Books: Fantasy

dracula | “Raising Hell” by John G. Hartness | Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter 1

1Author: John G. Hartness
Title: Raising Hell
Series: Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter 1
Genre: Vampires, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 110
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I love re-tellings of Stoker’s Dracula, prequels, sequels, different perspectives. So I was very excited for what I found! A story of Quincy Harker, the son of Mina and Johnathan Harkers. That’s my this month’s Dracula book, for Dracula is indeed here.

About: Quincy is a demon hunter who calls Dracula his uncle, is on great “bail you out of jail time, and time again” terms, and is in general your long lost Winchester brother (10 points to your Hogwarts house if you get the reference) who gets his ass grated if he doesn’t visit the said uncle often enough.

This city of his has its share of supernatural junk all over the place. Not the least being the bar owning demon in cat’s body who can’t resist the urge to knock shit off the tables. But when someone starts killing off nephilims and draining their blood, well… That’s more of an evil shit a human would do. But why? Oh, and who?

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Mine: I have not laughed so hard in a long time. Every joke, every other line out of Quincy’s mouth, is a killer. There’s a real nice familiar demonology here too, the encyclopedia-wiki friendly kind that we’re used to. None of that “let me rewrite it, so I’m unique” stuff. I love it, for I am real tired of the hundreds new ways a vampire is a vampire, if I’m being honest. The book itself is very short, real easy to read, and be sure, will teach you to cuss like a true demon hunter on a job.

Yep, happy little me is very happy. This one gets a strong 5 out of 5, and I will likely take the second one for the next month right away, even if something else was in the plans. We’ll see.

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Categories: 5-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Supernatural, dark fantasy, Dracula: General, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

sci-fi | “Scarlet” by Marissa Meyer | The Lunar Chronicles 2

1Author: Marissa Meyer
Title: Scarlet
Series: The Lunar Chronicles 2
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy
Pages: 454
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I was getting warnings left and right of how I’ll just have to bear through this book, how boring it’ll be, and so on. And yet I liked it very much. I guess it only shows how no matter what your favorite bookbloggers say: only you may know whether you’ll like a book or not.

About: Scarlet’s grandma went missing. And nobody’s doing a thing about it. No, they even go as far as slander her name, saying she was crazy, or that she possibly killed herself, because she left her ID chip behind. But Scarlet knew her grandma, and would never believe such horrible things. Her fears are confirmed when her father breaks into their home and frantically turns everything upside-down, in search of something her grandma hid. You see, he was kidnapped and tortured in front of his own mother, Scarlet’s grandmother, and she’d not give up her secrets anyway. So he must find it on his own, or die trying, since the people who had him, will surely kill him. Scarlet has an idea of what it could be, but she doesn’t trust this man she barely ever saw enough to share the information. Instead, she’s off to find her grandmother on her own.

Mine: This is a very interesting and fun take on Little Red Riding Hood, with very big bad wolves, and lots of red. There’s also a continuation on the monsters from Luna that we saw pictures of in the previous books. I liked Scarlet, she was smart, clever enough to get around and tell Cinder off for lacking the wits, and even being selfish. For Cinder definitely wasn’t around, if you know what I mean. Her decisions sometimes seemed off, arguments – lacked substance. That’s all because her mind was on a whole different matter at all times, but still, Scarlet was a good call of reality. The story itself is well written, easy to read, filled with action, and perfectly paced. Entertainment for hours or even days.

I enjoy the series a lot so far. Hopefully it grows ever better, 4 out of 5 for now, strong.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Fantasy Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

fantasy | “Asunder” by David Gaider | Dragon Age 3

4Author: David Gaider
Title: Asunder
Series: Dragon Age 3
Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy
Pages: 416
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Did you know Dragon Age 4 is in the making? A teaser came out in 2018 December, and I missed it until recently. Announcements are to be expected in this year’s E3. I can barely contain myself. But that was a great excuse to continue with the book series.

About: Blight is over, but troubles are far from it. Kirkwall fell as mage Anders pushed the Chantry, Templars, and the Circle of Magi into an open conflict, forcing everyone’s hand. He believed a change is necessary, and can only happen when there’s no other choice. Otherwise everyone will succumb to the old ways. His actions rippled through Thedas in an echo, creating tension and outright battles.

