5-5

FantasticLand by Mike Bockoven

2.jpgAuthor: Mike Bockoven
Title: FantasticLand
Series: –
Genre: Horror, Contemporary
Pages: 272
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I kinda like getting away from series by finding myself a stand-alone, searching only by genre. This time I found “FantasticLand” by Mike Bockoven. The blurb said it was like modern time Lord of the Flies, and I did like that book, so…

About: Nobody was prepared for hurricane Sadie. Even if they thought they were prepared. Even if they really were prepared. There’s just something that snaps once the power is gone, the connection is gone, the ever watching eye of the world is gone, and nobody’s there to hold you accountable. FantasticLand was prepared. Most of the people got evacuated too, using up every damn vehicle anyone could possibly find. Only a few handfuls of unlucky ones got stranded behind, with volunteer staff. It was estimated they’d spend mostly a week there. But it didn’t take a week for things to go bad. Nor did it take a week for them to get saved. Due to preparedness of the Amusement Park, it wasn’t anywhere near priority. As choppers passed overhead, heading to what was deemed more important, it took a violent man to make two less strong to huddle together, for strength is in numbers. As help was applied elsewhere, a group standing by the water supplies decided they won’t share it unless they could gain from it. And so, while no one looked, tribes formed, and began a slaughter, for the game just changed: this is your chance to bash a head in, this is your chance to survive.

Mine: The story is written as collection of re-tellings by survivors. Some tell stories of those who didn’t make it out. Others justify their own actions. And then there are those who think they did great. Or did nothing wrong, even. But as you read you understand you’d like to meet that girl who thought she’s chopping a person’s head off because they would’ve killed her just as little as you’d like to meet the obvious fresh-made sociopath. Not to mention maniacs who bloomed and embraced it, finding souls just as damaged as they are to walk out of there with. It’s a terrifyingly realistic book.

Be sure you can read of serial killers, maniacs, cannibals, and alike before you take this book, because when I say it feels real, I mean it. I give it a 5 out of 5, because it has transcended Lord of the Flies.

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

‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

2Author: Stephen King
Title: ‘Salem’s Lot
Series: –
Genre: Horror, Fiction
Pages: 483
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’m not a fan of King’s. Yet. But October always gives me these peculiar wants and needs, and one has to admit, the old movies based on King’s novels are pretty darn amazing. So, I figured, among this many books, there ought to be something I’d like. So I took the one I knew to have vampires in it – ‘Salem’s Lot.

About: Ben, an author driven by his inspiration and want for a bestseller with his name on it, returns to his hometown that he once left trying to escape the horrors he witnessed here. See, back in the day, really long ago, when the eerie house on ‘Salem’s Lot still had an owner, the husband went crazy, killed his family, and hung himself. Leaving the now haunted house an attraction for teenagers to test their bravery in. But Ben cannot shake the feeling that what he saw there – was real. The house stood empty ever since, and the town only now shows signs of full recovery, since people tend to run from bad memories, and they did just that back then. But just as someone buys the house again, just as the house gets a master again, nightmares return. People start disappearing, dying in the oddest fashion, from the strangest things. At first people look at the new guy in town, even if he was born here. But soon their evil overpowers them, fed by something older, darker. Soon it is clear that there’s something supernatural out here. And if you think of running, do so in daylight. For all it takes is one meeting of eyes, and you’ll abandon your plans, and your hope too.

Mine: Alrighty, so this is one fine classic horror book with vampires. Definitely the October read, and no wonder there’s so many mentions of Stoker’s Dracula around this book. The only real hefty problem I had was the extreme slowness of the plot. Like a slowly boiling pot it bubbled beneath, for everything was happening as people were talking, yet all we see is the top of the pot, reflections, faces, and occasional bubbles of sound. But I had this problem with every single book by King that I have ever read. So, I think if you like King to begin with, this might not even be a problem to you.

Yep, a good classy read. Will give it a full 5 out of 5, because I don’t feel like taking away points for slow plot. It was worth it.

Categories: 5-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Gothic Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joely Sue Burkhart “Queen takes King” | Their Vampire Queen 2

2Author: Joely Sue Burkhart
Title: Queen Takes King
Series: Their Vampire Queen 2
Genre: Paranormal, Erotica, Vampires
Pages: 350
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Remember I said “Their Vampire Queen” are short books, so I’ll read them between “Chicagoland Vampires“? Well, I spoke too soon. But it worked well here, and made perfect sense, since the book felt very much like the final preparatory step towards court politics and intrigues.

