urban fantasy

“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.

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

“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

“Into the Fire” by Jeaniene Frost | Night Prince 4

1Author: Jeaniene Frost
Title: Into the Fire
Series: Night Prince 4
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Pages: 340
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I really didn’t want to finish these series. They were too good, and I have not yet found a replacement for good Dracula series. But… I really needed more of it, so I’ve read it. And now I must obtain them all in paper form, so I can re-read and mark every awesome bit down.

About: Leila is bound to a powerful necromancer, Vlad’s stepson, Mircea. If one gets hurt, the other one gets hurt too, so there seems to be no way in killing him without killing Leila off. And the need to do so quickly becomes dire as Mircea falls into the hands of big mean magical enemies of Vlad Dracula.

Vlad resorts to renewing his ties with this sort of a blood brother (they’re made by same vampire), for he dabbles in all sorts of forbidden things. And while Ion hides too much, gets on everyone’s nerves, is an outright whore of a man, shifty and not really trustworthy, he proves to actually be useful. While he got them into some trouble, and even turned them all into women, Vlad included, he also helped Leila discover that the key to breaking the binding spell might lie in her heritage. It’s just that from here to there there’s a lot of time, time which they just don’t have, for the necromancers have found Dracula’s weak spot.

Mine: This is a very intense, fast paced supernatural thriller with hefty paranormal romance. An unusual choice for me, so in case the cover didn’t warn you of the nature of this book: keep it in mind, yes? Otherwise I’d not be this keen on a romance, but hey, I’m a sucker for Dracula kicking ass and asking no names. And sure, at times it was very sappy, but I loved how nothing went perfect, every character did their own thing, hid their own secrets, Vlad kissed a man, and nobody stood there waiting to be the support character with the right question on the right time. What I didn’t like was the fast end to it all. I wanted a demon hunt, tea time with Ion and maybe Leila’s sister, and all the other goodies. Oh, what books I’d not give for a 5th one in these series…

I loved it. And while I’m biased a lot by Dracula existing here, and being main character, I loved it due to writing too. It had substance both in plot and characters. So I give it 5 out of 5, and series get the same mark too.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Romance, Dracula: General, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampires, Vlad Dracula III | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“White Trash Zombie Unchained” by Diana Rowland | White Trash Zombie 6

2Author: Diana Rowland
Title: White Trash Zombie Unchained
Series: White Trash Zombie 6
Genre: Zombies, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 354
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Ah, and so here I am, done with the very last book in the White Trash Zombie series. They were alright, had its good moments, and those very good moments, along with mediocre, bad, and way too common ones. So here’s the last of it.

About: Just another crime scene, it seemed. Up until the corpse got right up and attacked her, all while being mangled and half-eaten by the crocodiles. Angel has seen this before, so she quickly took care of the immediate problem. But what about the crocodiles? They, in the meantime, are successfully spreading an epidemic of shambling zombies, brainless, movie-kind of creatures, and Angel seems to be the source of it all. But there’s just no time for self-pity when people are literally killing each other for brains from mere mosquito bites. It got out of hand, and it reached a level where Angel’s tribe has no choice but to join their forces with their worst enemy, evil corp, Saberton. For better or worse remains to be seen…

Mine: What I truly enjoyed here was sense people had. They: hey, you’re in danger, we have safe spot, come over, or we send someone to pick you up. People: gotcha, will be right there, and will ask all the questions I am absolutely having in safety. This fantastic adult logic is so rare I was starting to think it didn’t exist outside KJC books. Other than that, there’s plenty of action for two books in this one, so other than Angel’s and other characters too, pointing fingers to themselves in explanation that they did what they did, because they’re this particular label – it was a good book. Still it’s extremely bothersome when author feels the need for their character to break a window and tell you “I did this because I’m a redneck, this is how we do it“. Can I maybe just gather that from the story, please? No? Okay.

All in all, I can give both the series and the book 4 out of 5. If you’re tired of werewolves and vampires, but still like those stories we have by the shovel now, this is one for you. While they’re not my favorite, I don’t feel like I wasted time, so that’s definitely a something.

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

White Trash Zombie Gone Wild by Diana Rowland | White Trash Zombie 5

2Author: Diana Rowland
Title: White Trash Zombie Gone Wild
Series: White Trash Zombie 5
Genre: Zombies, Paranormal
Pages: 325
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Not gonna lie, I’m a bit in a reading slum. Even such an easy and simple book as was the fifth book in White Trash Zombie was a tad tough. But at least it was fun, for the main plot line was pretty good.

About: Angel’s life is trying to fall apart just as she got it all together. After becoming a zombie she got a chance to ween off all the drugs she been doing due to them not working on her kind. But now there’s new pharma, just for zombies, and oh boy does it work nice. As long as she’s willing to stoop so low as to steal it from her sick Zombie Baby, the man she turned into zombie and who has been suffering side effects ever since, thus needing the treatment. On top of that, the zombie serial killer has returned, with extra footprints, no less, that lead straight to her ex, who she never thought to be this stupid, or this cold-blooded as to be a killer. And then the zombie movie showing real life footage of real live zombies doing their thing, killing, eating brains, with people Angel recognizes. All that added together threaten her and her kind into having to take drastic measures: Exodus

Mine: There’s something missing to make Angel’s personality pop, and I can’t figure what it is. She’s nice and all, but she could be real nice, you know? To add to that, I kinda hate how her redneckishness is only there via her pointing a finger and literally saying “I did this, because I’m a redneck / white trash“. Her father is becoming a father of the year too, but I’m a hopeful person, so I won’t be mad at that, and believe that it is possible. But my favorite part was Nick the Prick story line. Now that’s one curious sight to behold. Though it all gets spoiled if you think how many story lines were dropped for the sake of this one, and how everyone from the previous book just got their lives and moved on, or decided they hate Angel, and moved on.

