Books: Other Fiction

book review | I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver | lgbt+ lit.

i wish you all the best mason deaver book coverAuthor: Mason Deaver
Title: I Wish You All The Best
Series: –
Genre: LGBT+ literature; Contemporary
Pages: 329
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I feel like LGBT books are the best thing in Contemporary genre. Or at least, the only ones I like in that genre (still wouldn’t pass a good lgbt+ fantasy series, like Captive Prince). E.g. “I Wish You All The Best” by Mason Deaver, a wonderful and simple in a good way book of LGBT youth on the other side of kind and understanding parents.

About the Book: Ben’s life ended the same evening they found enough courage to come out to their parents: Ben’s nonbinary. Meaning they don’t fall under male or female gender categories in a world where ever colors seem to invoke associations with genders. So, as ignorant people do, Ben’s parents kicked their child out onto the street in the night. Having no place to go, they contacted their long lost sister, who ran from home with no goodbyes the first chance she found. Ben is thus forced to start a new life, full of anxiety, panic, a constant need to come out and again, and again, therapy, and too many apologies. But hey, new life is new hope too, right?

My Opinion: The book is very light and simple, which makes this topic more approachable to people who don’t yet fully grasp of how can you NOT be a set standard. And due to Mason Deaver being nonbinary too, you can be sure you’re getting information straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak (who coined this saying and why the hell?). To add to that, it shows a different world a, sadly, more realistic world than that of “Love, Simon” whose parents accepted him instantly. But it’s not as dark as it sounds anyway, and I promise, the ending is wonderful.

5 out of 5 from me, and I wish Ben all the best too. And all of you, out there. Stay safe until you can shine, and once you can shine: blind all the haters with your light.

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

book review | Fear the Light by William Massa | Fear 1 | Dracula lit.

fear the light william massa book cover.jpgAuthor: William Massa
Title: Fear the Light
Series: Fear 1
Genre: Dracula, Vampires
Pages: 210
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

Other than those few historical classics I got recommended way back when, my attempt to read one Dracula book a month became this game of hit or miss. For instance, I truly did miss greatly with Fear the Light by William Massa.

About the Book: Someone is slaying clan vampires, starting with their master, their Creator, the oldest and most powerful vampire alive, formerly, Dracula. Now his clan cowers trapped in their master’s manor in the middle of the day. It was supposed to be a peaceful paying of respects to their late Father in Darkness and someone’s ascension to power, the clan leader position. Instead an invisible force is picking them off one by one. And everyone got a motive.

My Opinion: A poor imitation of Agatha Christi mysteries, where a group of people gets trapped somewhere, and someone’s killing them all. Shallow characters whose tragic stories did help, but otherwise didn’t make them any more interesting or missed. And that godawful trope one often sees in Dracula books, but usually he’s the one getting that stick of: the best of the best can’t beat you, but here comes a rando with a butter knife and you’re done. The End.

Mmno. 2 out of 5.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Dracula, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Mystery Books, Nosferatu Books, Thriller Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Mark by Lee Mountford | horror lit.

the mark lee mountford book coverAuthor: Lee Mountford
Title: The Mark
Series: –
Genre: Horror Literature; Thriller
Pages: 290
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

It’s hard to find good horror genre books. The Mark by Lee Mountford isn’t one of them either.

About the Book: One night a stranger breaks into Kirsty’s home, drugs her, and brands her back with strange occult symbols. Ever since she had no peace. At first she thought of the visions of nightmarish creatures as delusions or PTSD symptoms. But when her friend is attacked by the same demons, she knows she only has one option now: find the man who did this, and make him take it away.

My Opinion: This is some poor writing. Weird, unnatural feeling dialogues. Very precise, predictable sequence of actions and events. Everyone around Kirsty seem to be delusional and incompetent by some degree. For instance, the detective on the case waves the main lead off as irrelevant. While Kirsty somehow finds the man by his eyes that she saw once, many years ago. Her moral compass was firm, but lacked any logic behind it. It was there to make you feel for this woman who otherwise was bland, and lacked personality. The best thing in this whole book was the demon, because it turned out to be something akin to djinn Bartimaeus: seemingly the big bad, but is it, really?

Pass, 2 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, demons, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer by Jennifer Lynch

the secret diary of laura palmer jennifer lynch twin peaksAuthor: Jennifer Lynch
Title: The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer
Series: –
Genre: Horror literature; Mystery
Pages: 184
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Have you ever watched the cult series Twin Peaks? I can still hear the intro tune in my head. And recently I discovered there’s a diary of Laura Palmer, the main blonde beauty in the series, whose murder brought the detectives to the town. Book “The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer” is written by Jennifer Lynch, daughter of the Twin Peaks series creator. But, to be honest, as well as it was written, it was disgusting.

