Prince of the Vampyres by Rohb Victory ๐Ÿ“š BOOK REVIEW

My review of Prince of the Vampyres by Rohb Victory ๐Ÿ“š

I read a digital edition of Prince of the Vampyres that I received for free from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Publisher: Lulu

Publication date: June 4th, 2021

Pages: 105

Synopsis by the publisher:

This work leans more towards science fiction than fantasy unlike many vampire books. Prince of the Vampyres tell the ‘true’ story of how the first vampire was created at the fringes of the Milky Way galaxy. It is a tale of a young boy’s fascination with a coven of vampires whom he secretly observes as they feed at night.

The creatures of the night feed on bovine herd animals, not humans. That is, until one fateful night one of them creeps into the walled enclave the boy calls home. It covers the history of how his people crash landed on an M-Class moon, terraformed part of this hostile environment, and made a deal with the enigmatic original vampire they would live to regret.

Through a series of adventurous encounters, the young hero ends up on earth, in the 15th century as Vlad the Impaler. Rather than focus on the usual vampire lore, I show the reader how it all came to be in the first place.

My thoughts:

Over the years, I have read my share of vampire stories, and I don’t often come across ones that surprise me. But when I read the synopsis for Prince of the Vampyres, I was immediately intrigued! It sounded like a very different and new approach to the subject of the living dead. And it turned out that that was exactly what it was!

Rohb Victory writes an engaging, funny, and original story that looks at vampires in a totally new light! 

Following these characters was such an interesting ride into a world where space and vampires meet, and it’s a perfect match! The characters had some depth to them, and the book covered a lot of ground even though it was quite a short read. 

I really enjoyed Rohb Victory’s writing and world-building. Sci-fi novels can sometimes be slightly confusing when introducing new worlds, characters, and systems, but that didn’t happen here. It was easy to follow along with both the whereabouts of the story and the characters as well. He has a seamless way of telling a story where a lot is going on, and the characters had unique voices that made them feel real and relatable.

It is a bold move to write a story about a subject like this that has been done so many times before, but I think Victory did a fantastic job with this one! It’s original, different, and definitely worth the read!

I would have loved for it to have been a little longer and follow some of the characters for a longer period of time, but maybe there’s hope for more stories? If so, that is definitely something I would pick up.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that!

Click on the Reedsy Discovery logo below to get to know more, maybe get your own copy, and let me know what you think of it๐Ÿ’›

Lovecraft Country ๐Ÿ“š BOOK REVIEW

My review of Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff ๐Ÿ“š

I read a paperback edition of Lovecraft Country.

Genre:ย Horror, sci-fi, fantasy

Publisher:ย Pan MacMillan

Originally published:ย February 16th, 2016

Pages:ย 384 (paperback)

Audiobook length: 12 hrs and 13 mins

Synopsis by the publisher:

Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, twenty-two year-old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George – publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide – and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite – heir to the estate that owned one of Atticus’s ancestors – they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.

At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn – led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb – which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his – and the whole Turner clan’s – destruction.

My thoughts:

The thing that drew me to this book was the trailer for the HBO series that I haven’t watched yet), and I decided that I needed to read the book before watching it.

I’ve read quite a bit of Lovecraft, and I love the stories (not the white supremacist author), so I was intrigued to find out how another writer would incorporate Lovecraft’s stories into their own.
I thought Matt Ruff did an excellent job of making the story his own and giving it that Lovecraft vibe. I also think that it’s so wonderful how Ruff took inspiration from a racist author and made this story with such an incredible cast of black characters and also portraiting racism as the real monster of the story at the same time. I always appreciate it when our author reveals that the real monsters to fear are often the ones that live inside the people we see every day.

Lovecraft country follows a cast of fascinating characters but does an excellent job of giving them each a unique voice so that as a reader, I never got confused. That being said, I wish we would’ve had more time to get to know them all. With so many lead characters, I felt like I missed a bit of the depth that would’ve made me more invested in them. We also got introduced to some places and creatures that I would’ve liked to know more about.
But the story was fast-paced and action-packed. It was filled with mystery and well-developed characters.
It all wrapped up quite quickly at the end, and I felt like it left me with quite a few questions unanswered.

