vampires

Dracul by Dacre Stoker

1Author: Dacre Stoker
Title: Dracul
Series: –
Genre: Gothic, Historical
Pages: 512
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’m a little overwhelmed. “Dracul” by Dacre Stoker definitely made me re-think all the books about vampire Dracula that I’ve ever read. And it got me real interested in Bram Stoker himself, so I hope to find books on the man, not just articles online that I’ve read extensively for hours after finishing this.

About: The book, at least at the start of it, is a loosely biographical on Bram Stoker. He was a very sickly child, bedridden. At age seven he almost died of fever, saved in a wicked dream by their mysterious nanna Ellen Crone. After he woke up, strong, and even able to get up, all healed and cured, everyone denied any help from Ellen, and claimed he was cured by his uncle and his leeches. Only his sister Matilda believed him. To add to the mystery, nanny herself packed up and disappeared without a word or anyone noticing, leaving kids on a wild investigation full of nightmares and more questions than answers, up until they had to abandon the cold trail. Nanna Ellen was gone for good. But only a few decades later Matilda spotted her in the streets of France, not aged a day, and the nightmares began again.

Mine: The whole search for Ellen Crone reminded me of Kostova’s “Historian“, and annoyed me to no end. There’s a lot of clue following, and a lot of nonsense too, like memories where you can look upon something from a different angle. What’s next, you open a locked door and know what’s behind it, all in a hypnotic memory? Dracul was a very childish and childishly stubborn idiot too, clever in his ways, but making no sense in his actions. There’s a lot of the “you’ll learn to love me” action that bothered me to no end too. And then the whole book was redeemed by author’s final word, which again makes me wonder: is the joke that had to be explained to be funny – really funny?

I will give this book a 4 out of 5, merely because it made me think and research things on my own. Anything that can evoke action or emotion in you in a book – is a well made thing. But honestly, make sure you love gothic classics, and that you don’t mind Kostova’s “Historian“, before picking this one up.

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Categories: 4-5, About Msg2TheMing, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Gothic Books, Historical Fiction Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vivian Shaw “Strange Practice” | Dr. Greta Helsing 1

2Author: Vivian Shaw
Title: Strange Practice
Series: Dr. Greta Helsing 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 320
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Been a long time since I had such a pleasure to sit down with a book the way I had with “Strange Practice” by Vivian Shaw. It kept stealing my sleep hours away, because, well, just one page to make sure everyone’s alive still, just one more, oh, here’s to a chapter.

About: Dr. Greta Helsing is in one strange practice. Her hospital is a haven for help and treatments for all kinds of monsters. She makes mummy bones here, she helps ghouls, she prescribes meds for demons, and so on. Her co-workers aren’t humans either. And neither are her friends. Like Lord Ruthven, who is a vampire, and who, one night, calls her in great distress. While Greta was following the news of religious zealots murdering people, one of their victims, still alive due to also being a vampire, came to Ruthven for help. And without Greta’s help, Lord Varney would’ve likely died. But this is only the start of their gathering group and troubles. For deep under London, in dark shelter tunnels there pulses a blue light, whispering…

Mine: While the purpose of the book wasn’t to tell us stories of monsters, it still had a beautiful share of monstrology here, that would lift up the mood on right times. On top of already very well written, suspenseful story, crime detective with supernaturals, epic demons, fallen angels, vampires that’d make Regis, Dettlaff, and even Dracula himself – proud. There were also very scary moments. For, just imagine for a moment, you know this gang of almost supernatural murderers are after you, but you not only have to leave the relative safety of the house and friends who’d kill to protect you, but you have to go down into the dark tunnels to find their lair too, and, well, kill their god. It’s an amazing story, full of amazing, smart, loyal, beautiful characters.

This was so good. I will definitely read another one. Love Greta, love Fass, love Ruthven, and Varney, and that human guy whose name I forgot, sorry, he was great too, really. I really do love a well written friendship, and great written characters. But that’s not all, the story was amazing too, so here’s for the epic win. 5 out of 5, and lemme have the next one!

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

Day Shift by Charlaine Harris | Midnight, Texas 2

1Author: Charlaine Harris
Title: Day Shift
Series: Midnight, Texas 2
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 307
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Ah, okay, so I kinda misheard, didn’t hear, and didn’t get it when my friend said that not only is Midnight, Texas by Charlaine Harris set in the same world as Sookie Stackhouse books, but it might very well be called a spin-off too. Since second book, “Day Shift“, has a fair little handful of familiar, and at last to me, well loved characters.

About: Manfred is out on one of his business trips to meet clients face-to-face. This time he has an appointment with one of his regular clients, a woman who just wants to talk to her dead husband. Mostly about her son who seems to be going even crazier than before. But just as Manfred channels her husband’s spirit – she drops dead, and her family quickly blames him for either murder, or at the very least, robbery. Because who’ll believe Manfred when he’ll report the old woman saying she hid the jewelry away from her son, instead of a fairly rich family who don’t claim to be psychics, but do claim jewelry is missing, and Manfred was pretty much the only person she was seeing? And while he’s at it, Midnight town has its own unwanted unpleasant adventures. Some big corporation re-opened the hotel, and is setting up elderly people there. A strange man has left his son to Reverend for a few weeks. That would have been a better adventure, more wanted even, if the boy hadn’t grown by the day. Literally. Even the elderly noticed! And then there’s the full moon…

Mine: Barry the Mind-reader is back! Sookies sorta friend. I remember I liked him, I just don’t remember what for. But, better than that, Quinn the Weretiger makes an entry, my very favorite Sookie’s ex. I really wish she kept him, instead of… well. But other than that, this was a fun book on its own too. There were scary and intense moments, there were those classic “let’s ask the dead lady“, and best of all, we learned some background about Midnight people. They’re far more interesting than I thought. Oh, okay, that’s not the best part. Best part was Mr. Snuggles. I really love that cat, have I told you?

