Posts Tagged With: bookblog

book review | Sungrazer by Jay Posey | Outriders 2

jay posey sungrazet book review night mode readingAuthor: Jay Posey
Title: Sungrazer
Series: Outriders 2
Genre: Sci-Fi; Military Fiction
Pages: 448
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

Read Sungrazer by Jay Posey, second, and luckily, last book in the Outriders series, despite it having ended with direct line into the next one. It’s not out yet, and I feel no obligations to continue if it ever is.

About the Book: An autonomous AI warship, no crew, capable to commit chirurgical precision orbital strikes, basically a weapon in itself, disappears. And as it’s made to be untraceable – it’s the Outriders who’ll get the honors to find it. Following up on any lead, no matter how cold, unlikely, or dangerous. As, once again, planets worth of people are on the line.

My Opinion: Reads like American teenagers who loved their football and were about to join collage, but are now somehow adults in space military. That very specific and annoying stereotype, so very common in YA books, at least the older ones… Add that to the fact that there’s really not that much going on on the page as you read it, even someone, again, kidnapped is mostly just sitting there and thinking, trying to convey discomfort, poorly. Impossible made easy. Extraordinary made dull. It just lacked personality all through out.

At least it’s over, a 2 out of 5.

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Categories: 2-5, AI, Books: Everything, Books: Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi Books, space opera | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi | Old Man’s War 4

zoes tale by john scalzi book review night mode reading library nosferatuAuthor: John Scalzi
Title: Zoe’s Tale
Series: Old Man’s War
Genre: Sci-Fi; Space Opera
Pages: 335
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi is the same tale as the book before, but told from the perspective of main characters’ adopted teenage daughter Zoe. And I almost regret reading it.

About the Book: Colony of many different races, humans included, are slowly nearing a new planet, where they’ll live and try to make it hospitable enough for second batch of people. All the fun stuff, from home building, to infrastructure, to domesticating animals, and planting whatever possibly grows there. It’s just that someone changed the plans in secret, and it’s no longer the previously decided upon planet. Nor can they use any technology, all to protect them from a threat greater than they’ll face out here, in an unknown wilderness…

My Opinion: Tale of a primitive living on an alien planet full of sentient beings, told from perspective of high-school students, by an adult author who is not, in fact, a teenager, and likely hasn’t been for a lil while now. As these are shallow, stereotypical characters that were hard to read due to just how stereotypical. You met them in every young adult series ever, from Vampire Diaries, to Sabrina, to whatever else there is. Could predict dialogues from the start of the scene, how lacking it felt. The only saving grace is that the book provides an additional perspective on the previous one. If you do not feel a burning need for such, just skip it.

A wobbly 3 out of 5.

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

book review | Roadkill by Dennis E. Taylor

roadkill by dennis e taylor book review night mode readingAuthor: Dennis E. Taylor
Title: Roadkill
Series: –
Genre: Science Fiction; Humor
Pages: 333
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Dennis E. Taylor has marked himself in my shelves with the Bobiverse series (trilogy+). So, I took a shot with the new release called Roadkill. Good decision, lemme tell you.

About the Book: When it rains, it pours. Jack, who already had a fairly bad streak, totals his delivery van into… Well, into something on the road. Something big, invisible, and… furry? Having gropped around a little, he does the one logical thing: calls his friends to come help him figure this shit out. One thing leads to another, and here they are, trying to disrupt the evil plans of evil aliens to take over the Earth!
My Opinion: Superbly written book, smooth, and so very easy to read. Characters might not become your favorites, but they fit this story perfect. Young, curious, and with moral compass still on ride or die. Through the book they get to build on themselves, their friendship, and the new found friend too, sassy asshole of an alien AI who got conscious, and is now banking on these kids to win the day so they, yes, they can protect him from getting reset. Great humor, and great story.
Solid 5 out of 5.
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Categories: 5-5, AI, Books: Everything, Books: Funny!, Books: Sci-Fi | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Outriders by Jay Posey | Outriders 1

jay posey outriders night mode reading nosferatu reads book reviewAuthor: Jay Posey
Title: Outriders
Series: Outriders 1
Genre: Science Fiction; Space Opera
Pages: 444
Rate: 2/5 | Goodreads

One of those dusty books from the back that I try to get through, Outriders by Jay Posey, tried to bore me to death.

About the Book: Killed and revived, the final challenge, Lincoln was ready to ace the test and join an elite unit. Just to be plucked out of said test, and get planted into a far more secretive one, one that operates in missions no one ever hears about if they’re successful. The one he’ll test his mettle in will be no different, with entire planets worth of lives at stake.

My Opinion: No sense of tension, urgency, all while stakes are very high. Conflicting descriptions of events, where bad guys are only bad in a sense that author told you they do bad things, all while being very morally classy for no damn reason that we know of (e.g. treating one person nicely while trying to kill two planets full of people doesn’t make you a good guy either). It’s a very slow, dull spy thriller in spaceships, with mechs for decor.

