2-5

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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Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

sci-fi | “Monster M.D.” by Leighton Lawless

2Author: Leighton Lawless
Title: Monster M.D.
Series: –
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Pages: 366
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

I really love movie “Bright” on Netflix. It’s full of beautiful views and is packed with action. This book was recommended to me as similar to it: with the basis being a war between monsters and humans, so certain races.

About: Back in the day, when monsters got first discovered, a misinformation was spread of their condition being viral. Aka if you hang around tall people, you will become taller. This allowed humans to push monsters out into secondary class citizenship, underground. But they adjusted, adapted, and prevailed. Which would’ve been fine, since they got out of the way, if not for some scientists trying to debunk viral monsters theory.

A war is brewing. News coverage shows angles that paint monsters as aggressors. And only one man can save the day. The same man whose father got torn apart my monsters back in the day.

Mine: I normally like harem / polyamorous books, but this was just horrible. All of the characters were so shallow, so basic, so very hard-aimed to make the main hero shine in the best light. And he too was a very mediocre character, being the cliche of dorky geek growing up to be the most wanted hottie around. So while they sat around, thinking how to free this one particular monster, using a simulator to predict possible outcomes, this hottie went out to build strategies out of rat shit. Everyone waited for him to figure it out too, even if some already knew what to do and had ideas they didn’t feel like sharing. Why, you ask? Well, how else will the reader know this man is not only hot, but also smart?

This is a no. 2 out of 5, I’m out.

Categories: 2-5, About Msg2TheMing, Books: Fantasy, Fantasy Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

horror | “Plague of the Dead” by Z.A. Recht | Morningstar Strain 1

1Author: Z.A. Recht
Title: Plague of the Dead
Series: Morningstar Strain 1
Genre: Horror Literature, Zombies
Pages: 292
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

Such an ominous title. I truly expected hellish creatures, a zombie apocalypse, terror left and right. Instead I got long discussions, plain characters who always make the right decisions, and linear plot from one zombie infested point to another.

About: A virus outbreak tends to be similar every time. Isolated incident. Then isolated cluster. Leading to a few such before it starts spreading all over like wildfire. Even your common flu is scary when it spreads this way. And this? This is a zombie apocalypse, a virus to wipe humanity out.

Virus can take both living and the dead as host. The living are called “runners“, for they’re agile, fast. They’ll chase you down, often in hordes, and you better pray you’re faster than a creature with no sense of what is tired, and doesn’t need to breathe the way you do. But you can kill these the regular way. It’s those who are infected dead, or those who died infected, that are bothersome. They’re quiet, dormant until there’s anything of interest, and will slowly crawl across the desert itself to reach your yet uninfected flesh.

And then we have the backwards effect. From isolated incident to isolated clusters. To plague. To isolated clusters of survivors, to isolated, single survivors.

Mine: A group of soldiers sent to evacuate survivors hops from point to point. Each one either already infested by zombies, or is somehow not deemed worthy of them. While now and again we see them run, because ammo is long gone, most of the time we see them stand there, chatting, deciding what to do. Everyone does the right thing, everyone succeeds or becomes hero for trying. This was the bluntest story, and not in the good way, I’ve read in a long time, with very one-dimensional characters that did not help me progress at all.

Zombies are great. It’s a hard topic to mess up. You’ve a virus, you’ve horror, fear to live, fear to die. The hopelessness of easy infection and very, very difficult destruction of the infected. The book sort of had these traits, but they got buried under politics, who should do what, and why is the place they’re at – bad. 2 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 2-5, Apocaliptic Books, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, zombies | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Blood Communion” by Anne Rice | Vampire Chronicles 13

1Author: Anne Rice
Title: Blood Communion
Series: The Vampire Chronicles 13
Genre: Paranormal, Vampires
Pages: 288
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

It’s hard for me to quit series in which I invested so much time. Besides, I must admit, Vampire Chronicles got a lot of sentimental value for me. Also, I’ve read this book with hopes to see Tarquin Blackwood again, for in the previous book Lestat called out to him, but I guess Anne chose to kill him off, or forgot about him once again.

About: Lestat is slowly but surely building a vampire court. And this is his tale to his immortal brethren, of how he rid their world of their biggest enemies and became a worthy sovereign, their champion, their hero.

