book review | Drachenfels by Kim Newman | The Vampire Genevive 1

drachenfels kim newman jack yeovil book reviewAuthor: Kim Newman
Title: Drachenfels
Series: The Vampire Genevive 1
Genre: Vampires; Dark Fantasy
Pages: 288
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Ah, Kim Newman. Read “Drachenfels” (written under a penname), first in The Vampire Genevive series. Not the first one where he spoke in length of some kind of theatric production.

About the Book: In the dark Drachenfels Fortress a play is to be premiered on the fall of the great Enchanter Drachenfels. But, it seems, both the theater crew, and the fortress walls, are haunted by spellbound shadows. And every line in the script is followed by gruesome, bloody troubles…

My Opinion: Author is much too long winded for my taste. There’s many characters, and each one gets a recap on their story. Yet, still, as you can see, I keep reading his books, so I guess they’re, at the very least, bearable. In this particular one our main character is supposedly vampire Genevive, whom we already met in Anno Dracula. The woman seems to be jumping across books, and across universes too.

It’s not bad, but it’s not good either. So a 3 out of 5, for the tribute to Dracula that this did. I might even read the next one.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, dark fantasy, demons, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff | 1

empire of vampireAuthor: Jay Kristoff
Title: Empire of the Vampire
Series: Empire of the Vampire 1
Genre: Vampires; Dark Fantasy
Pages: 739
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Long books are the bane of my existence. For even in the best ones I forget where it all began by the time I start nearing the end. Such was “Empire of the Vampire” by Jay Kristoff too.

About the Book: One day the sun rose offering no illumination, no warmth. Darkened, humanity fell. Famine, war, plague. And then they came. Coldbloods. Vampires. Hunting the huddled remains of humans as cattle. Leaving behind dead that stirred more often than not. But out of this darkness came forth the hope. Mortal men sired by no mortal man. Vampire hunters, vampire killers. Known to them as palebloods. And to humans, as Silversaints.

My Opinion: It’s awfully slow, seeing how hero had to tell his whole story from the childhood, to teenhood, to now, with all the world building and everything. But if you can suffer through the awfulness that is the teenage years, you get to enjoy this wonderful book of dark high fantasy, full of great lore and truly haunting vampires. At points it felt like a Studio Ghibli movie, in the best way possible, as out of the dark, a darker thing rose, and no one was able to tell you what that was.

Definitely not bad, if you enjoy vampires, this might be a good read. A solid 4 out of 5.

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Categories: 4-5, Apocaliptic Books, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, dark fantasy, high fantasy, LGBTQ+ Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

promo | Brand New Halloween / Samhain designs

Stickers_sheet

Made you some brand new Halloween / Samhain designs (meant mainly for stickers / magnets). If you hurry, you might still get them in time for gifts, for your friends, or yourself!

BLACKWOOD

Categories: Artwork, Creations, My Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Malice by Heather Walter | Malice Duology 1

heather walter malice book cover book reviewAuthor: Heather Walter
Title: Malice
Series: Malice Duology 1
Genre: Retelling; LGBT Literature
Pages: 470
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Malice” by Heather Walter, first in the duology by the same title, is one of the best retellings I’ve read. Definitely goes there with the Marissa Meyer stuff.

About the Book: Women born with fae magic, called Graces, for a fee, until their magic fades, will grant you your innocent desires. Turn your eyes a shade you want, smoothen your skin, sprinkle some joy, and happiness into your life. For as long as it hurts no one. For if you want to hurt someone… You go into the dark lair of the Dark Grace and pray that your wicked heart will not end you in the kettle, cursed, or otherwise afflicted by the horror that this dark being is.

My Opinion: It has everything a fairy tale ought to have. From fae magic, to cursed royal lineages, to princesses awaiting the kiss of their true love, guarded by dragons. And most of all, it has a well written villain, born out of character development that made sense.

A great book for October’s spooky book collection. Firm 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, dark fantasy, F/F Literature, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Adventure of Deadly Dimensions by Lois H. Gresh | Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu 1

sherlock holmes the adventure of the deadly dimensions cthulhu lois h gresh book coverAuthor: Lois H. Gresh
Title: The Adventure of Deadly Dimensions
Series: Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu 1
Genre: Horror literature; Detective
Pages: 437
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

The Adventure of Deadly Dimensions” by Lois H. Gresh, first in the Sherlock Holmes vs. Cthulhu series, was… a strange one. It’s biggest pro was the mixture of steampunk and lovecraftian horror.

About the Book: A strange machine, burning an even stranger mix of chemicals, is turning lead into gold. Whispers of budding or possibly even very active Cult of Dagon. Deaths attributed to the machine, and very frightened workers who are too afraid to even get close for an attempt to turn it off. All of that peaks the curiosity of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes who doesn’t believe in supernatural, but seems to be just bored enough to see what’s with the ruckus.

My Opinion: It’s a bit more than just dull, the way we’re led through the tale, jumping between the good guys, and the bad guys between the chapters, all while Watson peppers everything with hefty dose of whining about his family life, and addiction he has to Sherlock. Lots of talks, and even actions, that go no where and add nothing to the story. But it’s just good enough for me to give second book a shot, in case this was the first floppy pancake.

