Gothic Books

Jordan L. Hawk “Stormhaven” | Whyborne & Griffin 3

2_stormhavenAuthor: Jordan L. Hawk
Title: Stormhaven
Series: Whyborne & Griffin 3
Genre: LGBT, Paranormal
Pages: 179p
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

If per chance you recall, I did not like the previous Jordan L. Hawk book in the series of Whyborne & Griffin. But as is seemingly a rule for me, that usually means I will like the next one. So, yes, “Stormhaven“, third book in the said series, was not an exception. Can anyone explain me why or how?

About: Whyborne keeps having these scary nightmares of an underworld city, with something lurking in the shadows. At times he can even hear someone sing, and it sounds almost like his mother. But, as is common in stories like these, he waves the dreams away as unimportant, and tells no one about them. Yet it seems he wasn’t the only one who heard the song. Allan Tambling, a kind hearted fella is found in a pool of blood, holding a knife and his beloved uncle’s body. According to him, he has no recollection of how he even got there. Which gives him first class ticket into a mental asylum. Here, being accused of murder, he fears for his life, for he will likely be sent off into the Fourth Floor ward, from where no one really ever returns. Griffin, having been in a situation like that, is feeling sorry for the man, and takes up to solve the case of who or what killed Allan’s uncle. His conviction that it wasn’t Allan is made stronger by the fact that Allan’s doctor is the same man who accused Griffin of being insane too.

My thoughts: The book seemed rushed. Most of the very good action took mere pages, where Griffin’s family and problems arising from that took whole chapters. I would’ve rather read more of this new cult on the rise (it’s not new per se), and the murderers working for them, or even the science behind summoning conducted there, than of whole that “let’s pretend we’re not boyfriends” stuff. But hey, at least Christine was as badass as always. Love that woman. She deserves her own book.

The book fell a bit short for my taste, but I can’t really complain, seeing how I saw the page number when I picked it up. But with all the cons in it, there were really decent plot twists that I absolutely did appreciate. So here’s 4 out of 5 from me, and let’s hope the next one isn’t bad again.

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Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, Gothic Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Victoria Dalpe – Parasite Life

4Received “Parasite Life” by Victoria Dalpe (ISBN 1771483970; 260p.; Goodreads) from the publishers, or maybe the author, I can’t recall. It was intriguing, and I had nothing better to do, so why not a vampire book, right? Yes, right. I didn’t expect to get what I got, and I can’t figure out whether that’s bad or brilliant. So let me just tell you of the book.

Jane lives her life in a creepy old house, with her dying mother. She’s asocial, but not by choice. her nature, invisible to the eye, is pulling at the primal instincts in people, making their skin crawl. Even her own mother, with as little expression as she has left, seems to show no will to communicate with her daughter. So, with no friends, hated and shunned, Jane tries to survive until she can finally leave. Somewhere. Anywhere. Up until a new girl, a gorgeous gothy Sabrina shows up, and turns her whole world around. Starting with this new sensation of having a friend, and escalating to love. And passion, during which Jane unceremoniously got drunk with Sabrina, forced herself on her, after a very clear no, and gnawed at her neck to sate the beast inside. For Jane is a vampire, and her mother is dying due to this dark nature of hers.

Sabrina, either to her own kind heart, stupidity, or compulsion of a vampire, forgives Jane, and they set off on a quest to find Jane’s father, the very one who passed this gene upon her. Jane hopes he’d know of a cure, or at least some substitute she could use instead of constantly abusing Sabrina. Or, maybe he could teach her how to be better. And oh boy, does Hugh McGarrett has lessons for her. Not the least one is how easy it is to manipulate those who aren’t afraid of their kind. People like Sabrina.

Jane is a horrible little monster. First bells rang in my head when she called herself a “seducer” after she forced herself on this girl. Rapist is the word, Jane. Second, she thinks she’s giving something by, what? Caring for a stray cat, and dying mother, who is dying because of this “care” she’s providing? Or was it caring to drag a girl on a wild chase of some man who never wanted to have anything to do with her, because hey, that friend has a license, can take her mum’s car, and oh, Jane can feed on her all the way there, all the while smooching up, and playing with the “I love you, I need you” cards. And then the very, very final straw was when this girl, while laying down the body of the person who saved her, claimed she has saved herself. Yes, you locked yourself in, good job on saving your sorry ass. So, as you can see, I’m feeling extremely negative towards this book. But I will give it a 4 out of 5 anyway (3 might be more fitting, due to lack of substance in secondary characters, like Sabrina). Here’s why: I hope that author is not insane, but rather – brilliant. Jane is a very classic vampire. A disgusting creature, deluded into believing any demented reason they come up with on why their existence is good. I do believe that if Stoker’s Dracula would’ve been written from his perspective, we would’ve heard how kind and generous he is too. So with that hope, that’s the rate I’ll give this book. Don’t read it if you don’t like the image of the modern vampire tarnished.

