4-5

NonFiction | “Discipline Equals Freedom” by Jocko Willink

1Author: Jocko Willink
Title: Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction, Self Help
Pages: 189
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Don’t know about you, but I always need an extra kick as December creeps in. November is just such a meh month. So I picked up the shortest book by my favorite motivator, Jocko Willink, and learned me some things.

About: The book goes through three points of your health. The mind, motivation, mentality, and that little evil voice that tries to sabotage you, by telling you you’ve done enough, rest now. The food, what you eat, how that affects your body. And, of course, the physique, discipline of working out. Author is straight forward, there will be no coddling, but he’s not going to be mean to you either. He’ll teach you exactly how to catch yourself sabotaging your own work and, hopefully, you’ll apply it. Because you might not be able to do all the workouts he so extensively described here. But in his own words, you surely can do something. So do something. Do anything. Do.

Mine: I like how Jocko Willink found that golden middle between patting your shoulder, and outright kicking your butt. He’ll tell you you can do it. He’ll tell you you will do it. And he’ll also tell you, that if you think that you can’t, you’re lying to yourself, so do more. On purpose, out of principle, do more, beat that little voice, because you can, and you will. And I love it. There was a little too much of work-out routine descriptions, and since I don’t know all the English terms for them, I skimmed over most. But I did love how he explained the usage of such physical activity. Mind you, though, I live with manic depression. This book reads very different while depressed, and while not. So if you didn’t like it at some point in life, give it another shot. Good luck, and hang in there.

It was a healthy read, and indeed has got me going with motivation and want to do more. We’ll see if I can stop sabotaging myself. This one gets a 4 out of 5 from me, but I admit, I am curious about what other ones might be like.

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

Dracul by Dacre Stoker

1Author: Dacre Stoker
Title: Dracul
Series: –
Genre: Gothic, Historical
Pages: 512
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’m a little overwhelmed. “Dracul” by Dacre Stoker definitely made me re-think all the books about vampire Dracula that I’ve ever read. And it got me real interested in Bram Stoker himself, so I hope to find books on the man, not just articles online that I’ve read extensively for hours after finishing this.

About: The book, at least at the start of it, is a loosely biographical on Bram Stoker. He was a very sickly child, bedridden. At age seven he almost died of fever, saved in a wicked dream by their mysterious nanna Ellen Crone. After he woke up, strong, and even able to get up, all healed and cured, everyone denied any help from Ellen, and claimed he was cured by his uncle and his leeches. Only his sister Matilda believed him. To add to the mystery, nanny herself packed up and disappeared without a word or anyone noticing, leaving kids on a wild investigation full of nightmares and more questions than answers, up until they had to abandon the cold trail. Nanna Ellen was gone for good. But only a few decades later Matilda spotted her in the streets of France, not aged a day, and the nightmares began again.

Mine: The whole search for Ellen Crone reminded me of Kostova’s “Historian“, and annoyed me to no end. There’s a lot of clue following, and a lot of nonsense too, like memories where you can look upon something from a different angle. What’s next, you open a locked door and know what’s behind it, all in a hypnotic memory? Dracul was a very childish and childishly stubborn idiot too, clever in his ways, but making no sense in his actions. There’s a lot of the “you’ll learn to love me” action that bothered me to no end too. And then the whole book was redeemed by author’s final word, which again makes me wonder: is the joke that had to be explained to be funny – really funny?

I will give this book a 4 out of 5, merely because it made me think and research things on my own. Anything that can evoke action or emotion in you in a book – is a well made thing. But honestly, make sure you love gothic classics, and that you don’t mind Kostova’s “Historian“, before picking this one up.

Categories: 4-5, About Msg2TheMing, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Gothic Books, Historical Fiction Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How the White Trash Zombie got her Groove Back by Diana Rowland | White Trash Zombie 4

3Author: Diana Rowland
Title: How the White Trash Zombie got her Groove Back
Series: White Trash Zombie
Genre: Horror, Paranormal
Pages: 328
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’m having a love-hate relationship with White Trash Zombie series. On one hand, Angel is pretty damn nice character, and the plot at times gets real good. On the other hand, there’s just no click, no hook, I could quit any time and not think twice. And this is fourth book!

