Books: Other Fiction

book review | Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith | 1

abraham lincoln vampire hunter seth grahame smithAuthor: Seth Grahame-Smith
Title: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Series: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 1
Genre: Historical Fiction; Vampires
Pages: 336
Rate: 4-5 | Goodreads

I’ve read “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” by Seth Grahame-Smith, which I didn’t particularly like. But recently, as I found out that the pretty okay movie “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is too based on this author’s novel – I had to pick it up, and hope for the best. Or at least for better.

About the Book: Author who has abandoned his writing and is now working in a general store gets a strange parting gift from his mysterious client. It turns out to be a bundle of notes, diaries that seemingly belonged to no other than the 16th President of the United States. We all know him as the man who finally abolished the slavery. What we, and the author, didn’t know is that he was the best vampire hunter in America too.

My Opinion: The book, as alternative history, is written in a serious tone. Vampire hunts and killings soon become absolutely brutal and breath-taking. The story is well written too, with nothing overbearing, nor lacking. And yet, this balance, left it very mediocre. Which I guess is better than outright dull, but still. When taking it, you have to keep in mind that this, much like Dacre Stoker’s “Something in the Blood” is a take on writing a fictional biography that is loosely based on facts. It still reads as a biography. Meaning there’s a lot of attention to personal things – love, marriage, children, home. Where, if this was written just as a novel, and excerpt of Abraham Lincoln’s life, we would’ve had more action, more adventure.

What I find strange is that the first half of the book is so much better than the second half. Usually it’s the opposite. This one gets a mediocre 4 out of 5 from me. I suggest you watch the movie first and then decide if you care enough to read it. It’s not bad. It’s just not good either.

Categories: 4-5, Alternative History Books, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Pretty Perfect by Riley Hart and Christina Lee | Boys in Makeup 1

Apretty perfect boys in makeup riley hart christina lee lgbt romance lgbtqiauthor: Riley Hart and Christina Lee
Title: Pretty Perfect
Series: Boys in Makeup 1
Genre: LGBT Romance; Contemporary
Pages: 261
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Ah, there we go, I think I found my new chill-reads. Got through first book in the brand new Boys in Makeup series by Riley Hart and Christina Lee, called “Pretty Perfect“. It’s very simple story in the best kind of way.

About the Book: Jesse and Dane are the polar opposites. A fact their boss happily used, having them dance at the bar together every Friday. Visitors and clients enjoy the sexual tension they perceive between the two. And the pair can’t complain about the tips they make either. They’d like to, though, complain. When you’re hurting – it’s easy to assume the worst about people. And both guys come from pretty painful backgrounds: unaccepting families, nasty exes, heartache, loss. It took them bumping into each other outside the bar environment to realize maybe they’re not so different after all.

My Opinion: It’s a very simple story, with very basic events that work together well, and make for a light, pleasant read. First third or even a little more of the book was pretty slow though, and at times I wondered if I really want to be reading this right now. But later on it all picked up. We got to know their stories, their families, watch them grow out of hurt, and tackle problems with sense and determination. A fairly rare event in romance books, if you ask me.

Not a masterpiece, but a fine read nonetheless. A 4 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | Spook Country by William Gibson | Blue Ant 2

william gibson spook country blue ant cyberpunkAuthor: William Gibson
Title: Spook Country
Series: Blue Ant 2
Genre: Cyberpunk; Fiction
Pages: 371
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

I’ve read “Spook Country” by William Gibson, his second book in the cyberpunk trilogy called Blue Ant. And, to be honest, I don’t know how I feel about it.

About the Book: Former rock star, now journalist, is hired by a nonexistent magazine to investigate an eccentric artist with peculiar virtual reality art. But not really for the art. The artist knows someone who knows something about the mythical shipping container that is being tossed around like a hot potato and whose existence is being covered by someone powerful enough to buy off both law and criminals.

My Opinion: The story follows three protagonists. One of their purpose I didn’t manage to figure. Just a junkie being dragged around by some strange guy claiming to be law. Then there’s the VR art, described in such meticulous detail, and reappearing like an unwanted rag underfoot. Everyone’s going somewhere, doing the opposite of what would be logical, and dining out in restaurants. All while occasionally overthinking some silly little detail. By the end we finally get the grand finale, where plot quickens and rushes past, but it’s a long way to it.

Reading the plot feels like watching a movie with a gauze on your eyes that got some random holes in it. You sort of get it. And occasionally you even prop your head in such a way that you get a glimpse of what’s really going on there. Whether this obscuring was on purpose or not, it felt like a chore. A 2 out of 5 for this one.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Sci-Fi, cyberpunk | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell | Simon Snow 2

rainbow rowell wayward sonAuthor: Rainbow Rowell
Title: Wayward Son
Series: Simon Snow 2
Genre: YA, Fantasy, LGBT+
Pages: 356
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Gotta love those rare-ish books that make you shift your schedules just so you could get to know what happens next. Such was “Wayward Son” by Rainbow Rowell, second book in Simon Snow series or trilogy. If I tell you the book felt “summerish” will you know what I mean? The book you want to have for summer, with which you can imagine you too can do nothing but lay back and read?

