book review | Woken Furies by Richard K. Morgan | Altered Carbon 3

altered carbon takeshi kovacs richard k morgan woken furies cyberpunk literatureAuthor: Richard K. Morgan
Title: Woken Furies
Series: Takeshi Kovacs 3
Genre: Cyberpunk; Sci-Fi
Pages: 464
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Long books are rarely exciting cover to cover. Often they’re full of subplots that add nothing to the main idea. Or long voyages with unnecessary things happening, often poorly masquerading as development of sorts: world building, character development, character building. All while it’s so much empty words and sentences that if cut out of the book would take nothing away from the good story hidden in it. In fact, it might just very well help, making the book more approachable, unlike a wall of words, especially those that aren’t exactly necessary. Much like this text you so patiently read, disguised as an example, but really, pointless. So. I’ve finished the Takeshi Kovacs trilogy, the Altered Carbon trilogy with Richard K. Morgan’s book “Woken Furies“. And it was in equal parts good and bad.

About the Book: Harlan’s World. A land of unpredictable oceans and deadly skies filled with Orbitals – Martian technology that shoots down anything more complex in tech than a helicopter that dares rise above the clouds below. It’s called Angel Fire thus. And if that’s not enough danger for you, what land there is on this awful planet is ruled by the First Families, Yakuza, Corporations, new age perverted old religions that are ready to remind you what sinner you are, and so on. And on this native planet Takeshi begins his final voyage, and his final battle.

My Opinion: Depending on your perspective as you pick up this book, and possibly even your mood, it will either be the best thing you’ve ever read: cyberpunk genre with noir vibe to it, action-packed, hard to predict, full of sex, flying bullets, and crime; or the worst thing you’ve ever read: with lots of text that leads no where, mediocre written characters, sense of superiority in everyone you meet, fake bodies with too old minds in them that spew this axe body spray flavored pseudo-philosophy at you, and so on.

I’m glad I’ve read this trilogy. So while this book gets a 3 out of 5, the whole of it is worth 4 out of 5 for sure. Was worth the trip, no matter how long, dull, and splattered with T it sometimes got.

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Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, cyberpunk, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Dracula, Prince of Many Faces by Radu Florescu and Raymond T. McNally

dracula prince of many faces his times and his life radu florescu raymond mcnallyAuthor: Radu Florescu, Raymond T. McNally
Title: Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Time
Series: –
Genre: History; Dracula
Pages: 261
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’m on a quest for more nonfiction on Dracula. And have been recommended “Dracula, Prince of Many Faces” by Radu Florescu and Raymond T. McNally. I’d say not a bad start for my quest.

About the Book: A very in-depth study of Dracula, the historical figure, the warlord who fought against all odds, relentlessly. His family, the Draculestti name, relations. How he came to be what he was, and how that lead to the actions he took. What his life was like, his death, how he entered literature, became legend and, at last, was made into a vampire by Bram Stoker.

My Opinion: I admit, I’m too lazy to dig deeper into some questionable aspects in this book. But in general, this was a very detailed account of every question you could ever have on Dracula. At times even too broad, for I remember I was getting pissed for having to read about Medici or some other family of that kind out there. But there were plenty of details I knew nothing about, and so it made me happy to learn of it.

If you’re new in your voyage with Dracula, maybe don’t start with this book. Enjoy the fiction and historical stuff, watch some documentaries. Then take it. A 5 out of 5 from me.

dracula prince of many faces his times and his life radu florescu raymond mcnally vlad the impaler

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

dracula review | Dracula | 2020 BBC One

Due to being made by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, the two people who made BBC Sherlock happen, this particular piece of Dracula was highly anticipated for me, if not the most.

To start with, let me just say the choice of actors is absolutely superb. Each one does the job so well I can’t even begin telling you. But most of all, Claes Bang, Count Dracula, my Prince of the Darkness, outshines them all, portraying a hot beast of a man to perfection. The way he moved, carried himself, his face, his tone, I couldn’t have dreamed of a better actor for this role.

dracula 2020 bbc one moffat gatissSince the episodes come in the three movie long parts, I’ll try to make a short review for each one. A review and opinion, as I do with the books:

1. “The Rules of the Beast”:
Jonathan Harker is summoned to Transylvania where he’s to help Count Dracula with some legal work, papers, property purchases. But Count has more plans for the man, and soon Harker finds himself losing his mind in the wicked castle full of screams and not a living soul in sight.

