Historical Fiction Books

book review | The Last Necromancer by C.J. Archer | Steampunk lit.

the last necromancer c.j. archer ministry of curiositiesAuthor: C.J. Archer
Title: The Last Necromancer
Series: The Ministry of Curiosities 1
Genre: Historical Fiction; Steampunk
Pages: 268
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I’ve been on a quest to find me some books on warlocks and necromancers, and I’ve succeeded to gather a little trove of them. Starting with “The Last Necromancer” by C.J. Archer, the first in The Ministry of Curiosities series. And while it had its issues, it was pretty decent.

About the Book: Charlie lived on the street, joining gangs and moving on when need arose, ever since her father put her out of his house for raising her dead mother. He then decided she’s a devil’s daughter, and she learned to hide her gift. Up until she got in trouble and had to revive a dead man to defend her. Now two men in league with supernatural are fighting over Charlie, for it seems she’s the last of her kind. But Charlie isn’t sure whom she can trust in this, if anyone at all.

My Opinion: There were these not very important, but real annoying plot nuances that bothered me to the core. Charlie sometimes made decisions without having anything real to base them on. Like the time she decided she’ll be hunted relentlessly by a man she saw once, from afar. Then there’s a lot of repeating, it’s like you’re getting re-briefed on the topic you just had been briefed on in the previous paragraph. But other than that, flaws and all, I liked how down to earth Charlie was, her simplicity. She’s scared, she wants to hurl, and her powers are relatively useless seeing how dead people don’t just lay about to defend her. It made for a plot that was just interesting enough to oversee the flaws.

I give this book a solid 3 out of 5 and will definitely read the next one. Simple, but hey, it’s the first book.

Categories: 3-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Supernatural, ghosts, Historical Fiction Books, Mystery Books, Nosferatu Books, steampunk | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 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

book review | The Passion of Cleopatra by Anne Rice and Christopher Rice | Ramses the Damned 2

anne rice christopher ramses the damned passion of cleopatra book coverAuthor: Anne Rice, Christopher Rice
Title: The Passion of Cleopatra
Series: Ramses the Damned 2
Genre: Horror, Historical Fiction
Pages: 416
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Back in the day I’ve read Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice, thinking then it was a stand-alone with an open end to it. Cleopatra terrified me in that book, for I loathe monsters that cannot be killed. So, of course I had to pick up this belated sequel to it, and find out what has happened. I’ve no regrets.

About the Book: Cleopatra didn’t die, no. But her state of mind is a nightmare. Visions, dreams haunt the Queen. The memories just a moment ago so vivid and clear now gone, leaving only a memory of a memory that was and is no more. Cleopatra believes Ramses might have answers, and so she must face her nemesis again if only to get more eternal life Elixir that might, just might make her better.

But all the while behind their blind backs work forces older than either one of the former rulers of Egypt. They want wrongs righted. They want their stolen Elixir, and they want the immortals made by it.

My Opinion: I think I’ll have to look into Christopher Rice works. I’ve read quite a fair share of Anne Rice’s work to say this book had a very great improving touch in it, and now I must know if it was her son who steered it so well out of the maze of descriptions, details, and very long inner monologues that lead absolutely nowhere, normally. This here was perfectly balanced with action, tension, horror; long talks, politics, detailed descriptions of outfits and parties. And while some characters truly lacked depth, the overall picture the book has painted was truly good, or at least entertaining, and what more could one ask?

Many of us likely dream of being the great adventurers, explorers, finders of secrets long lost. But most of us likely have to be content with books about it. This book had means to satisfy that craving to an extent, for which I can give it a very solid 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Historical Fiction Books, LGBTQ+ Books, Nosferatu Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

tag | Vampire Protagonists

Summer to me is very much a vampire time. Autumn is too, so I basically spend half a year wanting to read vampire books, even if I don’t read all that many of them. Mostly because it’s a bit hard to find good ones that aren’t just fifteen books of cheesy series with vampires who are almost humans with high metabolism and tendency to drink blood, if you get my drift. So, in hopes to find more, here’s a little tag from me to you. If you’re reading this, you’re automatically tagged, okay? Link me in the comments below or tag me, basically just inform me any way you can, so I can fill out my TBR with bloodsuckers! (Q’s and A’s are separate to make it easier for you to copy/paste)

