Who’s doing Inktober 2017?

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Leave me links! Because I only have one person I can follow for it right now!

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Philip K. Dick – Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep?

7082This is, on mere technicality, a re-read. I was very little when I first put my hands on “Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep” by Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner 1; ISBN 0345404475; 244p.; Goodreads), and recall it best in relation to other non-related sci-fi books on bounty hunters, profession I highly wanted to participate in back then. Yet the reading now was delicious. Funny how sci-fi has such a special spot in my heart, and yet I read so little of it.

Rick Decard is a bounty hunter with a license to kill, if you please. His job is to test suspicious individuals and, if they can’t pass the test, kill them, any means necessary, excluding human endangerment. Otherwise his mission would sort of lose the purpose. For he kills androids who pose as humans, androids who escaped Mars, usually, after killing humans there, and who are getting just too good to track down. There is only one test they always fail. Androids, unlike real humans, are too logical to have proper empathy. They can be trained to respond, but there’s only that much you can wiggle your way out of. Yet Rick’s job is no easier due to this. No empathy, for starters means they’ll kill people if they have to, even if “have to” is a mere distraction.

So the hunt begins. Decard follows in the tracks of androids his colleague has fallen to. Falsely gaining confidence after the first kill, he soon finds himself in far more trouble, than he ever thought possible. Worse, slowly but surely he is uncovering a far deeper rooted plan to survive that androids have cast in a web across his city, if not planet. They infiltrated places they had no rights to be in, right under their noses, every day at their ears. And newer models make even him question the morality of his work, hell, even his own humanity becomes questionable… Because, what if memories are false too?

I really like the characters in this book. Decard is not the only protagonist, but I excluded the other one purposefully. I also really love how androids have this delusion of what a head hunter for androids is: this unstoppable machine they’ll fall to if they as much as lock eyes with. If you like cyberpunk – you must read this. It’s a very easy to read and follow book, and I’ll gladly give it a 5 out of 5. And if anyone’s wondering about those sequels – someone else wrote it, I don’t feel like reading them right now.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Diversity: Angie Thomas – The Hate U Give

32613366Holy damn. No, but really. Why didn’t I get this book sooner? “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas (ISBN 1406372153; 438p; Goodreads) puts a crown on my this year’s reads. It’s definitely the best contemporary book I have ever read. I wish there was more, but what could top this?

Starr already had a pretty complicated life. Attending a school where she and a couple more students were the only black people around, she felt pressure acting more like the people around her did, to avoid the whole “black girl from the hood” stereotype getting attached. At home she hurried to shake that all off, to not seem lame, because, really! Add regular teenage problems to that, and there you have it. But all that falls to dust in one night. Her life, and the life of her whole community fall apart as her childhood friend get brutally murdered with several shots to the back by a police officer. He stopped them for no real reason, got irritated over the smallest things, dragged Khaleel out of the car, and as he bent to ask terrified Starr if she’s okay – he shot him in the back. Over, and over, and over.

“Thug”, “dealer”, “gangbanger” are all epithets Khaleel’s name get changed with. Even the seemingly most sympathetic people are more affected by the officer’s father slobbering over the television of what a hard time his son is having over this “human mistake”, as if Khaleel was less. After all, Khaleel was indeed a dealer, so he would’ve died anyway, one gangbanger less, right? But Starr knows the truth behind the name, she knows the boy behind the titles, and slowly, being pushed by anger and injustices, even if discouraged by threats officers make on her, she speaks up. After all, she has the support of her family, and her wonderfully united community. And so the story of protests turned to riots turned to war zone begin.

I can’t begin telling you how good, and how important this book is. At time I’d forget I’m reading fiction, for it seems it’d be enough to change a title, change a name, and you’d recognize the people. I hope to someone this book will be an eye-opener. I can only give it 5 out of 5, and recommend.

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Tag: Halloween 2

So far I’ve been lucky in finding one spooky tag a week, well see how it continues to go! As per usual, if you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged. The original was created by Clever Fox, I’m leaving you with her video:

1. What goes bump in the night?: Name a book that has legitimately scared you while reading it.
– “Metro 2033” by Dmitry Glukhovsky, some place in the dark tunnels.

2. Jack O Lanterns and Classic Costumes: A book you always reach for during halloween time.
– I don’t have such, but hey, I do always like me a vampire book on this time of the year.

3. Black Cats and Magic Mirrors: A book you love that is laced with superstition and/or magic.
– Does high-fantasy count? If so, Victoria Schwab “Shades of Magic” trilogy, and if it doesn’t count, then K.J. Charles “A Charm of Magpies” trilogy.

4. Witch’s Brew: Favorite witch character in any book/series.
– Stephen Day from A Charm of Magpies trilogy, or Hermione from Harry Potter.

