book review | A Confession by Leo Tolstoy

leo tolstoy a confessionAuthor: Leo Tolstoy
Title: A Confession
Series: –
Genre: Philosophy; Classics
Pages: 108
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Figured, it’s not a bad time to tidy up those book shelves, and sort them out and away after this whole nasty shebang is over. As a result, I kinda need to read at least some of them. So I began with the shortest one there was, “A Confession” by Leo Tolstoy. How he had faith, lost it, sought it, and found it again.

About the Book: In this short biographical work of philosophy author describes his life nuances that one way or another steered him away from faith. How it affected and even eroded his life, what were the consequences of that, and how he sought after the meaning of life via this prism of faithlessness or godlessness, however you want to call it. He found answers through very deep digging and process of elimination, and, depending on how you view this book, they’re interesting.

My Opinion: I am not religious, at all. But this book, as I said, depending on how you view it, can be very good. Basically, Leo Tolstoy lost the meaning of life and went out to find it again. On his way, deducting answers that didn’t fit the bigger picture, he managed to find a path: life can only be defined around one self, for only your life is in your hands in such a sense that you can only be responsible for your own actions and choices. Taking this in, the answer to the age old question “why ware we here?” becomes clearer: because we are, they say. We are, because we are. So if we indeed are just because, and our life can only be defined around ourselves, does that not clearly point to what’s the meaning of life, after all? If you are just to be, and your being is defined by you, then your meaning of life is… Whatever you make it to be.

It’s a pleasant thought, and a nice short read to that. A 4 out of 5; though I think I need a new scale or system when rating biographies or otherwise biographical works.

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

book review | Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell | Simon Snow 2

rainbow rowell wayward sonAuthor: Rainbow Rowell
Title: Wayward Son
Series: Simon Snow 2
Genre: YA, Fantasy, LGBT+
Pages: 356
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Gotta love those rare-ish books that make you shift your schedules just so you could get to know what happens next. Such was “Wayward Son” by Rainbow Rowell, second book in Simon Snow series or trilogy. If I tell you the book felt “summerish” will you know what I mean? The book you want to have for summer, with which you can imagine you too can do nothing but lay back and read?

About the Book: Simon’s ex is in trouble. Apparently she got lured into a cult. And while it’s not yet clear for what purposes, it’s truly clear she needs help. So, Penny, Baz and Simon go on an adventure in America, a magical wilderness with no magical laws. And not for all the sights and experiences, no, truly, just to save their friend! Yet, they neither weighted the distances right, nor the dangers that lurk in that magical wild-wild-west. From vampire gangs, to shifters, to dragons, to handsome young Normal guys who know too much of their magical world…

My Opinion: The book is brilliant in its simplicity. A little gathering of fandom easter-eggs. A wind-in-your-hair summer adventure, a road trip with the best of people. And new, unpredictable events behind every corner and turn.

Just the right kind of book for me now. A strong 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Adventure Books, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Books: Supernatural, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Carry On by Rainbow Rowell | Simon Snow 1

rainbow rowell carry on simon snowAuthor: Rainbow Rowell
Title: Carry On
Series: Simon Snow 1
Genre: Fantasy; LGBT
Pages: 522
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Good time and good place. Picked up “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell, and it was just the distraction I needed.

About the Book: There’s a dark entity eating up magic, leaving only dead spots behind itself, where no magic exists anymore. But there’s also hope, and it all lies on Simon Snow’s shoulders, the worst and greatest magician to ever live. He has power enough for an army, especially when he learns to pour it out into people. But he’s just very bad at casting it. And yet, The Mage, greatest authority of the magical world, claims Simon save them all… No pressure.

My Opinion: Not gonna lie, it felt a bit like a Harry Potter fanfiction if Draco was a vampire and he and Harry fell in love. On top of that, while this is the first book, at times it felt like I was dropped mid-series. But. After the slow warm up towards boiling, it picked up and filled up with dark magical scheming, dangerous secrets, plot twists, heroic vampire boyfriends, and just good stuff. Bonus: amusing magical system.

Great distraction. A 5 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | Queen Takes Triune by Joely Sue Burkhart | Their Vampire Queen 6

queen takes triune their vampire queen joely sue burkhartAuthor: Joely Sue Burkhart
Title: Queen Takes Triune
Series: Their Vampire Queen 6
Genre: Vampires; Polyamorous romance
Pages: 315
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Catching up on ongoing series sequels. Today I’ve read “Queen Takes Triune” by Joely Sue Burkhart, sixth book in Their Vampire Queen series. And it continues to be quite not bad.

About the Book: Shara is in a dilemma. A time has come for her to take her rightful place at the Triune, yet none of the prospects seem appealing. It’s all but daggers and malice hidden behind smiles. It seems she’ll have to choose the lesser evil, and hope that Goddess guides her well. Goddess, and her court of monsters.

