Lenni Reviews: “The Charlatan’s Conquest” by Vivien Dean

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

Brody Weber is a man of science so when his father is willing to shell out thousands of dollars for a ghost hunter, Brody is livid and hot to prove the man a fraud. But, when Cruz Guthrie digs into the investigation, Brody comes face to face with things he never knew existed.

What made me interested in this book was how both Brody and Cruz are men of science; Brody is a neurological researcher and Cruz is a software engineer who moonlights as a ghost hunters assistant. Neither one of them expects real paranormal activity on this case so they get to know one another and we get to know them as the investigation takes place.

Given its short length, the story does a decent job developing our main leads and the threat they’re facing. You don’t get as much as say, the Storm and Winter books, but it does the job. I think it would have been more memorable with some length, giving more of a chance for the ghosts to be scarier but overall a good short story! 3.8 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Sheets” by Brenna Thummler

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

*This review is cross-posted to Otakus and Geeks.

After her mother’s death, Marjorie is holding down the family laundromat all by herself and raising her little brother as her father is still mired in his grief. She has typical outsider problems at school but she also has to deal with the conniving Nigel; who is after the laundromat to demolish the building and replace it with a resort. Feeling disconnected and helpless, things change for Marjorie when a ghost named Wendell sneaks into her shop.

This is a beautiful story about a young woman dealing with loss the best way she can. The laundromat is a perfect setting after such a deep shock since, after the death of a loved one, you do feel like you’re spinning and being tossed about beyond your control; feeling transparent and lost, just floating through life.

Not too much time is spent on the “mean girls” schtick, as that can get old real fast. The idea of ghosts being actual sheets could be stupid if not for the amazing art. The whole book is in such a soothing palate, it’s a pleasure to the eyes. Wendell and his friends are delightful as well but if I had to nitpick (and of course I do) this is another of those awesome graphic novels that feels like it ended too soon. I wanted to know more about everyone; even that dipshit Nigel: He of the Punchable Face.

Also, and this is spoiler territory here, something about the ending didn’t quite sit right with me. SPOILERSSS!!!

Marjorie starts using Ghosturizer – basically ghost detergent/stain remover – to save her failing business, which seems a bit exploitive to me. I get that do misadventures it was Wendell’s fault in part that Marjorie got into some extra trouble but unfettered access to otherworldly cleaning products? Seems highly suspect.

Other than that, awesome book. It’s meant for kids but I recommend to anyone who needs a daily dose of DAWWWW!! 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Haunting of Timber Manor” by F. E. Feeley Jr.

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

*This review is cross-posted at Otakus and Geeks.

Daniel Donnelly has sadly lost his parents in a terrible accident. He gets a phone call from his estranged aunt who tells him he is now heir to a fortune and a house called Timber Manor. On the way there, Daniel has to pull over in a huge storm and Sherriff Hale Davis – a native of the town near Timber Manor – helps him out. But the manor holds a dark and powerful secret that puts Daniel’s life in great peril

While Daniel and Hale make a good couple and you’re rooting for them, the novel makes a great ghost story. The tone is perfect for curling up in a blanket and reading this on a stormy night.It was good to have the story switch perspectives to get everyone’s thoughts on what’s happening but I feel the supernatural story development had more care put to it than the romantic development. Daniel and Hale have that insta-love thing going on that will bug you if that’s an aspect of romances that bug you.

And can Francine get a spin-off series!? PLEASE!!

Giving this a 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Devouring God” by James Kendley

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

**This review is cross-posted at Otakus and Geeks.**

Ghost hunters Takuda, Mori, and Suzuki are sent to investigate some mysterious and disturbing calls made to a local mental health facility. As the case goes on, they notice the clues come to them way too easy. Bodies start piling up all leading to a mysterious and evil artifact.

This book does a great job setting an atmosphere of tension and mystery. The writing is competent enough to give you a real sense of Japan (in 1993). It was intriguing to see the characters change the longer they do this treacherous job; as if corrupted by the very evil they are hunting. Our three main characters work off of each other well in a delicate balance of annoyance and loyalty. Endo – the villain – talks like The Architect from The Matrix; pontificating in a way that even makes other characters snap at him to get to the point. I gotta say, Endo is MUCH less annoying and makes WAY more sense than The Architect so it wasn’t completely painful to read his little speeches.

On the whole, this book is written well enough that I didn’t feel I was missing information from the first book in this series. The ending is left quite obviously open for a new story so while the immediate problem was solved; you’re left curiously unsatisfied. The over-arching evil is still out there. If I come across the next one, I’m intrigued enough to want to pick it up as this one was an enjoyable, supernatural horror. 4.5 out of 5.

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