Fantasy Books

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.

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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

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

Vortena by Neven Iliev

1Author: Neven Iliev
Title: Vortena
Series: Everybody Loves Large Chests 3
Genre: Fantasy, Adult
Pages: 444
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Dunno what happens in November and why everyone needs translations done, but it happens, and I am very tired with way too much on my plate. So, wasn’t feeling like any serious book. Resulting in the happy little find: apparently Everybody Loves Large Chests already got the third book out called “Vortena” by Neven Iliev. And there was a lot of good in this book. But one big fat bad too.

About: Boxxy is on a quest to level up and find more shinies and tasties. It would be preferable to do so via Unholy Wealth ritual, but if leveling up is what it takes, he’ll do it. To help along the way he blackmails a lich into becoming part of the team. One that he killed himself in the past. Twice. But, being just a brainless box, he didn’t see how that could possibly create an issue with loyalty, and, destroying newly found dungeon left and right, went on the quest. After all, the dilema wasn’t the Nasty new team member. It was the fact that upon leveling up Boxxy will cease being this perfect shape of a chest. He’ll evolve into a brand new creature.

Mine: There were a lot of great and funny moments, not the smallest being Boxxy’s agoraphobia, or his quick dubbing of lich as “nasty” due to her horrible flavor. But one thing bothered me from the second it occurred: I will absolutely never understand why rape is necessary for character development when everything else points to it being unnecessary. Including the common sense. So after the character finally got abused to a point where she started considering suicide, the rest of the book just stopped being as amusing. The only excuse that left me reading was the fact that she was given great power, and as sincere an apology as one could give under the circumstances, including the improvement in behavior towards her.

It’s an alright book. Was pretty funny at points, and I still love this concept of a mob being the hero. Our little gnome story was upsetting tho, and absolutely unnecessary. 4 out of 5 is the very best I can do, merely because I hope in the next book she takes some form of closure-vengeance.

Categories: 4-5, About Msg2TheMing, Books of Supernaturals, Fantasy Books | 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

Josie Jaffrey “The Gilded King” | Sovereign 1

TheGildedKingAuthor: Josie Jaffrey
Title: The Gilded King
Series: Sovereign 1
Genre: Paranormal, YA
Pages: 303
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’ve received this book as an arc in exchange for some honest reviews. And while from the very start the world has intrigued me, I didn’t like the split of the story for a fair while: I loved to read one character, and hurried through the other one. But the more I read, the more I wanted to read more, and by the end of it, I just finished the amount I kept for two more days in one sitting. That should hint you.

About: Once humans apparently lived with vampires, Silver, side by side. But as humans who were failed to be made Silver turned into Weepers, things got out of hand. Weepers, being a sort of a zombie, bit others, and made entire populations turn in mere hours, thus endangering both human race, and the Silvers too. Up until they made a cure for it, a vaccine that made humans immune to the plague, and successfully killed Weepers. The only problem was, that the vaccine didn’t leave the blood stream, and just as it turned Weepers human, thus killing them, for their bodies were far beyond life, it turned vampires human too. The cured became the contaminated.

Away from the place, and the time that it all happened, some hundreds of years later, Julia watched the Red with longing, from the safety of Blue, the last uncontaminated city safe for humans. They were ruled by Nobles, the forever young, immortal kind that drank their blood in exchange for protection from whatever horrors lurked in the Red and threatened their existence. Cameron is one of those Nobles, a Silver who traveled the Red far and wide in search of a lost, kidnapped friend. Instead of her, though, he kept finding more horrors and strange things: remains of caravans with pits full of human bones smoldering, meat seemingly eaten off of them, blood spilled around the camp; unbelievable amounts of Weepers, pits of dead ones, with live bait of a contaminated human crushed under their sheer weight, them dying on top from the taste of the vaccinated blood. Bit by bit it starts to seem someone is making more of these creatures on purpose… But not all things are bad, or at least, some things are still good. Humans are making settlements, and there’s more of them with passing time. And best of all, this time on his voyage there’ll be a helping hand of a handsome and very skilled woodsman Felix, a man with oh so very much too much knowledge of what Silver are.

Mine: It started good, but too slow for me. I didn’t like Julia’s story for a very long time, but I really, really loved everything Cameron was seeing. The horror was making me regret reading mostly at nights. But as story progressed, their paths came closer, and closer, and finally chapters told both their stories in one. Best part: they’re completely unrelated two characters, with their own adventures, goals, and love interests. All they did was see each other from afar. Another thing I must mention is that this book is one big trick. You think you know what’s going on, but you don’t. Author has tricked me many times turning the plot around, folding it over itself, and presenting solutions I did not expect. That gives me hope for the next book, for the last sentence Felix spoke in my head can only be resolved with a cliche of “you betrayed me – but let me explain” with making up somewhere at the end of the tunnel. Maybe Josie Jeffrey has something better in mind though, I really can’t wait to see.

So, all in all, I really loved this book. I loved the lack of predictability, I loved that heroes were not destined to be together from the start, I loved the insanely stubborn and determined, but so very kind Cameron. I loved how scary it was at so many points, and how beautifully it would fit a zombie apocalypse genre if author would just push it a little over the edge. 5 out of 5 from me, and I really do await the next book!

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joseph Fink “Welcome to Night Veil”

9.jpgAuthor: Joseph Fink
Title: Welcome to Night Veil
Series: Welcome to Night Veil 1
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 401
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I knew about this phenomena of a podcast, but I am not into podcasts, so I never listened. Instead, I figured, I’ll read a book. Yes. I jumped the damn wagon with “Welcome to Night Veil“, and I think it was a mistake. It’s not my cup of tea. Listening to the podcast a little would’ve most likely told me that. And those who enjoyed the said podcast probably enjoyed the book too…

About: Town of Night Veil is where all the odd, magical, cursed, and weird things are. Time works strange there. And so do memories. But people are strange too, so I guess it really works. One of those people is a boy named Josh. he can be anything. And he goes missing after a few failed attempts to question his mother of who his father was. It’s a hard task to find a boy who can be whatever he wants to be. But, luckily, his mother has a lead, and a strong feeling about it: there’s a strange man in a tan jacket that keeps appearing in Night Veil. He gives people a slip of paper that says “King City”, and goes missing. People tend to forget all about him, but the paper stays, and you can’t get rid of it. This King City is her biggest clue, and she’d like to start her investigation there, right after she’ll brave the most dangerous place in Night Veil: The Library, full of deadly Librarians. For no map in Night Veil show any road that leads to King City…

Mine: King meets Gaiman. This is not my cup of tea in the worst way. There’s really lots and lots of interesting things in this book, and the characters are very well built. And there were some really brilliant thoughts expressed and put to words that I loved. But it kept driving me mad. I hate that kind of story telling, where it takes very long for the narrator to tell you why this is as it is, and thus there is no need to explain, because hey, it is as it is, always have been.

It’s mostly a good book, it just wasn’t for me. The fantasy was very Gaiman + King, with nothing explained, but lots of words are strung together explaining that “it just is”. 3 out of 5 from me. I should’ve really tried the podcast first, and seen my way from there… But I don’t regret reading it!

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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