Here’s to hoping for more substance. A 3 out of 5.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Detective Books, steampunk | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Vampire Slaying by Grady Hendrix

the southern book clubs guide to slaying vampires grady hendrixAuthor: Grady Hendrix
Title: The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Vampire Slaying
Series: –
Genre: Horror; Vampire
Pages: 410
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Oof. Read “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Vampire Slaying” by Grady Hendrix. This is a nasty thing to read, and I wish there was a trigger warning of some kind.

About the Book: Reading exciting things, detectives, thrillers, and even true crime, Southern Book Club women likely all wished, at some point, for a little more excitement in their safe little town. And then regretted that wish as the tall dark stranger entered their lives, charming their families, neighbors. All while children began to disappear, and safety started feeling very thin.

My Opinion: This was a very unpleasant read. I understand the need to write vile things to create a monster, but I don’t understand the fear for trigger warnings then. I’d rather be mentally prepared by a spoiler, than feel sick after reading a book and wasting my time. Because it was a waste of time. Mediocre writing, long winded fillers, dull, two dimensional characters, and a cheaply created monster. Not even a villain, just a dim-witted monster.

It’s okayish at best. A 3 out of 5 for trying.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Thriller Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

promo | Halloween / Samhain gifts

soukyan blackwood skull skeleton red goth vampire book bujo journaling bulleting notebook

As Halloween / Samhain nears, you might be needing some gifts for your fam. Well, I’ve got you this year even more than I had you the last. I’ve adjusted some of my designs to fit notebooks the best. They come in graph, lines, and blank (and if you prefer, there’s one on a spiral).

I use mine, the one you see in the picture, as a monthly TBR list + notes on upcoming releases I must not miss. Mind you, it takes time to make these, so this is the very best time to order one to get it in time!

This design is here:  The Dark Spellcraft; Everything else: Redbubble

Categories: Artwork, Creations, My Work, The Afterlife, Treasures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The House of Gucci by Sara Gay Forden

the house of gucci night mode reading sara gay fordenAuthor: Sara Gay Forden
Title: The House of Gucci
Series: –
Genre: History; Biography
Pages: 400
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Usually after reading a biographical book, I find some new respect or at least a new perspective for the lives of the people in it. “The House of Gucci” by Sara Gay Forden is not the case.

About the Book: A Fashion house built on mostly fake roots. Hard work slowly getting replaced by squabbles, internal fighting and bickering, who got what, how much, and why not less. Changes of hands due to lack of work and wasted resources up until there were no more Guccis in Gucci. A status symbol of living large and luxury leisure due to all the wrong reasons.

My Opinion: Was never a fan of Gucci, not my colors, not my patterns. But I enjoy reading of the big brand names, fashion houses, see where it came from. Gucci might just be the most notorious one due to all the… Things, related to the name. If you’re into brands, this might be a good investment.

Lack of values outright stunned me. But the book is well written, a firm 4 out of 5.

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

book review | Shadow Games by Glen Cook | The Chronicles of the Black Company 4

glen cook shadow games chronicles of the black company sci fi fantasy book coverAuthor: Glen Cook
Title: Shadow Games
Series: The Chronicles of the Black Company 4
Genre: Dark Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 311
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Right, read “Shadow Games” by Glen Cook, fourth book in The Chronicles of the Black Company series. Possibly my last. These did not age well.

About the Book: Chasing legends, and unstable leads, led by crows too clever, too ominous, unsure if they of friends or foes, Croaker finds himself rebuilding the Company and leading them straight into the war.

My Opinion: This was so damn bland and dry. Were it not for the final battle, I’d think I wasted my time on eternal monologues, dull romance, fillers, and so on.

It’s alright. I just don’t know if that’s enough for me to continue with the series. 3 out of 5 for now.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, dark fantasy, epic fantasy, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Hereticus by Dan Abnett | Eisenhorn 3

dan abnett hereticus eisenhorn warhammer 40000 book cover reviewAuthor: Dan Abnett
Title: Hereticus
Series: Eisenhorn 3
Genre: 40k; Space Opera
Pages: 320
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Finished “Hereticus” by Dan Abnett, third book in Eisenhorn series. It was clearly meant to be a trilogy, judging how the fourth book is so very much longer, and released fairly recently. So now I wonder if I want to read that, or do I want to go back to Sanderson if we talk about brick-books.

About the Book: The step from knowledge in the name of knowing your enemy to heresy is very fine indeed. So fine, in fact, that Eisenhorn’s companions begin doubting his sanctity, his truth, purity, seeing what feats he pulled with forbidden knowledge, forbidden power, to save them. In the end, they’ll have to decide whom can they trust, if anyone at all.

My Opinion: Now that worldbuilding is done, you’d think we can concentrate on knowledge, history, action. No. No we can’t. Instead we cheapen the solid plot by throwing in some love drama, making Eisenhorn human. Ah well. Ignoring that bullshit, we had some fine twisty plot, great fights, and SOME lore to enjoy. Good lore, so even a little bit is always greatly entertaining.

Mediocre end to trilogy, but I guess my expectations were getting too high. A solid 4 out 5 nonetheless. Worth the hassle.

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Books, space opera | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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