Posts Tagged With: book blog

book review | In The Dark by Mark Billingham

mark billingham in the dark book coverAuthor: Mark Billingham
Title: In The Dark
Series: –
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Pages: 384
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I keep seeking those good, good crime books. In the Dark by Mark Billingham is not one of those. But it did remind me why I believe that life’s too short to quit a book because it didn’t pick up for a while. The very end of it, and it’s not the first book to do so, has fixed so very much that it made it worth it.

About the Book: A cop driving at night. A gang with a crew member in need to prove himself. Secrets, lies, cover-ups, and victims.

Paul’s widow Helen, an officer herself, now lonely and expecting, can’t help herself but dig deeper into her husband’s life. It turns out he had way more secrets than she suspected. And much darker ones too. Bit by bit they’re making her see what seemed to be a random gang attack to be something entirely else.

My Opinion: The ending is emotionally brutal to the reader. It was dark, unexpected, hard, but so, so good. Story is very slow to pick up, the pace is horrible. Some dialogues were jagged, characters often turned out to be two dimensional, shallow, not to mention completely random unnecessary scenes. I was about to give this book a poor rating, but then it ended like that, and blew me away. See, as a reader you see a little more than Helen. You see the people around her, who she meets, who she talks to. And whom she starts to sympathize with. And it’s bloody beautiful.

Yeah, it’s one of those books. Makes you sad and happy at the same time. As a reader – you’re satisfied with how it happened. But as a human being you’re probably sad. I give it a shaky little 4 out of 5.

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Categories: 4-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, crews, gangs, etc, murder, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Heroes by Stephen Fry | Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology 2

stephen fry heroes mortals and monsters quests and adventures book coverAuthor: Stephen Fry
Title: Heroes
Series: Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology 2
Genre: Mythology, Fantasy
Pages: 478
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I feel like Stephen Fry could make any book better. For instance, I don’t really like Greek Mythology due to it so overused in media that it feels more common than my native. But “Heroes” was a marvelous and very fun book that rekindled my interest.

About the Book: The Age of Heroes began, it seems, suddenly. Great people began cleaning out the world of monsters, curses, and scary things from scarier places, making it nice and proper for us to live in. They challenged the gods themselves, took up quests, adventures, solved riddles, and invented things we to this day use. And we ourselves took delight and joy in telling those tales, to our friends, to our children. From Hercules, to Orpheus, to Argonauts, to Icarus, and many, many more.

My Opinion: This is a fascinating piece. Stephen Fry does a great job explaining chronology and errors in it, overlapping and such. He does his best explaining us the relations among people too, how were they connected, who sired whom. The book is well written, tales are told in this light, easy fashion, with comparisons and descriptions fitting our modern world. In fact, once or twice I laughed out loud at some of those. Audiobook is great too, so if you’re new to them, or have troubles getting into them, Fry’s mythology books are a great start point.

Yep, it’s a great book, I give it a 5 out of 5, for making even such a seemingly dull topic – great. (I’m sure it’s not dull, and this is merely the perception of someone who had to study it all in school)

Categories: 5-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Other Fiction, epic fantasy, Mythology Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Night Eternal by Guillermo del Toro | The Strain 3

guillermo del toro the night eternal vampire book coverAuthor: Guillermo del Toro
Title: The Night Eternal
Series: The Strain 3
Genre: Vampires; Paranormal
Pages: 576
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Sometimes this happens. Sometimes the last book redeems it all. The Strain trilogy by Guillermo del Toro has finally ended for me, and I am happy to admit that The Night Eternal has made it all a bit better as a whole, and worth the time I spent reading it.

About the Book: The world as we know it has ended. Atomic detonations, toxic clouds, ash, smoke, triggered disasters. The sky is covered in a perpetual cloud that only allows meager sunlight through at the greatest peak, for a couple slim hours. This has ensured the vampire dominion, their rule. All the Master is missing now is that damned book of creation, the one with answers on why or how they, him and ones like him, were made, and how will they be or could be destroyed. The same book old vampire hunter died to protect, just so it wouldn’t fall into the wrong hands. But what are the right hands? Even in this apocalyptic setting a man is still a threat to a man… Homo homini lupus est.

My Opinion: There was more history on vampires, how they came into existence and what even is the Master. That part was truly interesting. The inner monologues improved too, taking action within events or followed by them closely, thus lessening the sensation that nothing is going on, nothing’s happening, and everyone’s just twiddling their thumbs. Some good plot twists took place too, including character development I did not expect. But all in all, while unique story, it was still pretty simple, very slow, a bit confusing at times, and with questions remaining, even at the end of it all.

All in all the trilogy might be worth reading if you’re really into apocalyptic viral vampire themes like that. Otherwise I’ll refrain from recommendations. This particular, final book in The Strain trilogy gets a solid 4 out of 5 from me, redeeming the sleepiness inducing second book in the trilogy.

