By Hiro Mashima. Released in Japan by Kodansha, serialization ongoing in the magazine Weekly Shonen Magazine. Released in North America by Del Rey.
As Fairy Tail volumes go, this one is pretty good. There's lots of action and people hitting things, and some fun humor, at least in the first chapter. The series still feels too much like One Piece, but there's really little we can do about that at this point. I do wish that Mashima would learn something from Oda's sense of pace - the stuff that happens here would have taken half a volume of your typical One Piece.
Speaking of typical One Piece, Fairy Tai;'s resident kickass swordswoman, Erza Scarlet, gets an arc devoted to her here (and in the next 2 volumes), and you know what that means. Flashbacks to traumatic childhood ahoy! Admittedly, the flashbacks are pretty darn brutal, emphasizing the horror that building the Tower was and Erza's crappy life of childhood slavery. It's nice to see the terrified, meek little girl pick up a sword and start to become the Erza we all know. And I'm sure that the relationship between her and Jellal is not going to be pretty.
Also in regards to Erza, there's one big reason to pick up this volume, which is the chapter where Erza's old-friends-now-enemies turn up at the casino to retrieve her. Erza started as an Ice Queen type, and even though she's now a lot milder she still tends to be rather stoic, with rage and anger the emotions we've associated with her losing it. Therefore, seeing her trembling in fear and confusion on seeing Sho is very startling, and it works incredibly well. This is followed up on later in the volume where, after the usual shonen "We're your friends, we will stand by you!" from the other Fairy Tail members, Erza turns to them and is crying and biting her lip. Even Gray is startled by the sudden change.
There's also a silly omake chapter where Mirajane convinces Lucy that Natsu is about to declare his love for her. Since Fairy Tail does ship a little bit more than One Piece does, it's theoretically possible, I suppose, but in the end it all turns out to be a misunderstanding. Also, Mirajane is evil.
Fairy Tail continues to be decent, solid shonen manga, and this Tower of Heaven arc starts off pretty well, so I'll definitely keep reading.