5-5

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.

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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

Hugh Howey “I, Zombie”

2Author: Hugh Howey
Title: I, Zombie
Series:
Genre: Horror, Zombies
Pages: 222p
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

I couldn’t figure out where I know the author from. And only now, as I opened goodreads, did I notice that Hugh Howey wrote Wool books too, Silo and all those. I didn’t like them much, to be honest. But this one was wonderful.

About: All the speakers in this book are either zombies, or people who are about to become zombies. Little by little, including interesting enough personal background stories, they tell a tale of how did this happen, to them, to their city. It’s scary, how it all began with a few infected on the street. They looked no worse than deranged sick vagabonds, so people avoided them. But apparently, they didn’t do so well enough. For not long after that, a gang of zombies, a shuffle, came along. They weren’t fast, what with their rotting, often broken bodies, but their need drove them forwards, causing panic, horror, and all the disasters that start with it. Some, now, like our very first speaker, are trapped in their rotting bodies, internally screaming against impulses they can no longer control, as their broken bleeding hands shove rotting flesh into their mouths, throats. Others feel relief, for they won’t have to worry about anything anymore, not the contamination, virus, not even death. But they’re all united with one need, one want: human flesh. They can always smell them, always feel them. So they know full well there’s choppers above, full of scientists and military, all people who do nothing but observe and research. And by the time they reach a conclusion: sacrifice a city for the sake of humanity, by the time they decide to bomb it… They already know there’s herds of living, delicious flesh behind the barricades of this city.

My Thoughts: This was a very scary read. From the very first story, where a completely conscious woman with a gaping hole in her cheek, explains the terror she feels when her hands shove guts into her throat, and how painful is the wind against her bare teeth. Then to living people, civilians. One had just enough bullets to show mercy to some, choosing to shoot women and children first, and put them out of this horror of existence. And finally, to those who didn’t see the rising sun of a bomb fallen, for they were pushing, scraping at the barriers between themselves and humanity. By the end of this book my heart was thumping. I am not someone who likes to be scared. But this was unbelievably amazing. Not every story was interesting or scary, but a total of the book was definitely worth it.

I am waiting for Dying Light 2 even more now, praying it’ll still have zombies, and not just gangs of people. I was never interested in zombies, never felt the need to read or watch anything with them, really. But this book had a teller who was one of those people who were actively preparing for a zombie apocalypse, like quite a few in our world actually do. And so it just brought it all to life, made it beautifully believable. I give it 5 out of 5, and to you I suggest to put it up for October, Halloween read.

Categories: 5-5, Apocaliptic Books, Books: Everything, Nosferatu Books, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Craig Alanson “Zero Hour” | Expeditionary Force 5

2Author: Craig Alanson
Title: Zero Hour
Series: Expeditionary Force 5
Genre: Sci-fi, Humor
Pages: 494
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

I’m pretty damn amazed how Zero Hour is a fifth book, and quality of the story is still top-notch. There was tension, complicated plans, and enough jokes to make another book. I loved it, yes. Mind you, review below is assuming you read the previous books.

Just as Joe Bishop lost all hope to hear from his friend, the snarky AI they call Skippy the Magnificent, and thus – all hope to get back to Earth – Skippy awakes. There’s an Elder, same race that made Skippy too, created Worm inside of him, trying to destroy him. They were programmed to destroy rogue AI’s, but whether it is Skippy who is doing something Elders wouldn’t appreciate or the Worm itself that went coo-coo is a great question we don’t have an answer for, yet. Anyway, Skippy returned. But no longer as Skippy the Magnificent, more like Skippy the Meh. He’s depleted in both power and awesomeness, and is barely able to keep everything steady and comfortable for his human friends. To add to that, the Worm is still out there, this was merely a battle Skippy won, and by now Humans are fully aware they won’t be able to survive without this AI helping them with absolutely everything. So to survive and thus – save the Merry Band of Pirates, Skippy must find an Elder Artifact he could use to fix himself and beat the Worm. Easier said, than done, of course.

For one, alien civil war means traffic in outer space is pretty jammed. And while you try to navigate that jam, it turns out that every other ship contains very angry people who really want you dead. Oh, and you’re driving a junk-yard grade space ship yourself, so… On top of it, anything that is left useful from the Elders apparently still has a skeleton protection to it. Which is still far more than Skippy can handle right now. The only way around is to convince the guardians that they are no threat. But, again, hehe, nobody likes the plan! Because humans are fragile, and out there is one hell of a danger zone.

This was an awesome book. It had everything it needed, and was very well paced and spaced. I’m really, really looking forwards to getting my hands on 6th book. This one, in the meantime, gets a 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, Pirate Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Diversity | Movie | Love, Simon

1lovesimonMovie: Love, Simon
Director: Greg Berlanti
Based on: Becky Alberalli book “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
My Rating: 5/5

About the movie: Since I already reviewed the book, and the movie doesn’t deviate too far from it, let’s just recall the basics. One day a guy from Simon’s school posts an anonymous message on their local tumblr, about having to keep a secret: he’s gay. Simon hurries to make himself a new email address and write him, a boy who calls himself Blue. For Simon too has to keep this very same secret. Their emails soon turn into friendship, and Simon realizes he developed a crush and is falling in love with this boy he knows so well, and yet is unaware of the real identity. Through the movie we get to watch his speculations of who could he be. Yes, it’s cute. But then one day Simon forgets to log out of the school computer email, and his class mate finds the emails. He decides it to be a good enough currency and starts blackmailing Simon: help him get a date with his friend, and he won’t put them on public tumblr. After all, Simon doesn’t want to out Blue, right?