Parallel to this story, we witness Harker tell it to a nun in a monastery, where they took care of him. She seems to not only believe his impossible tale, but further pushes him to tell even more: what has happened to Jonathan Harker to leave a husk out of a young man? And how has such a prized Bride of the Devil himself – escape? On top of that, if he did escape or even was let go – why was it done so, why was it allowed? Where is the Devil? Where is Dracula?…

My Opinion: A breath of fresh air. Dracula wants to understand what he is and how he is what he is, so he experiments with people. In his own words, he’s trying to reproduce, aka create a vampire. And Harker fits the bill to try it on. Thus he’s being referred to as one of Dracula’s Brides. And since vampirism seems to be transmitted through blood, a question, for the first time out loud, is given: what relation, what conduct must it be for one to get this disease of the blood in them?

As Harker grows clearly sicker, Count Dracula is getting younger. But the manipulation provided is not necessarily supernatural. There’s power in the former warlord, power of someone used to lead armies into battles, command people. And Harker finds himself submitting to this overpowering will. To a point where his mind cracks and he’s left a raving lunatic.

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2. “Blood Vessel”:
Count Dracula boards the infamous Demeter in hopes to reach the shores of England. Curated, lured in, tricked passengers will serve as his menu of clever, wise, rich, and just outright interesting meals. All while he tells this story to sister Agatha Van Helsing at a game of chess, spinning a wicked tale of deception and murder in plain sight. Up until she figures out his game and the two powerful minds clash before the eyes of what’s left in Demeter.

My Opinion: I always enjoyed the tale of Demeter and how Dracula managed to put it on safe ground without a living soul on board. This is a superb take on it, a tale worthy of Sherlock and Agatha Christie. Dracula shows us not only how vampire functions, but how he evolves too, what blood does to him, his mind, the rules that bind him. This episode might just be my favorite one

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3. “The Dark Compass”:
Count Dracula is quickly learning the rules of new life in this new age. From wi-fi to lawyers to parties to consent. New age offers new kind of people too. All kinds of nonbelievers, radicals, strangers, egocentrics, people consumed with having fun and getting validated. People consumed with living life to its fullest. Finally, it seems, he has another proper shot at getting a perfect bride. A modern one, one who wouldn’t be afraid of living forever.

“I knew future would bring wonders. I did not know it would make them ordinary.”

My Opinion: Dracula seems to have had a change of heart here. Not only does he not deploy all those wonders he so much admired to learn more of what he is, what vampires are, how undeath works, he himself seems to soon be consumed by the highlights of life. Sister Agatha travels time through blood, so to speak, just to play one last match with Count Dracula and it seems, at last, she knows where the chink in the armor of an ancient warlord is.

This might just be the best and the worst episode at the same time. While every other piece sort of gave you classical tale with a new take on it, this one gave you… Less. It seems that most if not all creators who take up Dracula for a remake forget their first step in the vampirism: the extreme will to live. And twist it into an extreme fear of death instead. How can a man of Dracula’s caliber reach the modern age, with every book in existence at the finger tips, and decide they’re up to die now? Although, Dracula’s death remains debatable. IMDB has no end date as of yet, and we don’t exactly see him die either. We only learn that all the things he thought were deadly to him – could have been rendered useless as one shed the old skin of superstition. So I do dearly hope this is not the end yet and that Gatiss and Moffat will do right by us.

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I crave to get back to my roots, where I obsessed to you all about all things Dracula. So now and again I’ll provide here a review of something not necessarily bookish, but Dracula related. The less book related Dracula will be reviewed over at [Ego Noctis] blog, and the more book related ones will be posted here. All available under one roof of my Patreon though, if you prefer one place to read it all.

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Categories: Films: Dracula, series | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Flawless by Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell

flawless diamond heist history scott andrew selby greg campbellAuthor: Scott Andrew Selby, Greg Campbell
Title: Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; True Crime
Pages: 336
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’m a great fan of a great heist story, true or fictional. So “Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History” by Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell was definitely my cup of tea.

About the Book: Months and months of painstaking planning, preparations, evaluations, allowed a group of robbers to enter what was considered an impenetrable vault at the heart of all diamonds, Antwerp, Belgium. They left with 108 million dollars worth of loot. Just to get caught over a bagful of refuse… But not before they stashed away their bounty.

My Opinion: It’s strange to think this really happened and isn’t a fictional story. The planning, the details of it, at times it reached Ocean’s 12 levels, just without the Hollywood magic – it took a very long time. The story is very interesting and intense, even when you know how it ends or why.

Not bad. Maybe not worth a whole 5 out of 5, but there’s nothing I can take anything away for.

flawless diamond heist history scott andrew selby greg campbell bookstagram

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Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, heists, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

promo | Birth of the White Rabbit

Birth of the White Rabbit resize

Birth of the White Rabbit, destined to overthrow the whole monarchy of Wonderland.

As Rabbit constellation rose, Boobun’s third eye opened in the fae circle, hence he was able to follow the paths unseen and unknown, finding Alice and leading her into the heart of all wonders. To defeat the Red Queen, but not to stop there…

Redbubble ][ Patreon

(for promo of your page/work, see pages above)

 

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

I don’t know how to go on, therefore…

I will simply go on.

