book review | A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown | 1

a song of wraiths and ruin roseanne a brownAuthor: Roseanne A. Brown
Title: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
Series: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin 1
Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy
Pages: 480
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

The right book on the right time. Exactly when I wanted something like that, I got “A Song of Wraiths and Ruin” by Roseanne A. Brown. A book I can highly recommend right away, for what it lacked in itself, it made up with amazing magic system and captivating stories.

About the Book: A festival for a comet passing by is a perfect opportunity for the world to change unnoticed. Be it the whole world, by the powers locked away so long ago, awaiting their turn to escape the prison. Or world of singular folk, such as Malik and his two sisters, running from their war-stricken home, and into the Lion’s Den – Ziran, the city responsible for the hardships they suffered. Ziran is now ruled, against her wants and wishes, by the crown princess Karina, whose world has already began to change. Both Malik and Karina have old magic in them, the kind that topples cities, kills those most dear, and ends the world as we know it. The kind of magic that makes people pariahs, saviors or tyrants. And it is the kind of magic the darkness looming under Ziran could break out of its prison with.

My Opinion: Through the whole book I couldn’t decide whether I want Malik or Karina to succeed. They both had causes, people to protect. And yet each time it seemed like I made my mind up, another chapter started, with the other one’s point of view, and my struggle would begin again. The story is very well written, characters are memorable, even if not all of them, and the mythology used for world building – amazing.

I admit, I craved something like Maas’s acotar or something. This book really hit the spot. A 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Fantasy 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

book review | The Black Company by Glen Cook | The Chronicles of the Black Company 1

glen cook the black companyAuthor: Glen Cook
Title: The Black Company
Series: The Chronicles of the Black Company 1
Genre: Dark Fantasy; Epic Fantasy
Pages: 319
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’ve read Glen Cook‘s “The Black Company” way back in high school. But since discovering it got a whole series to it, I’ve decided there’s a need to re-read it. That was the right choice.

About the Book: A band of mercenaries, The Black Company, are hired to fight the Lady’s war, and are led into it by no other than one of her Taken Ones. A powerful cast of mages, once enslaved by the Dominator, Lady’s husband, to serve him. Then, defeated but undying they were buried with their rulers, and only for the recklessness of another mage had they had a chance to rise again. And so they follow their Lady into battle again. Battle against her foes and myths alike. Like that comet in the sky, promising the return of her greatest foe…

My Opinion: The story is well written and very interesting. Maybe a tad too predictable, but I figured, seeing how this book consists out of war, battle scenes, and is told by a healer who has to patch everyone up afterwards, it was plenty. Conspiring, magic, illusions, darkness, and prophecies. A proper dark fantasy piece, with strong epic fantasy elements to draw you in, and keep you looking forwards for the next book.

It’s a good dark tale. A 5 out of 5, but more due to the fact I’ve nothing to take anything away for. It isn’t the best book you’ll ever read. But it’s definitely worth the time to read it.

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

book review | Broken Angels by Richard K. Morgan | Takeshi Kovacs 2

broken angels richard k morgan altered carbon takeshi kovacsAuthor: Richard K. Morgan
Title: Broken Angels
Series: Takeshi Kovacs 2
Genre: Sci-Fi; Cyberpunk
Pages: 366
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

With second book in Richard K. Morgan trilogy Takeshi Kovacs (Altered Carbon), called “Broken Angels“, we move away from the story told in the series, so it can be safely read at any time, I think.

About the Book: In a far away planet there’s a martian spaceship discovered. Everyone would be curious to see it. Some would even love to own it. Especially once it turns out that the spacecraft is a warship. In the war-ravaged territories this ship could mean the tipping point. And so, naturally, Takeshi Kovacs, in a new sleeve, now a soldier for hire, goes onto expedition to see that ship, and possibly help obtain rights to it for one or another bidder. His envoy intuition and training didn’t prepare him for the amount of myths, fears, superstitions, mysteries, and questions that entangle the damned thing…

My Opinion: More than the whole first half of the book is tedious and slow work. In fact, so slow, I almost missed a few important details due to zoning out. But once it picks up, it shoots and bolts and flies. Martian spaceship, seemingly abandoned, unclear why though. Strange sense of premonition and danger always in the air. And a wake-up call for all of the humanity – what if Martians ran from someone else, some other big bad aliens? It would’ve been a great book were it not for the trudge through strange philosophies,  mediocre attempts to seem edgy, and a weird fixation on male hormones. With poems about it, no joke.

