book review | Redemption’s Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky | After the War 1

redemptions blade adrian tchaikovsky after the warAuthor: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Title: Redemption’s Blade
Series: After the War 1
Genre: Epic Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 367
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

Alright, Adrian Tchaikovsky definitely goes onto my list of favorite authors. I’ve just read his “Redemption’s Blade“, first book in After the War duology, and it was amazing. Summon up the memories of what high fantasy you’ve ever read where there was a battle against great evil. And now imagine the heroes who slain the evil go back to tending fields and farms.

About the Book: Kinslayer, the innovative tyrant, set out to shape the world more to his liking, equalizing as he thought fit. Monsters made from people, monsters made by magic, monsters made in laboratories, trinkets, artifacts, curses, all set out onto the land, together with races forgotten, nations from deep underground. But when evil rises, so do heroes who can’t stand for it. They united nations and fought back. And when Kinslayer fell… Well, old disagreements between nations were not forgotten. Monsters still roamed the land. Curses didn’t just go away. And creatures from deep down had no wish going back into the darkness now that they saw the beauty of the sky. Celestine was one of the heroes during the war. And upon its end she couldn’t find peace at her farm. Seeing world still act like they’re at war wasn’t helping either. So she gathered her most trusted friends, and went back into the world to right the wrong.

My Opinion: This was a magically amazing book, so well written, so very interesting, full of witty moments, breathtaking fights, and a world brand new. We got to know an equivalent of orcs here, those ugly brothers with more strength than brain usually. Usually. We got to know their reasoning. It’s almost like in movie Bright, where orcs were on the Dark Lord’s side, but then sided with humans, right? Here they are not called orcs, and they chose to fight sooner, but… It still has that very amazing familiarity and newness combo to it. Not to mention all the creatures that were made by magic, entirely new unimaginable places, beings, and the reoccurring thought our heroes had: why did Kinslayer make them this way? Imagine being a creature who got dragged from another world into a war that wasn’t yours. Now you have no way home, and nothing to eat here too. All you can do is starve for the rest of the eternity, because you cannot die either, or until someone finds you, and finds how to send you back home. This is what this book is about.

A marvelous, fantastic damn amazing book. I highly recommend it, and give a 5 out of 5

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

book review | Fairest by Marissa Meyer | The Lunar Chronicles 3.5

fairest marissa meyer book coverAuthor: Marissa Meyer
Title: Fairest
Series: The Lunar Chronicles 3.5
Genre: Sci-Fi; Fantasy
Pages: 222
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

Fairest by Marissa Meyer is a half book from The Lunar Chronicles series, and tells the story of Queen Levana. How a delusional girl who believed in her own lies finally became the Queen.

About the Book: Levana has learned to use glamour due to necessity. Tricked and hurt by her older sister as a child, she barely survived the fire, and was left deformed. Lonely, mocked by her older sister, secondary daughter and not the crown princess, she grew up in a world where illusion was everything, and faked emotion was as good as true. Thus, if illusion face, clear skin, is her reality, why isn’t it reality, period? Who is going to deny her that right? And if they did dare, well… She had glamour powerful enough to force their hearts to love her, and their hands to cut their own throats if she had to.

And so, stepping over broken dreams, dead bodies, and wrecked minds, she made her way up.

My Opinion: Oof, the last time I was so disgusted by a character was when I was reading fifth Harry Potter book, you guessed it, with Umbridge. Yes, there are many reasons why she grew ever crueler, but in all honesty, I think nothing broke her harder than her own lies she spun for herself. Anyway, the book serves not only to steel our hearts against the Lunar Queen Levana, but also introduces us to her stepdaughter, Winter, who is apparently going to be the hero of our next book in The Lunar Chronicles.

Marissa Meyer is unbelievably good. Truly. So this book, as many before, get a 5 out of 5 from me. Damn it was good.

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

book review | The Henchmen of Zenda by K.J. Charles

henchmen of zenda kj charles book coverAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: The Henchmen of Zenda
Series: –
Genre: LGBT+ Literature; Adventures
Pages: 232
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

Finally! At last I got to read The Henchmen of Zenda by K.J. Charles, a book for which I’ve read The Prisoner of Zenda. You don’t need to, but it definitely adds an amusement factor to already know a great deal about some villains, and then see them in KJC spotlight.

