book review | The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist | The Glass Books 1

x the glass books of the dream eaters gordon dahlquistAuthor: Gordon Dahlquist
Title: The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters
Series: The Glass Books 1
Genre: Mystery, Steampunk
Pages: 760
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Good grief. “The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters” by Gordon Dahlquist, first in the Glass Books series, is very excessive. And while not a bad example of Steampunk Mystery, it ain’t a very good one either.

About the Book: A dark and secret cabal is performing unearthly rituals. They’re stealing minds, knowledge, experiences, condensing them into their blue glass books to be used by others. This process enslaves people, transforms them. Or outright kills them. And it’s a tad hard to tell which is worse.

Miss Temple truly did not expect to find all this when she decided to follow her former fiance in attempts to find out if there were any other reasons for why he broke off the engagement. Nor did she expect to find allies such as foreign doctor Svenson, with his masterful ability to not only heal and cure, but make allies out of enemies; or the infamous assassin nick named Cardinal Cheng. For reasons of their own, united they fight against the evil forces, giving it all to survive.

My Opinion: Fantasy doesn’t need iron logic. It only needs it to hold water and have everything work. Here, while we get to spend most the chapters in one or another head of the character, we barely get these vague outlines of why are they doing what they’re doing. For instance, Miss Temple has these ridiculous outbursts of violence that there and here sort of were hinted to as coming from what her father used to be like. Other times she does or thinks the strangest things which then leaves me, as a reader, wonder why the hell was I subject to this. Then there’s the assassin in bright red coat. I imagine he enjoys chasing victims, for I can’t imagine people recognizing the coat to not dash.

It’s not bad, it’s just not good either. 3 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Sci-Fi, Fantasy Books, Sci-Fi Books, steampunk, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Embrace Your Weird by Felicia Day | Self-help lit.

felicia day embrace your weird book coverAuthor: Felicia Day
Title: Embrace Your Weird
Series: –
Genre: Non Fiction; Self-help
Pages: 272
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I really, really love Felicia Day. So right when I got the chance to put my paws on her newest creation, a book called “Embrace Your Weird“, I did. Not soon enough, let me tell you!

About the Book: Out of many if not absolute most of us, weirdness gets taught out, forced out in a form of “be polite”, or bullied out, usually by those who already got theirs stifled. And so we learn to walk through life trying to not inconvenience anyone, giving in to guilt tripping, afraid to try, afraid to say no. Because what if we fail? We study for grades, not ourselves, so, naturally, if you want to draw horses, and you try, and it looks bad because you’ve not done it before, first instinct is to quit forever: grade’s in the negatives, you failed, never do it again! Well, except that no. Felicia, with lots of funny and very relatable examples explains us the science behind the basic self respect. She believes in our abilities, she believes in the goodness of our hearts, and you know what? We should too. Read this book as a manual as of how to avoid guilt tripping yourself, remove yourself from bad situations you have the power to remove yourself from, and not be afraid to try that thing you want to try. This book even helps get over creative blocks! Seriously!

My Opinion: Felicia Day is that magical Geek Queen Internet Mom who just keeps shining light onto my life all the way out here, in Lithuania. And I may not be the best book reviewer, excitement makes me talk a lot, and then I often miss the point due to it, as I probably did in the mile of text I see above. But you know what? That’s perfectly fine, this can be for me, and tomorrow I’ll write another review, and it will be better than this one, because that’s just how it works: you get better at the thing you keep doing, and then maybe one day I’ll actually BE the best book reviewer ever. Probably not likely, but hey, that’s fine too!

I loved this book. I read it twice back to back. I will read it again sometime soon. You should read it too. I give it a 5 out of 5, because it deserves that and a gold star too. (you’ll get it after you read it)

Categories: About Msg2TheMing | Leave a comment

book review | Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo | Grisha Trilogy 2

siege and storm leigh bardugo.jpgAuthor: Leigh Bardugo
Title: Siege and Storm
Series: Grisha Trilogy 2
Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult
Pages: 435
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

As much as I love the classic fantasy, with elves, dwarves, archers, mages, and lands unknown; I love the unusual fantasy too. Such as Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Or Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. Just finished second book in it, Siege and Storm, and it was as good as the last one, and probably better.

