LGBTQ+ Books

book review | Dracula the Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker | Stoker’s Dracula 2

dracula the undead dacre stoker book coverAuthor: Dacre Stoker
Title: Dracula the Un-Dead
Series: Stoker’s Dracula 2
Genre: Horror literature, Vampires
Pages: 424
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

So, the most recent book by Dacre Stoker, the “Dracul” is a prequel to Bram Stoker‘s “Dracula“, and this one. It’s a sort of a fictional biography of Bram Stoker and a sort of the origin of how the book “Dracula” was born, or the basis for it. Then you should read Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” itself. And then this book, “Dracula the Un-Dead“, for it is a direct sequel to “Dracula”. And yet, it barely sticks with that prequel.

About: About twenty years after that little band of heroes got terrorized by the truth of vampire existence, Quincey Harker, son of Mina and Jonathan Harkers, against his father’s wishes, but in secret as to not lose his financial support, is pursuing a career as an actor. All is well and good, really. He even gets to meet his hero, his idol, famous actor named Basarab, who fully supports the boy’s want to become an actor, even if his father disapproves. Basarab even promises help, connections. All in return of a small favor Quincey can absolutely provide: introduce him to Bram Stoker. For, you see, Stoker is now building a play called “Dracula”, and Basarab has a few words about it…

But this is where Quincey’s life as he knows it crumbles to dust, bit by bit. The play is based on the book, the manuscript by the same title. In that story the main heroes are his mother, father, and their friends, in hunt of this vampire named Dracula. With fury of thoughts, among which not the smallest is the youthful look of his mother, who easily passes for his sister, Quincey hurries home. Yet, some secrets should remain buried in the past. For no sooner is Quincey able to find some information, confront his mother, as his father is found dead. Impaled.

Mine: The characters seem mentally challenged. They neither have logic, nor can see any. They will listen to absolutely nothing they don’t want to believe in, even if their own beliefs have absolutely no basis other than their own fantasies and fictional books they’ve read. Bram Stoker didn’t even bother to change the names of the people from diaries he presented as his book, apparently. Yes, why do that when you try to outbest your writer friends, such as Oscar Wilde. But. While I equally hate and love Dacre Stoker’s books, I must say, no matter how stupid the plot gets at times, for there’s plenty of second-hand shame I felt, they’re well written. I mean, I need a moment there and here to process the ridiculous ideas, but then, I read further, because I want to, because I’m curious. So, ah… Well done?

So. Dracula wasn’t the only vampire out there. Jack the Ripper wasn’t who you thought he was. And Titanic carried passengers from Stoker’s Dracula. For all of that, for this one and only clever ruse, for nothing else in this book was clever, I give it as much as 4 out of 5. And, you know what? I’d read another one.

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, F/F Literature, Gothic Books, LGBTQ+ Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

diversity | “Fallow” by Jordan L. Hawk | Whyborne & Griffin 8

2Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Fallow
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 8
Genre: Paranormal romance, LGBT literature
Pages: 210
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Not gonna lie, I got a little bit tired of these series, I am looking forwards to both their final, and I am indeed thinking I maybe need to take a break from them. We’ll see.

About: A man from Griffin’s hometown murders a sorcerer before his very eyes, and then must be killed himself. For the corruption inside of him that Griffin can see, is making him violent towards the man, blaming him for something Griffin got no clue about. Yet one thing is obvious. Since this man came from Griffins home, the same one that once exiled him for his nature, then they all back there, including his mother, are in grave danger. And he’s too kind of a soul to just let them die.

Mine: I do like that these books always touch upon LGBT community questions that are relevant in our reality, today. Like, how does one carry on living, when those who were supposed to love us unconditionally – turn away? It’s a legitimate truth some people have to live with, and I hope you all know that you can make your own families, and that you matter. But on the lighter note, for one, I almost cried laughing at Whyborne vs Rooster named Diabolo. And for two, oh how I love Christine! She and Ester Gold would surely be best friends, and they’d go hunt bad guys with magic and shotguns. Does anyone know of such a book? I want to read it.

I guess due to the fact these stories are written in a pattern of “one case per book” – it got a little too predictable for my liking. You know trouble will happen soon, and you know trouble will be solved by the end of it. So I think I’ll take a little break, but give this one a firm 4 out of 5, it was one of the better ones for sure.

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

historical fiction | “The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy | Montague Siblings 2

5Author: Mackenzi Lee
Title: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
Series: Montague Siblings 2
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Pages: 450
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Another book I heard warnings about, and read poor reviews of in that little collection of book blogs that I follow (not all of them). But if I set my mind on reading something, that’ll not discourage me, so here I am.

About: Felicity just wanted to be a doctor. She wanted to learn, to know, and possibly be known for her contribution to medicine. But instead, her being born a woman at this time and age, has made all the men close the door to her face before even hearing her out. Yet Montagues aren’t so easily made to give up.

