Books: Fantasy

book review | The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist | The Glass Books 1

x the glass books of the dream eaters gordon dahlquistAuthor: Gordon Dahlquist
Title: The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters
Series: The Glass Books 1
Genre: Mystery, Steampunk
Pages: 760
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Good grief. “The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters” by Gordon Dahlquist, first in the Glass Books series, is very excessive. And while not a bad example of Steampunk Mystery, it ain’t a very good one either.

About the Book: A dark and secret cabal is performing unearthly rituals. They’re stealing minds, knowledge, experiences, condensing them into their blue glass books to be used by others. This process enslaves people, transforms them. Or outright kills them. And it’s a tad hard to tell which is worse.

Miss Temple truly did not expect to find all this when she decided to follow her former fiance in attempts to find out if there were any other reasons for why he broke off the engagement. Nor did she expect to find allies such as foreign doctor Svenson, with his masterful ability to not only heal and cure, but make allies out of enemies; or the infamous assassin nick named Cardinal Cheng. For reasons of their own, united they fight against the evil forces, giving it all to survive.

My Opinion: Fantasy doesn’t need iron logic. It only needs it to hold water and have everything work. Here, while we get to spend most the chapters in one or another head of the character, we barely get these vague outlines of why are they doing what they’re doing. For instance, Miss Temple has these ridiculous outbursts of violence that there and here sort of were hinted to as coming from what her father used to be like. Other times she does or thinks the strangest things which then leaves me, as a reader, wonder why the hell was I subject to this. Then there’s the assassin in bright red coat. I imagine he enjoys chasing victims, for I can’t imagine people recognizing the coat to not dash.

It’s not bad, it’s just not good either. 3 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo | Grisha Trilogy 2

siege and storm leigh bardugo.jpgAuthor: Leigh Bardugo
Title: Siege and Storm
Series: Grisha Trilogy 2
Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult
Pages: 435
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

As much as I love the classic fantasy, with elves, dwarves, archers, mages, and lands unknown; I love the unusual fantasy too. Such as Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Or Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. Just finished second book in it, Siege and Storm, and it was as good as the last one, and probably better.

About the Book: Alina and Mal escaped from the Shadow Fold and from its ruler – Darkling. But such a victory is nothing if they want to continue living a life as they know it, not in utter darkness with monsters all around. Hiding their identities they make their way closer back to Ravka, hoping beyond hope to form a good enough plan for the inevitable battle against Darkling and his ever growing powers. And while fate is kind to them, generous with powerful allies, Alina loathes the price it comes with. People worship her as the Sun Queen. They worship her as one of the saints. If she learned anything from those religious books she was made to read is that saints and heroes – don’t live long.

My Opinion: The slight annoyance was the romance-drama. Mal expects Alina to read his mind, and then, when she tries to answer his questions, he just refuses to listen. But that’s just a drop in the water, not worth a point. The story is filled with turns, twists, unexpected happiness, and unexpected despair. Characters are very well written, from thieves, to mercs, to pirates, to kings. And people actually make logical decisions, they don’t just turn coats because of reasons. It was a very good read.

It’s a good book I can recommend to those who want good fantasy, but don’t want it too complicated. A 5 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | Winter by Marissa Meyer | The Lunar Chronicles 4

winter by marissa meyer the lunar chroniclesAuthor: Marissa Meyer
Title: Winter
Series: The Lunar Chronicles 4
Genre: Fantasy; Sci-Fi
Pages: 827
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Ah, finished The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer with the last book in it: Winter. It was magical, wonderful, and oh the atmosphere. Author really knows how to write a good atmosphere.

About the Book: A common worker in an iron grip of the evil step mother Queen Levana, bombarded with constant illusions that Queen herself is delusional enough to believe, constant surveillance and threat of death, has no means to fight against oppression. But a rumor spreads like wildfire, a rumor of a long lost hope, long lost princess Selene. Rumor claims she’s here, among them. This is enough to bring a time of revolution about. This hope is enough to get them fighting. It is time for the Queen Levana to fall.

