Posts Tagged With: book review

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

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

book review | Bullets and Opium by Liao Yiwu

bullets and opium real life stories of china after tiananmen square massacre liao yiwuAuthor: Liao Yiwu
Title: Bullets and Opium
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; History
Pages: 320
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I’ve no memory where, how, or even why I got “Bullets and Opium” by Liao Yiwu. But since I’m determined to make a dent in my TBR shelf, I’ve read it. It’s a very strong and scary book.

About the Book: Tiananmen Square Massacre survivors share their gruesome stories of protests, fight against communist regime in China, the people’s plea for democracy in a country where wrong thoughts against the government is a punishable crime. And these folk, these writers, poets, journalists, all stood and spoke those thoughts out loud, demanding freedom, begging the military for mercy, reconsideration. Appealing to their sense of humanity and honor, for what will happen to them, their memory, when they remain on the evil side of the history? It sounds like a far away history, stuff that happened thirty years ago that left these people maimed for life mentally, physically. But even today they can’t return home, for the battle isn’t over.

My Opinion: Those of us who live in the countries that were under the Soviet regime will find these stories painfully familiar. We grew up with them, from our parents, from our grandparents, in our history books, in our low budget beautiful old movies. Dehumanizing acts against people who merely spoke up. Brutal behavior, nightmarish conditions, grueling work that killed many, maimed for life even more. And the tale isn’t over, with most of the world not being aware of it.

It’s a very tough book, but for the sake of the names in it, it’s a very worthy read. A 5 out of 5, for nothing else is in my power, but a review and hopefully – a few more readers.

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

book review | The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen | 1

bridge kingdom danielle l jensenAuthor: Danielle L. Jensen
Title: The Bridge Kingdom
Series: The Bridge Kingdom 1
Genre: Fantasy; New Adult
Pages: 354
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Oh wow, a brand new piece of great fantasy has graced my virtual shelves. Just read “The Bridge Kingdom” by Danielle L. Jensen, the first book in the series of same name.

About the Book: King’s daughters were trained from the very early childhood to be the most lethal weapons of all. Only the best of them will get to live. She’ll marry the prince of the rival nation, a demon whose rule has starved her own country. And she will find a way to bring him and his nation to their knees, a salvation to her people. That is, if she can survive the nightmare that is known as the Bridge Kingdom.

My Opinion: A very unique piece of fantasy, with a very unusual and great setting, and a well woven if predictable plot. There were issues, like characters being a bit two dimensional, acting strange, causing more problems to themselves, or lacking logic in general. But other than that, it’s easy to read, and feels like a breath of fresh air. Two very different countries, landscapes, way of life. And a thick if slow plot.

A solid 4 out 5, and will read more.

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

book review | Pretty Perfect by Riley Hart and Christina Lee | Boys in Makeup 1

Apretty perfect boys in makeup riley hart christina lee lgbt romance lgbtqiauthor: Riley Hart and Christina Lee
Title: Pretty Perfect
Series: Boys in Makeup 1
Genre: LGBT Romance; Contemporary
Pages: 261
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Ah, there we go, I think I found my new chill-reads. Got through first book in the brand new Boys in Makeup series by Riley Hart and Christina Lee, called “Pretty Perfect“. It’s very simple story in the best kind of way.

About the Book: Jesse and Dane are the polar opposites. A fact their boss happily used, having them dance at the bar together every Friday. Visitors and clients enjoy the sexual tension they perceive between the two. And the pair can’t complain about the tips they make either. They’d like to, though, complain. When you’re hurting – it’s easy to assume the worst about people. And both guys come from pretty painful backgrounds: unaccepting families, nasty exes, heartache, loss. It took them bumping into each other outside the bar environment to realize maybe they’re not so different after all.

My Opinion: It’s a very simple story, with very basic events that work together well, and make for a light, pleasant read. First third or even a little more of the book was pretty slow though, and at times I wondered if I really want to be reading this right now. But later on it all picked up. We got to know their stories, their families, watch them grow out of hurt, and tackle problems with sense and determination. A fairly rare event in romance books, if you ask me.

