5-5

“Dreadful Company” by Vivian Shaw | Dr. Greta Helsing 2

1Author: Vivian Shaw
Title: Dreadful Company
Series: Dr Greta Helsing 2
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Vampires
Pages: 400
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Oh how I love these Vivian Shaw books, full of classy, classic vampires and monster studies. Plenty of action too, you just have to let it pick up the pace.

About: Ghosts are haunting Paris. Some missing legs, others – arms. Some are even missing their heads. But then, there’s those catacombs down below, so no surprise, you’d say. And yet, why now? Answer, apparently, is classic and simple: there’s a coven of vampires down below, making a nest. Even ghouls moved out, be it due to arguments with new tenants, or too loud music. And from there, thus, they spread their reign of terror over Paris, killing, turning the most beautiful, kidnapping. Nobody cared all that much, still, up until they kidnapped the wrong gal. They kidnapped Greta Helsing. Because, you see, their leader has an unsettled score with her friend, vampire Ruthven, and very much believes he’s in the rights and powers to destroy the offending creature. Greta, thus, is bait. If she survives, of course…

Mine: Both books start a bit slow, but you just have to let them pick up the pace. Once it does, just pay attention for there’s claws, fangs, magic, reality alteration, as the badass vampires kick ass and take names. It feels like you read, and read, and read these vampire books, romances, fantasy books. And then you read these, and realize those really sucked. I’m happy with the series. Thanks for recommending them to be, B! The only thing I want more of is the science.

I just checked goodreads, and apparently we’re getting third one on August 20th, so there’s plenty of time for everyone to catch up, and you really should if you like classical vampires have adventures in modern world. 5 out of 5 from me.

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Categories: 5-5, About Msg2TheMing, Books: Everything, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Mafia Prince” by Phil Leonetti

1.jpgAuthor: Phil Leonetti, Scott Burnstein, Christopher Graziano
Title: Mafia Prince
Series: –
Genre: Biography, True Crime
Pages: 328
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I read this book twice, for I really wanted to make sure I understood what has happened, and how it all went down. It’s a beautiful story of a personal evolution. Ability to grow above the life you seemingly were born into.

About: This is a beautiful dark story of an often romanticized topic: Mafia. Little Nicky Scarfo ruled Philly’s Mafia Family, La Cosa Nostra, this thing of ours. Under his rule everyone got out of their way, for these people, this mob, was ruthless and cruel. On some incidence a man took his own life in fear they came to brutally murder him, even though it was a mere chance. Scarfo’s nephew, Crazy Phil Leonetti ruled as his second in command, earning his name as the crazy one, following the rules obediently, putting Family above all else, including his own son. But as time went by, and good men, loyal men died for mere fact his uncle thought they were too proud of the job they did under his orders, Phil started questioning him as the boss, and the whole structure too. And he wasn’t the only one tired of a ruthless, paranoid boss.

Mine: I greatly respect people who are able to rise above their given life. Phil Leonetti is a great example of it. Born into Mob to be as good as the Prince of Crime, he obeyed, he lived it, he breathed it, and he killed for it. But he evolved when the chance presented itself, and made sure his own son didn’t have to belong the way he did. He got out when he could, and took anyone willing and able with him, in a sense. Once he saw the stupidity behind aggression, he did his best to straighten himself, and build a better life, outside of the crime for himself and his family. I wish them all luck in it.

It’s a good book, good new perspective. Mafia is not Sopranos. It’s brutal, horrible, and death is easy. Being trigger happy will not keep you safe, loyalty will not keep you safe, for nobody is ever safe in a life like that. 5 out of 5, and then a few extra points for the final word of Leonetti.

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

“Bird Box” by Josh Malerman

2Author: Josh Malerman
Title: Bird Box
Series: –
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Pages: 262
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I always seek horror books. When this blog was created it was with the idea that I’d be a horror, true crime, dark fantasy blog. But it turned out those books are hard to find. At least the good ones. Yet now and again one such pops up, like Bird Box, and scares you into feeling uneasy while looking at the pictures friend sent to you of the fog they’re having at night…

About: The world has changed. It started like in a fantasy, dystopian book of zombie apocalypse. Isolated incidents of people raving about seeing something, then attacking others, and finally, without a fail, killing themselves. Malorie and her sister watched the news about it. They watched it, until there was nothing more to watch, for there was no one left to broadcast the news. The world has gone blind, for those whose windows were not covered have already died. But human curiosity, especially when pushed by madness, is limitless. What’s the big deal, you’d think. Just a peek, just a smallest, shortest glimpse outside, to make sure the world is still there. And if doing so you saw a fraction of a second of what could it be, it wouldn’t hurt you, now would it?

