Books: LGBT

diversity | “Hoarfrost” by Jordan L. Hawk | Whyborne & Griffin 6

1Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Hoarfrost
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 6
Genre: Paranormal, LGBT Literature
Pages: 274
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I feel odd attachment to the characters, much like I had with Nightrunner series. Stories are similar too, just, this one here, is not fantasy, and is more concentrated on the romance part. Either way, a light read.

About: Griffin has finally found one of his brothers, and exchanged some correspondence with him. He lives in the frozen Alaska, working in a mine, digging for gold. One of such work days he came upon a tablet filled with strange symbols, and, having heard plenty of Whyborne by then, sent it over to his brother. Whyborne translated it fairly quickly, packed Christine and her beloved, and all four went to wade in the snow. They must hurry and find the gate tablet speaks of, for the runes that lock the gate between humanity and monsters in the city under the mountains are growing weak… And worst part? Griffin soon starts hearing voices, hearing them.

Mine: It’s a very strange story. I’ve no better word than that, for it is strange, full of dark tunnels, snow, frost, monsters. It felt like reading a video game at times. I neither liked it, nor disliked it. No, I think I liked it more than disliked it. Mostly because, even though predictable, the story is well wrapped around. There’s no plot holes, writing is smooth, reading is easy. You start in the morning, and you can put it away, finished in the evening.

It’s definitely good enough to continue with the series. So here’s a 4 out of 5 for the time being.

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Supernatural, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Paranormal | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

diversity |”The Disasters” by M.K. England

3Author: M.K. England
Title: The Disasters
Series: –
Genre: Sci-fi, LGBT+ Literature
Pages: 253
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Not gonna lie. The cover is all of my vibes, and that was the main reason I picked this book up. Lucky for me, it wasn’t a bad story either, with a lot of real fine characters.

About: They were great at what they aimed for. And yet, they got scratched for this or that nonetheless. So there they were, failed pilots and whatnots, packing their bags to go back home as warning sirens flared and got silenced just as abruptly. In those short moments they had to decide their own fates, and those, as it later turned out, of human colonies. Meet the Swift Kick crew, the most diverse and fiercest little group of misfits any terrorists have ever seen.

Out there there is a terrorist group that calls itself Earth First. Their philosophies all lean on one idea: get rid of the colonies. Some think we should take care of our own planet first. Others believe Earth to be sacred. Either way, they’re up to some murder, and the space station those kids were on? Oh, that was just the start.

Mine: Once again, a mediocre story that you’ve definitely read before under different names, circumstances, titles. But saved by really great and diverse characters. All of the skin colors, all of the sexual orientations. The bisexual guy was actually bi, not just by the title author would slap on to get diversity points. Religions are on board too. One young woman is practicing, and has hijabs to fit a situation. She’s a badass hacker too, and, my favorite, a rebel. And if that’s not yet representing, there’s a transgender woman too. Full, glorious set. The story itself is fast paced. Just as you get through what seemed a longish personal episode, grenades are flying, bullets are whistling. It’s written in real fun speech manner too, no sugarcoating, straight to the point, with no high and mighty phrases. But, as I said, the plot has been chewed on plenty by now. So it’s as predictable as they get, with merely different details.

All in all, I’m going to give it a strong 4 out of 5. It was an easy, fun, fast read. If you feel like supporting diversity in literature, this is one of the books to take and review, I feel.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Funny!, LGBTQ+ Books, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

detective | “Jackrabbit Smile” by Joe R. Lansdale | Hap and Leonard 12

2Author: Joe R. Lansdale
Title: Jackrabbit Smile
Series: Hap and Leonard 12
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Pages: 256
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

So I took a book, I’ve read it, went to goodreads to mark it, and got deja vu. For once again, like in the good old times, I’ve read a hell knows which book in a series. But since I have no plans to read any more of these, it is as it is, and it’ll be fine.

About: Hap and Leonard weren’t all too pleased to accept a job from a white supremacists couple. They came to them as last resort, bringing in a handful of family along, expressed their displeasure of Leonard being black (little did they know, he’s gay too), and their grief over their missing daughter. She disappeared soon after giving birth to a black baby, and they no longer expect to see her alive. They merely want to know what happened.

