book review | Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi | Old Man’s War 4

zoes tale by john scalzi book review night mode reading library nosferatuAuthor: John Scalzi
Title: Zoe’s Tale
Series: Old Man’s War
Genre: Sci-Fi; Space Opera
Pages: 335
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi is the same tale as the book before, but told from the perspective of main characters’ adopted teenage daughter Zoe. And I almost regret reading it.

About the Book: Colony of many different races, humans included, are slowly nearing a new planet, where they’ll live and try to make it hospitable enough for second batch of people. All the fun stuff, from home building, to infrastructure, to domesticating animals, and planting whatever possibly grows there. It’s just that someone changed the plans in secret, and it’s no longer the previously decided upon planet. Nor can they use any technology, all to protect them from a threat greater than they’ll face out here, in an unknown wilderness…

My Opinion: Tale of a primitive living on an alien planet full of sentient beings, told from perspective of high-school students, by an adult author who is not, in fact, a teenager, and likely hasn’t been for a lil while now. As these are shallow, stereotypical characters that were hard to read due to just how stereotypical. You met them in every young adult series ever, from Vampire Diaries, to Sabrina, to whatever else there is. Could predict dialogues from the start of the scene, how lacking it felt. The only saving grace is that the book provides an additional perspective on the previous one. If you do not feel a burning need for such, just skip it.

A wobbly 3 out of 5.

22 zoes tale john scalzi bookstagram book review nightmode reading nosferatu reads

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

book review | ADHD 2.0 by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey

adhd 20 edward m hallowell john j matey book reviewAuthor: Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey
Title: ADHD 2.0
Series: –
Genre: Self-Help; ADHD
Pages: 208
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Trying to educate myself on some topics that keep appearing in my immediate space, among which is, of course, ADHD. So I’ve read ADHD 2.0 by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey. While there’s some valuable thoughts in the book, others are outright harmful, so keep that in mind.

About the Book: Authors go through a very fine introduction on what it’s like to have and live with ADHD, from the inside, and the outside, how it affects the self, and those around, and what’s the difference between living with diagnosed ADHD and one that is being overlooked or not considered, aka., not diagnosed. And then proceed through variety of tales on hope. ADHD is not a bad diagnosis, and how from learning about it – things can only improve. They provide examples of those who thrive with it, even if examples given aren’t very substantial. And then name a great handful of coping mechanisms. From harmless stuff such as exercise, caffeine, to not wholly defined (I am a user myself) such as CBD, to absolutely atrocious things likened to conversion therapy.

My Opinion: As I said, the start of this book felt promising, it allowed me to define certain things in my head better, and I’ll directly benefit from that. But the whole generalizing felt iffy even before ABAApplied Behavioral Analysis got mentioned. There’s a reason why it’s not “one medicine fits all” ADHD: some need downers, others need stimulants, to the third and other-other neither might help, so why promote structure to kids as a way out? To some structure will feel like absolute hell, and they’ll seek ways to break out of it. With other suggestions authors were a little more clear that it’s not for all, but hey, feel free to try. But the ABA thing, through punishments and rewards it teaches neuro-divergent people to respond in neurotypical ways, and that got likened to conversion therapy, akin to torture. Keep this in mind if you intend to pick this book up. Additionally, it’s not very scientific, so what you get is a bundle of ideas to try out, often based on nothing more than “well, for some it works“.

Written in a smooth way, makes it easy to read. Strange skirting around genders. Stranger still the generalizing. A 3 out of 5.

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

book review | December with Dracula 10 | A Coldness in the Blood by Fred Saberhagen | Dracula 10

dracember december with dracula fred saberhagen a coldness in the blood dracula tape night mode reading nosferatu readsAuthor: Fred Saberhagen
Title: A Coldness in the Blood
Series: Dracula 10
Genre: Horror Literature; Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

And so, Dracember ends. As does Dracula series by Fred Saberhagen, with the final book called “A Coldness in the Blood“. Towards the end it really picked up, even got an entire point up.