If you’re willing to put in a little work, the book is good. A 3 out of 5 from me, for I could’ve done just fine without the dicksaber competitions and ego booster dialogues of “oh yeah, well…

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, cyberpunk | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Zero History by William Gibson | Blue Ant 3

zero history blue ant william gibson cyberpunk literatureAuthor: William Gibson
Title: Zero History
Series: Blue Ant
Genre: Thriller; Cyberpunk
Pages: 404
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

Finished Blue Ant trilogy by William Gibson, with the book “Zero History“. Cyberpunk was never an easy genre to indulge in, but this… I’m not sure if I just didn’t get it or was it really just this.

About the Book: Heroes, their stories, their talents, are hovering towards one another across the story, pulled in by the gravitational field of one Hubertus Bigend, owner of the mysterious Blue Ant. The secretive man is giddy with anticipation – it seems there’s a worthy rival somewhere out there, and he must know who they are. So Bigend gathers his best minions, ones he could somehow buy for this anyway, and sends them off into the world to find this person. But how does one find someone prepared for what Blue Ant has to offer?…

My Opinion: Dialogues remain atrocious across all the books. One character is spilling a tirade of words, information. Another, in attempts to imitate a dialogue, asks a single-word question. So tirade that could’ve been one presentation of information currently at hand gets split up into these little pebbles tossed at you with annoying force of “what? who? huh??”.  Most of the book revolves around each character’s inner workings, but it feels like someone’s building you a person’s mold out of wet straw – holds no substance, seems menial, and is this really the best damn talent this billionaire could find and buy? How does this or that come in hand? Plot, the true plot, is passed on in sparing drops, with the rest tossed to you in one big splash at the end. The book is difficult. Plot requires work, you must pay a lot of attention, more than you normally would, and then, at the end of it, after all the work you put in merely reading a book… I just don’t feel like it was worth the effort.

I don’t know, really. 2 out of 5 from me. Maybe I didn’t get it, maybe ADHD did me in this time, but it felt like underpaid work.

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

book review | Starless Night by R.A. Salvatore | The Legend of Drizzt 8

starless night r.a. salvatore forgotten realms legend of drizztAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: Starless Night
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 8
Genre: High Fantasy
Pages: 320
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Okay, I’m positively hooked on The Legend of Drizzt by R.A. Salvatore. Just finished 8th book in the series, which is second book in Legacy of the Drow trilogy, and the book itself is called “Starless Night“. It was amazing.

About the Book: Drizzt is deeply troubled by the evidence of his kin in the tunnels under and around the Mithril Hall. It seems he must thus go back into the deep Underdark and find his way home, to the cruel Menzoberranzan. Yet before he even reached the eerily beautiful city, he had to make peace with the fact he’ll likely never going to see the sun again. In fact, he’ll be lucky to not get brutally tortured before death… What he doesn’t know is that a friend is secretly coming to his aid, with an unlikely alley, no less.

My Opinion: Underdark is a very interesting place that is hard to even imagine. Out there, in a place where there are no shadows, for there is no light, one has to learn to live, behave differently. In need to hide one must find a way to hide their body heat, for blending in with the surroundings is futile among creatures who were born in the pitch black. To add to that, the schemes of the drow are interesting to read. They’re interlaced with other drow plotting against those drow, for a dark elf is no friend to a dark elf, most of the time, and so you can never be sure whom to trust. Daring sneak-outs, intense escapes, and epic battles, duels.

Truly, I keep saying this, but if you’re into classical fantasy, take these books. A firm 5 out of 5 from me.

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

book review | Network Effect by Martha Wells | The Murderbot Diaries 5

network effect murderbot diaries martha wells scifi sassyAuthor: Martha Wells
Title: Network Effect
Series: The Murderbot Diaries 5
Genre: Sci-fi; Cyborg
Pages: 350
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Finally! I’ve got and read “Network Effect” by Martha Wells, fifth book in The Murderbot Diaries. And it was amazing.