Mine: This was one of the very best horror books I’ve ever read. The story is told from two timelines, both following Malorie. It tells a story of a world gone mad, blind, and then mad again. It tells a story of morality or lack thereof that leads to hard choices, death, and one justification: survive. Nobody knows what’s out there. To know is to die, go insane, and die. But everyone got theories, and even home-experiments to try. It was brilliant and beautiful in a very terrifying way. Suspense was top notch. This is a masterpiece.

Remember “I, Zombie“, which I also loved? Well, this is like that, and even better. No, it’s not about zombies, simply the madness spread similar to it, for much like a virus travels – whatever people saw also traveled that fast. How do you fight an instinct to look when something’s right there, and someone’s screaming while looking at it? There’s no more sense of safety. Humans will have to learn to live all over again, differently, in the dark. 5 out of 5, for this one fine piece of horror.

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

diversity |”Unfit to Print” by K.J. Charles

2Author: K.J. Charles
Title: Unfit to Print
Series: –
Genre: Historical, LGBT Literature
Pages: 145
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

You know, this book almost smells of noir detectives, fancy suits, cigars, and private-eyes. It isn’t that, but the vibes were very right.

About: Vikram Pandey is a lawyer doing a lot of pro bono work for people to whom not everyone cares to ever help: immigrants. He goes out of his way to find missing people, help those who found themselves in need to sell themselves or their services, and is honestly distraught whenever he finds them dead.

This time a missing fella leads him straight to a bookstore where his childhood friend works. It’s one of the bookstores that sell filth if you ask right: a forbidden romance novel, an accommodating picture or two. Gil Lawless got here through hardships and horrible experiences that began when he himself went missing. Vikram then thought him dead, so a blow after a blow, his day is getting worse. For on top of this all, Gil seems to be aware of the missing lad. He might even suspect him to be connected to one already dead. But he doesn’t feel much need to help, no. Nobody helped him, after all.

Mine: Oh wow, okay, I really liked this one. A dangerous investigation in KJC’s style, really worked well, since she’s not afraid to hurt her characters. So the fear you feel reading is very real: that damn ax might just land where it was aimed at. I really like this kind of a complex but not messy and absolutely sensible detective story. On top of that, if I didn’t sell this to you yet: there’s a very mean kitty cat named Satan.

A great short little book for a quick rest. Damn how I missed me a good detective, I didn’t even realize. 5 out of 5, for sure.

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

“The Tea Master and the Detective” by Aliette de Bodard | The Universe of Xuja

1Author: Aliette de Bodard
Title: The Tea Master and the Detective
Series: The Universe of Xuja
Genre: Sci-fi, Detective
Pages: 96
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

Sometimes the title of the book intrigues me so much that I feel I must read it. “The Tea Master and the Detective” didn’t tempt me by the description, yet still I had to. Sci-fi, tea, detectives. I had to.

About: Shadow’s Child is a Mindship. A shipmaiden born and raised to be put into a ship’s heartroom, where she’d eternally fuse with the ship, and the ship would become her body and she – the mind, and the heart. Revered and honored these mindships carried people through Deep space, the Unreality, be it military purposes or just passengers. Yet during the Uprising Shadow’s Child got into a trap that left her whole crew dead, floating in her cold hallways, with her unable to do anything else than drift there and wait, in hopes she’ll die, or someone will come rescue her.

Today Shadow’s Child doesn’t even want to think of Deep Spaces. In her hologram form she lives in a rented closet of a space, where she brews certain tea blends. Most her customers are travelers who need to go through Deep Space. They want to be knocked out, sleep through it, for even the toughest minds get rendered whimpering in fetal position until the voyage is over. Unreality will do that to you. But not Long Chau, the woman with the decorative name, who introduced herself as a detective writing a study on decomposition in Deep Space. She needs Shadow’s Child to not only make her a brew that’d keep her functioning in the Unreality. She also wants the shipmind to take her up there.