Lovecraft Country was a fun, dark, and interesting ride. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Ruby will get her own book someday!

๐Ÿ’›If you buy via my affiliate links, I get a small commission ๐Ÿ’›

Vlogmas Day 8 ๐ŸŽ„ December TBR

Where I show you the overly ambitious pile of books that I would love to get to during the month of December๐Ÿ“š

Links to the books (Bookdepository with FREE worldwide shipping):

The Archer by Paulo Coelho

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

Secret Santa by Andrew Shaffer

Hark! The Herald Angels Scream

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Night I Met Father Christmas by Ben Miller

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Phantom Lock: Mysteria by A. Charles Ross

๐Ÿ’›If you buy via my affiliate links, I get a small commission ๐Ÿ’›

Fall 2020 ๐Ÿ“š TBR

Where I show you the books I hope to read during the fall season of 2020๐Ÿ“š

Links to the books (Bookdepository with free worldwide shipping):

Disloyal by Michael Cohen

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

The Binding by Bridget Collins

๐Ÿ’›If you buy via my affiliate links, I get a small commission ๐Ÿ’›

September 2020 ๐Ÿ“š Wrap Up

Where I talk about all of the books… Well… The three books I read in September๐Ÿ˜…

Links to the books (Bookdepository with free worldwide shipping):

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub

Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill, Leomacs, and Dave Stewart

๐Ÿ’›If you buy via my affiliate links, you support my channel with a small commission ๐Ÿ’›

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas ๐Ÿ“š BOOK REVIEW

My review of House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas ๐Ÿ“š

I read a paperback edition of House of Earth and Blood. This is the first book in the Crescent City series.

Genre:ย Fantasy, Romance

Publisher:ย Bloomsbury Publishing

Originally published:ย March 3rd, 2020

Pages:ย 816 (paperback)

Synopsis by the publisher:

Bound by blood.
Tempted by desire.
Unleashed by destiny.

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect lifeโ€”working hard all day and partying all nightโ€”until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. Sheโ€™ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purposeโ€”to assassinate his bossโ€™s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, heโ€™s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent Cityโ€™s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passionโ€”one that could set them both free, if theyโ€™d only let it.

My thoughts:

I loved The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas and devoured those, and I did enjoy the first book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (even though I haven’t gotten around to the next books in the series yet), so when I heard that Maas was writing a series for an adult audience I was very intrigued.
I heard mixed things about the books before going into it, and it seemed like it was either a love or hate relationship for most readers.

House of Earth and Blood is a chunker of a book (it seems like I’m quite into big books these days), coming in at a little over 800 pages.
What I think Maas does so well in previous books is making these really interesting and fantastical worlds come to life with a more subtle way of introducing the world she builds so that it doesn’t become super confusing.
In this one, however, I felt a bit lost for a while at the beginning. There were names and lifeforms thrown left and right, and I found myself feeling a little confused. This also took away my ability to connect with the characters early on in the story. That being said, the world-building that Sarah J. Maas has done in this series (and others before that) is impressive! After a little while, I did feel less confused and managed to just focus on the story and the characters.

When it comes to the characters I like that there are so many different beings and fantastical elements to them. It makes for an interesting cast of characters with endless possibilities. When it came to Bryce and Hunt I struggled to feel a connection with them. I was curious to see where the story would take them and found that part very exciting and interesting, but I did not get fully invested in the characters. It got better along the way though, but I didn’t find myself even close to being as invested in them as I’ve been with her other characters in previous books.

I also had some issues with the sexual tension throughout this book. For those of you who’ve stuck around for a while, you know that I have no problem with some steamy content in literature! But for some reason, it felt like all the sexual tension between Bryce and Hunt (and there’s a lot of it) felt like it was a part of the story just for the sake of having a lot of adult/sexual content. In some ways, it just felt a bit forced at times. I can’t really put my finger on exactly what it was that made it feel that way, but for whatever reason it just didn’t work as well for me as it did for a lot of other readers. I’m not saying that I would’ve wanted zero sexual tension between the characters, that wouldn’t have felt natural either, but I think it was more the amount of it being thrown into the story at all times that just made it less enjoyable for me.

