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Lenni Reviews: “Killing Stalking” by Koogi

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*This comic is rated 18+ and comes with just all the trigger warnings: rape, molestation, abuse, murder… Just YIKES.

Since there’s some sizable debate among readers about a summary a reviewer or… Well, anyone who writes their own synopsis, I’m gonna cover my ass for the time being and just copy and paste from the source:

Yoon Bum, a scrawny quiet boy, has a crush on one of the most popular and handsome guys in school, Sangwoo. One day, with Yoonbum’s obsession towards Sangwoo reaching its peak, Yoon Bum decides to enter Sangwoo’s home. But what he saw inside was not the Sangwoo he had dreamed of. (source)

Got that? Good. Now, into sorta of spoiler territory because based on the cover, the revelation shouldn’t be a surprise: Yoon Bum is trespassing in Sangwoo’s house and discovers the man he’s in love with is a serial killer. I dunno, reading that synopsis and seeing the cover to this? Is that really a spoiler?

This series… This series haunted me. Neither character is particularly likable. Bum is a stalker, Sangwoo is a killer (THAT’S THE TITLE!! GET IT!!!) so the ‘relationship’ here is unhealthy at the start.

And I cannot stress how spoilery talking about this will be because I am convinced it is impossible to talk about what is so compelling about this story without spoiling some of it.

Bum, of course, gets caught in Sangwoo’s apartment and is held prisoner. What unfolds is this bizarre mixture of Stockholm Syndrome, infatuation, psychosis, and do we even dare call it love? I don’t think so… But the way this is written, you somehow end up rooting for this couple? I read every available page in ONE DAY (and had some interesting dreams, let me tell you…) and had to stop several times to ask myself WHY. Why do I keep clicking, why do I keep reading, why have I not run SCREAMING in the other direction of this book!?

After some serious introspection (no really, I felt I had to ask myself some serious questions) I determined this: if you took out every single sexual element; this is a murder drama from the killer’s perspective. And Bum is no shrinking violet! There’s a scene (SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS) where Sangwoo has… Ok, he has a girl over and Bum is hiding just… Go read it or imagine this. Bum reaches for Sangwoo’s hand and because Sangwoo is an asshole, he squeezes Bum’s hand hard enough to hurt. Bum’s response? He bites Sanwoo hard enough to bleed.

What I took from that scene was Sangwoo saying “I am a monster. Do NOT expect tenderness from me.” And Bum’s response in that bite? “I know. And I’ll let you know how much I’ll take.”

I gotta respect this book; neither of our main leads breaks character. Sangwoo is not going to be cured by Bum’s love and if that happens, all would be ruined. Shit is very fucking REAL in this book and I think that’s part of what keeps me coming back. There’s no “the power of your love has made me normal” magical happy ending; this is dark and erotic and scary.

That and I read some pretty hilarious censored pages… Where, because censorship law is a THING in various countries, breasts and gore are ok but an actual penis is not… So, they hide it with a giant white blob… Which I will forever term “Lightsaber Dick” and congratulations if you know Star Wars and are familiar with that sound? I just made every single sex scene in this comic unintentionally hilarious for you. You’re welcome.

And I’m sure I’m not the first to coin that phrase but if I am? Credit me.

All in all? Man, I am NOT sure I can totally recommend this. There is sex, rape, murder, gore, dubious con, manipulation, GROSSLY INCOMPETENT POLICE WORK, abuse… This is two damaged SICK people in a VERY unhealthy relationship… I honestly just DON’T KNOW.

But when there’s a new chapter? I’m on board. That premise hooked me and the writing kept me there. And if you can take the heat? Well… Bum cleaned the kitchen. He’s not a bad cook, either.

Try this out at your own risk and don’t come crying to me if you have “strange” dreams.

I’m gonna… I’m gonna go read something clean and wholesome now.

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October Writing Update

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Ohh, baby!! Get ready!!

Something in my brain clicked and I have been pounding away at book 3. I ran through my second round of edits in one day because I was so excited to get it done.

In fact, I am SO excited that the first two chapters of Lost Brother will be posted – for patrons only – over on my Patreon page the second they are cleaned up.

Please note: You won’t really get what’s going on with the story unless you’ve read the first two books; links to my books on Amazon and Barnes and Noble are on the sidebar of this blog.

I am so PUMPED for this, I cannot even tell you. My beta reader (bless her heart as she endures my harassment) has told me how terrifying she finds this new threat and I can’t wait for you all to meet him.

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Lenni Reviews: “Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell

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I’ll be completely honest here, I’ve already read Neverwhere. I’ve seen the TV miniseries and I’ve read the graphic novel. If Gaiman wrote a phone book, I’d read it. But when offered the chance to review an illustrated edition of the book? Sign. Me. UP!

The story isn’t much changed (according to the forward, Gaiman made a few changes but I didn’t see anything major) so I’m gonna spent my time talking about the art. If you’ve ever seen an explorers notebook with sketches of the new plants, animals, and peoples he or she is encountering, that is how this book is illustrated. Some of the sketches are full page, some are half, and some weave through the margins. Since this story is about a man who stumbles into a new world, I think that format is perfect if you want an illustrated edition of the story.

