Next Book

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sammy

    It was alright, very calm then suddenly the last chapter things went from second to fifth! Think the last chapter redeemed it and made me what to know what happens. I’d give it a 3.5/5

  25. 5 out of 5

    Freya

    3.5 stars Review to come :)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Read for the OWLs Magical Readathon, covering the prompt of Defence Against the Dark Arts: "Grindylows" - Read a book set at the coast or at sea I mean this is pushing that prompt a little as it’s technically an ocean of sand... but l’m counting it Read for the OWLs Magical Readathon, covering the prompt of Defence Against the Dark Arts: "Grindylows" - Read a book set at the coast or at sea I mean this is pushing that prompt a little as it’s technically an ocean of sand... but l’m counting it

  27. 4 out of 5

    Myra

    This was a solid start to a series. I really really enjoyed it. Definitely will keep reading this series ^-^ The art-style in this manga is absolutely stunning! I also really like what we've gotten to know about the characters have seemed okay so far. The world also seems so interesting, I can't wait to see what the next few volumes will add to the world, because so far I really, really liked what has been shown of the world. I think the pacing of this volume is what stopped me from giving it 5 s This was a solid start to a series. I really really enjoyed it. Definitely will keep reading this series ^-^ The art-style in this manga is absolutely stunning! I also really like what we've gotten to know about the characters have seemed okay so far. The world also seems so interesting, I can't wait to see what the next few volumes will add to the world, because so far I really, really liked what has been shown of the world. I think the pacing of this volume is what stopped me from giving it 5 stars - it starts slow and then everything happens at the end and I think it could've been a little bit better paced. But it's a minor problem, so overall I really liked this. Definitely very, very excited to keep reading this Manga series. So excited!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Morgan AC Mott

    Much to my pleasant surprise I was super into this manga. Dystopian fantasy - lost civilisation living on an endless sea of sand, unsure of their history. Magical, touching, suddenly gets insane in act IV and finishes at a fever pitch. The author has crafted an intricate world into which you are easily pulled.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katie Greenwood

    **Actual Rating 4.5/5** To begin with this was a cover buy. I picked it up and I absolutely adored the illustration. Then I read the synopsis and I knew this was coming home with me. It sounded absolutely fantastic. This manga is set on a floating city known only as the Mud Whale (to begin with) which had been built up over years by clay and magic. A magic with a deadly cost. Those imbued with the power known as Thymia have a very short life expectancy, almost as though the magic burns up the per **Actual Rating 4.5/5** To begin with this was a cover buy. I picked it up and I absolutely adored the illustration. Then I read the synopsis and I knew this was coming home with me. It sounded absolutely fantastic. This manga is set on a floating city known only as the Mud Whale (to begin with) which had been built up over years by clay and magic. A magic with a deadly cost. Those imbued with the power known as Thymia have a very short life expectancy, almost as though the magic burns up the person. With 90% of the inhabitants of the Mud Whale having Thymia it isn't exactly ideal. Our main character Chakuro is a Thymia user but he has a different job, he's the archivist of the Mud Whale. He records anything and everything so that the future generations have a history. What struck me the most about this manga, aside from the drool worthy cover, was how well it perfected the balance of world building. I often feel as though most mangas, at least in the first volume have a little something to be desired when it comes to this. I've read many a series where there's a distinct lack of detail to the point where I can't be immersed in the world. Alternatively, I've also read series where the detail goes to the Nth degree and the story suffers. I think it's Chakuro's job that helps maintain this balance. The info dump then appears as part of the plot because of how it links with his character. I would also like to praise this manga on its plot. I got the same feeling reading this as I did reading Tokyo Ghoul and Seraph of the End. Recently, I've felt as though that a lot of the manga I've read has felt very staccato, as though each volume is its own story. Which isn't a bad thing! I've just noticed that I tend to gravitate towards the manga that has an overarching plot line. Children of the Whales appears to have this. Now, I don't want to go into the plot as I feel some of the events in this first volume borders on the spoiler territory. Just know that this is going straight onto my favourite manga of all time list. www.a-novel-idea.co.uk

  30. 5 out of 5

    josephine

    4-4.5 stars. I picked this series up on a whim, since I've recently gotten quite into Manga, and this first instalment did not let me down 😄 I like the characters (already obsessing over Ouni - he's a badass and those are my kind of characters), the world is really interesting, the art is amazing... I love it all^^ I'm not sure why I don't feel like I can rate it 5 stars, maybe it's just that I'm still getting used to the format of Manga so it takes a little bit of effort to read it correctly, but 4-4.5 stars. I picked this series up on a whim, since I've recently gotten quite into Manga, and this first instalment did not let me down 😄 I like the characters (already obsessing over Ouni - he's a badass and those are my kind of characters), the world is really interesting, the art is amazing... I love it all^^ I'm not sure why I don't feel like I can rate it 5 stars, maybe it's just that I'm still getting used to the format of Manga so it takes a little bit of effort to read it correctly, but I haven't got any complaints about the story itself. We're still learning about the world and the Mud Whale and the people living on it, so everything isn't 100% clear to me atm, but I don't mind^^ Now it you'll excuse me, I'll get right on to the second one 😁

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