Posts Tagged With: supernatural

K.J. Charles “Spectred Isle” | Green Men 1

1_SpectredIsleAuthor: K.J. Charles
Title: Spectred Isle
Series: Green Men 1
Genre: LGBT, Paranormal
Pages: 271p.
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I had to wait for quite a while until I got myself a chance to read one of the newest KJC books, the “Spectred Isle“, first in the series. And even then it is thanks to a friend for all the help. It was definitely worth the wait though. This book is a fine piece of paranormal.

About: After the disgraceful discharge from the military, Saul is happy to have any job, really. Even if it means working for a crazy eccentric fella whose life goal, it seems, is to get in touch with real magic. He pores over books he claims anonymous sources sent him, maps, and whatever other things he got to find certain places. Then he travels there, drags Saul along, or just sends Saul there alone, to trudge through mud, forests, ruins, and other kinds of not likely magical places. But this time Saul’s conviction shook at the foundation of it. First of all, this was a rare time when he got to a place and knew exactly that he was in the right place. And second of all, if the colossal ancient oak wasn’t enough eerie in itself, it suddenly burst into flames and burned like no living tree should ever, ever burn. That, of course, attracted attention, people, among which was the last member of the great and old family of occultists: Randolph Glyde. From then on every adventure Saul got himself into seem to have led him to the man. It would’ve been funny if it wasn’t so irritating and strange at the same time. Especially when they met in the Camlot Moat, the most unlikely of all places, the island that was so incredibly difficult to reach that even Randolph couldn’t believe what he saw. For Randolph’s duty is to protect the isle within the moat, and he knew full well how unlikely it was for Saul to just stumble in there, and them meet. This only confirmed his suspicions that Saul is involved in something sticky and occult.

My thoughts: Loved these two to bits. Saul is a very interesting, strong and intelligent man. And Randolph pretty much leads the rebels. Well, resistance if you please. The occult kind who don’t want to be ordered around by nasty Shadow Ministry. Those people, after all, are responsible for this thinning veil between their world and the one under it. They forced occultists of all kinds to summon, use, and abuse all manner of creatures and monsters. In one of those summonings, one that Randolph refers to as the Great Summoning, whole Glyde family has died, leaving Randolph alone to cope with all the secrets and knowledge that his family possessed. Thus he takes care of those like him, including Saul.

This was definitely a very great book, with very scary elements to it, so consider not reading at night. And, as is common for KJC books, the characters were indeed top notch. So here’s a 5 out of 5 for me, in hopes that second book won’t take too-too long. For it will take a while.

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Categories: 5-5, Books of Occult, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hugh Howey “I, Zombie”

2Author: Hugh Howey
Title: I, Zombie
Series:
Genre: Horror, Zombies
Pages: 222p
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

I couldn’t figure out where I know the author from. And only now, as I opened goodreads, did I notice that Hugh Howey wrote Wool books too, Silo and all those. I didn’t like them much, to be honest. But this one was wonderful.

About: All the speakers in this book are either zombies, or people who are about to become zombies. Little by little, including interesting enough personal background stories, they tell a tale of how did this happen, to them, to their city. It’s scary, how it all began with a few infected on the street. They looked no worse than deranged sick vagabonds, so people avoided them. But apparently, they didn’t do so well enough. For not long after that, a gang of zombies, a shuffle, came along. They weren’t fast, what with their rotting, often broken bodies, but their need drove them forwards, causing panic, horror, and all the disasters that start with it. Some, now, like our very first speaker, are trapped in their rotting bodies, internally screaming against impulses they can no longer control, as their broken bleeding hands shove rotting flesh into their mouths, throats. Others feel relief, for they won’t have to worry about anything anymore, not the contamination, virus, not even death. But they’re all united with one need, one want: human flesh. They can always smell them, always feel them. So they know full well there’s choppers above, full of scientists and military, all people who do nothing but observe and research. And by the time they reach a conclusion: sacrifice a city for the sake of humanity, by the time they decide to bomb it… They already know there’s herds of living, delicious flesh behind the barricades of this city.

My Thoughts: This was a very scary read. From the very first story, where a completely conscious woman with a gaping hole in her cheek, explains the terror she feels when her hands shove guts into her throat, and how painful is the wind against her bare teeth. Then to living people, civilians. One had just enough bullets to show mercy to some, choosing to shoot women and children first, and put them out of this horror of existence. And finally, to those who didn’t see the rising sun of a bomb fallen, for they were pushing, scraping at the barriers between themselves and humanity. By the end of this book my heart was thumping. I am not someone who likes to be scared. But this was unbelievably amazing. Not every story was interesting or scary, but a total of the book was definitely worth it.

