5-5

book review | Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo | Grisha Trilogy 2

siege and storm leigh bardugo.jpgAuthor: Leigh Bardugo
Title: Siege and Storm
Series: Grisha Trilogy 2
Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult
Pages: 435
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

As much as I love the classic fantasy, with elves, dwarves, archers, mages, and lands unknown; I love the unusual fantasy too. Such as Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Or Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. Just finished second book in it, Siege and Storm, and it was as good as the last one, and probably better.

About the Book: Alina and Mal escaped from the Shadow Fold and from its ruler – Darkling. But such a victory is nothing if they want to continue living a life as they know it, not in utter darkness with monsters all around. Hiding their identities they make their way closer back to Ravka, hoping beyond hope to form a good enough plan for the inevitable battle against Darkling and his ever growing powers. And while fate is kind to them, generous with powerful allies, Alina loathes the price it comes with. People worship her as the Sun Queen. They worship her as one of the saints. If she learned anything from those religious books she was made to read is that saints and heroes – don’t live long.

My Opinion: The slight annoyance was the romance-drama. Mal expects Alina to read his mind, and then, when she tries to answer his questions, he just refuses to listen. But that’s just a drop in the water, not worth a point. The story is filled with turns, twists, unexpected happiness, and unexpected despair. Characters are very well written, from thieves, to mercs, to pirates, to kings. And people actually make logical decisions, they don’t just turn coats because of reasons. It was a very good read.

It’s a good book I can recommend to those who want good fantasy, but don’t want it too complicated. A 5 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver | lgbt+ lit.

i wish you all the best mason deaver book coverAuthor: Mason Deaver
Title: I Wish You All The Best
Series: –
Genre: LGBT+ literature; Contemporary
Pages: 329
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I feel like LGBT books are the best thing in Contemporary genre. Or at least, the only ones I like in that genre (still wouldn’t pass a good lgbt+ fantasy series, like Captive Prince). E.g. “I Wish You All The Best” by Mason Deaver, a wonderful and simple in a good way book of LGBT youth on the other side of kind and understanding parents.

About the Book: Ben’s life ended the same evening they found enough courage to come out to their parents: Ben’s nonbinary. Meaning they don’t fall under male or female gender categories in a world where ever colors seem to invoke associations with genders. So, as ignorant people do, Ben’s parents kicked their child out onto the street in the night. Having no place to go, they contacted their long lost sister, who ran from home with no goodbyes the first chance she found. Ben is thus forced to start a new life, full of anxiety, panic, a constant need to come out and again, and again, therapy, and too many apologies. But hey, new life is new hope too, right?

My Opinion: The book is very light and simple, which makes this topic more approachable to people who don’t yet fully grasp of how can you NOT be a set standard. And due to Mason Deaver being nonbinary too, you can be sure you’re getting information straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak (who coined this saying and why the hell?). To add to that, it shows a different world a, sadly, more realistic world than that of “Love, Simon” whose parents accepted him instantly. But it’s not as dark as it sounds anyway, and I promise, the ending is wonderful.

5 out of 5 from me, and I wish Ben all the best too. And all of you, out there. Stay safe until you can shine, and once you can shine: blind all the haters with your light.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Contemporary Books, LGBTQ+ Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Winter by Marissa Meyer | The Lunar Chronicles 4

winter by marissa meyer the lunar chroniclesAuthor: Marissa Meyer
Title: Winter
Series: The Lunar Chronicles 4
Genre: Fantasy; Sci-Fi
Pages: 827
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Ah, finished The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer with the last book in it: Winter. It was magical, wonderful, and oh the atmosphere. Author really knows how to write a good atmosphere.

About the Book: A common worker in an iron grip of the evil step mother Queen Levana, bombarded with constant illusions that Queen herself is delusional enough to believe, constant surveillance and threat of death, has no means to fight against oppression. But a rumor spreads like wildfire, a rumor of a long lost hope, long lost princess Selene. Rumor claims she’s here, among them. This is enough to bring a time of revolution about. This hope is enough to get them fighting. It is time for the Queen Levana to fall.