5. Ghouls and Ghosts: A book that still haunts you to this day (good or bad).
– In a good way, the very first to start haunt me, and stay with me to this day, so the oldest one on the list is C.C. Humphreys “Vlad: The Last Confession

6. Haunted Graveyard: You’re all alone in a haunted graveyard, you get ONE book to give you comfort, which is it?
– Haruki Murakami “Afterdark

7. The Undead: Favorite supernatural creatures to read about (i.e. vamps, zombies, werewolves, etc).
– Do elves count as supernatural, or are they a different category? If they do, then The Witcher Saga by A. Sapkowski. If not, then vampires, and there’s many great books with those.

8. In the dead of night: Pick a book with a black cover.
– Victoria Schwab “This Savage Song“!

9. Trick or Treat?
– Treat, thank you. Unless it’s a toy, then trick please!

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Laini Taylor – Strange the Dreamer [1]

28449207I asked for a recommendation and have received “Strange the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer 1; ISBN 0316341681; 536p.; Goodreads). Must say, has been a hot minute since I’ve read such a colossal book. I think the last one was the gruesome Fifth Season, which I also recommend. But this one was lighter to bear, with almost constant sense of sunshine, likely due to lighter people, personalities within.

A great war has taken place in the city ruled by ruthless gods. People rebelled, climbed their tower, and slain everyone they found bearing the blue skin of godspawn. But gods are not easy to slay. They fought back as best they could, and took vengeance in death too. First they took their sky, shielding it with the massive wings of their home. Then they left humans dreading, haunted by nightmares for as long as they sleep under the winged dome. They’re too worried to move, for it would mean that even in death the gods have taken victory on their lives. And finally, they took the very name of the place, leaving it known across the world only as Weep, a name that leaves ones lips bitter with ash and salt.

Lazlo Strange is an orphan, taken by monks off the streets, almost grey with sickness. They nursed him back, and soon, as the boy grew, got to calling him Strange The Dreamer, due to the nature of work he took. For, you see, Lazlo is mostly interested in stories. Especially those of Weep, a place he believes to be more than a fairy tale. He goes as far as dig up old recipes of purchases, just to prove this or that mediocre thing to be real. No one takes him seriously, of course, and people are far more interested in his knowledge on alchemy, than some fairy tale land. Up until the day delegates from Weep march into his city, kindly asking for volunteers who could bring new knowledge into their devastated lands. Lazlo can’t even dare dreaming they might need a tale teller…

This book feels huge. And it’s not as dark as some high fantasy books get. If you like the genre, I can’t recommend this one enough. In the mean time, I give it 5 out of 5, and await the next one eagerly.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Brian McGreevy – Hemlock Grove

12510849Not that long ago I watched series on Netflix called Hemlock Grove. It wasn’t bad, to be honest, especially the first season. Later on I found out that there is a book by Brian McGreevy (ISBN 0374532915; 319p; Goodreads) on which the first season is actually based. And since it’s October, I figured, why not, right? Vampires, werewolves. My verdict? Not too bad.

 

In the town of Hemlock Grove girls are being killed gruesomely. They get torn to shreds, and parts of them are left for people to find. It doesn’t look like it’s wolves. And bears don’t exactly act like that either. That creepy giant of a girl with strange lights under her skin, the Godfrey daughter Shelly, might have had enough strength to tear a girl up tho, right? But to try and question the freak would mean stepping over Roman Godfrey, her weirdo of a brother. He looked normal, but bloody hell, the boy was not normal. Or maybe it’s that gypsy who moved into the trailer in the woods? Rumor has it he’s a werewolf. Hey, you never know, with the White Tower, pulsing it’s white light like the very heart of the Hemlock Grove, with the blasphemous experiments happening within the lab walls – werewolves might just be real.

Peter didn’t expect the new place they moved to to be this much of a muck. First he gets accused of being a werewolf. Then he befriends an actual upir, babbling something about the Order of the Dragon. And all those damned bodies. If it really is a werewolf – they’re in a lot of trouble, all of them. For the being changes on the wrong moon, and the rule, that werewolves change on full moon is there for a reason!

The book is easy to read, but is written a bit odd. Here you spectate from the third person perspective, there you’re reading a journal, or a letter. The best part was the mythology, the werewolves, the vampires. Tho there’s little to none of those, mind you. Still, I can give this 4 out of 5, tho I will refrain from recommendations. As for series, they’re watchable.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

K.J. Charles – Jackdaw

34861586I miss A Charm of Magpies so much. So, of course, I went ahead and took the “Jackdaw” by K.J. Charles (ISBN13 9780995799059; 222p.; Goodreads), for it is set in the same world, has familiar characters, and the family of four that we love turns up too. And I loved it, I very much did. But now I miss them even more, dammit!

Jonah is the infamous windwalker thief, who worked for the bad guys in the final book of Charm of Magpies. He was blackmailed to help them capture Stephen Day, or his source of power – the Ring of the Magpie Lord, and Lucien Vaudrey, tho it is unlikely anyone knew that one didn’t work without the other. It worked as a trap for Stephen, and that’s all that mattered. That’s how Jonah made sure Ben, his beloved, lives.