About the Book: Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks has two diaries. One is the light and bright one, by a teenage girl with future ahead. It’s meant for prying eyes, to those who can’t help themselves but snoop. The other one holds her darkness. Darkness that is spreading, choking, drowning her. Ever since she was twelve, and maybe even before that, she kept dreaming of darkness, of woods, owls, strange old men abusing her, using her. These dreams seeped through into her daydreams and fantasies as the girl entered teenage years. But it seems these fantasies were feeding a demon. A demon she learns to be called Bob. He hunts and tortures her in her dreams, and, apparently, intends to take her to hell.

My Opinion: So here’s what’s what. This child has very clear dreams of older men abusing her. Her father’s co-worker gifts her a pony for her birthday. A demon chases her in her dreams, calls her dirty, nasty. Before age sixteen she was selling her body to fund coke addiction. This is a broken girl, whose mind suffered such great trauma by those she loved and trusted, that it created a demon that ruled over them all to justify the human monsters. And that is why this book was so very disgusting to read.

I won’t recommend this to anyone, and wish it had a trigger warning, for I’m not into reading about such abuse. The girl didn’t live to be an adult, for gods sake. Because why help her, when you can use her, right? 3 out of 5 is the best I can give it. It’s well written ravings of a broken person.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Detective Books, Mystery Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

book review | Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco | Stalking Jack the Ripper 4

capturing the devil kerri maniscalco book coverAuthor: Kerri Maniscalco
Title: Capturing the Devil
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper 4
Genre: YA; Historical Mystery
Pages: 453
Rate: 3-5 | Goodreads

I sometimes get really used to series, and am then unable to quit them. Lucky for me, Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco are absolutely bearable. I’ve just read the fourth one, Capturing the Devil, and I won’t ditch it just yet, no matter the rate.

About the Book: Quite unbelievably it seems that Jack the Ripper has returned. The infamous serial killer whose presence and deeds shook Audrey Rose’s home, London, now rampages through Chicago, America. Bodies are gruesome to look upon, and sometimes there’s not even those, just missing people, missing women. Police is reluctant to help them solve this too, especially due to them being foreigners with a reputation, and with a woman among them. But Audrey Rose absolutely must find out who hides behind Jack’s masks. For she and those close to her know well that Jack, her brother, is dead.

My Opinion: There a grave and unpleasant gap between this book and the previous one, and I have a bad suspicion it is due to the in-between half-book. In which case it’s a damn poor move, since half-books are mainly meant to those who want more out of the stories they already love. I will look into it though, for at least that character, that part of the story, got Dracula’s lineage in it. This one here, after my previous excitement with the end of the last book, began with a very annoying courting and marriage plans that bored me greatly, BUT! But. That’s a pure matter of taste, and I won’t take any points for it. Besides Audrey took her hunting real serious, so there’s props for that too.

All in all, these are neither good nor bad. I think, if you like mysteries and detectives, but grow tired of same old men solving them, these might be the perfect starter books. That is, if you are also into romance, constant reminder of their youth, and not so funny jokes of “you’re already 18, I can almost smell the grave dirt on you“. This one gets a 3 out of 5.

Coffee? | Etsy

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Crime Books, Detective Books, Historical Fiction Books, Mystery Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe

the woman in the dunes kobo abe.jpgAuthor: Kobo Abe
Title: The Woman in the Dunes
Series: –
Genre: Fiction; Classics
Pages: 241
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I got The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe from a pile of free to take books in the library. It then sat in a pile at home, until I decided it’s really time to diminish it. So I’ve read it, and it was good!

About the Book: A teacher, amateur entomologist, disappears after he goes out into the dunes by the sea in search of a new or different species of insects he could forever have his name related to.

They approached him just as the thoughts of needing some shelter for the night came. Asked who he is, what he’s doing here. Upon receiving the request for some place to stay, they took him to an almost literal hole in the sand, with a rotten hut down below, where a woman lived. A woman who’d dig sand every night, and sleep through the day. It’s a thankless job, but necessary. For if one doesn’t dig the sand off, it will bury the hut, her home, and the next thing will be the village above. But come morning Niki realizes he’s trapped.

My Opinion: I believe those who like Murakami’s unusual stories, will like this one too, for it is also very unusual and unique, unexpected in plot. It’s one of those books that explore the true human nature, which gets scary here, in this sand, where you must eat under an umbrella, unless you wish to eat sand with your food. The scenery and situation alike seem surreal, and yet they’re happening to this man, this teacher. It’s very interesting, and very strange at the same time.

Definitely an interesting read that I could recommend. A solid 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Classic Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

if I was your girl meredith russo book coverAuthor: Meredith Russo
Title: If I Was Your Girl
Series: –
Genre: LGBT Literature; Contemporary
Pages: 280
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I was scared to pick up “If I Was Your Girl” by Meredith Russo. I’m always scared to pick up teenage contemporary LGBT literature. I always feel like they’ll either ruin my mood by being bad, or… Ruin my mood by making me jealous of those years I never had. But this book was very good, and I’m happy I read it.

