Posts Tagged With: book blog

Laini Taylor – Strange the Dreamer [1]

28449207I asked for a recommendation and have received “Strange the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer 1; ISBN 0316341681; 536p.; Goodreads). Must say, has been a hot minute since I’ve read such a colossal book. I think the last one was the gruesome Fifth Season, which I also recommend. But this one was lighter to bear, with almost constant sense of sunshine, likely due to lighter people, personalities within.

A great war has taken place in the city ruled by ruthless gods. People rebelled, climbed their tower, and slain everyone they found bearing the blue skin of godspawn. But gods are not easy to slay. They fought back as best they could, and took vengeance in death too. First they took their sky, shielding it with the massive wings of their home. Then they left humans dreading, haunted by nightmares for as long as they sleep under the winged dome. They’re too worried to move, for it would mean that even in death the gods have taken victory on their lives. And finally, they took the very name of the place, leaving it known across the world only as Weep, a name that leaves ones lips bitter with ash and salt.

Lazlo Strange is an orphan, taken by monks off the streets, almost grey with sickness. They nursed him back, and soon, as the boy grew, got to calling him Strange The Dreamer, due to the nature of work he took. For, you see, Lazlo is mostly interested in stories. Especially those of Weep, a place he believes to be more than a fairy tale. He goes as far as dig up old recipes of purchases, just to prove this or that mediocre thing to be real. No one takes him seriously, of course, and people are far more interested in his knowledge on alchemy, than some fairy tale land. Up until the day delegates from Weep march into his city, kindly asking for volunteers who could bring new knowledge into their devastated lands. Lazlo can’t even dare dreaming they might need a tale teller…

This book feels huge. And it’s not as dark as some high fantasy books get. If you like the genre, I can’t recommend this one enough. In the mean time, I give it 5 out of 5, and await the next one eagerly.

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

Brian McGreevy – Hemlock Grove

12510849Not that long ago I watched series on Netflix called Hemlock Grove. It wasn’t bad, to be honest, especially the first season. Later on I found out that there is a book by Brian McGreevy (ISBN 0374532915; 319p; Goodreads) on which the first season is actually based. And since it’s October, I figured, why not, right? Vampires, werewolves. My verdict? Not too bad.

 

In the town of Hemlock Grove girls are being killed gruesomely. They get torn to shreds, and parts of them are left for people to find. It doesn’t look like it’s wolves. And bears don’t exactly act like that either. That creepy giant of a girl with strange lights under her skin, the Godfrey daughter Shelly, might have had enough strength to tear a girl up tho, right? But to try and question the freak would mean stepping over Roman Godfrey, her weirdo of a brother. He looked normal, but bloody hell, the boy was not normal. Or maybe it’s that gypsy who moved into the trailer in the woods? Rumor has it he’s a werewolf. Hey, you never know, with the White Tower, pulsing it’s white light like the very heart of the Hemlock Grove, with the blasphemous experiments happening within the lab walls – werewolves might just be real.

Peter didn’t expect the new place they moved to to be this much of a muck. First he gets accused of being a werewolf. Then he befriends an actual upir, babbling something about the Order of the Dragon. And all those damned bodies. If it really is a werewolf – they’re in a lot of trouble, all of them. For the being changes on the wrong moon, and the rule, that werewolves change on full moon is there for a reason!

The book is easy to read, but is written a bit odd. Here you spectate from the third person perspective, there you’re reading a journal, or a letter. The best part was the mythology, the werewolves, the vampires. Tho there’s little to none of those, mind you. Still, I can give this 4 out of 5, tho I will refrain from recommendations. As for series, they’re watchable.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Supernaturals, vampires | 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

Seth Grahame-Smith – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

5899779I didn’t except to read a book like this for the first of October, but here I am, on perfect timing with the month of Samhain. This book sat on my to-read list for a fair while now. Which is why I like the “suggested for you” book sections. It reminded me of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” by Seth Grahame-Smith (ISBN 1594743347; 320p.; Goodreads), and I may cross it off my list now. What a good year for that, really. Mind you, while this book was pretty good, I still have a feeling I might have liked it more if I have actually read Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”. Someone let me know!