About the Book: Dark side of alchemy is overseen by those who only care for power it can provide. One such student of the craft ends up running to Dracula himself, in absolute terror of the thing chasing him. Figuring, if anyone can defend his sorry ass, it will be someone called The Impaler, he doesn’t stop to think of the wrath he’ll evoke in Vlad Dracula when the horror following will endanger him, his home, and those he considers family. An embodiment of Alchemy, Egyptian God in search of Philosopher’s Stone. One Vlad will now have to chase down too, trying to outwit and outrun an entire damn deity…

My Opinion: Book starts with a great premise, but absolutely horrible execution. Dracula lacks any personality, character traits, keeps comparing incomparable things, and seems to oversee the hypocrisy of his own words. I’m not sure if this was intended so by the author, creating an undead, who so far seemed to be trying to create an intelligent and regal character instead. As the tale went on, it got so dull it was near unbearable, as everyone again spent all their time talking while sitting down, telling tales of tales. And only towards the end did it pick up again, where we got both a good story, well paced, intriguing, and some, minimal, character development too, where we witnessed Vlad Dracula become more the vampire he was in the very first book. Writing got better too, almost like author has found his pens again, caught the train of thought at last, and said all he wanted to say, finally. I’m just not sure about those awfully picked archaic words.

All in all, series aren’t much. No regrets in reading them, not at all, but I won’t be in a hurry to add physical copies to my Dracula’s collection. This one gets a 3 out of 5.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, dracember, Nosferatu Books, Themes, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | Dracember 3 | A Question of Time by Fred Saberhagen

fred saberhagen a question of time december with dracula dracember night mode reading nosferatu readsAuthor: Fred Saberhagen
Title: A Question of Time
Series: Dracula 7
Genre: Urban Fantasy; Vampires
Pages: 288
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I return to the Fred Saberhagen Dracula series, having read the seventh book: A Question of Time. Somehow still the very first one being the best.

About the Book: A missing child becomes a lead Dracula has no intent on losing again, for it seems it leads to someone he once knew. Possibly a friend back in the day, now an adversary this old vampire must stop for the greater good of all. For somewhere there, in the depths of Great Canyon, among the twisting paths, caves and tunnels, and rifts in the earth as old as time itself, there lies something his kind was never supposed to touch…

My Opinion: The idea is there, and it’s good. Rifts in the stone, layers of time, and this here vampire seems to have learned to manipulate it by tapping into what he calls Planet’s Life, essence like the one that keeps us alive, but not, per se, as literal as blood is. But the writing is dully complex, with attempted twisting that leads no where, as it either isn’t fleshed out, or just falls flat without reaching the full potential. A tale of various characters walking various paths, and pointing at things that could, possibly, indicate what time period they are in right now. Said characters so dull and lacking of personality, that I couldn’t provide names if I wanted to.

A very wobbly 3 out of 5.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, dracember, Dracula: General, Nosferatu Books, Themes, urban fantasy, vampires, Vlad Dracula III | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Dracember | Children of the Night by Dan Simmons | Seasons of Horror 2

children of the night by dan simmons dracember read like a villain nosferatu reads night mode reading book review a month of draculaAuthor: Dan Simmons
Title: Children of the Night
Series: Seasons of Horror 2
Genre: Horror books; Thriller
Pages: 453
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Dracember (drac-sem-ber) is here, and so, I return to you with a month of Dracula, and a great worry for next year, as there simply aren’t enough of these. But, for starters, read Children of the Night by Dan Simmons, the most boring interesting book I’ve ever read. Yes.

About the Book: Post-communist Romania, still running on not yet uprooted remnants of nasty regime, is where Kate’s source of frustration and salvation lies. A child with supernatural immune system, so powerful that if only she could get the kid out of the country, and into a proper, state of the art lab, there’d be no more incurable illness or disease. But Romania has long since been the cradle of Dark Secrets, and so, forces that serve them are unwilling to give up the child they could use to revive Him with…

My Opinion: The book is told from two perspectives; Kate’s, and Dracula’s, who tells his tale, and explains how he’s learning of things happening around him. Mythos of vampires is well woven, and in general it was a very interesting read. Except that I almost died of boredom when author saw the need to describe bureaucracy in such detail and extent, and then provide all of the characters who just happen to know all the right people, and have all the right skills. Kate was annoying too, unusually so, and her co-workers were the worst by being the best with their praises to Kate, oh, if anyone, you can surely do it. Yes, okay, great, fun. The book is good enough that I’d read sequel if there was one (series is not of connected books, they’re all stand-alones), but bad enough that I wouldn’t recommend it.

