Lenni Reviews: “Lucifer Vol. 1: The Infernal Comedy” by Dan Watters, Max Fiumara, Sebastian Fiumara

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With the Dreaming broken and the Dream King missing, the son of Lucifer begins some dastardly plans. Lucifer himself is now a blind old man who must hunt down his own son to save the world. Meanwhile, a police officer John Decker finds something strange is going on in his recovery group.

I want to say this one is as cool as the first two I’ve read but I found this one to be the most confusing so far. The story has to jump between Lucifer trying to track down the mother of his son to whatever the heck Decker is going through with the demons haunting his friends. I liked it but not as much of the others. 3.8 out of 5.

 

Lenni Reviews: “The Dreaming Vol. 1: Pathways and Emanations” by Simon Spurrier, Bilquis Evely, Neil Gaiman

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Taking full advantage of having different storylines in different books take place in the same universe, this volume starts with the same intro as all the other volume 1’s then branches off into its own story; this time within the crumbling Dreaming itself. Desperate to hold the world together in the Dream King’s absence, Lucien the librarian releases the Judge to keep order but he goes way too far.

This is a really cool story that doesn’t go the way you would expect. The main star is really Dora, a resident of the dreaming who is struggling with her identity. I honestly kept waiting for Dream to sweep in and fix everything but that would be way too easy. the art here is on point here again and the story also gets confusing here as well but I think this is because there’s a chunk of backstory here that I’m missing. These are the type of books you read more than once to catch the little details and I’m down for that. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “House of Whispers” vol 1 by Nalo Hopkinson, John Rauch, Sean Murray, Dominike Stanton & Maika Sozo

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The Dream King is missing and the Dreaming is falling apart. The consequences spill out into the waking world when Maggie and her girlfriend Latoya find a strange book and the spells inside put Latoya in a coma.

As is typical of something in Gaiman’s universe, there is a LOT going on and trying to explain it all would result in spoiling some of the more interesting bits. So, I will have to cop out and say the art is beautiful, and I love the use of Voodoo lore in the story. There are some parts that are confusing and I’m hoping the next book will clear things up. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Tea Dragon Festival” by Katie O’Neill

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

In a sort of prequel to Tea Dragon Society, this book follows Rin, an aspiring cook and excellent forager in the village of Silverleaf. While out searching for ingredients, she happens upon Aedhan, a dragon who has been asleep for the last 80 years.

Much like its predecessor, this comic’s story is as warm and rich as the beautiful color palate. We sit back and enjoy Aedhan slipping back into his role as protector of the village. Hesekiel and Erik are the connecting thread from the first book and they’re here to work out what kept Aedhan asleep for so long.

You can just curl up with these books and you get the feeling of wandering barefoot through a lush forest. They’re so calming and beautiful and not a bit boring despite not being chock full of sword-swinging or magical battles. A joy to read multiple times. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “NewsPrints” by Ru Xu

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Masquerading as a boy, Blue loves her job as a newsboy delivering papers so people can be informed in a time of war. The paper she works for is the only one that tells the truth so her job can be perilous. While on the run from boys from a rival paper, she happens upon an eccentric scientist and then a young boy named Crow with strange secrets of their own.

This is a cute little book in a steampunk sort of world with odd gadgets and scientists with goggles. While overall entertaining and gorgeous to look at, this is a familiar story; plucky girl, quirky scientist, enigmatic boy with a secret, and government secrets. If you’ve never read something like this before, you may enjoy this more than I did. Not to say I didn’t like it or have fun reading it but I have seen this all before. 3.6 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Alice: From Dream to Dream” by Giulio Macaione, Giulia Adragna, Giulia Adragna, & Jim Campbell

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Alice has the unique ability to share dreams with whomever she’s sleeping next to. Not a good situation when her family has recently moved and she must share a room with her older brother. She can’t get a good night’s sleep, can’t tell her parents, and Alice is bullied mercilessly at school. Her one saving grace is her best friend Jamie. But when he’s left in a coma after a car accident, Alice must use her abilities to bring Jamie back, unearthing family secrets in the process.

This is a cute riff on the Alice in Wonderland theme. Alice herself is a bit of a doormat to the point where it is not just gratifying to see her standing up for herself, it’s a relief! The art is perfect for this story, nailing the mundane and the otherworldly in a story that’s surprisingly compelling given its short length. It was easy to read this more than once and still enjoy it and the conclusion is satisfying. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “To Your Eternity” vol 2 by Yoshitoki Oima

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As March and Parona are carried off as prisoners with Fushi, Parona is determined to get March to safety and devises a daring escape. But their captors want to use them to find out what exactly Fushi is even if they have to rip him apart to do it.

In addition to the daring escape, this volume also touches on where Fushi may have come from. There are still plenty of questions and hints about some much grander schemes but overall this is an intriguing story so far. Oima sure doesn’t hesitate to hit you in the feels, though, so don’t get too attached. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Monstress” vol 1 by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda

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Maika Halfwolf is looking for answers. Obsessed with her search, she will even allow herself to be captured by a sadistic woman who performs experiments on Arcanics like Maika. But it is all worth the risk for Maika to learn the secrets behind the brand on her chest and her magical powers.

The setting here is a heavily stylized steampunk and high fantasy mashup colored in a dark palate to reflect the danger and twisted nature of this world. The art deco style is beautifully detailed and is lucky to be backed by great characters and a well written story. It’s not a happy story at all. This is a dark fantasy where magic users with no ethics will dissect children for their power, ruthless public executions take place for purposes of propaganda, and our main hero is more than willing to step over your corpse to get what she wants. But it’s gorgeous, compelling and I can’t wait to read the next one. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “To Your Eternity” vol 1 Yoshitoki Oima

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In this beautiful manga, we follow a mysterious orb after it falls to Earth. The orb has the power to transform into whatever it touches. As it encounters increasingly more complicates forms, the orb happens upon a young girl named March while in the form of a teenage boy.

This is a great book! I found out after I read this first volume that Oima also authored A Silent Voice (which I did read but went through it too fast to review for the blog). While a completely different genre, To Your Eternity also has the contrast of cute character design with serirous and harsh situations. It is lovely to look at and bittersweet, aside for the last page of the story with (spoilers) the talking dog. Something about that final image fails to be cute – as one would expect a talking dog to be – but instead is nightmare fuel. Other that that, I won’t give much more of the plot away as I feel it should be experienced by the reader. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Tea Dragon Society” by Katie O’Neil

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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

When she finds an injured tea dragon in the marketplace, young Greta – who is a blacksmith’s apprentice – returns the magical creature to its owner and learns the nearly forgotten art of crafting tea from the delicate leaves growing from the tea dragon’s bodies.

I found this to be the most refreshing fantasy comic I have read in a long time. The story Greta through 4 seasons as she meets Minette; a seer who has lost her memory, Hesekiel; one of the last remaining tea masters, and his partner Erik; a former adventurer who is now a paraplegic.

There are no grand adventures, no epic battles; just a little girl who finds a dragon and makes some friends. A delightfully progressive slice of life story with simple and beautiful art, about the only thing I can legitimately complain about is there isn’t enough of this. If this was a webcomic or a series, I would be reading it all the time. It’s very rare for me to find something so lighthearted yet well done and I find it perfect. 5 out of 5.

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