Zombie plague is terrorizing England. The dead don’t stay dead. They crawl out of their graves in search for juicy brains. As a result, whole England is transformed. While before it might have shown your worth and class to be able to, I don’t know, darn very well, or have a famous piano instructor, now your worth is determined by where you learned your oriental fighting skills, how many ninjas you have serving for your safety, how well equipped is your dojo, and so on. but that said, even if our dear Bennet girls are as deadly as standards require and then some, they still dream of marrying well.

It is an amusing story of English girls of fair birth and ruthless oriental training attempting to tempt an officer, or any decent man really, to become their husbands. There’s plots, and schemes, and no man is who he seems.

The book won’t leave you without sleep, it’s not scary. It is horror only in a sense of setting, but other than that, this is humor, and satire too, I feel. Still, all said, it being a light read, it still is a read that is easy to forget. Not very special, not very captivating. I can only offer it 3 out of 5, as tempting as it would be to give it more.

Categories: 3-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Other Fiction | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

George Orwell – 1984

5470It was due time I picked up “1984” by George Orwell (ISBN 0451524934; 328p; Goodreads), what with all the things happening in real life. It is also one of those rare classic books that got good reviews from some people I follow, who I didn’t expect to rate it well. So I’ve read it, and I’m pretty blown away.

Individual makes mistakes. Only together, led by strong Party, people, their nation, can survive among the enemies, win wars, thrive, prosper. Individual thinking, thus, is a weakness punishable by jail, or even death. For if you seek to think on your own, declining the Big Brother doctrine, you, obviously, wish for the Party, and therefore – your own nation, to fail. By disagreeing with the truth given by Party, by not destroying the false memories, you are doing ill for your nation, you’re a traitor, and thus, you must be punished.

 

Winston tried to live with the memories of yesterday’s enemy, who, today, is a friend that was never an enemy. He tried to live one step behind the Big Brother, the all seeing eyes, the all hearing ears. He tried to live with false, individual thinking induced freedom, believing that at least in his own head – he must be safe.

From the reviews I’m seeing, I dare assume the book is on the harder works of literature. But that aside, I also saw some reviews claiming this is too thick a fantasy book to feel realistic. So let me tell this: ideas never die. If you believe that things like communism have died, let me show you the images of Confederate flag, defended as part of South history. Let me show you the photographs of Neo Nazis, marching with their stupid tiki torches. Let me show you the thriving “I’m better than thou” individuals, who are gathering into clusters. As one smart boy in a video game once said: It’s dangerous when too many men in same uniform believe themselves right. No idea that can make an insecure little man believe himself better than someone else will ever die. So I give this book a 5 out of 5, and I pray that we never forget.

Just because you didn’t suffer it, doesn’t mean it’s not happening (e.g. if as a woman you were never discriminated against, doesn’t mean you don’t need feminism; if as a person you never been racially, ethnically, religiously, or otherwise persecuted, doesn’t mean it’s not happening out there)

Categories: 5-5, Books: Dystopian, Books: Other Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joe Dispenza – Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself

12951631I’m trying to read more nonfiction books too, among all the fiction. Don’t know yet how I’ll be able to review them properly, and should I, even. But let’s give it a shot, shall we? I picked up “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Joe Dispenza (ISBN 1401938086; 329p.; Goodreads), due to many reasons, among which my belief that nothing changes, unless you start changing things, is not the smallest. And, honestly, it’s not a bad book, even if I can’t agree with all of it. Nor can I understand some of the instructions. But it was worth the time.

