Lenni Reviews: “Lovesickness” a Junji Ito Story Collection

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

The collection of horror stories really shows Ito’s range as to what he can make horrible. I think my favorite is “The Mansion of Phantom Pain” but the entire saga of the cover character “Beautiful Boy and the Crossroads” is good, too. Super gory in this case, so be aware of that if gore is not your thing.

This is a solid offering with another funny story at the end featuring a fake poop. The volume leaves you with a laugh if you need to recover from the rest of the stories. 5 out of 5.

 

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Writing Update: More ‘Fruit of the Dead!’

I have been working on more stories and while I had to put my longer-form stuff aside for a bit, I have been working on some shorter material! And what I’ll be publishing next is part two of Fruit of the Dead! It’s been a while and I needed to get back to working on this series and get some more parts in before I start outlining the next Go Away Girls book.

Yeah, I’m outlining now. I’m usually a pantser, but this is helping me get to my goal of publishing more often. And if I’m able to write faster, I’ll have time to read more and finally get my Kindle to stop showing that error message…

I have more reviews to post but I’ll keep everyone updated on the new releases and my progress!

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Finally Watched It: Lovecraft Country (2020)

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I went back and forth about doing an episode by episode breakdown of this series. If you’d like that let me know (like I did WAAAAY back with Battle Royale) but this is my impression based on the first two episodes. That I’ve watched a few times just to catch as much as I could.

First of all I want to rub it ALL THE WAY in that this series is filled with Black and Brown people while Lovecraft himself was a racist. As a horror fan, enjoying Lovecraft became difficult when, ya know… He wouldn’t see me as an actual human. I get a little thrill out of things that piss off racists. It’s my fetish. Don’t judge me.

I have fuzzy memories of an uncle of mine either talking about or owning a copy of ‘The Negro Motorist Green Book.‘ I know Ma told me about it in a really roundabout way that was indicative of a lot of Black families that wanted to keep certain things unspoken for the young ones. (Boy do I have stories about the AIDS epidemic and Army recruiters at my high school…)

I can just feel the love in this. The writing is perfect. I can literally see stories told to me by my grandmother and her siblings come to life among a horror story that keeps me engaged. It’s really cool and I am so glad this is a thing that’s happening. It’s filling a horror hole in my heart that felt cheated by what’s been coming out of American Horror Story these days (it’s OKAY, just not blowing me away like the first season).

And yes… My literary geek ass has added as many of the books I saw in the series on my TBR list… Because clearly, it’s too short.

“Don’t let them make you question yourself. That’s how they win. They want to make us crazy, terrorize us, make us scared.” Man, if that isn’t the path of the oppressor/abuser. Fantastic.

And I shall leave my assessment of these first two episodes with this… 

Spoilers… 

Fuck that. Justice for Uncle George.

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Lenni Reviews: “Kick-Ass: The New Girl” Book Two by Steve Niles & Marcelo Frusín

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Patience is expanding her reach, taking down or absorbing increasingly dangerous criminal organizations. Doing good with her money, she also has people working with her and using her money to help her community. But Patience has made dangerous enemies who are not happy with her meddling.

This volume goes more into the real issues dealing with a double life and how it affects her family. While I enjoy the idea of Patience leading this gang to do some good, I don’t feel like this idea is explored. It’s just told to us while the meat of this is the other cartels and mob trying to taker her down. Probably to keep up with the requisite need for tons of violence. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Kick-Ass: The New Girl” Book One by Mark Millar & John Romita Jr.

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Veteran and single mom Patience has to find a way to make ends meet. When she runs into and takes down some criminals, she decides to make pummeling bad guys a lucrative sidehustle.

This is an interesting way to continue the Kick-Ass name with a fresh new character. I like that it’s someone familiar with combat and planning. Patience is smart, capable, and has a LOT to lose if something happens to her on the job or if she’s found out. It’s also much less negative than it’s predecessor. There are likable people to follow and I’m interested in what happens next. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Stars of History: Marilyn Monroe” by Bernard Swysen, Paty Christian

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

This graphic novel is a fast-paced biography of Marilyn Monroe starting from birth until her untimely death.

And by fast-paced, I mean very, VERY rushed account of her life. I like the art style for the expressive faces but the body proportions are iffy in places; like all of a sudden someone will have a HUGE behind or look like their back is broken. Unlike something like Irena – a biographical comic that is entertaining and detailed enough to act as a jumping-off point for further research – this book is more like a cliff-notes of a real biography. It’s ok but superficial. I think it should have taken more time to really dig deep but maybe they had page constraints. 3.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Irena: Life After the Ghetto” by Jean-David Morvan, Séverine Tréfouël & David Evrard

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

This volume follows Irena as she continues to help children and others as the war winds down; acting as  a nurse to help injured people.

This is still a great series highlighting the bravery of a woman who just wanted to do the right thing during horrible times. Everything is handled tastefully and it’s really inspiring. I think Irena would like this series if she could see it. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Paris 2119” by Zep & Dominique Bertail

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

Set in the far future, Tristan Keys is one of the few who still looks back on the past with nostalgia; avoiding teleportation devices in favor of walking and loving printed books. But when he see what appears to be a duplicate of his current boss wandering around insane, he is sucked into a noir-ish mystery witn dark sci-fi elements.

I like the concept and Tristan is an interesting character to follow through this adventure but it just… Stops. I expected more; maybe taking down the big baddie or exposing a really dangerous secret but, nope. It just ends. It felt too anticlimactic for me to give this more than a 3 out of 5, even if the art is really good.

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Lenni Reviews: “Elfen Lied Omnibus” Volume 4 by Lynn Okamoto

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In the final volume, Lucy makes her final stand against the organization hunting her and putting her friends in danger.

Well, everything just goes completely sideways in this volume. It’s not the ending I expected but it seemed fittingly bombastic and touching. I feel it was well worth my time getting through four huge books. The plot got fleshed out with the Diclonii vs Humans and Lucy wanting a normal life. But of course, if you are familiar at all with this series’ reputation, you may want to avoid it due to the high body count, nudity, and gore. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Scarlet Gospels”(Hellraiser #2) by Clive Barker

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After reading Hellbound Heart, I made sure to get my hands on the sequel. This stars Detective Harry D’Amour, who has devoted himself to the supernatural after an encounter that killed his partner. As Pinhead makes some major moves leaving a trail of death, Harry and other mystically inclined friends move to stop him.

Okay… I kinda liked this book. It functions really well on it’s own. My problem with it is that it’s a sequel to a book that barely featured Pinhead. I’m left with a feeling that the movie’s popularity impacted this story; because the main Cenobite in the first was female and there’s hardly a mention of her here. 

In viewing this book as a better sequel to the movies (anything after Hellraiser 2 is not worth watching, in my opinion), it’s a worthy addition to the universe. It’s really dark, the stakes are high, and it’s just brutal – as to be expected of anything Hellraiser.  It was just strange reading these back to back and not feeling the connection from one to the next. I liked it but this is clearly riding on Pinhead’s popularity. 3.4 out of 5.

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