Categories: 3-5, 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, F/F Literature, Gothic Books, Nosferatu Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jeaniene Frost – Twice Tempted [2]

x2You didn’t think I’ll quit Night Prince series by Jeanine Frost just because it was a silly-ish romance, did you? That never happened, and there where’s Dracula – never will. So let’s get into the “Twice Tempted” (Night Prince 2; ISBN 0062076108; 360p.; Goodreads), the second book on Leila the lightening woman, and Vlad Basarab Dracula, the fire-starting vampire.

As much as Leila loves Vlad and his people, the treatment he’s offering is rubbing her the wrong way. He disappears without a word on why, where, when. He acts a bit cold. Makes her adjust to his vampiric life, making little effort to adjust to hers. And the final straw – he offers her vampirism in a party he threw, before all his subjects, when both she, and her sister thought really, he’s going to propose. In a state of anger Leila rage-quits everything, sparing no words or actions. She packs up, breaks it off, and leaves. And if she thought her broken heart was bad enough, wait ’till she finds out Vlad’s ex is back on the radar.

Not too late after this whole nasty drama, an explosion meant to kill Leila nearly succeeds, in her stead killing innocents, her friends. Who’d want her dead, and who’d take such indirect, gruesome measures to kill her? Well, honestly the list isn’t all that short, and she can put Prince of the Darkness on it too. Lucky for her, Vlad’s right arm man is ready to help her, and defend her if need be, even from Vlad himself…

This one, to be honest, was pretty good. While the petty things author tried to make you believe are not very believable, the other stuff, like that small little plot twist, gets the job done. Apparently there’s more than just vampires, heck, there’s whole witchcraft and wizardry thing going on. I can give this book a well deserved 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Dracula, Gothic Books, Nosferatu Books, urban fantasy, vampires, Vlad Dracula III | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jeaniene Frost – Once Burned [1]

7039218Geez, I’m a sucker for Dracula, and so I read anything with him in it, even the questionable romance books. Like “Once Burned” by Jeaniene Frost (Night Prince 1; ISBN 006178320X; 346p.; Goodreads). It wasn’t bad, but it’s one of those romances. Like stand-alone’s by Nora Roberts or Jude Deveraux. Vampires were pretty cool thou, and Dracula wasn’t a complete disaster. Heck, it feels like author actually did some research before writing, which I respect.

After an accident in her childhood Leila carries a physical scar on her body, and one in her psyche too. She pumps actual electricity out of her arms, and if she wishes to touch someone – she has to first let the charge out into some lightening rod or something. And even then she’s doubtful, because touching a person means seeing their greatest sin. And sometimes their future, which soon gets her into trouble. For after warning a woman of hey boyfriend’s plans to murder her, she’s soon kidnapped by a vampire gang. They want her to find another of their kind. Yes, no other but the prince of the darkness himself, Vlad Draculea.

The problem arises when Leila actually finds him mentally, and sees him. For he opens his eyes, and looks right at her… Leila needs to decide, and decide fast with whom she has better chances at survival.

It’s not a good book, but by far not a bad one either. I will read the other ones, gladly even. They’re simple, vampires are quite alright, and as I said before – Dracula had some research done on him. Author knew important details, and used them to her advantage well. I can give it 3 out of 5, but that’s not a bad rating.

Categories: 3-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Dracula, Gothic Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires, Vlad Dracula III | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Patrick Sheane Duncan – Dracula Vs. Hitler

draculavshitleOh happy day for me! I’m a fan of Dracula stories, always in want of new, good ones. It was impossible to not notice “Dracula vs. Hitler” by Patrick Sheane Duncan (ISBN 1942645082; 441p.; Goodreads), so I saw it, I took it, and I’ve read it. And I loved it. I believe anyone who loves action-packed movies with Dracula, Van Helsing movie, or Hellsing in any form, will also appreciate it.

Monsters in human form roam the earth, Nazis. Bit by bit they’re occupying Europe, same tactics, same alternative facts on importance of “racial purity” bullshit. Their brutality is unmatched. And as Van Helsing watches guerrilla not only fail, but get slaughtered, as he watches his daughter Lucile, named after a tragic heroine, risk her all for it, he has to make a decision: could a monster vs monster work?

Some years ago he, and a few brave men, captured Dracula, overpowered, and imprisoned him. Not many know he is not really dead thou. And while Van Helsing often thought of coming back to the sarcophagus with the immortal creature within, he always thought it’d be for science sake, for experiments, research. By far he did not expect himself to stand over the prince’s body, prepared to wake him from the possibly eternal slumber, in hopes that Vlad the Impaler will be willing to defend his homeland once again, against a new enemy.