Author, with all the love and respect to your person, tells you outright – if you want to be someone else – stop being yourself. For instance, if you are, like me, a bit on the lazy side, and wish you could enjoy working more, so that you’d not feel too lazy before you even started it – start being that person. How, you ask, you’re still lazy? Well, that’s the damn thing. By associating things, we create shortcuts for them in our brain, to hell with the terminology, and end up unconsciously following patterns, rather than actually experiencing what’s before us. For me, my first jobs were gruesome hard work. So work equals hard, equals tired, equals don’t want to, equals lazy. Today my work is far less demanding, and yet I’m still lazy, because that’s what word “work” evokes in my brain. Author, thus, leads us through series of explanations, and meditations, of how to cut that cord, and make a new one. Basically, how to become your better self, or stop being your lazy self.

The other point he made was autopilot. Our brain trains our body to do, and react, and eventually body takes over. For instance, I might not be able to tell you my PIN, but I will enter it easily. The day I realized I can’t remember the numbers was the day I met a different key-pad. We do that with far more things than we imagine. Our body learns that, say, we react like this to this kind of comment, and so – we react. Rather than being present, and making a conscious decision, after a proper evaluation.

In the end, this was an interesting read. Reminded me a lot of The Secret, but then, I know, love, and respect many people who read that book, and took a firm grip on their life after that, so maybe this one’s just as good a manual of how. Because, let’s face it, if you won’t put the will into it, nothing’s gonna magically happen. Therefore I give this book 4 out of 5, because even tho this is a good manual, at points it felt like ikea manual. I really don’t know what to do, when I’m told “act like it already happened“.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A to Z book tag!

You know what I haven’t done in a while? A book tag. So here’s one, taken from [PerpetualPageTurner]:

Author you’ve read the most books from:

  • Probably Anne Rice books. Or Charlaine Harris.

Best Sequel Ever:

  • I dislike most first books, so, second book of Captive Prince, and many more.

Currently Reading:

Drink of Choice While Reading:

  • Sweet, carbonated, and preferably in a can. Or just tea.

E-reader or Physical Book?

  • Both are fine!

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

  • Any one of the three main characters from “Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue”, Stephan Day from Magpie Lord, Lord Crane, Lila from Shades of Magic…

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

Hidden Gem Book:

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

  • Probably starting blogging about books. Or finding well-reading friends.

Just Finished:

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

  • I refuse to spit into this well.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

  • I don’t even know tbh, many are very long nowadays, from Anne Rice’s stuff, to Martin.

 

Major book hangover because of:

  • Hangovers are good things, right? Because I think then, the book I had to take a break after was Captive Prince trilogy.

Number of Bookcases You Own:

  • Two. Three if we count the one that is not purely mine.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

  • Witcher saga, but the most time per book was the very first that made me realize how amazing books can be, that being John E. Stitch book “Reckoning Infinity”

Preferred Place To Read:

  • Other side of my bookshelf (this side is my work place), on the couch, in front of the window.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

  • Oh there were many, there are many, and there’ll be more, sadly I can’t recall one from the top of my head.

Reading Regret:

  • I’ve none. If it was bad – I know it was bad, because I’ve read it myself.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

  • There’s many still. Nightrunner, Chicagoland vampires, Night Prince, Anno Dracula…

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

Unapologetic Fanboy For:

  • K.J. Charles “A Charm of Magpies” trilogy, and C.S. Pacat “Captive Prince” trilogy.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

  • V.E. Schwab is writing second book for “Vicious“, it’s gonna be called “Vengeful

Worst Bookish Habit:

  • I guess, like most, I just add to the already infinite to-read list, by physical copies, e-books, or mere “want to read” button on goodreads.com

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

  • Henry James “The Turn of the Screw

Your latest book purchase:

  • Martynas Starkus “Stuck in Central America

Photo 28-08-17 18 23 00

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

Categories: Books: Everything, Tags | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A.C. Bextor – Empires and Kings [1]

x3Sometimes I pick a book up just because, because it sat there, taunting me or whatever. Sometimes due to such an action I even find good reads. Sadly, “Empires and Kings” by A.C. Bextor (Mafia 1; ASIN B01MZA0MS5; 322p.; Goodreads) is not one of those. It’s just a book about a Russian Mafia Family head, portrayed as the most vile and ruthless monster, who, beside the few base things he did that’ll make you roll your eyes, rather than fear him, hardly did anything.