It’s strange beyond words. And the hurt is beyond words too. But I can’t sit there, numb, staring at the strangely empty room, thinking how the man, my father, who lived here for all my 30 years of life, is gone, and will never, ever come back.

So I’ll try to just write as before. I will try to work as before. And be as before. With hopes that this wrecking feeling will stop, somehow.

If you’re a parent, it is your absolute duty and responsibility to take care of yourself. Quit the bad habits, exercise a little, figure out how to eat healthier. The pain is absolutely impossible. Don’t do this to your kids. Any day can be the last, it’s your damn job to try and make it to the next one, alive and well.

Yes, my father’s cancer could’ve probably be found sooner. Maybe if he pushed himself to visit the doctors, get tested more. Maybe if he pushed the doctors to test him more when this or that ached and they waved it away as part of type II diabetes. Maybe if the damn doctors cared a little more about the job they do, about the people who depend on them… But that’s all “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve”. Instead now I have a grave to visit, and a home to support, and pain to deal with, with little to no time to grieve. I can’t even breathe writing this…

Rest in Peace, dad

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Father has died

My father has died yesterday. We’re told it was peaceful, and he was no longer in pain, very calm, and with as much oxygen as his body could still be given. Official death reason is exhaustion by cancer and tumors.

Today we’re saying our goodbyes in a wake, tomorrow we’re burying him in a beautiful little place.

I’m broken beyond any reason. There’s not an inch of solid ground left to stand on.

If anyone per chance can help with the funeral expenses, we’d be grateful beyond words:
fundraiser
paypal.me/soukyanjrv

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

My father’s short cancer story

I didn’t plan to write this here, but I feel like it would be best I explained why the upcoming few months might be sporadic. This is the first entry, the second one is here: Cancer Logs 1

My father is on life support. He’s still talking, but things he’s saying aren’t coherent or make much contextual sense. Cancers spreading through his body are eating him up. And all I hope for is that he’s on good enough meds to make it not hurt anymore.
He’s been sick for a while, but our local hospital is not worth the toenails of the people they’re “treating”, and I will absolutely get vocal about it once this situation ends. There were many instances where they found blood where blood was not supposed to be, and he complained about stomach aches, kidney pains, and things like that (like persistent cough) for a while now. So they knew. And they chose to leave it at “ah, he has type II diabetes, must be complications, let’s change up the meds and see what happens”. This would inevitably grow worse, family doctor would get frustrated with our instance on check-ups, and pass him onto another one. He changed several, for none wanted the work this man was.
On June 18th I woke up to voices of strangers in my home. Mum has called an ambulance, and what an insolent woman came. She checked his vitals, told us he’s fine, even though he couldn’t get up, and was bed-ridden for three months. Then grated our asses for waiting this long: we didn’t. We called ambulance time and time again. We called family doctor and begged for a home visitation. None happened. Ambulance would come, check vitals, and ignore the pain this man was talking nonsense about. What pain if your vitals are fine, right?
After what was an extended arguing between this woman I don’t wish to call a medic, this ambulance driver, she finally agreed to take him in, and we had to carry the 100 kilos weighting man who couldn’t walk – down two flights of stairs and into the ambulance, because this woman came alone, unprepared, and near-rolling her eyes said “well, help him in, -I- can’t carry him!”
An hour in ER, with nurses and staff flocking around coffee machine and just watching the circus we wait for anyone at all. Father is starting to turn this human shade of purple-red, and is very clearly fainting. Mum screams, they rush in with the bed on wheels, and as we, yes, still mum and I, lift him into it – he faints.
Days go by, we bring him clothes and cool water or mineral water to drink, just to get told he’s fine, he’s talking, he’s laughing, vitals are good. Until at last we find his doctor’s number and ask her about it: his stomach is getting soft, there’s liquid in one of his lungs (the same he complained hurts really bad, to a point where he would only lay on his other side), but otherwise he’s fine. Do you feel my rage yet?
Again, days go by, there’s absolutely no filling of his medical file that we have access to as family online, so we call again. This time we’re answered by a different family doctor: yet another one quit the man who needed more help than just a prescription. This one too said he’s sick but he’s fine, just in more words.
June 29th father calls (he called almost every day to just generally talk a little bit, and so we followed the progress of him losing coherence, for he made less and less sense), and this is the last somewhat clear chat we have with him. He says, and I quite: bring me some clothes to change in, smaller t-shirt than the ones I have, they’re taking me to Vilnius (Lithuania’s Capital) for surgery.
We rush in, give him everything, BEG for nurses to give us his old clothes for washing, because we’re running out of his clothes by now, and go home to wait again. Due to covid-19 situation, people, visitors, aren’t yet allowed.
June 30th they take another Covid test, which is 24hrs, and on July 1st nurse calls us, urgently, to bring him clothes to change in, they’re taking him to Vilnius. There’s urgency in the air. As we’re lifting him out of wheel chair into the ambulance, he falls down and the four of us barely lift him up, barely conscious by now.
Since then he calls us every morning, very early, and says the same line: bring me some cold soda, would you? We kindly ask him where he lays (since such information isn’t necessarily available even to family member, and we need to write it on the bag for nurses to take it to him), and he, in a serious child tone says: I will find out and call you back.
He never does, of course, and likely soon forgets all about it, being on many meds, stress, pain relievers, and being generally very, very weak.
Today (July 3rd) we called in again, and got told that metastasis is spreading through his body, rapidly, and that no, we can’t, and absolutely shouldn’t bring him any drinks, he’s on the primer life support. It’s a matter of time now, but they’re doing all they can, which is seemingly more than Elektrenai ever did, to allow him as much time as they can. They took him to Vilnius and accepted that he’s not “all fine, talking, laughing with the nurses” after around 5th day of him not being able to hold down any food at all. And so I pray, I hope, I wish, that he’s at least on meds enough now not to feel the pain he was in for months, all while his vitals, blood pressure and such, were good, and therefore nobody besides his immediate family gave a damn.
I myself am preparing for the worst, because now everything falls on me. My mother, our home, even my older sister, they’re all on me. Together with what hospital bills there might be, the trips to Vilnius that we are taking sparingly, because 50km by bus is both a bit pricey and dangerous what with pandemic still being active. And the future funeral.
Some of you know me already, and know what hell I’ve gone through already. Please know right now I’m entering another circle of it. Maybe the last one, one can only hope. And so I beg of you, if anyone can help somehow, be it money or advice, a share or a kind word, any and all would be appreciated beyond what I can put into words. I’m numb from the pain that comes from the very core of a child’s soul when one is losing a parent, when one knows they can do nothing to save this parent. Whatever he was, however he was, he deserved better than this.
Don’t feel obliged, but if you got something to spare, both I and my mother would appreciate it
Categories: The Afterlife, Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

