Lenni Reviews: “Alchemy” by Marie S. Crosswell

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

In this gender swapped and modern take on Sherlock Holmes; Holmes and her partner Watson are assigned to a case where a homeless woman has been murdered and Holmes’ name is carved into the corpse. But with her nemesis, Moriarty firmly in jail, Holmes must track down the killer before more people die with her name on them.

The idea of a female Holmes, Watson, and Lestrade is cool but I think this should have been a full novel rather than a short story. The concept buckles under a lackluster resolution to the mystery itself, which is kinda important when you’re adapting or parodying Sherlock Holmes. The representation of Holmes’ asexuality, Watson being a lesbian, and a budding romance between Holmes and Inspector Lestrade is done really well and I enjoyed those parts but it wasn’t enough to balance out my disappointment with the mystery. That’s a shame considering such a great setup and good writing! 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Antisocial” by Heidi Cullinan

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

Xander Fairchild isn’t a fan of people in general but preppy frat boys in particular. So, when Skylar Stone asks Xander to be the subject of his school assignment, Xander would rather hide in his art and be left alone. But Skylar, smitten completely by Xander’s art, manages to break through that hard outer shell and the pair grow closer over the course of the summer.

Despite the initial enjoyment of our two main leads coming together, this story limped through to the conclusion. Halfway through, this book became work; including minute detail into side plots and endless fan worship of Japanese culture, manga, and anime. I wanted to like this; especially with the added exploration of “grey sexuality” or asexuality but yikes, the slog to get to the end was merciless. I give this book a 2 out of 5 for making me feel like I was doing homework.

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Lenni Reviews: “Black Angel” by Kyell Gold

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Meg, an asexual otter, is having strange visions of another life. As these visions become more vivid, she grapples with her feelings about her friend, Athos; who has obvious interest in her.

This is a YA, fantasy, furry novel and while it is so important to have all types of sexuality represented for young adults, I had SO much trouble getting into this book. When it gets to the point – meaning the meaning behind Meg’s visions – it is interesting. Otherwise, it’s a slow journey through scenes I skimmed just so I could get to the point. I wanted to like this, I really did and it is very likely this book missed its mark because I am NOT the target audience but I didn’t enjoy this book. I give it a 3 out of 5 for being competent and representing a sorely ignored demographic.

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