My Opinion: It’s a great book, truly. Due to everyone receiving their happy endings, story got a little long winded. But when characters are so nice and well written, it’s a pleasure to read, not a chore. There’s battles, there’s tension, there’s dangerous mind-controlling mages of sorts, and genetically engineered werewolves, and a crazy girl whose kindness melted even their savage hearts. The only true con I have for this book is the lack of motivation behind Cinder’s actions. She doesn’t remember Luna as her home, she doesn’t feel at home there, she wants to go back to Earth and not be a princess. So why did she fight so hard? Just because she wanted Levana off the throne?

Great book, great series. I highly recommend, and give it a 5 out of 5. 

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

book review | Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | Grisha Trilogy 1 | fantasy

shadow and bone leigh bardugo.jpgAuthor: Leigh Bardugo
Title: Shadow and Bone
Series: Grisha Trilogy 1
Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult
Pages: 358
Rate:  5/5 | Goodreads

Time to rest from all the poorly written horror literature. I’ve decided I need to lessen the unread series that I’ve got, especially the ones I got at home. And since Grisha Trilogy is being made into series (or a movie?) it only made sense to start with the first book in this trilogy, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I’ve been recommended this book many times, by several people. I get it now.

About the Book: Ravka is being torn apart by wars and the darkness at its heart – Shadow Fold, full of monsters so fierce it’s getting hard to pass even for magic wielding grisha. Same goes for war. Magical warriors, even led by the terrifying Darkling, cannot stand against ever advancing, technologically ever improving enemy. Magic, after all, hardly helps against a bullet to the head. But upon witnessing the orphan Alina Starkov’s power – hope blooms in all the Ravka citizens hearts, including the black heart of the Darkling. For she has a power that can stop not only the enemy, but Shadow Fold itself.

My Opinion: The book is written really well, is consistent and uniform through and through. Reader is allowed some suspicions, but never enough to foresee the upcoming twist of events; which take place in this slavic country Ravka. Lithuania borders with slavic countries, making it all sound familiar. Like reading a more of a fairy tale version of The Witcher Saga (but completely different, and not really a fairy tale either), full of dark forests, magical stags, and magicians. A truly wonderful book I can recommend to those who want something they won’t be able to put down.

I hope to finish the whole trilogy this month. Maybe next month I can give Six of Crows, also by Leigh Bardugo, a chance too. We’ll see. And for now, Shadow and Bone gets 5 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | Permanent Record by Edward Snowden

permanent record edward snowden book cover biographyAuthor: Edward Snowden
Title: Permanent Record
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; Biography
Pages: 352
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Edward Snowden with his biography “Permanent Record” is here to remind us all how deep in “1984” by George Orwell plot we are. It’s am amazing book, and also very scary one too.

About the Book: The Internet as we knew it has long as changed. They bribed us with convenience, taking our anonymity online. And if we want it back, we have to jump loops, like start using Tor browser. But, let’s face it, we’re slaves to habits and comfort, and we’ll use what we’re used to using. This way further becoming a commodity with illusion of invisibility behind a keyboard. From the smartphone in your pocket, to Alexa or Siri awaiting instructions in the corner of your very home. And here’s how it happened…

My Opinion: You could say that such tracking is more likely a thing in US, or other countries that aren’t as nice as yours when it comes to human rights. But this is why you need this book, for such thinking merely means you no longer notice how many things reach us from exactly the places that monitor us. From the device you’re reading this on, to the software used for it, to the browser you’ll open, and likely, to the page you’re going to enter in it. This way we become commodities no matter where we are: from a company that wants to sell you socks, to the company who wants you to buy it with your card, to whoever wants you to enter all of those digits into those slots. Hopefully though this book will scare you as much as it scared me. And, at the very least, you will fight for your rights to not be monitored the next time people with lack of understanding of what a smartphone is will decide what we’re allowed to share on the internet. We’ve lost one battle already, and I do hope you know how to use VPN.

It’s a great book that I highly recommend to everyone. 5 out of 5 from me. Thank You, Edward Snowden.

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

book review | A Generation of Sociopaths by Bruce Cannon Gibney

A generation of sociopaths bruce cannon gibneyAuthor: Bruce Cannon Gibney
Title: A Generation of Sociopaths
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; Sociology
Pages: 464
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

This book will make you angry. Hopefully. “A Generation of Sociopaths” by Bruce Cannon Gibney speaks of and likely fits better the American economical climate, but as an European, I found some things we could apply to ourselves too.

