3-5

book review | The Vampire’s Club by X. Aratare | The Vampire’s Club 1

the vampires club x aratare book coverAuthor: X. Aratare
Title: The Vampire’s Club
Series: The Vampire’s Club 1
Genre: Vampires, LGBT Literature
Pages: 96
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I was really looking forwards to reading The Vampire’s Club by X. Aratare, first book in what seems to be a series. But now that I have, I’m a little disappointed.

About the Book: Lucas is frantically seeking a job, any job. While his mother on the phone is trying to convince him to return home and work for his stepfather. The man of whom Lucas is irrationally afraid; to a point where he can barely stand being in one room with the man. So today, once again, he tried everywhere. Except that Club Dyavol that seemed to have appeared out of the gloom and doom. On the first look it seems full and high class. But a quick net search yields no results. It would have made sense to walk away. If it weren’t for the overwhelming sense flooding Lucas, telling him to go in, go into the Devil’s Club.

My Opinion: So from here on you can probably guess that a club that seems to appear our of nowhere is likely magically guarded. But those guards are nothing to a lad who, you guessed it, is an adopted orphan whose parents were killed, and who isn’t as much a nobody as he thought he was. A very basic story of very common tropes, with very little changes from many others out there. Felt like Megan Derr’s “Dance With the Devil”, so I’d not be surprised… It’s not the worst among these types of books, but it’s far from the best.

Right. Since I have the second one, I will read it too, and we’ll see how it goes. But for the time being, this one barely reached a 3 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | The Shanghai Factor by Charles McCarry

changhai factor charles mccarry book cover reviewAuthor: Charles McCarry
Title: The Shanghai Factor
Series: –
Genre: Spy Thriller, Mystery
Pages: 336
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I’ve realized a little too late when I picked up The Shanghai Factor by Charles McCarry, that I’ve not inspected the genres well enough. This might be the first spy thriller I’ve read. And I don’t think it’s a genre for me.

About the Book: A nameless American spy placed in Shanghai with bare orders: learn the language, absorb the culture. Avoid other Caucasians, especially other Americans. Which turns out hard to do, for any other white person in Shanghai jumped at the opportunity to speak to a possible same origins kin. But he could trust no one, and knew patterns too well to fall for real, possible or imagined ploys. Up until a pure accident has sent him tumbling head-first into a very tight and sticky cobweb. For he ran into a bike of a very attractive young woman.

My Opinion: It was dull. This nameless fellow is yet again one of those guys whom men with power just want to pay to do nothing, and women are happy to have sex with him, and absolutely understand that he can’t stay, and must go, and can’t explain them shit. Secondary characters were cold and two-dimensional. Plot itself felt like a tumble of things that barely fit together to make some kind of unclear image. It didn’t feel like a thriller at all.

I understand there’s quite a bit of my own fault for choosing a book so poorly, so no matter how tempted I am to give this book less, I will give it a 3 out of 5, just in case it wasn’t as bad as it seemed to me.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia | 1

we set the dark on fire tehlor kay mejia book coverAuthor: Tehlor Kay Mejia
Title: We Set the Dark on Fire
Series: We Set the Dark on Fire 1
Genre: Fantasy; LGBT literature
Pages: 384
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

For once it was not IG that lured me into reading a book blindly, that I didn’t like all that much. I saw “We Set the Dark on Fire” by Tehlor Kay Mejia on Twitter. It was sadly too light, too simple for my liking, so it’s not my cup of tea.

About the Book: Medio School for Girls prepares the most prestigious brides for those in power who can afford such luxurious set. For it isn’t easy to get into this school either. Such girls as Dani shouldn’t even be here. Born on the wrong side of The Wall, she’s an illegal. But her parents have found a way, and so here she is, about to marry one of the most powerful politicians, together with her worst rival, a girl who made her life here – hell. And taught her to never trust anyone.

But not even out of school yet, there’s signs of Resistance. Poor people, pushed to the very edge, are desperate to draw attention to their cause with protests and even riots. They’re starving. They die of simple illnesses for which there’s easy medicine they can’t afford. But all they get is disdain and bullets. And Dani’s heart bleeds for them.

My Opinion: The plot, at times, barely, just very barely with the best of wishes made it through a spin and turn without being completely lacking. Some events hang by the thread of hopes and dreams, so to speak. And the plot is a bit thin, simple: poor people are criminalized, rich people are overloaded. Resistance is recruiting brides from schools to be spies. And that’s all.

