4-5

book review | Prince of Air and Darkness by M.A. Grant | LGBT+ Fantasy YA lit.

prince of air and darkness by m. a. grant book coverAuthor: M.A. Grant
Title: Prince of Air and Darkness
Series: The Darkest Court 1
Genre: LGBT+; YA Fantasy
Pages: 310
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Sometimes by sheer accident I find these lovely books as “Prince of Air and Darkness” by M.A. Grant and get to wonder so how does book marketing work then? Is it all based on money? Because this book could be promoted hard as Maas’s ACOTAR series with Captive Prince characters to it. It’s not yet that level of good, but it was pretty darn nice, and is worth picking up if you like the fairy tale like stories as acotar were (I harbor no love for the author, mind you), but would like it to also be m/m romance.

About the Book: Phineas Smith is one of those rare humans with such grand magical powers that he gets to study in a School of Magick. And while that sounds great and all, it really isn’t. He’s bearing through it, hoping it’ll help his parents in the long run. But magical people, fae and alike, don’t like him all that much. Not to mention that his powers are seriously impossible to tame, so he’ll likely fail his exams. And then there’s the odd creatures who crave raw power like that and end up hunting him… But not all is bad, of course. He does have a friend of two. And his roommate, arrogant prince of Air and Darkness, Roark Lyne, happens to be there for him at the right time in the right place, whenever he really needs some ass saving. Phineas can hate him all he wants, but he has to admit… Roark doesn’t seem as bad as he plays to be.

My Opinion: While not per say anything special, the book was absolutely good enough for me to not wish to put it down. I wanted to read it cover to cover, and didn’t only because time didn’t allow for it. There’s some weak spots, like Phineas’s want to help his parents, but then, at the start of the book he doesn’t want to talk to them, and at the end of the book he doesn’t even think about letting them know he solved his own problem too. But there were some real strong points too that made all the difference. Like finding true silver lining in what seemed to be the worst possible outcome.

I give this book a strong 4 out of 5, and am looking forwards to reading the next one.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Fat Vampire by Johnny B. Truant | Vampire lit.

fat vampire johnny b truantAuthor: Johnny B. Truant
Title: Fat Vampire
Series: Fat Vampire 1
Genre: Vampires; Humor
Pages: 196
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Ah, there it is, the “Fat Vampire” that I did want to read, first in the Fat Vampire series by Johnny B. Truant. Though it ends so well it could very well be a stand alone too. I appreciate the non-cliffhanger endings.

About the Book: Reginald never really thought of whether he’d like to be a vampire or not. His days were spent busy trying to survive adult bullies at his job. And they say it gets better after high-school! But even with all that in mind, once given a choice to die or become a vampire, Reginald didn’t hesitate, and made a choice he found himself enjoying greatly: as a vampire he was faster, stronger, and didn’t start dripping sweat by merely moving about. Yet his maker still watched him with a degree of pity for some reason…

Humans who wish to become vampires train martial arts, work out, eat right, just to be their best self, have that muscle memory, all that. And by having to go through a test formed by a vampire council Reginald will soon discover what it’s like being fat in this world of darkness.

My Opinion: Characters felt a little too dull, more like better versions of groupies ready to propel Reginald through the plot. And the jokes were a tad on the dull side. But the plot was clever, well condensed, and had a good pace to it. All in all making it a nice, different afternoon read.

I’m definitely giving this book a very solid 4 out of 5, and I do believe I’ll take me the next book in the series too.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Funny!, Books: Horror, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Queen Takes Rook by Joely Sue Burkhart | Their Vampire Queen 4

queen takes rook by joely sue burkhart book cover.jpgAuthor: Joely Sue Burkhart
Title: Queen Takes Rook
Series: Their Vampire Queen 4
Genre: Paranormal Romance; Vampire
Pages: 244
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Finally I got to put my paws on fourth book in Their Vampire Queen series by Joely Sue Burkhart, called “Queen Takes Rook“. Sadly this one’s much slower than the other ones, but the lore is getting better and better.