Ben, due to his relation with the infamous windwalker thief, and their relationship, ended up in prison for a few months. Worse than the experience was his false belief, that Jonah used him, and then discarded of him. He walks out determined to settle the scores. Time for Jonah to taste the prison bread. As a practitioner he will have to be restrained, of course. As a windwalker, he’ll likely get hobbled. He’ll never walk, let alone fly… And the more Ben thinks of this, of that charming, smiling being, the time they spent together, the more he doubts his plan as fair. So he arranges to meet the man before hand. Next thing you know, they’re escaping justice together, over the rooftops, through the air!

This was a lovely book. Almost idyllic, tho nothing goes through butter. It reminded me how much I love Lucien and Stephen. For that alone I could give it all the points. But luckily, the story was good too, so it’s a 5 out of 5, for more fair and less biased reasons.

Categories: 5-5, Alternative History Books, Books of Occult, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tag: Halloween!

Since it’s the month of Halloween (yep.), I figured I’ll just go ahead and do any Halloweenish book tags that I find. This was the first that came around, very short and easy:

1. Carving pumpkins- what book would you carve up and light on fire?
– “Metro 2035” by Dmitry Glukhovsky; I reviewed this book, will not repeat myself.

2. Trick or treat- what character is a treat, what character is a trick? 
– Treat – Lucien Vaudrey from A Charm of Magpies; Trick – Nicaise from Captive Prince

3. Candy corn- what book is always sweet?
– The Holy Trinity of Trilogies: “Shades of Magic” by V.E. Schwab; “A Charm of Magpies” by K.J. Charles; “Captive Prince” by C.S. Pacat

4. Ghosts- what character would you love to visit you as a ghost?
– Alucard from Shades of Magic. But I hope he lives too long for that ever to happen.

5. Dressing up in costume- what character would you want to be for a day?
– Lucien Vaudrey from A Charm of Magpies

6. Wizards and witches- what is your favorite Harry Potter moment?
– The moment I realized Snape rewrote the textbook he was learning from. Dude!

7. Blood and gore- what book was so creepy that you had to take a break from it for awhile?
– Paige Dearth “Born Mobster“. I have a hard time reading of things like that in general.

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Lynn Flewelling – Casket of Souls [6]

10184855Yep. The last Lynn Flewelling book in Nightrunner series wasn’t the best (but it was pretty good anyway), therefore this one, “Casket of Souls” (Nightrunner 6; ISBN 0345522303; 476p.; Goodreads) is far better. Yes, the titles are very spoiler-filled, and author doesn’t care to keep any suspense whatsoever, but the characters are easy to like, and I will miss them dearly when the adventures are over.

People of Rhimenee, in hardships brought by war time, get struck down with a mysterious plague they call Sleeping Death. People, mostly just poorest of the poor, fall into a sleep-like coma, and stay so until death of starvation or thirst claims them. No one knows where it came from, what’s causing it, or even if it’s contagious. Not many even care to make a fuss about it, ask these questions out loud, until important people start falling ill too.

In the meantime there’s a new theater trope in the city, and everyone seems to love them. Alec and Seregil make sure to get into the fan crowd as part of it too, if only for the sake to have actors, with whom people often talk very openly, and who hear a lot of things too, on their side. Yet both of our beloved characters harbor healthy distance due to suspicion. After all, they got here just barely before plague started, and they did admit they had to run from their previous home.

You can likely guess that the story is very predictable. From the title, to the newcomers, to the author inserting actual chapters of the evil guys doing evil deeds as if she’s letting us in on a secret. But the adventures are usually fun, and characters – pleasant, so I really can’t give it any less than 4 out of 5. Lovely ending too!

Categories: 4-5, Books: Fantasy, Fantasy Books, high fantasy, LGBTQ+ Books | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seth Grahame-Smith – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

5899779I didn’t except to read a book like this for the first of October, but here I am, on perfect timing with the month of Samhain. This book sat on my to-read list for a fair while now. Which is why I like the “suggested for you” book sections. It reminded me of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” by Seth Grahame-Smith (ISBN 1594743347; 320p.; Goodreads), and I may cross it off my list now. What a good year for that, really. Mind you, while this book was pretty good, I still have a feeling I might have liked it more if I have actually read Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”. Someone let me know!

Zombie plague is terrorizing England. The dead don’t stay dead. They crawl out of their graves in search for juicy brains. As a result, whole England is transformed. While before it might have shown your worth and class to be able to, I don’t know, darn very well, or have a famous piano instructor, now your worth is determined by where you learned your oriental fighting skills, how many ninjas you have serving for your safety, how well equipped is your dojo, and so on. but that said, even if our dear Bennet girls are as deadly as standards require and then some, they still dream of marrying well.

It is an amusing story of English girls of fair birth and ruthless oriental training attempting to tempt an officer, or any decent man really, to become their husbands. There’s plots, and schemes, and no man is who he seems.

The book won’t leave you without sleep, it’s not scary. It is horror only in a sense of setting, but other than that, this is humor, and satire too, I feel. Still, all said, it being a light read, it still is a read that is easy to forget. Not very special, not very captivating. I can only offer it 3 out of 5, as tempting as it would be to give it more.

Categories: 3-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Other Fiction | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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