Mine: In less than a hundred pages my mind almost had a meltdown with the unfathomable wonders. Can you even imagine it? Because I certainly struggle to. A person of flesh and bone, becoming a ship, fully. She can FEEL footsteps in her halls. And then, her in holographic form? She could be anything, but she chooses to remain a ship. Can you imagine walking down a corridor with a giant holographic ship by your side, talking to you? And as for the detective plot line, it was so beautifully Sherlockian, I really loved it. Long Chau is a drug user, her intellect comes off as arrogance, and she’s rude, because she’s blunt. Not to mention moral flexibility and well hidden past.

It’s a mind blowing short book. I’m tempted to read other ones too, even if they’re story-wise unrelated, merely set in the same universe. This one gets 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Detective Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Into the Fire” by Jeaniene Frost | Night Prince 4

1Author: Jeaniene Frost
Title: Into the Fire
Series: Night Prince 4
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Pages: 340
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I really didn’t want to finish these series. They were too good, and I have not yet found a replacement for good Dracula series. But… I really needed more of it, so I’ve read it. And now I must obtain them all in paper form, so I can re-read and mark every awesome bit down.

About: Leila is bound to a powerful necromancer, Vlad’s stepson, Mircea. If one gets hurt, the other one gets hurt too, so there seems to be no way in killing him without killing Leila off. And the need to do so quickly becomes dire as Mircea falls into the hands of big mean magical enemies of Vlad Dracula.

Vlad resorts to renewing his ties with this sort of a blood brother (they’re made by same vampire), for he dabbles in all sorts of forbidden things. And while Ion hides too much, gets on everyone’s nerves, is an outright whore of a man, shifty and not really trustworthy, he proves to actually be useful. While he got them into some trouble, and even turned them all into women, Vlad included, he also helped Leila discover that the key to breaking the binding spell might lie in her heritage. It’s just that from here to there there’s a lot of time, time which they just don’t have, for the necromancers have found Dracula’s weak spot.

Mine: This is a very intense, fast paced supernatural thriller with hefty paranormal romance. An unusual choice for me, so in case the cover didn’t warn you of the nature of this book: keep it in mind, yes? Otherwise I’d not be this keen on a romance, but hey, I’m a sucker for Dracula kicking ass and asking no names. And sure, at times it was very sappy, but I loved how nothing went perfect, every character did their own thing, hid their own secrets, Vlad kissed a man, and nobody stood there waiting to be the support character with the right question on the right time. What I didn’t like was the fast end to it all. I wanted a demon hunt, tea time with Ion and maybe Leila’s sister, and all the other goodies. Oh, what books I’d not give for a 5th one in these series…

I loved it. And while I’m biased a lot by Dracula existing here, and being main character, I loved it due to writing too. It had substance both in plot and characters. So I give it 5 out of 5, and series get the same mark too.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Romance, Dracula: General, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampires, Vlad Dracula III | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Cinder” by Marissa Meyer | The Lunar Chronicles 1

2Author: Marissa Meyer
Title: Cinder
Series: The Lunar Chronicles 1
Genre: Young Adult; Sci-Fi
Pages: 400
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads 

Sometimes, when I really want something different, I blow the dust off the furthest corners of my TBR. At time the stuff there I no longer even want to read, due to changes in book preferences. But this time I found a gem, tucked away.

About: Plague ravages Earth, one no one ever recovers from. Cyborgs, being secondary class citizens, are encouraged to volunteer for test treatments, but no one returns from those either. The only benefit volunteers get are the money sent to their families. The plague, apparently, has once been brought on Earth by Lunars who themselves are immune, yet can still carry it. Thus, the Lunar Queen seems to have a cure for it. And it’s only one of the few hidden daggers she’s bringing down upon Earth in attendance to the royal ball, where she expects to secure an alliance between the New Beijing and her kingdom, whatever the price of it.

Cinder is a cyborg too. She works as a mechanic, forced by her legal guardian, the proverbial evil stepmother, to earn the money for their keep, bills. And the dresses for her daughters, for they are absolutely going to the royal ball. Every single girl in the Common Wealth is dreaming of Prince Kai, the same man who just dropped into Cinder’s workshop, with a request to fix his old carer-robot. Sentiments, he says, but the hurry and plea to put this project as a priority makes Cinder doubt the truth of the statement. Yet who is she to question the prince?… She’ll just have to fix the robot.

