Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol. 8 by Paru Itagaki

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

Vowing to protect his friends and fellow students, Legoshi has Gohin train him to control his desire for meat. Meanwhile, Louis wants to cut ties with school and his father and in his mob dealings, he meets an herbivore stripper named Cosmo. The final story features Sheila, a predator who is tired of being used as a social media prop for herbivores wants a real friend.

I keep ending these volumes wanting more. One day, I’m sure the omnibus editions will fly off the shelves. Haru pops in to remind us how adorable she is, Legoshi is on his way to being a cute but badass wolf, and Sheila’s shopping trip with a sheep names Peach is sweet and genuine. I hope the series keeps on getting better in the future. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Ajin: Demi-Human” Vol. 13 by Gamon Sakurai

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Sato demands to rule Japan from a hostage situation and Kei goes face to face with Sato at last. Meanwhile, the government tries a coverup of the anti demi-human activities despite the taskforce mobilizing anyway.

This volume had that great balance of plot and action that I’ve come to enjoy from this series. Smart displays of strategy, interesting use of the demi-human’s abilities, and just enough of a cliffhanger that I’m interested in the next volume. Very awesome. 5 out of 5 for just being shamelessly entertaining.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Grand Dark” by Richard Kadrey

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

Largo Moorden works as a bike courier and lives a life of sex, drugs, and indulgence with his actor girlfriend Remy. But when people start disappearing and there is talk of war, Largo finds himself mixed up in a strange and twisted conspiracy.

After I finished this book, I had to look at what other people were saying to see if my feelings that the slow-moving pace of this book is borderline unbearable. I did find many people simply gave up and I can see why. Things don’t really start ramping up in action until the 58% mark. Relevant details and world-building do happen but it’s peppered with Largo’s day to day life and his drug addiction, theatre friends, and job. It’s written well; you get the feeling of this decadent behavior in a city very segregated by wealth but it takes so long to get to the meat of the matter. If you’re willing to put in the work, the payoff is pretty good. If not, you’ll end up quitting. 2.9 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “Levius/est” Vol. 5 by Haruhisa Nakata

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

In his volume we have more Natalia versus Balthus with more interference by the horrid Dr. Clown. There’s amazing action and amazing use of the unique steam-powered tech the fighters use. And I really enjoy Natalia as a character.

But Dr. Clown Jack Pudding needs to be pushed off a bridge. What he pulled with Balthys and his sister is messed up and my priority in this series now is to see him get a fantastical comeuppance. I won’t spoil anything but he seriously needs to get his ass kicked all over their stadium. But still, this series is awesome. Very exciting. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “No Guns Life” Vol. 6 by Tasuku Karasuma

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

In this volume, we explore the origins of The Extended and Tetsuro gets his memories back and isn’t happy with what he sees.

After some thought, it makes sense why Andy Wachowski – the man behind Extended technology – did what he did. I won’t spoil but at first, I thought it was petty and spiteful but I get it in a twisted sort of way.

The twist with Tetsuro also makes sense and I still find it adorable when Juzo will lose his cool and be shy around women. We get more insight into his time as a soldier and watch him deal with his past. I liked this volume even if the action didn’t quite make sense at some points. I will absolutely have to check out the anime when I can find it 4.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Smokin’ Parade” Vol. 6 by Jinsei Kataoka & Kazuma Kondou

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With the frequent losses the Northern Jackalopes face, Captain Kukuri launches a full-on hunt of the massive spider they have named Lord.

Spoilers but I like how Kukuri and Youkou go to gather data on Lord and have no idea exactly how to get it or what the data means. We see these types of “gather intel” scenes all the time and the characters magically know how all the tech works and what part of what they find is important. It was nice to see that trope played with.

This volume is paced better than previous ones with a fair balance of action and backstory. It’s dark, touching on the implications of gear technology and the advances and consequences of playing with such things. Got some twisted stuff in here, too, so if that’s not your thing, I’d avoid it if I were you. 3.7 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol. 6 by Paru Itagaki

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

After rescuing Haru, she has a heart to heart with Legoshi while they’re holed up in a hotel before they can go back to campus. Louis also returns after being missing for two  months only to quit school and we get some back story on Legoshi’s roommate, Jack; a Labrador who was genetically engineered to be less aggressive than wolves in trade for higher intelligence.

While this volume is just as interesting and entertaining as the previous ones, I did do a double take as to the importance of the Beastar title. Having to call a meeting of the leaders of all the animals to put pressure on the school to pick one surprised me. In my mind, Beastar was a sort of Student Counsel President sort of position; giving them authority in the school but not really anywhere else. But it appears to be a bigger deal than I thought, making me wonder why such an important position would be given to a teenager and not an animal who is older and has more life experience. I’m sure we’ll find out, though. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Dreaming Vol. 2: Empty Shells” by Simon Spurrier, Bilquis Evely, Abigail Larson, & Tiffany Turrill

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This volume centers around Rose, whose mother is in the hospital and she finds Lucien washed up on a beach. As she ponders how her love came entwined with Dream’s, the remaining inhabitants of The Dreaming struggle to keep it together.

If I were to sum up this volume in one word, it would be sad. Loss, yearning, and death sink you down into this story and don’t leave you with much in the way of hope. I wonder what sort of Dream we’ll get by the end of this story if we even ger him at all.

The stand out in this volume for me is the artificial intelligence currently in charge of The Dreaming. In a cast of highly unique characters, the AI is the one that really stuck with me. I look forward to seeing how it all goes from here. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Beastars” Vol 5 by Paru Itagaki

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

When Haru is kidnapped and Legoshi is ready to run right into the lair of a dangerous mob boss alone until Gohin knocks some sense into him. They have to come up with a plan before Haru is killed and eaten.

We also learn more about Haru’s childhood but the real focus is on the rescue. And MAN, are they really going dark in this manga. I won’t spoil the outcome but this volume has some awesome fight scenes and completely screwed my mind up with a cliffhanger. This series really is a surprisingly addicting read and really takes advantage of the original premise set forth in volume one. I can’t wait for the next one! 4.9 out of 5.

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