Adventure Books

book review | Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell | Simon Snow 2

rainbow rowell wayward sonAuthor: Rainbow Rowell
Title: Wayward Son
Series: Simon Snow 2
Genre: YA, Fantasy, LGBT+
Pages: 356
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Gotta love those rare-ish books that make you shift your schedules just so you could get to know what happens next. Such was “Wayward Son” by Rainbow Rowell, second book in Simon Snow series or trilogy. If I tell you the book felt “summerish” will you know what I mean? The book you want to have for summer, with which you can imagine you too can do nothing but lay back and read?

About the Book: Simon’s ex is in trouble. Apparently she got lured into a cult. And while it’s not yet clear for what purposes, it’s truly clear she needs help. So, Penny, Baz and Simon go on an adventure in America, a magical wilderness with no magical laws. And not for all the sights and experiences, no, truly, just to save their friend! Yet, they neither weighted the distances right, nor the dangers that lurk in that magical wild-wild-west. From vampire gangs, to shifters, to dragons, to handsome young Normal guys who know too much of their magical world…

My Opinion: The book is brilliant in its simplicity. A little gathering of fandom easter-eggs. A wind-in-your-hair summer adventure, a road trip with the best of people. And new, unpredictable events behind every corner and turn.

Just the right kind of book for me now. A strong 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Adventure Books, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Books: Supernatural, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab | Cassidy Blake 2

tunnel of bones victoria schwab cassidy blakeAuthor: Victoria Schwab
Title: Tunnel of Bones
Series: Cassidy Blake 2
Genre: Paranormal Literature
Pages: 304
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I don’t know what it is with Victoria Schwab, but so far I have loved all her books. Therefore I am quite happy there’s still some books I’ve not read. Like “Tunnel of Bones“, second book in Cassidy Blake‘s series.

About the Book: Cassidy’s parents have a unique opportunity to film a show of paranormal places. And so the girl is spending her summer vacation in Paris. In catacombs. Filled with restless spirits. With only her ghost best friend to watch her back, and warn her. One of the spirits, that of a little boy who seemingly died down here, grows different upon contact with her. He grows stronger, more powerful, apparently now able to manipulate real world in a much larger scale, and even pull her into the veil. Cassidy must find a way to send him on, and do so very, very fast.

My Opinion: It was a very nice and light read, full of very well written characters. And while the book is meant for a much younger audience, it was plenty entertaining to me too. There’s just that little something about Schwab’s works.

I liked it a great deal. Victoria Schwab has a very unique writing style that, luckily, isn’t as polarizing as Murakami’s, where you hate it or love it, and there’s no in between. I’m sure there’s something in her vast bibliography that would suit everyone. A strong 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Adventure Books, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, Books: Supernatural, ghosts, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin | Earthsea Cycle 1

a wizard of earthsea ursula k le guin fantasy bookAuthor: Ursula K. Le Guin
Title: A Wizard of Earthsea
Series: Earthsea Cycle 1
Genre: Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 183
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Needed to break the sci-fi cycle I fell into, and also wanted something short. So picked up “A Wizard of Earthsea” by Ursula K. Le Guin.

About the Book: Ged, now known as Sparrowhawk, showed talent and power since childhood. Due to which and added want for knowledge, no matter who taught the young boy, the arrogance remained rooted. To a point where he believed he could do more if only his tutors taught him more, greater things. Which led Sparrowhawk, in a moment of heated argument, to summon a being unnatural to this world, tipping the fragile Equilibrium. For this the wizard, powerful or not, will pay with his life, if not with the whole world. That is, if he cannot find the way to undo his stupid mistake. And so his journey begins, running there, chasing here. A journey that’ll hopefully teach him of fear, life, wisdom and humility.

My Opinion: The book has almost adventure-like quality to it, what with the constantly changing surroundings, a need to find something or outrun something. But it’s very linear, and doesn’t even try to be any less predictable. It’s a straight line up the hill, then down the hill, and up it again. To add to that, since the book was originally released in 1968, behind the veils of dragons and spells, there peeks the inequality that seemed normal to authors of the day, but which feels bothersome today.

It’s a well written poor idea. But then, I wonder, if I fully respect the basis of old fantasy, could it get better now that the first book and thus the foundation of the hero is built? I’ll give this one a 4 out of 5 due to sheer respect for what it is from a philosophical standpoint, and probably will give it another shot.

Categories: 4-5, Adventure Books, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | “Grave Importance” by Vivian Shaw | Dr. Greta Helsing 3

grave importance vivian shawAuthor: Vivian Shaw
Title: Grave Importance
Series: Dr Greta Helsing 3
Genre: Urban Fantasy; Vampires
Pages: 397
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Grave Importance” by Vivian Shaw concludes the wonderful Dr Greta Helsing trilogy. I’m going to miss them all very dearly.

