Posts Tagged With: book

Beltane | Up until | Best and Worst + Overhyped

Beltane is Gaelic celebration to mark the start of Summer. So, as promised, every season celebration in my blog will be marked by best and worst collection.

Disclaimer: My opinions are just that, opinions. Some of you might love or hate the books I loved or hated, and it’s perfectly fine, as long as we all read.

The Best:

  • 9Season of Storms by A. Sapkowski | High Fantasy; Dark Fantasy | – A zero book Witcher Saga, worthy read after you’ve read all the books though, for it’s hard to tell what book is the limit to avoid spoilers. Definitely a worthy read to those who have read the books long, long ago, and miss Geralt and his ridiculous adventures.
    [review]
  • The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson | High Fantasy; Dark Fantasy | – Second book in Mistborn sequence. Just as amazing, even better at some points. It’s like Frank Herbert’s Dune, but… With less of the… Bad stuff. Yes.
    [review]
  • Homeland by R.A. Salvatore | High Fantasy; Dark Fantasy | – This is a classic by now, no matter the age of the book. The first book in Legend of Drizzt, the Dark Elf trilogy, the Forgotten Realms series. It’s a very different fantasy book of elves.
    [review]
  • On the Come Up by Angie Thomas | Contemporary; Diversity | – If you liked “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas, you will most likely like this one too. You might also like it if you enjoyed 8 Mile, or any documentary on Rap. It’s a very good book on this music genre, the industry, the rhymes.
    [review]
  • My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite | Crime; Diversity | – This is a very interesting and strange tale of sociopaths, and how they might be absolutely the very favorites of ours. Good short piece.
    [review]
  • The Fever King by Victoria Lee | LGBT literature; Diversity | – A great tale of a very interesting magic system that comes as a virus. The characters are something amazing too. It’s rare to watch a tale unfold in LGBT theme, and not be centered in such a natural fashion. It’s just not a thing. They’re a couple, and that’s that, there’s a revolution to fight!
    [review]
  • The Godfather by Mario Puzo | Thriller; Crime | – This is a must-read classic among thrillers. It’s amazing and unexpected.
    [review]
  • Hell on Heels by John G. Hartness | Dracula; Paranormal | – I loved the first, I loved the second, but this one had the most of Uncle Luke. So, I’m biased, I loved this one the most.
    [review]
  • Go Down Together by Jeff Guinn | NonFiction; True Crime | – This is a great tale of the truth behind the romanticized Bonnie and Clyde headlines. A very good read, especially paired with “The Highwaymen” on Netflix.
    [review]
  • McMafia by Misha Glenny | NonFiction; True Crime | – A great book on criminal underground and how we all, even the most innocent ones, sometimes help them make profits unaware.
    [review]

The Worst:

  • the fall guillermo del toro chuck hogan the strain book coverInto the Mist by Lee Murray | Sci-fi; Horror | – Poor story made out of all the known flat formulas. Painfully predictable. Didn’t work.
    [review]
  • The Fall by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan | Vampires; Horror | – I’m still unsure how it became such a phenomenon. Most of the book was made out of memories, thinking, noticing things, and attempting to buy a book, then failing, attempting, then failing.
    [review]

Overhyped:

  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon | High Fantasy | – You know what I hate about myself? I see books on IG, and if I see them in every other post or even more often, I get curious. But I don’t bloody read the caption before it’s too late. If a couple months prior you would’ve read the captions under this book, the overwhelming majority was among the lines of “when will I get to read such a massive book! oh my, but so pretty” – just like it happened so many times. People are enticed by covers, annotations. And, I mean, most of them will still like the book, so it’s perfectly fine. But this was very much not my cup of tea, and I found this hype to be a very empty balloon instead.
    [review]
Categories: 1-5, 5-5, book facts | 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

book review | Unlearn by Humble the Poet

humble the poet unlearn book coverAuthor: Humble the Poet
Title: Unlearn: 101 Simple Truths for a Better Life
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction, Inspirational
Pages: 288
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I like Humble’s music. And I like his Twitter or IG feed. So, figured I should probably read the “Unlearn: 101 Simple Truths for a Better Life” by Humble the Poet too. And, you know what? It was pretty great.