It really had its moments, so a firm 3 out of 5.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Crime Books, Dark Books, Detective Books, Mystery Books, Nosferatu Books, Thriller Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | 100 Fathoms Below by Steven L. Kent and Nicholas Kaufmann

steven l kent nicholas kaufmann 100 fathoms below book reviewAuthor: Steven L. Kent and Nicholas Kaufmann
Title: 100 Fathoms Below
Series: –
Genre: Horror books; Vampire books
Pages: 272
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Does the TBR pile ever get smaller? Especially the e-book one? Pulled one that was gathering digital dust by now, 100 Fathoms Below by Steven L. Kent and Nicholas Kaufmann, a decent horror tale set in an atomic American submarine.

About the Book: After their final night out, crew returns to the submarine where a mission so secret awaits that not all even know about it. But once the sun was far away, and they were deep in the darkness of the ocean, strange things began. Some men fell with fever. A rogue or a few let loose breaking lights, and even mirrors, without anyone able to catch the bastards. People disappeared, and dead were seen walking… It seems that the crew didn’t return alone.

My Opinion: The idea is superb – limit of space on the submarine, no where to run; sun is far away up; limited amount of weaponry; even more limited supplies, such as spare lights. Plenty of bodies though, bodies that can disappear; plenty of ways to die, plenty of places to hide in. Story, while good, a submarine in foreign waters, can’t call for help, can’t emerge into the daylight either, is very poorly executed. That, paired with very shallow and two-dimentional characters, makes for a very mediocre read.

Decent in it’s own way. The fatalistic feeling it had in the confined space, with beings immortal, reminded me a bit of Ramesses the Damned by Anne Rice. It’s just that… Well, this one is set on an USA atomic submarine. Yeah, a 3 out of 5.

100 fathoms below book review read like a villain nosferatu reads

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

book review | Bridge of Souls by V.E. Schwab | Cassidy Blake 3

cassidy blake bridge of souls victoria schwab v.e. schwab book review knygos apzvalgaAuthor: V.E. Schwab
Title: Bridge of Souls
Series: Cassidy Blake
Genre: Urban Fantasy; Paranormal
Pages: 304
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

It’s almost October, the only month in Autumn that I do enjoy. When every corner of the internet floods with reviews of all things spooky, pumpkin, horror, and gloom. And since the vibe’s already there, I think I’ll call the start of it today, with Bridge of Souls by V.E. Schwab, third book in Cassidy Blake series.

About the Book: Cassidy’s family takes their show on paranormal activities to New Orleans, where they’ll seek supernatural. Sadly for Cassidy, she doesn’t need to seek them. They find her. Sometimes they need her help. Other times they just want to do their things, and she’s the one who gets in the way, with the unasked for, but definitely needed help. But this time one found her to exert a punishment for something the girl stole from beyond…

My Opinion: It took two books and half a world for some dark spirit to figure out Cassidy owes them one. Accountants in the beyond aren’t great, I guess. Additionally, upon finding her, they lose her to a point where girl and her friend had to try pretty hard to get their attention on themselves again. Felt a bit like an accidental plot hole, or not a fully thought through idea. I would’ve rather read New Orleans related lore, a place famous for Voodoo magic, vampires, and other things. 

So far this is the weakest in the series, gets a 3 out of 5 from me.

victoria schwab bridge of souls book review night mode reading

Categories: 3-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, Books: Supernatural, ghosts, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Burning the Books by Richard Ovenden

burning the books by richard ovenden night mode readingAuthor: Richard Ovenden
Title: Burning the Books
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; History
Pages: 308
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Heavy are the days when reading just isn’t happening. Managed to get to, and get through a recommendation though, “Burning the Books” by Richard Ovenden, an interesting book on importance of data, literature, as cultural identity.

About the Book: Written knowledge is easy to pass along through hands, borders, and time. Goal is to make it available to all according to their needs, or so I think (as in, I might need my own history, someone else might really not need, and thus shouldn’t get it available without my explicit permission). But knowing this it comes as no surprise that governments, and other groups of corrupt people, use knowledge as a weapon, a way to erase people, their culture, their history, change the rules of the game to accommodate them better, and so on. This book speaks of importance of preserving the knowledge, all the way from a flammable papyrus, to contemporary history written down as social media status. And while we’re mentioned here too, I’ve missed our history of book carriers (knygnešiai) who helped preserve our language by smuggling books to people.