I’m sure this book will be loved by many, and I hope author will never see my review or any other negative one for that matter. For I do wish her all the best, there’s definitely potential there. This book, from me, by my personal opinion meant only for other readers, gets 3 out of 5.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, F/F Literature, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco | Stalking Jack the Ripper 3

escaping from houdini kerri maniscalco book coverAuthor: Kerri Maniscalco
Title: Escaping from Houdini
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper 3
Genre: YA; Mystery
Pages: 416
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Having some really tough time, not gonna lie. Needed something easy to read, so I picked up “Escaping from Houdini” by Kerri Maniscalco, third book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, for I knew her writing style to be perfect for this kind of mood. And it indeed did the job.

About the Book: A luxurious liner trip, with travelers gathered to admire a show troupe full of magicians, fortune tellers, acrobats, and so on, soon becomes a nightmare, as the ship becomes a gilded cage, a prison, with all the passengers trapped inside with a killer; A master in slight of hand, for no one is the wiser, even after someone is brutally murdered among them. Victims tend to disappear just to reappear in a tarot setting, dead. And it’s up to Audrey Rose to find the killer, and find them fast, for it is not just strangers in danger…

My Opinion: The writing style is pretty good, very light, and very easy to read. If you, like myself, aren’t native English speaker, but want to practice reading books, I can really recommend Kerri Maniscalco works. They’re unique and quite interesting. But one thing I did have an issue with in this particular book. It’s the scenes that seem to exist only to add to the volume of the book. I mean, I do understand there’s an attempt to set a scene, create the false calm before the storm, but often they just flopped as scenes designed to portray an outraged lady in society where so much is forbidden to women.

It’s a good lazy read, even if not my favorite. I can give it a very solid and firm 3 out of 5, and will definitely read the next book.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Detective Books, Historical Fiction Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Fall by Guillermo del Toro | The Strain Trilogy 2

the fall guillermo del toro chuck hogan the strain book coverAuthor: Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan
Title: The Fall
Series: The Strain Trilogy 2
Genre: Thriller, Vampires
Pages: 308
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I’ve many people in my circle who enjoy the series based on this trilogy and/or the trilogy itself. I, personally, am not yet made a fan, and I don’t see how that’ll happen with only one Strain Trilogy book left. Currently I finished Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan book The Fall, which is the second one. And am not impressed.

About the Book: Master has taken over New York. From here the rest of the world will fall under his feet too. But he has to be careful and not think of these things too much. For when he’s too deep in thought, they, others like him, the first kind of vampires, can hear it, and know it. So instead he plays his pawns, the most influential, powerful, rich people. It’s just that he miscalculated just how very much some of them fear death…

My Opinion: Other than internal monologues, there’s so little happening in this book, that I can’t even tell you what’s it about clearly. Basically they all spend the whole book either thinking of bad old days, from the creation of supernatural creatures, to genocide, to childbirth, or they chase a book that speaks of vampire creation. That book could give them the true name of the Master and that would somehow help them destroy him and the rest of his kind. I give it great props over making vampires what they are, but bloody hell how dull it gets.

Right, so, I can’t give this book more than 3 out of 5, and the biggest plus is the vampire origins. One more book to go.

Categories: 3-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Supernatural, Nosferatu Books, Thriller Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

book review | The Strain by Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan | The Strain Trilogy 1

the strain vampire chuck hogan guillermo del toro book coverAuthor: Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan
Title: The Strain
Series: The Strain Trilogy 1
Genre: Horror Literature, Fiction
Pages: 403
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

The cover of Guillermo del Toro’s and Chuck Hogan’s book “The Strain” said it’s new vampire classics. To me it felt more like a retelling of many, concentrating onto the common theme: New York city, epidemic that turns people into brainless monsters. I bet you can think of one or two off the top of your head, without thinking.

About: A Boeing lands, dark and silent. All the people inside are still, as if asleep. Dead, their bodies drained of blood. All except four, it seems. But those four survivors are not likely to tell any tales, for they are dead men walking themselves. Whatever killed all those passengers – is eating them up too.

It spreads like a virus. The disease takes over, mutates the body in a matter of days, chucking anything unnecessary. The smallest drop of their blood can turn you, and then you too will hear His voice, and you too will haunt your loved ones in search for easy prey, easy blood, nourishment.

Mine: Remember how Dracula entered England? He steered a ship into a port on a stormy night, with all crew gone but for a corpse or two. All while he himself hid in a crate full of soil. And then disappeared, with the said boxes of dirt. This is a very classic scary monster vampire story. Authors here too did their best to dissuade the reader from wanting to become one of these foul beasts who feed and urinate at the same time, whose very genitals fall off, and body mutates into grotesque horror meant only for feeding. And yet there are still those, in the story, who want this for sheer fact that there’s a certain mental capacity, a form of life, immortality. That’s the good side of this tale. For the rest of it was already told, many times over, with the same brave but annoying characters.