I have one more book, will read it to see if anything improves. This one gets a 2 out of 5.

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

book review | Normal Sucks by Jonathan Mooney

normal sucks jonathan mooney book review night mode reading nosferatu readsAuthor: Jonathan Mooney
Title: Normal Sucks
Series: –
Genre: Self-Help; Memoirs
Pages: 256
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Statue of Adonis represents the unachievable human perfect. Mortal man fit to bed Aphrodite herself. Norma and Norman statues, meantime, represent the human normal state, mean, medium. Fun fact, it’s just as unachievable. They found approximate fitment for Norma, and had to settle for it. In his biographical book Normal Sucks, Jonathan Mooney dissects this theory of normal, alongside how’s shoved unto all of us.

About the Book: Since we were little, we were all taught that normal is good. Match others, catch up, stay in the middle of the herd. If you manage more – great, wonder child. If you are incapable of the average – you’re a burden now, in need of tutors, lectors, and other help. Despite both of these states usually coming from the same source. Not fitting the norm is only ever forgiven if it fits said norm by managing more of it, it seems. In this interdependent world, the normal, the right side of society, fully expects the other side, the wrong side of society, to pick up and adjust. All while people who decided what’s the norm – didn’t fit the bill either, so why is their normal – the default state? Wouldn’t it be easier if both sides adjusted a little at a time, wouldn’t it be more fruitful? Through the book author tells his story, from the diagnosis that shook him to the very core, to life with it, the emerging bigger picture, through people who had it tougher, to people who had it bad, to people on the other side of the ramparts who had enough empathy to adjust their end, until it was all clear: normal just fucking sucks.

My Opinion: Normal is a lie. As author himself states, if you think someone normal – you don’t know them well enough just yet. And those old white dudes who made up the concept of normal didn’t fit it either. From there on it only brought the very worst out in people, as it would be hard to point examples where people strived for normal and got happy, but there’s so many absolute catastrophic examples where people got normalcy into their minds and wrecked entire nations over it. It’s a false idea, from statistical 2.5 child, to ideal average pilot seats – we neither see the half a child running around, nor said seats were comfortable for any of the pilots. So if both ideal and normal states are both unachievable: why waste your time striving for the most average, most boring state there could ever be? Read this book. Read it especially if you have, or plan to have children, as author writes this book for his kids. And, for point of reference, he has ADHD and dyslexia.

Great book. A 5 out of 5.

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

book review | ADHD 2.0 by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey

adhd 20 edward m hallowell john j matey book reviewAuthor: Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey
Title: ADHD 2.0
Series: –
Genre: Self-Help; ADHD
Pages: 208
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

Trying to educate myself on some topics that keep appearing in my immediate space, among which is, of course, ADHD. So I’ve read ADHD 2.0 by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey. While there’s some valuable thoughts in the book, others are outright harmful, so keep that in mind.

About the Book: Authors go through a very fine introduction on what it’s like to have and live with ADHD, from the inside, and the outside, how it affects the self, and those around, and what’s the difference between living with diagnosed ADHD and one that is being overlooked or not considered, aka., not diagnosed. And then proceed through variety of tales on hope. ADHD is not a bad diagnosis, and how from learning about it – things can only improve. They provide examples of those who thrive with it, even if examples given aren’t very substantial. And then name a great handful of coping mechanisms. From harmless stuff such as exercise, caffeine, to not wholly defined (I am a user myself) such as CBD, to absolutely atrocious things likened to conversion therapy.

My Opinion: As I said, the start of this book felt promising, it allowed me to define certain things in my head better, and I’ll directly benefit from that. But the whole generalizing felt iffy even before ABAApplied Behavioral Analysis got mentioned. There’s a reason why it’s not “one medicine fits all” ADHD: some need downers, others need stimulants, to the third and other-other neither might help, so why promote structure to kids as a way out? To some structure will feel like absolute hell, and they’ll seek ways to break out of it. With other suggestions authors were a little more clear that it’s not for all, but hey, feel free to try. But the ABA thing, through punishments and rewards it teaches neuro-divergent people to respond in neurotypical ways, and that got likened to conversion therapy, akin to torture. Keep this in mind if you intend to pick this book up. Additionally, it’s not very scientific, so what you get is a bundle of ideas to try out, often based on nothing more than “well, for some it works“.

Written in a smooth way, makes it easy to read. Strange skirting around genders. Stranger still the generalizing. A 3 out of 5.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, Philosophy, Self, Science Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | The Egg and Other Stories by Andy Weir

andy weir the egg and other stories book reviewAuthor: Andy Weir
Title: The Egg and Other Stories
Series: –
Genre: Short Stories; Fiction
Pages: 1.15h
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I really like Andy Weir. Some books more than others, but all of quality. So, in need for light and short content, I picked up The Egg and Other Stories to listen to. Did not disappoint.