The book is told from two perspectives. One, the first, belongs to our scary mister Vlad Zaleski, the head of this Mafia Family, one of the most powerful men in the underworld. Back in the day he was required to exterminate a family of a traitor. Wrong time, wrong place, the traitor’s daughter, a mere child, runs into the room, scared by all the noises. Vlad makes her watch the killing of her family, and, due to reasons unclear, takes her with him, and puts her into his own family. Maybe he took pity on the child. Maybe he wanted her there, as a reminder to anyone else who’d like to try and betray him, what’s left of the last man who did: a single girl devoted, loyal to him.

She’s better known as the Traitor’s Daughter. She grew up fearing and revering Vlad as some sort of a god. His son became her best friend, her brother. His sister became her sister, and best friend. Growing up among the mafia men has changed her perspective on life, has given her a different rhythm to things, a certain sense of power, even in captivity, where no one could touch her, for she was jailed and protected by their boss. The only truly bad outcome in this is that she fell in love with her god, she fell in love with Vlad.

Talk about Stockholm Syndrome, right? The book has a good idea, even for a romance novel it’s a pretty fair one, for I am sure there’s many who’d enjoy a creature like Vlad, the mafia boss, the gangster, the mister danger in the modern world of darkness. Yet the story, the way it was told, the fleshing out of the small ideas, making them seem artificially bigger felt a bit weak. So for the time being I can only offer this book a 3 out of 5, and we’ll see on whether I can pick up the second one.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Crime Books | 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

Chloe Neill – Friday Night Bites [2]

x1So here goes my last German edition of the Chicagoland Vampires book by Chloe Neill, which is merely the second book in the long series. “Friday Night Bites” (Chicagoland Vampires 2; ISBN 045122793X; 357p.; Goodreads) went a little slower, and the title was sadly the only amusing thing. The whole substance of the book was spread too unevenly for me. Too much was caked on relationships, Merit’s, and other people’s. And much too little on the fun, and interesting stuff, like how are raves – vampire thing, why does a human have to die to become a vampire, what happens if you don’t die fully, etc.

Your friendly neighbor vampire will always ask for your consent before biting. Maybe that’s the reason these vampires didn’t get too aggressive outlash when they came out of their coffins, seeing how they don’t have the luxury of True Blood. This same lack of luxury has made vampires put rules and laws on drinking from living donors. It is no wonder thus, that they were the first to react when the safety of their own being in this human world was threatened by rave parties sprouting all around. Big deal, rave party, right? Well, apparently the very title “rave” was taken from vampires, for it’s less a human party, and more of a one big trap party. Humans have fun, rage, dance, use substances. Vampires feed themselves silly on them, and any stories that leak outside the walls of the illegal parties are rendered bogus told by junkies who got too high. It’s only a matter of time before these parties leave more than trash behind… (yes, I do mean dried corpses)

The rest of the book was mostly about Merit’s work for her liege. He wants connections, her family has those, so here start the parties, designer dresses, and overdescribed snacks. To add more salt on those, Merit tries her best to keep a relationship going with the vampire from the other house, the same one her liege has basically forced her into to begin with. The same one he’s now so very much trying to disrupt.

 

The books are very easy to read, so I can’t complain. I believe I’ll just get myself a little audiobook collection of them, and listen to them while doing work around the home. I feel like they’re perfect for it, especially if you listen on higher speeds. For the time being I can give it 3 out of 5, but we’ll see how things go.

Categories: 3-5, About Msg2TheMing, Books of Supernaturals, Nosferatu Books, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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