About: Somewhere out there in the dark beneath the mountain rages a dying leviathan. Dark, scaly, and dreadful he haunts Shara’s dreams. Her Bloods sense that, and urge her to take action, call more Bloods to her side. Especially now that the young, wild, and powerful new Queen has been noticed by others, and attacks already began. But more Bloods mean more troubles too, mostly in their own hierarchy among themselves. Thus Shara, convinced by visions of Goddess Isis, is on the search for something more powerful than that. What she needs is not in numbers, but in political weight. What she needs is a King that would be in her power. Someone mighty, someone dreadful.

Mine: You know, if you took out all the sex, these books would make awesome YA vampire books. But for better or worse, it is not that. And I know it’s not right to complain about erotica in a book that is in erotica genre, but it feels like people there really got no other hobbies beyond limb origami. Which sometimes really works well with the story, but other times, guys, don’t you got something more important? Like nest making?? Prioritize! But I digress. I do enjoy Shara’s character quite a bit. She’s not dumb, she’s true to her heart, and while unwilling to cause harm, she enforces laws she believes in with iron fist on a table. My favorite being: nobody will be made to do anything against their will. Which shone bright once the King entered their domain, and her alpha, her dominant Blood was threatened.

Listen, I am biased here too. There’s too many little things that play to me here, like really well made vampires, a sense of political dread, the bee-hive-mentality. So I don’t know if I can recommend this off the bat. But I can absolutely give it a 5 out of 5.

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

Jen Campbell “More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops | 2

10Author: Jen Campbell
Title: More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops
Series: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops 2
Genre: Nonfiction, Humor
Pages: 251
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Seriously, how are these so easy to read? Anyway, I got into the second book in the hopefully ongoing series of “Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops“, for I am sure, those never end. And while this one didn’t feel as great, it was still pretty damn great. And far less frustrating too.

About: This time there was quite a bit about book signing. That distinguished this book from the previous the most. It was very funny, and far less frustrating. Because, come on, some people just like a clean book! Stop vandalizing your own book, author! What do you mean you can’t sign this other book, because you didn’t write it? It says here you’re signing books. Silly.

Mine: There were so much more funny moments. And so much less people I wanted to throttle for insolence. I really enjoyed this!

These are really pretty great, simple, short, and easy to read while killing some time. I can absolutely recommend them for a quickie in travels. 5 out of 5, and please don’t be one of these people!

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

Josie Jaffrey “The Gilded King” | Sovereign 1

TheGildedKingAuthor: Josie Jaffrey
Title: The Gilded King
Series: Sovereign 1
Genre: Paranormal, YA
Pages: 303
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’ve received this book as an arc in exchange for some honest reviews. And while from the very start the world has intrigued me, I didn’t like the split of the story for a fair while: I loved to read one character, and hurried through the other one. But the more I read, the more I wanted to read more, and by the end of it, I just finished the amount I kept for two more days in one sitting. That should hint you.

About: Once humans apparently lived with vampires, Silver, side by side. But as humans who were failed to be made Silver turned into Weepers, things got out of hand. Weepers, being a sort of a zombie, bit others, and made entire populations turn in mere hours, thus endangering both human race, and the Silvers too. Up until they made a cure for it, a vaccine that made humans immune to the plague, and successfully killed Weepers. The only problem was, that the vaccine didn’t leave the blood stream, and just as it turned Weepers human, thus killing them, for their bodies were far beyond life, it turned vampires human too. The cured became the contaminated.

Away from the place, and the time that it all happened, some hundreds of years later, Julia watched the Red with longing, from the safety of Blue, the last uncontaminated city safe for humans. They were ruled by Nobles, the forever young, immortal kind that drank their blood in exchange for protection from whatever horrors lurked in the Red and threatened their existence. Cameron is one of those Nobles, a Silver who traveled the Red far and wide in search of a lost, kidnapped friend. Instead of her, though, he kept finding more horrors and strange things: remains of caravans with pits full of human bones smoldering, meat seemingly eaten off of them, blood spilled around the camp; unbelievable amounts of Weepers, pits of dead ones, with live bait of a contaminated human crushed under their sheer weight, them dying on top from the taste of the vaccinated blood. Bit by bit it starts to seem someone is making more of these creatures on purpose… But not all things are bad, or at least, some things are still good. Humans are making settlements, and there’s more of them with passing time. And best of all, this time on his voyage there’ll be a helping hand of a handsome and very skilled woodsman Felix, a man with oh so very much too much knowledge of what Silver are.