About the Book: A tale as old as time, two brothers fighting for a throne. Yet, usually it is pretty clear who’s the good guy in this all, and so you’d know whom to cheer on. But Jasper Detchard, Black Michael’s man, can see neither of them to be good or proper, fit to lead the whole country. Still, his job is to get rid of the opponent in such a manner that the blame doesn’t fall on Black Michael. Which turns out is not such an easy feat, even with a drunkard like the king of Ruritania. It’s just that they just had the king. And yet there he is, getting crowned. Almost like he could be in two places at once. Or had a doppelganger!

My Opinion: This is such a classic adventure book, full of sword fights, villains, princesses, courtesans, imposters, and so on. The plot is thick with intrigue, double-crossing, allies in unlikely places, brave souls, attacks on stormy nights, and consolation in lover’s arms. I loved this book, it was the best damn thing, and I will re-read it as time allows at last.

A great book. 5 out of 5, I’ll spare you the words.

Categories: 5-5, Adventure Books, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | How to Think by Alan Jacobs

how to think alan jacobsAuthor: Alan Jacobs
Title: How to Think
Series: –
Genre: Philosophy, Self Help
Pages: 160
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

Very often I feel utterly stupid when I can’t back a very solid argument I fundamentally believe in or even know to be true. And because of that I envy those friends of mine who are able to navigate any and all topics without stepping on any toes, or getting into actual arguments. How to Think by Alan Jacobs showed me why we’re all like that.

About the Book: In well condensed and solid thoughts, accompanied by great examples this book points us to all those Big Moral Truths, from which we are welcome to chip away our smaller ones, and shows us all the flaws, mistakes, truths, and strategies that they’re formed with. This way making them accessible even to those of us who don’t believe in this or that social norm, public opinion, or “right” opinion. In the hyperconnected world we live in, where opinion forming is as fast as a reteweeting of one, the tools this book provides to assess the argument and see it from another point of view, without the commitment to agree with it, are much needed.

My Opinion: Author, in this very friendly way, guides us through the horrible maze of thinking. He never tells the reader what to believe, but all the time stresses the need to know what you believe, know why you believe it, and be open to discussions about the opposite belief. Which is why I now believe people will either love or hate this book. For most of us are creatures of habit. Most of us will rather leave it on “seen” and move on, rather than waste what we believe, and possibly rightly so, to be our time that we could spend better. But by taking those tools this book provides, and seeing those holes in your own thinking, even if you choose to do nothing, you surely walk away richer for it anyway. So, in my humble opinion, it was worth to get the means to improve myself, even if I find it that I am indeed too stupid to do so.

It’s a good book I truly enjoyed. I liked the tone author wrote in, and I’m grateful for the final little list which was concluded with a simple: be brave. It thus gets a full 5 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | The Vampire’s Club by X. Aratare | The Vampire’s Club 2

x aratare vampires club mm vampire romance book cover.jpgAuthor: X. Aratare
Title: The Vampire’s Club
Series: The Vampire’s Club 2
Genre: LGBT+ Literature; Vampires
Pages: 96
Rate: 3-5 | Goodreads

The Vampire’s Club by X. Aratare books, that are seemingly all titled by this same, and merely numbered beyond it, are horribly too short. Sometimes it works. But this time it led to rushed scenes and cliches.

About the Book: Konstantin decided to let go of Lucas, the young man with magical blood with a power to lift the suffering of his curse. And almost regretted it bitterly. As Lucas approached Club Dyavol for his first night at work, mesmerized he almost got hit by a car. The stress caused by this finished what good magic man’s blood has given Konstantin, sending him into pain-induced nightmare, unable to help the young man. How is he supposed to protect Lucas without locking him up, making him a blood slave?

My Opinion: As I said before: read it, seen it, heard it. A young man with magical blood that draws in anyone and everyone who might feed on said blood. Not really a human, but doesn’t know it, and no one who knows – is telling him. A big bad vampire whose dead heart suddenly blooms with morality over this same fella. And so on. But the fantasy lover in me demands I get to know where these vampires came from, so I will read further.