It’s a very amusing, action filled, and fast paced book. Dracula is well written, and I love that once again he is portrayed as a relentless reader. He muses about new creations humans have made, and doesn’t smell of rot. But then he kills like a walking fortress. I can give it full 5 out of 5, and hope to someday add a physical copy to my collection, for this is a worthy piece to my shelves.

Categories: 5-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Gothic Books, vampires, Vlad Dracula III | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anne Rice – Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis [12]

PrinceLestatAndTheRealmsOfAtlantisAnd so, with “Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis” by Anne Rice (The Vampire Chronicles 12; ISBN 0385353790; 451p.; Goodreads) I am fully caught up on the Chronicles. I can now calmly (or not so calmly) await for book 13th, for Anne always ends her books with a possibility of continuation, I feel. This book could conclude the Chronicles thou, for it gave full-on origin of how the spirit that made first vampires came into existence in the first place, and, if I’m honest, at times it felt more like a sci-fi book than anything else.

Vampire Core currently lives in Lestat and seems to be content about it. They bicker inside his head, and Lestat, being such a brat, is enjoying every bit of it. I was amused to learn he liked being called a slut. You live and you learn. But not all is jolly and happy. Not everyone is content with their lives being in Lestat’s hands, nor are they all enjoying him being the Prince of the vampires. And some are beyond mere wishing things change.

Somewhere in the dark basement of one of these opposing vampires lies a creature that looks just like a human being, but is not. Starved to death he did not die. Drained of all blood he merely lost consciousness, and then his body regenerated the blood in full. No vampire can miss the benefit such a creature poses to all their kind: innocent, never dying, yet not of their own kind. In one such attempt to drain the creature to death, Lestat’s current greatest enemy finds himself staring into the secret that are¬†way beyond his own comprehension. Who are these beings? Where did they come from? And why do they chant the name vampires know so very well? The name of the Core.

This book felt very different from all the previous ones. And hey, Lestat even remembered Quinn, and there’s a sort of a hint that he might come in next book to join his court. In a sense it was much better than all the previous ones, but there’s so very much repetition, and the talks are so long for no reason or use. Still, I’m happy I got through all this. And I’m happy that Anne wrote more on this too. I’ll give it a very strong 4 out of 5, just a hair away from a five. And will very eagerly await, maybe there’ll be another book, maybe Quinn will be back, and maybe Anne didn’t forget what my beloved alter-ego was like, and why I took his identity with me.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, Gothic Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anne Rice – Prince Lestat [11]

princelestatukI remember the excitement when we heard Anne was writing another book on Vampire Chronicles. And what an odd feeling it was to pick up “Prince Lestat” by Anne Rice (Vampire Chronicles 11; ISBN 0307962520; 458p.; Goodreads), knowing it’s as good as a miracle for this book to exist. And how upset I was that Quinn Blackwood, the guy Lestat spent previous two books, was as good as nonexistant. Nobody remembered him, nobody spoke of him. The most obscure vampires got their scene time instead. Pardon me if I’m already bored of half the fellas around. Just, dammit.

A voice with no body, physical or aetherial, is whispering to all the vampires it can reach, seducing them into committing the Second Burning (first one was when Akasha walked into the sun after being abused by her priests, she didn’t die, but due to the link vampires share – anyone below her were dying out, starting with the weakest and the youngest). And as a wave of fires rolls across the world, burning those unworthy, young and old, vampires who never deserved the Gift, no one feels safe anymore. It seemed natural, that in this moment of terror, they all turned to Lestat. After all, he switched bodies, wrote chronicles, drank from Akasha and gods themselves, escaped the devil, and did hell knows what else.

The voice, the source, the idea behind this is brilliant. I’m torn about the political situation here thou, for at times it felt like watching that Simpsons episode on new Star Wars episodes, where 2 hrs in they were still talking import/export and economics. The book ends up being made half of good hooking action, and half of monologues, and discussions on how vampires will from here on make their laws. In a sense I like it, because I grew up on Vampire the Masquerade, where rules and laws mean your survival. In a sense it was just a bit funny: you guys took THIS long to realize you need some kind of order? I’ll give this book 4.5 out of 5, a worthy read, even if I did get mighty annoyed by the lack of Quinn…

Categories: 5-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Gothic Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Anne Rice – Vittorio, the Vampire

2And so I continue with Anne Rice, this time it being “Vittorio, the Vampire” (New Tales of Vampires 2; ISBN 0099271095; 339p.; Goodreads) book. Which is apparently the last book in New Tales of Vampires, and Vittorio himself is not someone I recognized at all, thus it felt fresh. Maybe that’s the reason I still like Blackwood Farm the best – Quinn is no longer on the radar after the two books that revolved around him, more or less. The Romeo and Juliet bits redeemed the less interesting stuff in this one, since, again, it just felt different from the already seemingly stamped books in the Chronicles.

