5-5

William Bass – Death’s Acre

15251I feel like “Death’s Acre” by William Bass (ISBN 0425198324; 320p.; Goodreads) goes together with the previous book “Beyond the Body Farm” very well. They feel like one book split in two, no matter which way around you pick it up. The only bad thing about it, is that I can say all the same things about this book, as I told of the previous one.

Dr Bill Bass tells a fine story of how it all got started. From the shabby spaces no one else wanted, to an angry janitor, who found an experiment body in his closet, to an acre of land somewhere behind a prison, and the need for a privacy fence. The experiments got more elaborate, sometimes going as far, as marking the flies, that’s how much those bugs are important when it comes to solving the crimes. They even helped a famous murder detective author write a book, by figuring what body leaves in the first spot of keeping, when transferred to another.

This is a book every murder detective lover must read, really. Dr Bill Bass is an amazing person, highly aware, and considerate of people around him, even if sometimes he seems to care about the dead a little more, due to the stories, and truths they can tell (remember the poor janitor?). It’s a great book, really.

All in all, if you read Death’s Acre, read Beyond the Body Farm too, for they go together perfectly. I can give this book 5 out of 5.

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Mackenzi Lee “The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” [1]

29283884I waited for “The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue” by Mackenzi Lee (ISBN 0062382802; 513p.; Goodreads) even before it was released. Which is a mighty rare thing for a first book (or a stand alone, we’ll see), and not, say, second or third in the series. Luckily, I didn’t get disappointed either!

Henry Montague is a fine man, an heir to a fairly great estate, and a son of great disappointment to his father. He was kicked out of school for, allegedly, starting a fight. He dallies with anyone on two legs, men, and women. He’s rarely ever sober, and shows little to no interest in running the estate! His father’s last hope is a voyage across Europe on which he sends Henry out, together with a very strict guardian, his sister, and his best friend. With whom Henry is secretly in love with…

The tour starts out pretty boring at first. Their guardian keeps his word, and makes sure everyone’s in line. Henry can’t go party, he’s not allowed to drink, and he’s going crazy. Yet he’ll surely miss these simple days once adventures come uninvited. Highway men, pirates… And all due to a damned box he pocketed!

The story was very fun, and often – very funny. It was easy to read, and I’m real happy about everything in it. So I’ll give it 5 out of 5, and won’t mind a sequel if such comes to be.

Categories: 5-5, Books, Books of Occult, Friday: Diversity, Funny Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dr. Bill Bass – Beyond the Body Farm

95092Have you ever heard of Body Farm? If you ever watched series Bones, you likely did. And this book here, “Beyond the Body Farm” is written by Dr. Bill Bass (ISBN 0060875291; 282p.; Goodreads), creator of one of the very first such farms.

What is this body farm, you ask? Well, if you ever considered donating your body to science, and I dare being so brave as to say yes, please do, no matter how gruesome some things they might do to you post mortem might be, imagine the mark in science you could leave, instead of a mount in the ground. But if you had considered it anyway, without me kindly prompting you here, body farm is where one could end up. Bodies there are kept in various conditions for decomposition research purposes. Basically the “what happens if…” corpse edition. And what’s this macabre thing for, you then ask? Dr Bill will tell you all about it. How little it takes to learn so much about the life a body was leading!

Small things, things as the filling in your tooth, can identify you. Your skull can tell them what race, and possibly what sex you were, what was your approximate age. Any possible oddities or less common traits you had, might assure your family – it is truly you.

The book is very interesting, and I jutted down pages worth of notes. The author is not dry, he jokes, he even teases. Say, he tells us about the C.S.I. fans, and how series, and reality are pretty damn different, especially when it comes to time everything takes. But then adds: at least they taught people to not mess with the crime scene, in case of contamination, but rather wait for experts to roll in. I must give this book a 5 out of 5, it’s only fair.