I am waiting for Dying Light 2 even more now, praying it’ll still have zombies, and not just gangs of people. I was never interested in zombies, never felt the need to read or watch anything with them, really. But this book had a teller who was one of those people who were actively preparing for a zombie apocalypse, like quite a few in our world actually do. And so it just brought it all to life, made it beautifully believable. I give it 5 out of 5, and to you I suggest to put it up for October, Halloween read.

Categories: 5-5, Apocaliptic Books, Books: Everything, Nosferatu Books, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chloe Neill “Hard Bitten” | Chicagoland Vampires 4

1I get used to series. Then I read them, even if I don’t particularly like them. Same happened to me with Chloe Neill series Chicagoland Vampires. Lucky for me, though, “Hard Bitten” (Chicagoland Vampires 4; ISBN 04512333328; 350p. Goodreads) ended up with a very interesting note.

Tension is ever rising in House Cardogan. Protesters outside the windows demand day and night for these dangerous bloodsucking creatures to go back where they came from – hell. Some people go missing after especially brutal raves take place. New drug is rumored to be on the market, messing things up. And, seemingly, all of these strings lead to House Cardogan. Its master, Sullivan is under pressure from two different ramparts: the mayor of the city, and the vampire authorities from across the pond. Pressure itself wouldn’t be hard to handle, of course. It’s their orders that put him between an anvil and a hammer. One side wants him to take care of this, because Cardogan looks involved. Other side wants him to stop meddling in what the head of Cardogan is not supposed to meddle. So, clan reputation or his own skin?

Merit, on the other hand, seems to have found a way around all this mess. After all, the orders were to her liege, not her directly. And what her liege doesn’t know, her liege cannot be blamed for, right? Thus she picks up her contacts in dark deep places, and sets off after those who survived the raves. Sadly, the deeper she digs, the less she likes the secrets. Some of them are about to flip her whole world upside down. Like the one about her getting turned into a vampire…

The ending was a very interesting choice author made, and it got me real curious of how will this develop then. Still, I really won’t be recommending these to anyone who didn’t get this far to begin with. 3 out of 5 from me. Will read the next one though.

Categories: 3-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, urban fantasy, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Victoria Schwab – Vicious [1]

ViciousOkay, I think I can now really say that Victoria Schwab is my favorite author. I swallowed her “Vicious” (Villains 1; ISBN 0765335344; 364p.; Goodreads) in yet another single-sitting. And I really hope it’s not gonna be a stand-alone, because the ideas these pages were filled with, and that wonderful, amazing, superb ending to it!… Ah.

Victor and Eli seem similar at the first glance. Both smarter than your average students. Both ambitious. Both very likely to try and pick unlikely things and see where it brings them. Thus, once told to find a research topic, they ran with it: extraordinary abilities induced by or acquired due to near-death experience. And since research in theory went so well, they decided to take it up a notch, and try it in practice. Here the similarities of the boys ended. For in death it is the greatest desire that echoes the loudest, reaching back. And one of them just happens to have a whole different understanding of self.

This is a story of heroes and villains. Or so it seems to the characters inside. Robber, killed by a hero who just happened to be there on the right time, in the right place, had no weapon on him. Hero, who stalks, and befriends the prey. Villains who pick up the stray people, offering shelter from the rain, and possibly pain. And this endless battle, between what? Good and evil? Decisions and consequences? Self-righteous men who are right, and selfless vengeful men who are…

Here’s my take on this story. Two similar boys with different understanding of self. One sees himself as a person who wants to, say, grow. The other one, believes himself right. And therefor, it’s not the growing that concerns him. It’s the memory he will leave behind. Thus when it came to superpowers, one of them told himself that God gave it to him, and therefor he is right. While the other one simply believed that this is how things are, and there’s no right, or for that matter, wrong. 5 out of 5, because bloody hell this was an amazing trip.

Categories: 5-5, Books of Supernaturals, Treasures, urban fantasy | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lynn Flewelling – Luck in the Shadows

74270Luck in the Shadows” by Lynn Flewelling (Nightrunner 1; ISBN 0553575422; 479p.; Goodreads) is one of those books where you love the topic, and the beautiful ideas. But then there’s a whole bunch of useless action and descriptions. But I guess that might be a flaw in most of the high-fantasy books, for what better way to introduce the reader to a magical city, than to force the hero onto a walk via it, say, by buying a new horse, and taking it for a test-ride.