About the Book: Alina and Mal escaped from the Shadow Fold and from its ruler – Darkling. But such a victory is nothing if they want to continue living a life as they know it, not in utter darkness with monsters all around. Hiding their identities they make their way closer back to Ravka, hoping beyond hope to form a good enough plan for the inevitable battle against Darkling and his ever growing powers. And while fate is kind to them, generous with powerful allies, Alina loathes the price it comes with. People worship her as the Sun Queen. They worship her as one of the saints. If she learned anything from those religious books she was made to read is that saints and heroes – don’t live long.

My Opinion: The slight annoyance was the romance-drama. Mal expects Alina to read his mind, and then, when she tries to answer his questions, he just refuses to listen. But that’s just a drop in the water, not worth a point. The story is filled with turns, twists, unexpected happiness, and unexpected despair. Characters are very well written, from thieves, to mercs, to pirates, to kings. And people actually make logical decisions, they don’t just turn coats because of reasons. It was a very good read.

It’s a good book I can recommend to those who want good fantasy, but don’t want it too complicated. A 5 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver | lgbt+ lit.

i wish you all the best mason deaver book coverAuthor: Mason Deaver
Title: I Wish You All The Best
Series: –
Genre: LGBT+ literature; Contemporary
Pages: 329
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I feel like LGBT books are the best thing in Contemporary genre. Or at least, the only ones I like in that genre (still wouldn’t pass a good lgbt+ fantasy series, like Captive Prince). E.g. “I Wish You All The Best” by Mason Deaver, a wonderful and simple in a good way book of LGBT youth on the other side of kind and understanding parents.

About the Book: Ben’s life ended the same evening they found enough courage to come out to their parents: Ben’s nonbinary. Meaning they don’t fall under male or female gender categories in a world where ever colors seem to invoke associations with genders. So, as ignorant people do, Ben’s parents kicked their child out onto the street in the night. Having no place to go, they contacted their long lost sister, who ran from home with no goodbyes the first chance she found. Ben is thus forced to start a new life, full of anxiety, panic, a constant need to come out and again, and again, therapy, and too many apologies. But hey, new life is new hope too, right?

My Opinion: The book is very light and simple, which makes this topic more approachable to people who don’t yet fully grasp of how can you NOT be a set standard. And due to Mason Deaver being nonbinary too, you can be sure you’re getting information straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak (who coined this saying and why the hell?). To add to that, it shows a different world a, sadly, more realistic world than that of “Love, Simon” whose parents accepted him instantly. But it’s not as dark as it sounds anyway, and I promise, the ending is wonderful.

5 out of 5 from me, and I wish Ben all the best too. And all of you, out there. Stay safe until you can shine, and once you can shine: blind all the haters with your light.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Contemporary Books, LGBTQ+ Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Winter by Marissa Meyer | The Lunar Chronicles 4

winter by marissa meyer the lunar chroniclesAuthor: Marissa Meyer
Title: Winter
Series: The Lunar Chronicles 4
Genre: Fantasy; Sci-Fi
Pages: 827
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Ah, finished The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer with the last book in it: Winter. It was magical, wonderful, and oh the atmosphere. Author really knows how to write a good atmosphere.

About the Book: A common worker in an iron grip of the evil step mother Queen Levana, bombarded with constant illusions that Queen herself is delusional enough to believe, constant surveillance and threat of death, has no means to fight against oppression. But a rumor spreads like wildfire, a rumor of a long lost hope, long lost princess Selene. Rumor claims she’s here, among them. This is enough to bring a time of revolution about. This hope is enough to get them fighting. It is time for the Queen Levana to fall.

