Insight Editions Presents Batman: The Definitive History of The Dark Knight In Comics, Film and Beyond

Insight Editions Presents Batman: The Definitive History of The Dark Knight In Comics, Film and Beyond

Since his 1939 debut in the pages of Detective Comics, Batman has become an icon, instantly recognizable the world over. Through the years, Gotham City’s guardian has been interpreted in so many radically different ways that we all now have our own Batman. To some, he’s the colorful Caped Crusader who dispatches villains with a POW! To others, he’s the grim Dark Knight hell-bent on avenging the death of his parents. And to others still he’s made of LEGO, has great abs and likes to eat lobster thermidor!

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Lenni Reviews: “Orbit” by Leigh Hellman

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

Committed troublemaker Ciaan Gennet runs afoul of the law one too many times and ends up sentenced to probation at a spaceship port facility. He blonde hair makes her a target for bullies so she hopes to keep her head down and serve her time without incident. But when a captain with obviously suspicious cargo docks his ship, Ciaan gets caught up in a multiplanet conspiracy that puts her life in great danger.

Perhaps a little slow going until Ciaan ends up on the spacecraft but it’s still interesting. Great characters, awesome worldbuilding, and a great spin on some dystopian concepts. We have a smart woman of color as our main lead and I love reading about a motley crew of space rebels. Very cool book. 4.9 out of 5.

UDON Entertainment Announces Street Fighter 2019 Pin- Up Special: Convention Editions

UDON Entertainment Announces Street Fighter 2019 Pin- Up Special: Convention Editions

UDON Entertainment is bringing the heat to Anime Expo and San Diego Comic-Con with two limited, special edition variant covers of the STREET FIGHTER 2019 PIN-UP SPECIAL! With stunning art by UDON veteran Rob 'Robaato' Porter, the two variant covers connect into a full picture with the ladies of Street Fighter facing off for a beach time brawl!

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Lenni Reviews: "In the Midnight Room" by Laura McBride

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

Book-ended with the life of June Stein, this novel dives into Las Vegas in the 1950's and a casino called 'The Midnight Room.'

This book feels a lot like the times where I went into a real casino in Vegas and Atlantic City; glitz, glamour, sadness, and desperation. Including June, the lives of four very different women collide together over the course of a lifetime in this book and we follow some hauntingly poetic stories. I'm not really one for historical fiction and this book managed to suck me in and I had trouble putting the book down.

I do have to say some of the point of view changed had me confused but the story managed to sort itself out in a few paragraphs; particularly in the end when it's suddenly all from June's perspective but as it's her life that frames the entire narrative, it's forgivable. An excellent period piece and I recommend. 3.9 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: "The Black God's Drums" by P. Djèlí Clark

*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.

Lenni Reviews: "Bones and Bourbon" by Dorian Graves

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

Retz is tasked with bringing some escaped exhibits for Lady Delight, a lamia who runs a menagerie of captured supernatural creatures. Lady Delight is a former acquaintance of Nalem, an entity who shares Retz's body and mind so he agrees to the mission not knowing his Retz's brother, Jarrod, has been hired by the escaped funaribi to protect them from Lady Delight. Retz and Jarrod have been estranged for 10 years and their reunion occurs under the pall of their conflicting missions as well as a horde of homicidal unicorns.

With all the stuff going on, this book is difficult to pin down. I get some Supernatural vibes (I haven't watched more than a couple episodes of that but even I could see the similarities) but it is a superficial connection that didn't take away from the story as a whole.

The characters are lively, well written, and have some great chemistry; particularly Retz and Nalem. The dynamics of having to share a body with some ageless entity of dubious morals is conveyed very well. Jarrod and his boyfriend Ferris have a great relationship and Jarrod is a great character who happens to be transgender instead of being transgender being the entire focus of this existence; as it should be. And with a relentless army of killer unicorns in the mix, this is a cool dark urban fantasy. I really enjoyed it. 3.9 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: “Imitatore” by A. Rose

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

Born with multiple magical abilities, Sophie knows she is destined to do great things. But when she meets Oliver, an Imitatore who has the gift to use her powers and amplify them, her destiny rushes headlong at her, upending her life and leaving her with few she can trust and the future of the world at stake.