I may be biased when I say I loved this book, because Quinn was honestly my favorite person out there for forever. But really, if I try and take him out of the equation, there’s some real great things: the funny moments, the detective with outfit changing classy spy bits, the extremely scary parts that would make horror books proud… 5 out of 5, no less.

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

‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

2Author: Stephen King
Title: ‘Salem’s Lot
Series: –
Genre: Horror, Fiction
Pages: 483
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’m not a fan of King’s. Yet. But October always gives me these peculiar wants and needs, and one has to admit, the old movies based on King’s novels are pretty darn amazing. So, I figured, among this many books, there ought to be something I’d like. So I took the one I knew to have vampires in it – ‘Salem’s Lot.

About: Ben, an author driven by his inspiration and want for a bestseller with his name on it, returns to his hometown that he once left trying to escape the horrors he witnessed here. See, back in the day, really long ago, when the eerie house on ‘Salem’s Lot still had an owner, the husband went crazy, killed his family, and hung himself. Leaving the now haunted house an attraction for teenagers to test their bravery in. But Ben cannot shake the feeling that what he saw there – was real. The house stood empty ever since, and the town only now shows signs of full recovery, since people tend to run from bad memories, and they did just that back then. But just as someone buys the house again, just as the house gets a master again, nightmares return. People start disappearing, dying in the oddest fashion, from the strangest things. At first people look at the new guy in town, even if he was born here. But soon their evil overpowers them, fed by something older, darker. Soon it is clear that there’s something supernatural out here. And if you think of running, do so in daylight. For all it takes is one meeting of eyes, and you’ll abandon your plans, and your hope too.

Mine: Alrighty, so this is one fine classic horror book with vampires. Definitely the October read, and no wonder there’s so many mentions of Stoker’s Dracula around this book. The only real hefty problem I had was the extreme slowness of the plot. Like a slowly boiling pot it bubbled beneath, for everything was happening as people were talking, yet all we see is the top of the pot, reflections, faces, and occasional bubbles of sound. But I had this problem with every single book by King that I have ever read. So, I think if you like King to begin with, this might not even be a problem to you.

Yep, a good classy read. Will give it a full 5 out of 5, because I don’t feel like taking away points for slow plot. It was worth it.

Categories: 5-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Gothic Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Charlaine Harris “Midnight Crossroad” | Midnight, Texas 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chloe Neill “Blade Bound” | Chicagoland Vampires 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chloe Neill “Midnight Marked” | Chicagoland Vampires 12

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

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

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

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

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

Categories: 2-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Joely Sue Burkhart “Queen takes King” | Their Vampire Queen 2

2Author: Joely Sue Burkhart
Title: Queen Takes King
Series: Their Vampire Queen 2
Genre: Paranormal, Erotica, Vampires
Pages: 350
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Remember I said “Their Vampire Queen” are short books, so I’ll read them between “Chicagoland Vampires“? Well, I spoke too soon. But it worked well here, and made perfect sense, since the book felt very much like the final preparatory step towards court politics and intrigues.

About: Somewhere out there in the dark beneath the mountain rages a dying leviathan. Dark, scaly, and dreadful he haunts Shara’s dreams. Her Bloods sense that, and urge her to take action, call more Bloods to her side. Especially now that the young, wild, and powerful new Queen has been noticed by others, and attacks already began. But more Bloods mean more troubles too, mostly in their own hierarchy among themselves. Thus Shara, convinced by visions of Goddess Isis, is on the search for something more powerful than that. What she needs is not in numbers, but in political weight. What she needs is a King that would be in her power. Someone mighty, someone dreadful.

Mine: You know, if you took out all the sex, these books would make awesome YA vampire books. But for better or worse, it is not that. And I know it’s not right to complain about erotica in a book that is in erotica genre, but it feels like people there really got no other hobbies beyond limb origami. Which sometimes really works well with the story, but other times, guys, don’t you got something more important? Like nest making?? Prioritize! But I digress. I do enjoy Shara’s character quite a bit. She’s not dumb, she’s true to her heart, and while unwilling to cause harm, she enforces laws she believes in with iron fist on a table. My favorite being: nobody will be made to do anything against their will. Which shone bright once the King entered their domain, and her alpha, her dominant Blood was threatened.

Listen, I am biased here too. There’s too many little things that play to me here, like really well made vampires, a sense of political dread, the bee-hive-mentality. So I don’t know if I can recommend this off the bat. But I can absolutely give it a 5 out of 5.

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

Chloe Neill “Dark Debt” | Chicagoland Vampires 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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