My Opinion: It’s a great book, truly. Due to everyone receiving their happy endings, story got a little long winded. But when characters are so nice and well written, it’s a pleasure to read, not a chore. There’s battles, there’s tension, there’s dangerous mind-controlling mages of sorts, and genetically engineered werewolves, and a crazy girl whose kindness melted even their savage hearts. The only true con I have for this book is the lack of motivation behind Cinder’s actions. She doesn’t remember Luna as her home, she doesn’t feel at home there, she wants to go back to Earth and not be a princess. So why did she fight so hard? Just because she wanted Levana off the throne?

Great book, great series. I highly recommend, and give it a 5 out of 5. 

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

book review | Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | Grisha Trilogy 1 | fantasy

shadow and bone leigh bardugo.jpgAuthor: Leigh Bardugo
Title: Shadow and Bone
Series: Grisha Trilogy 1
Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult
Pages: 358
Rate:  5/5 | Goodreads

Time to rest from all the poorly written horror literature. I’ve decided I need to lessen the unread series that I’ve got, especially the ones I got at home. And since Grisha Trilogy is being made into series (or a movie?) it only made sense to start with the first book in this trilogy, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I’ve been recommended this book many times, by several people. I get it now.

About the Book: Ravka is being torn apart by wars and the darkness at its heart – Shadow Fold, full of monsters so fierce it’s getting hard to pass even for magic wielding grisha. Same goes for war. Magical warriors, even led by the terrifying Darkling, cannot stand against ever advancing, technologically ever improving enemy. Magic, after all, hardly helps against a bullet to the head. But upon witnessing the orphan Alina Starkov’s power – hope blooms in all the Ravka citizens hearts, including the black heart of the Darkling. For she has a power that can stop not only the enemy, but Shadow Fold itself.

My Opinion: The book is written really well, is consistent and uniform through and through. Reader is allowed some suspicions, but never enough to foresee the upcoming twist of events; which take place in this slavic country Ravka. Lithuania borders with slavic countries, making it all sound familiar. Like reading a more of a fairy tale version of The Witcher Saga (but completely different, and not really a fairy tale either), full of dark forests, magical stags, and magicians. A truly wonderful book I can recommend to those who want something they won’t be able to put down.

I hope to finish the whole trilogy this month. Maybe next month I can give Six of Crows, also by Leigh Bardugo, a chance too. We’ll see. And for now, Shadow and Bone gets 5 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | Permanent Record by Edward Snowden

permanent record edward snowden book cover biographyAuthor: Edward Snowden
Title: Permanent Record
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; Biography
Pages: 352
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Edward Snowden with his biography “Permanent Record” is here to remind us all how deep in “1984” by George Orwell plot we are. It’s am amazing book, and also very scary one too.

About the Book: The Internet as we knew it has long as changed. They bribed us with convenience, taking our anonymity online. And if we want it back, we have to jump loops, like start using Tor browser. But, let’s face it, we’re slaves to habits and comfort, and we’ll use what we’re used to using. This way further becoming a commodity with illusion of invisibility behind a keyboard. From the smartphone in your pocket, to Alexa or Siri awaiting instructions in the corner of your very home. And here’s how it happened…

My Opinion: You could say that such tracking is more likely a thing in US, or other countries that aren’t as nice as yours when it comes to human rights. But this is why you need this book, for such thinking merely means you no longer notice how many things reach us from exactly the places that monitor us. From the device you’re reading this on, to the software used for it, to the browser you’ll open, and likely, to the page you’re going to enter in it. This way we become commodities no matter where we are: from a company that wants to sell you socks, to the company who wants you to buy it with your card, to whoever wants you to enter all of those digits into those slots. Hopefully though this book will scare you as much as it scared me. And, at the very least, you will fight for your rights to not be monitored the next time people with lack of understanding of what a smartphone is will decide what we’re allowed to share on the internet. We’ve lost one battle already, and I do hope you know how to use VPN.