About: Saberton corp, the one that tried to make zoldiers, by turning zombies using synthetic brains, just doesn’t know when to quit. But seeing how they figured they lack the brain power (I regret nothing), they kidnapped a scientist from Angel’s zombie tribe. The same one who was trying to help Philip, her zombie baby, the one she had to turn, the one Saberton fed fake brains upon creation. And since his treatment wasn’t concluded upon kidnapping, they’re in a lot of trouble. Gathering up the zombie gang they all make their way to New York, with Philip having ever more intense episodes, and both of their rot not going away. On top of that, their friends got secrets and troubles to solve in New York too, not to mention some scores that need settling with Saberton…  so off to New YooooOOooorrrk! (if you’ve not heard the tune, I’m very disappointed)

Mine: I like Angel, yes. She’s smart in her own way, and is trying her best to improve against all odds. To a point where one too many decisions Marcus makes for both of them, without consulting her, leaves him single. She adjust on the spot, and I like that kind of thinking. And if that’s not enough praise, this petite zombie babe smacked a… a mean lady in the teeth and didn’t even spill her beer! Mind you, mean lady had it coming, and was ready to inflict far more pain and damage than Angel did. I like the new Philip too, he seems interesting, and his episodes are hilarious. I know they probably shouldn’t be, but they are, and it was very funny, and I laughed a lot.

I like it just enough to continue. Plot is fairly fresh, and I do like Angel, but I do hope that ending wasn’t a mad omen. For now, 4 out of 5. Like like like.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Paranormal, urban fantasy, zombies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mavericks by Craig Alanson | Expeditionary Force 6

1Author: Craig Alanson
Title: Mavericks
Series: Expeditionary Force 6
Genre: Sci-Fi, Military Sci-Fi
Pages: 275
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’ve waited, and I’ve waited, and then I got it, and so I’ve read it all in one sitting. Sixth book in the Expeditionary Force by Craig Alanson, the “Mavericks” was maybe not exactly to my liking, since it followed the other humans in space, but it was still a very fine read.

About: Most of the book follows the other surviving humans who now call themselves Mavericks. The ones that didn’t get to escape with Joe Bishop and become part of Merry Band of Pirates. In fact, they don’t even know such one exists. All they know is that them and Hamsters too have figured that the enemy of my enemy might just be my friend. So humans joined their military forces, for that might just be the only thing most of these folk know how to do, and are driven to do too. Not all of them, of course. It’s not like any of them expected anymore to get a lift home, especially since the wormhole by Earth, that has caused Earth so much troubles, has turned dormant. And those who did have hopes soon had them crushed anyway, once the team learned that the enemy has decided to break rules and create a bio-weapon with humans, the ones who call themselves Keepers of Faith, still serving the evil motherf-ckers, being the main carriers and possibly the main targets back on Earth.

Mine: While I really do prefer Joe and Skippy having a banter or two, this book made perfect sense. This side of the story had to be told, and so it is better to see it unfold now, in action, rather than hear about it later, in a monologue. Plus, the writing is really high-quality, and the jokes, the jokes are damn fine, even if they did get more spaced apart.

Yep, this was fun. Not as fun as the previous book, but really, really fun. So I give this one a 4 out of 5, and wait for the next one just as eagerly.

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

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland | White Trash Zombie 2

1Author: Diana Rowland
Title: Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues
Series: White Trash Zombie 2
Genre: Zombies, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 312
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Alright, rested from series, so back to series. So far all things go by the TBR plan for October. I picked up second book in Diana Rowland series White Trash Zombie, the “Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues“, and… Well. I still think that it would not have been such a phenomena if we had a vampire instead of a zombie, for that is the only distinction between these books and many others out there, other than this one solid fact.

