5-5

book review | Dracula, Prince of Many Faces by Radu Florescu and Raymond T. McNally

dracula prince of many faces his times and his life radu florescu raymond mcnallyAuthor: Radu Florescu, Raymond T. McNally
Title: Dracula, Prince of Many Faces: His Life and His Time
Series: –
Genre: History; Dracula
Pages: 261
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’m on a quest for more nonfiction on Dracula. And have been recommended “Dracula, Prince of Many Faces” by Radu Florescu and Raymond T. McNally. I’d say not a bad start for my quest.

About the Book: A very in-depth study of Dracula, the historical figure, the warlord who fought against all odds, relentlessly. His family, the Draculestti name, relations. How he came to be what he was, and how that lead to the actions he took. What his life was like, his death, how he entered literature, became legend and, at last, was made into a vampire by Bram Stoker.

My Opinion: I admit, I’m too lazy to dig deeper into some questionable aspects in this book. But in general, this was a very detailed account of every question you could ever have on Dracula. At times even too broad, for I remember I was getting pissed for having to read about Medici or some other family of that kind out there. But there were plenty of details I knew nothing about, and so it made me happy to learn of it.

If you’re new in your voyage with Dracula, maybe don’t start with this book. Enjoy the fiction and historical stuff, watch some documentaries. Then take it. A 5 out of 5 from me.

dracula prince of many faces his times and his life radu florescu raymond mcnally vlad the impaler

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

book review | Flawless by Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell

flawless diamond heist history scott andrew selby greg campbellAuthor: Scott Andrew Selby, Greg Campbell
Title: Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; True Crime
Pages: 336
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’m a great fan of a great heist story, true or fictional. So “Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History” by Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell was definitely my cup of tea.

About the Book: Months and months of painstaking planning, preparations, evaluations, allowed a group of robbers to enter what was considered an impenetrable vault at the heart of all diamonds, Antwerp, Belgium. They left with 108 million dollars worth of loot. Just to get caught over a bagful of refuse… But not before they stashed away their bounty.

My Opinion: It’s strange to think this really happened and isn’t a fictional story. The planning, the details of it, at times it reached Ocean’s 12 levels, just without the Hollywood magic – it took a very long time. The story is very interesting and intense, even when you know how it ends or why.

Not bad. Maybe not worth a whole 5 out of 5, but there’s nothing I can take anything away for.

flawless diamond heist history scott andrew selby greg campbell bookstagram

[IG] | [EN. IG]

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, heists, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Gifts of the Crow by John M. Marzluff, Tony Angell

gifts of the crow john marzluff tony angel corvidAuthor: John M. Marzluff, Tony Angell
Title: Gifts of the Crow
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; Science Literature
Pages: 304
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Gifts of the Crow” by John M. Marzluff and Tony Angell is full of real, wonderful stories of corvid family birds, and a study of their thought processes, biology behind it. The latter I didn’t fully grasp, but it didn’t take away anything from the book.

About the Book: The book tells an in-depth story of corvids (crows, ravens, etc.), and what fantastical birds they are, able of learning, recognizing, remembering events. From there they can make proper judgement calls and react accordingly. From throwing nuts on the road for cars to crush, to waiting for the traffic to stop so they could feast. From working together to trick a bigger animal into abandoning food, to sharing the bounty. From offering a bartering gift to a human, be it a little found item or just outright company, when in need of human aid, to a thank-you gift once this aid has been provided.

My Opinion: What’s safe for them to eat? Can I just carry around a ziplock bag with some kibble in attempts to make friends with these magical birds? The book is superbly interesting, and the science part, if you don’t get it the way I don’t, will not interfere with anything, nor take anything away.

I can’t recommend this book enough. A firm 5 out of 5, well earned.

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

book review | Dopesick by Beth Macy

dopesick beth macyAuthor: Beth Macy
Title: Dopesick
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; Science
Pages: 384
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Dopesick” by Beth Macy is dark, strong, and very scary. Mostly because that the tale it tells is true, happening today and will happen tomorrow.

About the Book: Mind ruled by opium is mind not your own, and yet… How are you supposed to live in reality, when you saw life, world, at its very best? Starting with Soldier’s Disease, to whom opium was given for obvious reasons, later in form of heroin, from where the title of the drug originates. Continuing with pharma pushing medicine and claiming its not addictive, doctors who over-prescribed them, and people who believed these greed embodiments have their best interest at hand. And ending with a system meant to keep you, and never let you go. User, abuser, gets arrested, gets no treatment, then is thrown out with no means to get apartment or food stamps, with very vague possibilities of job… They go back to dealer, ask for a favor, resell some, pay back, use up some to not see this darkness a failed system put them in. They get arrested, get no treatment, and the cycle continues until, usually, young death.