About the Book: Simon’s ex is in trouble. Apparently she got lured into a cult. And while it’s not yet clear for what purposes, it’s truly clear she needs help. So, Penny, Baz and Simon go on an adventure in America, a magical wilderness with no magical laws. And not for all the sights and experiences, no, truly, just to save their friend! Yet, they neither weighted the distances right, nor the dangers that lurk in that magical wild-wild-west. From vampire gangs, to shifters, to dragons, to handsome young Normal guys who know too much of their magical world…

My Opinion: The book is brilliant in its simplicity. A little gathering of fandom easter-eggs. A wind-in-your-hair summer adventure, a road trip with the best of people. And new, unpredictable events behind every corner and turn.

Just the right kind of book for me now. A strong 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Adventure Books, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, Books: Supernatural, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab | Cassidy Blake 2

tunnel of bones victoria schwab cassidy blakeAuthor: Victoria Schwab
Title: Tunnel of Bones
Series: Cassidy Blake 2
Genre: Paranormal Literature
Pages: 304
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I don’t know what it is with Victoria Schwab, but so far I have loved all her books. Therefore I am quite happy there’s still some books I’ve not read. Like “Tunnel of Bones“, second book in Cassidy Blake‘s series.

About the Book: Cassidy’s parents have a unique opportunity to film a show of paranormal places. And so the girl is spending her summer vacation in Paris. In catacombs. Filled with restless spirits. With only her ghost best friend to watch her back, and warn her. One of the spirits, that of a little boy who seemingly died down here, grows different upon contact with her. He grows stronger, more powerful, apparently now able to manipulate real world in a much larger scale, and even pull her into the veil. Cassidy must find a way to send him on, and do so very, very fast.

My Opinion: It was a very nice and light read, full of very well written characters. And while the book is meant for a much younger audience, it was plenty entertaining to me too. There’s just that little something about Schwab’s works.

I liked it a great deal. Victoria Schwab has a very unique writing style that, luckily, isn’t as polarizing as Murakami’s, where you hate it or love it, and there’s no in between. I’m sure there’s something in her vast bibliography that would suit everyone. A strong 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Adventure Books, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, Books: Supernatural, ghosts, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Bloodlist by P.N. Elrod | Vampire Files 1

bloodlist p n elrod vampire filesAuthor: P.N. Elrod
Title: Bloodlist
Series: Vampire Files 1
Genre: Vampires; Mystery
Pages: 160
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

A detective novel of former journalist turned vampire going against gangsters who killed him. Such is “Bloodlist” by P.N. Elrod, the first in Vampire Files series, and, I admit, it was pretty good.

About the Book: Jack can’t remember what exactly happened. He just knows he was killed, and is now driven by vampire instincts and desire to find what was on that mysterious list gangsters demanded from him all the way to his death. After all, he was a journalist in his first life. Down this hellish road, luckily, he meets allies: an almost sherlockian detective, and, naturally, a girl…

My Opinion: While not the best detective you will ever read, it will sure do its best to entertain. Noir atmosphere, gangsters and cigar smoke, charming women hiding their strength, a disguise master detective, and… a vampire.

The book was easy to read, entertaining, and not too predictable either. I can give it a very firm 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Crime Books, Detective Books, mafia, murder, Mystery Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin | Earthsea Cycle 1

a wizard of earthsea ursula k le guin fantasy bookAuthor: Ursula K. Le Guin
Title: A Wizard of Earthsea
Series: Earthsea Cycle 1
Genre: Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 183
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Needed to break the sci-fi cycle I fell into, and also wanted something short. So picked up “A Wizard of Earthsea” by Ursula K. Le Guin.

About the Book: Ged, now known as Sparrowhawk, showed talent and power since childhood. Due to which and added want for knowledge, no matter who taught the young boy, the arrogance remained rooted. To a point where he believed he could do more if only his tutors taught him more, greater things. Which led Sparrowhawk, in a moment of heated argument, to summon a being unnatural to this world, tipping the fragile Equilibrium. For this the wizard, powerful or not, will pay with his life, if not with the whole world. That is, if he cannot find the way to undo his stupid mistake. And so his journey begins, running there, chasing here. A journey that’ll hopefully teach him of fear, life, wisdom and humility.

