Alternative History Books

book review | Dracula’s Child by J.S. Barnes

Draculas Child book cover j s barnes book reviewAuthor: J.S. Barnes
Title: Dracula’s Child
Series: –
Genre: Dracula; Vampires
Pages: 576
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I’m really craving some Dracula content these days. So when “Dracula’s Child” by J.S. Barned got into my feed, I had to read it. And I did. And it was okay.

About the Book: Upon chasing Dracula down and killing him, Mina and Jonathan Harker thought they rid their lives of the evil and can now begin the process of healing. Live their life, raise their son. But upon his death, Dracula swore revenge that’ll reach them across eons… And it seems the darkness is pooling up again.

My Opinion: The book is pretty well written, easy to read, entertaining. But at the same time it’s filled with characters and scene that add nothing, and yet are constantly there just to be there. You either end up forgetting their existence as soon as the scene is over, or try to connect them to anything at all for the rest of the story. But generally, I liked the idea, the way propaganda spreading is portrayed here, and whom it could possibly benefit.¬†

It’s not a bad book, there’s simply too many mediocre things to make it a good one. A firm 3 out of 5, mostly for the good writing itself.

Draculas Child book cover j s barnes book review night mode reading

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Categories: 3-5, Alternative History Books, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Nosferatu Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Great Martian War: Invasion by Scott Washburn | 1

the great martian war invasion scott washburn book review coerAuthor: Scott Washburn
Title: The Great Martian War: Invasion
Series: The Great Martian War
Genre: Sci-fi; Alternative History
Pages: 325
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Got through “The Great Martian War: Invasion” by Scott Washburn. It’s good for what it is, but probably not for me.

About the Book: The first alien invasion ended almost as soon as it began. Pathogens, sickness. Martians had to run or die. Some died even though they ran. But their position is too desperate, they must try again, and soon.

Humans are getting ready for it, at least those who know it’ll happen again, for you can’t convince the masses that neither saw nor heard anything other than tales about some weird aliens in Europe. First airplanes are being built, first tanks, for there’s not much you can do with a shotgun off a horse’s back.

My Opinion: It’s definitely a good book for what it is. But in general, I didn’t enjoy it much. Too much riding, walking, and thinking where to ride or walk next.

It’s worth the time, and so, worth the 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, aliens, Alternative History Books, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

“An Easy Death” by Charlaine Harris | Gunnie Rose 1

3Author: Charlaine Harris
Title: An Easy Death
Series: Gunnie Rose 1
Genre: Western, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 336
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I like the easy Charlaine Harris books. They’re simple, but by no means too simple, so it’s always interesting to read. I thought a little on it, and picked up her latest work of Gunnie Rose. Sadly, it was not my cup of tea, even as much as I like alternative history pieces.

About: Lizbeth Rose is a gunnie. Means she’s real good at shooting, and can be hired according to this skill. Due to this profession being real dangerous, what with bandits, wild animals, and other things lurking outside the settlements (and sometimes inside of them too), gunnies don’t tend to live long, and so, for a goodbye wish each other an Easy Death. Yet easy death was not what most of her crew got, all slaughtered. Being the only survivor, Liz picks up her guns and sets off to finish her mission, as any good gunnie would do. Better than mourning or going to find herself a new crew to work with anyway.

Yet due to her fine reputation she didn’t need to look for a job. The job found her in a shape of two Russian wizards. They’re on a mission to find blood descendants of no other than Grigori Rasputin in hopes it’d help save Tsar. And while they can cause enough trouble and death on their own, a gunnie would do good to travel more low-key. Soon they learn the dangers are far greater than anyone anticipated. They learned to trust only each other, and even then doubt, watch for signs. Too often familiar faces were worn by unfamiliar evil. For by far not all love Tsar.