My Opinion: It’s a great book, truly. Due to everyone receiving their happy endings, story got a little long winded. But when characters are so nice and well written, it’s a pleasure to read, not a chore. There’s battles, there’s tension, there’s dangerous mind-controlling mages of sorts, and genetically engineered werewolves, and a crazy girl whose kindness melted even their savage hearts. The only true con I have for this book is the lack of motivation behind Cinder’s actions. She doesn’t remember Luna as her home, she doesn’t feel at home there, she wants to go back to Earth and not be a princess. So why did she fight so hard? Just because she wanted Levana off the throne?

Great book, great series. I highly recommend, and give it a 5 out of 5. 

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

book review | Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | Grisha Trilogy 1 | fantasy

shadow and bone leigh bardugo.jpgAuthor: Leigh Bardugo
Title: Shadow and Bone
Series: Grisha Trilogy 1
Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult
Pages: 358
Rate:  5/5 | Goodreads

Time to rest from all the poorly written horror literature. I’ve decided I need to lessen the unread series that I’ve got, especially the ones I got at home. And since Grisha Trilogy is being made into series (or a movie?) it only made sense to start with the first book in this trilogy, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I’ve been recommended this book many times, by several people. I get it now.

About the Book: Ravka is being torn apart by wars and the darkness at its heart – Shadow Fold, full of monsters so fierce it’s getting hard to pass even for magic wielding grisha. Same goes for war. Magical warriors, even led by the terrifying Darkling, cannot stand against ever advancing, technologically ever improving enemy. Magic, after all, hardly helps against a bullet to the head. But upon witnessing the orphan Alina Starkov’s power – hope blooms in all the Ravka citizens hearts, including the black heart of the Darkling. For she has a power that can stop not only the enemy, but Shadow Fold itself.

My Opinion: The book is written really well, is consistent and uniform through and through. Reader is allowed some suspicions, but never enough to foresee the upcoming twist of events; which take place in this slavic country Ravka. Lithuania borders with slavic countries, making it all sound familiar. Like reading a more of a fairy tale version of The Witcher Saga (but completely different, and not really a fairy tale either), full of dark forests, magical stags, and magicians. A truly wonderful book I can recommend to those who want something they won’t be able to put down.

I hope to finish the whole trilogy this month. Maybe next month I can give Six of Crows, also by Leigh Bardugo, a chance too. We’ll see. And for now, Shadow and Bone gets 5 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | The Enchanter’s Soul by Michele Notaro | The Ellwood Chronicles 2

the enchanters soul michele notaro book coverAuthor: Michele Notaro
Title: The Enchanter’s Soul
Series: The Ellwood Chronicles
Genre: LGBT Literature; Paranormal Romance
Pages: 304
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Eh, okay. I’ve read “The Enchanter’s Soul” by Michele Notaro, and I don’t think I’ll read the third one. It’s a bit too shallow for my liking, with those annoying “I won’t listen to you” tropes that ruin any good romance.

About the Book: Supernaturals are fleeing into human territory, away from horrors and slaughter being committed on their lands that leave entire clans in shambles. One or two such instances would be understandable. But Sebastian and Ailin barely have time to catch their breaths between these events. That paired with Sebastian’s newly found Enchanter’s powers is worrying Ailin to no end. What if the wrong people find out? What if wrong people already know?

My Opinion: It’s a short and shallow story, safely and predictably written. Romance got ruined by lovers quarrel that could be resolved if one of them would stop acting like a baby, refusing to listen. If your trust can be crushed that easily, you’ve not had any trust to begin with.

It’s not a bad book per say, and could serve someone as a comfort read during the cold autumn evenings. Not my cup of tea though, 3 out of 5.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Books: Romance, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, paranormal romance, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device by James Aquilone | Dead Jack 1

dead jack and the pandemonium device james aquilone book coverAuthor: James Aquilone
Title: Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device
Series: Dead Jack 1
Genre: Horror Literature, Humor
Pages: 211
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

When I saw Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device by James Aquilone book cover, I knew I’m going to like it. For the same reason I liked Skulduggery Pleasant books: noir vibe with a dead-man for a detective. Dark but simple humor with dirty streaks to it.