About: Where do I even start. Angel is bettering herself, and fixing her life up. Her boyfriend, in the meantime, is doing his best to entangle her into his family, and friend circle. This is how Angel gets to know his best friend and former classmate, if I remember right, who is doing her very best, and her very hardest to find a way to make brain substitute for zombies to feed on. And this is where the fun and weird, and less fun but still weird things begin. On her way to morgue with a body Angel gets stopped by a masked man who takes the body at gunpoint, and escapes with it. Later on it also turns out the damn body belonged to a formerly dead zombie. A man died twice, somehow regenerated his whole damn body, died again and got kidnapped! Angel got two questions about this though. One: if the guy was really that zombie, that same one, and really regrew his whole body, how the hell did he age while still being a zombie, which he definitely was judging by the lack of brain smell? And two: who and why the hell is doing this shit?!

Mine: Angel is the biggest reason I’m still keen on giving these books no less than four stars. She’s simple, she has a mouth on her, she knows when there’s no reason to take offence even if she could, but she has an opinion, a character, a backbone, and good understanding of what good people are. I really do like her now. This book gets props for detective line too. With every piece of the puzzle revealed and put to place – the game changed for the players. Enemies became friends, and friends became enemies. Yet, at the same time, not all Angel’s theories turned out to be true, so author very successfully kept pushing me off the road.

So, all in all, these are not bad books. I’ve simply read plenty like these. But that doesn’t seem like a reason to take points away, so for the time being I’m willing to give it a 4 out of 5 again. If you want an interesting but simple read, these might really work for you. It got the strong female lead, understanding of what’s a healthy and what’s a toxic relationship, and some fine adventures too.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, urban fantasy, zombies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Charlaine Harris “Midnight Crossroad” | Midnight, Texas 1

3Author: Charlaine Harris
Title: Midnight Crossroad
Series: Midnight, Texas 1
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery
Pages: 305
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Some time ago Charlaine Harris has held a contest on her Twitter to win her trilogy “Midnight, Texas“. I attended. And, being the lucky bastard that I am, I won. And then kept them until October, until now!

About: Midnight is a small town, regular, ordinary, as many other in Texas. Passer-by’s don’t linger, and locals know it’s likely their permanent home. For Midnight is a town where no one asks you anything about your reasons or past without a very great need. And everyone in Midnight has secrets. Manfred Bernardo, a psychic with a semblance of true gift, moved here in search for privacy, and has found plenty of it, even if locals do seemed strange at first. But then, he also got here just in time for some gruesome adventures… On a picnic day one of the local women walks upon a well deteriorated corpse. And since only one person is missing from their little town, conclusions come naturally: someone has killed the runaway woman, who might not have been a runaway after all. And that someone is a local. That someone might very well sit among them in this picnic.

Mine: While I do believe this book is likely set in the same world as Sookie Stackhouse, due to mention of synthetic blood, the stories are absolutely unrelated, and I’m not even sure people here already know about vampires. Because this town has one, but people react to him weird. Now, the detective line is definitely of Charlaine Harris top-notch quality that has spoiled me so much. You never know when she’ll trick you, twist you, turn you on a wrong path, and then hand you the truth that you’ve not expected one damn bit. So yes, this is a good detective. Also, there is a talking cat. Not a shifter, a real, actual, grumpy, sassy kitty cat who is so awesome, and whom I love very much, and whom I hope to see in all the rest of the books.

This wasn’t a perfect start for the trilogy, but definitely a good one. I am very eager to continue with the story, and hope to see the cat again. 4 out of 5 so far.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Mystery Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Diana Rowland “My Life as a White Trash Zombie” | White Trash Zombie 1

2Author: Diana Rowland
Title: My Life as a White Trash Zombie
Series: White Trash Zombie 1
Genre: Horror, Zombie
Pages: 320
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I heard so many good things about “White Trash Zombie” series by Diana Rowland, that, seeing how it’s October and it takes certain kinds of books to deal with the spooky cravings, I picked up the first book: “My Life as a White Trash Zombie“. Better late than never, I thought. And yet for the life of me I can’t figure out what’s the hype all about.

