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!

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Old Man’s War by John Scalzi๐Ÿ“š BOOK REVIEW

My review of Old Man’s War by John Scalzi ๐Ÿ“–

I read a paperback edition of Old Man’s War.

Genre:ย Science fiction

Publisher:ย Pan MacMillan/TOR

Originally published:ย December, 2005

Pages:ย 320 (paperback)

Audiobook length: 9 hrs and 55 mins

Synopsis by the publisher:

The universe is a dangerous place in John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War, the first in The Old Man’s War series.

At seventy-five years old, John Perry is after a fresh start – so, naturally, he joins the army. Earth’s military machine can transform elderly recruits, restoring their lost youth. But in return, its Colonial Defence Force demands two years of hazardous service in space. This is how Perry finds himself in a new body, crafted from his original DNA. A genetically enhanced and upgraded new body, ready for battle.

But upgrades alone won’t keep Perry safe. He’ll be fighting for his life on the front line as he defends humanity’s colonies from hostile aliens. He’ll pay the price for his choices, and he’ll discover the universe is even more dangerous than he imagined.

My thoughts:

This was such a fun read! I love it when science fiction novels feel effortless to read. When the gap between the reality we live in now and the futuristic setting doesn’t feel like an overwhelming mental leap and needs hundreds of pages of world-building for anything to make sense.
Old Man’s War is a fast and brilliant read without taking away the depth and cleverness.

We get to be inside the head of John Perry when he decides to join the war at the age of 75, leaving everyone and everything he knows behind. With his new body, he’s able to do things he either hadn’t been able to do for years or never been able to at all. But Perry is in no way immortal, and we get to follow him into wars against alien creatures where he questions their missions and their outcome.

I loved Perry as a character and it was an absolute joy to be on his side at the beginning of what could potentially be quite a long and challenging adventure.
I also really enjoyed the original and clever dialogues.
It’s a story with a perfect balance of humor, action, and a tiny bit of romance.

I would highly recommend Old Man’s War if you enjoy science fiction. It’s a fast-paced and brilliant read that can be read as a stand-alone if you want to, but might get you hooked on the universe. You have been warned!

I picked this up while browsing in a bookstore in Oslo, having never heard of this book before, but I had enjoyed some of Scalzi’s other books. I had no idea that picking this one book up would get me hooked on a new series that even has a couple of other series that exists in the same universe. Scalzi, I guess you and I are in this for the long haul!
I can’t wait to get my hands on The Ghost Brigades and find out what happens next!

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The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle ๐Ÿ“š BOOK REVIEW

I read a paperback version of The Black Cloud.

Fred Hoyle

Genre: Science fiction

Publisher:ย Penguin Books Ltd.

Originally published: 1957

Pages: 209 (paperback)

Audiobookย length: 8 Hours 23 Minutes

Blurb by the publisher:

Astronomers in England and America have made a terrifying discovery: an ominous black cloud the size of Jupiter is travelling straight towards our solar system. If their calculations are correct, the cloud’s path will bring it between the Earth and the Sun, blocking out the Sun’s rays and threatening unimaginable consequences for our planet. With the fate of every living thing on Earth in the balance, world leaders assemble a team of brilliant scientists to figure out a way to stop the cloud. But when they uncover the truth behind its origins, they will be forced to reconsider everything they think they know about the nature of life in the universe . . . 

My Thoughts:

I found The Black Cloud on a recommended table in a Waterstones in London, and was intrigued by the Richard Dawkins quote printed on the cover that said;

“One of the greatest works of science fiction ever written.”

That’s a pretty bold statement! So, let’s see if I agree with Dawkins…

The Black Cloud paints a pretty scary picture of something unknown and feared to become a reality. I loved the fact that Hoyle is an astronomer, and that the actual storyline and happenings of the book actually might be quite realistic according to Dawkins. That made it even more interesting, and scarier at the same time.

This book has a good collection of interesting (and some not so likable) characters, that we briefly get to know. I would have loved to have gotten to know them a little bit more, but I also really appreciated that the book was quite short.

Some of the science in the book did pass over my head a little, but not so much that I lost interest in the story or got bored.

The politics that comes to play in The Black Cloud seem just as relevant today as it was in the times that it was written, and might be even scarier than the idea of the actual black cloud.

I found The Black Cloud to be a quick and interesting read that I really enjoyed. The greatest work of science fiction ever written? Not sure I agree with that, although I will say that Hoyle wrote a story that is very entertaining and thought-provoking.

If you are a fan of science fiction and haven’t read this one yet, I highly recommend you do so. If you’re new to the genre, this book might not be the best place to start.

Click on the Bookdepository link below to get your own copy with free shipping, and let me know what you think of the book!

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