urban fantasy

dracula | “Straight to Hell” by John G. Hartness | Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter 2

1Author: John G. Hartness
Title: Straight to Hell
Series: Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter 2
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 99
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Oh how I waited to read the next book in these series! The first one made me laugh to tears, and was heavily packed with action. Thus, left a good impression on me.

About: You’d think that opening the gates to hell isn’t all that easy. Well, it turns out, as long as you got someone with the right bloodline… A young guy gets kidnapped to be used in rituals that’ll summon the Four Apocalypse Horsemen. And Harker is just not having any of this!

Mine: I was about to say that this book was way too short. But then I thought a little, and decided it was perfect. It fully followed one story, with very good and mild tracks into side stories that got fully processed here too. No unnecessary scenes, details, descriptions. It’s really well written too. It feels like reading one of those old classic superhero comic books. Your views on Harker will range from “this dude’s more deranged than Deadpool” to you laughing hysterically at what the hell just happened.

For the next month I’m preparing to read a Dacre Stoker book on Dracula, and I can tell you, I am not looking forwards to that. For it means I’ll abandon these series for almost two months. But for the time being, this one gets 5 out of 5 from me.

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

diversity | “Maelstrom” by Jordan L. Hawk | Whyborne & Griffin 7

1Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Maelstrom
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 7
Genre: LGBT Literature, Historical Romance
Pages: 204
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’ve nothing new to say. Same story: I’ve grown attached to the series, so I intend to finish them to the end. They’re maybe not favorite material, the best books out there. But they’re certainly not bad.

About: Someone’s ritualistically murdering people, covering them in strange symbols, and leaving them on sacrificial sites. Even Whyborne has no clue on neither what those symbols are, why it’s being done, for whom, or, most importantly, by whom. So, naturally, he and Griffin start investigating. This time they don’t even have to go far, it’s enough to ride around Widdershins in Griffins horrible new car, and visit the sea, where Whyborne’s mother and sister live. Oh, and, avoid death both on the road, and by whoever it is killing people in such a gruesome manner.

Mine: I’ve got real used to them traveling to strange sites by now, so it was almost strange that they remained on Widdershins soil. But hey, it was fun to read. For one, Whyborne was very funny. He, this progressive gay guy, is very opposed to anything modern. Why call anyone, and talk to them, if you can just send a very fast telegram or something? And the cars? Oh, the horror. But I’ll give him that one, since it was real funny, and real scary to read about driving where driver feels pride that he only slid sideways a little bit, and didn’t even knock the light pole off. Yep.

The books are adventurous, well written, full of simple easy jokes. They’re fun, even if the plot is always somehow lacking. It’s good, but lacking. 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, historical romance, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, paranormal romance, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

diversity | “Dance in the Dark” by Megan Derr | Dance with the Devil 2

1Author: Megan Derr
Title: Dance in the Dark
Series: Dance with the Devil 2
Genre: Paranormal, LGBT Literature
Pages: 350
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’m not sure whether I liked this book because it was good, or because it was a cozy read. Either way, the book is not bad at all. Had a good vibe to it, so to speak.

About: Johnnie, a normal, had to grow up among supernaturals. After his family was slain by a blood crazed wife of a Dracula, the vampire followed tradition and adopted the child, raising him as his own in all but the vampirism. But not all liked it, even if it was what tradition demanded. And even Johnnie grew up to resent this position a little, for now he didn’t fit in either of the worlds. A human among vampires, never a vampire. No longer a Normal, so unable to live in that side of the world either.

So he does what he thinks will fit the situation best, and moves out of the Dracula’s estate, taking up supernatural cases in a shady part of town. All goes well and good until they start affecting his life more and more. And then one day a woman knocks on his door, asking to find her beloved. A man, who, Johnnie soon finds out, is no other, than his brother, Dracula’s heir. Soon to marry a noblewoman.

Mine: The book had a nice A Wolf Among Us vibe to it. Supernaturals living separate from the Normals. Old fairy tales seeping into their current life. A slight re-telling of a Snow White, poisoned apples and mirrors included. And even if there was stalling, it was still cozy, and fun enough.

This might not be your next favorite book, but it’s definitely an interesting take on it. 4 out of 5 from me, and we’ll see what’s next.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Supernatural, dark fantasy, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Dreadful Company” by Vivian Shaw | Dr. Greta Helsing 2

1Author: Vivian Shaw
Title: Dreadful Company
Series: Dr Greta Helsing 2
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Vampires
Pages: 400
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Oh how I love these Vivian Shaw books, full of classy, classic vampires and monster studies. Plenty of action too, you just have to let it pick up the pace.

About: Ghosts are haunting Paris. Some missing legs, others – arms. Some are even missing their heads. But then, there’s those catacombs down below, so no surprise, you’d say. And yet, why now? Answer, apparently, is classic and simple: there’s a coven of vampires down below, making a nest. Even ghouls moved out, be it due to arguments with new tenants, or too loud music. And from there, thus, they spread their reign of terror over Paris, killing, turning the most beautiful, kidnapping. Nobody cared all that much, still, up until they kidnapped the wrong gal. They kidnapped Greta Helsing. Because, you see, their leader has an unsettled score with her friend, vampire Ruthven, and very much believes he’s in the rights and powers to destroy the offending creature. Greta, thus, is bait. If she survives, of course…

Mine: Both books start a bit slow, but you just have to let them pick up the pace. Once it does, just pay attention for there’s claws, fangs, magic, reality alteration, as the badass vampires kick ass and take names. It feels like you read, and read, and read these vampire books, romances, fantasy books. And then you read these, and realize those really sucked. I’m happy with the series. Thanks for recommending them to be, B! The only thing I want more of is the science.

I just checked goodreads, and apparently we’re getting third one on August 20th, so there’s plenty of time for everyone to catch up, and you really should if you like classical vampires have adventures in modern world. 5 out of 5 from me.

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

“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: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 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

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