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Lenni Reviews: “A Fine Summer’s Day” by Charles Todd

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Inspector Rutledge is sent to investigate a murder where the victim had no known enemies. The more he investigates, the less the case makes sense until two other seemingly unrelated men lose their lives in the same way and Rutledge is led on a strange case he must solve before breaks out all over Europe.

This is a very detailed and thrilling historical mystery. I enjoyed this despite mysteries not really begin my thing and this this being the seventeenth in a series had no effect on my understanding. This book stands just fine on it’s own.

There are a few frustrating parts; especially Rutledge’s fiancee, Jean, who knows she’s marrying a police officer yet is somehow all huffy when he has to go do his job yet wants him to enlist in the army as World War I looms? She’s such a superficial character I couldn’t wait for her scenes to be over so the adults could talk again. But it’s a well written, cozy mystery with other very intuitive, smart, and realistic characters. 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “A Strange and Mystifying Story” by Tsuta Suzuki

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

*This review is cross-posted to Otakus and Geeks.

After the unfortunate death of his grandfather, Akio Yamane has no family left and believes he will soon join them. The Yamane family is cursed and Akio is indeed terminally ill. Delirious with fever, Akio desperately prays to a talisman his grandfather said would protect him and summons a demon he names Setsu. Akio begs Setsu to cure his illness and never dreamed how intimate Setsu’s “treatments” would be.

Setsu is a straightforward character and he’s written in a way that his brusque nature doesn’t come off assholeish like Eiri Yuki from Gravitation. You can tell he cares for Akio yet since he isn’t human he doesn’t bother with the niceties or waste time yet remains likable. Setsu and Akio play off each other well and the story doesn’t waste too much time on the typical slapstick. The sex scenes are mildly censored; naughty bits kept in shadow or vague outline and strategically placed word bubbles abound. But it’s still hot and the story is cute. 3.5 out of 5.

Note: There are also two side stories: Nylon Vinyl and The God’s Don’t Exist. The first is a contemporary teacher/student relationship and the second is a historical romance. They are pretty short so there isn’t much time for development but they were amusing sides to the main story. It would have been interesting to have them tie into Setsu somehow; as he has been bound to Akio’s family for many years. But they’re still cool.

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Limited Edition Loot Crate: Stranger Things 

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  • “Friends Don’t Lie” shirt
  • Stranger Things Trading Cards wax pack
  • Eleven and Hopper socks set
  • Creation Crib Eleven and Mike figure
  • Supremoscenes Eleven vs Demogorgon variant
  • Stranger Things 80’s Concert Button Set
  • Hawkins Middle School journal
  • Supremoplush Upside Down Barb

Yup. Best box ever. What else can I say? It has an AWESOME shirt big enough for me to sleep in, great figures, a journal, buttons, and OMG BARB!!! It may be a little morbid but man, is that plushie cute!

I am broke as hell and shouldn’t have spent the money on this but it was worth every freaking penny and more. It has all of my favorite types of items with creative designs and you can’t go wrong with the theme.

Well, I can think of ways it could go terribly wrong but it didn’t so, YAY!

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Lenni Reviews: “Monstress” vol 1 by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda

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Maika Halfwolf is looking for answers. Obsessed with her search, she will even allow herself to be captured by a sadistic woman who performs experiments on Arcanics like Maika. But it is all worth the risk for Maika to learn the secrets behind the brand on her chest and her magical powers.

The setting here is a heavily stylized steampunk and high fantasy mashup colored in a dark palate to reflect the danger and twisted nature of this world. The art deco style is beautifully detailed and is lucky to be backed by great characters and a well written story. It’s not a happy story at all. This is a dark fantasy where magic users with no ethics will dissect children for their power, ruthless public executions take place for purposes of propaganda, and our main hero is more than willing to step over your corpse to get what she wants. But it’s gorgeous, compelling and I can’t wait to read the next one. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “To Your Eternity” vol 1 Yoshitoki Oima

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In this beautiful manga, we follow a mysterious orb after it falls to Earth. The orb has the power to transform into whatever it touches. As it encounters increasingly more complicates forms, the orb happens upon a young girl named March while in the form of a teenage boy.