Mine: It started good, but too slow for me. I didn’t like Julia’s story for a very long time, but I really, really loved everything Cameron was seeing. The horror was making me regret reading mostly at nights. But as story progressed, their paths came closer, and closer, and finally chapters told both their stories in one. Best part: they’re completely unrelated two characters, with their own adventures, goals, and love interests. All they did was see each other from afar. Another thing I must mention is that this book is one big trick. You think you know what’s going on, but you don’t. Author has tricked me many times turning the plot around, folding it over itself, and presenting solutions I did not expect. That gives me hope for the next book, for the last sentence Felix spoke in my head can only be resolved with a cliche of “you betrayed me – but let me explain” with making up somewhere at the end of the tunnel. Maybe Josie Jeffrey has something better in mind though, I really can’t wait to see.

So, all in all, I really loved this book. I loved the lack of predictability, I loved that heroes were not destined to be together from the start, I loved the insanely stubborn and determined, but so very kind Cameron. I loved how scary it was at so many points, and how beautifully it would fit a zombie apocalypse genre if author would just push it a little over the edge. 5 out of 5 from me, and I really do await the next book!

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

C.S. Pacat “Pet”

7Title: Pet
Author: C.S. Pacat
Series: Captive Prince Short Stories 4
Genre: LGBT, Romance
Pages: 40p
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Ah well. Here I am, with the last of Captive Prince short stories. I’ll start the Fence comic by this author now, and will summary it once a whole volume, not just chapters is out.

About: Ancel, the red-headed pet is as ambitious as they come. From a boy for hire in a brothel, to a lord’s bed, and then into the palace. It was his very last master, who bought him just because he was there, and was the most expensive, turned out to be his biggest break through. The man who didn’t want him, but brought him into palace. The man who didn’t care to show off his great wealth, but inspired loyalty even in the heart of someone like Ancel. Still. Once the opportunity arises to sit in the Regent’s lap, Ancel can’t help but remember how cold and boring his master seems to be. Especially once Regent promises any contract he might ever dream of…

Mine: I had forgotten about Ancel. But once story rolled out, and I recalled reading about this pet, I’ve gotten an urge to re-read the first book. It’s interesting to see the same scenes there and here, but from a different perspective. This was definitely one of the more intricate and political stories.

It was a very good read. And I’m still amazed how very different every short story was. I love each one of them for whole different reasons thus. In this one, it was nice seeing, so to speak, old friends. 5 out of 5 from me.

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

C.S. Pacat “The Adventures of Charls, The Veretian Cloth Merchant”

6Title: The Adventures of Charls, the Veretian Cloth Merchant
Author: C.S. Pacat
Series: Captive Prince Short Stories 3
Genre: LGBT, Romance, Humor
Pages: 26p
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Somedays I just really miss Captive Prince stories. Lucky me, though, not only can I re-read them in multiple forms, I still have (had) two short stories to get through too! So here’s on third.

About: Charls, as Vere and Akielos are slowly but surely growing into the idea of peace, is traveling his regular routes in the former enemy territory, making rounds with his clients and hoping to make new deals too. The prince of Vere himself gave him the gift of a beautiful caravan, with only one request: to be allowed to travel with Charls this one time, and Charls, being very kind hearted, takes it as a honor. But as they make their way into Akielos, it becomes clear that Charls’s rival is making better time, and on top of that, is spreading terrible rumors about Charls! More and more doors close right before the old Charls, and were it not for the young Charls, Laurent in disguise, this all might have went far worse.

Mine: This was the very funniest story of them all, and definitely became my very favorite. Charls is just such a dear and kind person! On top of that, let me remind you that Laurent’s own men called him a cast-iron btch, and would at times comment that he has a mouth on him, due to profanities spilled when prince got angered. So now I invite you to imagine this same young man as a merchant trying to beat a rival in business he knows little about. My face was in pain from laughing.

I loved this one. Gosh I love the people in it. 5 out of 5, for sure.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Funny!, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, high fantasy, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jen Campbell “Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops” | 1

5Title: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops
Author: Jen Campbell
Series: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops 1
Genre: Humor, Nonfiction
Pages: 119p
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

One night I finished a book and wasn’t tired enough. So I thought, let’s read a little of something light. Choosing “Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops” was a mistake, because I read most of it through the half of the night, and had to take it away from myself.

About: As title claims, this book is a compilation of real strange ideas people expressed in bookstores. Some customers are so beyond annoying, and have no respect for books, nor those who provide us all with the service, that it just made me angry. Like the folk who damaged the book, and demanded discount due to it, because hey, the book is damaged. Also, this book only confirms that a lot of kids are a menace. I’d rather not risk it. But whatever was left after anger due to unbelievable insolence, was fun and funny!

