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Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab Review

Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab Review

Vicious is a fantasy and science fiction novel written by V.E. Schwab and was published in 2013.  It's the first book in the Villains series. A synopsis: What I Liked: Strong character development.  This isn't a good vs. evil kind of book.  At a point in the book one of the characters says "There are no good men in this game" and that sums up the characters.  I've heard other reviewers say they couldn't enjoy this book because none of the characters are "good".  That's

Steve

Steve

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca

After hearing everyone talk about this book incessantly on social media, I wanted to see what the fuss was all about.  Yeah, I admit it. The story is told through email and messenger correspondence between our two main characters.  I may be 100 pages or so but it's really a 40 page book if you were telling it in a traditional style. While I enjoyed the writing style, it would have been much more impactful in a different storytelling format. Because we're reading

Steve

Steve

The Winter Road by Adrian Selby

The Winter Road by Adrian Selby

I had high expectations for this book, it's been one I've been looking forward to for a while.  But I didn't expect it to have this much of an impact on me. This is one of the few books I didn't mind reading the synopsis, it gives you just enough detail to tell you about the story without spoiling anything.  We follow Teyr, who is on a mission to travel through the Circle, which is an untamed land full of warlords and warring clans she used to call home.  This book starts off with a ba

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THE WILD DARK by Katherine Silva

THE WILD DARK by Katherine Silva

The Wild Dark is quite a ride, it's hard to describe to someone in a few sentences.  It's part horror, mystery, drama and suspense - but does everything well.  The first line caught my attention and didn't let me go.  "Dreams cocooned me, wrapping me in their silky embrace like a thousand scarves" There are time jumps in the story but it's done in a way that will keep you wanting more from chapter to chapter.  It gives you enough of the past or present to connect with what you just rea

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Steve

The Virus by Damien Lee

The Virus by Damien Lee

First we have to start with talking about the cover.  😎 Looking at that cover I expected this to be an unrelenting, brutal and terrifying read.  And it was at some points, but it also had lots of dark humor. The Virus is a fast paced zombie horror book that surprises you with humor.  I like information about what is turning people into flesh eating zombies as much as the next guy, but it doesn't get bogged down in details.  It's a fun zombie story with some really great action scenes,

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The Thirteen Black Cats of Edith Penn by Sean McDonough

The Thirteen Black Cats of Edith Penn by Sean McDonough

I knew there was a reason I never trusted cats. There were a few portions of this book that contained gruesome scenes that I found myself laughing out loud.  Then I stopped laughing because I wondered if I should be laughing.  It was one of those moments you look around to see if anyone else can read what you're reading and start to wonder if you can be trusted.  There were also some scary and horrifying portions with some great descriptions of gore and violence but the humor comes in

Steve

Steve

The Poppy War Trilogy

The Poppy War Trilogy

Last year I read the Poppy War trilogy with fellow booktubers Forbookingoutloud and WalterWrites7.  If you're interested in seeing our live stream discussions that are spoiler filled: The Poppy War, The Dragon Republic, The Burning God I'll give thoughts on each book in the trilogy without spoiling anything for you. The Poppy War The Poppy War was a mixed bag.  It started out reading like a YA novel, had I not been in a group read I would have DNF'd it about 40% in.  Not that ther

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Steve

The Hay Bale by Priscilla Bettis

The Hay Bale by Priscilla Bettis

The Hay Bale is written by Priscilla Bettis, who is a huge supporter of many booktube channels including mine. The Hay Bale is 42 pages, but reads like 20.  I flew through this story.  Because it's very short, I can't give too many details without ruining the story but I found a lot of meaning in the choices made here. Our main character's history hit close to home for me.  The objects in the story and the memories the main character experiences represented emotional and physical scars

Steve

Steve

The Banquet by Villimey Mist

The Banquet by Villimey Mist

The banquet is a short novella that feels like a novel.  I don't say that because it's a slog to read, but because the world and characters are so rich and full.  There are so many potential stories to be told in this world. For those who aren't familiar with this one, it's basically revenge porn at it's finest.  The prose is clean and easy to read and it flows nicely from start to finish.  After reading Nocturnal Blood by Villimey I can really see her writing f