About the Book: Amanda transferred school and even town, just to escape nightmarish homophobia, bullying, beatings, and an attempt to take her own life. But here, with her father, she has a chance at new life as herself, for once, finally, as herself. She can finally live free and breathe, make friends, graduate, go to parties, maybe even fall in love. As long as she can fight or resist that guilt she feels over keeping such a huge secret from everyone. That is, until she finally has someone to trust it to.

My Opinion: I’m surprised at how many real trans people issues this one book contained, and how well they were approached, answered, and evolved within very different characters, leaving room for more than just pink fluffy dreams. It’s a good starter book to those who have a need for a book like that. And to those who don’t, well, it’s a good book by itself, very heart-warming, scary and beautiful at the same time, full of great character development. It’s like “Love, Simon“, but instead of a gay guy it got a young trans woman, I’d say.

Yep, good book. Loved the author word at the back of it too. 5 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | The Last Hellfighter by Thomas S. Flowers

thomas flowers last hellfighter book cover vampire horror literatureAuthor: Thomas S. Flowers
Title: The Last Hellfighter
Series: –
Genre: Horror literature; Vampires
Pages: 403
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

As much as I enjoy loose reusing of old tales, The Last Hellfighter by Thomas S. Flowers was not good.

About the Book: Harker is now 144, WWI veteran, the last of the Harlem Hellfighters who fought and killed enemy and vampire alike. And the nightmare never left him, all these years. For just because you return from war, doesn’t mean the war has stopped. In fact, sometimes, the nightmare becomes reality when you finally reach the imagined safety and peace of your home. For with a mere cloud of dust evil comes to Harker’s home, and his pregnant wife Mina is killed by no other than Vampire Countess herself. He, thus, vows to slay her, no matter the price.

My Opinion: Author chose the straightest, smoothest road towards the goal. He made no risks making any turns, and didn’t bother searching for more logical sequence of events, trusting instead the good old chewed up gum that is a plot like this. Characters, Countess included, generally only served the purpose of letting Harker talk, or letting Harker get closer to Countess. And why a divine creature who lived from the dawn of time chose to be a mere countess is a secret never to be told either.

This was a bad cup of tea. I can only give a 2 out of 5, and that mostly because writing was smooth enough to get you through this.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Gothic Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Henchmen of Zenda by K.J. Charles

henchmen of zenda kj charles book coverAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: The Henchmen of Zenda
Series: –
Genre: LGBT+ Literature; Adventures
Pages: 232
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

Finally! At last I got to read The Henchmen of Zenda by K.J. Charles, a book for which I’ve read The Prisoner of Zenda. You don’t need to, but it definitely adds an amusement factor to already know a great deal about some villains, and then see them in KJC spotlight.

About the Book: A tale as old as time, two brothers fighting for a throne. Yet, usually it is pretty clear who’s the good guy in this all, and so you’d know whom to cheer on. But Jasper Detchard, Black Michael’s man, can see neither of them to be good or proper, fit to lead the whole country. Still, his job is to get rid of the opponent in such a manner that the blame doesn’t fall on Black Michael. Which turns out is not such an easy feat, even with a drunkard like the king of Ruritania. It’s just that they just had the king. And yet there he is, getting crowned. Almost like he could be in two places at once. Or had a doppelganger!

My Opinion: This is such a classic adventure book, full of sword fights, villains, princesses, courtesans, imposters, and so on. The plot is thick with intrigue, double-crossing, allies in unlikely places, brave souls, attacks on stormy nights, and consolation in lover’s arms. I loved this book, it was the best damn thing, and I will re-read it as time allows at last.

A great book. 5 out of 5, I’ll spare you the words.

Categories: 5-5, Adventure Books, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope | The Ruritania Trilogy 2

the prisoner of zenda anthony hope book coverAuthor: Anthony Hope
Title: The Prisoner of Zenda
Series: The Ruritania Trilogy 2
Genre: Classic; Adventure
Pages: 157
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

One of my favorite authors wrote a book based on The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope, second book in the trilogy of stand-alone’s. And while you can probably read it without this one, I didn’t want to risk not getting something, and I don’t regret reading it.

About the Book: Rudolf lived a comfortable life, and didn’t care to do much of anything with it. But brother’s wife kept pestering him to a point, where he finally agreed to go to Ruritania, where his life took an almost fantastical turn. One evening, walking through the woods of local little town of Zenda, he ran into the king, then not yet crowned, accepted his invitation to come hang out with his friends, where they all promptly got black-out drunk, and… Spent next three months or so pretending to be the said king. All while doing his best, working with king’s men, to destroy the cabal set against the rightful king. Among these political intrigues, brave men and murderers alike, his life, and many others, changed forever.

My Opinion: This is like a historical book of Bilbo Baggins, the hobit. Takes one step to fall into adventure, and coming out of it – you’re no longer the same person who was so reluctant to make that first step before. While the book itself is a bit dry, as any and all classics I’ve ever read, it was really fun, and quenched the thirst for adventure well enough for the time being.

A very fun book, definitely worth the read. I give it a solid 4 out of 5, and will consider reading the other two. But just consider for now.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Historical Fiction Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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