Books: Fantasy

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland | White Trash Zombie 2

1Author: Diana Rowland
Title: Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues
Series: White Trash Zombie 2
Genre: Zombies, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 312
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Alright, rested from series, so back to series. So far all things go by the TBR plan for October. I picked up second book in Diana Rowland series White Trash Zombie, the “Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues“, and… Well. I still think that it would not have been such a phenomena if we had a vampire instead of a zombie, for that is the only distinction between these books and many others out there, other than this one solid fact.

About: Where do I even start. Angel is bettering herself, and fixing her life up. Her boyfriend, in the meantime, is doing his best to entangle her into his family, and friend circle. This is how Angel gets to know his best friend and former classmate, if I remember right, who is doing her very best, and her very hardest to find a way to make brain substitute for zombies to feed on. And this is where the fun and weird, and less fun but still weird things begin. On her way to morgue with a body Angel gets stopped by a masked man who takes the body at gunpoint, and escapes with it. Later on it also turns out the damn body belonged to a formerly dead zombie. A man died twice, somehow regenerated his whole damn body, died again and got kidnapped! Angel got two questions about this though. One: if the guy was really that zombie, that same one, and really regrew his whole body, how the hell did he age while still being a zombie, which he definitely was judging by the lack of brain smell? And two: who and why the hell is doing this shit?!

Mine: Angel is the biggest reason I’m still keen on giving these books no less than four stars. She’s simple, she has a mouth on her, she knows when there’s no reason to take offence even if she could, but she has an opinion, a character, a backbone, and good understanding of what good people are. I really do like her now. This book gets props for detective line too. With every piece of the puzzle revealed and put to place – the game changed for the players. Enemies became friends, and friends became enemies. Yet, at the same time, not all Angel’s theories turned out to be true, so author very successfully kept pushing me off the road.

So, all in all, these are not bad books. I’ve simply read plenty like these. But that doesn’t seem like a reason to take points away, so for the time being I’m willing to give it a 4 out of 5 again. If you want an interesting but simple read, these might really work for you. It got the strong female lead, understanding of what’s a healthy and what’s a toxic relationship, and some fine adventures too.

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, urban fantasy, zombies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Charlaine Harris “Midnight Crossroad” | Midnight, Texas 1

3Author: Charlaine Harris
Title: Midnight Crossroad
Series: Midnight, Texas 1
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery
Pages: 305
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Some time ago Charlaine Harris has held a contest on her Twitter to win her trilogy “Midnight, Texas“. I attended. And, being the lucky bastard that I am, I won. And then kept them until October, until now!

About: Midnight is a small town, regular, ordinary, as many other in Texas. Passer-by’s don’t linger, and locals know it’s likely their permanent home. For Midnight is a town where no one asks you anything about your reasons or past without a very great need. And everyone in Midnight has secrets. Manfred Bernardo, a psychic with a semblance of true gift, moved here in search for privacy, and has found plenty of it, even if locals do seemed strange at first. But then, he also got here just in time for some gruesome adventures… On a picnic day one of the local women walks upon a well deteriorated corpse. And since only one person is missing from their little town, conclusions come naturally: someone has killed the runaway woman, who might not have been a runaway after all. And that someone is a local. That someone might very well sit among them in this picnic.

Mine: While I do believe this book is likely set in the same world as Sookie Stackhouse, due to mention of synthetic blood, the stories are absolutely unrelated, and I’m not even sure people here already know about vampires. Because this town has one, but people react to him weird. Now, the detective line is definitely of Charlaine Harris top-notch quality that has spoiled me so much. You never know when she’ll trick you, twist you, turn you on a wrong path, and then hand you the truth that you’ve not expected one damn bit. So yes, this is a good detective. Also, there is a talking cat. Not a shifter, a real, actual, grumpy, sassy kitty cat who is so awesome, and whom I love very much, and whom I hope to see in all the rest of the books.

This wasn’t a perfect start for the trilogy, but definitely a good one. I am very eager to continue with the story, and hope to see the cat again. 4 out of 5 so far.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Mystery Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Diana Rowland “My Life as a White Trash Zombie” | White Trash Zombie 1

2Author: Diana Rowland
Title: My Life as a White Trash Zombie
Series: White Trash Zombie 1
Genre: Horror, Zombie
Pages: 320
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I heard so many good things about “White Trash Zombie” series by Diana Rowland, that, seeing how it’s October and it takes certain kinds of books to deal with the spooky cravings, I picked up the first book: “My Life as a White Trash Zombie“. Better late than never, I thought. And yet for the life of me I can’t figure out what’s the hype all about.