I watched the series, didn’t finish, and am not planning to, but first season and first book seem to be fairly on the same level. So if you didn’t like the series, don’t bother with the book. I can give it a 3 out of 5, no more.

 

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

sci-fi | “Red Moon” Kim Stanley Robinson

2Author: Kim Stanley Robinson
Title: Red Moon
Series: –
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fiction
Pages: 446
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Sometimes you can make a grave mistake while choosing a book to read. And sometimes there’s no time to quit it. You see, some people quit books, because there’s no time to read books you hate, when there’s so many good ones. I don’t quit books, because life’s too short to pass on a book in general. But that’s just me.

About: One moment you can be a nobody. A worker in a new place on a job, possibly even enjoying it. Fred, for instance. It’s his first time on the Moon. His job here is to install a communication system of sorts. And as he shakes hands with someone important, next moment strikes. They both fall, one dead, the other’s very sick. From this moment on Fred is a fugitive accused of murder, and must run. Lucky for him, he won’t be alone. Chan Qi, a princeling, China Revolution symbol, and a woman who broke the law and got pregnant on the Moon, which is forbidden, is on the run too. Due to her status and connections, Fred will be as safe as someone in his position can be. But that, by far, doesn’t mean any comfort. His life has changed forever. He can’t contact his family, tell them he’s okay, and that he’s innocent. He must stay hidden in a little apartment in an unknown country, eating foods this stranger woman is making him, grateful for it, of course. And on moments notice, he must be prepared to hop back on a shuttle and go to the Moon or back. Surreal doesn’t cut it for Fred.

Mine: This book is very politically heavy. Two super-countries, China and America have colonized the moon and are experimenting on it, trying to make it nice and proper for life, see what use can be squeezed out of it. While revolution is breaking out. Have you ever head a saying “you vote every time you buy“? For instance, my friends in Germany have told me it’d be hard if not impossible to find scrubs with plastic microbeads in them, for people have “voted” them out. Something akin is happening here too, but on far greater, billions of people worth of scale. By the People, For the People, with a dash of Confucius and poems that help characters analize their situations and their feelings. It’s as strange a sci-fi book as one gets without anything alien or supernatural to it. It’s just people tired of oppression, poverty, struggling.

I give this book a 3 out of 5, because you could throw away half the damn book and not miss a thing. For through so many pages so very little to nothing happens, it’s amazing. Skip a page, they’re still in their same chairs, eating same meal, thinking the same things.

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

fiction | “Far Cry: Absolution” by Urban Waite

5Author: Urban Waite
Title: Far Cry: Absolution
Series: –
Genre: Fiction, Video Games Literature
Pages: 256
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Far Cry 5 very fast became one of my all time favorite video games. Huge open world, marvelous Montana sights, flora and fauna to admire for hours, and so very many things to do or not to do. I thought I might as well read the related book. It is by no means a tale from the game though, mind you.

About: After a drunk accident in which Will has killed his family, the only solace he found was in Eden’s Gate cult. Led by Joseph Seed, called The Father by his followers, cult lives a communal life, building each other houses, keeping one another in check, donating all they got to common kettle, where it then gets distributed to those who need said things accordingly. Will’s sins were absolved, he was taken into new family, given home, purpose. But the more time he spends away, on his own, his soul slowly seeping back into nature and thoughts that he did, accident or no, kill his family, the more he starts doubting the purity and truth of the Gospel The Father is preaching. The cult believes the world’s about to end, for it is corrupt and rotten. The only way to be saved is to abandon sin and join them. But while his joining was willing, full of new hope, there’s whispers and rumors in the wind of ever emptier towns below his mountain, which speak of drug-laced baptisms, kidnappings, and even murder…

Mine: The book had the same thought and point as the game did. The same double-view on things. From one point you see these armed folk kidnapping you, forcing you to confess, possibly tying you up to prevent you from running. On the other side you see desperation to save you, for the world might indeed soon end, and you, a sinner that you are, don’t deserve to die anyway. You get this in the game too. I remember the strange shock I felt the first time I was saving people from a bunker, hearing cult members scream in desperation that the people will die if allowed to go. They didn’t mean they’ll kill the people. They literally meant that they’ll perish in the apocalypse which was indeed mere days away. Brutal means to keep you safe. Or brutal means to force you into a sect. But. Here’s a big one. There’s inconsistencies with the game that could’ve been prevented by googling, looking into wikipedia and so on. There’s plot holes. And at times it seemed like author forgot what he wrote three pages back, so what you’re reading now – doesn’t fit at all.