While some mages, still huddled in their Circles, formed loud political groups, demanding freedoms and rights, others believed there ought to be a better way than lose mages on the world, or mages locked in their towers, away from the world, under constant, maddening surveillance. One of such mages is Wynne. And with the secret support from Divine Justinia herself, she sets off to a former Grey Wardens keep, now left scared due to a fairly recent demon outbursts. For, you see, Wynne seeks a friend there. A friend who has become an abomination against all odds. For this friend was a Tranquil, cut away from the Fade, and all human emotions, made as unsavory for demons as a rock would be. And thus, the answer to how this happened, and how it affected the said Tranquil might just be what they all need.

Mine: The setting of this book is right after the second game, and just before the third one. There’s very many familiar faces, names, places. Some very interesting lore, a bit of history, and a good handful of nostalgia to those who have played their share of Hero of Ferelden, or Champion of Kirkwall. On top of that, one of the most prominent characters in this book is a young man called Cole, who people either can’t see or if they saw him – they forget all about it. The only true minus I got for this book is that there was truly plenty of time for walking and talking spared. Of course, it’s understandable, if you remember the maps in the third game, for those are the ones they cover in this book. But still, pacing could be just a little brisker.

I loved it alright. There wasn’t even a chance that I didn’t love it. 4 out of 5. Ah how I wish I could replay them all now…

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

fantasy | “Season of Storms” by A. Sapkowski | Witcher Saga 0

9Author: Andrzej Sapkowski
Title: Season of Storms
Series: The Witcher Saga 0
Genre: Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
Pages: 419
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I never expected to pick up another book from the Witcher Saga after I finished the original one. Author himself once claimed he has no intentions on writing more, unless he’d be very, very short of money. And only recently did I find out how little in truth he got from the whole game industry that bought his rights to these marvelous characters. Yet, all in all, I believe he wrote it, because he wanted to write it, all reasons aside.

About: We all get those streaks of bad luck sometimes. To Geralt they began when he was asked to put his swords in a locker for safe-keeping. And, of course, they went missing. It seems that all things that could go wrong – did go wrong. Here he ends up on a boat with crew who robbed a relentless, vengeful creature. There he killed a beast that turned out to be a genetic experiment by one of the oldest mages alive. Top it with a fool goetia practitioner, and you have a whole pot of horseshit at your hands. And while Dandelion is writing romantic ballads out of these troubles, and Geralt tracks his swords, a storm brews around them. For such is the season, of storms. And what is a witcher in such a season, without his swords?

Mine: I really missed this. I missed Geralt, his badass skill, inhuman abilities, ace level sarcasm, and his extreme love for every sorceress he ever lays eyes upon. I missed Dandelion’s attempts to bravery too, and all the possible jokes they told each other, including the “that time this beast barged in on Vesimir in the latrine” stuff. The book is marked as zero, a stand-alone, but I do really strongly suggest you read it after you’re done with them all. That way you won’t get spoilers, for there are plenty. And you’ll get to know what happened before, and after that whole ordeal with Ciri has began. It was very interesting.

So while there were some serious hiccups, I must say, if you’re as nostalgic for Witcher books as I was, you’ll like this one. I’m giving it a very strong 4 out of 5. Would happily add points for the song Dandelion put together at the end, and that one dwarf…

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

sci-fi | “Monster M.D.” by Leighton Lawless

2Author: Leighton Lawless
Title: Monster M.D.
Series: –
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Pages: 366
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

I really love movie “Bright” on Netflix. It’s full of beautiful views and is packed with action. This book was recommended to me as similar to it: with the basis being a war between monsters and humans, so certain races.

About: Back in the day, when monsters got first discovered, a misinformation was spread of their condition being viral. Aka if you hang around tall people, you will become taller. This allowed humans to push monsters out into secondary class citizenship, underground. But they adjusted, adapted, and prevailed. Which would’ve been fine, since they got out of the way, if not for some scientists trying to debunk viral monsters theory.

A war is brewing. News coverage shows angles that paint monsters as aggressors. And only one man can save the day. The same man whose father got torn apart my monsters back in the day.