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Roxane Gay – Hunger: A Memoir of (my) Body

22813605I admit, sometimes I take books due to their intriguing titles, without even reading the annotation. It doesn’t happen often, really, but here it happened, with “Hunger: A Memoir of (my) Body” by Roxane Gay (ASIN B013PKAFOC; 320p.; Goodreads). I thought I’m taking a book on eating disorders. Turns out I took a book on people’s cruelty towards theirs, and other bodies.

Roxane, this wonderful woman tells us her nightmare of a life story of violence, rape, abuse, and the need to hide that followed. She ate to make herself a fortress. She ate to become bigger, unattractive, invisible in her own way. She ate, to have a wall between herself, and violence human beings have for each other.

Roxane is Super Morbidly Obese. She tells us why it happened, and then goes on on telling how people treat her due to the space she takes up. How WE treat people who are obese, fat. For instance, she buys two seats in an aircraft, and still has to tell the person in the third seat that no, they cannot put their bag on the spare seat, that she paid for that seat, and she needs that space. You can imagine, some, if not all, do take offence. She has to go as far as google restaurants, to make sure there’s space to accommodate her, and that the chairs won’t be flimsy artworks, more suitable to look at, than sit.

The story is really, really interesting. At times, tho, it was so very hard to read. I really don’t understand where do people who are able to put others through so much violence, and torture ever come from, who raised them? Who gave birth to those animals? I only know one thing: I hope one day each one of them falls on their ass, and finds a broken bottle underneath, or something. To Roxane Gay, and her wonderful Memoir I give 5 out of 5.

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Eddie Izzard – Believe Me

24611840Ah, Eddie. It’s hard to not love this wonderful person, with his simple, honest humor. Once I laughed to tears when he cracked a joke about printers, I’ll add the video below if I can find it. So when I saw his memoir “Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, And Jazz Chickens” (ISBN 1611764696; 368p.; Goodreads), I grabbed it right away. Because, come on, it’s the one, and only: Eddie Izzard.

This is the type of memoir I like – about everything, in details, from the beginning, with fill-in’s, and explanations. Eddie Izzard seems to be a mighty flexible person, able to adjust to almost anything. Starting with his career as street performer, then stand-up comedian, writer, TV star, and so on, and to this day. He followed his heart, and so today we know him both as cold hearted killer in, say, Hannibal series, and as that wonderful transgender comedian, a man in a dress on stage, killing it!

When Eddie was still a child – his mother died. He loved her, and still does, very much. Father, unable to care for children, and work at the same time, sent them to boarding school. Eddie, with his poor health, and away from home, and loving parents, felt quite abandoned. Add his gender identity to it, and you get a fairly poor cocktail. Yet his spirit was ever so wonderful, and his wonderful childish discoveries were everything, I tell you. For example, one time someone told their class there’s a spot in, I don’t remember now, either a better class, or even a higher class, and so they asked whether anyone would like to pass there. Before little Eddie could even roll this thought in his head, some kid just raised his hand, and bam, that was that. Eddie thus came to conclusions: if you just learn to raise your hand real fast, one day you might even become the president of some country!

The memoir is full of everything, as I already mentioned, including the backstage of comedian life, what it’s like, how are the people. The only problem people might get with it: Eddie has a mighty complex way to telling his story, full of long sentences, side clauses within, explanations, and even footnotes. It’s not an easy book, is what I’m saying. But oh how worthy it is, 5 out of 5, there’s no way I can give less.

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Gabby Rivera – Juliet Takes a Breath

28648863Even the best of the books sometimes take forever to be read. “Juliet Takes a Breath” by Gabby Rivera (ASIN B01ATCAZHQ; 276p.; Goodreads) is one of those books. It has a mighty important topic, so you can’t exactly skim through it. But then, as contemporary, it also has a very limited variety of characters, their personalities, so I accidentally overgeneralized that too. Anyway, let’s get into it!