Seregil is a rogue with no equals. With some training in magic, and no real talent for it, he’s also a master of disguise. On a mission to steal a magical artifact, he got purposefully caught, and thrown into the dungeon, where he found young Alec. Alec, an orphan, finally caught for poaching got his share of luck in shadows, as Seregil, escaping, grabbed him along. Happy to have his life back in his hands, Alec didn’t expect to end up in an adventure of that scale. Magical city, mages, mythical beings, legends come to life!

Seregil overestimated his strength, and soon the artifact started overpowering him. Strange visions, blood thirst, and insanity are slowly, but very surely taking him over, and he’s afraid he might not reach his mentor in time. Young Alec is no less worried for his friend, for in this strange new world he’s at, lands and seas across from home, he has no one else but Seregil. By all means he can’t let him die.

The book is truly a pleasant read, and I will start the second one right away. Yes, it’s full of useless things, like a whole chapter describing what animals heroes turned into. So the best I can give it is 4 out of 5, but I expect latter books to get better.

Categories: 4-5, About Msg2TheMing, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, high fantasy, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jacob Grey – Ferals: The Crow Talker [1]

25236399I love urban fantasy. It’s a good resting genre for those who love fantasy in general. And when it’s not too good in plot – it usually compensates in settings and/or backstory. “Ferals: The Crow Talker” by Jacob Grey (ISBN 978-9955-23-901-7; 295p.; Goodreads) is not a pure urban fantasy, but the fantasy part in it compensated well for everything. Truly scary bad guys, wicked “Dark Lord“, and one or two measured plot twists. I’d say this book is Nicholas Flamel meets Ranger’s Apprentice, if I had to compare it to anything.

Caw is this young orphan boy living with three crows out in the abandoned park, in a nest he made himself. He keeps having nightmares of his parents pushing him out of the window when he was but a little child, and crows carrying him away. The question of why they did so bothers him night and day. Yet soon a distraction like no other strikes. Dream changes, and becomes even more of a nightmare than before, for in the background there stands a pale tall man, surrounded by spiders, eyes black as the void. And the nightmare soon becomes reality, when the white crow, who was both mute and blind, speaks a warning: Spiders are coming, and we’re their prey.

First half of the book is not the easiest to pull through, since plot has to be explained via that time, only natural. We’re introduced to the world where among regular people walk those who speak and command other beings. Caw being one who can speak to the crows. Situation we’re hurled into soon demands others of this breed to be found, and there is where the fun begins in earnest. We learn of great war that turned their city into the ruins they live in now. We learn who did it, and how is it possible that the long dead man is a threat to the world again.

So all in all, I did like the book. Can’t say it’s my new favorite, but definitely something I would willingly look into. I am very happy we received a translation of the first book already too, since we definitely don’t get enough of this type YA urban fantasy in our shelves (I guess it could be categorized as children’s book too, since it’s child-safe, unless they’re afraid of spiders). I’ll give it 4 out of 5, but expect rate to go higher as books cease needing to explain what’s going on.

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

Neil Gaiman – Trigger Warning

22522808  Short story collections are the most difficult when it comes to making a review. Even if you don’t like it whole, it’s just somehow tough to explain what was it. But “Trigger Warning” by Neil Gaiman (ISBN 0062330268; 310p.; Goodreads) wasn’t bad at all, and therefor got even harder when it came to me writing down the thoughts of so why did I like it.

Stories are very varied and I do believe everyone would find at least one they’d like among them. Simple ones, complex ones, disturbing ones, scary, fantastic, etc. One has Dr Who as main character, another – Mr Sherlock Holmes himself. That one is among the two favorites of mine. Sherlock is an old man, the beekeeper Mr Holmes. He travels out to far Asia in search of strong enough bees to withstand an ancient experiment… And the other one was The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury. Now this one hits home, for I felt like author described my very brain in it, with a hole in a shelf where a dictionary used to be, and another hole for a word that went missing, with only descriptions left of what that thing was.

All in all, I really did love this book, this collection. The fantasy stories were the best, in my opinion, so I’ll look into whether Neil Gaiman has more of that Tolkien-vibe filled works in his repertuare. The collection gets a firm 4 out of 5 from me. It missed just a little tiny something to be loved completely. Still, very recommendable.

