Lenni Reviews: “Matters of the Heart” by Alli Reshi

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

Dimitri is an alien working as an investigator for crimes regarding other extraterrestrial beings. When a case comes across his desk about corpses being found with burn marks over their hearts, he must put aside his feelings for his newly reconnected friend Devin; who is in the hospital after being shot trying to assassinate the president.

I enjoyed this but this is another mystery with romance that left me wanting to know more about the mystery because it was wrapped up too fast and with too much simplicity. They don’t so much work out and chase down the serial killer as the killer (er… spoilers, I guess?) just shows up ready to be captured. It ruins any tension on the mystery side of a romance/mystery. The character of Devin is compelling enough on his own where he may have made a better antihero or redeemed villain. Feels like a missed opportunity. I’d give it a 3… Maybe closer to a 4 but not quite.

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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: “The Black God’s Drums” by P. Djèlí Clark

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

Living with a goddess inside her, Creeper happens upon some valuable information about a scientist and his powerful but dangerous invention. A streetwise kid like her decides to sell this information to become a crewmember for Captain Ann-Marie of the “Midnight Robber.” But the weapon in question could kill thousands and reignite the Civil War.

Other than the casual use of racial epithets typical of the South around the time of the Civil War, this was a cool take on a steampunk-like world set in an alternate universe. It’s a shame it’s just a novella but enough entertainment is packed into its short length, great characters, and fun action. Not enough books are written about the African Orishas and this is a highly creative and enjoyable take on that mythos. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Barren” by Peter V. Brett

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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.

In this novella set in a world where demons come out at night, Selia, a 69-year-old Speaker in her village, is instrumental in protecting everyone by leading the charge to keep the demons at bay. With every kill, Selia is imbued with some of their magic and she is gifted with youth and vitality. As jealousy and anger come to a head in Tibbet’s Brook, it appears the demons are devising a new play which may wipe their town and everyone in it off the map.

There may be some things I’m not getting since this is a novella set in a five book series’ universe, but I felt there was enough here for me to chew on. Selia is a badass and her need to just do right by her neighbors without having to hide who she is comes off as noble and real, not pandering at all. It’s been awhile since I read some good high fantasy and this fast-paced, well-written novella absolutely fits the bill. Since I feel as if I would have gotten more out of this with the rest of the series in mind, I give this a 4.7 out of 5 and I will check out the rest of the series when I get a chance.

This novella will be released 9/25/2018.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Truth of Rock and Roll” by Matthew Keville

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

Our main character is facing a crossroads; obey his father and go to business school or chase his dreams. An old man overhears the argument and tells his own story about facing the same choice in his youth. What follows is a cautionary tale of magic and rock and roll.

Full disclosure: This author is a friend of mine who reads my blog and asked me to check out his work. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you know I will give my honest opinion, friend or not. Dog shit is dog shit even if its your friend’s dog.

That being said, this is NOT dog shit. The way the supernatural elements are running in the background of real life and you get the sense you could see them if you just opened your eyes properly reminded me of some of Gaiman’s work (it also helps I’m also re-reading Neverwhere). Our two main characters may be nameless but their personalities are so well fleshed out, I didn’t feel names were fully necessary.

Compact, entertaining, and touching, this is a magical little story about the dangers of playing life too safe and taking that chance to find your bliss. I left this story feeling inspired! 4 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “Relative Best” by Pat Henshaw

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*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

*This review is cross posted at Otakus and Geeks.

Zeke Bandy believes life’s too busy for love. He runs a historical hotel and sings two nights a week at a local saloon. Vic Longbow is in town involved in opening a branch of a brokerage firm and looking for some photos of his Native American ancestor. When they meet, Zeke and Vic discover they have a lot in common and friendship becomes more than they are prepared for.

I wanted to like this more but this was a pretty bland little story. Characters are tossed at you without enough detail so aside for out main beaus, you don’t get to know anyone. As a result, the drama in the book falls flat since they’re all strangers. Also, this is a pretty tame m/m romance. Other than hold each other and kiss, Zeke and Vic have a PG-13 relationship; so if that’s what you’re after with this book, you will be disappointed.

This is the 5th in a series of books from A Foothills Pride series and I don’t know if this story is better or worse than the others but it can be read as a standalone novella. At only 80 pages it’s wobbly on it’s own feet, but perhaps this premise would benefit from a longer book. As it is, the whole thing meanders to the conclusion without any real impact. I give it a 2.7 out of 5 for it’s competency as a written work even if it was flat.

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Happy 400 Posts!! :D

I was torn between a contest or a giveaway for the 400th post. That’s a pretty good milestone for me considering I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep this up at all. ;D While I was deciding, I was sniffing around Amazon for freebie Kindle books. I suddenly realize I haddn’t checked to see if I had any new reviews on my existing books. I’d been checking every day at one point and got pretty disheartening when nothing was showing  up. On a lark, I decide to look.

And there was a new one.

Properly scared out of my wits, I went to read it and was very happy to see someone enjoyed my story. 🙂

So, for my 400th post, I want to thank everyone who’s read my books and send a personal thank you to Natalie C. who left me that review. It makes me so happy to see feedback and I look forward to giving you all more stories to gobble up.

Here’s to 400 more posts! 😀