Upon hearing that her former childhood friend is about to marry a scientist Felicity has admired for a while, she sets off to visit her, with a plan at hand of how to not upset the friend she didn’t part on the best of terms with; And how to possibly get a spot at her soon-to-be husband’s side. For this man is known to be an eccentric among his kind, so at the very least she’ll be heard, she’s sure. Instead she soon finds herself on yet another pirate ship, with her childhood friend at hand, off to adventures worthy of books, escaping grave danger into strange lands of myths.

Mine: Felicity is what I’d imagine Sherlock Holmes would’ve been if he was born a woman. She’s stubborn, annoyed, angry, feeling invisible. She also believes she has to prove herself to be seen, and doesn’t always choose the best ways towards those goals, thus, doing so, she hurts others and comes off as arrogant. Here her childhood friend really fits into the picture. She’s a very different kind of a woman from Felicity, yet just as strong and just as smart. Her kind clashing with Felicity creates a dynamic character development that I very much enjoyed through the whole of the book. The only big minus I got for the story is the overbearing amount of details where there was no need for so many, and great shortage of them where it would’ve been interesting to know more.

I’d really like me more books of Montague siblings. They’re real fun kids, with ability to adapt unmatched. I give this book a strong 4 out of 5, and remain hopeful.

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

diversity | “Midnight” by Megan Derr | Dance with the Devil 3

4Author: Megan Derr
Title: Midnight
Series: Dance with the Devil 3
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 212
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Have I mentioned before, that these books remind me a lot of Castlevania cartoon? There’s this vibe of magic mixed with science. The really modern inventions in almost medieval settings. The distinct territories and lines between the Normals and Supernaturals.

About: Somewhere far, at the edge of the vampire, the Draculas territory, and too close for comfort on the edge of the dragon territory, a Siren song rises the dead from their slumber, and turns them into draugr. But these are inferior beings as Lord Devlin White knows it. For he once shared his own heartbeat with a dying boy, Midnight, which resulted in a fine young man, capable of thought, function, growing up. Midnight is nothing like these shambling monsters. And, apparently, someone is more than aware. Someone out there, using the song, is luring Lord White into a trap, for Midnight is a secret highly prized…

Mine: This was a slow, but very fun and dark adventure. There were fierce but cute dragons, their knights, yes, their knights, and magic. Priests who dabbled in evil and still thought themselves holier than thou. And, as I now noticed, the usual little line of a classic fairy tale woven in there to lead on the detective plot of who did what and why. The only thing I horribly did not like was the not-yet-even-a-boyfriend jealousy. Yes, how dare you have had life before them, and love interests. Bah.

These are very easy to read magical books. I like them a lot, so I’m glad there’s more to get through. Much like some of the KJC’s romances, these too follow different people through same setting, universe, and it works very well like that. So I give it a strong 4 out of 5.

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, paranormal romance, 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 | “Queens of Geek” by Jen Wilde

1Author: Jen Wilde
Title: Queens of Geek
Series: –
Genre: LGBT Literature, Contemporary
Pages: 262
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

We’ve all ran into that “different” title at some point in our lives. And often I feel like girls likely run into it more often. For I always knew plenty who loved to read, play video games. And yet, they were self-described, and described by others as “not your usual girl“, so, different. This is a book about them, and how it’s all normal.

About: Taylor lives with a form of autism, severe anxiety, and absolutely constant nervousness. It were the YA book series that got her through school. And so, it is thanks to them that she pulls together all of her courage and determination, and accepts an invitation to SupaCon, provided to her by her good friend vlogger-actress, Charlie. Charlie has a panel there, and hopes to not meet her toxic ex while Taylor will be out hunting her favorite author. Both of them hope for the best, expect the worst, and have absolutely no clue of how their lives will soon shift.

Mine: They had me at “Felicia Day“. I enjoy books that normalize the different. Because that’s the thing, it’s not different, you’re just told you have to fit a mold all your damn life, and that’s just a big fat lie. You’re not different, you’re you. And sure, you’re unique, and that’s bloody great, but there’s no reason to put all the girls and boys who like what they “should” (according to general society, possibly their parents) like, into one herd, as if they’re somehow below us, “weirdos“. Even if they think so of you. Which they also, shouldn’t. This book is a great example of how it is, should be, could be, and should absolutely not be.

I’ve read this book and caught myself wondering whom am I going to gift this book too. I like books like that, with a good message in them. It’s idealized to a teeth-rotting sweetness, and the writing isn’t top notch either. But hey, 5 out of 5 for sheer message it passes.

 

Categories: 5-5, Books: LGBT, Contemporary Books, F/F Literature, LGBTQ+ Books | 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

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.

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

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