My Opinion: It’s scary to read of a mother who cared for household and kids like a superhero. Who needed a simple surgery, and got oxyContin prescribed for the pain. It’s scary how fast her life becomes a slope going down at terrifying speed. Scary how systematic racism ties into this too. The book is strongly written, it’s very clear, and will scare off many, I hope.

Read it. Give it to your kids to read it too. 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Science Books, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson

kai ashante wilson the sorcerer of the wildeepsAuthor: Kai Ashante Wilson
Title: The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps
Series: The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps 1
Genre: LGBTQIAP+ Literature; Fantasy
Pages: 212
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Damn, I’m so happy right now. Friend recommended me “The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps” by Kai Ashante Wilson, and it was just the right book for me. In a sense, it felt like one of those Earthsea books, but the story was much more interesting to read.

About the Book: Demane is a healer of the caravan, making their way towards a far away kingdom. But his brothers tend to call him sorcerer instead. Due to strange speech, stranger still abilities, and in general – due to his unusual self as a whole. But they have no idea just how much more and how much less than a sorcerer Demane is. He is a demi-god, one of those who once left the earth for heaven, but is now earthbound. And just how much does it take to keep them all alive. For out there in the wilds there’s a horror of a creature born of necromancy, who doesn’t seem to follow any rules all other predators keep to, such as: avoid the roads, feast on those who stray, don’t waste food… No, this beast does what it wills, and right now the caravan is heading towards it.

My Opinion: Interesting writing style, pleasantly different, stronger than the regular stuff we tend to get when it comes to deep philosophical fantasy, where the hero expresses the complexity of the world in monologues, thoughts, and senses. The story was amazing too, kept me on the edge of the chair no matter where the caravan was – outside the walls, in a city, on the road, events never stopped, they just changed pace. And characters are well written too, I kept hopes of survival up for each one of Demane’s brothers, something I rarely care about.

It’s beautiful, different, and I can’t wait for the next one. 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Books: Sci-Fi, dark fantasy, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | White Rage by Caron Anderson

the unspken truth of racial divide white rage carol andersonAuthor: Carol Anderson
Title: White Rage
Series: –
Genre: History; Nonfiction
Pages: 256
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

In the face of what’s happening in the world right now, the best we can do is listen and learn. So I picked up “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide” by Carol Anderson. It shines light and gives better perspective on USA history, and what brought the whole world (thankfully) to this point.

About the Book: The book begins with the earliest history of America, which is fairly recent in comparison. It tells a surreal sounding tale of systematic racism, undercutting, and this constant mix of rage and despair, fear and loathing. And then, after listening to the atrocities that end with president Obama, you hear what sounds like a prophecy: mayors, governors, fear what will happen when yet another innocent black man is shot on the street.

My Opinion: The book didn’t get that far, it was released before the proverbial camel’s back broke, but that should only help you think. In a world where people refuse to listen and outright mocks the plea of the people just like them, merely because their system is made so its more convenient to do so – is violence then not the only language one can’t ignore? First pride “parade” was a violent riot too. So if we could just listen to people, people like Carol Anderson, maybe we’d not reach another point in our history again, where human beings have to throw rocks to be heard. This is a superbly written book, with a very kind author providing information to cover every corner in a tight, condensed manner, that leads you to very clear vision of why we’re here today.

It’s a great book, and I hope everyone reads it, and many more too. A strong 5 out of 5 from me.

america is stolen land built by people who were stolen from their land

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

book review | A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown | 1

a song of wraiths and ruin roseanne a brownAuthor: Roseanne A. Brown
Title: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
Series: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin 1
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy
Pages: 480
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

The right book on the right time. Exactly when I wanted something like that, I got “A Song of Wraiths and Ruin” by Roseanne A. Brown. A book I can highly recommend right away, for what it lacked in itself, it made up with amazing magic system and captivating stories.

About the Book: A festival for a comet passing by is a perfect opportunity for the world to change unnoticed. Be it the whole world, by the powers locked away so long ago, awaiting their turn to escape the prison. Or world of singular folk, such as Malik and his two sisters, running from their war-stricken home, and into the Lion’s Den – Ziran, the city responsible for the hardships they suffered. Ziran is now ruled, against her wants and wishes, by the crown princess Karina, whose world has already began to change. Both Malik and Karina have old magic in them, the kind that topples cities, kills those most dear, and ends the world as we know it. The kind of magic that makes people pariahs, saviors or tyrants. And it is the kind of magic the darkness looming under Ziran could break out of its prison with.