Juliet is a Puerto Rican from Bronx. After reading an empowering book by a leading feminist voice, she decided to try her luck in learning more about life as a woman, her history as a woman, her battle as one too. But by getting her internship to go help this said author, her new hero, Juliet soon finds herself in a whole lot deeper waters than she ever thought she’d be in. For one, when if not now to come out to her parents as a lesbian? If they react badly, she can just get on the plane, and be in Portland for her studies in a few hours. And, of course, that’s exactly what happens…

With aching heart Juliet detaches herself from her Bronx life, from life in a big close family, and plunges into the world of open-mindedness, and whole different kind of judgement. It’s fine to be what you are. It’s not fine at all to now know what you are. It’s not okay to be ignorant. Thus another quest begins, one of finding identity in race, gender, and sexuality.

Here’s a real great thing about this book: it touches several topics, and I’ve not yet found anyone who took same things from it as I did. Some people concentrated their attention to the family relation, the “it’s just a phase” point. Others wondered on why not a single straight person seemed to understand that love is love. And there’s many more. So I give this book a 5 out of 5, well deserved. And, guys, at least read the first chapter to not be those jerks. Arguments men make against homosexuals sound at the very least ridiculous when such guys do absolutely exist. (I’ll go as far as I say that homophobes seem to be afraid of other men treating them the way they treat they treat women)

Categories: 5-5, Books, F/F Literature, LGBTQ+ Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Victoria Schwab – Our Dark Duet [2]

32075662I waited for this, it seems, for forever, even thou it wasn’t so long, really. And with “Our Dark Duet” by Victoria Schwab (Monsters of Verity 2; ISBN 0062380885; 510p.; Goodreads) the duology ends. Yet my waiting continues, since now my favorite author is writing a sequel to Vicious…

Kate Harker, in a sense, felt safe. Monsters were all known. You looked at the body, and by what was missing, you knew what you’ll be hunting. None of them were a match for her either. Until that fatal night when something fleeting passed her vision. People turned their weapons one against the other, and killed without remorse. The blur in her vision turned more physical, and soon she was gazing into its eyes, mirroring her own, calling for violence, cold, alien…

August Flynn just wanted to be human. That is, until humans showed him how much more use they have from a monster who is strong, and in control of themselves. So he hunted, killed, and fed. And he gave orders, as due to a high ranking officer. What a strange, and unexpected turn his life took. And how much more strange it’ll get when Kate Harker will return to Verity. Kate Harker, with one eye no longer blue. Kate Harker, with one eye filling up with the mirror shard there. Kate Harker, with one eye that made the cameras blur out of focus when she looked at them. Kate Harker, the infamous monster hunter, with one eye of a monster.

This was one damn amazing piece, and I am beyond happy with it. Events turned and twisted, pace was perfect, as always, and people were their own beings. I loved it, it concluded everything perfectly. 5 out of 5, this was wonderful.

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Diana Wynne Jones – Howl’s Moving Castle [1]

17890590-e307-0133-a222-0eb4fb0e56f1Howl’s Moving Castle is probably my most favorite movie of them all. And thus it is a bit strange that I’ve only read the book of same title by Diana Wynne Jones (Howl’s Moving Castle 1; ISBN 006441034X; 329p.; Goodreads) now. Okay no, it’s not that weird. I was made worried by all those reviews claiming the movie, and the book to be two very different things. Now I know. They’re different, yes. But not that much, and by far not in a bad way either.

Sophie has made peace with her fate to take over the boring family business of hat making. She passes her days by chatting with the said hats, telling them to bring luck to their owners, riches, good husbands. And as flood of customers grows, Sophie is surprised to know that most of the owners indeed had a happy turn of events. All seemed to go well, up until Witch of the Waste entered through her door, bitter for reasons unknown. She put a curse on Sophie, turning her into an old woman, and unable to speak of it either…

But Sophie is not one to cry over spilled milk. She grabbed her essentials, and went out to meet her destiny, if you please. Sophie, thus, went to find the castle she saw in the horizon, Howl’s castle. After all, who else could lift this damned curse? And now that she’s all old, he surely won’t want her heart.

 

Sophie finds the castle, of course, and Calcifer, if a little reluctantly, lets her in. Much like in the movie, they make a bargain to break each others’ contracts, and Calcifer keeps throwing little hints at Sophie via whole book, until she finally figures it out. Howl himself? One walking adventure, with more to him than meets the eye. I loved this book, and will give it 5 out of 5. So worth reading!

