Bookish | The Historian

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I’m grateful to this book. It really helped me get some solid ground in my life at a right time. Same goes to Humphreys “Vlad: The Last Confession”, so you see why I’m so keen to get as many Dracula books as I get. This said, it is not my favorite. It’s ah… Too long in the walk-and-talk area. But if you liked it, you might really like Dacre Stoker’s “Dracul” too!

☕ What was the book that got you out of a dark place?

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diversity | “Midnight” by Megan Derr | Dance with the Devil 3

4Author: Megan Derr
Title: Midnight
Series: Dance with the Devil 3
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 212
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Have I mentioned before, that these books remind me a lot of Castlevania cartoon? There’s this vibe of magic mixed with science. The really modern inventions in almost medieval settings. The distinct territories and lines between the Normals and Supernaturals.

About: Somewhere far, at the edge of the vampire, the Draculas territory, and too close for comfort on the edge of the dragon territory, a Siren song rises the dead from their slumber, and turns them into draugr. But these are inferior beings as Lord Devlin White knows it. For he once shared his own heartbeat with a dying boy, Midnight, which resulted in a fine young man, capable of thought, function, growing up. Midnight is nothing like these shambling monsters. And, apparently, someone is more than aware. Someone out there, using the song, is luring Lord White into a trap, for Midnight is a secret highly prized…

Mine: This was a slow, but very fun and dark adventure. There were fierce but cute dragons, their knights, yes, their knights, and magic. Priests who dabbled in evil and still thought themselves holier than thou. And, as I now noticed, the usual little line of a classic fairy tale woven in there to lead on the detective plot of who did what and why. The only thing I horribly did not like was the not-yet-even-a-boyfriend jealousy. Yes, how dare you have had life before them, and love interests. Bah.

These are very easy to read magical books. I like them a lot, so I’m glad there’s more to get through. Much like some of the KJC’s romances, these too follow different people through same setting, universe, and it works very well like that. So I give it a strong 4 out of 5.

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, paranormal romance, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

horror | “Into The Mist” by Lee Murray | Taine McKenna Adventures 1

3Author: Lee Murray
Title: Into The Mist
Series: Taine McKenna Adventures 1
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Pages: 322
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

This was such a poor book, that I’ve no idea neither how I finished it, nor why…

About: An expedition with military reinforcements sets out into a deep, dark, and damp forest, often drowned in mist, in search of proof on possible gold deposits in the area. Strange things happened here before. People disappeared before too. Thus the military interference. But whatever lurks in the dark fog can’t be killed by mere bullets. It is an old creature, a predator, with great knowledge of the terrain they’re all on.

Mine: Not only was the plot dull, full of standard tropes that were painfully predictable, it lacked logic too. Characters were horribly two-dimensional, behavior set in a pattern, even when it made no sense whatsoever, even when there was no gain, neither moral points, nor monetary ones: they still did what was necessary to stall the plot, create thin sense of tension. To add to that, this is the first book in the series, so why did it feel like I’m missing something?

Sorry, but this was not my cup of tea, by far. 2 out of 5 is the best I can offer.

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nonfiction | “Apollo 8” by Jeffrey Kluger

2Author: Jeffrey Kluger
Title: Apollo 8
Series: –
Genre: History, Nonfiction
Pages: 320
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. I absolutely had no clue how does one become one, and the fact I’m from Eastern Europe likely didn’t help either. But hey, I’ve read all about space and universe that I could lay my hands upon. This, I guess, is a tribute to that kid that still kinda wants to be an astronaut.

About: Before Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong, the first man on the surface of the Moon, there was Apollo 1, Virgil Grissom, a blood curdling fire, and many, many more mistakes to come, with too many good men dead. But neither United States, nor the rest of the humanity were willing to give up just yet. So there was Apollo 2, and then Apollo 3… Up until Apollo 8, the first one to reach the Moon’s orbit. Approximately one third of the Earth’s population that had electricity and television available have been up and watching whatever footage there was. And this is the tale of those people they watched, their families, people on Earth who regulated the flight, and so on.

Mine: I love how this book is written. It’s always from third person, but very personal anyway. There you get to read a view from beside a wife of an astronaut, practically hear the child roll their eyes, because their dad is just an astronaut, no big deal, Billy’s dad is a fireman, now that’s a something! Merely because they grew up in this environment, with their old dad being an astronaut, with his old friends being astronauts. And over there you read from beside an engineer who is sweating bullets in dread, demanding tests ran on every single thing, every detail, in dread, in memory of that Apollo 1. And the moment it starts feeling too much like a fictional novel, a movie, author gives you all of the facts, all of the sources for the facts, and even audio recordings of the most important stuff.