If you are or know a fan of Neil Gaiman (whether they’ve read this book or not), you will love this edition. It would make a great gift because I know I loved recieving it.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Truth of Rock and Roll” by Matthew Keville

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

Our main character is facing a crossroads; obey his father and go to business school or chase his dreams. An old man overhears the argument and tells his own story about facing the same choice in his youth. What follows is a cautionary tale of magic and rock and roll.

Full disclosure: This author is a friend of mine who reads my blog and asked me to check out his work. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know I will give my honest opinion, friend or not. Dog shit is dog shit even if its your friend’s dog.

That being said, this is NOT dog shit. The way the supernatural elements are running in the background of real life and you get the sense you could see them if you just opened your eyes properly reminded me of some of Gaiman’s work (it also helps I’m also re-reading Neverwhere). Our two main characters may be nameless but their personalities are so well fleshed out, I didn’t feel names were fully necessary.

Compact, entertaining, and touching, this is a magical little story about the dangers of playing life too safe and taking that chance to find your bliss. I left this story feeling inspired! 4 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “Generations” by Flavia Biondi

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

Matteo returns home after spending three years milling about with his boyfriend in Milan. With no job, no money, and little prospects, Matteo has no choice but to live in the same house as his grandmother, three aunts, and his very pregnant cousin. After fleeing this town feeling it was too small, especially after coming out, Matteo slowly rebuilds his connections to his family and discovers there is so much more to be appreciated about where he came from and where he could go in the future.

Watching Matteo reconnect with his family – for good or ill – is a bittersweet and beautifully drawn and written story. The strong lines of the art style make every page pop and the range of characters gives a wide breadth of experience; from the aimless wanderer to the estranged father trying to reconnect. You really get a sense of Matteo coming to terms not only with his family but with growing up in general. This book is a good tug at the heartstrings and I give this book a 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Scars of Jocasta Lacroix” by Jack Harvey

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

In this short story, Jocasta reveals the story of one of her scars to her wife, Katie. In the past, Jocasta spent some times as a hired bodyguard for a noble targeted by an assassin. As the reason behind the killer’s mission is revealed, Jocasta is caught in the middle of a messy web of betrayal and lies.

While this story is written well, every word of it feels like one of those prequel or 1.5 stories authors have in their series. There is an established modern world where Jocasta drives a car but her mission took place in horse and buggy times. And she’s part elf but no mention of her background? These inconsistencies had me scratching my head more often than not and the fairly by-the-book sex scenes didn’t make the book stand out any more. Not BAD but feels incomplete. 2.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Dirty Deeds” by HelenKay Dimon

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

Alec Drummond, a hard-assed billionaire, catches Gaige Owens trying to hack into his computers. After it is revealed Gaige is working for the government as it is suspected someone working for Alec may be tampering with the seed vault Alec meticulously runs. Rightfully suspicious of government monitoring, Alec agrees to let Gaige stay undercover for free access to investigate the tampering but Gaige will be under Alec’s consistent watch the entire time. And it doesn’t help that Gaige is exactly Alec’s type.

Gaige and Alec make an enjoyable couple and, like in Pathogen, they are smart, logical characters. Given the premise, it was nice to see such competency in a genre where it would be very easy to fluff your way to getting the pair in bed. Despite this, there are several places where more description was necessary and more subtlety was needed. I was able to guess who the villain was the second they were introduced and thus it made the rest of the book less suspenseful for me. All I ended up really caring about is how Alec and Gaige were going to work out their mistrust and get together. Their relationship is hot and sweet, the sex scenes are blush-worthy and don’t linger too long, but in the end, I can’t say this will leave much of an impact on me. I had fun reading it, though. 3 out of 5.

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Kal-Elle Fandom Monthly: Disney Villains

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  • Ursula earrings
  • Evil Queen bracelet
  • Maleficent necklace
  • Maleficent keychain
  • Villains magnet
  • Villains 4 x 6 art print
  • Poison Apple headband

I love this collection. Thre isn’t much more to be said. XD

The art is great, the item selection is as good as always and I love the little extra of the Evil Queen button. With all my running lately, I’ve been needing more headbands. I’ll  have to be careful with this one so I don’t mess it up.

The earrings and necklace are perfect for Halloween wear. There are only so many black cats and grinning pumpkins you can cycle through before it feels repetitive. And I’m sure this is no accident. Villains are the perfect theme for October. I would have liked to see something with Jafar or Chernabog from Night on Bald Mountain. After all, the theme is “Villains” not “Evil Queens.” Just because it’s a female-centered box, doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have loved a charm of Jafar’s staff or something like that. But, I bet that’s just me.

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Writing/Review Update

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You all may have noticed I haven’t been posting as often and that is because I am:

  1. Prepping for NYCC
  2. Working my way through some longer books
  3. Writing and editing some short stories

Don’t worry, I am ABSOLUTELY working and working a LOT. I am perpetually exhausted (especially since one book I finished nearly broke my brain). I plan is to get back to daily posting once these longer books are done.

And yes, Lost Brother has been on a hiatus while I finish these short stories. Why? Whelp, to be completely honest, I need the money. First Brood is a great series but it’s just not selling like the short stories are. As a result, I need more of those. Like with the blog posts, my hope is to write a bunch of them so I can publish them monthly or weekly (I haven’t decided which yet) and unfortunately, I have to prioritize paying the mortgage and keeping the lights on over my passion projects. It sucks but, sorry guys. I gotta do the adulting thing.

The project WILL get done. You all WILL get book three. You’ll just have to put up with some shorter stories first.

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