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N.K. Jemisin – The Fifth Season [1]

fifthseasonI took this book for all the wrong reasons, yet loved it to bits never the less. “The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth 1; ISBN 0316229296; 468p.; Goodreads) is a colossal fantasy book, falling under the general genre of sci-fi too. The world is nothing like I ever read before, and the threat to it is even more so. There’s just nothing I can compare it to. And I promise, it feels like pure high-fantasy, so if you don’t like sci-fi, don’t even think of it as of such.

Father Earth is angry with all those crawling little things at the top. No one is sure why, but the anger is constantly there, on ever shifting, trembling, constant seismic activities undergoing surface. Any quake can start a new Season, and humans can only pray they have enough to outlast it, until sun comes out the ash-filled skies, lava cools, and volcanoes choke their last. It is because of this constant threat that people hate, and fear the breed of people called Orogenes. For even a babe in a cradle can quench a tremor, tapping into it as easily, as it breathes. And just as well, that babe can grow, get angry, and set off something that’ll kill them all. And that’s not the only odd race of beings here.

Damaya was one of the orogenes given away to Guardians, assassins who can turn their power against them, if need be, and thus, by humans, considered the lesser evil, even if they aren’t. But Damaya trained, learned, and not being of seemingly any special skill, was put to pair with a ten-ringer Alabaster. Her chaotic accidental power, born out of no where, to his well bred potential. It’s just that they don’t like each other much, and yet not only are they required to try for a baby, but get on with an assignment too. One that changed their lives forever, and the rest of the world’s too.

This was a superb book I cannot even begin describing. If I thought that Final Empire / Mistborn was great, then this is more. The characters are so very interesting, with their own personalities, that don’t just fill in for others. There’s easy acceptance of trans character being who they are, and a little tiny love triangle where Damaya and Alebaster fell for the same guy. But it went well, that guy liked them both anyway. There’s beings that walk through stone like it’s water, and mountains, well, obelisks, that follow people around, inching with their colossal size towards them. It’s all so very amazing. 5 out of 5, really.

Categories: 5-5, Apocaliptic Books, Books, Fantasy Books, High Fantasy, LGBTQ+ Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Patrick Sheane Duncan – Dracula Vs. Hitler

draculavshitleOh happy day for me! I’m a fan of Dracula stories, always in want of new, good ones. It was impossible to not notice “Dracula vs. Hitler” by Patrick Sheane Duncan (ISBN 1942645082; 441p.; Goodreads), so I saw it, I took it, and I’ve read it. And I loved it. I believe anyone who loves action-packed movies with Dracula, Van Helsing movie, or Hellsing in any form, will also appreciate it.

Monsters in human form roam the earth, Nazis. Bit by bit they’re occupying Europe, same tactics, same alternative facts on importance of “racial purity” bullshit. Their brutality is unmatched. And as Van Helsing watches guerrilla not only fail, but get slaughtered, as he watches his daughter Lucile, named after a tragic heroine, risk her all for it, he has to make a decision: could a monster vs monster work?

Some years ago he, and a few brave men, captured Dracula, overpowered, and imprisoned him. Not many know he is not really dead thou. And while Van Helsing often thought of coming back to the sarcophagus with the immortal creature within, he always thought it’d be for science sake, for experiments, research. By far he did not expect himself to stand over the prince’s body, prepared to wake him from the possibly eternal slumber, in hopes that Vlad the Impaler will be willing to defend his homeland once again, against a new enemy.

It’s a very amusing, action filled, and fast paced book. Dracula is well written, and I love that once again he is portrayed as a relentless reader. He muses about new creations humans have made, and doesn’t smell of rot. But then he kills like a walking fortress. I can give it full 5 out of 5, and hope to someday add a physical copy to my collection, for this is a worthy piece to my shelves.

Categories: 5-5, Books, Books of Dracula, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Gothic Books, Vampires, Vlad Dracula III | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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