Lenni Reviews: “Fist of the North Star” Vol. 2, by Buronson & Tetsuo Hara

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

As Ken continues his journey through the wastelands, he faces evil wherever he sees it; including a man named Rei: The South Star on a mission to kill Ken.

Now, while I like this series, volume 2 is heading into repetition. Bad guy comes, does bad things, Ken kicks his ass, yay for good guys. The types of villains change but the end results are the same: Ken wins. It’s only a matter of how and how much collateral death happens around him. It’s alright but I’m hoping for some new things. 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Sacrifice of Darkness” by Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, Rebecca Kirby & James Fenner

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When the sun is replaced by an ominous red crease in the sky after a Hiram Hightower flies into the sun, a town flounders for answers and someone to blame.

This is a great concept; the sun being put out due to greed and desperation; the same feelings that lead the town to shun the Hightower family after the sun goes out. The main plot really is the relation ship between Hiram’s son, Joshua, and a girl named Claire who befriends him despite the rest of the town hating him and his family. The art is soft and beautiful, the story is compelling, and this book is worth checking out for something unique. 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “No Guns Life” Vol. 9, by Tasuku Karasuma

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

In an attempt to repair Juzo, he and Mary end up trapped in the weapons vault with May trying to save her brother as well a Juzo from the twisted horrors contained in the vault trying to destroy them.

Of all the characters, I find myself appreciating Olivia more each time she makes an appearance. She may be designed like a typical fan service character but, she is smart and capable; so you engage with her as a part of the story and not an ornament.

Overall, this volume left me satisfied in terms of dealing with Violet but unsatisfied in general. I feel like some plot points went by too fast. I liked it but not as much as previous ones. 3.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Gunpowder Moon” by David Pedreira

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

Set in the year 2072,  in Veteran Caden Dechert is in charge of a US mining operation on the moon. When a bomb goes off and kills a crew member, already strained international relations may turn the moon into a warzone unless Dechart can find the culprit first.

While I like Dechert and his crew and I wanted to find out what happened, this felt like a dry read. Not unenjoyable because Dechert is a relatable guy thrust into a crazy situation and has to figure out what’s really going on but I get the feeling you need to heavily be into space scifi to get into this. The conclusion delivers on some action though to make it all worth it. 3.9 out of 5.

 

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Lenni Reviews: “Paris 2119” by Zep & Dominique Bertail

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

Set in the far future, Tristan Keys is one of the few who still looks back on the past with nostalgia; avoiding teleportation devices in favor of walking and loving printed books. But when he see what appears to be a duplicate of his current boss wandering around insane, he is sucked into a noir-ish mystery witn dark sci-fi elements.

I like the concept and Tristan is an interesting character to follow through this adventure but it just… Stops. I expected more; maybe taking down the big baddie or exposing a really dangerous secret but, nope. It just ends. It felt too anticlimactic for me to give this more than a 3 out of 5, even if the art is really good.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Prey of Gods” by Nicky Drayden

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

Set in a futuristic South Africa where everyone has a personal robot and designer drugs are a frequent past time; we have a seemingly unconnected cast of characters slowly drawn into what could be a cataclysmic series of events.

I really can’t say too much more about the plot without spoiling the experience of how a young man named Muzi, his layabout friend, Elkin, a nail technician named Sydney, a superstar singer named Riya, a politician named Sydney, and a young girl named Nomvula are all connected to the end of the human race. You just need to read this. It’s ruthlessly creative, character-driven, thrilling, and almost perfect except for some aspects of the ending I didn’t like; which I won’t spoil. I loved it and highly recommend it if you’d like some futuristic sci-fi in a unique setting. 5 out of 5 and I hope there is more to come.

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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: “No Guns Life” Vol 5 by Tasuku Karasuma

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

In a vicious battle with Victor, Juzo’s dark past comes to light and we learn who Mary’s brother really is and what he’s been working on while he’s been missing. Meanwhile an old “friend” of Juzo’s returns along with Tetsuro, who was just let go from his captivity with no explanation.

This volume is really juicy. A lot is revealed, there’s some treachery afoot, another gun head is running around, and we get some really interesting Extended designs and abilities. All these twists and turns are written really well. It keeps the stakes high, the action interesting and clear, and the characters are diverse and entertaining. There’s very little in the way of fluff and there are enough funny moments to keep the overall story from being too bleak and depressing. This is a great series. 5 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “No Guns Life” Vol 4 by Tasuku Karasuma

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

Juzo is hired to guard a young girl named Rosa who hates Extended because she believes one is responsible for her parent’s deaths. She believes she is haunted by a ghost but what Juzo and Mary uncover puts them in the cross-hairs of the Spitzbergen – the anti-Extended terrorist organization that currently has Tetsuro in their clutches.

Ok, gonna spoil a bit of plot here but I have to say this: Victor is fucking nightmare fuel. Very creepy character design there. So far, this has been the first volume I had to sit and read in one sitting with no breaks. It’s fast paced and heavy on plot twists while still keeping up the action. I also really enjoy how Juzo isn’t afraid to be silly sometimes. Very cool. 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Review: “No Gun’s Life” Vol 3 by Tasuku Karasuma

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

With Tetsuro and Mary still in custody and Chief Olivia forced to step down, Juzo battles the fugitive, Gondray, and uncovers a conspiracy hiding the truth about a ten year-old massacre. Juzo’s meds are fading, his control is slipping, and famous hero Armed Sai isn’t about to let the truth be known.

I am loving this world. If you need some good techie sci-fi along the lines of Battle Angel Alita, this manga fits the bill perfectly. It’s got me hooked. I love to see the different types of Extended and how such a technological marvel is used in so many different ways. I am most curious about the anti-Extended group lurking in the background and what their ultimate goal is because, to me, they seem unfocused. But it’s only the third volume. There’s time to build them up. 4.6 out of 5.

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