That being said, this is a page-turner of a book! It did not feel like reading an 800+ pages book at all, and I flew through it pretty quickly. Maas writes action and drama so well and that’s one of the many reasons why Maas is on the list as one of my favorite authors. She also writes brilliant female characters that are really strong, but in no way perfect. So, even though she writes stories that are out of this world, a lot of the character, drama, and conflict feels relatable.

So all in all it was a very enjoyable, action-packed and interesting read with a lot of interesting characters, but unfortunately I didn’t manage to get as invested in them as I would have liked to.

If you’re a fan of other books by Maas then I’m pretty sure you’ll like this one as well, but it is going to be a little bit of a different reading experience even though her writing style definitely shines through.

This story has potential to get very interesting, and I will pick up the next book in the series because I’m curious to see what happens next.

๐Ÿ’›If you buy via my affiliate links, I get a small commission ๐Ÿ’›

The Slug Queen Chronicles by S.O. Thomas ๐Ÿ“š BOOK REVIEW

My review of The Slug Queen Chronicles by S.O. Thomas๐Ÿ“š

S.O. Thomas

I read a digital edition of The Slug Queen Chronicles that I received for free fromย Reedsy Discoveryย in exchange for an honest review.

Genre:ย Children’s literature, fantasy.

Publisher:ย Ichigo Black Books

Originally published:ย March 28th, 2020.

Pages:ย 318 (Kindle edition)

Synopsis by the publisher:

Twelve-year-old Cricket Kane never believed in fairies, until one set its sights on her little brother. To get him back, she travels to a magical world full of cursed boogie men, female Santas, and living nightmares. Sheโ€™ll stop at nothing to save her brother, especially after learning the sinister motives behind his kidnapping, but doing so might cost her life.

Can she find him and the other children before itโ€™s too late?

My thoughts:

I love discovering children’s books as an adult that I just instantly know would’ve been a favorite if I’d read it as a child! The Slug Queen is one of those rare finds.

I picked this book because I wanted something light and easy to read, but little did I know that it would take me on a whirlwind of an adventure where I would meet so many magical and wonderful (some even slightly terrifying) characters.

Cricket Kane is the kind of adventurous girl that you can’t help but love instantly. She takes the reader by its hand and in a flash, you are whisked away to a land of magical beings and a female Santa. What’s not to love?

The dynamic between the characters is as magical and wonderful as they are, and the whole world that S. Thomas has created comes to life so easy and it makes for a story that’s really hard to put down. She’s built a world that’s filled with darkness, hope, love, terrifying creatures, magic, and quirkiness. I found myself sitting up at night, just needing to need another chapter, and one more, and one more.

Not only is this a magical, wonderful and fast-paced story, it also comes with gorgeous illustrations.

I have nothing but praise and love for this wonderful story. It’s one that I instantly fell in love with, and one that I will add to my library, reread, and read to my children.

I would highly recommend The Slug Queen to any reader who loves magical worlds and beings. Let Cricket take you on an adventure you won’t forget!

Thank you, S. Thomas, for sharing this magical story with the world.

Click on the Reedsy Discovery logo below to get to know more, maybe get your own copy, and let me know what you think of it๐Ÿ’›

Caterpillar Girl and Bad Texter Boy by SANZO ๐Ÿ“š BOOK REVIEW

My review of Caterpillar Girl and Bad Texter Boy by SANZO ๐Ÿ›

I read a paperback edition of the manga Caterpillar Girl and Bad Texter Boy.

Genre: Manga, Romance, Fantasy

Publisher: Yen Press

Originally published: June 26th 2018

Pages: 192 (paperback)

Synopsis by the publisher:

When a beautiful girl asks her childhood friend out, his response is a shocker: “You’re too perfect.”

What’s a girl to do, except transform into a giant caterpillar and try, try again?

