4-5

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.

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Supernatural, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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: , , , , , , , | Leave a 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

book review | The Passion of Cleopatra by Anne Rice and Christopher Rice | Ramses the Damned 2

anne rice christopher ramses the damned passion of cleopatra book coverAuthor: Anne Rice, Christopher Rice
Title: The Passion of Cleopatra
Series: Ramses the Damned 2
Genre: Horror, Historical Fiction
Pages: 416
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Back in the day I’ve read Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice, thinking then it was a stand-alone with an open end to it. Cleopatra terrified me in that book, for I loathe monsters that cannot be killed. So, of course I had to pick up this belated sequel to it, and find out what has happened. I’ve no regrets.

About the Book: Cleopatra didn’t die, no. But her state of mind is a nightmare. Visions, dreams haunt the Queen. The memories just a moment ago so vivid and clear now gone, leaving only a memory of a memory that was and is no more. Cleopatra believes Ramses might have answers, and so she must face her nemesis again if only to get more eternal life Elixir that might, just might make her better.

But all the while behind their blind backs work forces older than either one of the former rulers of Egypt. They want wrongs righted. They want their stolen Elixir, and they want the immortals made by it.

My Opinion: I think I’ll have to look into Christopher Rice works. I’ve read quite a fair share of Anne Rice’s work to say this book had a very great improving touch in it, and now I must know if it was her son who steered it so well out of the maze of descriptions, details, and very long inner monologues that lead absolutely nowhere, normally. This here was perfectly balanced with action, tension, horror; long talks, politics, detailed descriptions of outfits and parties. And while some characters truly lacked depth, the overall picture the book has painted was truly good, or at least entertaining, and what more could one ask?

Many of us likely dream of being the great adventurers, explorers, finders of secrets long lost. But most of us likely have to be content with books about it. This book had means to satisfy that craving to an extent, for which I can give it a very solid 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, Nosferatu Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Stable Boy by Megan Derr

the stable boy megan derrAuthor: Megan Derr
Title: The Stable Boy
Series: –
Genre: Fantasy; LGBTQIA+
Pages: 37
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Sometimes I can’t fall asleep. And, sometimes, I’m too lazy to turn the tablet back on. So I searched for something short to spend the dark dawn hours with and not do too much damage upon the phone battery. The Stable Boy by Megan Derr served very well!

About the Book: Prince Diggory wakes up with a stab wound, a nasty curse, and even nastier memories of a fight. His own bodyguard has stabbed him with a cursed blade, and then thrown him into the river. He intends to take Diggory’s place, marry his prince, his fiance, and rule this new foreign kingdom in Diggory’s stead. But since prince is alive, he doesn’t intend to give up just yet. So, unable to tell anyone about the curse in fear it might still kill him if he did, he starts working as a stable boy in the royal stables, keeping an eye on his gorgeous fiance, and setting a plan in motion of taking his life back.

My Opinion: This is a very cute, sweet little tale of fairy tale curses that have rules of breaking unknown to even those suffering it. If you seek something adorable and fast paced, this is the book. Other than the people killed, who didn’t get so much of a fairy tale ending.

I’m living through a better version of my childhood, with books on princes marrying princes in happily ever after settings, with magical curses and, sometimes, dragons (not in this book). This one gets a 4 out of 5, very firm, a minus only on the definitely-too-short basis.

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

book review | In The Dark by Mark Billingham

mark billingham in the dark book coverAuthor: Mark Billingham
Title: In The Dark
Series: –
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Pages: 384
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I keep seeking those good, good crime books. In the Dark by Mark Billingham is not one of those. But it did remind me why I believe that life’s too short to quit a book because it didn’t pick up for a while. The very end of it, and it’s not the first book to do so, has fixed so very much that it made it worth it.

About the Book: A cop driving at night. A gang with a crew member in need to prove himself. Secrets, lies, cover-ups, and victims.

Paul’s widow Helen, an officer herself, now lonely and expecting, can’t help herself but dig deeper into her husband’s life. It turns out he had way more secrets than she suspected. And much darker ones too. Bit by bit they’re making her see what seemed to be a random gang attack to be something entirely else.