The Summer Vampire TBR Tag:

  1. The Pride – LGBTQIA+ vampire or at least a book containing them.
  2. The VoC – Vampire of Color, bonus points if main character!
  3. The Classiest – Classic-type trope vampires, the fear of garlic, sun, etc.
  4. The Unique – The least classic-type vampires, or otherwise unique bloodsuckers.
  5. The Human – The most human vampires, and why or how are they so.
  6. The Monster – The least human, monstrous vampires, why or how they’re so.
  7. Underloved – Vampires who deserve more love than they got!
  8. Overrated – Vampires who don’t deserve the love they got!
  9. Dracula – Favorite book about or with Dracula in it!
  10. Dead Crush – The vampire I had a crush on is…
  11. I, Vampire – If I was a vampire, I would…
  12. The Last – The last vampire book I’ve read is, and the vampire(s) in it…
  13. The First – The very first vampire book or book with a vampire I’ve read is…

The Summer Vampire TBR | My Answers:

  1. The Pride – LGBTQIA+ vampire or at least a book containing them.
    From the top of my head I can name three. First being Blackwood’s Farm by Anne Rice with its protagonist Tarquin Blackwood coming out as bi. Then there’s Parasite Life by Victoria Dalpe with protagonist falling in love with a girl, though sexuality is not specified there. And the third is Joely Sue Burkhart series of which I’ve read first three, Their Vampire Queen. The Queen in question is polyamorous and the dynamics are beautiful.
    1 LGBT vampires
  2. The VoC – Vampire of Color, bonus points if main character!
    I am deeply ashamed to say that I don’t recall any protagonists of color. But I know for certain there were VoC in both Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice and in Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris.
  3. The Classiest – Classic-type trope vampires, the fear of garlic, sun, etc.
    Hm, this one’s easy too. First would be DrĀ Greta Helsing series/trilogy by Vivian Shaw. Then, one of my favorite comedies, The Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel. And, of course, Anno Dracula series by Kim Newman.
    3 the classiest
  4. The Unique – The least classic-type vampires, or otherwise unique bloodsuckers.
    The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey, a very unique book in itself. Empire V by Victor Pelevin, a strange breed that feeds not just on blood, but also on a thing they call “bablos“, which seems to be the essence of… Well, money.
  5. The Human – The most human vampires, and why or how are they so.
    Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neil. Just a bunch of humans who are immortal and occasionally drink blood. Like, in between heavy meals because hey, vampire metabolism. Apparently.
  6. The Monster – The least human, monstrous vampires, why or how they’re so.
    The Strain trilogy by Guillermo del Toro. Not gonna lie, I’m not a fan of creatures like that, but the idea was pretty damn great.
  7. Underloved – Vampires who deserve more love than they got!
    Yulric Bile from An Unattractive Vampire by Jim McDoniel. That bastard was too evil to stay dead. But the mess he gets into would rival What We Do In the Shadows! It’s hilarious!
  8. Overrated – Vampires who don’t deserve the love they got!
    Edward Cullen from Twilight series. And then possibly Lestat. Chronicles are FULL of really great vampires, and this one just happens to set the tune for them all for no real reason. And those guys from The Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin. I noticed it got hype recently, and I’m not quite sure why. The book is mighty damn dull.
  9. Dracula – Favorite book about or with Dracula in it!
    Night Prince series by Jeaniene Frost!
  10. Dead Crush – The vampire I had a crush on is…
    Other than Dracula, you mean? Eric Northman and Pam Swynford de Beaufort, I guess, from Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. And Cian Mac Cionaoith from Circle Trilogy by Nora Roberts. No I have no shame.
    0 dead vampire crush
  11. I, Vampire – If I was a vampire, I would…
    I’d do what Lestat’s mother did. Go roam the deepest jungles, caves, explore!
  12. The Last – The last vampire book I’ve read is, and the vampire(s) in it…
    Sadly The Strain Trilogy by Guillermo del Toro.
  13. The First – The very first vampire book or book with a vampire I’ve read is…
    Now that’s a hard question. Yes, I know I wrote it… Since I hated school readings, and so read Dracula sometime on my own later, I think it might really be Blackwood’s Farm by Anne Rice. Other than the mentions of vampire cities in Swords And Deviltry by Fritz Leiber books.
Categories: book facts, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Romance, Books: Supernatural, dark fantasy, Historical Fiction Books, historical romance, LGBTQ+ Books, Nosferatu Books, paranormal romance, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco | Stalking Jack the Ripper 3