This is a great book! I found out after I read this first volume that Oima also authored A Silent Voice (which I did read but went through it too fast to review for the blog). While a completely different genre, To Your Eternity also has the contrast of cute character design with serirous and harsh situations. It is lovely to look at and bittersweet, aside for the last page of the story with (spoilers) the talking dog. Something about that final image fails to be cute – as one would expect a talking dog to be – but instead is nightmare fuel. Other that that, I won’t give much more of the plot away as I feel it should be experienced by the reader. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Spinning” by Tillie Walden

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We follow Tilly through her ice scating years as she struggles with growing up, coming out, and generally trying to figure out what to do with her life.

These graphic memoirs are really frustrating in a way because you see these talented kids with shitty parents and shitty friends trying desperately to find some sort of foothold in their lives. But I guess that’s the point, for these stories to get told and we can learn from them. But the mom and best friend in me bristles at the crappy people not helping our main character.

Putting my soapbox aside, this is an interesting read. I like the story, even if it gets slow sometimes, and I enjoyed learning all these things I never knew about figureskating. I can’t say this book is for everyone due to those moments in the story that are slow but I give this a solid 3.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Streak of Chalk” by Miguelanxo Prado

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Raul lands on a tiny, nearly deserted island where the only other non-resident there is a mysterious woman named Ana; who claims to be waiting for someone.

To quote the book: “This island predisposes you to believe in things that you wouldn’t believe in under ordinary circumstances.” Therefore, we can’t be sure what we’re seeing take place in the book is real. The art style does a great job of projecting that mysterious atmosphere; looking like oil or acrylic paintings. Some of the panels are REALLY dark, though; making it hard to make out some details.

Raul isn’t exactly the most likable of the small cast of characters. He’s pushy and arrogant; thinking because a female is near him, obviously, she must want to get with him and just can’t understand why she doesn’t fall into bed with him. Then the only other male characters introduced are also sexist assholes. Then it’s over.

While lovely, this is not a book for me. It felt like it was trying to hart to mean something and as a result, it didn’t feel like it meant anything. But man, is it pretty. 3 out of 5.

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November Loot Crate: Unity 2.0

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  • Voltron ‘ugly Christmas sweater’ t-shirt
  • Overwatch Widowmaker Funko Pop
  • Black Power Ranger Mini Fig
  • Loot Crate Unite 2.0 Pin
  • Official reprint of first Justice League comic with certificate of authenticity
  • VNV $10 credit

They had me at Voltron ugly Christmas shirt…

So, this is my second VNV credit thing, which I shall also give away to someone and I will also likely pass along the Widowmaker Pop to a real fan of the game. Don’t get me wrong, these things are awesome but I don’t feel deserving of them as I’m not really interested in them. That’s the cool thing about this is I can give them as gifts. ^_^

I do think they could have been a teeesnie bit more creative with the theme title tho. This is the littlest of nitpicks but yeah, I think they should have brainstormed a different name instead of just adding 2.0. Power Teams maybe?

That Voltron shirt redeems all, though.

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November Loot Anime: Besties

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  • Modoka Figure from Puella Madoka Magica by Banpresto
  • $10 VRV coupon
  • Seven Deadly Sins Hawk Eraser
  • One Piece Chopper String Backpack
  • Loot Anime Phone Charm
  • K-ON Manga
  • Poster

I know I usually don’t bother with the posters but I really liked the design of this one because it involves the best things in life: pets, books, and cardigans. This poster is librarian approved.

Overall, this is a cute selection of stuff. The little pig thing kinda freaked me out. It’s the biggest eraser I’ve ever owned…

Puella Madoka Magica is the only property I’m familiar with in this box. One day I’ll get around to Seven Deadly Sins but I couldn’t get into One Piece. I’ll probably pass this one on to a real fan along with the credit for the VRV anime service. I barely have time for the media I consume NOW, I refuse to add another.

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November Kal-Elle Monthly: Star Wars

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  • R2D2 necklace
  • Millennium Falcon earrings
  • Galactic Empire ring
  • 2018 Star Wars calendar
  • Princess Leia magnet
  • Rey and BB-8 slouchy hat
  • 4×6 art print

Unlike the Justice League bling-bling necklace, the R2D2 necklace isn’t this heavy thing that feels like only a nerdy rapper would wear it. The hat and everything else are fantastic and I love the fact a calendar was included. It’s going right on the wall ASAP. And the magnet, while making me a little sad, felt like a perfect tiny little tribute.

That means this box had me as excited as the previous ones. I put on the earrings immediately; as I have a Darth Vader dress. I am essentially putting together the ultimate geeky wardrobe. I love it.

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