This book was just good enough to read to the end and give it 3 out of 5. It’s not a bad book. It’s simply not a good one either.

Categories: 3-5, Apocaliptic Books, Books: Everything | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

nonfiction | “The Satanic Bible” by Anton Szandor LaVey

1Author: Anton Szandor LaVey
Title: The Satanic Bible
Series: –
Genre: Philosophy, Occult
Pages: 272
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I remember the days when this book appeared. In Lithuania, it disappeared just as quickly, leaving a lot of strange young adults reeling, searching for it. I wasn’t one of them back then, but admittedly I was always curious about all religions. I think the problem was the predominantly god-fearing population I grew up in, never able to become part of it, because none of it made sense. Why would I fear a god who is all loving and forgiving? Why would he make someone this way, and then punish them for being this way? You get my meaning, right? Yet I forgot about this book up until AHS came out with Apocalypse, the Antichrist, and LaVey. So I figured I’ll serve the angsty goth teen that I was, and get this book for myself now.

About: The book right away agrees that yes, the doctrine could be called humanitarian philosophy, and not satanic religion. But that’s really the point. While it teaches you to be a better person, because it really does, believe you me, it also arms you. It arms you against the religion that likely dominates your surroundings, and finds a way to tell you you’re somehow wrong. It points out all the flaws in Christianity, and thus opposes it openly, acting like a sort of, well, for the lack of better word, adversary. For as long as Christianity stands, telling you that you should be afraid of God’s wrath, and thus should maybe sacrifice him a goat or something, there will stand a satanist, telling you the god on earth will never tell you to fear him, nor will he ever ask you to shed blood, because we’re all gods in our own way, and all life is to be respected, and not harmed.

But this great part is very short, likely, added together, no longer than one fourth or third of the book. The rest is translated Enochian texts, prayers, invocations and such.

Mine: It’s a great book that’ll tell you you need to love yourself, care for yourself, and respect others as much as they respect you. Meaning there’s no other cheek, get rid of toxic people from your life. It tells you that consent matters. It tells you that you’re not to be a dick. It tells you there’s no taboos if everyone consents. And then proceeds on telling you so very much about sex, how it should be free and available for all, how you need to seek what you want in it, fulfillment, and so on. I mean it’s all well and good, but I feel like if you’re not 14, you’ll be rolling your eyes at the overbearing emphasis here.

So, all in all, I’m glad I got this book, and that it showed me what this religion is all about. No, it’s not made to convert you, nor is it written in the biblical style either. It’s a very simple philosophy book, with a little too much of not so interesting stuff. So I give it a 3 out of 5, for while I’m glad I’ve read it, it felt like it was written for way younger people than myself, if you get my drift.

Categories: 3-5, Books of Occult, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Philosophy, Self | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

diversity | “The Immortalists” by Chloe Benjamin

1Author: Chloe Benjamin
Title: The Immortalists
Series: –
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Pages: 346
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I picked this book up for diversity due to Gold family being Jewish. In my surroundings, and the books I tend to read, religion either goes unnoticed, doesn’t exist, or is the same old one (or the branch of it). But there was more than just that, lucky for me.

About: A rumor of a mysterious psychic woman who tells very accurate fortunes reaches the four Gold children. They cannot resist the human temptation to just get to know things. Will I be happy? When will I die?

Years pass, and each one of them carries inside their date of death. Some shared it, others preferred it to remain a secret. But each one lived dreading, hoping. Hoping that the day will come, and that it will pass.

Mine: So, as I said, this book is more diverse than I expected. Other than a lot of different characters surrounding the main four, one of the main four was a gay guy. In the times when AIDS was called “the gay cancer“, due to mostly affecting the homosexuals, and no one really knowing neither what it was, how it was spread, or any means to prevent it. The main characters in general were pretty interesting, each one very unique, with fairly strong personalities. But that’s all you get. They’re strong in their convictions, still doesn’t mean they won’t do as their told, even if it goes against them. There’s jobs, there’s family statuses, there’s doing what you have to do. While waiting for the date of death to come, with hopes it’ll pass you by even just one day. In the meantime, with all the unnecessary details flooding us, I sat there wishing to know more of the true magic that apparently exists here, or have time to react to such great things as an adult child finding their parent. But you can’t, because there’s no room, and no time, and seams are covered with just useless observations of too tight t-shirts, juicers, photographs.

I wish these were four separate books of four siblings growing up knowing when they’ll die. But instead we have too short stories in too long of a book. I can only give it a 3 out of 5, for while it was good, it wasn’t there yet.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Contemporary Books | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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