About: Angel Crawford wakes up in a hospital after a terrible car crash. Except that, there’s not a scratch on her, and the angry nurse nearby tells her she’s here because she overdosed on drugs. But just because Angel looks fine and healthy on the outside, doesn’t mean she’s alright on the inside. In fact, that don’t even mean she’s alive on the inside. Anonymous who has left her clothing, has also gotten her a job in the morgue. And here Angel notices there’s something fundamentally different about her, when her belly growls with protests of hunger at the smell of human brains in a freshly open skull. But then, even if she wasn’t salivating at the smell and sight every time, she would’ve noticed something’s strange happening here anyway. Like, how on Earth so many bodies get in with their heads missing, or their heads mutilated, with brains no longer suitable for her likes? It’s almost like someone’s sabotaging her kind, the Zombie kind, on purpose…

Mine: Angel is a very dull character. And the detective line was very mediocre too. It was good, it just wasn’t that good. The only thing very special about this book is that we have high-functioning zombies, instead of vampires. And there’s a whole myth about them, aka whole explanation of how it works, why it works, how the feeding happens, and why it needs to happen. So that part’s interesting. But, well, that’s that.

It’s a first book, so while it was mighty slow, I won’t hold it against it. I’ll give it a 4 out of 5 for now, and see how next book fares in compare, before making a judgement. After all, I got through Chicagoland Vampires, and White Trash Zombie is definitely better.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, urban fantasy, zombies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joely Sue Burkhart “Queen Takes Queen” | Their Vampire Queen 3

1Author: Joely Sue Burkhart
Title: Queen Takes Queen
Series: Their Vampire Queen 3
Genre: Paranormal, Polyamorous
Pages: 286
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Little by little we’re easing into the court of intrigues of “Their Vampire Queen” books. No pun intended. I’ve read through this one in a single sitting, even if it wasn’t the best one so far, it was still pretty damn fine.

About: Even though Shara has protected her nest with her blood, and tamed herself a vampire King who shifts into a Leviathan on her will, the enemies still seek ways in, they still seek to hurt her, harm her, kill those Bloods who serve her. Luckily, the new ones have brought with themselves their gods too, and so there’s now whole new means of self-preservation at hand. But, in the long run, even all the gods they could possibly pray to for help and protection will not save them if Tribune or Sitting Queens decide to take her out. Shara has only one choice: make a Sib (Sibling) alliance with another Queen. And while there are those who already offered her their hearts, hands, bloods, and nests, how can Shara possibly know whom to trust? Especially after such intricate attacks as fighter ants burrowing from beneath her nest soil.

Mine: A great battle with warrior ants I never thought I’d witness. Most powerful vampires, leviathan, dragons, bears, descendants of gods… Fighting ants. That was a sight to behold. But that’s what makes these books so damn special to me. For one, the vampires feel like aliens, like they’re from another planet, the damn Asgard, Valhalla, wherever the hell. They’re inhuman, and they’re amazing. I’m not sure how to take the fact that their gods can hear their prayers and choose to respond though. If we assume this is Urban Fantasy, then it’s just strange, and a little something extra to distinguish vampires from humans. But if not, then it feels almost like such High-Fantasy borderline Sci-Fi books as, say, Chronicles of Erlick, with warriors set by gods, gods who pull them out of the reality periodically to instruct them further, to empower them. Either way, this is good.

The story was a bit too slow for my liking, and there were a few other nuances I didn’t appreciate much (stuff others might enjoy, so I won’t tarnish the book with my personal preferences). But other than that, I really do feel like we’re finally on a highway to Tribune. 4 out of 5 for this one, with hopes I won’t have to wait too long for the next book.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, F/F Literature, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Nosferatu Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chloe Neill “Blade Bound” | Chicagoland Vampires 13

1Author: Chloe Neill
Title: Blade Bound
Series: Chicagoland Vampires 13
Genre: Paranormal, Vampire
Pages: 384
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

And so here I am, after a year long ride, if I’m not wrong, finally done with Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill. There were good books, bad, really bad, and good books again. And this one, last one, has ended on one of those good notes.