About the Book: A handful of absolutely stunning tales, with plot twists written to blow your mind. From mental illness to trauma. From aliens to meaning of life. And, of course, from serial killers, to cats.

My Opinion: Extremely good writing. Each tale packs a punch, some still better than others, but each one – memorable, because it’s just, wow, at every ending of it. Do yourself a favor, pick it up too.

Solid 5 out of 5.

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Categories: 5-5, Adventure Books, AI, aliens, Alternative History Books, Apocaliptic Books, Books: Crime, Books: Dystopian, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Funny!, Books: Horror, Books: Other Fiction, Books: Sci-Fi, Crime Books, dark fantasy, Fantasy Books, murder, Mystery Books, Sci-Fi Books, serial killers, Thriller Books, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | Failure Mode by Craig Alanson | Expeditionary Force 15

failure mode by craig alanson nightmode reading nosferatu readsAuthor: Craig Alanson
Title: Failure Mode
Series: Expeditionary Force 15
Genre: Sci-fi; Space Opera
Pages: 697
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

Another year, and seemingly the last one, that I start with Expeditionary Force by Craig Alanson. Fifteenth book, Failure Mode, ends the series and it’s just too bittersweet.

About the Book: Elder Ones, seemingly the first or among the first races of the Universe, have ascended into a different kind of existence, abandoning their bodies. But not before they put together technology that was meant to keep this corner of Space – clean of life. This way they planned to protect their power source and the barrier built against someone or something that scared even them. Said plan, of course, didn’t wholly work, as is proven by Joe Bishop and his Merry Band of Pirates, entire humanity, and many other races, and species, who got into quarrels with them over the past several books. But, as Skippy thought, for as long as Elders aren’t aware of it all, it’s as good as perfect. And then he had to kill that other damned Elder AI, who sent out a distress call, one that can only be sent by their kind. Worse still, Elders acknowledged the call. Now, Skippy can’t see any scenario in which Elders would just go back to sleep and ignore everything, instead of, you know, waking up and committing some genocide to tidy up the mess, fixing their rogue AI on their way out so, his, and Universe’s best hope are us, the monkeys. Joe Bishop at the helm, with such insane and impossible plans that, hehe, no one’s going to like them…

My Opinion: It’s hard to resist the greed when tales of your favorite characters are so very well finalized, because they might just be the last ones. Turned pages through high-strung action on the edge of my seat, the fights, the escapes, the impossible, the momentary lapses of judgement, and perfect ideas from people in the book, rather than universal luck by author’s divinity. Every character, even the side-side had their own firm personality, characteristics that made them – them. Basically, quality is so superb that 15 books later I wish there were more in the future. Because while I couldn’t ask for more, got my open ending to daydream about, got a glimpse into things that were forbidden through the previous books, and so on, I’d still have more, happily.

A wonderful start of the year, 5 out of 5.

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

book review | December with Dracula 10 | A Coldness in the Blood by Fred Saberhagen | Dracula 10

dracember december with dracula fred saberhagen a coldness in the blood dracula tape night mode reading nosferatu readsAuthor: Fred Saberhagen
Title: A Coldness in the Blood
Series: Dracula 10
Genre: Horror Literature; Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Rate: 3/5 | Goodreads

And so, Dracember ends. As does Dracula series by Fred Saberhagen, with the final book called “A Coldness in the Blood“. Towards the end it really picked up, even got an entire point up.

About the Book: Dark side of alchemy is overseen by those who only care for power it can provide. One such student of the craft ends up running to Dracula himself, in absolute terror of the thing chasing him. Figuring, if anyone can defend his sorry ass, it will be someone called The Impaler, he doesn’t stop to think of the wrath he’ll evoke in Vlad Dracula when the horror following will endanger him, his home, and those he considers family. An embodiment of Alchemy, Egyptian God in search of Philosopher’s Stone. One Vlad will now have to chase down too, trying to outwit and outrun an entire damn deity…

My Opinion: Book starts with a great premise, but absolutely horrible execution. Dracula lacks any personality, character traits, keeps comparing incomparable things, and seems to oversee the hypocrisy of his own words. I’m not sure if this was intended so by the author, creating an undead, who so far seemed to be trying to create an intelligent and regal character instead. As the tale went on, it got so dull it was near unbearable, as everyone again spent all their time talking while sitting down, telling tales of tales. And only towards the end did it pick up again, where we got both a good story, well paced, intriguing, and some, minimal, character development too, where we witnessed Vlad Dracula become more the vampire he was in the very first book. Writing got better too, almost like author has found his pens again, caught the train of thought at last, and said all he wanted to say, finally. I’m just not sure about those awfully picked archaic words.