My Opinion: The book is very messy. From the library of Alexandria, its importance, to erasure and undermining of Jewish people, their culture, farther onto authors who, for their own reasons didn’t want certain works published, or didn’t want said works to outlive them, then the importance of social media, contemporary history recorded right there in the tweets. And ending with such hefty, but extremely obvious line as “take burning books as a warning that they’ll come for people next“, like, wow, yeah. Why, again, did I read of some author there, and how his relatives burned, or tried to, his diaries post mortem? How was that relevant to the topic of preservation of knowledge, unless we can’t have our own thoughts, and creations – private? A tweet is a choice some of us regret, I feel. A published history getting burned to change it feels to be in a whole different league. But if we ignore that, and one or two chapters that were either misleading or outright wrong, this book is definitely good, and worth reading. Because the chapters that ARE solid – make it so.

A strong 3 out of 5, definitely worth it.

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

book review | Genevieve Undead by Kim Newman | The Vampire Genevieve 2

genevieve undead kim newman book review warhammerAuthor: Kim Newman
Title: Genevieve Undead
Series: The Vampire Genevieve 2
Genre: Warhammer Horror; Dark Fantasy
Pages: 288
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I still can’t get over the idea, that The Vampire Genevieve series by Kim Newman is Warhammer Horror, but here we are, dealing with servants of Chaos, and whatnot. Read second book called Genevieve Undead and it’s… Bizarre.

About the Book: Theater life is inseparable from legends, myths, mysteries, dark secrets, and other oddities. And while mere mortals might be put off by the idea of a demon in the walls or mirrors, giving tips to actors, Genevieve is more curious than anything else. She tried being patient and gentle in her coaxing, but her hand was forced by an old enemy resurfacing, it’s tool of Chaos appearing, to wreck havoc on the theater vampire called her home for a while now.

My Opinion: This is, by no means, a good story, no. But the… The mass of it is amusing. There is a trapdoor demon dubbed fella, deformed by some kind of stone of Chaos or whatever, who is essentially the phantom of the opera. There’s theater drama, aging leads, rivalry, gothic witchcraft, deadly unicorns, and Kim Newman’s signature writing: a wall of complex text that provides almost a theater-like setting of the scene, while at the same time it reads like a parody of one. And so, this is, by no means, a bad story, no…

Characters, while following their near-stereotypical roles, were actually well written, and were easy to invest into, that kept me reading. So, the book gets a solid 3 out of 5, despite not being anything I could recommend to anyone.

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

book review | Queen of Anarchy by Eva Ashwood | Dirty Broken Savages 2

queen of anargy eva ashwood book reviewAuthor: Eva Ashwood
Title: Queen of Anarchy
Series: Dirty Broken Savages 2
Genre: Dark; Crime; Polyamory
Pages: 294
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Read Queen of Anarchy by Eva Ashwood, second book in Dirty Broken Savages series, and I’m still not sure whether I like it or not.

About the Book: River’s sister is alive. Alive and part of that dark world that held them captive for so long, torturing, abusing them. The world River tried to protect her from. So this time she’s determined to save her sister once and for all. After all, she’s not alone now. She has the Kings of Chaos who, like her, are ready to kill for those they consider their family.

My Opinion: I wish crime books like this were available more commonly in non-erotic genre too, so there’d be less skimming of sappy or otherwise nasty content. Additionally, I loathe the trope of the aggressive protector. Just because you were scared for someone, doesn’t mean you can take that worry, turn it into fury, and take it out on them now. So why am I reading this? Well, as I said, as a crime book it’s written pretty well, it’s dark, it’s gritty, it’s thought out. Characters are well developed too, each has their own backstory, personality. And then there’s the chosen family bonds that I only ever find in crime books too. In this case here it grew into polyamory which I should’ve realized would happen…

A weaker 3 out of 5 than the previous book. We’ll see how’s the next one.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, crews, gangs, etc, Crime Books, Dark Books, mafia, Polyamorous Literature, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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