escaping from houdini kerri maniscalco book coverAuthor: Kerri Maniscalco
Title: Escaping from Houdini
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper 3
Genre: YA; Mystery
Pages: 416
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Having some really tough time, not gonna lie. Needed something easy to read, so I picked up “Escaping from Houdini” by Kerri Maniscalco, third book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, for I knew her writing style to be perfect for this kind of mood. And it indeed did the job.

About the Book: A luxurious liner trip, with travelers gathered to admire a show troupe full of magicians, fortune tellers, acrobats, and so on, soon becomes a nightmare, as the ship becomes a gilded cage, a prison, with all the passengers trapped inside with a killer; A master in slight of hand, for no one is the wiser, even after someone is brutally murdered among them. Victims tend to disappear just to reappear in a tarot setting, dead. And it’s up to Audrey Rose to find the killer, and find them fast, for it is not just strangers in danger…

My Opinion: The writing style is pretty good, very light, and very easy to read. If you, like myself, aren’t native English speaker, but want to practice reading books, I can really recommend Kerri Maniscalco works. They’re unique and quite interesting. But one thing I did have an issue with in this particular book. It’s the scenes that seem to exist only to add to the volume of the book. I mean, I do understand there’s an attempt to set a scene, create the false calm before the storm, but often they just flopped as scenes designed to portray an outraged lady in society where so much is forbidden to women.

It’s a good lazy read, even if not my favorite. I can give it a very solid and firm 3 out of 5, and will definitely read the next book.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Detective Books, Historical Fiction Books | 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 |”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

“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

“The Uncommon Reader” by Alan Bennett

1Author: Alan Bennett
Title: The Uncommon Reader
Series: –
Genre: Fiction, Humor
Pages: 120
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I asked for a recommendation, and got this. A very light, humorous read that I can recommend to anyone who is currently having a reader’s block. It’s cozy, easy, and short.

About: On one of her walks with her corgis, queen felt obliged to take a book out of a mobile library. She didn’t really want to, but it didn’t feel right not to get one. And after she did, it was a shame to return it unread, so she did. The next time she again felt uneasy, but luckily there was this ginger boy from the kitchens, likely there due to his complexion, who gladly helped her choose. And so it all began.

Her advisers are doing their best to misdirect her luggage full of books. They sneak away with the books she stashed away, and excuse themselves later as fearing for her safety, assuming it was some kind of a threat, a bomb maybe. They all think that reading is infringing upon her duties, to a point, that was also the last straw, where they send out the boy who helped her to get an education. Far away. Queen has to gather her survival wits, it seems, and make a decision.

Mine: You know what’s the most interesting thing in this book? The queen is trying to read as much as she can, in a great hurry, for she is old, she started late, and she feels she needs to catch up. To those unwritten measures we readers have. It really kicks the reader’s block in the shins, I tell you. And the book itself is written so smoothly, with such marvelous humorous situations, that you really do feel like taking up a book afterwards, or in between chapters (of which there are none, just like, maybe a page that ends with a full sentence).

It’s a very light read. A day’s worth for when there’s time, maybe two when there’s none. I’ll give it a 4 out of 5, due to slow start that started rolling with no breaks later on. Now, tell me, my dear reader, what are your reading standards?

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

Blog at WordPress.com.