About the Book: As soon as Murderbot defends his humans from other, hostile humans – familiar looking spaceship pops into the general background of things, and weird grey humans attack them again. With what seems to be warning shots exploding over its head, Murderbot watches ART’s hull, towards which it is being pulled, together with a little human from its team. No sight of ART’s beloved crew in sight. Murderbot knew this was fishy even before the grey humans inside started attacking them all over again. Where’s ART? Is the sassy smart-ass AI even alive?

My Opinion: This is a very good book. Well written and woven story, characters. Classy and epic fighting scenes. A sharp-tongued AI with what seems an almost accidental sass. What else could one want? I really did miss ART, and I’m glad author found a way to put him back into the story. On top of that, the whole Murderbot’s narrative, inner monologue, is amazing. It doesn’t enjoy human company, nor their attempt to make it feel more human. It would prefer being what it is – a SecUnit, but a person, not a property. That’s why its new contract has a point: no hugs.

If you like sassy AIs – take these books. First one is a bit on the slow side, but it will keep getting better. A solid 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, AI, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Club King by Peter Gatien

The Club King Peter Gatien Rise Reign Fall new york nightlifeAuthor: Peter Gatien
Title: The Club King
Series: –
Genre: Memoir; Nonfiction
Pages: 246
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I love biographies of club owners who made it before 2000s. It’s always interesting to peek behind the curtain of scripted danger and/or curated freedom. “The Club King: My Rise, Reign and Fall in New York Nightlife” by Peter Gatien is one of the better examples of such memoirs.

About the Book: Poor childhood, an accident that left the boy without an eye, and a personality he built out of this all. A well defined path, with clear cut offs around what’s “not for him“. This lead to the mysterious club owner with an eye patch, a series of well known club names, firm hand on the nightlife, and dizzying heights that came with it. Peter Gatien helped shape the nightlife as we know it.

My Opinion: Author has a very interesting personality. Had he not reigned himself in when he had to, the tale would’ve been short and sad. Had he not cared for the people who worked for him as much as he did – possibly same would’ve happened too. Instead, he built visions, took calculated risks, and boldly marched ahead of the trends, setting them in stone for all I know, seeing how the last glimpses of clubs he described sounds so familiar still. It’s a great book of what smart determination can bring you, and just how much work it takes outside of “dreaming big”, if nothing else.

A great book. Firm 5 out of 5.

Categories: 5-5, Biographies, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1897 05 26

dracula first published bram stoker

Be merry and sin plenty, Children of the Night

Categories: book facts, Dracula: General | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

book review | Love Bites by Ann-Katrin Byrde | Thicker than Water 1

love bites thicker than water ann-katrin byrde vampireAuthor: Ann-Katrin Byrde
Title: Love Bites
Series: Thicker than Water 1
Genre: LGBT+ Romance; Vampires
Pages: 289
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

Oh boy. Read “Love Bites” by Ann-Katrin Byrde, first in Thicker than Water series. This was very, very far away out of my alley.

About the Book: Vampires and witches are barely keeping up the fragile peace they have by hating the common enemy – dhampirs. Half witches, half vampires. It was Talon’s job to hunt them and kill them on his master’s orders. Until he met Collin. Instead he chose to hide the man by erasing himself out of his memory. Twice. Unsuccessfully. The gorgeous man doesn’t even know what trouble he’s falling into and dragging Talon with him.

My Opinion: Again, vampires and witches at each others throats. Again, a pair of would be rivals – fall for one another. Again, there’s lost or hidden memories that, upon revelation, show one of the parties in incriminating situation that somehow wrecked the life of the other one. Sounds bland, familiar? Don’t worry, it’s all spiced up with male pregnancy. I wish all romances, straight or lgbt always came with pregnancy trigger warnings.

Nope. A 2 out of 5, sorry. Basic, simple, points only for smooth author’s writing. There’s definitely skill in that, so as long as they like their own work, my opinion doesn’t matter.

Categories: 2-5, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: LGBT, Books: Romance, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Nosferatu Books, paranormal romance, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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