20180701_143030.jpgMy opinion: The movie is a great example of what it’s like to not have a choice in the say of coming out. I loved Simon’s parents for it, how they handled everything, took the talks when he approached them, and how they owned up for anything that was out of the line. Those two deserve their own movie, and that father deserves a medal.

The story doesn’t go too far anywhere in the story away from the book. Some things got saturated, some things got taken out, other things got changed a little. It all works for the best, truly. Like the Halloween party scene. The one in the book made me cringe: where the fk was his friends? Why and how did he end up at the table with the people he ended up with? Thank all the damn forces in the world that those were decent fellas, and this was not a straight club, and Simon was not a girl, because bloody hell, not in our society, no, you don’t lose your drunk friends like that, ever. In the movie Simon got hammered in the party itself and made his way home with one of his girl friends. His parents made an epic remark about him being drunk, and them being good parents, and it worked great. I liked the color saturation on blackmailing too, it was easier to understand and process of what’s going on, and why people don’t communicate.

So, all in all, I loved it to bits. If you don’t feel like reading the book, movie is definitely enough. Please enjoy, 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Films: General, Friday: Diversity | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Martynas Starkus “Stuck in Central America”

1Author: Martynas Starkus
Title: Istrige Centrineje Amerikoje
Series:
Genre: Travel
Pages: 312
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

If I remember this right, I bought “Stuck in Central America” (Istrige Centrineje Amerikoje) after the show they hosted. They told great stories from previous trips (him and his travel friend Vytaras Radzevicius), and I laughed to tears. So I snagged the book when I could, and must say, it was a very good read. Easy, light, and interesting, so I took my time with it.

This is a story of a trip around Central America in an ever breaking car they named Veronica. The two of them, Martynas and Vytaras, got to walk around ancient Mayan ruins, of which there were plenty, many empty of tourists too. They did their best to get to know locals, hear tales of the land, and the tales of the tellers too. There and here, of course, they had to fight off crooks, avoid gangs, and steer clear of mortal danger. For, as in many poorer lands, there’s two kinds of poverty present: the kind where people are blissfully happy with what little they have; and the kind where people turn to criminal life to survive. So among the beautiful views Martynas described, gangs were too a prominent topic.

The other part of the story was of constant hiccups while traveling. Be it Veronica constantly breaking down on them, or border patrols not wishing to let them through with that junk yard of a car. Martynas here showed some serious kind-hearted sarcasm that you could feel in his sentences, and I loved it.

So, yes. This book, to my knowledge, is not translated into any language. But those of you who read in Lithuanian, this is a great piece. 5/5 from me, and hopefully it never turns out that the authors of this book are bad people, as it seems to get a common theme in my native picks.

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

Roger Hobbs “Ghostman” | Jack White 1

4Author: Roger Hobbs
Title: Ghostman
Series: Jack White 1
Genre: Crime, Heist, Detective
Pages: 400p.
Rating: 5/5 | Goodreads

I picked up “Ghostman” by Roger Hobbs almost by an accident. I simply wanted something different, this one got in the way, so I took it. Must say, has been forever since I accidentally found such a treasure. It’s a marvelously written heist book.

Our protagonist doesn’t have a name anymore. He’s a ghostman. The kind of a criminal who melts in the crowd and becoems a whole other person, elsewhere. But for the time being, we can call him Jack. For that was the last name his former employer knew him by. Employer who had a need to call in an old debt. For, you see, back in the day, this genius evil mastermind had Jack and a few others on a heist. It was meticulously planned and went pretty well, assuming the risks they were taking. It would’ve made them all a couple millions richer. But a few days prior, Jack has made a mistake. And they all paid for it during the heist. With money, with lives. Simply, Jack owed more, so now he has to pay one last time.

Another masterful heist went south. This time there were no real mistakes. Another group has attacked them after they robbed the money convoy. And while Jack is a chameleon, this man today, another tomorrow, his inner world doesn’t change. And on the inside he’s in this game for the thrill, for the passion. He liked complex things, and interesting deals, dangerous crime games. And this mess is nothing but all that. Because, for one, there’s honor among thieves too. Criminal organisations need each other to survive, there’s rarely such insane attempts to cross each other. After all, they’re not some amateur gangbangers. Second, the money will become void in 48 hours or so, becoming as worthless as the paper banknotes are printed on. And third, why the hell his former boss even steal that hard to liquefy cash? It’s a game of “are you that powerful, or that dumb” from the moment Jack steps on the trail of the only heist member who escaped. With some luck the man will be alive and will be able to answer some question. Hell, with some luck, he didn’t ditch the money either.

This was such a great and intense read, I loved it. I loved Jack’s details, so precise, so professional. If you want a heist thriller slash detective, story told from the criminal point of view, then this is it. 5 out of 5

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

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