My Opinion: The book has almost adventure-like quality to it, what with the constantly changing surroundings, a need to find something or outrun something. But it’s very linear, and doesn’t even try to be any less predictable. It’s a straight line up the hill, then down the hill, and up it again. To add to that, since the book was originally released in 1968, behind the veils of dragons and spells, there peeks the inequality that seemed normal to authors of the day, but which feels bothersome today.

It’s a well written poor idea. But then, I wonder, if I fully respect the basis of old fantasy, could it get better now that the first book and thus the foundation of the hero is built? I’ll give this one a 4 out of 5 due to sheer respect for what it is from a philosophical standpoint, and probably will give it another shot.

Categories: 4-5, Adventure Books, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Fantasy Books, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | “Grave Importance” by Vivian Shaw | Dr. Greta Helsing 3

grave importance vivian shawAuthor: Vivian Shaw
Title: Grave Importance
Series: Dr Greta Helsing 3
Genre: Urban Fantasy; Vampires
Pages: 397
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Grave Importance” by Vivian Shaw concludes the wonderful Dr Greta Helsing trilogy. I’m going to miss them all very dearly.

About the Book: Down in hell, Greta’s good friend demon Fass is trying to detangle the mess his predecessor left. Somewhere in all this data there’s an answer as of why is the veil of reality thinning so rapidly, and where it originates from. Lucky for him, their common friend Lord Ruthven catches a nasty curse during his travel with the newly found beloved boyfriend, and only the hell’s very own dr Faust can help; where in return Ruthven can help Fass. Greta, in the meantime, is having her own troubles upstairs on Earth. Entrusted to take care of the mummy resort, she’s overloaded with work and stress. Mummies seem to be having a strange attack of random faintness. All well and good if the mummy is sitting or laying down. But what about those in motion? One such she had to fix for strenuous hours, and swore to herself she’ll reach the bottom of this…

My Opinion: Characters are just absolutely wonderful and lovable, and thus will be very greatly missed now that the great tale of infernal adventures have ended. The story itself is good too, very fitting lazy reading, taking it on a slower pace than it is told, which again makes me sad, for I don’t have another book like this I could take my time with.

A masterful piece. Strong 5 out of 5 and then some.

Categories: 5-5, Adventure Books, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Supernatural, demons, Nosferatu Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

bridge to terabithia katherine patersonAuthor: Katherine Paterson
Title: Bridge to Terabithia
Series: –
Genre: Fiction; Classics
Pages: 190
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I remember watching “Bridge to Terabithia“, how gripping, beautiful, and soul-wrenching it was. Figured, I might as well read the book by Katherine Paterson. Well, it’s just as wonderful and heartbreaking.

About the Book: Jess’s only escape was painting, drawing. Something his father didn’t approve of much, so the boy didn’t get to do it as much as he wanted, nor really flourish his fantasy until Leslie moved into the house next door. Strange girl of seemingly eccentric parents broke the mundane routine, hardships at home, nightmares at school. In the woods across the river they made themselves a safe haven, a fantastical Kingdom of their own, Terabithia. Which, as their rulers, they had to defend from monsters, and solve the problems as they arose.

My Opinion: It’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve read, with gorgeous movie to go along. Vivid, lively characters, magical story.

A great book I can greatly recommend. 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Grey Bastards by Jonathan French | The Lot Lands 1

the grey bastards jonathan french the lot landsAuthor: Jonathan French
Title: The Grey Bastards
Series: The Lot Lands 1
Genre: High Fantasy
Pages: 529
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Thick books are hard to review, for they tend to encompass a very long period of time, with too many events happening. Such is “The Grey Bastards” by Jonathan French, a great book that doesn’t really fit in a single paragraph to express what was it all about.

About the Book: Jackal and his other half-orc brothers and sisters, The True Bastards, lived a relatively easy life in the Lot Lands, all up until a series of events, starting with a single pebble, sent down this mountain of almost leisure down in an avalanche. An argument with knights, a stolen and sold elven girl in the hands of the nastiest possible monster, an appearance of half-orc wizard, a being unheard of… There’s a tension for war in the air, with almost every possible enemy. Jackal isn’t sure their old chief is capable of keeping them all alive, and the wind already smells of blood.

My Opinion: I do greatly enjoy books told from non-human perspectives; extra points for them not being elves too. Nothing against elves, I love them dearly, but I’m pretty sure we’re all a little too used to fantasy meaning elves and dwarves as the only possible adventurers. Characters are written well, with tales of their own, even if their characters sometimes blend together. The book is a pretty good example of what’s epic fantasy adventure like, but made better by overload of filthy jokes, down to earth heroes, and clever beasts. The only problem I had were the overly long discussions that led nowhere, or to conclusions that could’ve been reached in two sentences.

A good book, not the best, but definitely good, so a 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Adventure Books, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, dark fantasy, epic fantasy, high fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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