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: "That Blue Sky Feeling" Vol. 1 by Okura and Coma Hashii

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

High school student, Noshiro, is the outgoing type determined to get along with everyone. When he notices his classmate, Sanada, all by himself, Noshiro immediately tries to fix that; much to the stoic Sanada's dismay. But rumors of Sanada being gay have Noshiro's classmates telling him to stay away from Sanada. Undaunted, Noshiro makes it his mission to befriend Sanada, get their classmates to come around, understand his sexual preference, and possibly learn a little more about himself.

This manga is too damn cute. Despite the fact if you've read any manga ever you can see what's coming in the plot a mile away, Noshiro is so lovable and Sanada is so relatable, it's not so bad traveling down this road again and I can't wait for more. 4 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: "Same Love" by Tony Correia

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

Upon finding out their son is gay, Adam's parents ship him off to a Christian camp and warn him they won't tolerate having a gay son. But while there, he falls for Paul and both teens must reconcile their faith with love in order to find happiness.

First off I gotta say, I'm Pagan and even I wish there were nicer Christians in this. From the parents to Randall, they're almost cartoonishly evil. Boys can't go shopping together? That means they're gay? How do you get clothes then?

Anyway, this is a quick story; which makes sense considering it takes place over a short period of time. It has the innocence and charm of a summer camp story without it feeling too much like a typical coming of age plot. I empathize with Paul's struggle and it's portrayed in a realistic way that doesn't overstay it's welcome. Despite being brief, the story does feel complete instead of rushed like some short stories can be. I can see a teen reading this and liking it and for me, it's a nice change from the quickie smut. 3 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: "Escape Velocity" Jason M. Hough

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

After the destruction of their ships, Captains Skyler Luiken and Gloria Tsandi with their crews are stranded within enemy compounds, scattered and separated with no escape and surrounded by the Scipio; having survived a huge attack, and now must find a way to find their comrades, defeat an armada, and get out alive.

Despite the flurry of characters, this is an interesting space opera with some high handed concepts that feel bigger than they really are. Other than my personal curiosity about the previous books in this series, this one stands alone just fine. It's enjoyable, the characters and writing kept me interested but not enough to get truly lost in it and I found myself easily distracted instead of engaged. It comes in, does its thing, then it leaves fulfilling its task. Not bad, though. 3 out of 5.

Lenni Reviews: "Contemporary Draconic Hoarding Practices" by Dae Richards

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

While Clayton splits his time between his graduate thesis and being a teaching assistant, he meets dragon and magical teacher Syralis; who is in possession of manuscripts crucial to Clayton's work. Syralis is intrigued by the magic surrounding Clayton and agrees to teach him how to control his abilities. But there is an obvious attraction between Syralis and Clayton and when a dragon wants you, they want to keep you like any other pretty bauble they possess and Clayton doesn't want to be a prisoner for the rest of his life.

This story does have a good plot and introduced the reader to an interesting world of magic and magical creatures but the length doesn't allow the reader to enjoy much of it. This is another short story where I feel the world and characters could use a longer narrative. This is a fun little romp though and is good for readers who may want the titillation of lust but no actual boning. 3.7 out of 5.

Ikan Onyx and Lyra LED Lights

Ikan Onyx and Lyra LED Lights

Ikan has LED lights for practically any occasion, from red carpet event coverage, weddings, studio work and more. At NAB, they show us their Onyx and Lyra line.

All units have great color renditions of 95+ CRI and 97 TLCI and are bi-color adjustable (3200k-5600k). 
 

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Tiny Speakers, Powerful Sound - Manhattan 2600 Review

Tiny Speakers, Powerful Sound - Manhattan 2600 Review

The Manhattan 2600 series speakers are small but play so loud that you'll see me wince before having to turn the volume down. They're extremely affordable and wired, great for desktop use at home with your laptop or smartphone, provided they has a 3.5mm audio jack.

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

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

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.