Not a masterpiece, but a fine read nonetheless. A 4 out of 5 from me.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: LGBT, Books: Other Fiction, Contemporary Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers | Wayfarers 3

Record of Spaceborn Few Becky Chambers sci fi space opera science fictionAuthor: Becky Chambers
Title: Record of a Spaceborn Few
Series: Wayfarers
Genre: Space Opera; Sci-fi
Pages: 359
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Right, well “Record of a Spaceborn Few” by Becky Chambers didn’t go so well as the last one did. They all, as I see now, are stand-alone, so there’s that to keep in mind whenever taking the next one.

About the Book: Exodus Fleet, vital home of the first humans to leave the Earth they destroyed is technically no longer needed. Destination has been reached, there’s many planets to live on and thrive. But some still call it home, among which many don’t see themselves ever leaving, while others can’t wait for some solid planet dirt under their feet. Those first ones are often the ones who eye visitors with suspicion. Humans come in treating their home as a zoo. Aliens come in like they’re a charity case… How could they ever know what life’s like here?

My Opinion: There were too many characters to follow for my personal liking. And the story’s path was a tad too vague, towards such big and mighty goal as purpose definition. If life’s not enough on fleet – will it be enough on, say, Mars? Is bread baked there more meaningful than it is here? Is it so bad aliens try to help, offer donations, charity? Does it stunt growth and development, or rather propels the communities towards it?

It’s not a bad book, just absolutely not my cup of tea. If you do enjoy topics like that, it’s worth the time. I give it a 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Books, space opera | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Legacy by R.A. Salvatore | The Legend of Drizzt 7

The Legacy Dark Elf The LEgend of Drizzt R A SalvatoreAuthor: R.A. Salvatore
Title: The Legacy
Series: The Legend of Drizzt 7
Genre: Classic Fantasy; High Fantasy
Pages: 334
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

It has been a while since I’ve read a book in one sitting the way I have read “The Legacy” by R.A. Salvatore, seventh book in The Legend of Drizzt, and first book in the third trilogy of the series, Legacy of the Drow.

About the Book: Company of friends are preparing for a wedding in newly reclaimed Mithril Halls. But strange things begin to cloud the otherwise good mood. First, halfling Regis returns to friends as if he’s running once again, and so soon after they left him to enjoy the new life. Then there’s newly brewing animosity, anger. So fierce at times that Drizzt and Wulfgar actually crossed weapons. And if that’s not enough, the tunnels below don’t seem to be safe yet. People coming to congratulate the future newlyweds disappear. Drizzt, venturing to find out more, can’t decide which is worse: the anger one of his best friends is feeling towards him, or the fact the dead dwarves he found are definitely killed by his kin…

My Opinion: Plot thickened and tension was kept well. While some things we got revealed to us via chapters from the perspectives of the antagonists, other things we were left to discover together with the heroes. The animosity thickening felt like Lord of the Ring scenes where groups of people were affected by it, getting more agitated, arguing. But, at the same time, it was different and very clever in its own way. It was nice returning to the deep underground.

I keep saying this, but this is some good classic fantasy. 5 out of 5, again.

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

book review | A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers | Wayfarers 2

a closed and common orbit wayfarers becky chambers sci-fiAuthor: Becky Chambers
Title: A Closed and Common Orbit
Series: Wayfarers 2
Genre: Sci-fi; Fiction
Pages: 365
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Continuing my adventures in Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers. Second book, “A Closed and Common Orbit” was way more enjoyable.

About the Book: The body wasn’t made for this AI. She didn’t even want a body and would’ve rather remained in the spaceship core. But that position was reclaimed by the former occupant and so the choice was made for her. Now, AI formerly known as Lovelace has to figure out how to live as a human. Which isn’t easy, by far. Luckily, there’s friends. And understanding strangers.

My Opinion: The book tells two stories. The current time one is that of Lovelace and her friend Pepper trying to live a life and navigate the nuances of AI’s in bodies being illegal. The other one tells the very well hidden past of Pepper’s. That’s the one that made this book so very good. It’s a tale similar to that of Maugli or Tarzan, but it didn’t happen in a forest or a jungle. Instead it happened in a scrap factory on some far away planet and its cruel rulers.

Every time I’d put this book down, the need to find out what’s next would nag at me. A solid 5 out of 5.

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

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