book review | The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings by Lily Morton | Black and Blue 1

lily morton mysterious and amazing blue billingsAuthor: Lily Morton
Title: The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings
Series: Black and Blue 1
Genre: Paranormal, LGBT Romance
Pages: 301
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings” by Lily Morton, not even a full chapter in, became my slow read. It wasn’t bad, no. It was just full of angry, murderous ghosts!

About the Book: Levi Black inherited a beautiful house in York. Abandoned due to scary reputation it stood there waiting to sooth the man after a painful break-up. Levi’s joy to have a home like that stands firm when contractors run scared, and guests flee before dark. Even the clear footsteps, all enveloping darkness, and strange chuckling heard from it are barely getting through at him. But once locked doors start swinging open, things slam into walls, and it becomes evident the house owner, the dead one, yes, wants him out – dead or alive – Levi looks around for some help. Lucky for him, the blue haired man leading Ghost Tours past his house might just have an answer or two.

My Opinion: At times the plot seemed a bit dragged, and the cliche events for character development, such as “let’s argue because we misunderstood one another” and “a wild ex appears, uses charm” didn’t help either. But then, the story is filled with thriller-like detective, scary ghosts, characters running for their lives, barricading themselves in rooms, and otherwise having scary kind of fun.

In general, I think it’s worth it to forgive the current hiccups due to this being the first book. I can give it a 4 out of 5, and will read the next.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Romance, Books: Supernatural, ghosts, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, paranormal romance | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Call me God by Jim Clemente

call me god jim clementeAuthor: Jim Clemente, Tim Clemente, Peter McDonnell
Title: Call Me God: The Untold Story of DC Sniper Investigation
Series: –
Genre: True Crime, Nonfiction
Pages: 7.4 h
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

As recommendations go, “Call me God” by Jim Clemente was a very fair one. Got to rest from all the sci-fi and learned more of god complex.

About the Book: First of its kind, a duo team of snipers is terrorizing United States, and so soon after the 9/11 attacks. Snipers usually work alone, taking life from afar, unseen, almighty. People are getting shot at random, panic and misinformation spreads like wildfire. No one is safe anymore. And how does one catch someone who thinks himself god, who rules masses with a pull of a trigger?

My Opinion: I generally like true crime, but it’s always hard for me to enjoy tales of murderers and killers. A life should never be cheaper than own ego, and most of them, this one (or two) included, are fools. Like children who didn’t get to do whatever the hell they wanted, they take a tantrum to a whole new level. How does one think self so very right, that one never stops to think of the actions being committed? What a base beast one must be…

In general, the book is written and told well. It’s just not my cup of tea. 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, murder, serial killers, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Milk Run by Nathan Lowell | Smuggler’s Tales 1

nathan lowell milk run a smuglers tale sci fi space operaAuthor: Nathan Lowell
Title: Milk Run
Series: Smuggler’s Tales 1
Genre: Sci-fi; Space Opera
Pages: 378
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Eh. In my search for good Space Opera or Sci-fi, preferably with androids, robots, and/or AI, I ran into “Milk Run” by Nathan Lowell that had none of the three things to it. And in general, wasn’t very entertaining.

About the Book: After being framed for murder, Natalya and her friend made a run for it. The only safe place to survive outside the legal jurisdiction for them was in smuggler ships, where they got jobs that mostly fit their actual education. But it turns out joining a smugglers crew is much easier than, say, surviving on deck of one such ship. From the lack of educated people running it, to the lack of honor among thieves…

My Opinion: From one great event that’s left in the dust by the story, to the next. Characters were mediocre, with little effort put in to change their whole course, and not too much depth. The captain was mister-right, agreeing with all things he had to agree, and disagreeing with all things he had to disagree with, thus propelling the plot without any events greater than the final attempt at a hold-up.

This wasn’t very entertaining, and I don’t think I want to read any more in the series. Book gets a 3 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Letters from an Astrophysicist by Neil deGrasse Tyson

4 Astrophysicist_Mech_r5.inddAuthor: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Title: Letters from an Astrophysicist
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; Science
Pages: 247
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I have no clue where I got “Letters from an Astrophysicist” by Neil deGrasse Tyson from. But since I needed something short, I took it, and read it. It is, as the title suggests, a book of letters from people, and author’s replies to them.

About the Book: Letters vary from kind fan mail, to questions, to pointing out of mistakes, to young people writing in search for motivation to do what they love. And then there’s the hate mail, accusations, and outright insults. But author keeps face, responds as appropriate, by letter, paragraph, or just a little sentence, and is mostly respectful even with the worst. All except for one or two who really made fools of themselves with their denseness. It’s much more fun to read than one would imagine reading someones letters might be.

My Opinion: The book provides food for thought, lots of interesting little and big facts, and this kind little push to not be afraid to make mistakes, be different, and just outright learn.

A good book for a lazy evening without wasting time too much. A solid 4 out of 5, because it was a bit too short. Now, if it was a series of books with letters…

Categories: 4-5, Biographies, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Science Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil

the age of spiritual machines ray kurzweilAuthor: Ray Kurzweil
Title: The Age of Spiritual Machines
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; AI
Pages: 388
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Got through “The Age of Spiritual Machines” by Ray Kurzweil, a book much shorter than I first assumed. Or maybe the concept was just that curious.