The town these two go to investigate in is run by white supremacists and crazy folk. Most businesses are owned by a man called Professor, who has his own philosophy of why people of color and whites shouldn’t mix. Church was ran by folk who believed the world will end due to lizard people who live among us. And the mass there was held by a man who wanted to die of a gruesome torture, and seemingly got his final wish fulfilled. So, wherever you turn, there’s a something…

Mine: While the story itself was very mediocre, it’s written very well, and is full of good wit, funny jokes, and strong characters. And I’ve said this time, and time again: a good character can fix any plot. So if you ever need something light, funny, with maybe a little touch of scary shit, due to murder and all that, keep these series in mind. I will too.

I don’t really intend to read any more now, but hey, never say never. This book gets a solid 4 out of 5. I don’t know how those other ones are, but this one was nice and firm, and you can absolutely follow the story, no matter the past books.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Funny!, Crime Books, Detective Books, LGBTQ+ Books, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

diversity | “Dread Nation” by Justina Ireland | Dread Nation 1

2Author: Justina Ireland
Title: Dread Nation
Series: Dread Nation 1
Genre: Alternative History, Zombies
Pages: 455
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Character-wise this book was like a gust of fresh air. For instance, our main hero is a young black woman warrior with attitude befitting someone with her skill and their underestimation. Yet, story-wise, the book was very mediocre.

About: The war between states of America has come to a halt when dead started rising on the battlefields, and killing the living. Like a plague they run over the whole nation, and possibly beyond that. Some say it is because slavery has been made illegal. Others care not for this nonsense, and still treat the colored folk as secondary. Which led to schools of combat made especially for them, where people of color were taught to fight and defend.

In some places in America there are walled off safe havens. But safety is relative in places where dead don’t stay dead. Jane McKeen could almost smell her graduation from Miss Preston’s School of Combat as her life got flipped, and the core of it might just lie in one of those places. It all started mildly. Like a lord turning into a shambler mid-ball. Then one of the best families in Baltimore disappeared, leaving everything behind. Next thing you know, she has been packed off to defend one of these undefendable forts people called havens. She was put in lines of poorly trained brothers and sisters of color. She was given weapons which wouldn’t cut grass, let alone zombies. And she was told not to kill, unless necessary… But once hordes come in, of creatures seemingly smarter than the stuff she killed before, she makes her mind up. To survive, and to get some damn answers.

Mine: Somewhere in the background there’s zombies, hordes of them, crawling through forests and planes. Those who died recently are fast, agile. Those who died before are slower, but gather in greater numbers. They are seemingly evolving too… And yet all we get to read about are intrigues, crushes, lies, politics, brutes, and Jane’s want to get away from every place she lands in. She complains about how her weapons are trash for long, long chapters, and yet kills things easy enough. In fact, everyone kills with little to no taste of horror in the air, even when lines are broken, and things start roaming in the streets. It seems all we get is this one narrow bubble with, well, no feeling to it. The only reason it wasn’t boring was Jane herself. I said time and again, a good character can save your lack of plot any day. Jane’s the only reason I’ll continue with the further books, with hopes they’ll improve story-wise. How do you make a zombie book so very… Not?

I don’t know, I didn’t like the way the story was told much. I’ll give it a wobbly 4 out of 5, only because the characters were interesting.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, LGBTQ+ Books, zombies | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

diversity | “Armistice” by Lara Elena Donnelly | The Amberlough Dossier

3Author: Lara Elena Donnelly
Title: Armistice
Series: The Amberlough Dossier 2
Genre: Fiction, LGBT Literature
Pages: 400
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

The more you read these books, the more interesting they get. I blame the width of the perimeter you must keep your eyes locked on. There’s too many details to actually remember, not just notice. But as I read it for the second time, for I have done so, I figured I’ll read every single one in these series that author will provide. Because damn.

About: Amberlough is being destroyed by war. But the revolutionists are still fighting, the partisans, the guerrilla, known best as Catwalk organisation. Gathered together by former cabaret dancers, and led by them, they live in this nightmare with hope to see Amberlough as beautiful as it once was, free.