About the Book: Have your parents ever went “well, in my times” and “when I was your age”? In reference to how little you get and have now? Well, you can likely thank them for that little that you’re getting. This book defines some lines in economy. What makes it grow, what makes it fall. What’s sustainable, and what’s a mere temporary solution, likely made by those who will profit from it, leaving the next generation to find their own way out.

My Opinion: The book is very interesting, but will likely not teach you anything new. I believe my generation, those of us who have witnessed the Great Bubble explode, are likely educated enough by now about the topics and nuances of economy. But it’s still an interesting read. And while in Europe it’s not so easy and simple to define a whole generation of our parents as “baby boomers” due to whole different conditions they had, we can still find similarities.

It’s an interesting book, and I can give it a solid 5 out of 5. Yet, as a disclaimer, I want you to go to the link provided above to goodreads, and see to the lowest ratings. The author chose not to reveal how banks and bankers helped add to the ruin of economy due to himself being one of them. And that has to be taken into equation, even if, in my personal opinion, it doesn’t take away much from the value of the book.

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

book review | Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device by James Aquilone | Dead Jack 1

dead jack and the pandemonium device james aquilone book coverAuthor: James Aquilone
Title: Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device
Series: Dead Jack 1
Genre: Horror Literature, Humor
Pages: 211
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

When I saw Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device by James Aquilone book cover, I knew I’m going to like it. For the same reason I liked Skulduggery Pleasant books: noir vibe with a dead-man for a detective. Dark but simple humor with dirty streaks to it.

About the Book: Jack is a detective in Pandemonium, a realm between life, death, heaven, and hell. He’s pretty good at what he does, even though his partner, a homunculus who one day just moved into the empty cavern of Jack’s skull, would highly disagree: his plans are reckless, poorly thought out, and even deadly. Jack is also a zombie with a fairy dust addiction. According to him, that’s the only thing that keeps the flesh craving at bay. His partner doesn’t necessarily believe that either, but here Jack is. Out of dust, approaching a leprechaun for more. Except instead of dust he gets his ass roasted. And, let’s just say… Leprechaun meat is delicious.

My Opinion: The book consists out of small little mysteries, and one big one that drives the plot, gives back-story, world building, and background to people in Pandemonium, including Jack and his origins of being. There’s plenty of real fun and great things, like mermaids who want to eat you, and pixies who are a bit too big to be pixies, because their mothers were indeed pixies, but their father’s were human men, and nobody wants to ask HOW, nobody. And due to Jack not taking himself too seriously too, we get this great fast paced book full of dark and sometimes a bit vulgar humor, daring plans that somehow work, and heroes in the most unlikely places.

That was a great fun of a book, I can’t wait to put my hands on the second one. This one gets a 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Funny!, Books: Horror, Books: Supernatural, dark fantasy, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, zombies | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson | Mistborn 3

the hero of ages brandon sanderson mistbornAuthor: Brandon Sanderson
Title: The Hero of Ages
Series: Mistborn 3
Genre: Epic Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 572
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’ve finished the last book in the first trilogy of Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson (I say “first trilogy”, because there’s sequels that are far in the future), The Hero of Ages. And I am speechless to say the least.

About the Book: The very world is ending. Ash falls from the sky, blackening, burying fields. Mists remain during the days, and go as far as kill people, or make them sick. Scared, hungry, and under constant threat, they huddle together and seek hope. In religions sprouting, in rulers rising. It serves as one of the sharpest tools in Ruin’s hands, for he can find access to emotional, irrational, hopeful mind, and steer them. This is something Vin and Elend learn the hard way, and despair. For how can you fight an enemy that can change the written letters, and twist your very spoken words? When only your thoughts are safe, how do you communicate with anyone, let alone those you must fight beside?

My Opinion: If you like epic fantasy in a scale of world and gods creation, shaping, reshaping; full of great heroes who did not matter, and yet were absolutely essential, well then do yourself a favor and pick these books up. So much happens in them that I’ve no just way to review it.