Mine: I normally like harem / polyamorous books, but this was just horrible. All of the characters were so shallow, so basic, so very hard-aimed to make the main hero shine in the best light. And he too was a very mediocre character, being the cliche of dorky geek growing up to be the most wanted hottie around. So while they sat around, thinking how to free this one particular monster, using a simulator to predict possible outcomes, this hottie went out to build strategies out of rat shit. Everyone waited for him to figure it out too, even if some already knew what to do and had ideas they didn’t feel like sharing. Why, you ask? Well, how else will the reader know this man is not only hot, but also smart?

This is a no. 2 out of 5, I’m out.

Categories: 2-5, About Msg2TheMing, Books: Fantasy, Fantasy Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

sci-fi | “Wayward Saint” by J.S. Morin

1Author: J.S. Morin
Title: Wayward Saint
Series: Black Ocean: Mercy for Hire 1
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Pages: 175
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

So you know how I like to pick up random books, right? And you know how they turn out to be real good often too, yes? Well, this is not it. A science fiction book with a dash of fantasy in it, and a story much too common and familiar.

About: Esper is a very bad bounty hunter. After a very traumatic childhood, she went ahead to a monastery or something, and learned herself some magic. Doing so she decided she wants to help people. And is doing exactly that, even while not being a good bounty hunter.

Her current task is a teenager whom both her parents seek separately. Esper is hired by the mother, seemingly a far better choice, for her father is a known vicious gangster. But the kid doesn’t want to be caught and taken back. She keeps escaping, choosing life in boxes, dark alleys, over, what, a loving mother? Story becomes ever clearer as Esper is doing her best to catch up with the girl. Neither of the parents is a saint, and it’s all a question of who is the lesser evil here.

Mine: Plastic surgery is beyond norm here. Mothers are all vicious and jealous of their daughters, doing their best to be more sexy than them. Sex is a great driving force, whether women want it or not. And lucky for me, there was no sex in this book, for I’m not sure I’d like it in such a concept. Characters were sadly pretty darn dull, lacking personality, and following a trope pattern. Possibly not an intended one, but hey, still a present one. The story didn’t redeem anything either, as is common with poorly written characters. But the silver lining remains in general concept of the book. I do believe author has plenty of potential, and it’s only a matter of time, and possibly a better editor, until we get a very fine cup of tea in a book form.

Speaking of which, this was not my cup of tea. I can only give a 3 out of 5, yet will add, that the story was short and light, and reads about the same way as a sci-fi cartoon would, with no overbearing information, common in sci-fi books.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“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.

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

diversity | “Reign of the Fallen” by Sarah Glenn Marsh | 1

3Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Title: Reign of the Fallen
Series: Reign of the Fallen 1
Genre: Fantasy, LGBT Literature
Pages: 374
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

This book has been on my TBR for a very long time now. Back in the day, due to it being Young Adult fantasy, and not Adult fantasy, it got a little bit hyped as an LGBT literature piece. So I figured, between Hawk and KJC, I might as well pick it up sooner than later.

About: In the secluded kingdom of Karthia the dead reign. People, upon the law of their eternal king, refuse any change. So their king and everyone else who can afford the services of the blue-eyed necromancers, get killed periodically, and then brought back from the Deadlands with the help of their close relatives. The dead then must wear shrouds and layers of clothing, for even the slightest piece of them seen by mortal eyes will turn them into all-devouring monsters called Shades.

But even with the change forbidden and the king – honestly caring and loving, not all are happy. Not all are content to be forever second by the table. Not are are okay with being unable to compete with someone who has hundreds of years of experience over them. And, apparently, judging from the greatest Shade Odessa has ever seen, who just tossed mangled body of the greatest, oldest necromancer among them, just as she opened the gates to bring back the king yet again, someone’s ready for some change right now. No matter the price.

Mine: I like a story that doesn’t remind me of any other. I like a hero who is not much of a hero. And I like romance where love is not an obstacle towards something greater. The fantasy in this book could easily be considered high-fantasy. Magic is split into casts according to your eye-color, but apparently isn’t limited to it. And the way it ended leaves the future clear: adventures are on the way. LGBT itself is served similar to the video games such as Elder Scrolls (Oblivion, Skyrim, ESO), meaning: nobody cares whom you love. And is not limited to side characters either. If you like books driven by adventure and revolution, if you liked what Shades of Magic was, and maybe even the Fifth Season, you will surely like this one too. For it is like them, but absolutely not anything like them.