Cordelia wants to aid this revolution and survive too. So she smuggles herself into the enemy territory, into Armistice, where she roams around seeking contacts, work, help. She didn’t really expect to find actual friends out here, thriving. Nor that they’ll still want to do anything with her or this revolution, even if they loved their country. But here she is, working for a warmonger, arms smuggler, in hopes she can serve them enough for them to serve her in return.

Politics are more cutthroat and criminal than actual criminal world. Spies double-cross on moments notice. No one can be trusted. Not even your own cold fury and heartache.

Mine: Vintage, glam, smoke, spies, and striptease. The story is so damn attractive that for once, I’ve read and enjoyed every single detail. The world was amazing too, culture so foreign, so different, and yet still familiar enough to accept, understand, see what author did there (5 points if you get the reference). For instance, polygamy is okay, same sex marriage is accepted if not always understood. But gods forbid you’ll have dalliances if you’re a widower. You’ll be destroyed. I loved it. The only minus I got was the amount of names and code-names. Some names were too hard for me to remember, since I’ve a hard time with names as is. Others simply changed along the way. But this could just be my own personal problem. And, for those who care, diversity comes in these forms: most strongest leaders are women here; there’s different orientations present among main characters; main characters are by far not always white; the culture seems based on India and  possibly Middle Asia;

Beautiful book. Maybe not the very best story you’ll ever read, but so damn gorgeous that I, for one, will definitely await more with eager. 4 out of 5, as strong as it gets.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, LGBTQ+ Books, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

diversity |”The Price of Meat” by K.J. Charles

1Author: K.J. Charles
Title: The Price of Meat
Series: –
Genre: Horror, LGBT Literature
Pages: 73
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I have the worst luck choosing books I’ll read before bed time. Like this one, for instance. I know full well KJC can write real terrifying things. Still I take it. I suspect by the title what it’ll be. I still take it. Can’t say I didn’t love it though, for I did.

About: At the heart of London there’s rot called the liberty of Alsatia, where King’s law doesn’t exist, and where the worst of the worst gather. For to choose liberty in Alsatia just to avoid death, well, let’s just say some would have their doubts about which fate is worse. Here, in the dark narrow streets teeming with violence and hunger, rule the so called Freemen, elite of this nightmare. Men who found a way out of Alsatia, and their way back in, without getting killed on the spot by the law. They provide food, and they can deny it too. But here, again, some might opt to choose death by starvation over the meat Freemen serve…

Johanna Oakley has no other choice but to survive in this kingdom of darkness, ruled by monsters that were once men. She has to save her beloved, but to do so, she must gain evidence on Freemen. If she can survive it herself, that is.

Mine: If you have any fears of being eaten or cannibals in general – steer clear of this book. It was horrifying, people get torn to pieces while alive, eaten then and there, raw (not that cooking a human piece would make it better, but you get my meaning). Other than this terror, the book is really well written. Author used the full arsenal of knowledge about what extended cannibalism does to humans, and the legends about men like Sweeney Todd too. It was great, terrifying, but great.

A great and scary read. Not the first of this kind among KJC’s books, so I’ve only myself to blame. The book gets 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, F/F Literature, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | 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

diversity |”Unfit to Print” by K.J. Charles

2Author: K.J. Charles
Title: Unfit to Print
Series: –
Genre: Historical, LGBT Literature
Pages: 145
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

You know, this book almost smells of noir detectives, fancy suits, cigars, and private-eyes. It isn’t that, but the vibes were very right.

About: Vikram Pandey is a lawyer doing a lot of pro bono work for people to whom not everyone cares to ever help: immigrants. He goes out of his way to find missing people, help those who found themselves in need to sell themselves or their services, and is honestly distraught whenever he finds them dead.

This time a missing fella leads him straight to a bookstore where his childhood friend works. It’s one of the bookstores that sell filth if you ask right: a forbidden romance novel, an accommodating picture or two. Gil Lawless got here through hardships and horrible experiences that began when he himself went missing. Vikram then thought him dead, so a blow after a blow, his day is getting worse. For on top of this all, Gil seems to be aware of the missing lad. He might even suspect him to be connected to one already dead. But he doesn’t feel much need to help, no. Nobody helped him, after all.