My thoughts:

While my good friend Alex was visiting from the States here in December, we did what fellow booklover often find themselves doing when they come together; we went book hunting in bookstores here in Oslo. While we were at Outland (which is my favorite bookstore in Oslo) Alex wanted to look for a couple of mangas, and that’s how I ended up feeling like Alice falling through the rabbit hole and discover something truly new and wonderful. I’ve always loved how the manga art style looks like, but I’ve never really given manga a chance, even though I’ve read quite a few comics and graphic novels over the last few years.
But going down into the manga section at Outland had me more curious than ever, and I ended up picking up a few mangas that I stumbled across that looked interesting.

“Caterpillar Girl and Bad Texter Boy” was one of them.
What drew me to this particular manga was the absolutely weird and intriguing title. And when I read the short synopsis, I was sold!
This story has an eerie and dark weirdness to it. I really liked the art style, and especially the way that the Suzume is drawn as a caterpillar. Who knew a caterpillar could show so many emotions?

That being said, I have conflicting thoughts about the story.
Akane is a character that’s extremely hard to like. He’s the guy that refused to see what he had before it was gone, and when it comes back as something different, he doesn’t really learn to appreciate it as love before Suzume is absolutely miserable and became his “property”. But Akane also struggles with anxiety and his self-worth, which makes him more relatable as the story progresses.

Suzume is easier to like because of the cute weirdness of her caterpillar appearance, and it is easy to relate to the struggle of wanting so desperately to be loved by someone that you would do almost anything to get there.
It’s a story that reminds us to be careful what one wishes for, and also be aware of other people’s feelings. One about acceptance and mental health, and how self-loathing and events from one’s past can destroy the good things in one’s life.

I thought the book touched on some rather deep and interesting subjects but could’ve dived even deeper into them.
It’s different and it’s creepily cute. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t fall in love with it.

But if you’re looking for something that stands out (both as a story and as a standalone in the manga world of series) then this might be something for you!

๐Ÿ’›If you buy via my affiliate links, I get a small commission ๐Ÿ’›

The Return of King Lillian by Suzie Plakson ๐Ÿ“š BOOK REVIEW

My review of The Return of King Lillian by Suzie Plakson ๐Ÿ“š

I read a digital edition of The Return of King Lillian that I received for free from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: Literary fiction, fairy tale, fantasy.

Publisher: Pilmsthistle & Co.

Originally published: November 1st, 2012 (as a shorter novella)

Pages: 390 (paperback)

Audiobook length: 11 hrs and 54 mins

Synopsis by the publisher:

A new hero’s journey for dreamers of all ages…

When Lillian, the one-and-only heir to the throne, is cast out of her kingdom by malevolent forces, she accidentally wanders into the Forest of Forgetfullness, where she is rescued by wolves and raised by an eccentric old wise woman. When she comes of age, Lillian is called by Destiny to return Home, but when she steps out of the Forest, she has no memory of who she is or from whence she hails. Undaunted, the spirited, self-reliant young woman sets off into the unknown, determined to rediscover her long-lost self and to reclaim her stolen birthright. Most of the tale is told by Lillian herself as she chronicles her extraordinary adventures.

My thoughts:

Going into this story I was expecting it to be an entertaining fast read meant for children. I was not prepared for the adventure that I set out on.

First off, I want to just mention the brilliant idea of having Lillian mentioned as a girl-king instead of a queen! That was the thing that caught my attention in the first place and made me curious for more.

The Return of King Lillian is a brilliant fairytale that reminded me a lot of stories like “The Wizard of Oz”, “Alice in Wonderland” and “Gulliver’s Travels”. The whole story is written as if we’re reading Lillian’s diary. This made the reading experience very unique and personal, as if Lillian and I were sitting in front of a fireplace while she told me her whole story.

The thing that truly blew me away with this book was the beautiful way it is written. Sometimes it read like the fairytales I remember my parents reading for me when I was a kid, other times, it’s felt like I was reading a whimsical poem.