About: On her return from wedding preparations Merit hurries into Sullivan’s office to leave him a note. But instead of finding him there, or just an empty room as was more expected, she runs into a poorly looking man. He, looking irritated, and like he had no sleep for weeks to go, is getting more and more agitated, demanding the screaming to stop. After a short little brawl that ends him in a hospital, where he does recover, the episode reoccurs on a broader scale. Mostly among people who were at the epicenter of Alchemical Magic explosion from the previous book. People are driven nuts by the voices in their head, fighting each other, fighting others. And if that’s not enough, the rest of the Chicago is about to turn against vampires and other supernaturals too. For the air is tinged with an odd smell, and ever dropping cold that has already encased their lake in solid ice, and will likely kill all the flora that isn’t used to surviving Chicago’s winters. Something dark is brewing, and it is very, very angry…

Mine: Wichcraft and Alchemy got separated very clearly here. Author used such real life mystery sources as Voynich manuscript for a big portion of the magic present, and while I believe the translation of the said manuscript was much too simple, I do still like what was made using it. And how they fought against it. Other than some good battles, and Merit’s sudden loss of apetite while in moral debates over whether she even wants a child in a world like this, it wasn’t all that bad and teeth-rotting sweet as I feared. I shouldn’t have said “other than” there, I know, makes no sense. Anyway, Merit and Sullivan got married. They had a baby at the very end of the book, thus skipping the often annoying part of a lot of fiction where hero is going through her first pregnancy. They all gathered for a birthday party with their kids, and each one had a very different experience on parenting. A fair ending.

From what I gather now, I think author simply got too big of a goal set for her, or set for herself. Three hundred pages per thirteen books can’t be an easy task even if you do have lots and lots of ideas. Thus some books lost their plot quality, some even very greatly. But, other than that, and this time I am using it in the right place, on the right time, her humor always remained good and simple, cracking me up time, and time again. Vampires were decent, for I still don’t appreciate them being so human-like. Shifters were even better. So the last book gets a solid 4 out of 5 from me. And now they got to the bottom of my e-shelf, for I am absolutely done.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jordan L. Hawk “Necropolis” | Whyborne & Griffin 4

3Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Necropolis
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 4
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Pages: 200
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Alright, time to continue a bit with Whyborne & Griffin before I forgot all about everything. Especially since these books didn’t fit into my October TBR, and since they are nice, and easy to read. Nothing too big, but not too little either.

About: After a mostly unsuccessful Christmas diner at Whyborne’s family, the couple’s Holiday is cut short by Christine’s hurried telegram explaining nothing at all, but requesting Whyborne to get to Egypt ASAP. Being a great introvert, Whyborne didn’t want to go, and had to be persuaded by Griffin, and a ghoul that attacked him at work. For in Egypt, under the dead scorched sands, something darkness is waking. Something evil, hungry, and very angry. And Christine, unknowingly, is stepping right in the middle of it.

Mine: People getting mad at Whyborne, because they thought he and Christine had a fling worked very well here. Best was Christine’s response when confronted about it: “ew“. These little incidents worked well with otherwise pretty stressful plot with too obvious villains, and too obvious masked heroes. I mean, I understand it’s not the goal of these books to serve you a detective, but… Ah, it don’t matter. The books are well written. The adventure was built in a perfectly smooth pace, with pauses for discussion, regrouping, a little bit of romance, and a little bit of comic relief, that this time came in a shape of a camel who stole Whyborne’s hats. Yes, multiple.

These are very light reads, and so far are fun too. Not utterly captivating, but I can still give it a solid 4 out of 5, and continue in November. Because really, why not? They might not put you on the edge of the chair, but they definitely won’t have you bored!

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Historical Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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