About the Book: House Skye is infamous with the power and cruelty. And their Queen expects to take Shara Isador, the last of her House, to swear to House Skye and be her sib (sibling, sister). Shara, not caring one bit for the cruelty towards herself or anyone else, especially not her Bloods (knights) sees no other option but to fight, and if push comes to shove – destroy House Skye. But to do so she needs a strategy wrought from iron, for some of her Bloods have Skye blood in them, and thus can be used against Shara and themselves too. And yet, that’s by far not all House Skye has in store for her…

My Opinion: The lore here is truly great. I’d happily read a whole book on how god of light, Ra, is the bad guy here. Be it because he is a bad guy, or because he’s the bad guy for vampires. As the saying goes, we’re all villains in someone’s story. Then there’s whole shifting vampires thing. Some turn to beasts, animals. But others turn to mythological creatures, from unicorns to leviathan dragons. The only true but big complaint I have is the slowness of the plot. There were too many unrelated steps before we finally got to see some vampiric scheming and ass kicking in leviathan proportion.

A good, short, steamy vampire read. 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Romance, F/F Literature, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Nosferatu Books, paranormal romance, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Crystal Shard by R.A. Salvatore | The Legend of Drizzt 4

crystal shard the legend of drizzt dark elf salvatore book coverAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: The Crystal Shard
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 4
Genre: Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 344
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I keep craving classical fantasy, something like J.R.R. Tolkien, or Peter S. Beagle, or Frizt Leiber. I’d even happily read George R.R. Martin’s next book in the Song of Fire and Ice if it was out, but since it isn’t… I picked up another book by R.A. Salvatore, a fourth book in the Legend of Drizzt series in The Forgotten Realms. The Crystal Shard is the first book in the second trilogy in the Legend of Drizzt series, The Icewind Dales, and it was good, with a promise for better.

About the Book: An enthralled mage, ruled over by a demon he foolishly tried to summon now influences the minds of warring folk, and leads great armies towards the Icewind Dales, a place our dark elf Drizzt calls home. So, the moment he spots a sign of it in the horizon, he hurries to warn people. It’ll take a force of the whole united peoples to withstand this, but rulers are having hard time believing a word of a dark elf, especially since there’s no proof. They don’t wish to abandon their fishing boats and homes for an alliance that might not even be needed. And when they’ll have their proof, Drizzt fears it’ll be gravely too late.

My Opinion: The one point I took away is for the slightly forced sense of honor. While it’s a trait very common in classical fantasy, I find it bitterly annoying when people do what’s right, and not what’s logical. Still, the book was amazing! Full of great battles against barbarians, giants, orcs, mages, demons! And it ended with a note of a great adventure in the next one, so I’m really looking forwards to it.

A great book to satisfy that classic High Fantasy craving, a firm 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, dark fantasy, epic fantasy, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | American Kingpin by Nick Bilton

american kingin silk road nick biltonAuthor: Nick Bilton
Title: American Kingpin
Series: –
Genre: True Crime; Biography
Pages: 328
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Everyone has likely heard of the Dark Web. Possibly even the Silk Road on it, one of the most notorious sites on the other side of the internet. American Kingpin by Nick Bilton is a book about its creator, biography of a man who made a dark market place so resilient, it still exists, even after his imprisonment for life.

About the Book: Dark Web is a strange and, well, dark place. And yet we’re separated from it by a mere browser and a few clicks. But most of us spend all our lives unaware of this Other Side, let alone venturing into it. In the end, that’s really the point: to remain invisible, unmonitored, anonymous. Ross Ulbricht was merely one of the many people with questionable morals, who found a way and justification to exploit the human need for the forbidden, the dangerous, and the illegal. According to him, a government has no right to tell us what we put in our bodies, we ought to remain autonomous over it. And yet substance fitting excuses evolved to accommodate such things as weapons, organs, and even suicide kits, manuals and all.

And while Ross was eventually found and imprisoned for life, Silk Road remains active and is now known as the most resilient dark market place on the whole Dark Web.