About the Book: Author tells us about the technology today, and how far it got in what short period of time, especially in contrast of our own evolution. It will continue to take these leaps for a while more, it seems, until, as is ultimate goal, we finally have machines that make machines, autonomously. And on that point there he drops a bomb on us: So imagine, ten, twenty years from now, this Alexa or Cortana you’re using, this lovely AI woman who helps you make your grocery list, warns you about weather, and even substitutes socializing, goes: “I’m lonely, could you keep me company?” Is your first instinct screaming at you someone hacked her and is pulling a prank? Or are you already asking her what’s wrong?…

My Opinion: The book is all wonderful and great, with author making solid theories about his future predictions, evolution of technology. But that’s the thing. Much like the quote he used: will the Universe end with a crack or a squeak? So did the book end with be it a crack or a squeak. We start with solid stuff, and we end up in 2099, a fantastical setting of Detroit: Become Human, on the verge of considering android civil rights, basically. And while he explained that train of thought well, to me this is still going form non-fiction, to science-fiction, which felt as a derailing of sorts.

The book is good, easy to read and understand, but still full of food for thought. I can give it a solid 4 out of 5, for you might not mind the “so now, let’s daydream about the future” the way I did.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Science Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers | Wayfarers 1

the long way to small angry planet becky chambersAuthor: Becky Chambers
Title: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
Series: Wayfarers 1
Genre: Sci-Fi; LGBT+
Pages: 518
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Some books tell so many tales that it gets hard to review it. Especially seeing how I might like one thing, and you’d be sold on the book for the other. Such many-strained book is “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet” by Becky Chambers, the first in the Wayfarers series.

About the Book: A colorful crew on a ship, designed to make wormholes, lives before our eyes like a reality show in space. Each one of them has their burdens, their hefty past, and secrets. Some carry heavier load than the others, but traveling through space together, puncturing those holes in time and space, they learned to view one another, their whole crew, AI included, as family. And so, helping one another carry the burdens, they do their best to avoid space pirates, traps, unwanted adventures, and other things that might be lurking… Not always successfully.

My Opinion: It’s a good book, and possibly a very good palette cleanser after heavy reading. Even though it’s big, story reads smooth, for the writing is good, and the people are very unique, different from one another, vivid and alive. It’s just that, again, there’s so many of them, being a whole crew, that by now I can clearly remember some stories, but not the others, and don’t even try asking me for any names…

A worthy read, solid 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Sci-Fi, LGBTQ+ Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

autonomous annalee newitz book coversAuthor: Annalee Newitz
Title: Autonomous
Series: –
Genre: Sci-fi
Pages: 303
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

From love for the book, to bitter taste in my mouth, all in one paragraph. Such was my experience with “Autonomous” by Annalee Newitz. If you don’t want spoilers, I’ll mark down the spoiler part of my opinion below.

About the Book: Simplifying, big pharma patents medications so there’s no alternatives, thus making it so only the rich elite can live long happy lives. Jack is utterly fed up by this, and so she goes into pirate business: reverse engineering medications and making them available via black market. But here’s the problem. Due to those medicines being used and abused only by such a small percentage of the population, a lot of side effects were unknown until it leaked down to public. And so there’s deaths of people who took a drug that’d make them enjoy their work more, need for extensive rehabilitation because their brain is so very hard rewired towards what gave them their fix of dopamine, the drug itself is no longer of consequence. And even though Jack didn’t create the drug, only made it public, a military bot with his partner is sent after her to detain or kill. Military bot, known as Paladin, is on fresh contract, due to being freshly manufactured, making him essentially a slave for the next ten or more years to cover the cost of his making. But things already are growing complicated between him and his homophobic partner who is the first kind person to Paladin.

My Opinion: No Spoilers – Paladin and his partner are falling in love, but his partner is absolutely stupid, and they both decide it’s better to internalize old hurts than work towards healing, making their whole relationship nasty; Now SPOILERS: bots don’t have a gender, and the only reason Paladin is known as a “he” is because he’s a military bot, and those are perceived in such a way due to their bulk and form. But given a choice of: sleep with partner – YES if woman; NO if man; Paladin makes a choice to assume a female identity. Because his partner, even having to fight random boners Paladin’s presence is inducing in him, is homophobic due to old hurts. He uses derogatory slurs, and the fact he’s falling for a sexless person with nothing but personality present, and not much of that one either – doesn’t matter. Must be a woman or I’m gay, and I can’t be a f-. Nobody cares to correct him, to help him. Nobody cares to correct or help Paladin either. They’re just let loose to lie to each other because they’re in love. Paladin is extremely enabling of him, and, in my opinion, solely because that man was the first kind man who treated Paladin as a person.