This book encapsulates every trope of YA fiction: Very tell, don’t show, simple sentences, and a wayward protagonist. By ‘wayward’ I mean the plot seems to blow her along; not leaving her to make many decisions. I do appreciate the diverse cast; a dark-skinned main character and non-gendered costar. There’s some cool world building but this is absolutely geared for someone younger than myself. I still had fun reading it, though. 3 out of 5.

Otakus & Geeks Holiday Gift Guide 2018 - Scholastic's AFK (Away From Keyboard)

Otakus & Geeks Holiday Gift Guide 2018 - Scholastic's AFK (Away From Keyboard)

AFK is a publishing program that brings you books about your favorite video games like Halo, Assassin’s Creed, World of Warcraft, Hello Neighbor, and Five Nights at Freddy’s. From guidebooks to original novels, stay in the worlds of the games you love, even while you’re Away From Keyboard.

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Lenni Reviews: "Abara: Complete Deluxe Edition" by Tsutomu Nihei

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

In a dystopian landscape, creatures known as White Gauna have awakened, threatening to devour the city's populace and destroy everything. The Observation Bureau enlists the help of Denji Kudou, a Black Gauna. But as more and more White Guana appear, Kudo may not be enough to save the city from destruction.

While the story is interesting and the art amazing - brutally awesome and detailed - you are tossed into this story without much guidance. How are these creatures bonded to people? What's the technology level of a world full of all these cybernetics and how did they learn to use them on these beings? What's the deal with the talking skeleton bird? You will not get much in the way of clear answers here.

That being said, Nihei tells a great story here. It reminds me of Battle Angel Alita with the impressive creature design and ultra-violence. This edition also includes some full-color art, pull out pages with larger art, and a side story "Digimortal." This would make a great gift or a worthy addition for a collector. 3.9 out of 5. 

This book will be released December 18th, 2018.

Lenni Reviews: "Watersnakes" by Tony Sandoval

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

While Mila is out playing, she meets a strange but beautiful girl named Agnes who believes ghosts live in her teeth. As they spend more time together, Mila realizes Agnes is far from a normal girl as otherworldly forces spill into Mila's life.

This is what I was expecting from Likely Stories; a trippy, thrilling, scary, bloody, fantastic fantasy story that's beautiful to look at. The art takes some getting used to but if you can appreciate the likes of Roman Dirge or Dave McKean, this will be a treat to read through. If you like dark fantasy where fairy tale nightmares bleed into real life, this is a cool book to read and I'd like to see more from this creator. 4.7 out of 5.

DC Comics: Super Heroines 100 Greatest Moments (Book Review)

DC Comics: Super Heroines 100 Greatest Moments (Book Review)

This is the first in a series that will include DC Comics Super Heroines: 100 Greatest Moments (available in October) and DC Comics Super-Villians: 100 Greatest Moments (publishing June of 2019).

Robert Greenberger has long worked in the pop-culture field, including tenures at Starlog Press, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and Weekly World News. His most recent works include The Essential Batman Encyclopedia, Spider-Man Vault (co-written with Peter David), and Stan Lee's How to Write Comics (co-written with Stan Lee). He has over a dozen Star Trek books to his credit, in addition to editing the comic

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Lenni Reviews: "The Obsidian Temple" (Desert Rising 2) by Kelley Grant

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

In the sequel to Desert Rising, Sulis travels to the Obsidian Temple to fulfill her destiny as part of a group charged with rejoining the gods with The One. Along with her friend Ava, she must learn the complicated moves and energy work to perform the ritual. Meanwhile, her twin brother, Kadar, is drawn up in a revolution as the Forsaken cast is fed up with being treated like slaves or worse. But the gods are not willing to let the Forsaken go or give up their power and are willing to wage war to keep what's theirs.

Sulis continues to be a strong character but to be honest, this book spent too much time on the training parts only to get to the good stuff towards the ending. I understand this was meant to be a trilogy and plot-wise, it is more realistic for the chosen ones to need to practice rather than to just be perfect from the beginning; but it made for a slow read. The inter-cutting of the Forsaken rebellion did bring up the pace, however.