About: Angel Crawford wakes up in a hospital after a terrible car crash. Except that, there’s not a scratch on her, and the angry nurse nearby tells her she’s here because she overdosed on drugs. But just because Angel looks fine and healthy on the outside, doesn’t mean she’s alright on the inside. In fact, that don’t even mean she’s alive on the inside. Anonymous who has left her clothing, has also gotten her a job in the morgue. And here Angel notices there’s something fundamentally different about her, when her belly growls with protests of hunger at the smell of human brains in a freshly open skull. But then, even if she wasn’t salivating at the smell and sight every time, she would’ve noticed something’s strange happening here anyway. Like, how on Earth so many bodies get in with their heads missing, or their heads mutilated, with brains no longer suitable for her likes? It’s almost like someone’s sabotaging her kind, the Zombie kind, on purpose…

Mine: Angel is a very dull character. And the detective line was very mediocre too. It was good, it just wasn’t that good. The only thing very special about this book is that we have high-functioning zombies, instead of vampires. And there’s a whole myth about them, aka whole explanation of how it works, why it works, how the feeding happens, and why it needs to happen. So that part’s interesting. But, well, that’s that.

It’s a first book, so while it was mighty slow, I won’t hold it against it. I’ll give it a 4 out of 5 for now, and see how next book fares in compare, before making a judgement. After all, I got through Chicagoland Vampires, and White Trash Zombie is definitely better.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, urban fantasy, zombies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joely Sue Burkhart “Queen Takes Queen” | Their Vampire Queen 3

1Author: Joely Sue Burkhart
Title: Queen Takes Queen
Series: Their Vampire Queen 3
Genre: Paranormal, Polyamorous
Pages: 286
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Little by little we’re easing into the court of intrigues of “Their Vampire Queen” books. No pun intended. I’ve read through this one in a single sitting, even if it wasn’t the best one so far, it was still pretty damn fine.

About: Even though Shara has protected her nest with her blood, and tamed herself a vampire King who shifts into a Leviathan on her will, the enemies still seek ways in, they still seek to hurt her, harm her, kill those Bloods who serve her. Luckily, the new ones have brought with themselves their gods too, and so there’s now whole new means of self-preservation at hand. But, in the long run, even all the gods they could possibly pray to for help and protection will not save them if Tribune or Sitting Queens decide to take her out. Shara has only one choice: make a Sib (Sibling) alliance with another Queen. And while there are those who already offered her their hearts, hands, bloods, and nests, how can Shara possibly know whom to trust? Especially after such intricate attacks as fighter ants burrowing from beneath her nest soil.

Mine: A great battle with warrior ants I never thought I’d witness. Most powerful vampires, leviathan, dragons, bears, descendants of gods… Fighting ants. That was a sight to behold. But that’s what makes these books so damn special to me. For one, the vampires feel like aliens, like they’re from another planet, the damn Asgard, Valhalla, wherever the hell. They’re inhuman, and they’re amazing. I’m not sure how to take the fact that their gods can hear their prayers and choose to respond though. If we assume this is Urban Fantasy, then it’s just strange, and a little something extra to distinguish vampires from humans. But if not, then it feels almost like such High-Fantasy borderline Sci-Fi books as, say, Chronicles of Erlick, with warriors set by gods, gods who pull them out of the reality periodically to instruct them further, to empower them. Either way, this is good.

The story was a bit too slow for my liking, and there were a few other nuances I didn’t appreciate much (stuff others might enjoy, so I won’t tarnish the book with my personal preferences). But other than that, I really do feel like we’re finally on a highway to Tribune. 4 out of 5 for this one, with hopes I won’t have to wait too long for the next book.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, F/F Literature, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Nosferatu Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chloe Neill “Blade Bound” | Chicagoland Vampires 13

1Author: Chloe Neill
Title: Blade Bound
Series: Chicagoland Vampires 13
Genre: Paranormal, Vampire
Pages: 384
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

And so here I am, after a year long ride, if I’m not wrong, finally done with Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill. There were good books, bad, really bad, and good books again. And this one, last one, has ended on one of those good notes.