About the Book: Nobody can give us happiness. Not only they can’t, even if they could, they don’t have to. Nobody owes you happiness, no matter what you gave them. Happiness has to be made, for you, by you. Not so easy, you say? Well, if it was, we’d not need books like this, right? Instead Humble teaches us to be more conscious about our lives. It’s hard to do, because we’re often blinded by emotional strain, stress, pain, but it’s possible, even if it means seeking professional help. You can choose to do something about yourself, for yourself. Even if it’s one conscious glimpse while you’re drinking your favorite tea: it’s good, isn’t it? And isn’t that happiness?

Little drops like that add up, and teach you to be more aware of the good things, even in the face of the dark days you might be having. That’s one great thing I took from this book. Another, and not the only one, be sure, was the time to start lesson. Want to do something, start something? Okay, start. Don’t wait for new years to make resolutions. Don’t wait for the first day of the month. Don’t even wait for that Monday. Start now. That’s the difference between “One Day” and “Day One“.  Which one will it be for you?

My Opinion: Humble writes in this very friendly and familiar manner. He doesn’t spew philosophy to an audience, no, he’s telling you simple things you might know, or you might not, joking with you, telling you a little bit of his own personal experiences, telling you that you can do whatever you set your mind to. Because when you truly want it, truly, you will have it. There’s no commitment, there’s no “do this every day and…” stuff. Humble’s real and simple.

It’s a light read that might just help you reconsider some things in your life. I’ll give it a very solid 4 out of 5, because there were a couple of edges that I could’ve done without, and that’s just my personal take. Other than that, it’s a good book worth the time.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Philosophy, Self | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | McMafia by Misha Glenny

mcmafia misha glenny book cover underworld criminal organized crimeAuthor: Misha Glenny
Title: McMafia
Series: –
Genre: True Crime, Nonfiction
Pages: 398
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I love reading sensible literature on organized crime, where author doesn’t choose a side, and, due to moral obligations, doesn’t try to paint one or another side a deeper shade of one color. One of such well balanced books is McMafia by Misha Glenny, who has a very healthy view on this all.

About the Book: This book goes through a variety of organized, global crime, its underground industries and their origins. From the times of economy downfalls through, say, the fall of soviet union, or the breaking of Berlin wall, to today. And all across the world.

Crime takes many forms and shapes. And so do reasons for it. Be it extreme poverty and thus a need to make a buck for bread by stealing or selling, or selling the stolen. Or be it flaws in law, criminalization of something you require. It could be medication your country deemed illegal. Or it could be part of your lifestyle: from illegal caviar, to illegal counterfeits. And many more, including drug cartels, mafia, mafiozos of Russia, yakuza, hackers, crackers, and so on. And you know what’s the worst of it? We too are a part of it.

My Opinion: This is a very smoothly written book, with sensible steps from one topic, to another. Each one of those is explained in depths, with origins of criminal organization at hand, how it came to be, to what it does, how it does it, and why it does it, if applies. To actual governments, and law: how they’re handling it, if handling it at all. As for our involvement, well, that’s true. And it’s scary. From materials required to, say, build our laptops, where a company doesn’t ask about the origins of this metal, or that dye. To scam emails, engineered web pages, and our inability to take precautions while on that enticing world wide web.

This is a very worthy read that I would highly recommend to anyone. I give it a 5 out of 5, for many, many reasons.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, crews, gangs, etc, mafia, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | Go Down Together by Jeff Guinn

bonnie and clyde true crime go down together jeff guinn biography book coverAuthor: Jeff Guinn
Title: Go Down Together
Series: –
Genre: True Crime, Biography
Pages: 468
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I always had a liking to Bonnie and Clyde stories, but somehow never watched or read any true, not romanticized stuff about them. After all, I didn’t even know that at first they weren’t Bonnie and Clyde, but rather Clyde and Bonnie. But then, a few days back, I watched this great Netflix movie “The Highwaymen” and decided I must take that one book that I have on the pair of criminals two rangers were pursuing there. The Go Down Together by Jeff Guinn.