It was okay. Above average as books like this go, but a bit far from being good just yet. I can still gladly give it a 4 out of 5, and will also gladly read the final book. It’s a good simple read, really.

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

How the White Trash Zombie got her Groove Back by Diana Rowland | White Trash Zombie 4

3Author: Diana Rowland
Title: How the White Trash Zombie got her Groove Back
Series: White Trash Zombie
Genre: Horror, Paranormal
Pages: 328
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’m having a love-hate relationship with White Trash Zombie series. On one hand, Angel is pretty damn nice character, and the plot at times gets real good. On the other hand, there’s just no click, no hook, I could quit any time and not think twice. And this is fourth book!

About: Saberton corp, the one that tried to make zoldiers, by turning zombies using synthetic brains, just doesn’t know when to quit. But seeing how they figured they lack the brain power (I regret nothing), they kidnapped a scientist from Angel’s zombie tribe. The same one who was trying to help Philip, her zombie baby, the one she had to turn, the one Saberton fed fake brains upon creation. And since his treatment wasn’t concluded upon kidnapping, they’re in a lot of trouble. Gathering up the zombie gang they all make their way to New York, with Philip having ever more intense episodes, and both of their rot not going away. On top of that, their friends got secrets and troubles to solve in New York too, not to mention some scores that need settling with Saberton…  so off to New YooooOOooorrrk! (if you’ve not heard the tune, I’m very disappointed)

Mine: I like Angel, yes. She’s smart in her own way, and is trying her best to improve against all odds. To a point where one too many decisions Marcus makes for both of them, without consulting her, leaves him single. She adjust on the spot, and I like that kind of thinking. And if that’s not enough praise, this petite zombie babe smacked a… a mean lady in the teeth and didn’t even spill her beer! Mind you, mean lady had it coming, and was ready to inflict far more pain and damage than Angel did. I like the new Philip too, he seems interesting, and his episodes are hilarious. I know they probably shouldn’t be, but they are, and it was very funny, and I laughed a lot.

I like it just enough to continue. Plot is fairly fresh, and I do like Angel, but I do hope that ending wasn’t a mad omen. For now, 4 out of 5. Like like like.

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

Rag and Bone by K.J. Charles | Rag and Bone 1

2Author: K.J. Charles
Title: Rag and Bone
Series: Rag and Bone 1
Genre: LGBT, Historical Fiction
Pages: 202
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

K.J. Charles just never fails me. Perfect books to get some quality rest, boost, and inspiration. A while ago I’ve read the half-book, prequel to “Rag and Bone“, and now I finished this one. And all I can say is that I’m happy I’m not done with KJC bibliography just yet.

About: Ned was already growing resentful of magic and practitioners. But that peaceful night he was spending with Crispin was faithful. He woke in the middle of the night with strange sound of singing coming from the other side of the building, where a different store was. So Ned got up, ready to roll up his sleeves and instill some manners into whatever hooligans were disturbing his, and his neighbors property and sleep, but upon opening the doors he found hell. There, on the floor, in what seemed to be silent hellfire, his neighboring store-keeper was burning to a crisp, with a disembodied voice booming in a song that no one else have heard. Crispin went to seek help among his colleagues, other practitioners, as reluctantly as ever, for they branded him an unsuitable practitioner himself, and a warlock to that. While Ned conducted his own investigation, left alone to ponder upon all the hardships magic has brought upon the people.

Mine: Oh damn, I want to know more about necromancy! And, if at all possible, I’d like it told by Stephen Day, for he and Esther Gold appear in this book too, with their hilarious banter, and terrifying powers. The detective plot was definitely KJC quality, meaning it was good, and twisted, and turned, and tossed you right off the track enough times to make you believe things that didn’t happen. A damn fine read with scary monsters, and scary magic!

This was a good read. Loved the characters, loved the magic, loved the system from within that we didn’t get to see in Magpie Lord books. 5 out of 5, no less.

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

A Queer Trade by K.J. Charles | Rag and Bone 0.5

1.jpgAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: A Queer Trade
Series: Rag and Bone 0.5
Genre: Romance, Historical
Pages: 59
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Yes, I have full intentions of getting through whole of K.J. Charles bibliography. I was also told that Rag and Bone series are set in the same world as Magpie Lord. So I started at the beginning, with “A Queer Trade“.

About: Crispin is a magician. An apprentice to an old and powerful warlock, who died a couple days ago. Yet the fact has only reached him today, which means he’s already in a lot of trouble. For the family who owns the house is getting ready to flip all they can. They crammed what books seemed important into a tiny little office, and were in a great progress of selling everything else away. They had no intentions on waiting for Crispin, after all, he should’ve known, somehow, that his master is going to die. So, for instance, papers with weird scribbles on the floor got sold to waste vendors. And waste vendors would then sell those to the market sellers, who will then proceed to wrap you produce in those papers. I invite you to imagine the dread that washed over Crispin at this realization: say, you bought a gutted, dead fish, and brought it home wrapped in a blood written spell paper that reanimates dead things… Yes. Chaos erupts, and magical police gets informed, and Crispin is indeed in one hell-ton of trouble.

Mine: As I was reading, I was dreading this is going to be one of those movie stories, where someone tries to get some kind of an object out of market, but copies just keep appearing. But KJC once again proved she’s very good as steering the plot through all the nooks and crannies, and not take the obvious road. It was a great fun. Made even better by appearance of Esther Gold, Stephen Day’s best friend. Really, love that woman. People should listen to her more, and argue with her less.

I really did enjoy this short little tense adventure with unexpected turn of events. So it gets 5 out of 5 from me, and I’m moving onto the full length book next.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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