About the Book: Jack is a detective in Pandemonium, a realm between life, death, heaven, and hell. He’s pretty good at what he does, even though his partner, a homunculus who one day just moved into the empty cavern of Jack’s skull, would highly disagree: his plans are reckless, poorly thought out, and even deadly. Jack is also a zombie with a fairy dust addiction. According to him, that’s the only thing that keeps the flesh craving at bay. His partner doesn’t necessarily believe that either, but here Jack is. Out of dust, approaching a leprechaun for more. Except instead of dust he gets his ass roasted. And, let’s just say… Leprechaun meat is delicious.

My Opinion: The book consists out of small little mysteries, and one big one that drives the plot, gives back-story, world building, and background to people in Pandemonium, including Jack and his origins of being. There’s plenty of real fun and great things, like mermaids who want to eat you, and pixies who are a bit too big to be pixies, because their mothers were indeed pixies, but their father’s were human men, and nobody wants to ask HOW, nobody. And due to Jack not taking himself too seriously too, we get this great fast paced book full of dark and sometimes a bit vulgar humor, daring plans that somehow work, and heroes in the most unlikely places.

That was a great fun of a book, I can’t wait to put my hands on the second one. This one gets a 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Funny!, Books: Horror, Books: Supernatural, dark fantasy, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, zombies | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Crystal Shard by R.A. Salvatore | The Legend of Drizzt 4

crystal shard the legend of drizzt dark elf salvatore book coverAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: The Crystal Shard
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 4
Genre: Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 344
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I keep craving classical fantasy, something like J.R.R. Tolkien, or Peter S. Beagle, or Frizt Leiber. I’d even happily read George R.R. Martin’s next book in the Song of Fire and Ice if it was out, but since it isn’t… I picked up another book by R.A. Salvatore, a fourth book in the Legend of Drizzt series in The Forgotten Realms. The Crystal Shard is the first book in the second trilogy in the Legend of Drizzt series, The Icewind Dales, and it was good, with a promise for better.

About the Book: An enthralled mage, ruled over by a demon he foolishly tried to summon now influences the minds of warring folk, and leads great armies towards the Icewind Dales, a place our dark elf Drizzt calls home. So, the moment he spots a sign of it in the horizon, he hurries to warn people. It’ll take a force of the whole united peoples to withstand this, but rulers are having hard time believing a word of a dark elf, especially since there’s no proof. They don’t wish to abandon their fishing boats and homes for an alliance that might not even be needed. And when they’ll have their proof, Drizzt fears it’ll be gravely too late.

My Opinion: The one point I took away is for the slightly forced sense of honor. While it’s a trait very common in classical fantasy, I find it bitterly annoying when people do what’s right, and not what’s logical. Still, the book was amazing! Full of great battles against barbarians, giants, orcs, mages, demons! And it ended with a note of a great adventure in the next one, so I’m really looking forwards to it.

A great book to satisfy that classic High Fantasy craving, a firm 4 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson | Mistborn 3

the hero of ages brandon sanderson mistbornAuthor: Brandon Sanderson
Title: The Hero of Ages
Series: Mistborn 3
Genre: Epic Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 572
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’ve finished the last book in the first trilogy of Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson (I say “first trilogy”, because there’s sequels that are far in the future), The Hero of Ages. And I am speechless to say the least.

About the Book: The very world is ending. Ash falls from the sky, blackening, burying fields. Mists remain during the days, and go as far as kill people, or make them sick. Scared, hungry, and under constant threat, they huddle together and seek hope. In religions sprouting, in rulers rising. It serves as one of the sharpest tools in Ruin’s hands, for he can find access to emotional, irrational, hopeful mind, and steer them. This is something Vin and Elend learn the hard way, and despair. For how can you fight an enemy that can change the written letters, and twist your very spoken words? When only your thoughts are safe, how do you communicate with anyone, let alone those you must fight beside?

My Opinion: If you like epic fantasy in a scale of world and gods creation, shaping, reshaping; full of great heroes who did not matter, and yet were absolutely essential, well then do yourself a favor and pick these books up. So much happens in them that I’ve no just way to review it.