About: On her return from wedding preparations Merit hurries into Sullivan’s office to leave him a note. But instead of finding him there, or just an empty room as was more expected, she runs into a poorly looking man. He, looking irritated, and like he had no sleep for weeks to go, is getting more and more agitated, demanding the screaming to stop. After a short little brawl that ends him in a hospital, where he does recover, the episode reoccurs on a broader scale. Mostly among people who were at the epicenter of Alchemical Magic explosion from the previous book. People are driven nuts by the voices in their head, fighting each other, fighting others. And if that’s not enough, the rest of the Chicago is about to turn against vampires and other supernaturals too. For the air is tinged with an odd smell, and ever dropping cold that has already encased their lake in solid ice, and will likely kill all the flora that isn’t used to surviving Chicago’s winters. Something dark is brewing, and it is very, very angry…

Mine: Wichcraft and Alchemy got separated very clearly here. Author used such real life mystery sources as Voynich manuscript for a big portion of the magic present, and while I believe the translation of the said manuscript was much too simple, I do still like what was made using it. And how they fought against it. Other than some good battles, and Merit’s sudden loss of apetite while in moral debates over whether she even wants a child in a world like this, it wasn’t all that bad and teeth-rotting sweet as I feared. I shouldn’t have said “other than” there, I know, makes no sense. Anyway, Merit and Sullivan got married. They had a baby at the very end of the book, thus skipping the often annoying part of a lot of fiction where hero is going through her first pregnancy. They all gathered for a birthday party with their kids, and each one had a very different experience on parenting. A fair ending.

From what I gather now, I think author simply got too big of a goal set for her, or set for herself. Three hundred pages per thirteen books can’t be an easy task even if you do have lots and lots of ideas. Thus some books lost their plot quality, some even very greatly. But, other than that, and this time I am using it in the right place, on the right time, her humor always remained good and simple, cracking me up time, and time again. Vampires were decent, for I still don’t appreciate them being so human-like. Shifters were even better. So the last book gets a solid 4 out of 5 from me. And now they got to the bottom of my e-shelf, for I am absolutely done.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jordan L. Hawk “Necropolis” | Whyborne & Griffin 4

3Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Necropolis
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 4
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Pages: 200
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Alright, time to continue a bit with Whyborne & Griffin before I forgot all about everything. Especially since these books didn’t fit into my October TBR, and since they are nice, and easy to read. Nothing too big, but not too little either.

About: After a mostly unsuccessful Christmas diner at Whyborne’s family, the couple’s Holiday is cut short by Christine’s hurried telegram explaining nothing at all, but requesting Whyborne to get to Egypt ASAP. Being a great introvert, Whyborne didn’t want to go, and had to be persuaded by Griffin, and a ghoul that attacked him at work. For in Egypt, under the dead scorched sands, something darkness is waking. Something evil, hungry, and very angry. And Christine, unknowingly, is stepping right in the middle of it.

Mine: People getting mad at Whyborne, because they thought he and Christine had a fling worked very well here. Best was Christine’s response when confronted about it: “ew“. These little incidents worked well with otherwise pretty stressful plot with too obvious villains, and too obvious masked heroes. I mean, I understand it’s not the goal of these books to serve you a detective, but… Ah, it don’t matter. The books are well written. The adventure was built in a perfectly smooth pace, with pauses for discussion, regrouping, a little bit of romance, and a little bit of comic relief, that this time came in a shape of a camel who stole Whyborne’s hats. Yes, multiple.

These are very light reads, and so far are fun too. Not utterly captivating, but I can still give it a solid 4 out of 5, and continue in November. Because really, why not? They might not put you on the edge of the chair, but they definitely won’t have you bored!

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Historical Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chloe Neill “Midnight Marked” | Chicagoland Vampires 12

1Author: Chloe Neill
Title: Midnight Marked
Series: Chicagoland Vampires 12
Genre: Paranormal, Vampires
Pages: 361
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

One of those books I’ve read twice, back to back, because I just felt like I missed something. Turns out, it’s just that thin of a broth here. Ah well, only one more in the series left to go.

About: Someone’s casting an alchemical net over the Chicago, and it’s huge. And, judging by the supernatural corpses, it means no good either. Merit and her happy little bunch gather up, invade the library, and begin their attempts to translate what pieces they found, just to find out – they’re in a dead end. In the meantime the biggest mobster in Chicago, who held many a supernatural in his pocket, has made a move again, and this time, it seems, he wants to take Sullivan down. Sullivan, being an or becoming an idiot, is easily baited, whether he knows he’s biting bait or not. And I, the reader, sit here wondering who and where got all of these war axes from.