Mine: Oh wow, okay, I really liked this one. A dangerous investigation in KJC’s style, really worked well, since she’s not afraid to hurt her characters. So the fear you feel reading is very real: that damn ax might just land where it was aimed at. I really like this kind of a complex but not messy and absolutely sensible detective story. On top of that, if I didn’t sell this to you yet: there’s a very mean kitty cat named Satan.

A great short little book for a quick rest. Damn how I missed me a good detective, I didn’t even realize. 5 out of 5, for sure.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Detective Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Wanted, A Gentleman” by K.J. Charles

2Author: K.J. Charles
Title: Wanted, A Gentleman
Series: –
Genre: Historical Romance, LGBT Literature
Pages: 131
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

It seems I am nearing the end of KJC’s bibliography. Which is both fun and sad. Fun, because who doesn’t want to read everything one of their favorite authors ever wrote? And sad, because this means I’ll have to wait for any other book to be written.

About: Theodore Swann publishes ads in papers. Not just any though, no. The Matrimonial kind, the dating kind. Basically he’s the middleman in ancient Tinder published in papers. One of these days, while work went as always, a fine tall man walks in, demanding information on one particular suitor. For the said fox seems to be attempting to lure an underage girl of a very wealthy family into a marriage without her parents consent. But Theodore’s whole livelihood depends on him being discreet! Who’d ever write him if he gave up addresses to anyone who asked. To not tell is to get a very possible thrashing and never seeing this handsome man again. To tell is to risk everything. But Swann has a secret: he earns a coin or two on the side by writing cheap romance novels, and is very, very familiar with the villains. Enough to maybe, just maybe find a solution that’d suit everyone.

Mine: It’s a very short, not the very best, but certainly amusing book of an ad writer, who has a secret life of an author good only in his villain writing. I really enjoyed the simplicity of this book, it was short, fast, and didn’t beat around the bush too much, nor did it have a band of evil doers in a cabal. On top of that, as always, it’s the characters that made my day. KJC doesn’t recycle.

It’s a good, if extremely short little book. Not my favorite, but hey, not all books can be of Magpies and Murder, right? 4 out of 5, firmly.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Diversity | Dance with the Devil by Megan Derr

1Author: Megan Derr
Title: Dance With the Devil
Series: Dance With the Devil 1
Genre: LGBT Literature, Paranormal
Pages.: 204
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

One of those books I picked up because I didn’t want to read or continue anything. A few times like that I found my favorite books. This is not the case, even though the book was pretty good. It’s the romance part that really messed it up, otherwise this would’ve been a paranormal detective, a supernatural private-eye, think about it, how amazing is that?

About: Chris is a paranormal detective, for paranormal people, for paranormal events. He’s half ghost, thanks to his powerful witch mother who back in the day managed to source enough energy to make his father a body for three whole days. This really helps in his line of work, where most secrets are either kept behind locked doors, or are whispered in private companies. And there’s indeed plenty of work! There’s a ghost in a goblin’s home; someone wants Chris to find a grimoire that belongs to Storm Demon; the said Storm Demon is a hoarder of grimoires, and is not likely to ever part with any; an enslaved imp is defying his gentle nature to survive; a demon of lust is trying to take over a werewolf pack that has no current leader; and so on, and on…

Mine: The book is made out of different cases, but they all interconnect into one story via several time-lines. There’s this marvelous atmosphere of a detective office, a private-eye for supernaturals, with imaginary sulfur and brimstone instead of cigar smoke and whiskey. Almost a half-ghost Sherlock. But that romance part really messes things up. Even if it was a good romance, which is not thanks to “no means convince me” mentality majority seem to have here, the worse thing for plot was them waving the Biggest Baddest demon ring that made everyone confess. Are you a detective or an enforcer of some kind?

I think I’ll read another one, just to see what’s better, if anything. But right now I don’t feel a very great need to continue with the series, so we’ll see. Currently, due to it definitely being not a bad story, I can give it a 4 out of 5.

 

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Paranormal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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