Categories: 4-5, Apocaliptic Books, Books: Dystopian, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Supernatural, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein

tokyo vice jake adelstein japan crime book coverAuthor: Jake Adelstein
Title: Tokyo Vice
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; Memoir
Pages: 335
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Ah, I wish I knew how good Tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein is sooner. For it fell down my TBR list quite a few times. But hey, I got to it at last, and it’s better later than never!

About the Book: Jake learns Japanese and moves there in pursuit for journalist career. The rules are different there, and the book picks up the pace here, setting up an amusing tune of this white jewish man jumping traditions and politeness hoops in a foreign country. All that said, work goes well, including the whole structure of building relationships with co-workers, sources, cops… Which can get quite costly.

One day a yakuza contacts him, letting him know that Jake’s name was mentioned in trustworthiness context. This is where the story starts getting darker, for Jake gets to see beyond Love Hotels, Hostess clubs, where people dress up for you, to be your best friend until you run out of money. Beyond that there’s dark, gritty, nightmarish web of debt, loan sharks, human trafficking, and destroyed lives.

My Opinion: This is a very, very masterfully written book. With facts, memories, experiences¬† woven into one smooth if nightmarish tale. Don’t know about you, but Japan to me was always that dream country, something exotic and far, far away, so very different from anything we know here. But truth is much more simple. Yes, there’s differences. Yes, there’s plenty of pros, pluses. But there’s just as many cons, minuses. Just as in any country.

A very good book. Reminded me of this one I read long ago called “Yakuza Moon“. This one gets a 5 out of 5. And no, it is not made to slander. Merely a country this journalist lived in, a place where he found this, and was in a position to make a difference, no matter how small.

Categories: 5-5, Biographies, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, mafia, murder, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” by British Library, Author Collective

history of magic harry potter jk rowling book coverAuthor: British Library, Author Collective
Title: Harry Potter: A History of Magic
Series: –
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction
Pages: 256
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I’ve no clue where I even got the “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” by authors collective. But I’ve read it, and it was quite nice.

About the Book: Any author, especially any aspiring one, should read this book, just to see how books earning millions to billions are constructed. And how books, in general, the good ones, get written. What it takes, what an overwhelming web it can be. But how it absolutely can be done.

This book describes the basics of how the whole Harry Potter world was created. From the symbolics surrounding the characters, characters that were in our history, to places, buildings, potions, magic beasts…

My Opinion: As an aspiring author I have found a lot of good in this book. Many authors, of course, if not each one, have their own strategies. The key is to find one fitting you. R.R. Martin somewhere wrote he’s the kind who plants a seed and watches it grow, meaning he starts writing and sees where it goes. While Rowling had this whole month-by-month sheet of data, scribbles and scrabbles, several ideas for a single scene, and so on. But as a reader… As a reader who grew up with Harry Potter, loving that world of hope and magic, I found this book full of repeated information. “And this relates to that, and this is equivalent of that in real life, and that means this…

Either way, the book is fun. I’d say it’s unnecessary for a reader, but might be good for an author, but definitely a fun read either way. So I give it a 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Other Fiction, Fantasy Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | dracula | Hell on Heels by John G. Hartness | Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter 3

hell on heels quincy harker demon hunter john hartness book cover draculaAuthor: John G. Hartness
Title: Hell on Heels
Series: Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter 3
Genre: Dracula, Paranormal
Pages: 90
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

It’s amazing how some authors are capable of writing full, funny and well fleshed out books that are this short. I also love Dracula in modern settings, so this is the perfect book. Hell on Heels by John G. Hartness, third book in the Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter series!

About the Book: Someone’s hunting in Uncle Luke’s territory, dramatically turning victims into vampires. It would be an understandable event, just another vampire trying to butt-in on other vampire’s territory. But it just so happens that Uncle Luke is no other than Dracula, Vlad the Impaler himself. And there’s only one idiot ballsy enough to believe he can take on the vampire from books and legends…

My Opinion: This is a very funny and badass book, full of supernatural fights, flawed characters, and exemplary writing style. Seriously if you love vampires, if you love Dracula, but are tired from all the romances, and would rather have something in Supernatural series style, this is it.

Yep, loved it. Can recommend if you just want a funny little break, for it’s like no pages at all, and it gets a firm 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, About Msg2TheMing, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Funny!, Books: Horror, Books: Supernatural, Dracula: General, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, vampires, Vlad Dracula III | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 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

book review | The Fever King by Victoria Lee | Feverwake 1

the fever king victoria lee book cover lgbt fantasy young adultAuthor: Victoria Lee
Title: The Fever King
Series: Feverwake 1
Genre: Fantasy, LGBT literature
Pages: 375
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

This is a very strange and interesting tale I’ve just read. “The Fever King” by Victoria Lee is the first book in duology. And I am eagerly awaiting the second one.

