Review: Vigilante Slimming Scanner by SJ Pajonas

Posted June 9, 2016 by Lola in Contemporary, Fantasy, Review / 8 Comments


Vigilante Slimming ScannerVigilante Slimming Scanner (Kami No Sekai #4)
by SJ Pajonas

The grocery store registers have a mission to save Toro from his bad eating habits, and he’s determined to stay the course.

Will they inspire him to change or will he convince them to give him a second chance?


Shhh… Listen To The Gods.

The Japanese believe the gods live in all things. Trees, appliances, animals, buildings — they all have a spirit living within them. Maybe, if you listen carefully, you can hear them too.

My Review:
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review

I am really enjoying this series by SJ Pajonas and would recommend it to everyone looking for fun and enjoyable short stories. They are all set in Japan and are about Kami or gods who live in things. But somehow this one just fell a bit flat for me. I don’t like reading books about character who are dieting or the focus on healthy eating and as this short story is pretty short, that’s basically the only thing this book is about. Main character Toro doesn’t have a healthy life style and one day the registers simply refuse to have him pay for his junk food. I totally got why Toro got angry at them, as I thought it was a rude way to get their point across and it’s a wonder that strategy was even effective in the long run. Then they start to encourage him to work out, it was cleverly done how these registers influence his life and make him leave healthier.

I just wasn’t really feeling this book and all the changes Toro made went to quick and easy it just felt a tad unbelievable. I know it’s a short story and that’s why things have to move a bit quickly, so I do think it’s understandable to a certain degree. I also thought it was nice to see Toro change over the course of the novella. And the ending is nice and uplifting. I like how these stories all end on a happy note, although this story felt a bit more serious than the previous ones.

I had a bit of trouble getting to know Toro as I wasn’t able to get a good feel for his personality. He works a lot, we meet one of his friends, we learn he has a hard time committing to anything and he loved his junk food and drinks. I do think it was great he changed his habits and started eating more health and even seemed to enjoy cooking. I also enjoyed the conversations between him and his co-worker. then there is a hint of friendship with a women he meets thanks to the registers, but it was too short to really get a feel for her. I liked there was an epilogue at the end that shows how he’s doing 3 months later and I thought it was well done as this way the author could show his change, without it feeling too rushed.

In the previous books the stories were mostly about one Kami or god and one main character. But in this book there isn’t really one Kami, but multiple ones. I wasn’t able to get as a good of a feel for the kami’s in this book due to that. They mostly came across as noisy, intervening and helpful registers. It also seemed the kami were everywhere and lots of people could hear them in this book and I thought the whole kami concept worked better in the previous books. It does give a feel of how many kami there are and how they are everywhere, which was interesting, but it also was a bit weird.

To summarize: this novella fell a bit flat for me, I didn’t like the focus on dieting and the change seemed a bit too fast. It was a nice and quick read with a good and uplifting ending. It tells the story it wants to tell, but it was a bit difficult to get a good feel for Toro and the kami their personality. There are some fun scenes, like the interactions between Toro and his co-worker and the epilogue was done well. I also preferred the way the Kami were done in the earlier novella’s with only one kami and one main character. So overall it was a nice read, but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as the previous ones.



Do you enjoy series that are completely made up of short stories or novella length books?


8 responses to “Review: Vigilante Slimming Scanner by SJ Pajonas

  1. I’m not a big fan of books that focus on dieting and such. They just seem too focused on the subject. I read a book where the main character was a yoga instructor and I thought I would enjoy it because I’m a massive fan of yoga, but it seemed like that’s what the entire book focused on. Even the sex scenes were yoga oriented and it just drove me out of the story. Although I think that can happen with anything if the author chooses to over-focus on a particular topic.

    Series comprised entirely of short stories or novellas can be a bit tricky for me. More often than not, I find the books are too rushed. There was a series from Entangled about a writers convention and it was composed of novellas and while some of them were enjoyable well-paced, fleshed-out reads the majority of them felt rushed and unbelievable.
    Angela @Simply Angela recently posted…Outlander Product Reviews {Acrylic Travel Cup}{Ceramic Mug}{Magnetic Bookmark Set}My Profile

    • Yes indeed it felt like the focus was just a bit too much on this one topic. There was just little else besides that to the story. And it sounds like the yoga book you mentioned went a bit too far with the whole yoga thing. Sometimes it just feels like too much if one topic gets too much attention.

      It’s really rare to find a series or short stories of novella’s that’s good, but lately I seem to have more luck with them. This one is really good even with the shorter length book, they are fun short stories and it just works. Although this one did feel a tad rushed, the others didn’t. I do think that’s the biggest risk short stories have that they end up feeling rushed and it’s great when an author can write short stories ad not have that happen. I also read an episodic type of series a while ago that was composed of short stories where the author made the short length work.

  2. You know I’m not a short story fan, so it’s not something I’d pick up, but it sounds like a unique concept with the gods. Sorry this one fell flat though. I don’t know if I’ve ever read about a character dieting, but I probably wouldn’t care for that either. It’s just not what I’d want to focus on in the story, but maybe it’d be something some people could relate to and enjoy.
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Graphic Novel Review: Art Ops Vol. 1 by Shaun Simon, Michael Allred, & Matt BrundageMy Profile

    • I am sure some people can relate and enjoy, but dieting is not a topic I like to read about in books. The series is a lot of fun so far though and it is a fun and unique concept with the gods. It’s just too bad this one fell a bit flat though.
      The first one is about a rice cooker and that one and the third about a bike are probably my favourites so far. I kinda like short stories, especially if well written and these work well in short story format.

  3. I do like a fleshed out story that doesn’t rush, but still I give lots of short stories and novellas a chance when I want something quick to fill a few hours. It’s funny you mention not liking the focus on dieting. I just read a story a few days back about a gal who is training for the Olympics. She was very conscious of working off calories and worried about food choices. I can respect it, but the book was so loaded with it that it obscured the story at times.
    I’ve enjoyed your reviews of this series for a while now. The Japanese Kami god aspect of it is fun and creative. Hope the next one works better for you.
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    • Same here I enjoy the shorter reads when I want something shorter. Or when I don’t have as many reviews scheduled, it can be nice to have a few shorter reads that you can finish more quickly.
      Yes that’s how it was here, I could understand why this character did focus on it, but the book was just so focused on that there was little space for anything else. the Japanese Kami god aspect is really great and I really am enjoyed this series so far and am always looking forward to the next one. They are a lot of fun.

    • I really enjoy her books, they are awesome. I think the first book in her Nogiku series is free at the moment. If you like reading about Japan, I think you would enjoy Pajonas her books. All her books are set in Japan or Asia and she really writes the setting well.

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