You must follow the events to notice the events happen (yes) for a prophecy is so clear in the end. It’s amazing, simple, brilliant, and yet so incredibly complex, that I had to sit there and just hold the book after I was done with it. It plucks you away, out of now and here, and sets you knee deep in ash, with nothing visible over mists, war all around you, death, blood, and metal. Metal spikes, coins flying. Like a violently shaken dirty, ashy snow globe.

Yes, this book is greatly lacking. But it has so much happening in one, seemingly small little world, that I think it was more than enough. I give it the 5 out of 5, fully, strongly. And I will absolutely see into those sequels. This was… This was beyond words. Even though it was written in those same damn words.

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

book review | If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

if I was your girl meredith russo book coverAuthor: Meredith Russo
Title: If I Was Your Girl
Series: –
Genre: LGBT Literature; Contemporary
Pages: 280
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I was scared to pick up “If I Was Your Girl” by Meredith Russo. I’m always scared to pick up teenage contemporary LGBT literature. I always feel like they’ll either ruin my mood by being bad, or… Ruin my mood by making me jealous of those years I never had. But this book was very good, and I’m happy I read it.

About the Book: Amanda transferred school and even town, just to escape nightmarish homophobia, bullying, beatings, and an attempt to take her own life. But here, with her father, she has a chance at new life as herself, for once, finally, as herself. She can finally live free and breathe, make friends, graduate, go to parties, maybe even fall in love. As long as she can fight or resist that guilt she feels over keeping such a huge secret from everyone. That is, until she finally has someone to trust it to.

My Opinion: I’m surprised at how many real trans people issues this one book contained, and how well they were approached, answered, and evolved within very different characters, leaving room for more than just pink fluffy dreams. It’s a good starter book to those who have a need for a book like that. And to those who don’t, well, it’s a good book by itself, very heart-warming, scary and beautiful at the same time, full of great character development. It’s like “Love, Simon“, but instead of a gay guy it got a young trans woman, I’d say.

Yep, good book. Loved the author word at the back of it too. 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Contemporary Books, LGBTQ+ Books, Trans Literature | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lughnasadh | 05][07 | Best and Worst

From Beltane to Lughnasadh, the best, the worst, and the overrated!

05 – 07

The Best:

1 05 07 Best

  • Vita Nostra by Marina Dyachenko: A masterful book too big to describe, to review. If you’ve ever read Labyrinths of Echo by Max Fray, this is kinda like that, but even more. It’s very interesting, and very complex in the very best way.
    [review]
  • Girl with a Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson: I have no doubt these books will be, if they’re not yet, classics of the genre. It’s an amazing, dark detective, full of plots, characters, and a core line. It is dark though, like really dark.
    [review]
  • Heroes by Stephen Fry: You can’t go wrong with Stephen Fry. This book wittily retells the tales of heroes and how they, so to speak, cleaned the world of the ancient monsters, and made way for, well, us.
    [review]
  • The Henchmen of Zenda by K.J. Charles: Oh how I missed adventure! The swords classing in the night! Shots fired in the dark! Frantic horse rides through thick forests! A marvelous book I will so absolutely read again.
    [review]
  • Fairest by Marissa Meyer: I have no idea how Marissa Meyer is so good at writing villains, but she is, and it’s wow, it’s just wow.
    [review]
  • Redemption’s Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky: A.T. is now one of my favorite authors. This book reminded me how much I love the classical high fantasy. I think it might be good to battle reading slum too, if the size doesn’t intimidate you during those nasty dark days.
    [review]

The Worst:

1 05 07 Worst

  • I, Ripper by Stephen Hunter: I’ve no clue how one can mess up such plump tale as that of Jack the Ripper, but here it is.
    [review]
  • The Shanghai Factor by Charles McCarry: This book made me realize I don’t like spy stories. A book mostly about nothing.
    [review]
  • The Last Hellfighter by Thomas S. Flowers: Much like Ripper, this book had a dusting of a fatty tale it merely took a dusting from, the Bram Stoker’s Dracula. But author chose the safe way. Vampires and “safe way” don’t mix well.
    [review]

The Overrated:

  • We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia: I expected so much. And it had so much potential. Instead it’s a dry choking hazard. But, not gonna lie, I’m kinda curious if the next one could be better.
    [review]
Categories: 1-5, 5-5, Adventure Books, book facts | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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