He calls out to all vampires, young and old, to come and pledge allegiance to him. Every one will be accepted then, protected, cared for. Even blood slaves, things genetically engineered to take pleasure from servitute, are being readied for them. A vampire utopia, with Lestat at the wheel. They will, finally, love him the way he always wanted. And to us, mere mortals who are too dumb to take these stories as more than fiction, this is a very long tale of architecture and grown men weeping to be allowed to kiss Lestat’s… ring. While he describes us what they wore doing so.

Mine: This is a very long tale, with pages after pages of vampire gatherings, were Lestat describes what he did, what he rebuilt, and how there’s abundance of everything for everyone, as long as he can describe in detail how people were dressed up. He makes sure the readers know there are closets in his palace, full of clothes and dungarees. Don’t ask me, I was confused too. But you have to know this, therefore it is repeated too. It is somehow important. And if that’s not enough to understand why everyone feels such a grave love to Lestat, he spins a tale of how he bam smack and finished off the greatest enemy of the whole vampire world, who neither had reasons to do what he did, nor had the brain capacity to defend himself against Lestat, nor seem to want to. But did have time to scream out a piece of crucial information in a language Lestat didn’t know.

I’m sorry, but I just can’t. This is a very classic Brat Prince tale, so those of you who love Lestat, will enjoy it, and that’s good. This is not my cup of tea. To me Lestat is the missing link between Edward Cullen and Vlad Dracula. Or at least he became it, for in the past I was really quite fine with him. There are a few books where he was not just tolerable, but even lovable. Seems those days are gone, and I can only give this a 2 out of 5.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, Paranormal, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chloe Neill “Midnight Marked” | Chicagoland Vampires 12

1Author: Chloe Neill
Title: Midnight Marked
Series: Chicagoland Vampires 12
Genre: Paranormal, Vampires
Pages: 361
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

One of those books I’ve read twice, back to back, because I just felt like I missed something. Turns out, it’s just that thin of a broth here. Ah well, only one more in the series left to go.

About: Someone’s casting an alchemical net over the Chicago, and it’s huge. And, judging by the supernatural corpses, it means no good either. Merit and her happy little bunch gather up, invade the library, and begin their attempts to translate what pieces they found, just to find out – they’re in a dead end. In the meantime the biggest mobster in Chicago, who held many a supernatural in his pocket, has made a move again, and this time, it seems, he wants to take Sullivan down. Sullivan, being an or becoming an idiot, is easily baited, whether he knows he’s biting bait or not. And I, the reader, sit here wondering who and where got all of these war axes from.

Mine: I have issues with witchcraft and alchemy being put into one and the same pot. Especially when author clearly mentioned FMA as one of her loved sources of inspiration or knowledge, so she knows it, she’s seen it, but she still had a witch cast an alchemy spell, and a programmer make an algorithm that correctly translates it. I’m yet to find a translator that correctly translates into English, so that’s some hardcore fantasy right there. To add to that, their obsession with food got to me. It was funny for a while, but now it’s like reading Joey Tribbiani’s from Friend’s biography: sex, food, food, sex, girls on bread! And if you think that wasn’t enough for me to get the score so low, let me add my favorite stuff: bad guys magically escape cells, the biggest and baddest kick the bucket unwillingly, Merit’s the bigger man who won’t have someone’s blood on her hands in this one particular instance, and now we’re definitely on the magical baby track. At least she confronted Sullivan about fake proposals NOT being funny.

I feel like this was the scraping of the bottom of the barrel. I guess there really needed to be thirteen books. I do hope it ends with a bang, because this one gets 2 out of 5 from me, no more.

Categories: 2-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Chloe Neill “Blood Games” | Chicagoland Vampires 10

1.jpgAuthor: Chloe Neill
Title: Blood Games
Series: Chicagoland Vampires 10
Genre: Paranormal, Vampire
Pages: 350
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

Right. I am up to power through this. Only two more books to go. But, easier said than done, knowing the baby prophecy is bound to come true in any page now. And seeing how Merit is becoming this obedient, ever forgiving, supportive bundle of “it’s fine if you mock me by pretending you’re proposing 20 times a day” little vampire lady… It might come both too soon, and not soon enough. I am really done here.