Mine: Well, if I wanted something different, I certainly got it. While this is a story of Cinderella, by no means it is a re-telling. The story is unique, roughly based on the draft of the fairy tale. Amazing cyberpunk vibes, a sci-fi laced with fantasy. I’m happy I finally got into this.

It was a very unique read. We only got two translated into Lithuanian, so I’ll likely have to just read them in English, but I guess that’s not that big of a deal. I give it a 5 out of 5. What’s your favorite cyberpunk or sci-fi story? Doesn’t matter if a book or a movie.

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

Vanishing Games by Roger Hobbs | Jack White 2

1Author: Roger Hobbs
Title: Vanishing Games
Series: Jack White 2
Genre: Thriller, Crime
Pages: 304
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Am I wrong or have I read the first Jack White book last year in December too? All I remember is that I loved it a lot. So when I saw second book among my audiobook recommended, I had to snag it. It’s almost as good as the first one, read it whole while making Holiday presents for people.

About: If you need Jack White, you’ll get to jump a lot of safety hoops and obstacles. For he can afford you not finding him. Because, if you couldn’t find him, you likely weren’t worth his time anyway. For Jack White is a Ghostman. He doesn’t exist, in a sense, for he can be anyone, anywhere, and then someone else the next minute. In this game his due to boredom, so the least you could do is have him an interesting job to offer…

What Jack definitely didn’t expect was to get a message from his mentor. The woman who once taught him this art of vanishing. She claims she’s in danger, and if she says so, it’s likely plenty serious. This time it all happens somewhere deep in Asia, where one of her crew members tripped over every local gang, it seems, and then disappeared together with the rest of the crew. The gangs smell blood and money, though, and they feel no scruples over tossing an outsider or two down the pier in trash bags. They’re able too, for the whole damn country belongs to them.

Mine: This is one of those rare books where very details is amazing and wanted. There’s plenty of books in my shelf where I could barely get through the details, mentally asking the author for how long can they be telling me all this unnecessary stuff. But not here, here everything was amazing. I learned a lot about counterfeit money, and payment of a crew member, a robber. And how that payment can shift depending on your experience, skill, and sometimes – role. Jack didn’t disappoint me either, he’s still just as interesting, even if at times I had my doubts.

I might be biased, for I always liked crime books told from point of view of criminals who lived to tell the tale. If you got books like that, recommend me some, I always hunt for new ones, for there aren’t many. This one gets 5 out of 5, for I loved it.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Misery” by Stephen King

1Author: Stephen King
Title: Misery
Series: –
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Pages: 370
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Sometimes someone I like and admire will speak about a book that inspired them. Then I must read that book. This time it was “Misery” by Stephen King, and it made me rethink everything I ever thought about the author. This was a scary, suspenseful read.

About: Paul Sheldon is an author. He just privately celebrated the fact that he finally killed off Misery, and can be done with those awful books. There’s even a new manuscript for a whole different story in his bag, as he makes his way out, out of a dreamy, painful state, with someone’s disgusting, putrid breath trying to resuscitate him.

Paul has been in a car accident where his legs got shattered. But Annie was there to save him, he’s very lucky. Annie is a trained nurse, so he’s in good hands. And on top of that, she is his biggest fan. She’s the biggest fan of Misery. She absolutely knows he didn’t really mean to kill her off. And with his legs broken like that, all he really has is time, so he might as well work, since being an author doesn’t require legs all that much. He might as well write a new novel of Misery. Just for Annie. For his biggest fan. After all, he indeed is very lucky she found him…

Mine: How terrifying is helplessness when you’re surrounded by unpredictable, insane monsters in human skins. And how much worse these monsters can be than any of those one ever saw in gothic novels. You can never trust a character in this story. The moment you’ll think the plan is flawless, the moment you think this will work… Will be the moment you’ll be tricked, and learn just how much worse it can get.

A good book indeed. Do not read this if humans as is worry, scare you. There’s nothing supernatural here, only insanity, unpredictable human behavior, pure cruelty. 5 out of 5 from me, and maybe I’ll even take another King’s book, we’ll see.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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.

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

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