Lenni Reviews: “Happiness” vol 4 by Shuzo Oshimi

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Makoto and Yuuki meet up with Nora but Nora is only interested in helping Makoto. Newly turned and unstable, Yuuki hides with his girlfriend, Nao. Yukiko is determined to find and help them but Makoto remains with Nora to try and help her regain her humanity.

Nora and Yukiko are my favorites so far. Nora isn’t totally brooding as there is this innocence about her that’s really genuine. At the same time, she’s tough and brutally decisive. Yukiko just wants to do the right thing and cure Makoto so she can get her friend back. I’m concerned about her fate as Yuuki is destroying everything around him so it’s only a matter of time before he gets to her.

I am glad I picked up this series. Oshimi is the main reason I bought this because I loved the Flowers of Evil series and this series keeps to that trippy, otherworldliness from its predecessor. I am really enjoying this. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “More Things in Heaven and Earth” by Paul Comeau

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

*This review is crossposted to Otakus and Geeks.

Danny Crawford’s religious father decided to stop him from being gay by dumping the boy into conversion therapy. Desperate to escape the abuse in his home at the hands of his homophobic father, Danny is willing to die. While in the hospital recovering from his botched suicide attempt, his plight moves Damien; a vampire pretending to be a priest in order to feed on terminal patients. Damien decides to take the boy in but Danny’s father is determined to fix the ’embarrassment’ that is his son.

I had such high hopes for this given the premise but my overall impression is that of reading a textbook. The POV will switch, the prose seems to talk AT you, and the whole thing comes off as a methodical checklist of what a gay paranormal romance is supposed to contain without the heart other stories have. Damien switches back and forth between contemporary vampire and old world vampire in his language and that knocked me right out of the book. I couldn’t get fully immersed.

This book feels like a missed opportunity. It could have been a really touching, beautiful story that brought up the very real horrors of conversion therapy but I feel like I got a particularly detailed wiki entry. It isn’t even very smutty as the sex scenes are all fade to black. I have to give this a 2 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Happiness” vol 3 by Shuzo Oshimi

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After being saved from death by Nora, Makoto grapples with his blood-lust. Nora insists staying with humans will give him nothing but pain but Makoto clings to his friends and family. However, Yuuki was bitten when Makoto tried to save him so when he turns, it brings some strange men to Makoto’s door, who attempt to kidnap him. And these men know about and are prepared for vampirism.

In comparison to a lot of vampire stories these days, this one is fairly subdued. I’ve seen it compared to Let the Right One In and I have to agree. Instead of being loud, flashy, or overly gory; Happiness is taking it’s time to build a moody atmosphere. And again, the art reflects the desperate nature of Makoto’s thirst and ow his perceptions have changed since being turned. Very smartly executed. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Happiness” vol 2 by Shuzo Oshimi

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Makoto ends up befriending his former bully, Yuuki, after intervening when Yuuki was going to get beat up by more dangerous bullies. But they go after Makoto for revenge; inciting his new bloodlust and attracting another vampire to the carnage.

In this volume, we also get to learn the name of the girl who turned Makoto; Nora. The volume ends before she does anything to tell us more about her so I am anxious to learn her deal and why she’s interested in Makoto at all. With all the intriguing atmosphere, I guess I expected a little more back story this time but I’ll have to wait for the next volume to find out more. 3 out of 5 for that tease at the end.

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Lenni Reviews: “Devils’ Line” vol 4 by Ryo Hanada

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Zero Seven escapes from Anzai and his comrades and takes Tsukasa hostage to ensure she can get away. However, Zero Seven’s interest is only in saving her friend, Zero Nine, from the agency that betrayed her: the Chosen Civil Community. Zero Seven tells Tsukasa there’s a spy in Division 5 who will kill her to keep his secret. But Anzai is on the way to rescue her despite his fraying control of his bloodthirsty nature.

The most interesting things for me in this volume are Zero Seven’s story arc and the R2PC: Redeye’s Rights Protection Committee. It is interesting that the devils have someone advocating for them. However, I am getting nervous about how many different organizations all competing in this series. I have the feeling I’m going to get them all mixed up if they add any more.

I’m still gonna keep reading, though. I want the low down on Anzai’s infamous father and the ONLO orphanage. This deep into the series and I’m still curious and entertained. Good stuff.

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Lenni Reviews: “Devils’ Line” vol 2 by Ryo Hanada

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With Zero Seven’s organization working behind the scenes, they engineer a public devil attack to expose the existence of devils and cause a panic. Anzai and his group try to deal with the fallout and we are also introduced to a new character; Hans Lee: another half devil who befriends Tsukasa.

The competing organizations had to collide sooner or later but in the meantime, slashing someone on live TV to incite a vampire attack innocent people was a dick move that is sure to backfire.

We also learn that Hanz and Anzai were both half-breed orphans from the same orphanage; ONLO: Obihiro National Laboratory’s Orphanage. From the few flashbacks we’ve seen, it doesn’t look like a very nice place.

This series has an interesting setup and story so far but as far as the romance between Anzai and Tsukasa goes, it’s forgettable in comparison. It’s ok and all but everything else around it is SO much more entertaining. Overall 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Devil’s Line” vol 1 by Ryo Hanada

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Tsukasa is attacked by a vampire on her way home from college and is saved by half vampire, Anzai. Anzai works for an organization that hunts and captures vampires that break the rules and tries to reform them. After saving her once, Anzai becomes attached to Tsukasa; continuing to watch over her but his lust for blood tests his constantly fraying control. Could his attachment to Tsukasa be the undoing of his vow not to drink from humans?

One thing I noticed immediately is the rating (13+) and the naked boobs. There’s no overt sex to get a full on M rating but maybe a little higher? 16+ perhaps?

As for the story, Anzai and Tsukasa are cute enough but the plot doesn’t really kick start until the last third of the volume with this other organization wanting to exterminate all vampires no matter what. So far, this first volume hits all the common manga tropes; including the instantly in love for no reason thing. And I was a little surprised at how light the tone is. Based on the premise and the cover art, I expected this manga to be much darker. We’ll have to see if it gets darker as the series goes on but an ok start.

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Manuscript Update!

Dreamhunter and Greenhouse have been updated! I had to email Amazon to allow people to have already purchased the book to receive the new copies but unfortunately, they deemed the changes too minor to send an email out to the customers. So, I’m doing it!

Here are some instructions on how to update a kindle book yourself. The changes I’ve made are mostly grammar and spelling errors, with some more detailed descriptions added in but nothing that changes the plot too much. But I’m glad they’re all fixed up. So, update if you wish or grab a fresh copy today! 😀

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