It’s readable. And if you’re into m/m romances, depending on how much and what you’ve read before – you might really enjoy it too. I, personally, give it a 3 out of 5, for it’s barely my cup of tea.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Romance, Books: Supernatural, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Sojourn by R.A. Salvatore | The Legend of Drizzt 3

sojourn r.a. salvatore dark elf drow fantasy epic highAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: Sojourn
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 3
Genre: High Fantasy; Epic Fantasy
Pages: 309
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

I’ve just finished the final book, Sojourn by R.A. Salvatore in the first trilogy, The Legend of Drizzt, of this wonderful series of trilogies, The Forgotten Realms. And it was beautiful, amazing, and oh so damn classic in the very best of way.

About the Book: Drizzt, now a surface dweller, has to learn to survive in these absolutely different conditions. There’s a cycle of light and dark, growing shorter or longer. There’s cycles of weather too, with cold sometimes so bitter it threatened his life a time or two, until he learned to light a fire, and keep it lit. It would be difficult to live as a vagabond, roaming from forest to forest, from cave to cave, even if the loneliness wasn’t driving him mad. For, after all, no matter what lies in his heart, Drizzt is still a Drow, a Dark Elf, and both good races and the evil ones too, see him as a threat, danger, and tend to be hostile. But Drizzt lives on, with hope. For who can know what tomorrow will bring. And there’s still much to learn and see in this strange surface world.

My Opinion: These books will sit proudly with the likes of Tolkien, Fritz Leiber, Andre Norton, Peter S. Beagle, and so on, for it is that classic adventurous high-epic fantasy, full of strange lands to explore, stranger races, people to meet, magic, dragons even! It’s classic in the best of ways, as I said.

I’m not sure how will other trilogies approach it all, for some, judging by the titles, eventually return to the Spider Queen, and Drizzt’s homeland. But I guess I’ll read it and see. This one gets a solid 5 out of 5 from me. It definitely re-stocked the little faery fire back into my elven heart.

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

book review | The Looting Machine by Tom Burgis

tom burgis looting machine cleptocracyAuthor: Tom Burgis
Title: The Looting Machine
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; Economics
Pages: 352
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

The Looting Machine by Tom Burgis is not the first book on brutal kleptocracy that I’ve read this year. But just like “McMafia” by Misha Glenny, it is very important. We do need to educate ourselves on this. For it’s not just by the plastic bag or straw that we add to horrors, to actual crime. But we do have the power, we literally have it all, as consumers. For diamond industry is already whining of millenials ruining their business…

About the Book: Do you know where crude oil comes from? Do you know how it gets extracted in strong countries, and how it’s extracted in places like Africa? And do you know what billions upon billions of dollars worth of export does to an underdeveloped country that has no manufactured good, and relies solely on it? Are you thinking of Emirates? Well, I have bad news for you then.

Juggernaut companies tear places like Africa apart for precious metals, stones, and oil. They force people out into shacks in unlivable places, and then, leaving them no choice, employ them in their cogs of brutal, bloody gang wars, corrupt kleptocracy governments, and condemn them to die. Be it by another faction butchering everyone to make turf for themselves, or by common colds that they couldn’t cure, or just outright starvation.

After the loot has been taken, it is shipped to a better industrialized, but still pitifully cheap country, where raw materials are turned into things. And it’s from there that we get our straws, our phones, our toys, and our jewelry. Blood, by then, is cleaned off.

My Opinion: Books like this are extremely important. We do need to educate ourselves, especially seeing that we actually can. And it is not to say that we should feel guilty over using the laptops and phones. It is so we’re more aware, wiser, and make better decisions the next time we need to get new ones. We need to be aware. It is from our awareness that the change can be made. As long as we put in that little bit of effort. That is not to say we’ll stop the juggernauts, that’s unlikely until there’s literally nothing more to dig out of places like Africa. But we can support people who are fair to others, we can support companies that don’t import from what we, our countries, deemed too big of a hell to allow happen around us.

It’s a good book. Well written, and while maybe not fully worth the 5 out of 5 I will give it, but I think the thought behind it matters greatly.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, crews, gangs, etc, Historical Books, mafia, murder | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope | The Ruritania Trilogy 2

the prisoner of zenda anthony hope book coverAuthor: Anthony Hope
Title: The Prisoner of Zenda
Series: The Ruritania Trilogy 2
Genre: Classic; Adventure
Pages: 157
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

One of my favorite authors wrote a book based on The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope, second book in the trilogy of stand-alone’s. And while you can probably read it without this one, I didn’t want to risk not getting something, and I don’t regret reading it.