My Opinion: I love how safe these books filled with monsters feel. Don’t know about you, but I’m tired of drama where liked characters get killed for the sake of plot twist or shock value. Here, even when you have no clue how Shara will find a way out of impossible situation yet again, you can be certain that she will, and she’ll take all of her Bloods (knights) out too. I also enjoy how author manages to write mythology and world building in very well aimed pieces, bit by bit per each book.

It’s a fine series of vampire political court intrigues, and it’s as bloody as it sounds. A firm 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Books: Romance, LGBTQ+ Books, paranormal romance, Polyamorous Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The 5th Gender by G.L. Carriger | Tinkered Stars 1

g l carriger the 5th genderAuthor: G.L. Carriger
Title: The 5th Gender
Series: Tinkered Stars 1
Genre: Sci-Fi; LGBT romance
Pages: 236
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Ah, well, okay. A couple of authors I enjoy have positively reviewed “The 5th Gender” by G.L. Carriger. Sadly it wasn’t my cup of tea.

About the Book: Tristol, an alien with lavender skin and sunshine personality, always helpful, always smiling, has chosen the life of an exile. His inner sadness and hurt buried under the layer of freedom, and the loneliness suddenly relieved by a handsome human detective aboard the ship. But happy little moment barely had the time to spark a flame as work pulled them both into an unthinkable. A galoi ship, Tristol’s natives, requests help of the detective, for there has been a murder aboard. It comes as a shock requiring this unprecedented need of human assistance, for galoi don’t even have a word for “murder“…

My Opinion: The detective, while simple, was well woven and I definitely enjoyed it. It was the romance that fell flat, with everything going smooth and perfect. It’s fine if you like that sort of thing. But I, personally, hoped for a tad more depth.

All in all, author seems promising, and I’d gladly read other works. This one, though, gets 3 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Sci-Fi, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Valkyrie by Craig Alanson | Expeditionary Force 9

valkyrie craig alanson sci fi skippy the magnificentAuthor: Craig Alanson
Title: Valkyrie
Series: Expeditionary Force 9
Genre: Sci-fi; AI
Pages: 560
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Knowing full well that tenth book of Expeditionary Force is quite far still, I planned to read the ninth a little later too. Didn’t manage. I’ve read “Valkyrie” by Craig Alanson, and now sit here, before you, with my heart on the floor.

About the Book: The Earth is doomed, and all the Merry Band of Pirates can do now is postpone it, and save as many people as they can. With great gains of crew and battleships, many victories, and new fame of Ghost Ship that appears out of nowhere, kicks ass, and disappears into nowhere, come great losses too. Lost crew members, injuries both physical and mental. And, worst of all, because Universe just doesn’t like Joe too happy… Skippy manages to get past the barriers in his memory, and remembers everything. What he is, why he’s here, what’s up with all the Elder technology scattered. And none of it is any good news…

My Opinion: It should be illegal to hurt your readers like this! I’m in pain and shock! And the next book is still very far away! Gah. I have absolutely no clue how one writes over ten books (there’s half-books in the series), and still manages to keep quality this high. Every battle was breathtaking. Every old joke had a new one following. The plot is evolving, and yet you can still see the clear uniformity of the tale being told. It’s just… Fantastic.

An amazing book. 5 out of 5.

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

book review | All These Worlds by Dennis E. Taylor | Bobiverse 3

all these worlds dennis e taylor replicant sci-fiAuthor: Dennis E. Taylor
Title: All These Worlds
Series: Bobiverse 3
Genre: Sci-fi; Replicants
Pages: 260
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Tried one book. Tried another. Then just gave up and picked up “All These Worlds” by Dennis E. Taylor, the third book in Bobiverse series. There will, apparently, be more, possibly as soon as this year.

About the Book: Little by little all the Bobs have settled for their courses, their roles. Some took up tribes to shepherd, others went exploring. Then some were left, by their own choice or just moral obligation, to defend the remnants of humanity, as undeserving as most of them were. For aliens they came to call as Others, leave only mud balls in their wake, taking any resources, and leaving no survivors, not even bodies. And they’re heading for the not yet evacuated Earth. Who’s to say they won’t come after humanity in other planets too? So whether they like it or not, Bobs are preparing for one last stand against the brutal aliens. For the sake of humanity.

My Opinion: While battle was described as nova, it looked more like a balloon getting popped. I think I got spoiled by some other space battles elsewhere. But other stuff was top notch. Bobs all evolved, even if they started as one mind, they all became their own people, not one being like the next. More than that, they became their own species, one that isn’t bound by body or mortality as per say. And it’s the most damn interesting idea I’ve so far heard.