Mine: Some book owners are saints, what with the patience they have. It’s a very easy book to read too, so if you’ve a minute, you can just read it up in one sitting. Mind you, some folk will definitely frustrate you, as they did me.

It was a fun read, and I liked it a lot, so here’s 5 out of 5 from me. For the sheer patience of the shopkeeps.

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

Ioan Grillo “Gangster Warlords”

1Title: Gangster Warlords
Author: Ioan Grillo
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction, Crime
Pages: 384
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Gangster Warlords” is a very well researched, and very well written, informative book on the title topic. It’s pretty amazing to read given facts, given opinion, and not feel bias leaking, nor an attempt to steer the reader one way or the other. That’s some good quality journalism right here.

About: The book is about the rise of the CEO kingpins, gangster warlords. In the age of politicians being worse than organized crime warlords, it only makes sense majority of the world gets both touched and screwed over by both. It makes even more sense that often we find ourselves hating the politician more. Someone who was meant to serve us and help us is doing the opposite. At least the gangster didn’t lie. Hell, in some cases gangsters are notorious for their good deeds, and end up being well protected, to a point of being untouchable, by the common folk who love them. For paving the roads, for building schools, for funding education, for, even, fighting crime. But that’s only a small fraction of the whole story. And likely the most rosy one too.

My Thoughts: The book is well written. I said that already, but it really is. Not once did I feel author’s word to have weight in my opinion that I was allowed to form through facts given. And, sure, things might have been opted out, but what was there was enough. I learned a lot. Best of all, I learned how different is a person who was pushed into crime for the sake of survival, and the one who entered life of crime for the sake of power. And how very differently common folk treat these people.

This was a good read. It is mostly set in Mexico, and gives good insight for making your own comparisons by the news and documentaries that are flooding all the media places. Poverty breeds all sorts of survivors. Not all of them are goodhearted, and it’s not always their fault either. 5 out of 5, for being such an eye-opener.

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

K.J. Charles “Spectred Isle” | Green Men 1

1_SpectredIsleAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: Spectred Isle
Series: Green Men 1
Genre: LGBT, Paranormal
Pages: 271p.
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I had to wait for quite a while until I got myself a chance to read one of the newest KJC books, the “Spectred Isle“, first in the series. And even then it is thanks to a friend for all the help. It was definitely worth the wait though. This book is a fine piece of paranormal.

About: After the disgraceful discharge from the military, Saul is happy to have any job, really. Even if it means working for a crazy eccentric fella whose life goal, it seems, is to get in touch with real magic. He pores over books he claims anonymous sources sent him, maps, and whatever other things he got to find certain places. Then he travels there, drags Saul along, or just sends Saul there alone, to trudge through mud, forests, ruins, and other kinds of not likely magical places. But this time Saul’s conviction shook at the foundation of it. First of all, this was a rare time when he got to a place and knew exactly that he was in the right place. And second of all, if the colossal ancient oak wasn’t enough eerie in itself, it suddenly burst into flames and burned like no living tree should ever, ever burn. That, of course, attracted attention, people, among which was the last member of the great and old family of occultists: Randolph Glyde. From then on every adventure Saul got himself into seem to have led him to the man. It would’ve been funny if it wasn’t so irritating and strange at the same time. Especially when they met in the Camlot Moat, the most unlikely of all places, the island that was so incredibly difficult to reach that even Randolph couldn’t believe what he saw. For Randolph’s duty is to protect the isle within the moat, and he knew full well how unlikely it was for Saul to just stumble in there, and them meet. This only confirmed his suspicions that Saul is involved in something sticky and occult.

My thoughts: Loved these two to bits. Saul is a very interesting, strong and intelligent man. And Randolph pretty much leads the rebels. Well, resistance if you please. The occult kind who don’t want to be ordered around by nasty Shadow Ministry. Those people, after all, are responsible for this thinning veil between their world and the one under it. They forced occultists of all kinds to summon, use, and abuse all manner of creatures and monsters. In one of those summonings, one that Randolph refers to as the Great Summoning, whole Glyde family has died, leaving Randolph alone to cope with all the secrets and knowledge that his family possessed. Thus he takes care of those like him, including Saul.

This was definitely a very great book, with very scary elements to it, so consider not reading at night. And, as is common for KJC books, the characters were indeed top notch. So here’s a 5 out of 5 for me, in hopes that second book won’t take too-too long. For it will take a while.

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

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