Lenni Reviews: “No Guns Life” Vol. 8, by Tasuku Karasuma

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

While Juzo is still recovering, this volume gives us more information on Tetsuro, Harmony, and The Beruhren via some inside informants. There’s a new Harmony prototype in the works and despite not having his core, Juzo plans to rescue Victor from a weapons vault called Wunder Bender.

In addition to the main story; that gets creepy but I won’t spoil why, there is an extra of Juzo helping his landlord out of a jam and with all the heavy things going on, it was nice to have a bit a levity with that story. I would like to see all these plot threads become more cohesive. I found myself getting a bit lost wondering who’s conspiring against who and why. But still good! 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Levius/est” Vol. 6 by Haruhisa Nakata

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

After Natalia’s bout, it takes four superior fighters to subdue Balthus and clear the field for the main event, the last day of The Southern Slam: Oliver vs Levius in a fight to the death.

Adding an extra edge to the fight, this is also Oliver’s retirement match and being one of the longest active fighters ever, Levius isn’t going to have many fans in the crowd. There’s also the introduction of the legend of an ancient god called Est, who came to Earth during the Blood Moon; which happens to be the day of the match.

I had a feeling this volume would end on a cliffhanger but it’s not the type that feels like a punch in the gut. I felt excited to get the next one and willing to wait and glad to re-read this one for more details. This volume has the perfect mix of action and plot but what makes me concerned is it is a fight to the death. Is this going to drag out too far or paced as well as it has been so far? We shall see but this volume is a 5 out of 5 for me.

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: “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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