5-5

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab | Villains 2

1Author: V.E. Schwab
Title: Vengeful
Series: Villains 2
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy
Pages: 480
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I follow Victoria Schwab over Twitter, and thus witnessed the birth of this book. It was full of tears and whiskey. And since I already read the previous book in the series, seeing how hard she worked, I truly had to pick “Vengeful” up too. And it started as if written for me: with a mobster wife.

About: Marcella always was an ambitious woman. But everyone tends to underestimate those, especially when one is as beautiful as she is. When she married her mobster husband, for instance, everyone assumed she’s with him despite his work. While in truth, she pushed him to it. People, men, mobsters, all rolled their eyes when she offered ideas, thoughts, or even threats. Even her dying promise to destroy her husband was taken for granted, as he fled the scene, and she died in the burning house. Just to awake as an EO with a marvelously destructive powers. But even then, with the room behind her still smoldering, men there rendered to ash, people before her rolled their eyes and thought they can use her instead. Well, not anymore. She’ll take this little game, and make it hers.

Due to such a flaunt of powers, she was soon noticed by EO hunters. And who better to use against someone who can render things dead than someone who can regenerate anything: Eli Ever. Eli, much like Victor Vale, current lives in his personal hell. Here, in a cell, they torture him, cut him, study him, use his powers to track down EO’s. While Victor, out there, got reanimated wrong, and thus dies, day, after day, after day… But neither has lost hope just yet.

Mine: All the characters, even the very cliche ones, were very interesting, and fit into the story very well. My favorite, as author predicted, promised, and as I couldn’t believe, became, of course, Eli Ever and his backstory. I suspected this might be the tragic trope he’d get, but it suits him well, and it was very interesting too. I also enjoyed the way Schwab wrote a sociopath: there’s no leading emotion. They’re not all Dexters. Even the ones who killed no less than Dexter. Well. Maybe a little less…

The book, of course, ended with a very interesting note, and thus I am left to want more. Story was fast paced, interesting, and superbly written, so it’s a 5 out of 5 from me.

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

“Band Sinister” by K.J. Charles

1Author: K.J. Charles
Title: Band Sinister
Series: –
Genre: LGBT, Historical Fiction
Pages: 224
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

KJC has treated us to a soft, light-hearted romance, so how could I possibly not read it? “Band Sinister” was my night-time read, something to take my mind off things so I’d not dream work, translations. Instead I finished it at 4am. I REGRET NOTHING!

About: Guy and Amanda Frisbys live in disgrace, at their respectable aunt’s mercy, her charity. She’d like the kids of whom not even their parents seemed to care enough, to disappear or if that is not an option – pretend to not exist by staying in that remote country side, away from London and her respectable daughters in need of good husbands. And so, while Guy toiled away, having nothing better to do, Amanda wrote a gothic novel of a Hellfire club, club of devil worshipers and evil men. And she based the club on a notorious existing club Murder. A member from that club just happens to have some infamous history with their family. And an estate nearby, where he and the club currently reside, doing hell knows what, with hell knows who… One day Amanda doesn’t return from her horse riding, and Guy’s hopes that she merely found something interesting get crushed by the return of the horse, but not his sister. For Amanda broke her leg, nearly bled to death, and is now guarded away from death’s doorstep in no other place than the Murder club house, yes.

Mine: Murder, as most Hellfire clubs that actually did exist in England, consisted out of people who thought differently, and therefore were considered strange, odd, unpleasant, or otherwise – disreputable. From men who were not born such physically, to people whose hearts love many and all, to democrats, free thinkers, political artists who are hunted mercilessly even in this day and age. So imagine such a club, all these diverse characters, suddenly realize they have to behave, because there’s a lady in the house whom they mean no harm, but might very well tarnish her reputation by such an appalling act as staying in the same house as her. It was hilarious to say the least. The plot was predictable, but in a good way, for you want nothing but the best for all those wonderful people written in here.

Loved it. I think this is definitely my favorite book by KJC after Magpies. And since I marked down at least two pages worth of jokes and good thoughts, I can give it no less than 5 out of 5.

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

Rag and Bone by K.J. Charles | Rag and Bone 1

2Author: K.J. Charles
Title: Rag and Bone
Series: Rag and Bone 1
Genre: LGBT, Historical Fiction
Pages: 202
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

K.J. Charles just never fails me. Perfect books to get some quality rest, boost, and inspiration. A while ago I’ve read the half-book, prequel to “Rag and Bone“, and now I finished this one. And all I can say is that I’m happy I’m not done with KJC bibliography just yet.