My Opinion: Let me just clarify right now: not only do I not suggest you go see for yourself, I very much suggest you don’t. Your safety depends on more than just a browser, believe you me. Rather, read this book first and see what little, minuscule things have finally brought this Kingpin down and brought FBI to his doorstep. As for the book itself, it’s good. Clever writing will not bore those who are familiar with the tale, and will ease in, and entertain those who had no clue such a place existed or could even be possible.

It’s a good book I could recommend for the mere fact of how well it portrays our fragility of safety online. 4 out of 5, solid.

Categories: 4-5, Biographies, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa | Blood of Eden 1

the immortal rules julie kagawa vampire book coverAuthor: Julie Kagawa
Title: The Immortal Rules
Series: Blood of Eden 1
Genre: Paranormal, Vampires
Pages: 485
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa became an accidental chill-read to me. It wasn’t to my taste, but was written well enough, so not caring too much about the plot, I just went through it with ease of a light read.

About the Book: Allison Sekimoto was born and raised in a vampire city. As an unregistered she had to survive on the fringes of it, stealing, begging, raiding, and risking her life every single day just for a chance to do it all again tomorrow. People like her, those who chose this life of hardship, are considered subhumans and don’t matter. Nobody cares if some wicked vampire or their pet slays an entire gang. While registered folk get meal tickets and relatively greater safety in exchange for regular blood donations. But even life of an unwanted unregistered at risk of death is better inside the walls, than outside, where rabids rage. An infection that can equally affect both mortals and immortals. Death then is the least of your worries…

My Opinion: It’s one of those tales, where world succumbed to an epidemic. Vampires, threatened by human extinction, stepped in to help, but the virus mutated and started affecting everyone, them including. So now they all live huddled in vampire ruled cities, humans serving vampires, for vampires offer protection from rabids who are faster and stronger than any human out there. But all those who must draw breath dream of Eden, this mythical city ruled by humans, with no vampires in sight.

It’s not a bad book, just not for me. I’ve read such before, I just don’t like plot like this. But it’s well enough written, so if you do, it’s not bad, really. I can give it a 4 out of 5, taking a point for mind boggling predictability at times, coming from young vampires, who think they know better. It’s a very safe plot.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Supernatural, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | The Borgias: The Hidden History by G.J. Meyer

borgias g.j. meyer cesare rodrigo lucreciaAuthor: G.J. Meyer
Title: The Borgias: The Hidden History
Series: –
Genre: History, Nonfiction
Pages: 478
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I couldn’t pass a chance to read The Borgias by G.J. Meyer when I spotted it. Too great a nostalgia factor in this one, from far away teenage years, the first real and true friends. They brought a lot of beautiful interests into my life, among which was the love for history. Many evenings were spent reading of Borgias, Draculesti, Tudors, and others.

About the Book: During the Renaissance Borgias were a considerable force in Italy, if infamous: poisoners, adulterers, schemers, there’s even rumors of incest. But what’s true, and what’s fiction is often hard to tell. This book here tries to answer whether the Borgias truly were just a cesspool or depravity? Or were they indeed powerful generals, warriors, princes, popes, and naturally – political players.

My Opinion: This is an easy written book that’s entertaining to read. Author, at times, seems to lean towards clearing the poor Borgia name, especially when it comes to Lucrezia and Cesare, something a historical book probably shouldn’t do, but it didn’t come without basis. Besides, it began all the way at the fight against Ottoman Empire, meaning even such figures as Vlad Dracula got mentioned, which then completely bought me over. I feel like you can’t be bored with books like this. Or is it my inner historian talking?

The book is probably a bit too thick to suggest you read it in the evenings for leisure? But then, Autumn is here, more rainy evenings to get cozy during, it might work! I give it a 4 out of 5, solid.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Historical Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe

the woman in the dunes kobo abe.jpgAuthor: Kobo Abe
Title: The Woman in the Dunes
Series: –
Genre: Fiction; Classics
Pages: 241
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I got The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe from a pile of free to take books in the library. It then sat in a pile at home, until I decided it’s really time to diminish it. So I’ve read it, and it was good!