Categories: 4-5, Books of Occult, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Fantasy Books, Gothic Books, Nosferatu Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Matt Haig – The Radleys

7989160  Right in time for Halloween I have finished a book on vampires. And not some sappy teenage triangle love drama either! No, Matt Haig was very kind to give us “The Radleys” (ISBN 978-1-84767-861-4; 343p. Goodreads) and the sheer simplicity that this book is. It’s a story of a family, middle-aged, middle-class. With their own secret dreams, desires, lack of fulfillment. It’s just that they happen to be vampires too.

Radleys is an old vampire name, thus making me believe that Peter might be the first abstainer in it whole. It’s all for his wife, woman he loves very much, and yet doubts near daily whether she loves him back. She should, by all means, for converted vampire always has strong feelings towards their master. In the mean time, his wife is trying to make sure their kids know nothing of vampire world. In her little human-play, everything can be explained. Insomnia – medical condition. Migraine – well… same. Rash? More sun-block. Hungry? Eat meat! Yet if their pretend-life is dull and crumbling, it’s still far better than what happens next, when a silly teenage boy corners their weak and famished daughter. On top of it, here comes Peter’s practicing vampire of a brother, Will, to the rescue, with all his blood bottles and wicked dreams of the past.

As I said before, I love this book for simplicity. Things just happen. All as a matter-of-fact and no more. And yet it’s so beautifully vampiric that I must give it 5 out of 5!

Categories: 5-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, Nosferatu Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Allison Van Diepen – The Vampire Stalker

TheVampireStalker  After all the long and heavy reads I wanted something easy and simple. Thus, while putting my old books for sale (it’s a Lithuanian site, but here’s a link anyways, there’s a few English books and I guess you can write me to my email if you really wish to have something: sena.lt , mind you, post expenses are on you), my eye was caught by this one. Allison van Diepen book “The Vampire Stalker” (“Scholastic” 2011; ISBN 978-1407-12989-1; 250p., Goodreads) seemed perfect. Slim, well written, with a promising summary of a girl who falls in love with a book character. I always loved books of books that change peoples lives.

Amy and her two best friends are huge fans of a vampire book trilogy. In fact, the book and their story starts with them standing in line, waiting to get their hands upon the second book, freshly printed. Unlike her friends, Amy is more into brooding Alexander, than the hearty James. But that matters not, either way all three girls eat the book up via weekend. The only difference, true difference is that Amy’s story with the book doesn’t end there.

One night, after the dances, she’s walking home alone through dark park. I know, oh so original… But hear me out, this book is worth it. Amy gets attacked by a superhuman being there and then saved by a striking guy that looks awfully much like her dream boy – Alexander. Heck, he even introduced himself right – Alexander Banks. A nasty cosplayer joke?

What I liked the most about this book, was that author did her research. I know far too many authors and their works, written BEFORE research, and I always found that truly annoying. But Allison Van Diepen is not one of those, no. She made sense. She even included String Theory to explain what’s going on, rather than make it all up via means of magic and “it was meant to be” things. Therefor I’ll grant this book a very firm 3 out of 5. I also do intend to look into the author a little more, who knows what other wonders she has in store. And below I leave you with a video on what’s that string theory.

Categories: 3-5, Books of Supernaturals, Books: Everything, vampires | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Otfried Preußler – The Little Witch

diekleinehexe  Otfried Preussler‘s book “The Little Witch” is one of the first I remember reading by myself. I was taught the letters at age 3 and been reading ever since. Yet, since I had that book when I was so tiny and little, I don’t have the original anymore, but often enough I thought of it, remembering that lovely art inside the pages. So you can imagine my joy when I saw it re-printed in stores! It is also the same author who wrote Krabat, which I also intend to read.
Our little Witch is over a hundred years old, but for a witch it’s a child’s age. Thus it comes with no surprise that she wishes to go onto Block mountain (pardon me if I’m naming wrong things, I didn’t read this in English) on the night of Walpurgis, to dance. Problem is, only adult witches are allowed. She thought maybe no one will notice her among so many witches, but then she bumped into her aunt and all hell broke loose. They took away her broom, snapped it apart and dragged her to the Mother of Witches. Little Witch was terrified, but it turned out the Mother wasn’t as bad and was prepared to give her a chance. If, by this time next year, she becomes a good, a truly good witch – she’ll be forgiven and will be allowed to come and dance with adult witches. Yet what is a good witch in a witch’s point of view is a matter of interpretation.
The tiny but mighty plot twist, the beautiful illustrations, the simple but lovely story was truly worth remembering and re-owning. I will give it 5 out of 5 without a doubt. You can’t bargain with child’s love.

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

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