About: GP is shaken at the foundation as their rule is challenged by no other than rogue Sullivan, who had the gall to quit GP a couple books ago. And not only that, there’s apparently more candidates to the throne too. Vampire Hunger Games begin: there’ll be tests, there’ll be challenges, and it will be scary. Like, you’ll have a vision, knowing you’re going to see a vision, get glamoured or something, of your dying boyfriend or a girlfriend, and you’ll still fail somehow… But hey, only the best of the best can lead the GP. And since Sullivan is already being blackmailed, I think we all see who the biggest baddest cutthroat is. In the meantime, someone’s ritualistically killing people, and putting blame on everyone: witches, vampires, you name it.

Mine: Forget all the compliments I ever paid to Sullivan. No. He’s just one of those bad boys with past so dark, that if he told you what he did: you’d go gray then and there. SPOILER And then it turns out that someone somewhat related to him killed someone to teach him a lesson. SPOILER ENDS And that’s the big fat secret that makes him so bad, so dark, such a monster, wow. But what about those fancy sounding ritualistic murders, you ask me? Well, if you’re following these reviews on Chicagoland Vampires, you probably already guessed it anyway: it’s the substance lacking side-plot to fill in the gaps between the pages, with a lot of bark to it, and not a damn bite. The best part about this book was that one plot twist that I’ve not even hinted here to. Suffer with me!

But really, while the series are mediocre, this book here was definitely bad. It’s the first I can truly call bad in the series, so don’t stake me just yet. 2 out of 5, and I continue. I continue ASAP in fact.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Harvard Lampoon “Bored of the Rings”

1I got this book from second-hand store in UK about forever ago. And since “Bored of the Rings” by The Harvard Lampoon (Cardboard box of the rings 3; ISBN 0451452615; 149p.; Goodreads) is such a small book, it traveled with me for a couple years. I just thought, hey, what if I don’t have my e-reader with me, my phone is old, battery doesn’t last, etc. But that didn’t happen during all that time, so I just took it out and read it at home. And it wasn’t good.

As the title suggest, this is a parody of Lord of the Rings. Absurd kind of humor, which is very much not for everyone, and very much not for me. It felt childish and tasteless majority of the time, and there wasn’t a damn joke I found funny, which is disappointing, because I like funny things, and I really wanted funny things, that’s why I got the damn book in the first place.

Anyway, Frito gets his heirloom One Ring that can rule all the others, at least those that weren’t lost or recalled for manufacturer errors, and thus now has to go on an adventure to destroy this evil thing. The voyage is scary, so first one has to form a Brotherhood, but, really, no one wants to go on this dumb trip, so they just push one another forth, until no one’s left and a Brotherhood is formed out of offered up men, not volunteers. Really, no one wanted this adventure.

I can give this book a 2 out of 5, for at least it was well written. Other than that, the puns didn’t work, the jokes were childish and not funny, and the dirty stuff was just tasteless. Not for me. For someone maybe tho, because humor is really a personal thing.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, Books: Funny! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

John Patrick Kennedy – Princess Dracula [1]

33763808I started reading John Patrick Kennedy book “Princess Dracula” (Princess Dracula 1; ASIN B01MSQGCS3; 203p.; Goodreads) last year, and barely managed to finish it last night. It’s a very plot-lacking book that smells of a man not knowing he can just write a woman like she’s a person, and not an alien.

Ruxandra Dracula, daughter to Walachian prince Vlad the Impaler, has been raised in a covenant for most of her life. One of these nights he comes to collect his daughter, and Ruxandra can only pray it is so he can marry her off to someone kind and handsome, like one of the knights that came with him. Instead Dracula takes her into a cave where a ritual for demon summoning is being prepared. He offers the demon his own daughter, confident he’ll be able to control the powers given, and use them against the Ottoman Empire. But demon only laughed, for it had spiteful plans of its own.

Ruxandra craves blood. At times her own body fights her, and all too often completely overpowers her, with this need to survive, while she herself is not exactly feeling like it. But she’s a Dracula, meaning she’s stubborn and determined. Determined to not hurt people, and find a way to die eventually. Until a beautiful young man finds her in the woods. Kind and caring he inspires hope in Ruxandra’s dead heart.