Overall a great read. I'm ready to jump right into the next one. 4 out of 5. 

Lenni Reviews: “Markswoman” by Rati Mehrotra

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

After her first mark, newly initiated Markswoman Kyra lives to avenge the death of her clan. But her duties to the order of Kali take precedence as she tragically loses her mentor to what is obviously murder. Kyra embarks on a quest to expose the traitor in her order and bring them to justice.

I am honestly shocked this is marketed as YA but I loved reading this book. Kyra manages to be both determined but inexperienced without pandering or getting annoying. The fantasy world building is tight without a bunch of info dumps and the action is badass. I especially liked that Kyra’s journey is chosen instead of forced. She elects to go; not cast out.

The ending kinda felt a little bit of a copout as well as a cliffhanger but I am SO down for the sequel. 3.9 out of 5.

"Star Wars Smuggler's Guide: Notes From The Underworld" Coming October 30th

"Star Wars Smuggler's Guide: Notes From The Underworld" Coming October 30th

Available October 30, 2018 exclusively through Amazon.com is STAR WARS™ SMUGGLER’S GUIDE: NOTES FROM THE UNDERWORLD. This is the sixth title in the successful deluxe Secrets of the Galaxy series which includes The Jedi Path, Book of Sith, The Bounty Hunter Code, Imperial Handbook, and The Rebel Files.

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Lenni Reviews: "Barren" by Peter V. Brett

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

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.

Lenni Reviews: "Cat Zero" by Jennifer L. Rohn

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

Artemis "Artie" Marshall is a genius scientist studying feline viruses in a stuffy university. As she struggles to be taken seriously by many of her peers, a mysterious and virulent new virus surfaces; a virus so strong, it kills both cats and humans in a matter of days. It's a race against time to find a treatment or cure even if it risks her own life in the face of a deeper conspiracy.

The best parts of this book are when Artemis and her team are actively working on the disease. Outside of her intellectual pursuits, Artemis comes off as too perfect. She's just the prettiest, everyone wants to be her friend, no man can resist her charms, blah, blah, blah... Those scenes made me want there to be more dire circumstances around the virus so there would be no time for the side stories. I thought this would be a Contagion-like medical thriller but it all just fizzled out. More attention was paid to Artie's anxiety about being alone - good character development, yes, but it didn't play into the medical parts of the plot enough for me to feel like my time reading about it was invested wisely. In the end, I felt cheated despite how compelling the blurb and the premise are. 3 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: "Scorpio Hates Virgo" by Anyta Sunday

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

After his aunt passes away, Percy Friedman moves into her home. Even though she left it to him, Percy is intent on selling it not only because it makes him miss his aunt so much, but it is also located in the same cul-de-sac as his childhood nemesis, Callagahan Glover. But, As Percy settles back into the tight-knit community and gets to know Callagahan all over again, he wonders if running away is the best plan.

I enjoyed this "enemies" to lovers story. There is no real malice between Percy and Cal so when their relationship forms, it feels real and relatable. Their sarcastic barbs are funny, the main leads are charming, and even the side characters have plenty of personality without derailing the main focus. It's a nearly perfect bit of fluff but since there's no closure regarding Percy's relative, Frank, I felt as if that bit was incomplete. Other than that, a great sweet and sexy romance. 3.9 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: "The Thousand Year Beach" by Tobi Hirotaka - Translated by Matt Treyvaud

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

When mysterious spiders attack their small beach town, the remaining surviving AI's must battle to save what little that remains.

If I were to sum this up, I would describe this as if the minds behind Black Mirror re-wrote the ending to Wreck it Ralph.  The book has you thinking about the nature of what an AI really is and what they are forced to do at the hands of human users.

The characters may be just in-game characters, but they have all the personality and depth, I got sucked into the world right away. I had so much fun reading this and I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes original cyberpunk stories. The action starts right up and doesn't let up very often; making this book hard to put down. Beautifully written and tense, this was a great read. 4 out of 5.