The book is very well written. If you’ve any interest in how humanity finally stepped on the Moon, take this one. 5 out of 5 from me.

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fantasy | “Legendary” by Stephanie Garber | Caraval 2

1Author: Stephanie Garber
Title: Legendary
Series: Caraval 2
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 451
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I didn’t like the first book all that much. But I loved the author interview at the end of it, where she admitted this would’ve been her last book if she hadn’t made it. I then thought how great it is, that Caraval blew up like that, and she got her true chance. I rated that book higher than I honestly wanted. But I don’t regret it. For author took her chance and didn’t let go. With Legendary I am a fan.

About: Never had two Caraval games been held so close to one another. Never before the games felt so real. But then, never before have stars aligned in such a fashion, an opportunity like that arising, spells melting, threatening the world with long lost terrors, terrors, nightmares it forgot. The victor will have a chance to seal it all back up or break the gate for all the horrors to come out. The players will feed the power with their emotions and wants, wishes and dreams. Each one will pay the price, and the world will never be the same, no matter which path will be taken.

Mine: I definitely love Donatella over her sister. She’s strong willed, clever, and has logic to her. She navigated real well written traps and puzzles, not letting herself get tricked, accepting new facts, reconsidering her steps, and all the while remaining a cold-headed adult of a young woman, a girl, who is absolutely not an adult. Beautiful writing, magical damn story telling.

I loved it. 5 out of 5, firm. And if the third book is as good as this one, they’ll enter my favorites. Well done!

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Bookish | Vicious

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I couldn’t really recommend this book if you want non-biased “let’s make the most out of the worst we can gather” kind of a historical fact book. But hey, I collect books on Dracula…

☕ What’s a topic you collect books on?

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diversity | “Maelstrom” by Jordan L. Hawk | Whyborne & Griffin 7

1Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Maelstrom
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 7
Genre: LGBT Literature, Historical Romance
Pages: 204
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’ve nothing new to say. Same story: I’ve grown attached to the series, so I intend to finish them to the end. They’re maybe not favorite material, the best books out there. But they’re certainly not bad.

About: Someone’s ritualistically murdering people, covering them in strange symbols, and leaving them on sacrificial sites. Even Whyborne has no clue on neither what those symbols are, why it’s being done, for whom, or, most importantly, by whom. So, naturally, he and Griffin start investigating. This time they don’t even have to go far, it’s enough to ride around Widdershins in Griffins horrible new car, and visit the sea, where Whyborne’s mother and sister live. Oh, and, avoid death both on the road, and by whoever it is killing people in such a gruesome manner.

Mine: I’ve got real used to them traveling to strange sites by now, so it was almost strange that they remained on Widdershins soil. But hey, it was fun to read. For one, Whyborne was very funny. He, this progressive gay guy, is very opposed to anything modern. Why call anyone, and talk to them, if you can just send a very fast telegram or something? And the cars? Oh, the horror. But I’ll give him that one, since it was real funny, and real scary to read about driving where driver feels pride that he only slid sideways a little bit, and didn’t even knock the light pole off. Yep.

The books are adventurous, well written, full of simple easy jokes. They’re fun, even if the plot is always somehow lacking. It’s good, but lacking. 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, historical romance, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, paranormal romance, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

classics | “The Kreutzer Sonata” by Leo Tolstoy

2Author: Leo Tolstoy
Title: The Kreutzer Sonata
Series: –
Genre: Fiction, Classic
Pages: 128
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Reading this book made me realize I’d like to melt my diversity section into the general pot, and simply make an active attempt to introduce more diverse books into my normal reading. Why, you’d ask? Because this damn book made me want to throw it into the first fire I found.

About: So, ah. This whole book is about a toxic freak of nature of a man who made this whole philosophy of how love doesn’t exist. He based it upon his own baseless jealousy of his wife. Due to this jealousy he killed her, so that’s your proof. What love can exist, when a man can get this jealous, and kill his wife? And what is a woman if not a corrupted maiden, who would never in a million years enjoy sex, but is forced to imagine that she does, so that she can take a certain amount of control over a man? This here waste of space rants this whole story to another man, and by the end of the book I concluded neither should’ve walked off that damn train.