These are truly great books. The concept is unique, witty, and clever. Worthy reads, a 5 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | For We Are Many by Dennis E. Taylor | Bobiverse 2

for we are many bobiverse dennis e taylorAuthor: Dennis E. Taylor
Title: For We Are Many
Series: Bobiverse 2
Genre: Replicants; Sci-fi
Pages: 320
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I don’t want to grab the next Expeditionary Force book right away, for the next-next will be too long away. And as of yet I don’t have the next Murderbot Diaries book either. So, I’m continuing with the other good series in similar theme, Bobiverse by Dennis E. Taylor and the second book in the series, “For We Are Many“.

About the Book: Bobs have spread around the galaxy and are going out further than that. Some, though, have found their niches. One harbors a group of smart aliens, guarding them from predators, and improving their lives where he can. The other is doing his best to settle remainder of human race into new planets. While third is starting a brewery in one of those new planets. All would be fine and well, if terrorist cult of humans didn’t think them and themselves to be parasite species in need of final extinction. They start mass-murdering people who are still on Earth, and Bobs are not having it. It’s just… Not so simple to determine who and how is doing all that. But that’s not even the only threat humanity is facing. Out there, and not too far away either, entire planets are left drained, turned into mangled mud-balls, with all resources taken, anything living – slaughtered, and also taken. Is it other replicants that are doing this? If so, what do they need the biological bodies for? And if not, what is it?…

My Opinion: I didn’t per say like each Bob equally, but I enjoyed their stories just the same. One, playing god, is becoming Loki, for who can really know what’s best for another? Next one is falling in love with a mortal, ephemeral human. Another is trying to make bodies for Bobs, so they could one day be homo cyber sapiens, or what did he call their entering bodies and no longer just intaking the world through a flying camera feed. And so on. Variation is good in such a sense that it’ll fit many tastes. And if neither of the Bobs will tickle the right bone, there’s aliens to consider.

Good books. So far it was interesting, and very easy to get into. A firm 5 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | Armageddon by Craig Alanson | Expeditionary Force 8

armageddon expeditionary force craig alanson sci-fiAuthor: Craig Alanson
Title: Armageddon
Series: Expeditionary Force 8
Genre: Sci-fi
Pages: 18h
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Finally! Finally I had the chance to read the 8th book in Craig Alanson‘s Expeditionary Force series, “Armageddon“. It was worth the wait! And I am very eager to start the next one.

About the Book: Merry Band of Pirates, now reformed and upgraded with officials nobody wanted, are off to find a suitable planet for humans to colonize as Plan B. It’s not so easy, not even for Skippy the Magnificent, who is searching for wormholes around any potential target, opening dormant ones, and… One of them actually asks him for a password. To which some unknown part of his answers. The further they go, the more worried Skippy is getting by the information he’s gathering and the conclusions this information serves. There are no wormholes beyond Milky Way galaxy that he can make use of. In fact, there’s a sort of a barrier rim around it, out of scattered Elder Technology. As if they tried to close it away from something on the outside. Could this be related to their ascension? If so, what could be out there so scary, that even the Elders felt threatened.

My Opinion: Oh dear, I have so many question. Why do Elders still defend some bits and pieces scattered across the galaxy, what sources of power do they need while no longer corporeal? What’s outside the Milky Way? What scared Elders so much they close a whole galaxy off, and then turned themselves to ghosts? Damn this is good.

You know a good book when you want the next one before you even finish the previous one. A firm 5 out of 5 and then some.

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

book review | Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab | Cassidy Blake 2

tunnel of bones victoria schwab cassidy blakeAuthor: Victoria Schwab
Title: Tunnel of Bones
Series: Cassidy Blake 2
Genre: Paranormal Literature
Pages: 304
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I don’t know what it is with Victoria Schwab, but so far I have loved all her books. Therefore I am quite happy there’s still some books I’ve not read. Like “Tunnel of Bones“, second book in Cassidy Blake‘s series.

About the Book: Cassidy’s parents have a unique opportunity to film a show of paranormal places. And so the girl is spending her summer vacation in Paris. In catacombs. Filled with restless spirits. With only her ghost best friend to watch her back, and warn her. One of the spirits, that of a little boy who seemingly died down here, grows different upon contact with her. He grows stronger, more powerful, apparently now able to manipulate real world in a much larger scale, and even pull her into the veil. Cassidy must find a way to send him on, and do so very, very fast.

My Opinion: It was a very nice and light read, full of very well written characters. And while the book is meant for a much younger audience, it was plenty entertaining to me too. There’s just that little something about Schwab’s works.

I liked it a great deal. Victoria Schwab has a very unique writing style that, luckily, isn’t as polarizing as Murakami’s, where you hate it or love it, and there’s no in between. I’m sure there’s something in her vast bibliography that would suit everyone. A strong 5 out of 5.

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

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