Lenni Reviews: “Burn the Witch” Vol. 1, by Tite Kubo

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

Set in the same universe as Bleach, dragons and magic are real in Reverse London and the agents of the Wing Bind are the only people able to fight them. Noel and Ninny are witches and Wing Bind agents who battle dragons in secret. But they risk being exposed when Noel’s classmate, Balgo, is targeted by a dragon.

This volume has just the right balance of fantasy, humor, magic, and intrigue. Our audience stand-in, Balgo, is just goofy enough without getting annoying (yet, we’ll see how it goes) and Ninny’s high energy works well with Noel’s deadpan nature. I see potential in this and I hope there’s much more. While I haven’t read Bleach, I am familiar with the series and I wonder if this series will take a similar path. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Mao” Vol 1, by Rumiko Takahashi

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

Nanako is a seemingly normal high school girl being raised by her grandparents after her parents died in a tragic accident. One day while she walking, she goes through a portal and finds herself in Taisho era Japan (the 1920’s) and is able see auras and demons. Here, she meets Mao, an exorcist on a mission to kill the demon that cursed him.

This is classic Takahashi and I love it. There’s great lore and tons of it, fun fantasy, intrigue, cool characters, and a mystery that will keep you coming back. I look forward to more after a strong start to this fantasy series. 4.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Norroway 2: The Queen on the High Mountain” by Cat Seaton & Kit Seaton

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

Seven years have passed and Sibylla is captured by the Troll Queen, jeopardizing the prophesy she must fulfill

There’s some interesting palace intrigue going on here in this rich fantasy world. There’s a lot of lore to play around with and I didn’t expect a 7 year jump from the first volume. That’s an interesting choice since most stories are quick to get to the big prophesy part right away. This is an interesting twist giving room for a compelling cast of characters. I like the uniqueness. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Girl from the Sea” by Molly Ostertag

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Like most teenagers, Morgan dreams of leaving her small seaside town so she can be herself. After her parents divorce, her and her little brother are having trouble dealing with all the emotions, leading Morgan to take a walk near a cliff; only to be saved by an old and exceptional friend.

This was a sweet book with some great representation and a nice simple story. It’s perfect for it’s age group and had beautiful art. I would have liked to see more of it but the ending is satisfactory as it is and makes this all a light hearted read with great characters. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “No. 5” Vol. 1, by Taiyo Matsumoto

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

Post apocalypse, humans created a race of super humans and called them The Peace Corps Commanders. One has gone rogue and needs to be hunted down.

Reading this is like trying to remember parts of different dreams you had the night before. I kept turning the pages thinking “I’m sure this will all come together and make sense soon” but I read this twice and all I can tell you is that there’s things that happened. I like the art butI don’t get it. I like to think I’m smart and can interpret well but this is just madness. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Monstress” Vol. 4 by Marjorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda

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Maika still hunts for answers yet keeps meeting grave danger and hoards of secrets.

The art is almost distractingly good at this point. I had to go back and read this a couple of times because I kept marveling over the pictures. I think this would make an amazing animated series if they kept this art style. Maika is a great character to follow and the supporting cast is interesting enough that you don’t feel like you’re missing anything when the focus changes. I can’t way for more of this! 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Ragna Crimson” Vol. 1, by Daiki Kobayashi

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Ragina wants to be a better dragon hunter in order to protect his friend, Leonica. Leonica is a master level dragon hunter; at only 12 she is the most respected and feared in the country. While others may mock her for keeping a ‘weakling’ like Ragina around, she’s more than happy to have him around. But when a new threat nearly kills Ragina and puts Leonica in danger, Ragina makes a dangerous choice with his newfound abilities.

There are some interesting time travel elements to this that I did not expect. In fact, there’s a lot done with this premise that I didn’t expect and it was a pleasant surprise! I’ve been looking for a new high fantasy manga to read and this is a great start to a series. It has some humor, great action, and an interesting twist. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Mask of a Thousand Tears” by David Chauvel & Roberto Ali

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

After the death of her fiancée, Sadakyo heads off on a journey for the fabled Mask of a Thousand Tears to bring him back to life. On the way, she encounters Masamura, a peasant who decides to accompany her on this quest.

This is a beautifully illustrated tale but is sadly only a part one. It feels like there are chunks missing; as if those parts would be paragraphs of exposition in a regular novel. This leaves the part one feeling incomplete and not just because it’s without a part two. I want to like this more but it left me feeling very “meh.” 3.6 out of 5.

 

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Lenni Reviews: “Karmen” by Guillem March

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is recommended for mature readers..

Karmen comes upon Catalina as she’s cutting herself and takes her on a journey in order to rethink how she is living her life.

Trigger warning for self harm, suicide, and rape.

Karmen, clearly a spirit of some kind, reminds me of Death from the Sandman comics in a way. The difference here is whatever Karmen is, there’s a bunch of them and there’s in implication she’s taking too ling with shepherding Catalina’s soul to wherever she’s supposed to go. I wonder what is so special about Catalina, or perhaps what’s so special about Karmen, that will keep this story going. It’s trippy and cool with some amazing art. I am very curious to see what happens next. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Red Sonjia: Queen of Plagues” vol 1 by Gail Simone and Walter Geovani

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A freed slave and former gladiator, Red Sonja has a fierce reputation, lethal skills, iron will, and high alcohol tolerance. In this first volume, they reveal her past as she comes to terms with some old demons as well as friends and foes.

Holy shit is this batter than the movie and I grew up with that wishing I could swing a sword. Harkening back to traditional sword and sorcery fantasy pulp comics, the art is crisp but weathered like reading an ancient scroll. The characters are interesting, funny, and powerful and I had a great time reading it. It’s awesome to see Red Sonja come back and come back strong. I tried not to put in too much plot as I think it would spoil the journey but this is totally worth picking up.

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