About: Ned was already growing resentful of magic and practitioners. But that peaceful night he was spending with Crispin was faithful. He woke in the middle of the night with strange sound of singing coming from the other side of the building, where a different store was. So Ned got up, ready to roll up his sleeves and instill some manners into whatever hooligans were disturbing his, and his neighbors property and sleep, but upon opening the doors he found hell. There, on the floor, in what seemed to be silent hellfire, his neighboring store-keeper was burning to a crisp, with a disembodied voice booming in a song that no one else have heard. Crispin went to seek help among his colleagues, other practitioners, as reluctantly as ever, for they branded him an unsuitable practitioner himself, and a warlock to that. While Ned conducted his own investigation, left alone to ponder upon all the hardships magic has brought upon the people.

Mine: Oh damn, I want to know more about necromancy! And, if at all possible, I’d like it told by Stephen Day, for he and Esther Gold appear in this book too, with their hilarious banter, and terrifying powers. The detective plot was definitely KJC quality, meaning it was good, and twisted, and turned, and tossed you right off the track enough times to make you believe things that didn’t happen. A damn fine read with scary monsters, and scary magic!

This was a good read. Loved the characters, loved the magic, loved the system from within that we didn’t get to see in Magpie Lord books. 5 out of 5, no less.

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

A Queer Trade by K.J. Charles | Rag and Bone 0.5

1.jpgAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: A Queer Trade
Series: Rag and Bone 0.5
Genre: Romance, Historical
Pages: 59
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Yes, I have full intentions of getting through whole of K.J. Charles bibliography. I was also told that Rag and Bone series are set in the same world as Magpie Lord. So I started at the beginning, with “A Queer Trade“.

About: Crispin is a magician. An apprentice to an old and powerful warlock, who died a couple days ago. Yet the fact has only reached him today, which means he’s already in a lot of trouble. For the family who owns the house is getting ready to flip all they can. They crammed what books seemed important into a tiny little office, and were in a great progress of selling everything else away. They had no intentions on waiting for Crispin, after all, he should’ve known, somehow, that his master is going to die. So, for instance, papers with weird scribbles on the floor got sold to waste vendors. And waste vendors would then sell those to the market sellers, who will then proceed to wrap you produce in those papers. I invite you to imagine the dread that washed over Crispin at this realization: say, you bought a gutted, dead fish, and brought it home wrapped in a blood written spell paper that reanimates dead things… Yes. Chaos erupts, and magical police gets informed, and Crispin is indeed in one hell-ton of trouble.

Mine: As I was reading, I was dreading this is going to be one of those movie stories, where someone tries to get some kind of an object out of market, but copies just keep appearing. But KJC once again proved she’s very good as steering the plot through all the nooks and crannies, and not take the obvious road. It was a great fun. Made even better by appearance of Esther Gold, Stephen Day’s best friend. Really, love that woman. People should listen to her more, and argue with her less.

I really did enjoy this short little tense adventure with unexpected turn of events. So it gets 5 out of 5 from me, and I’m moving onto the full length book next.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vivian Shaw “Strange Practice” | Dr. Greta Helsing 1

2Author: Vivian Shaw
Title: Strange Practice
Series: Dr. Greta Helsing 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 320
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Been a long time since I had such a pleasure to sit down with a book the way I had with “Strange Practice” by Vivian Shaw. It kept stealing my sleep hours away, because, well, just one page to make sure everyone’s alive still, just one more, oh, here’s to a chapter.

About: Dr. Greta Helsing is in one strange practice. Her hospital is a haven for help and treatments for all kinds of monsters. She makes mummy bones here, she helps ghouls, she prescribes meds for demons, and so on. Her co-workers aren’t humans either. And neither are her friends. Like Lord Ruthven, who is a vampire, and who, one night, calls her in great distress. While Greta was following the news of religious zealots murdering people, one of their victims, still alive due to also being a vampire, came to Ruthven for help. And without Greta’s help, Lord Varney would’ve likely died. But this is only the start of their gathering group and troubles. For deep under London, in dark shelter tunnels there pulses a blue light, whispering…

Mine: While the purpose of the book wasn’t to tell us stories of monsters, it still had a beautiful share of monstrology here, that would lift up the mood on right times. On top of already very well written, suspenseful story, crime detective with supernaturals, epic demons, fallen angels, vampires that’d make Regis, Dettlaff, and even Dracula himself – proud. There were also very scary moments. For, just imagine for a moment, you know this gang of almost supernatural murderers are after you, but you not only have to leave the relative safety of the house and friends who’d kill to protect you, but you have to go down into the dark tunnels to find their lair too, and, well, kill their god. It’s an amazing story, full of amazing, smart, loyal, beautiful characters.