My Opinion: The ending is emotionally brutal to the reader. It was dark, unexpected, hard, but so, so good. Story is very slow to pick up, the pace is horrible. Some dialogues were jagged, characters often turned out to be two dimensional, shallow, not to mention completely random unnecessary scenes. I was about to give this book a poor rating, but then it ended like that, and blew me away. See, as a reader you see a little more than Helen. You see the people around her, who she meets, who she talks to. And whom she starts to sympathize with. And it’s bloody beautiful.

Yeah, it’s one of those books. Makes you sad and happy at the same time. As a reader – you’re satisfied with how it happened. But as a human being you’re probably sad. I give it a shaky little 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, crews, gangs, etc, murder, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | The Night Eternal by Guillermo del Toro | The Strain 3

guillermo del toro the night eternal vampire book coverAuthor: Guillermo del Toro
Title: The Night Eternal
Series: The Strain 3
Genre: Vampires; Paranormal
Pages: 576
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Sometimes this happens. Sometimes the last book redeems it all. The Strain trilogy by Guillermo del Toro has finally ended for me, and I am happy to admit that The Night Eternal has made it all a bit better as a whole, and worth the time I spent reading it.

About the Book: The world as we know it has ended. Atomic detonations, toxic clouds, ash, smoke, triggered disasters. The sky is covered in a perpetual cloud that only allows meager sunlight through at the greatest peak, for a couple slim hours. This has ensured the vampire dominion, their rule. All the Master is missing now is that damned book of creation, the one with answers on why or how they, him and ones like him, were made, and how will they be or could be destroyed. The same book old vampire hunter died to protect, just so it wouldn’t fall into the wrong hands. But what are the right hands? Even in this apocalyptic setting a man is still a threat to a man… Homo homini lupus est.

My Opinion: There was more history on vampires, how they came into existence and what even is the Master. That part was truly interesting. The inner monologues improved too, taking action within events or followed by them closely, thus lessening the sensation that nothing is going on, nothing’s happening, and everyone’s just twiddling their thumbs. Some good plot twists took place too, including character development I did not expect. But all in all, while unique story, it was still pretty simple, very slow, a bit confusing at times, and with questions remaining, even at the end of it all.

All in all the trilogy might be worth reading if you’re really into apocalyptic viral vampire themes like that. Otherwise I’ll refrain from recommendations. This particular, final book in The Strain trilogy gets a solid 4 out of 5 from me, redeeming the sleepiness inducing second book in the trilogy.

Categories: 4-5, Apocaliptic Books, Books: Dystopian, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Supernatural, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Elevation by Stephen King

elevation lory stephen king book coverAuthor: Stephen King
Title: Elevation
Series: –
Genre: Fiction, Horror
Pages: 146
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I used to, and still might complain of how good Stephen King’s books are, but how dragged the stories get, full of events that seem to only serve the purpose of postponing the end. So what’s better than to take some short stories by a good author like that? I picked up “Elevation” and was not disappointed.

About the Book: This book has two stories within. The first one is called Elevation. It’s of a man in small town who seems to be losing weight. Well, not body mass, no. Just the weight. As if gravity decided to leave him be. Anything he holds gets the same fate while he holds it, so he can’t even weight himself down. And it seems there’ll be a point zero, eventually. But until then there’s still time, and he’s not about to waste it.

The second story is called Lory. It’s of a grieving widower to whom his sister gifted a puppy girl. He’s learning to take care of her, and love her. And soon finds himself so very attached to the adorable, communicating animal, that he fights fate nails and teeth when it tries to take her away.

My Opinion: Both stories are good. They’re very well written, as one would expect from someone with so much experience as Stephen King. The only thing I didn’t like, and I’m sad this is what is the least believable part: everyone seemed very mature and kind, and capable of thought process. They said thank-you’s and please, they apologized when necessary, and admitted fault. What sort of fantasy is that?

I can recommend these books for a little bit of heartwarming with a spice kind of read, for there’s tension for sure. From me it gets a strong 4 out of 5

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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