About the Book: In this broken world magic comes as contagious virus. To most it’s a death sentence, for there is no cure, just experiments little to none can afford. And those who survive often wish they’d be dead anyway. For in the wake of magical virus taking over blocks before government contains it, it destroys communities, families. If you survive, you’re all alone, a thing called Witching, a weapon in the hands of an oppressive government in a brutal war, with no real power to help anyone in honest need.

Noam wakes up in the hospital, left among the dead, for he was supposed to be dead soon enough too. What are the chances someone from the slums would survive the magical fever anyway…

My Opinion: Let’s start with the bad things. First, the style. It’s a bit tough, at times even demanding. There were moments where I had to re-read entire pages, because something essential slipped by among minor details or got burdened with other things, or wasn’t described well enough to understand right away. Second bad thing, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I needed more world building here, some origin stories or whatever. Yes, I understand most these things can be answered in the second book, but that only means I’ll pick up second one feeling as confused as I was picking this one up. There’s way more good things though. For one, this is a very standard love story, but with very non-basic characters. Jewish, colored, gay or bi, they’re both amazing guys, and their tale is familiar from your regular white-and-straight YA fantasy romances, so this was funny and great, and I loved it. The whole magic thing was amazing too, nothing I’ve ever read before, and the book is worth being read for that alone. Truly, a unique piece of literature.

At times the lack of background, and the boldness of a brand new story reminded me of tales like Guns of Dawn. It’s just that that one was so thick it eventually told us everything, while this one has a second book coming up. I’ll still give it a strong 4 out of 5, and, as I said, will grab myself the second one as soon as it’s out.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, dark fantasy, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson | Millennium 1

the girl with the dragon tatttoo stieg larsson book coverAuthor: Stieg Larsson
Title: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Series: Millennium 1
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Pages: 465
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I have this trilogy for years and years now, so many that I’m ashamed to admit. But at last I’ve read the first Millennium trilogy book by Stieg Larsson, the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo“, and it was amazing.

About the Book: In the chaos of family tragedy a girl disappears, leaving her loving uncle burdened by this painful mystery. For there was no trace, and no body, but he is certain, the girl must be dead, how else? Upon his birthdays he receives a pressed dried flower, every year, and it has become a wall of mockery, for the killer surely knows, and likes to pain him. Thus, he has made a decision to try one more time to shine some light on this mystery. He hires a journalist, who, in turn, hires Lizbeth, this fantastic alternative woman with almost supernatural mind that sees patterns where others only see chaos, white noise. Together they dig up old clues, old tales. But what if the truth is worse than the secrets?

My Opinion: This is a marvelously written, captivating book that’ll require your undivided attention. It’s easy to loose track, that’s all I’m saying. Other than that, the characters and the plot are amazing. My favorite being Lizbeth, with her intelligence and strength, she’s an amazing example of what characters I lean towards. Her ability to put up a show reminded me of Ghostman, so some small part of me was sated (I truly wish the author of those books was alive and well, and would write more of those unbelievably amazing books). Less so impressed by the journalist, but that’s also only my personal preference and lack of belief, so to speak. For he is written well.

So, yeah. This was an amazing book, and if you’re seeking a good detective, there’s surely a reason why these were such a phenomena at some point. 5 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, Crime Books, Detective Books, murder, Mystery Books, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Fall by Guillermo del Toro | The Strain Trilogy 2

the fall guillermo del toro chuck hogan the strain book coverAuthor: Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan
Title: The Fall
Series: The Strain Trilogy 2
Genre: Thriller, Vampires
Pages: 308
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

I’ve many people in my circle who enjoy the series based on this trilogy and/or the trilogy itself. I, personally, am not yet made a fan, and I don’t see how that’ll happen with only one Strain Trilogy book left. Currently I finished Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan book The Fall, which is the second one. And am not impressed.

About the Book: Master has taken over New York. From here the rest of the world will fall under his feet too. But he has to be careful and not think of these things too much. For when he’s too deep in thought, they, others like him, the first kind of vampires, can hear it, and know it. So instead he plays his pawns, the most influential, powerful, rich people. It’s just that he miscalculated just how very much some of them fear death…

My Opinion: Other than internal monologues, there’s so little happening in this book, that I can’t even tell you what’s it about clearly. Basically they all spend the whole book either thinking of bad old days, from the creation of supernatural creatures, to genocide, to childbirth, or they chase a book that speaks of vampire creation. That book could give them the true name of the Master and that would somehow help them destroy him and the rest of his kind. I give it great props over making vampires what they are, but bloody hell how dull it gets.

Right, so, I can’t give this book more than 3 out of 5, and the biggest plus is the vampire origins. One more book to go.

Categories: 3-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Supernatural, Nosferatu Books, Thriller Books, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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