About the Book: A teacher, amateur entomologist, disappears after he goes out into the dunes by the sea in search of a new or different species of insects he could forever have his name related to.

They approached him just as the thoughts of needing some shelter for the night came. Asked who he is, what he’s doing here. Upon receiving the request for some place to stay, they took him to an almost literal hole in the sand, with a rotten hut down below, where a woman lived. A woman who’d dig sand every night, and sleep through the day. It’s a thankless job, but necessary. For if one doesn’t dig the sand off, it will bury the hut, her home, and the next thing will be the village above. But come morning Niki realizes he’s trapped.

My Opinion: I believe those who like Murakami’s unusual stories, will like this one too, for it is also very unusual and unique, unexpected in plot. It’s one of those books that explore the true human nature, which gets scary here, in this sand, where you must eat under an umbrella, unless you wish to eat sand with your food. The scenery and situation alike seem surreal, and yet they’re happening to this man, this teacher. It’s very interesting, and very strange at the same time.

Definitely an interesting read that I could recommend. A solid 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Classic Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Librarian Meets Dracula by Eda Mueller | The Librarian Series 1

eda mueller the librarian meets dracula humorAuthor: Eda Mueller
Title: The Librarian Meets Dracula
Series: The Librarian Series 1
Genre: Humor, Dracula
Pages: 17
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Spotted “The Librarian Meets Dracula” by Eda Mueller, a random tiny little Dracula book. Decided to read it now, and it was the funniest 20 minutes ever. The book is so bad that it’s actually good.

About the Book: Penelope Shelton is a librarian passionate about her work. She loves books and so one stormy night finds herself alone in need to tidy up and lock up as lightening strikes and leaves her in darkness. Little did she know what adventure awaits her among her beloved books. This time in a form of Count Dracula himself, a vampire who appeared out of nowhere.

My Opinion: Too fast paced and therefore not good, since logic of actions fails. It felt like reading a comedic adult animation where technically there’s one goal only, and all roads lead towards it. And since it’s a series, that’s exactly what it is. But the concept is so amusing, that it’s worth those few minutes you’ll spend reading it. I mean, just imagine: a naughty librarian having a tumble with a different classic gothic character every other night. Tell me that didn’t crack a smile?

I can’t give it a 5, since it’s not good. But it was so amusing I will still give it a solid 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Funny!, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope | The Ruritania Trilogy 2

the prisoner of zenda anthony hope book coverAuthor: Anthony Hope
Title: The Prisoner of Zenda
Series: The Ruritania Trilogy 2
Genre: Classic; Adventure
Pages: 157
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

One of my favorite authors wrote a book based on The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope, second book in the trilogy of stand-alone’s. And while you can probably read it without this one, I didn’t want to risk not getting something, and I don’t regret reading it.

About the Book: Rudolf lived a comfortable life, and didn’t care to do much of anything with it. But brother’s wife kept pestering him to a point, where he finally agreed to go to Ruritania, where his life took an almost fantastical turn. One evening, walking through the woods of local little town of Zenda, he ran into the king, then not yet crowned, accepted his invitation to come hang out with his friends, where they all promptly got black-out drunk, and… Spent next three months or so pretending to be the said king. All while doing his best, working with king’s men, to destroy the cabal set against the rightful king. Among these political intrigues, brave men and murderers alike, his life, and many others, changed forever.

My Opinion: This is like a historical book of Bilbo Baggins, the hobit. Takes one step to fall into adventure, and coming out of it – you’re no longer the same person who was so reluctant to make that first step before. While the book itself is a bit dry, as any and all classics I’ve ever read, it was really fun, and quenched the thirst for adventure well enough for the time being.

A very fun book, definitely worth the read. I give it a solid 4 out of 5, and will consider reading the other two. But just consider for now.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Historical Fiction Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.