Mine: It was an interesting alternative reality piece. I’m not sure about the exact time, even though I could’ve probably had a better understanding of time if only I paid more attention to the cars mentioned. But if wizards don’t live longer than regular people, then the setting should be somewhat after Rasputin has died. Speaking of wizards, that was the best part of the book. It reminded me a little of Dragon Age magic: circle of magi, a sort of college for mages; they get separated from parents for their own good and safety; tattoos for representing and enhancing powers; people seem wary of them, hateful even, even if they are the most dangerous things walking. But the story itself was lacking. Just as any right western movie, while packed in action, with story inching towards the goal in a steady pace, it was very limited to a camera angle.

I’m not yet sure if I’ll read the next books in the series. We’ll see, right now I have no wish, but I do change my mind time and again. This one gets 3 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 3-5, Alternative History Books, Books: Everything, General, urban fantasy, Western Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

K.J. Charles – Jackdaw

34861586I miss A Charm of Magpies so much. So, of course, I went ahead and took the “Jackdaw” by K.J. Charles (ISBN13 9780995799059; 222p.; Goodreads), for it is set in the same world, has familiar characters, and the family of four that we love turns up too. And I loved it, I very much did. But now I miss them even more, dammit!

Jonah is the infamous windwalker thief, who worked for the bad guys in the final book of Charm of Magpies. He was blackmailed to help them capture Stephen Day, or his source of power – the Ring of the Magpie Lord, and Lucien Vaudrey, tho it is unlikely anyone knew that one didn’t work without the other. It worked as a trap for Stephen, and that’s all that mattered. That’s how Jonah made sure Ben, his beloved, lives.

Ben, due to his relation with the infamous windwalker thief, and their relationship, ended up in prison for a few months. Worse than the experience was his false belief, that Jonah used him, and then discarded of him. He walks out determined to settle the scores. Time for Jonah to taste the prison bread. As a practitioner he will have to be restrained, of course. As a windwalker, he’ll likely get hobbled. He’ll never walk, let alone fly… And the more Ben thinks of this, of that charming, smiling being, the time they spent together, the more he doubts his plan as fair. So he arranges to meet the man before hand. Next thing you know, they’re escaping justice together, over the rooftops, through the air!

This was a lovely book. Almost idyllic, tho nothing goes through butter. It reminded me how much I love Lucien and Stephen. For that alone I could give it all the points. But luckily, the story was good too, so it’s a 5 out of 5, for more fair and less biased reasons.

Categories: 5-5, Alternative History Books, Books of Occult, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alternative History

Alternative_history_books

Alternative History genre is among my favorites. It is just that: one or several historical facts are completely or partially changed in the book, and whole world is then perceived via the prism of that possibility. Steampunk genre is most commonly known in Alternative History genre, since it operates on alternative possibility of Steam Engine being the one that got developed wider and longer than it actually was.

My most favorite examples of Alternative History could also be called Alternative Reality, since fantasy enters (fantasy as in supernatural, not as in mere fiction). One being Anno Dracula by Kim Newman. We all have read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, haven’t we? Or at least seen the dozens of movies that we can choose from without even looking for them (and if you do look, there’s hundreds awaiting). There the brave men ganged up and killed our Father in Darkness (in Anno Dracula that is how your sire is called, Mother/Father in Darkness). Yet in Newman’s story that is not what happened at all. Some meager little men against someone like the Impaler? Ha. He rips them to shreds, in some cases even literally, and slowly but surely brings vampires into the daylight. Not literally. History proceeds as is, but vampires are a great part of it. Say, Bloody Red Baron tells the famous Red Baron story, yet here we not only have some epic pilots doing their jobs, heck, we have giant blood thirsty bat-dragons.

The other example is Bartimaeus sequence by Jonathan Stroud. Empire of Great Britain has never crumbled, but just went on, and on, and on, becoming the greatest power since Roman Empire if you please. History ceases here, since this is not the main genre of the book, and yet it fits the frame.

There are, of course, many more, since I told you what Steampunk is at the base, so even our very own Tapinas with his Wolf Hour is guilty of being Alternative History writer. It’s a genre for all those who overthink things, I think (see what I did here?), since it allows us a wider view of what could’ve been, and how that would’ve changed our lives as we know it.

Categories: Alternative History Books, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, Gothic Books, Historical Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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