Mine: Don’t get me wrong here. I understand why this book exists. I can even, sort of, appraise the message it sends: a woman is easily killed by toxic men who forget they’re people too. But it was still so incredibly disgusting to read. I know those women. And I know those men. Often I get to read rants on facebook by strong women in their safe towers, tutoring other women to not be afraid to refuse, to not be afraid to leave toxic men. But this here is reality. Freaks like this exist in real life. It’s easy to speak when you trust the man you’re with to be a human being, not a monster. This book portrays it all well. (this not to say that a woman shouldn’t leave a toxic man, but from a standpoint from someone in an LGBT community, I know that I’d put my safety first, and seek certain measures before I came out to certain people)

It is, of course, written incredibly well. So, for that, and the message, if that was the case, I give it a 4 out of 5. I’m just real disheartened to understand the world barely changed from those times when this bag of dicks killed his wife, because he imagined something.

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history | “A Brief History of the War of the Roses” by Desmond Seward

1.jpgAuthor: Desmond Seward
Title: A Brief History of the Wars of the Roses
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction, History
Pages: 320
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Not gonna lie, sometimes, when reading history books on better known, closer countries, if I know little to nothing of what’s going on, other than the few most famous or infamous names: I feel like an utter idiot. Back in the day I really loved history. I even wanted to study it. But the want melted away, and never returned.

This is a very well written, not at all dry history book of fifteen century England. It reads like a book with a little extra facts, all the people feeling very realistic in a sense that they could be characters. During this period of time Yorks and Lancasters tore at each other for the crown, and this particular war was called War of Two Roses. Here author steps in again, and lets you know why’s that, and how it wasn’t very accurate, really. It’s really entertaining, and easy to follow.

An interesting book, as, I feel, history books should be. I’ve no clue of how accurate it is factually, but if you’re curious on the topic, I can recommend this book. In fact, I’ll give it a 5 out of 5, and will keep the author in mind, in case there’s more interesting history books he wrote.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Historical Books | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

high fantasy | “The Last Namsara” by Kristen Ciccarelli | Iskari 1

1Author: Kristen Ciccarelli
Title: The Last Namsara
Series: Iskari 1
Genre: High Fantasy, Dragons
Pages.: 432
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I don’t even remember when was the last time I’ve read a book so very greedily. I’d get upset every time I had to put it away to eat or even go to sleep. And the dragons! If you enjoyed Skyrim – you will like these. If you liked How To Train Your Dragon movies – you will like these. If you’re a fan of the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen – you will, absolutely, like this book.

About: Dragons are the most dangerous creatures to roam the land. They’re fierce, fast, and strong. They’re hard to kill and even their blood and bones are deadly poisonous. Just like the flames they breathe which not only burn, but poison the blood, so even the lightest of a lick might be deadly. But the most dangerous thing dragons wield are their stories. For behind those stories resides their power, their life, their very fire. Thus it is forbidden to tell the stories. It is a crime punishable, and the best example of their danger is the daughter of Firgaard king, Asha. Her mother died telling her the tales to sooth the child. They ate her life away and made her daughter susceptible to dragons, their lure. Thus the child told the stories too, unable to resist the craving, the urge. Until the power within her voice finally woke the most dangerous one, the very oldest of the dragons. The very one she must now kill.

Mine: I loved this book so much I am almost speechless. The story is long, but not complicated. There’s plenty of turns and twists, but they’re real easy to follow. It’s also one of those tales where some guy might seem the very best, kindest of soul, who’ll defend the poor and the weak, and then it turns out the bastard caused it all to begin with! The dragon stories, the way their power works was my very favorite thing. I felt so nostalgic to Skyrim game, that I can’t recommend this book enough to the fans of it. I loved it. The characters are well written, each one had their own story, and yet they all added to the main plot, making them memorable. The writing itself was very nice too, for, as I said, the story was real easy to follow. The only minus I got for this is the romance. But I won’t deduct points for it, because I’ve learned this kind of romance, exactly this kind, is something to be expected in YA books. Instead I’d like to add more points for the vivid, life-like dragon descriptions and chapters told by them. It was magical.

I am certain that Hiccup, Daenerys, and even your own dovahkiin would nod in approval to this book. All your favorite, best dragon tales? They’re rewritten here, made better. 5 out of 5 from me, with hopes that the next book will be as good.

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

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