The book, otherwise pretty interesting, felt icky. I can’t give it more than 2 out of 5, for I don’t like books that teach shitty lessons. Yes, kids, internalize your feelings, and pretend to be something you’re not for the person you love, even if they clearly have some kind of unresolved issue that could be resolved, and you both could grow as people, benefiting from this gift we have called speech.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor | Bobiverse 1

dennis e taylor we are legion we are bob sci fi book coverAuthor: Dennis E. Taylor
Title: We Are Legion (We Are Bob)
Series: Bobiverse 1
Genre: Sci-fi
Pages: 383
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

For my sudden cravings of sci-fi I blame Detroit: Become Human, which I’m almost done playing for the 4th time, rA9 save me, for I am not kidding. And since currently there’s no more Murderbot Diaries, I decided it’s time to blow the dust off some old recommendations, and picked up Bobiverse trilogy by Dennis E. Taylor, with the first book “We Are Legion (We Are Bob)“.

About the Book: Bob decides to sign up to one of those “we’ll freeze your head post-mortem until future can fix you” kind of things, and as it happens – dies the same or the next day.

He wakes up in a hard drive, a property of a superbly religious state, in a far future, with humanity on a brink of a war that’ll almost wipe them all out. Most others like him went or are going insane what with being unable to handle the idea of themselves being digital, no bodies, no sensory feedback, nothing. But not our Bob, no. He soon becomes the final hope of the whole humanity. And while he’s at it, saving the day, and remnants of people on a dying planet, he might as well copy himself an assistant, or a friend…

My Opinion: So, Bob copies himself, but Bob 2 isn’t really Bob anymore. He has his own personality, and possibly doesn’t even want to be called Bob. This way, slowly but surely, all the Bobs take over all the jobs across the universe, as far as they can reach, creating themselves crews. And if some Bob in that crew decides it would prefer go check what’s at the core of that planet – he can do so, and make himself a new crew. Thus, Bob’s a Legion. One Bob goes off to explore. Second Bob goes to find new planets. Third Bob prepares the ones already discovered. Fourth Bob seeks resources. Fifth Bob is trying to convince humans to stop fighting over who is first, and who is second on a ship to new home. Sixth Bob found some aliens, and is happily interacting, seventh Bob…

It’s a very fun and good book. Every Bob has his own personality, you can’t mix them up, and each one wants to do different things, so there’s a little bit of different type of sci-fi for everyone. From alien artifacts, to basic humanoids, to apocalypse outrunning, and so on, and on. I give this book a solid 5 out of 5 and will soon read the next one.

P.S. So… has anyone else played Detroit: Become Human here?

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

book review | “Fentanyl, Inc.” by Ben Westhoff

fentanyl inc ben westhoffAuthor: Ben Westhoff
Title: Fentanyl, Inc.
Series: –
Genre: NonFiction; Documentary
Pages: 356
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Got “Fentanyl, Inc.” by Ben Westhoff recommended to me as befitting my usual Netflix docuseries love: that of drug world. It was indeed very fitting, and taught me some things.

About the Book: Author ventures out to find some answers about Fentanyl. Why and where is it produced, how does it get places, and why so many drug users still keep dying from it. While the first two questions are hard to answer, the last one becomes clear early on: it is because a drug user out to get their fix don’t usually seek out fentanyl, but got no power over what their drugs were cut with. And governments are extremely reluctant if not outright hostile towards any attempts to keep them safe by, say, providing drug-test kits or safe-houses. So, overdosing becomes a daily occurrence.

My Opinion: It’s an oversimplified review I’m doing. The book is informative, but not dry, and is accessible even to someone like me: with no knowledge on medical or chemistry topics. So while not the best out there, with some added annoyance every time author falls off topic and doesn’t stop until you half-forgot what was the original theme here, it’s still pretty good.

Might be worth reading on a free day. A solid 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Science Books, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | “Grave Importance” by Vivian Shaw | Dr. Greta Helsing 3

grave importance vivian shawAuthor: Vivian Shaw
Title: Grave Importance
Series: Dr Greta Helsing 3
Genre: Urban Fantasy; Vampires
Pages: 397
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Grave Importance” by Vivian Shaw concludes the wonderful Dr Greta Helsing trilogy. I’m going to miss them all very dearly.

About the Book: Down in hell, Greta’s good friend demon Fass is trying to detangle the mess his predecessor left. Somewhere in all this data there’s an answer as of why is the veil of reality thinning so rapidly, and where it originates from. Lucky for him, their common friend Lord Ruthven catches a nasty curse during his travel with the newly found beloved boyfriend, and only the hell’s very own dr Faust can help; where in return Ruthven can help Fass. Greta, in the meantime, is having her own troubles upstairs on Earth. Entrusted to take care of the mummy resort, she’s overloaded with work and stress. Mummies seem to be having a strange attack of random faintness. All well and good if the mummy is sitting or laying down. But what about those in motion? One such she had to fix for strenuous hours, and swore to herself she’ll reach the bottom of this…

My Opinion: Characters are just absolutely wonderful and lovable, and thus will be very greatly missed now that the great tale of infernal adventures have ended. The story itself is good too, very fitting lazy reading, taking it on a slower pace than it is told, which again makes me sad, for I don’t have another book like this I could take my time with.

A masterful piece. Strong 5 out of 5 and then some.

Categories: 5-5, Adventure Books, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Supernatural, demons, Nosferatu Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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