It’s a great book that I highly recommend to everyone. 5 out of 5 from me. Thank You, Edward Snowden.

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

book review | Fear the Light by William Massa | Fear 1 | Dracula lit.

fear the light william massa book cover.jpgAuthor: William Massa
Title: Fear the Light
Series: Fear 1
Genre: Dracula, Vampires
Pages: 210
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

Other than those few historical classics I got recommended way back when, my attempt to read one Dracula book a month became this game of hit or miss. For instance, I truly did miss greatly with Fear the Light by William Massa.

About the Book: Someone is slaying clan vampires, starting with their master, their Creator, the oldest and most powerful vampire alive, formerly, Dracula. Now his clan cowers trapped in their master’s manor in the middle of the day. It was supposed to be a peaceful paying of respects to their late Father in Darkness and someone’s ascension to power, the clan leader position. Instead an invisible force is picking them off one by one. And everyone got a motive.

My Opinion: A poor imitation of Agatha Christi mysteries, where a group of people gets trapped somewhere, and someone’s killing them all. Shallow characters whose tragic stories did help, but otherwise didn’t make them any more interesting or missed. And that godawful trope one often sees in Dracula books, but usually he’s the one getting that stick of: the best of the best can’t beat you, but here comes a rando with a butter knife and you’re done. The End.

Mmno. 2 out of 5.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Dracula, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Mystery Books, Nosferatu Books, Thriller Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Talking with Psychopaths and Savages by Christopher Berry-Dee | true crime

talking with psychopaths and savages christopher berry-dee.jpgAuthor: Christopher Berry-Dee
Title: Talking with Psychopaths and Savages
Series: –
Genre: True Crime; Nonfiction
Pages: 288
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Some authors just stick them sticks into their own damn wheels. “Talking with Psychopaths and Savages” by Christopher Berry-Dee is precisely one of those books. Fitting a quote by someone: after all been said and done, more been said than done.

About the Book: Author, hurriedly and in big, pompous sentences promises us to show the mind of a psychopath, their lives, nuances, patterns that might have made them the way they are. He promises to not waste time on murder and case details either, for there are many books on these topics. And then proceeds telling us the tales of serial killers, their lives, medical impairments that might have had impact, their family statuses, upbringing, differences and similarities. And details on murders, cases. With thick inlays of opinions.

My Opinion: Not much to add here. Author’s best trait in these times of serial killer admiration is the fact that he proceeds to often point out: he’s not a fan of theirs. In fact, he drags them time and again, which was the most amusing bit in this book.

Can’t say it’s bad. Can’t say it’s good. Maybe a lazy read. I give it a 3 out of 5.

Categories: 3-5, About Msg2TheMing, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, serial killers, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Mark by Lee Mountford | horror lit.

the mark lee mountford book coverAuthor: Lee Mountford
Title: The Mark
Series: –
Genre: Horror Literature; Thriller
Pages: 290
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

It’s hard to find good horror genre books. The Mark by Lee Mountford isn’t one of them either.

About the Book: One night a stranger breaks into Kirsty’s home, drugs her, and brands her back with strange occult symbols. Ever since she had no peace. At first she thought of the visions of nightmarish creatures as delusions or PTSD symptoms. But when her friend is attacked by the same demons, she knows she only has one option now: find the man who did this, and make him take it away.

My Opinion: This is some poor writing. Weird, unnatural feeling dialogues. Very precise, predictable sequence of actions and events. Everyone around Kirsty seem to be delusional and incompetent by some degree. For instance, the detective on the case waves the main lead off as irrelevant. While Kirsty somehow finds the man by his eyes that she saw once, many years ago. Her moral compass was firm, but lacked any logic behind it. It was there to make you feel for this woman who otherwise was bland, and lacked personality. The best thing in this whole book was the demon, because it turned out to be something akin to djinn Bartimaeus: seemingly the big bad, but is it, really?

Pass, 2 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, demons, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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