All in all, series aren’t much. No regrets in reading them, not at all, but I won’t be in a hurry to add physical copies to my Dracula’s collection. This one gets a 3 out of 5.

Categories: 3-5, Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, Books: Fantasy, Books: Horror, dracember, Nosferatu Books, Themes, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

December with Dracula | Summary

Horrible year. Again. Russia invaded Ukraine. Myanmar is going through a violent military coup. Women of Iran are still fighting for their right to live. Transphobes, emboldened by rich brainless humans, are becoming ever more violent too. And that’s just the very tip of the shitberg. There’s much more happening, many more countries in need of help, many more protests going unseen, many more threats.

As a result of it all I’ve had little time or will to search for Dracula books. Upsetting, because it’s this vampire that taught me the value of life. How important it is to fight for survival. How essential it is to cling to life. How one must always move forwards, even if means crawling, or standing still, trying to outwait the darkest times, the darkest thoughts. Instead I was pulled to read other tales of horror, made worse by books being historical. Books on Ukraine. On Holodomor. Iron Curtain. Red Army, Communism. Totalitarianism. Russians slaying their Tsars. Russia. Chechnya. Georgia. Syria. Putin. Brain’s full of nightmares, I can’t believe someone would willfully repeat any of it. But due to this it is even more important to keep moving forwards. Soulless, heartless, and, honestly, brainless bullies are not to be allowed an easy victory by us stepping back, away. So, we keep going. You, I, us all, together. We’re stronger in numbers, so, be sure, your beating heart matters too.

Think you’ll not be upset with me if I’ll add another Dracula book I’ve read earlier this year, as it’s worth mentioning. But as I’ve got it for a review request – couldn’t have kept it all the way to Dracember.

i dracula d s crowe night mode reading

First Dracula book I’ve read this year: I, Dracula by D.S. Crowe:
Author gave me this book in exchange for a review. Through entire process she’d check in on how the reading is going, how I like the book, and even how I’m doing. A heartwarming person. The book itself is good too, got better towards the end, so it’s worth reading through bits that might not be too savory. Will definitely read the sequel too.

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Two finished series: Fred Saberhagen and, technically, John G. Hartness:
Started Fred Saberhagen series last year, with my absolute favorite – The Dracula Tape. Finished it this year (last review tomorrow), happily too. As, sadly, they gradually got way worse. Poorly aged flaws began poking through, starting from too common comparison of distress to feelings of violation, rape. Ending with backwards views on theft and infidelity. Dull secondary characters made books a chore, and Dracula, for how old he is, offered no more than ever duller monologues, retelling tales, and no personality.
Meantime John G. Hartness, four year omnibus series are technically not the end of Harker’s adventures, the newer ones are simply not put together yet, it seems. Those too went a bit downwards towards the end, but reading Dracula’s lines was always a pleasure.

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The three “others“: Children of the Night by Dan Simmons, Draculas by Blake Crouch, and, again, I, Dracula by D.S. Crowe:
These three are stand alone books at least in the sense that no others surrounding them need to be read. Dan Simmons was a discovery, from a series of similarly themed books that are unrelated, this one tells a fine tale of Dracula’s family, and Dracula himself in the modern times. While not everything was palpable, it ended good and in that way I appreciate having read it.
Draculas by Blake Crouch is that classic shoot-catch thriller with spreading zombie/vampire virus, and brand of humor only found in parodies of such movies. Laughed out loud, and was on the edge of my seat most of the time. The only “cherry” missing was the two matcho dudes who found so much in common towards the end – hooking up. That would’ve pushed the book to the top lists for me.
I, Dracula by D.S. Crowe I already spoke of, so, yeah.

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The Best Dracula of 2022: Despite it all, I must give the title to John G. Hartness. His Dracula is well adjusted to life in modern times, and prepared to continue adjusting, no matter what the world throws at him. He’s witty, strange, and retains both the “old vampire villain” charm, and the “medieval warlord” roughness.

The Worst Dracula of 2022: This, with great regret, goes to Fred Saberhagen, whose Dracula I would’ve loved to love. Tales from before and after Bram Stoker, adventures, life. And yet, lacking of personality, seemingly stuck up and dull, him and the side characters made some of the books entirely a chore.

Discovery of 2022: D.S. Crowe. The book might not be the best out there. It starts from birth, childhood, teenhood, and so on, until it reaches the good and interesting bits. But author truly did her work to make this an interesting book with a well arched plot.

Such was my December with Dracula. Not too bad, considering what’s going on. And due to that, I’ll not wish for anything just now, let’s not borrow time, and, instead, walk in slowly. Look around. And stick together, until the next year.

Categories: Books: Dracula, Books: Everything, dracember, Dracula: General, Themes, Vlad Dracula III | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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