Finally Watched it: “Rick and Morty” Season One.

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Yes, I have finally caved into peer-pressure and plunked my ass down to watch this show. It was also a sobering thought that my daughter has already seen this (gosh, thanks Internet), so I wasn’t about to allow myself to remain ignorant of this.

And well… I get why people like it. I had some laughs and felt entertained but I’m still left with the feeling that I didn’t so much ENJOY it if that makes any sense. And if you’ve read my blog over time, you know it’s not because I’m easily offended by raunchy, crass, or bloody media. Hell, there are things I like because they push me outside my comfort zone. I like the dimension-hopping allowing for infinite plot possibilities but after some thought, it was just how casual the death was that got to me. Not much, but it did. It’s a similar reason to why I dropped Game of Thrones; it’s hard to care if anyone can just get killed whenever. It felt senseless and left me wondering why I should keep going if I can’t see a story arc come to fruition.

It’s also hard for me to relate to any of the characters. Maybe the mom a little bit but I will freely admit I am more of a Grunkle Stan than a Rick. I absolutely understand his attitude: when you have literally been everywhere and done everything, regular finite concerns don’t exist. It’s all white noise.

And there is where I keep watching. What does a man who has been everywhere and done everything have to motivate him for four seasons of this show? I guess we’ll see because that’s the question I want to be answered. Time to take a deep breath and dive into Season 2.

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Lenni Reviews: “Levius/est” Vol. 3 by Haruhisa Nakata

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

As Levius prepares for his fight with the current champion, his trainer Zack wonders if Levius could ever be prepared for a fight on this level. Meanwhile, Amethyst returns (from way back in volume one) with an unbeatable new fighter named Balthus; the brother of A.J. who claims she no longer remembers him.

I was wondering if and how Amethyst would make his return and manipulating A.J.’s brother after all she did to protect him was just the type of messed up thing I’d expect from Amethyst. This volume is a real page-turner with some interesting character development and again, the fighting is drawn incredibly well. I am super pumped for the final showdown with Amethyst! 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Komi Can’t Communicate” Vol. 6 by Tomohito Oda

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

In this volume, Komi goes to karaoke with her friends after the Culture Festival, shopping for clothes with her equally quiet father, and we introduce a new character, Katai; who also has trouble talking to others because he looks too much like a stereotypical thug. We also have the appearance of an adorable cat cafe!

Other than the low hanging cute that is the cat cafe, what shines in this book is how patient and kind with Katai even though every other student in the class is scared of him. He’s so gently folded into the growing group of friends, it’s genuinely touching! If I had to complain about something, it would be Yamai and Nukanaka. I understand they want to hog Komi’s attention but they are so fucking creepy about it, I find it hard to like them. 4.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Twilight Man: Rod Serling and the Birth of Television” by Koren Shadmi

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This graphic novel details Rod Serling’s life from his time in war through his writing career before and after The Twilight Zone.

I think this was a very good biography. It highlights enough important parts of his life to get a firm grasp of the overall picture without getting bogged down in boring details, the art is perfect for this subject, and it also comes along with a great framing device. It was cool to see how much Serling put into the show; even some episodes flat out emulating his own issues. I think Mr. Serling himself would be proud. I do have to wonder how much of this is accurate but one never does know that for sure. 4.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Dreaming Vol. 2: Empty Shells” by Simon Spurrier, Bilquis Evely, Abigail Larson, & Tiffany Turrill

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This volume centers around Rose, whose mother is in the hospital and she finds Lucien washed up on a beach. As she ponders how her love came entwined with Dream’s, the remaining inhabitants of The Dreaming struggle to keep it together.

If I were to sum up this volume in one word, it would be sad. Loss, yearning, and death sink you down into this story and don’t leave you with much in the way of hope. I wonder what sort of Dream we’ll get by the end of this story if we even ger him at all.

The stand out in this volume for me is the artificial intelligence currently in charge of The Dreaming. In a cast of highly unique characters, the AI is the one that really stuck with me. I look forward to seeing how it all goes from here. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Revews: “Infected: Throwaways” by Andrea Speed

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is recommended for mature readers.

Holden Krause, a former rent boy turned private investigator/vigilante, is asked by a friend to find her missing husband and also asked by the police to look into the murder of a known local drug dealer. With the help of his partner, Chai, Holden uses all the skills at his disposal to suss out the killer and find the missing man.

This book feels really unfocused a lot of the time; simultaneously trying to work in the back story of the infected, some sort of feline shifter-like condition, despite Holden himself not being one. It’s heavy on the pop culture references and class, gender, and race politics. It’s important to include these things in your work but overuse can make your reader cringe no matter what side of the aisle you’re on and I did just that.

Overall, this reminds me of “Pushback” where the plot you’re expecting from the synopsis is secondary to other random details. The reader may be expecting more emphasis on the werecat virus and have it factor more into the plot other than a dramatic rescue, it really didn’t. It’s an ok book because Holden and Chai are fun characters to follow. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “An Unkindness of Ghosts” by Rivers Solomon

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

Aster, a surgeon, is assistant to Theo, the Surgeon General on board the spaceship Matilda. The ship is heavily segregated with darker-skinned poor people consigned to the lower decks and forced to toil in the service of the upper decks. It is only Aster’s medical talent and connection to Theo that allows her a level of freedom to grow her own plants and discover the mystery behind her mother’s disappearance when she was a baby via a journal she left behind.

While highly creative and interesting, I think this is another book that would have benefitted from being only in the third person to give me more of the world around our characters. Don’t get me wrong, the world-building is great but I found myself getting confused too often in this book.

However, I did enjoy this book. We have some great realistic characters, a dystopian future starship, an intriguing mystery to solve, and great integration of LGBTQI characters. It’s like Titan A.E. only with even more social commentary. I came to enjoy Aster’s attitude but I really wondered as to the fate of the Matilda. Mostly Theo since I enjoyed him as well. Maybe there will be more in this universe in the future? I sure hope so. 4.6 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol 5 by Paru Itagaki

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is suggested for mature readers.

When Haru is kidnapped and Legoshi is ready to run right into the lair of a dangerous mob boss alone until Gohin knocks some sense into him. They have to come up with a plan before Haru is killed and eaten.

We also learn more about Haru’s childhood but the real focus is on the rescue. And MAN, are they really going dark in this manga. I won’t spoil the outcome but this volume has some awesome fight scenes and completely screwed my mind up with a cliffhanger. This series really is a surprisingly addicting read and really takes advantage of the original premise set forth in volume one. I can’t wait for the next one! 4.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Komi Can’t Communicate” Vol. 5 by Tomohito Oda

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

In this volume, Komis is stuck home when a storm closes the schools, she goes out to eat with friends after a half-day, and participates in the school’s cultural festival.

It’s nice to see Komi slowly come out of her shell and talk more. She’s just genuinely learning to enjoy people and try new things. And it’s done so well, I continue to find myself rooting for her! If there wasn’t some of these kinda creepy, pervy classmates, this volume would be perfect. 4.5 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights” by Mikki Kendall & A. D’Amico

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When this book says it’s a graphic history, it absolutely means it. It covers a LOT of people, so many in fact most entries are a single page. The goal of the book is clearly to show these women existed at all; providing the reader a chance to find out more about them if they choose.

While it’s a bit of a massive info-dump, it’s a great primer on what has been achieved in women’s rights and shows the work that still needs to be done. If you want to dip your toes into the history of women’s rights, absolutely hand them this book. 4 out of 5.

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