Too much work was put into explaining the logic of why the female protagonist has to be naked time and again. Too little work left, thus, on the plot, which was mediocre at best. For most of the book – nothing happens. And what does happen, like the brides of Dracula take (there’s an unevolved plot-line where those “brides” are actually Ruxandra’s friends, and they’re having this strange poly-amorous relationship, it could work, it would be an interesting take of Dracula’s Brides, seeing how Ruxandra is Dracula), gets left mentioned by a word or two across whole book. So I start a year with a book I can only give 2 out of 5 to. But that doesn’t mean I won’t read further.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Dracula, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Stephen King – The Gunslinger | The Dark Tower 1

43615I bought this book so very long ago. Yet came about to reading it only when they released the series. I’ve a love-hate relationship with King’s books. I like his stories, but don’t much enjoy the books themselves. Adaptations are often good, but then… Anyway, I’ve finally read “The Gunslinger” by Stephen King (The Dark Tower 1; ISBN 0452284694; 231p.; Goodreads), the first book in The Dark Tower series. And I really didn’t like as much as I hoped I would.

This is a very slow story of a Gunslinger, the last of his kind, chasing a man in black in a world that’s tearing itself apart, across the desert beyond which the world, according to some, simply ends. But that is where he must go, for he must find the Dark Tower, and the man in black is likely the key to getting there, getting inside. All the while he’s expecting a trap from the man in black, for he has seen it before. He left villages obliterated due to those traps, due to people attacking him with firm belief that he is the very devil incarnate. He saw it in minds of others, even in people he liked. Like the woman who was given a keyword that would’ve opened the memory of her risen from the dead friend. He would’ve then told her what’s out there, beyond, and it would’ve driven her mad. Much like the idea of a trap is driving the Gunslinger mad.

The Dark Tower itself is a nexus of everything. Time, possibilities, but most importantly – size. What’s behind the door, behind the sun, the galaxy, all of the galaxies, what’s there, at the far end, where nothing is anymore? The idea of it, the want to see, to know, is driving Gunslinger through this scorched place of madness and delusions.

The idea would’ve been of epic scale, if I’ve not read similar philosophies many times before. This embodiment of everything, across the dunes, and over the train tracks, built by gods, for who else could’ve done that? Demons in the sand, in the bones, in the machinery that no longer goes. If none of that sounds familiar, then you might just like this book. It is worth your love, it is a classic for a reason. It’s just not my cup of tea. 2 out of 5, but, yes, there’s a but. I’m not ready to quit just yet, so I’ll be reading the next one.

Categories: 2-5, Apocaliptic Books, Books: Dystopian, Books: Fantasy, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Stephen Seitz – Sherlock Holmes and the Plague of Dracula

+sherlockholmesYes, it seems I’m pretty good with October spooky reads, but it’s an accident, mostly. “Sherlock Holmes and the Plague of Dracula” by Stephen Seitz (ISBN 1780921705; 204p.; Goodreads), as you might guess from that one word in the title, is not an accident tho. Sadly, it wasn’t really any good, so I can’t give myself any credit for this choice…

When Jonathan Harker disappears in Romania, with only a couple of cryptic letters to account for his final days, miss Mina Murray comes to Sherlock Holmes for help. Believing the worst, Sherlock and John Watson leave for Transylvania, in search of this suspicious count Dracula, and likely – Harker’s body. What they find instead is far more disturbing. A village bound in terror and superstitions, children disappearing, and no other than three vampire brides of Dracula roaming the castle. Is it all smoke, mirrors, and drugs, or can this possibly be real?

Soon after their return to England, mostly empty-handed, friends find out that the mysterious count and his crates of dirt are here too. Not only is count working with the criminal mastermind, he seems to be well able to put others under his vampiric spell too. As we know from Bram Stoker’s account, Dracula took the life of miss Lucy. What we didn’t know is that he was preying on Watson’s wife Mary also!

This book has a lot of nothing. Dracula appears, threatens, and disappears after Sherlock swears to get off his back. Watson spends his time at work, mourning his friends, and pondering vampirism, with nothing happening around. Plague of vampires, terror of Dracula? Nope, none of that. 2 out 5, I can’t give it more.

Categories: 2-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Dracula, Crime Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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