You must follow the events to notice the events happen (yes) for a prophecy is so clear in the end. It’s amazing, simple, brilliant, and yet so incredibly complex, that I had to sit there and just hold the book after I was done with it. It plucks you away, out of now and here, and sets you knee deep in ash, with nothing visible over mists, war all around you, death, blood, and metal. Metal spikes, coins flying. Like a violently shaken dirty, ashy snow globe.

Yes, this book is greatly lacking. But it has so much happening in one, seemingly small little world, that I think it was more than enough. I give it the 5 out of 5, fully, strongly. And I will absolutely see into those sequels. This was… This was beyond words. Even though it was written in those same damn words.

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

book review | The Vampire’s Club by X. Aratare | The Vampire’s Club 3

the vampires club x aratareAuthor: X. Aratare
Title: The Vampire’s Club
Series: The Vampire’s Club 3
Genre: LGBT Literature; Paranormal Romance
Pages: 16
Rate: 3/5 | Goodread

Alright. I’ve read the third book, or third chapter, or third installment in The Vampire’s Club by X. Aratare. They’re neither good, nor bad. Someone recommend me vampire books? Extra points for diverse stuff.

About the Book: Vampires want witch magic. Witches want vampire immortality. Neither can have it, but both try their damnedest, which hadn’t improved the relationship between the two groups at all. And yet, it seems, they’ve finally found something. A chance in a form of blood. Konstantin’s sire’s blood. The most gruesome legendary vampire that still walks this earth.

My Opinion: From the description given of Konstantin’s Sire, I thought it’ll be Dracula. But it seems author leaned more towards the Devil, not the Dragon. It was still an interesting development of events, so there’s that plus. I don’t know, I think maybe if you’ve read it as one book it would be easier.

For the time being, I don’t mind it as a light read, so a 3 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Nosferatu Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Redemption’s Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky | After the War 1

redemptions blade adrian tchaikovsky after the warAuthor: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Title: Redemption’s Blade
Series: After the War 1
Genre: Epic Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 367
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

Alright, Adrian Tchaikovsky definitely goes onto my list of favorite authors. I’ve just read his “Redemption’s Blade“, first book in After the War duology, and it was amazing. Summon up the memories of what high fantasy you’ve ever read where there was a battle against great evil. And now imagine the heroes who slain the evil go back to tending fields and farms.

About the Book: Kinslayer, the innovative tyrant, set out to shape the world more to his liking, equalizing as he thought fit. Monsters made from people, monsters made by magic, monsters made in laboratories, trinkets, artifacts, curses, all set out onto the land, together with races forgotten, nations from deep underground. But when evil rises, so do heroes who can’t stand for it. They united nations and fought back. And when Kinslayer fell… Well, old disagreements between nations were not forgotten. Monsters still roamed the land. Curses didn’t just go away. And creatures from deep down had no wish going back into the darkness now that they saw the beauty of the sky. Celestine was one of the heroes during the war. And upon its end she couldn’t find peace at her farm. Seeing world still act like they’re at war wasn’t helping either. So she gathered her most trusted friends, and went back into the world to right the wrong.

My Opinion: This was a magically amazing book, so well written, so very interesting, full of witty moments, breathtaking fights, and a world brand new. We got to know an equivalent of orcs here, those ugly brothers with more strength than brain usually. Usually. We got to know their reasoning. It’s almost like in movie Bright, where orcs were on the Dark Lord’s side, but then sided with humans, right? Here they are not called orcs, and they chose to fight sooner, but… It still has that very amazing familiarity and newness combo to it. Not to mention all the creatures that were made by magic, entirely new unimaginable places, beings, and the reoccurring thought our heroes had: why did Kinslayer make them this way? Imagine being a creature who got dragged from another world into a war that wasn’t yours. Now you have no way home, and nothing to eat here too. All you can do is starve for the rest of the eternity, because you cannot die either, or until someone finds you, and finds how to send you back home. This is what this book is about.

A marvelous, fantastic damn amazing book. I highly recommend it, and give a 5 out of 5

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, epic fantasy, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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