About: Everyone has at least heard of the famous bank robbers in love, Bonnie and Clyde, who robbed together, ran together, shot together, and died together too. But rarely anyone knows what those two were really like, and what was their life on the road, on the run.

Both Bonnie and Clyde grew up and lived during the Great Depression, when the economy in United States fell so very drastically, that a young man would find it hard to get a job, and a young woman would likely add to her meager pay by finding a different sort of clientele. Yet one shouldn’t be fooled. These two were not so much pushed into the life in crime, as they leaped to it seeking thrill, action, and fame. They got it, alright, but one’s left to wonder if they’d be happy with the price they paid for it. The cold nights in make-shift camping spots, cold food in fear that a fire would be spotted, injuries that left them both crippled, and no way back to a normal life.

Mine: This is a dark story with an almost humorous streak to it. Both Bonnie and Clyde had their share of misfortune and even cruelty. Luck seemed to turn away from them when they most needed it. But they rolled with the punches as best they could, charming public who, for once, had entertainment in their lives. Bonnie and Clyde stole from businesses and banks, rarely touching clerk’s wallet, so it’s almost like they didn’t rob the poor, poor thought. They’d steal your car, but leave it where you could retrieve it. And if you rather had insurance money, all you had to do was ask, and they’d happily drop it in a ditch, and set it on fire. This is what public saw, and this is why they often turned a blind eye on this pair. All while they dealt with the dark side criminal world, hell, barely its surface, for no true criminal took them very seriously, was serving.

Author did a great job of making a smooth story to not feel dull. At all times it’ll keep your attention, and you’ll come out knowing who the famous or infamous pair truly was. I’m giving it a strong 5 out of 5, and recommend you watch The Highwaymen at some point too.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, heists, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bookish | The Last Confession

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This book remains one of my favorite little accidents that I bought. It’s about the historical figure of Vlad the Impaler, and I love it to this day.

☕ What’s your favorite book you accidentally bought, without planning that is?

IG | Ko-Fi | Patreon

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Etsy

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

“Into the Fire” by Jeaniene Frost | Night Prince 4

1Author: Jeaniene Frost
Title: Into the Fire
Series: Night Prince 4
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampires
Pages: 340
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I really didn’t want to finish these series. They were too good, and I have not yet found a replacement for good Dracula series. But… I really needed more of it, so I’ve read it. And now I must obtain them all in paper form, so I can re-read and mark every awesome bit down.

About: Leila is bound to a powerful necromancer, Vlad’s stepson, Mircea. If one gets hurt, the other one gets hurt too, so there seems to be no way in killing him without killing Leila off. And the need to do so quickly becomes dire as Mircea falls into the hands of big mean magical enemies of Vlad Dracula.

Vlad resorts to renewing his ties with this sort of a blood brother (they’re made by same vampire), for he dabbles in all sorts of forbidden things. And while Ion hides too much, gets on everyone’s nerves, is an outright whore of a man, shifty and not really trustworthy, he proves to actually be useful. While he got them into some trouble, and even turned them all into women, Vlad included, he also helped Leila discover that the key to breaking the binding spell might lie in her heritage. It’s just that from here to there there’s a lot of time, time which they just don’t have, for the necromancers have found Dracula’s weak spot.

Mine: This is a very intense, fast paced supernatural thriller with hefty paranormal romance. An unusual choice for me, so in case the cover didn’t warn you of the nature of this book: keep it in mind, yes? Otherwise I’d not be this keen on a romance, but hey, I’m a sucker for Dracula kicking ass and asking no names. And sure, at times it was very sappy, but I loved how nothing went perfect, every character did their own thing, hid their own secrets, Vlad kissed a man, and nobody stood there waiting to be the support character with the right question on the right time. What I didn’t like was the fast end to it all. I wanted a demon hunt, tea time with Ion and maybe Leila’s sister, and all the other goodies. Oh, what books I’d not give for a 5th one in these series…