This was so good. I will definitely read another one. Love Greta, love Fass, love Ruthven, and Varney, and that human guy whose name I forgot, sorry, he was great too, really. I really do love a well written friendship, and great written characters. But that’s not all, the story was amazing too, so here’s for the epic win. 5 out of 5, and lemme have the next one!

Categories: 5-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Crime Books, Nosferatu Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Night Shift by Charlaine Harris | Midnight, Texas 3

A1uthor: Charlaine Harris
Title: Night Shift
Series: Midnight, Texas 3
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 308
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Ah, now this is a fine end to my October. With the third and last book in Charlaine Harris trilogy Midnight, Texas, the “Night Shift“, that finally explains the oddness of this little town, full of all kinds of strange people.

About: Something began to stir under Midnight, to move, to wake, right under the crossroad, the intersection. It breaks the weak minds, calls them in, and tells them to die. Then feeds on their blood, stretching, preparing to get up from this forced slumber, and get back to the damned witch who imprisoned him here by destroying her descendants. The descendant just happens to be the local, well loved Midnight witch Fiji. And that’s the thing. This powerful witch is indeed well loved for her kind heart, and delicious sweets. Her friends will stand for her, nails and teeth. And Midnight folk sure do have both of those, what with being all sorts of beings: fallen angels, vampires, weretigers, psychics, assassins… You just don’t mess with the Midnighters.

Mine: If not for the creepy public ritual sex on wet asphalt where so many things have died very recently, and the overload of drama melodrama for closure on all characters, this would have been a perfect book. Oh, well, that and the fact that Charlaine Harris ends with whom she started, meaning her endings are pretty damn lame, and lacking the “this would be less expected” kind of logic most authors have developed already. She seems to be rooting for the guy who never let you know he loves you, as odd as that sounds. Quinn, my beloved weretiger sure does find wrong places to put his heart in. But at least he have made a great father.

This was a pretty damn good trilogy. Maybe not as riveting as Sookies series were, but there was more of Quinn, and more of awesome characters in general. I really enjoyed Manfred, and Barry had a good run too. 5 out of 5 from me, happy to own the won copies.

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

Day Shift by Charlaine Harris | Midnight, Texas 2

1Author: Charlaine Harris
Title: Day Shift
Series: Midnight, Texas 2
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 307
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Ah, okay, so I kinda misheard, didn’t hear, and didn’t get it when my friend said that not only is Midnight, Texas by Charlaine Harris set in the same world as Sookie Stackhouse books, but it might very well be called a spin-off too. Since second book, “Day Shift“, has a fair little handful of familiar, and at last to me, well loved characters.

About: Manfred is out on one of his business trips to meet clients face-to-face. This time he has an appointment with one of his regular clients, a woman who just wants to talk to her dead husband. Mostly about her son who seems to be going even crazier than before. But just as Manfred channels her husband’s spirit – she drops dead, and her family quickly blames him for either murder, or at the very least, robbery. Because who’ll believe Manfred when he’ll report the old woman saying she hid the jewelry away from her son, instead of a fairly rich family who don’t claim to be psychics, but do claim jewelry is missing, and Manfred was pretty much the only person she was seeing? And while he’s at it, Midnight town has its own unwanted unpleasant adventures. Some big corporation re-opened the hotel, and is setting up elderly people there. A strange man has left his son to Reverend for a few weeks. That would have been a better adventure, more wanted even, if the boy hadn’t grown by the day. Literally. Even the elderly noticed! And then there’s the full moon…

Mine: Barry the Mind-reader is back! Sookies sorta friend. I remember I liked him, I just don’t remember what for. But, better than that, Quinn the Weretiger makes an entry, my very favorite Sookie’s ex. I really wish she kept him, instead of… well. But other than that, this was a fun book on its own too. There were scary and intense moments, there were those classic “let’s ask the dead lady“, and best of all, we learned some background about Midnight people. They’re far more interesting than I thought. Oh, okay, that’s not the best part. Best part was Mr. Snuggles. I really love that cat, have I told you?

I may be biased when I say I loved this book, because Quinn was honestly my favorite person out there for forever. But really, if I try and take him out of the equation, there’s some real great things: the funny moments, the detective with outfit changing classy spy bits, the extremely scary parts that would make horror books proud… 5 out of 5, no less.

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

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.

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

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