Mine: I have issues with witchcraft and alchemy being put into one and the same pot. Especially when author clearly mentioned FMA as one of her loved sources of inspiration or knowledge, so she knows it, she’s seen it, but she still had a witch cast an alchemy spell, and a programmer make an algorithm that correctly translates it. I’m yet to find a translator that correctly translates into English, so that’s some hardcore fantasy right there. To add to that, their obsession with food got to me. It was funny for a while, but now it’s like reading Joey Tribbiani’s from Friend’s biography: sex, food, food, sex, girls on bread! And if you think that wasn’t enough for me to get the score so low, let me add my favorite stuff: bad guys magically escape cells, the biggest and baddest kick the bucket unwillingly, Merit’s the bigger man who won’t have someone’s blood on her hands in this one particular instance, and now we’re definitely on the magical baby track. At least she confronted Sullivan about fake proposals NOT being funny.

I feel like this was the scraping of the bottom of the barrel. I guess there really needed to be thirteen books. I do hope it ends with a bang, because this one gets 2 out of 5 from me, no more.

Categories: 2-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, urban fantasy, 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

Chloe Neill “Dark Debt” | Chicagoland Vampires 11

3Author: Chloe Neill
Title: Dark Debt
Series: Chicagoland Vampires 11
Genre: Vampires, Paranormal
Pages: 368
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads 

I admit right away, my rate to this book is full-on biased, because of the implication of vampire mobsters. It wasn’t as great as it sounds, but hey, it made my reading time better, so why not take it and run with it?

About: The more hints there were, that Sullivan’s master Balthazar was alive, the more he denied such a possibility. And then the man just waltzed into their house like he owned it. Merit’s resistances got shattered, and a whole new horror of magic suddenly showed itself.
In the meantime, house Navarre is in a lot of trouble. Their previous master, apparently, loved luxury and perfection, and thus ended up indebted to the mob. Mob with enough balls to make quite a few supernatural houses and clans dance. And now they want their payback.
So, of course, Merit’s in the middle of it all.

Mine: Author has a great sense of humor. If nothing else, I can really give her props for that, she made me laugh in every single book so far, no matter whether I loved the story or hated it. There’s also a lot of references to other things, movies, books, video games, and I do appreciate that too. And then the mobsters. Listen, I can’t help myself. I love vampires, and I love crime books. And I love when these two very different genres on very different Children of the Night try to work together. Usually it fails so hard it’s funny. And usually, like right now, I don’t even mind anyway.

I kinda really hope that these anne-rice-ish pale-faced gangsters will appear in the next book too, they seemed to have the gall and backing for it. But, hope is just that, hope. 4 out of 5 for this one, and on to the next.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Crime Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joely Sue Burkhart “Queen Takes Knights” | Their Vampire Queen 1

1Author: Joely Sue Burkhart
Title: Queen Takes Knights
Series: Their Vampire Queen 1
Genre: Vampire, Romance, Erotica
Pages: 190
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I found this doom, gloom, darkness, and blood cover, and of course it lured me in to give it a shot. The fact that it’s so short also helped. I figured I can read it between Chicagoland Vampires for a break. Though, mind you, pay attention to the genre and make sure you’re okay with the combo, for a lot of action is bed-based, and there’s blood as due to vampires.

About: Shara was hunted by monsters as long as she can remember. Creatures that come as the night falls, thirsty for blood, her blood. They killed her parents too, and she thought this night was her last, for she has been caught outside, with no shelter in sight, nor weapons at hand. But as the end seemed inevitable, two mighty fellas dropped in, and crushed the thralls like ants, promptly falling to their knees before Shara right after. For she is their Vampire Queen. She gives purpose to their life, as long as she’ll have them, and allow them to serve her. But this newly found Queen has so many questions, that the whole serving part might get delayed due to little detective line unfurling.

Mine: Vampires here seem to operate a lot like bee hives. There’s a Queen, who attracts a court of Bloods around her, and they serve her for it is in their nature to follow her will. Queens can be found in the wild, so, living among humans and such, or other courts, of which there’s only a brief mention before the end of the book, so there’s likely plenty of these little (and big) hives they call nests all over. Now, as for the erotica part, blood and sex go hand in hand here, so keep that in mind. And even beside this whole ordeal, I did really enjoy the darker take on vampires. It’s refreshing after all the humans with fangs who drink blood and happen to be immortal.

I liked this, I think I’ll continue with it. Seeing how short they are, I do think they’ll be good break-books. But I’d avoid audiobooks, the female voice… I would’ve preferred someone more mature sounding for the Queen. For now I give it a 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Gothic Books, LGBTQ+ Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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