Lenni Reviews: “The Golden Sheep” Vol. 3 (The Golden Sheep #3) by Kaori Ozaki

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

No, I haven’t read the first two so let us just dive in.

Asari, Sora, Yuushin, and Tsugu are all friends who have drifted apart as they grew older and their lives change as teenagers. It’s a heartwarming and poignant story about coming of age and friendship with a few bits of romance sprinkled in. If you are in need of something fairly light-hearted, this is a cute story.

There is also a side story of a soul who comes to Earth as a young woman’s baby. This soul loves this woman so much, it keeps coming back as anyone and anything just to be near her. It’s bittersweet but adorable. Overall 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Wave, Listen to Me!” Vol. 1 by Hiroaki Samura

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

Minare Koda goes out drinking after a breakup and drunkenly confides to a fellow customer. Unbeknownst to her, he works in radio and not only recorded the conversation but played it on air without her permission.

I requested this book because the premise sounded funny and I am a fan of Samura’s art from back in his Blade of the Immortal days. And while of course, his art is fantastic, this story didn’t interest me as much as I thought it would. Minare is kinda unlikeable; often getting too drunk to control herself and giving other people trouble. But sadly, I was bored and I doubt I will read any more of this series. 2.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Night Witches” by Garth Ennis & Russ Braun

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

This graphic novel presents the story of The Night Witches through the lens of a fictional character, Anna.

At first, I was excited to get a graphic novel about The Night Witches. If you check out that Wikipedia entry, you can see they were awesome. But then, I see the main character is fictional and I felt immediate disappointment. Call me petty but I didn’t want characters based on the real women, I wanted the real women. Irena may have some dramatizations but Irena existed. But I give it the benefit of the doubt and read it.

Oof…

I didn’t even like Anna, everything felt so forced – including all the random sex scenes –  the villains feel over the top, and the art style didn’t click with me at all. I could tell there was an effort but, it all felt sour at the end. If anything, hopefully, this will get people curious enough to do further reading. 2 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Ajin: Demi-Human” Vol. 13 by Gamon Sakurai

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Sato demands to rule Japan from a hostage situation and Kei goes face to face with Sato at last. Meanwhile, the government tries a coverup of the anti demi-human activities despite the taskforce mobilizing anyway.

This volume had that great balance of plot and action that I’ve come to enjoy from this series. Smart displays of strategy, interesting use of the demi-human’s abilities, and just enough of a cliffhanger that I’m interested in the next volume. Very awesome. 5 out of 5 for just being shamelessly entertaining.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Grand Dark” by Richard Kadrey

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

Largo Moorden works as a bike courier and lives a life of sex, drugs, and indulgence with his actor girlfriend Remy. But when people start disappearing and there is talk of war, Largo finds himself mixed up in a strange and twisted conspiracy.

After I finished this book, I had to look at what other people were saying to see if my feelings that the slow-moving pace of this book is borderline unbearable. I did find many people simply gave up and I can see why. Things don’t really start ramping up in action until the 58% mark. Relevant details and world-building do happen but it’s peppered with Largo’s day to day life and his drug addiction, theatre friends, and job. It’s written well; you get the feeling of this decadent behavior in a city very segregated by wealth but it takes so long to get to the meat of the matter. If you’re willing to put in the work, the payoff is pretty good. If not, you’ll end up quitting. 2.9 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “Come Home, Indio” by Jim Terry

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

This graphic novel is the memoir of Native American Jim Terry, as he grows through his childhood with alcoholic parents, growing up to struggle with alcoholism himself, his identity in the Native American community, and losing his parents.

Despite it being pretty depressing, this is a great memoir with amazing art that sets the mood well. It’s unflinchingly honest and raw, leaving you with a hopeful note at the end. If you’re into graphic memoirs, this is a unique story. 4 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “Komi Can’t Communicate” Vol. 8 by Tomohito Oda

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

The bulk of this book is devoted to the class trip to Kyoto and Komi is scared to go because she skipped the last one because she had no friends to hang out with. But now, she’s able to muster the courage to go and have a good time.

We also meet a new character, Naruse; a narcissist convinced Komi is in love with him because he thinks everyone adores him. He warps every situation he’s in as “they’re only doing it because I’m so amazing. Thank goodness the trip is most of the book because Naruse is annoying. The rest is just so wholesome and genuine, it put a smile on my face. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Jealousy” Vol. 1 by Scarlet Beriko

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

Rogi is a yakuza head and after Hachi throws himself in front of his car, Rogi decides to take him in. This book also tells the story of how Akitora meets Uichi Rogi when coming to collect a debt, finding Uichi bound to the debtor’s bed. There is an instant connection and Uichi sets his mind on joining the yakuza to be with Akitora.

This story has me hooked and mostly because of how insane Rogi is in going about becoming a yakuza. I am so shocked he lived through the volume! He reminds me of Queen Zazau where I’m facepalming at the questionable decisions in dealing with very dangerous people. I’m excited to see what happens but at the same time, he frustrates me. 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Sleeping Beauties” by Stephen King and Owen King

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When women fall asleep, they are covered in a cocoon like a catapillar. If anyone tries to wake them, they lash out with terrible violence. At the same time, a mysterious woman calling her self Evie appears, cryptically knowing what happened to all the women and how to cure them.

I read this right after I re-read The Stand and I found it funny the people start forming these committees. It just made me laugh.

Also, co-reading Drifting Classroom at the same time is a mistake I will not repeat…

But back to the point, Eveie’s plan confuses me. If the point was to make men value women more, she let a LOT of women get killed in the process (this isn’t spoilers if you are familiar with King’s work at all). And while I totally understand how it all relates to women having unique trauma and a critique of “traditional” male and female gender roles bit – and this is a bit of a spoiler – it really, REALLY bothered me that Lila in particular just sort of dismissed her husband’s unique trauma; which if you read the book he’s had a rough life. But she doesn’t even fake lip service to it. What a bitch…

Anyway, I liked this book. It was harrowing and really sad but if you like King, you will like this book. 4 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “Ajin: Demi-Human” Vol. 12 by Gamon Sakurai

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The set up in the previous volume is followed through as Sato’s plan for The Ministry of Welfare is revealed. And if you’re this deep in the series, I’m sure it’s not spoilers when I say that plan certainly did not include any sort of negotiation. And Izumi gets some really badass time in the spotlight.

Sometimes, I have to wonder if Sato is this overpowered or the plot hobbles his opponents for the sake of the plot. I get that he’s experienced but I feel like someone should have at least wounded him by sheer accident with how many bullets are flying around. Or even considering we’re 12 volumes in; the cannon fodder would be a bit more effective.

And are the human authority figures really gonna keep treating the demi-humans like shit? I mean really? Have they learned nothing? “Hey, these super-powerful beings we brutally experimented on aren’t happy about that and are getting revenge. We should hurt them more!” But that’s me as the reader. Anyway, this volume makes up for the previous with some great action and a fast pace. 4.9 out of 5.

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