This was a very good book. And while I use this word often these days: it was unique. At times it was a little bit slow, so I can only give it a 4 out of 5, but as pace picked up – I’d forget all about it time and again.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, F/F Literature, Fantasy Books, high fantasy, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“City of Ghosts” by Victoria Schwab | Cassidy Blake 1

2Author: Victoria Schwab
Title: City of Ghosts
Series: Cassidy Blake
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 272
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Wanted something good to end the year with, so I picked up another book by V.E. Schwab. She’s one of my favorite authors, all things well written. I hope someday we get her books translated into Lithuanian, there’s plenty of genres to choose from, and it’d enrich any library.

About: Cassidy has died. Well, not really. She nearly died by drowning in a freezing river. But a ghost boy named Jacob saved her. And ever since – they’re best friends. But beside this new friend and new appreciation to life, Cassidy was left with another gift. She can enter through the Veil of the dead, where spirits who have not moved on reside, often re-living their death over, and over, in a little unchanging bubble. She can see them, talk to them, and, as later turns out, help them move on to wherever dead people go. But all that is by far not as fun as it sounds, and the girl was very happy to go to a summer house for a vacation. Not many ghosts there. Sadly, her parents had different plan. They’d go to the City of Ghosts, Edinburgh, Scotland, instead.

Mine: Wow, okay, I did not expect this to be such an interesting, intense, a bit scary even, story full of great adventures. Schwab writes very well, every detail is polished off, and nothing burdens the reader. To add to that, she can also write her endings well. And here I thought I’m in for a story of best friend ghosts and how we need to learn to let go of those said best friends. It was… Cozy. I know for a fact I would’ve breathed and lived this book if it was given to me in those times when I was reading Harry Potter. Cassidy herself is obsessed with those stories, so it felt familiar, even to my 29 year old self. I enjoyed this very much.

If you got older kids or young teenagers, give them this delight. It’s such a fun read, so well written. I’m real happy to have discovered Victoria Schwab. This book gets 4 out of 5, and I will certainly continue with the series, for I feel it can only get better.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, ghosts, Paranormal, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

“An Easy Death” by Charlaine Harris | Gunnie Rose 1

3Author: Charlaine Harris
Title: An Easy Death
Series: Gunnie Rose 1
Genre: Western, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 336
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I like the easy Charlaine Harris books. They’re simple, but by no means too simple, so it’s always interesting to read. I thought a little on it, and picked up her latest work of Gunnie Rose. Sadly, it was not my cup of tea, even as much as I like alternative history pieces.

About: Lizbeth Rose is a gunnie. Means she’s real good at shooting, and can be hired according to this skill. Due to this profession being real dangerous, what with bandits, wild animals, and other things lurking outside the settlements (and sometimes inside of them too), gunnies don’t tend to live long, and so, for a goodbye wish each other an Easy Death. Yet easy death was not what most of her crew got, all slaughtered. Being the only survivor, Liz picks up her guns and sets off to finish her mission, as any good gunnie would do. Better than mourning or going to find herself a new crew to work with anyway.

Yet due to her fine reputation she didn’t need to look for a job. The job found her in a shape of two Russian wizards. They’re on a mission to find blood descendants of no other than Grigori Rasputin in hopes it’d help save Tsar. And while they can cause enough trouble and death on their own, a gunnie would do good to travel more low-key. Soon they learn the dangers are far greater than anyone anticipated. They learned to trust only each other, and even then doubt, watch for signs. Too often familiar faces were worn by unfamiliar evil. For by far not all love Tsar.

Mine: It was an interesting alternative reality piece. I’m not sure about the exact time, even though I could’ve probably had a better understanding of time if only I paid more attention to the cars mentioned. But if wizards don’t live longer than regular people, then the setting should be somewhat after Rasputin has died. Speaking of wizards, that was the best part of the book. It reminded me a little of Dragon Age magic: circle of magi, a sort of college for mages; they get separated from parents for their own good and safety; tattoos for representing and enhancing powers; people seem wary of them, hateful even, even if they are the most dangerous things walking. But the story itself was lacking. Just as any right western movie, while packed in action, with story inching towards the goal in a steady pace, it was very limited to a camera angle.

I’m not yet sure if I’ll read the next books in the series. We’ll see, right now I have no wish, but I do change my mind time and again. This one gets 3 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 3-5, About Msg2TheMing, Alternative History Books, Books: Everything, urban fantasy, Western Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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