I loved it. And while I’m biased a lot by Dracula existing here, and being main character, I loved it due to writing too. It had substance both in plot and characters. So I give it 5 out of 5, and series get the same mark too.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Romance, Dracula: General, Nosferatu Books, Paranormal, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, vampires, Vlad Dracula III | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Wanted, A Gentleman” by K.J. Charles

2Author: K.J. Charles
Title: Wanted, A Gentleman
Series: –
Genre: Historical Romance, LGBT Literature
Pages: 131
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

It seems I am nearing the end of KJC’s bibliography. Which is both fun and sad. Fun, because who doesn’t want to read everything one of their favorite authors ever wrote? And sad, because this means I’ll have to wait for any other book to be written.

About: Theodore Swann publishes ads in papers. Not just any though, no. The Matrimonial kind, the dating kind. Basically he’s the middleman in ancient Tinder published in papers. One of these days, while work went as always, a fine tall man walks in, demanding information on one particular suitor. For the said fox seems to be attempting to lure an underage girl of a very wealthy family into a marriage without her parents consent. But Theodore’s whole livelihood depends on him being discreet! Who’d ever write him if he gave up addresses to anyone who asked. To not tell is to get a very possible thrashing and never seeing this handsome man again. To tell is to risk everything. But Swann has a secret: he earns a coin or two on the side by writing cheap romance novels, and is very, very familiar with the villains. Enough to maybe, just maybe find a solution that’d suit everyone.

Mine: It’s a very short, not the very best, but certainly amusing book of an ad writer, who has a secret life of an author good only in his villain writing. I really enjoyed the simplicity of this book, it was short, fast, and didn’t beat around the bush too much, nor did it have a band of evil doers in a cabal. On top of that, as always, it’s the characters that made my day. KJC doesn’t recycle.

It’s a good, if extremely short little book. Not my favorite, but hey, not all books can be of Magpies and Murder, right? 4 out of 5, firmly.

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

NonFiction | Books too evil to read

Book Facts: Books that are so cursed that they’re too evil to read, page through, or even own.

Have you ever encountered these? Would you risk reading them, if you could?

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

Diversity | Dance with the Devil by Megan Derr

1Author: Megan Derr
Title: Dance With the Devil
Series: Dance With the Devil 1
Genre: LGBT Literature, Paranormal
Pages.: 204
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

One of those books I picked up because I didn’t want to read or continue anything. A few times like that I found my favorite books. This is not the case, even though the book was pretty good. It’s the romance part that really messed it up, otherwise this would’ve been a paranormal detective, a supernatural private-eye, think about it, how amazing is that?

About: Chris is a paranormal detective, for paranormal people, for paranormal events. He’s half ghost, thanks to his powerful witch mother who back in the day managed to source enough energy to make his father a body for three whole days. This really helps in his line of work, where most secrets are either kept behind locked doors, or are whispered in private companies. And there’s indeed plenty of work! There’s a ghost in a goblin’s home; someone wants Chris to find a grimoire that belongs to Storm Demon; the said Storm Demon is a hoarder of grimoires, and is not likely to ever part with any; an enslaved imp is defying his gentle nature to survive; a demon of lust is trying to take over a werewolf pack that has no current leader; and so on, and on…

Mine: The book is made out of different cases, but they all interconnect into one story via several time-lines. There’s this marvelous atmosphere of a detective office, a private-eye for supernaturals, with imaginary sulfur and brimstone instead of cigar smoke and whiskey. Almost a half-ghost Sherlock. But that romance part really messes things up. Even if it was a good romance, which is not thanks to “no means convince me” mentality majority seem to have here, the worse thing for plot was them waving the Biggest Baddest demon ring that made everyone confess. Are you a detective or an enforcer of some kind?

I think I’ll read another one, just to see what’s better, if anything. But right now I don’t feel a very great need to continue with the series, so we’ll see. Currently, due to it definitely being not a bad story, I can give it a 4 out of 5.

 

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: LGBT, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, Paranormal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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