My Opinion: Through the whole book I couldn’t decide whether I want Malik or Karina to succeed. They both had causes, people to protect. And yet each time it seemed like I made my mind up, another chapter started, with the other one’s point of view, and my struggle would begin again. The story is very well written, characters are memorable, even if not all of them, and the mythology used for world building – amazing.

I admit, I craved something like Maas’s acotar or something. This book really hit the spot. A 5 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | The Black Company by Glen Cook | The Chronicles of the Black Company 1

glen cook the black companyAuthor: Glen Cook
Title: The Black Company
Series: The Chronicles of the Black Company 1
Genre: Dark Fantasy; Epic Fantasy
Pages: 319
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’ve read Glen Cook‘s “The Black Company” way back in high school. But since discovering it got a whole series to it, I’ve decided there’s a need to re-read it. That was the right choice.

About the Book: A band of mercenaries, The Black Company, are hired to fight the Lady’s war, and are led into it by no other than one of her Taken Ones. A powerful cast of mages, once enslaved by the Dominator, Lady’s husband, to serve him. Then, defeated but undying they were buried with their rulers, and only for the recklessness of another mage had they had a chance to rise again. And so they follow their Lady into battle again. Battle against her foes and myths alike. Like that comet in the sky, promising the return of her greatest foe…

My Opinion: The story is well written and very interesting. Maybe a tad too predictable, but I figured, seeing how this book consists out of war, battle scenes, and is told by a healer who has to patch everyone up afterwards, it was plenty. Conspiring, magic, illusions, darkness, and prophecies. A proper dark fantasy piece, with strong epic fantasy elements to draw you in, and keep you looking forwards for the next book.

It’s a good dark tale. A 5 out of 5, but more due to the fact I’ve nothing to take anything away for. It isn’t the best book you’ll ever read. But it’s definitely worth the time to read it.

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

book review | Starless Night by R.A. Salvatore | The Legend of Drizzt 8

starless night r.a. salvatore forgotten realms legend of drizztAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: Starless Night
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 8
Genre: High Fantasy
Pages: 320
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Okay, I’m positively hooked on The Legend of Drizzt by R.A. Salvatore. Just finished 8th book in the series, which is second book in Legacy of the Drow trilogy, and the book itself is called “Starless Night“. It was amazing.

About the Book: Drizzt is deeply troubled by the evidence of his kin in the tunnels under and around the Mithril Hall. It seems he must thus go back into the deep Underdark and find his way home, to the cruel Menzoberranzan. Yet before he even reached the eerily beautiful city, he had to make peace with the fact he’ll likely never going to see the sun again. In fact, he’ll be lucky to not get brutally tortured before death… What he doesn’t know is that a friend is secretly coming to his aid, with an unlikely alley, no less.

My Opinion: Underdark is a very interesting place that is hard to even imagine. Out there, in a place where there are no shadows, for there is no light, one has to learn to live, behave differently. In need to hide one must find a way to hide their body heat, for blending in with the surroundings is futile among creatures who were born in the pitch black. To add to that, the schemes of the drow are interesting to read. They’re interlaced with other drow plotting against those drow, for a dark elf is no friend to a dark elf, most of the time, and so you can never be sure whom to trust. Daring sneak-outs, intense escapes, and epic battles, duels.

Truly, I keep saying this, but if you’re into classical fantasy, take these books. A firm 5 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | Network Effect by Martha Wells | The Murderbot Diaries 5

network effect murderbot diaries martha wells scifi sassyAuthor: Martha Wells
Title: Network Effect
Series: The Murderbot Diaries 5
Genre: Sci-fi; Cyborg
Pages: 350
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Finally! I’ve got and read “Network Effect” by Martha Wells, fifth book in The Murderbot Diaries. And it was amazing.

About the Book: As soon as Murderbot defends his humans from other, hostile humans – familiar looking spaceship pops into the general background of things, and weird grey humans attack them again. With what seems to be warning shots exploding over its head, Murderbot watches ART’s hull, towards which it is being pulled, together with a little human from its team. No sight of ART’s beloved crew in sight. Murderbot knew this was fishy even before the grey humans inside started attacking them all over again. Where’s ART? Is the sassy smart-ass AI even alive?

My Opinion: This is a very good book. Well written and woven story, characters. Classy and epic fighting scenes. A sharp-tongued AI with what seems an almost accidental sass. What else could one want? I really did miss ART, and I’m glad author found a way to put him back into the story. On top of that, the whole Murderbot’s narrative, inner monologue, is amazing. It doesn’t enjoy human company, nor their attempt to make it feel more human. It would prefer being what it is – a SecUnit, but a person, not a property. That’s why its new contract has a point: no hugs.

If you like sassy AIs – take these books. First one is a bit on the slow side, but it will keep getting better. A solid 5 out of 5.

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

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