Vittorio is a young Italian, writing his story, if I am not mistaken, on his own, without David’s beckoning or presence.

In the dark of the night came a tall dark stranger, demanding his father to pay what was due. His father, being filthy rich, refused with outrage, and soon whole household found themselves on alert, barricading the home, hiding. For the dark figure would not be refused, and no gold or pleas would persuade him. It’s blood he’s after, and he’ll have it.

The story spins around Vittorio as the sole survivor of his family, out for vengeance and vampire blood. Tricked and toyed with he looks like one of those Young Adult book characters, a young warrior with no more than a sword against the darkest forces pits of hell could produce. How funny and delightful it seemed that he’d spare a vampire, believing her fair, fragile, and incapable of intended malice. I must give this book 4 out of 5, and then I’d give a whole five if not some hiccups that I hate in every book. This one’s good tho, in its own way.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Gothic Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anne Rice – Pandora [New Tales of Vampires #1]

pandora3Post Marius’ book I realized I don’t know one important vampire mentioned there (more than mentioned). And it’s all my fault, for in the past, truly long ago, there were people who informed me on the chronology of these stories, and what is best to read after what. This sense was confirmed after finishing “Pandora” by Anne Rice (The New Tales of Vampires 1; ISBN 0099271087; 406p.; Goodreads), where at the very end of it I found it saying “the story will be continued in Vampire Armand” book. But it is as it is, nothing can be done now, and it’s not all that bad either.

David Talbot, probably overjoyed that now he has time for everything, continues to lightly harass all the older vampires for their life stories. Pandora got into his visor too, and barely even noticed the trick of his gift of notebooks, which she filled with her memories. Born in Roman Empire under the name of Lydia, living girl whose hand was requested by Marius himself. Escaping the execution by a hair, barely twisting herself out of yet another trap laid for her by someone dear, she is haunted by visions that seem to overtake great and greater portion of her life every night. For they come at night, these dreams. Dreams where she stands witness to a goddess tormented, blood drained from her, her burning in the sun, unable to die, yet in suffering killing off so many of those who foolishly thought themselves immortal…

The book, in my opinion, didn’t reach the full potential. Some good ideas where passed here and there, but abandoned quickly enough through the pages, in exchange for others, maybe more pleasing for the author, maybe merely more convenient. I’ll still give the book 3 out of 5, and consider it a worthy read if only to lift the veil of myth off this Pandora, Mad Love of Marius. For she herself put more passion into describing the fake leg of her servant, than Marius himself, even if she did claim loving him.

Pandora_full

Categories: 3-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, Gothic Books, Nosferatu Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anne Rice – Blood and Gold [VC #8]

3_bloodandgoldAnd so, with Anne Rice‘s “Blood and Gold” (Vampire Chronicles 8; ISBN 0099271494; 752p.; Goodreads) I finish the classic run of the Vampire Chronicles. For I have read the other two long ago, and consider them the break-point in my life. The other two in my head are marked under “Prince Lestat Series“, and I can’t help it. And the New Vampire Stories are just that – a different line in the same branch. So be assured, I’ll get to all of these, and maybe will even re-visit Blackwood farm and Blood Canticle to make a review for them.

A red haired warrior from the north slept deep in ice watching with his mind eyes as the world around him went on. Made by the oldest of his kind he had no need to rise, really, not to feed, not to, what, stretch his old bones? But wake he did, and nothing more was to do but to rise, and walk out. Out there, where he met Marius. And Thorne, being so alone in this new world, felt deeply for the company Marius offered, craving the stories over anything else, and Marius had many of these.

We learn how he was made, for what purpose, with what reasons. We learn of how he went on, all the way until he formed into what we met in Armand’s book. In fact, we do meet Armand again, and see another side to the story he told. We get to know why and how he turned Bianca, and how Armand was unable to keep secrets from her. We get to know of Marius’ mad love – Pandora, and her even madder fear of Those Who Must be Kept. Now this part I found the most interesting, for it shone a whole different light on Akasha, what she’s like, what she was like. In their immobile state, Marius and her, saved each other time and again, all the way until the day Lestat entered the chambers (“and spoiled everything!”). I dare say that this book could be a good thing to read right after Lestat’s biography, for it gives perspective on Akasha that I didn’t have, and didn’t form through the Queen of the Damned book/movie.

While I still believe that Blackwood Farm is the very best in Chronicles, Blood and Gold earned the 5 out of 5, fully. Marius is an odd creature, at times as ridiculous as a clumsy moose, other times as graceful as a deer. How he fought every woman in his life, and hoped to keep them all, just to realize that such sharing of the heart is not meant for all, and that some take “I said what I had to say in the moment” as no excuse at all.

BloodAndGold

Categories: 5-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Gothic Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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