Lillian is such a wholesome, pure and naive character because of her time isolated in the Forest of Forgetfulness. But she’s also a strong character, and a lot of the challenges she meets throughout her journey can easily be linked to the problems that we meet out here in the real world. She takes them on with a positive and free-minded spirit, and the character development of Lillian is just a pure joy to witness as the pages go by.

Plakson has written a story that can be enjoyed by both kids as well as adults, with colorful characters, adventure, wisdom, and a good dose of wit and humor.

The Return of King Lillian is not a book that I speed read (as I often find myself doing with fairytales), but it was savored and enjoyed over time as the masterpiece that it is!

Click on the Reedsy Discovery logo below to get to know more, maybe get your own copy, and let me know what you think of it๐Ÿ’›

3 Books that Shaped Me as a Reader

Here are three books that have shaped me as a reader through the years ๐Ÿ“š

I’m pretty sure that all of us bookworms have certain books that shape us as readers, both as kids and later on in our adult lives as well. We change, our preferences too, and sometimes a book can surprise us into a whole new genre we never even considered being our thing.

I thought I would share some of the books that has shaped me as a reader over the years.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

My dad was the one that introduced me to Anne Frank. I was about 8 years old and I already knew quite a bit about World War II as my fathers side of the family has Jewish heritage, and actually had to get away from the Nazis by moving to Sweden at that time. So the interest in WWII came at a pretty early age for me, and The Diary of a Young Girl definitely shaped my reading a lot. It was where I truly discovered how horrific, but also interesting and fascinating that time of history was, and still is. I’m still a WWII fanatic, just like my dad. I love reading non-fiction and historical fiction, and the well-written ones (especially those who are based on true stories) always breaks my heart and fill my eyes with tears. Reading Anne Frankโ€™s diary was also what made me start journaling back in the days, which is something that I still do.

I think every kid should read this book. Itโ€™s so important and captivating. My dad also took me to Anne Frankโ€™s house later on, which was a really interesting but also intense experience. If I remember correctly, I believe my dad has told me that I didnโ€™t speak for a good while after we got out of there, and it is something I will never forget. I also would highly recommend going there if you ever get the chance to.

Bag of Bones by Stephen King

Bag of Bones is not my favorite King novel, but it was my very first. I remember browsing one of my local bookstores as a teenager and coming across this particular book. I canโ€™t remember exactly what it was about Bag of Bones that compelled me to buy it, but buy it I did, and it has been quite the journey ever since.

I remember bringing it with me on a family vacation (but canโ€™t for the life of me remember where we went), and was so captivated by this story that I was unable at times to put it down. Itโ€™s one of those stories that just made such a lasting impression on me that I actually remember quite a lot of what happened even though it has been years, and Iโ€™m pretty sure I would be surprised to find out how much Iโ€™ve probably forgotten if I tried re-reading it today (which is something Iโ€™m considering doing).

Letโ€™s call it love at first sight, and Kingโ€™s writing and I have been in a happy relationship (for the most part) for many years now, and it will continue to be that way for two reasons.

1 – The man has written so many books that I hardly doubt I will get through them all.

2 – Itโ€™s first book love, and that lasts a lifetime. Everybody knows that, right?!

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Did you just roll your eyes at the screen?! Well, if you did, I donโ€™t blame you. Twilight is not great. Itโ€™s not even really good, but never the less, it is a book that played a pretty big role in my reading life. At the age of about 20, I found myself not having really read much in a few years. I don’t know what started that massive reading slump, but I do know that the easy entertainment that Twilight offered was what got me back into reading, and with a whole new love of fantasy and paranormal fiction. And because of that, I got to discover so many great books! So, even though I fully agree with the eye roll (and I have tried re-reading it some years later and wish that I hadn’t) it still deserves a spot on this list, and it will always hold a special place in this book lover heart of mine.

These three books are not my top three of all time, but they are all very special to me. If I hadn’t crossed paths with them, I probably would’ve had a very different reading journey than I’ve had so far.

Do you have a book that defined you more as a reader than any other? I would love to hear about it๐Ÿ’›