book review | Barry Trotter and the Unauthorized Parody by Michael Gerber | Barry Trotter 1

barry trotter nad the unauthorized parody michael gerberAuthor: Michael Gerber
Title: Barry Trotter and the Unauthorized Parody
Series: Barry Trotter 1
Genre: Parody; Humor
Pages: 176
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads 

While “Barry Trotter and the Unauthorized Parody” by Michael Gerber is not a good book per say, with all the shit coming from JKR, concerning both books and her views, it’s almost believable.

About the Book: The Dork Lord is plotting again, and this time he has a legitimate chance at it. Figuring people are growing too smart and clever for his schemes and tricks, he kidnaps the author of Barry Trotter (the OTHER author) and makes her write more books. Whilst he makes movies out of them. Full of marketing ploys and plots, scenarios engineered to dumb the viewer down, the Dork Lord will soon enslave everyone into his corporate scheme. And it’s up to Barry to stop him!

My Opinion: This feels like someone wrote a Wizarding World themed DLC for Saints Row game. The humor is around that level, and then down to Most Scary Movie level, holes in the brain and such. But the plot is easy to follow, generally the book is decently written too.

So if you feel like it, assess what humor you like, and don’t let anyone put you down if this is indeed what you enjoy. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5, wasn’t for me.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Funny!, Fantasy Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Gifts of the Crow by John M. Marzluff, Tony Angell

gifts of the crow john marzluff tony angel corvidAuthor: John M. Marzluff, Tony Angell
Title: Gifts of the Crow
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; Science Literature
Pages: 304
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Gifts of the Crow” by John M. Marzluff and Tony Angell is full of real, wonderful stories of corvid family birds, and a study of their thought processes, biology behind it. The latter I didn’t fully grasp, but it didn’t take away anything from the book.

About the Book: The book tells an in-depth story of corvids (crows, ravens, etc.), and what fantastical birds they are, able of learning, recognizing, remembering events. From there they can make proper judgement calls and react accordingly. From throwing nuts on the road for cars to crush, to waiting for the traffic to stop so they could feast. From working together to trick a bigger animal into abandoning food, to sharing the bounty. From offering a bartering gift to a human, be it a little found item or just outright company, when in need of human aid, to a thank-you gift once this aid has been provided.

My Opinion: What’s safe for them to eat? Can I just carry around a ziplock bag with some kibble in attempts to make friends with these magical birds? The book is superbly interesting, and the science part, if you don’t get it the way I don’t, will not interfere with anything, nor take anything away.

I can’t recommend this book enough. A firm 5 out of 5, well earned.

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

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