Lenni Reviews: “The Prey of Gods” by Nicky Drayden

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

Set in a futuristic South Africa where everyone has a personal robot and designer drugs are a frequent past time; we have a seemingly unconnected cast of characters slowly drawn into what could be a cataclysmic series of events.

I really can’t say too much more about the plot without spoiling the experience of how a young man named Muzi, his layabout friend, Elkin, a nail technician named Sydney, a superstar singer named Riya, a politician named Sydney, and a young girl named Nomvula are all connected to the end of the human race. You just need to read this. It’s ruthlessly creative, character-driven, thrilling, and almost perfect except for some aspects of the ending I didn’t like; which I won’t spoil. I loved it and highly recommend it if you’d like some futuristic sci-fi in a unique setting. 5 out of 5 and I hope there is more to come.

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Lenni Reviews: “Blood on the Tracks” Vol. 1, by Shūzō Oshimi

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Seiichi seems like a normal teenage boy with nice friends and a girl that likes him. He does well in school and has a good family life. Except for his mother Seiko, who is strangely overprotective of him; culminating in a dark, life changing event.

Even putting aside my familiarity with this manga-ka and the synopsis of the volume, Seiko is creepy from the start. I spent the whole volume waiting for her to snap. I believe it’s Oshimi’s art that – while lovely – telegraphs she’s demented and about to do something terrible. There’s still a terrible tension to it because you really don’t expect the form it takes and it is shocking. You’re left to wonder what the heck is going to happen from here. If you like creeping horror, this is great. 4.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Heathen” Volume 3 by Natasha Alterici

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Aydis makes the final push in her journey to The Land of the Gods to confront Odin face to face while his army marches on her home village. With the Valkyrie under his control, Aydis must find a way to end Odin’s manipulation and save her village from destruction.

While the conclusion felt rushed, I like how this series ended. It was fitting – as if everything was restored to it’s proper place without resorting to excessive amounts of bloodshed. I’m sad to see Aydis’ story come to an end and perhaps it could have needed an additional volume (or perhaps just more pages in this one). I can see myself re-reading this series just to enjoy the beautiful art and strong characters over and over. 4.7 out of 5. 

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Lenni Reviews: “Irena: Book Two: Children of the Ghetto” by Jean-David Morvan

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

In a switch up in form, this volume starts with Oliwka, one of the children Irena saved, telling her story to her own daughter before an event where Irena speaks to continue from where the first volume left off. Irena is saved from prison and immediately goes back to helping people escape.

Much like the first, I found this to be beautifully and tastefully done. If you want to introduce someone to Irena’s story and work, I think this is a great primer for further research. The art may be simple but it gets the point across as to the horrors of this point in history. If you like historical graphic novels, this is a great read. 4.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “No Guns Life” Vol. 8, by Tasuku Karasuma

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

While Juzo is still recovering, this volume gives us more information on Tetsuro, Harmony, and The Beruhren via some inside informants. There’s a new Harmony prototype in the works and despite not having his core, Juzo plans to rescue Victor from a weapons vault called Wunder Bender.

In addition to the main story; that gets creepy but I won’t spoil why, there is an extra of Juzo helping his landlord out of a jam and with all the heavy things going on, it was nice to have a bit a levity with that story. I would like to see all these plot threads become more cohesive. I found myself getting a bit lost wondering who’s conspiring against who and why. But still good! 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Vampire State Building” by Ange, Patrick Renault & Charlie Adlard

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

Meeting up before he goes to Afghanistan, Terry, his girlfriend Rachael and his cousin Ashley meet up at the Empire State Building. Unfortunately, a horde of vampires overtake the building, cutting everyone off from the outside and leading to a massacre and Terry has to fight to get them out.

I like the premise and this is an interesting read but I didn’t feel much after it was done. It just kinda happened. This is like 30 Days of Night but instead of a small town it’s schmushed into one building. I think I would have liked this more if it had more time and the story didn’t feel crunched down.

But then again, how long would the vampires really be able to hold the entire building before the authorities clean house? I shouldn’t expect something really drawn out. This isn’t isolated Alaska; it’s a major city post 9/11. They’re gonna eliminate the threat ASAP whether they believe its vampires or not.

Anyway, despite leaving me wanting more, I did find it compelling, well drawn, and really creative. If there’s more, I’d check it out. 3.9 out of 5.

 

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Lenni Reviews: “The Medium-Sized Book of Zim Scripts: Vol. 1: Pigs ’n’ Waffles: The stories, and the stories behind the stories of your favorite Invader” by Rikki Simons, Eric Trueheart & Aaron Alexovich

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

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

This book is a collection of not only scripts but behind the scenes stories. I knew I would love this book from the introduction, which has all the wit and humor once comes to expect from a show like Invader Zim. I’m not even one for digging into the background goings-on of a show I like; tending to just enjoy my chosen media and move on (or watch repeatedly). Despite this, I had a great time with the backstories and inspirations for the plots in the episodes.

This book brings even more fun to the original show and has me wanting to binge the entire thing all over again to see the fruits of such interesting labors. And these side stories are fantastically written. You get the feeling of being there with the emotions expressed and interactions of everybody – especially towards the end with the show’s cancellation. It isn’t accurate to say I can’t know what it would be like to work with these people because this book showed me and I am delighted to have read it. I encourage fans of the show to give this a try.

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Finally Watched It – Challenge Edition: “The Horseman” (2008)

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So, I found me a source for fucked up movies and I’m basically looking for something that fills that description. This was one of the offerings. 

A divorced dad loses his daughter to what seems like a drug overdose. But he receives a mysterious videotape the mail showing the snuff film that lead to her demise so he embarks on a journey of brutal revenge.

This? This movie was amazing. I had a blast watching this. Our main character Christian, finds out his daughter has been horribly used, assaulted, and left for dead; then enacts his bloody vengeance. And this isn’t something like Taken where the protagonist is some super soldier, Christian is just a guy who is pissed the fuck off and wants the people who hurt his kid to pay. There’s even a touching story with a runaway he befriends!

I have to give props to the fights in this movie. There are times where I legit felt like I was watching two dudes just duking it out with no training and taking actual damage. It was visceral and really cool! 

It wasn’t super graphic, the rape is off screen, everything is as gory as it needs to be to get the point across. I was rooting for Christian the whole time and I actually recommend this if you don’t expect a completely happy ending. This is an Australian movie; where Wolf Creek hails from. In fact, I think the fact the ending didn’t give me the answers I wanted pissed me off a little… But not enough to ruin the overall experience.

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