It’s Done!

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The next book in the Go Away Girls series is done and ready for purchase! This is a steampunk story about a new drug loose in the city sold by dealers willing to kill to keep their business going. This time there isn’t any sex in it so it’s available on more platforms but I hope you all still enjoy it.

 

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Lenni Reviews: “Levius/est” Vol. 4 by Haruhisa Nakata

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

The Southern Slam begins and not only is Levius in a tough fight, Natalia is scheduled to battle Balthus Langdon – an event clearly orchestrated by “Dr. Clown” as a way to manipulate and hurt Levius.

Like the previous volumes, the drama is great and the action is well done but the end of this volume is a MAJOR cliffhanger. You know how sometimes a cliffhanger will get you hyped for the next story? This one made me lean back and go “Oh, fuck you for doing that!” I mean I want to know what happens of course but there’s a part of me that’s bitter over how sharp the stop was. Not that I’m familiar with The Sopranos, but I know of the infamous ending and this book felt like that. I still love this series so I’ll be waiting for the next one. 4.5 out of 5.

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Writing Update & Why I Went Dark For A Bit

I hope I didn’t worry anyone by not posting after my last update but I wanted to say something good in all the mess that’s going on. While I’ve been adjusting to working from home, I finished a rough draft of the next Go Away Girls book; “Flight.”

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I’m working on editing it in between working from home and writing up more reviews so I don’t have an official release date. If you’re interested in this universe, check out the first book “The Mirror.”

As for a more personal update, we’re all still home, going out as little as possible, and blessedly still healthy. I am technically still employed but no longer getting the overtime I depend on to pay the mortgage. I count my blessings because there are people out there in way worse positions, but I will ask my readers to share and review my books and please, stay safe, stay clean, and stay home.

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Lenni Reviews: “Levius/est” Vol. 3 by Haruhisa Nakata

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

As Levius prepares for his fight with the current champion, his trainer Zack wonders if Levius could ever be prepared for a fight on this level. Meanwhile, Amethyst returns (from way back in volume one) with an unbeatable new fighter named Balthus; the brother of A.J. who claims she no longer remembers him.

I was wondering if and how Amethyst would make his return and manipulating A.J.’s brother after all she did to protect him was just the type of messed up thing I’d expect from Amethyst. This volume is a real page-turner with some interesting character development and again, the fighting is drawn incredibly well. I am super pumped for the final showdown with Amethyst! 5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Levius/Est” Vol. 2 by Haruhisa Nakata

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

Levius is advancing in the ranks, facing tougher opponents the likes of Natalia; bringing in the notion of these mechanized warriors so dedicated to their battles, they will even fight unconscious. But as Levius nears his dream, another fighter named Kingsley tempts Levius with information about the father who abandoned Levius and his comatose mother.

It’s awesome to read about the mindset of the fighters and what victory means to each of them as they put their lives on the line. And it’s cool to see so much time spent on the fights. They are well-drawn and detailed so your eyes don’t get lost so you can keep track of what’s happening. I’m looking forward to seeing Levius face down someone so powerful who also knew his father. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Levius/Est” Vol. 1 by Haruhisa Nakata

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After a terrible war, the world has entered the Era of Rebirth; which has brought with it a combat tournament spectacle starring cybernetically altered fighters. One of these fighters, Levius, is determined to rise amongst the ranks and become the greatest fighter of all while discovering secrets about his past along the way.

The art and the world-building are top-notch in this volume. The battle scenes are fantastic as well. You are left wanting Levius to succeed but there is a real present danger to his chosen line of work and as a protagonist, Levius isn’t much of a talker. The mystery about why he fights will be revealed in subsequent volumes. This is very much like a steampunk Battle Angel Alita, and that’s praise coming from me. 4.5 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: “The Guild Conspiracy” by Brooke Johnson

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

In the six months since Petra Wade destroyed one of her dangerous inventions, her life has been picked apart by a twisted man named Jullian who is determined to coerce her into building an even deadlier machine. With her life on the line under accusations of treason, Petra is in a race against time to delay a war in which her own inventions would be used to destroy human lives.

I love the protagonist’s enthusiasm. Even though Petra faces some dire consequences for her actions and, like Sinless – we are again treated to the “capture – freedom – capture” cycle; as if the character can’t get anywhere without someone picking her up and dropping her there. But Petra is smart, determined, and naive in a way that doesn’t seem annoying. She is genuinely trying to save lives and have her intelligence taken seriously instead of being used as a tool or sidelined because she’s a woman. A great lead with some awesome steampunk elements? I’m absolutely sold. 4.9 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “Monstress” vol 1 by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda

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Maika Halfwolf is looking for answers. Obsessed with her search, she will even allow herself to be captured by a sadistic woman who performs experiments on Arcanics like Maika. But it is all worth the risk for Maika to learn the secrets behind the brand on her chest and her magical powers.

The setting here is a heavily stylized steampunk and high fantasy mashup colored in a dark palate to reflect the danger and twisted nature of this world. The art deco style is beautifully detailed and is lucky to be backed by great characters and a well written story. It’s not a happy story at all. This is a dark fantasy where magic users with no ethics will dissect children for their power, ruthless public executions take place for purposes of propaganda, and our main hero is more than willing to step over your corpse to get what she wants. But it’s gorgeous, compelling and I can’t wait to read the next one. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Lady Mechanika” vol 1-3 by Joe Benitez, M. M. Chen

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From the back alleys of Mechanika City to the Sahara Desert, these collected volumes follow Lady Mechanika on her adventures to right wrongs and attempt to discover the secrets of her past.

After reading the Day of the Dead special, I went back to read the first three collections of this series. Other than the art; which has the sad tendency to forget human women have internal organs, these are some pretty cool adventures. So far, the core cast is Lady Mechanika herself, her drunken friend Mr. Lewis, and a genius kid, Winifred. They all do hold their own weight without dragging the story down or getting annoying. The side characters are bad-ass and cool as well.

These are just fun reads and (aside for missing waists) beautiful to look at. Everything is vibrant and detailed and details are important in a steampunk setting because the art needs to show how all the gears and machinery work and that they can believably function within their universe.

Colelctively, this series kept me reading and wanting more. I look forward to the next one. 3.7 out of 5.

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