About the Book: Rudolf lived a comfortable life, and didn’t care to do much of anything with it. But brother’s wife kept pestering him to a point, where he finally agreed to go to Ruritania, where his life took an almost fantastical turn. One evening, walking through the woods of local little town of Zenda, he ran into the king, then not yet crowned, accepted his invitation to come hang out with his friends, where they all promptly got black-out drunk, and… Spent next three months or so pretending to be the said king. All while doing his best, working with king’s men, to destroy the cabal set against the rightful king. Among these political intrigues, brave men and murderers alike, his life, and many others, changed forever.

My Opinion: This is like a historical book of Bilbo Baggins, the hobit. Takes one step to fall into adventure, and coming out of it – you’re no longer the same person who was so reluctant to make that first step before. While the book itself is a bit dry, as any and all classics I’ve ever read, it was really fun, and quenched the thirst for adventure well enough for the time being.

A very fun book, definitely worth the read. I give it a solid 4 out of 5, and will consider reading the other two. But just consider for now.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Historical Fiction Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson | Millennium 3

the girl who kicked teh hornets nest stieg larssonAuthor: Stieg Larsson
Title: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest
Series: Millennium 3
Genre: Thriller; Crime
Pages: 563
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

And so with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson I’ve finished the Millennium trilogy. It was dark, gritty, and very interesting.

About the Book: Lisbeth Salander has survived her own death and funeral. And now will have to spend a lot of time in hospital confinement, with doors locked and all access to the outside world – cut. Healing and hoping that the bullet to the head didn’t damage her brain permanently.

In the meantime Mikael Blomkvist is gathering together an army, ready to take down the criminal organization that thought themselves to be important men of the government, power. With the help of his sister, his friends, he’s building a case that’ll set Lisbeth free, and put everyone who ever hurt her behind bars, at last. But the criminals in question have no intention of going down, at least not that easily. They’re doing everything they can to discredit everyone speaking against them, falsify evidence, and make evidence disappear, sometimes together with the witnesses. It’s now a matter of who will outwit whom.

My Opinion: At some points the book was so awfully dark that I was left to wonder why are characters experiencing it lack reaction. But then, as I’ve read on, and every string connected tying together to make one big picture, I realized it was the whole point. This is a tale of people broken, but not dead. People hurt, but not giving up. This is a tale of very brutal fight where you make a very conscious choice to live, survive, and tell the damned tale. And it is very well written, truly.

I think I will go ahead and rewatch all the movies. Maybe I’ll even have it in me to review them, we’ll see. But for now I give this book a 5 out of 5, and the whole trilogy gets the same too.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, crews, gangs, etc, Crime Books, Detective Books, murder, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Heaven’s Door by John G. Hartness | Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter 6

john g hartness heavens door quicy harker dracula literatureAuthor: John G. Hartness
Title: Heaven’s Door
Series: Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter 6
Genre: Paranormal, Dracula
Pages: 120
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Hell and damnation, I did it again. So, I’ve read Heaven’s Door by John G. Hartness, which is sixth book in Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter series. I’ve done so because I’ve already read and reviewed the fifth book, it turns out. As first. And then connected whichever two from the omnibus. Please read the titles of the books carefully and don’t do my stupid mistakes. Though, must say, didn’t take anything out of the goodness of these damned books.

About the Book: Some Big and Bad just refuses to leave. Instead it scratches at the door, trying to let the whole hell into Earth instead, like a very mean and annoying cat. Quincy has dealt with this demon before, and yet here it is again, additionally angry for having its plans mucked up the last time, and additionally dangerous, for Quincy has way more to lose than ever before.

My Opinion: If Dean Winchester and Skippy the Magnificent had a baby, Quincy Harker would be he. He’s real witty, funny, dark, broody, seems to have a healthy attitude towards his job, and sometimes goes onto tangent of telling people who understand less what they can do, where they can go, and such. There’s great geeky references all over the place too, implying he’s secretly into more things than he lets us know, and Dracula, his uncle Luke that is, is as badass as always. Man, I love these books.

Right, these go right on my to-buy list for someday, since audiobooks and library copies won’t cut it. 5 out of 5, and I’m off to get me the 7th one.

Categories: 5-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, Books: Supernatural, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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