About the Book: Down in hell, Greta’s good friend demon Fass is trying to detangle the mess his predecessor left. Somewhere in all this data there’s an answer as of why is the veil of reality thinning so rapidly, and where it originates from. Lucky for him, their common friend Lord Ruthven catches a nasty curse during his travel with the newly found beloved boyfriend, and only the hell’s very own dr Faust can help; where in return Ruthven can help Fass. Greta, in the meantime, is having her own troubles upstairs on Earth. Entrusted to take care of the mummy resort, she’s overloaded with work and stress. Mummies seem to be having a strange attack of random faintness. All well and good if the mummy is sitting or laying down. But what about those in motion? One such she had to fix for strenuous hours, and swore to herself she’ll reach the bottom of this…

My Opinion: Characters are just absolutely wonderful and lovable, and thus will be very greatly missed now that the great tale of infernal adventures have ended. The story itself is good too, very fitting lazy reading, taking it on a slower pace than it is told, which again makes me sad, for I don’t have another book like this I could take my time with.

A masterful piece. Strong 5 out of 5 and then some.

Categories: 5-5, Adventure Books, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Supernatural, demons, Nosferatu Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French | The Lot Lands 1

the grey bastards jonathan french the lot landsAuthor: Jonathan French
Title: The Grey Bastards
Series: The Lot Lands 1
Genre: High Fantasy
Pages: 529
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Thick books are hard to review, for they tend to encompass a very long period of time, with too many events happening. Such is “The Grey Bastards” by Jonathan French, a great book that doesn’t really fit in a single paragraph to express what was it all about.

About the Book: Jackal and his other half-orc brothers and sisters, The True Bastards, lived a relatively easy life in the Lot Lands, all up until a series of events, starting with a single pebble, sent down this mountain of almost leisure down in an avalanche. An argument with knights, a stolen and sold elven girl in the hands of the nastiest possible monster, an appearance of half-orc wizard, a being unheard of… There’s a tension for war in the air, with almost every possible enemy. Jackal isn’t sure their old chief is capable of keeping them all alive, and the wind already smells of blood.

My Opinion: I do greatly enjoy books told from non-human perspectives; extra points for them not being elves too. Nothing against elves, I love them dearly, but I’m pretty sure we’re all a little too used to fantasy meaning elves and dwarves as the only possible adventurers. Characters are written well, with tales of their own, even if their characters sometimes blend together. The book is a pretty good example of what’s epic fantasy adventure like, but made better by overload of filthy jokes, down to earth heroes, and clever beasts. The only problem I had were the overly long discussions that led nowhere, or to conclusions that could’ve been reached in two sentences.

A good book, not the best, but definitely good, so a 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Adventure Books, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, dark fantasy, epic fantasy, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Streams of Silver by R.A. Salvatore | high fantasy

streams of silver r.a. salvatore high fantasy book cover forgotten realms dark elf legend of drizztAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: Streams of Silver
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 5
Genre: High Fantasy; Adventure Lit.
Pages: 349
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

At times it’s good to rest with known characters in unknown lands. Such was “Streams of Silver” by R.A. Salvatore, fifth book in The Legend of Drizzt series, second book in the second trilogy of it. And it’s just getting better and better.

About the Book: Drizzt, our infamous kind-hearted dark elf, allows his dwarven friend to convince him to embark on yet another deadly dangerous expedition. This time it’s to find the legendary Mithril Halls, where the dwarf originates from. He, due to trauma of the battle that has left no survivors, and turned the legendary kingdom into a fairy tale, a myth, cannot recall much of it, just the general existence of it. But one thing is clear to everyone in the party off onto an adventure: neither the path there, nor the Halls themselves will be safe. For whatever destroyed the Mithril Halls might very well still lurk in the deep darkness underground.

My Opinion: Oh, this was good. This was Moria meets Deep Roads good. With foes in the dark, forgotten evil magic awaiting, darkness taking shape. And treasure filled halls, history of ancient dwarven kingdom wiped out.

These are really great so far. Could definitely recommend to anyone into classic adventure-filled high fantasy. A 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Adventure Books, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, dark fantasy, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | 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

book review | The Henchmen of Zenda by K.J. Charles

henchmen of zenda kj charles book coverAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: The Henchmen of Zenda
Series: –
Genre: LGBT+ Literature; Adventures
Pages: 232
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

Finally! At last I got to read The Henchmen of Zenda by K.J. Charles, a book for which I’ve read The Prisoner of Zenda. You don’t need to, but it definitely adds an amusement factor to already know a great deal about some villains, and then see them in KJC spotlight.

About the Book: A tale as old as time, two brothers fighting for a throne. Yet, usually it is pretty clear who’s the good guy in this all, and so you’d know whom to cheer on. But Jasper Detchard, Black Michael’s man, can see neither of them to be good or proper, fit to lead the whole country. Still, his job is to get rid of the opponent in such a manner that the blame doesn’t fall on Black Michael. Which turns out is not such an easy feat, even with a drunkard like the king of Ruritania. It’s just that they just had the king. And yet there he is, getting crowned. Almost like he could be in two places at once. Or had a doppelganger!

My Opinion: This is such a classic adventure book, full of sword fights, villains, princesses, courtesans, imposters, and so on. The plot is thick with intrigue, double-crossing, allies in unlikely places, brave souls, attacks on stormy nights, and consolation in lover’s arms. I loved this book, it was the best damn thing, and I will re-read it as time allows at last.

A great book. 5 out of 5, I’ll spare you the words.

Categories: 5-5, Adventure Books, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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