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Steve

Stone & Shield by Thomas J. Devens

Stone & Shield by Thomas J. Devens

Stone and Shield is the first entry in the Fall of Emros series and a good way to describe the genre would be grimdark adjacent.  It rides the line between fantasy and grimdark but I would say leans more into grimdark territory maybe if it's just a little bit. The first half or so of the book is setting up the world, establishing the players and giving you a feel for how everything works.  In the second half the action really ramps up and there are some fun battle scenes.  The battle scenes

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Shade by Chad Nicholas

Shade by Chad Nicholas

Chad Nicholas can write a page turner with surprises that you don't expect.  If you've read his previous book, Nightmare you know what I'm talking about. In Shade we follow two FBI agents who are trying to locate a serial killer.  They begin having a cat and mouse game and it weighs heavily on both agents.  The people who spend their lives hunting these killers do so at a high cost to their own health and well being.   They get too close to the case only to press and lose sight of what's in

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Steve

Seraphina's Lament by Sarah Chorn

Seraphina's Lament by Sarah Chorn

Before we get into the review, we should talk first about Sarah Chorn.  Sarah is an author, editor, blogger, reviewer and editor at Grimdark Magazine.  I don't know how she finds time in the day. I wasn't quite sure to what to expect with Seraphina's Lament.  The over looks like a dark fantasy and grimdark mix with a touch of horror.  That's pretty much what it is, but it managed to have me invested in the characters and world in ways that doesn't happen too often.  The story revolves aroun

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Steve

Seasons of Albadone by Élan Marché & Christopher Warman

Seasons of Albadone by Élan Marché & Christopher Warman

We've all walked past NPC's in a video game while playing. They walk around saying unimportant things and living their little lives. We never pay much attention to them, but they are there. We have more important side quests to complete, like collecting 20 mushrooms from a certain area of the map. Sadly, all but a few of us would be considered useless NPC's in real life. We have our own lives and struggles, but we're on the sidelines watching the really big events happen that shape our lives.

Steve

Steve

Red Harvest Moon by Miles Hurt

Red Harvest Moon by Miles Hurt

Red Harvest Moon was published in 2021 is the first book in the Wandering Knife series.  The book is available on Kindle Unlimited. I received a digital copy of this book from the author for an honest review.  I also purchased a paper copy on my own to support the author. Synopsis via Goodreads:   What I Liked: The characters were likable and fun.  Their banter back and fourth was hilarious and genuine. The environments are described very well.  You always kn

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Steve

Priest of Bones Review (January 2021 Read-along)

Priest of Bones Review (January 2021 Read-along)

Priest of Bones is a fantasy (grimdark) book written by Peter McClean and was published in 2018.  It's the first book in the War for the Rose Thorn series.  There are plans to adapt the series for television. A warning that this book contains violence and abuse of children, so if that's something you're sensitive to you may want to steer clear of this one. I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this, it was the first time dipping my toes in grim dark fantasy.  I was expecting somethin

Steve

Steve

Obsidian: Awakening by Sienna Frost Review

Obsidian: Awakening by Sienna Frost Review

Obsidian Awakening is one of those books that feel easy to read, but when you look back you realize how much depth it had. How much you've learned about the world, the politics and the characters without feeling like you at the time.  The characters and world are so clear and defined that you feel like you've read a few books in the series already. All of the characters have something they struggle with or something that happens to them that changes them in a positive or negative way. How t

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Steve

Nocturne: A Collection of Dark Tales by H.B. Diaz Review

Nocturne: A Collection of Dark Tales by H.B. Diaz Review

Nocturne was written by H.B. Diaz it's a collection of short stories and was published in December of 2020 A synopsis from Amazon:   Because this is a collection of short stories, this review won't be in my usual format (What I liked, didn't like, rating ect.). I picked this book up on a whim when I saw a Twitter thread a few weeks ago where authors were promoting their independent books.  I grabbed a handful of books and intended to get to them when I could squeeze them in

Steve

Steve

Nightmare by Chad Nicholas Review

Nightmare by Chad Nicholas Review

Nightmare is a horror novel written by Chad Nicholas and was published in October of 2020 Synopsis:   What I Liked: This story keeps you guessing until the very end, and keeps you thinking about the book days after you've finished.  There are so many times I've gone back to try to catch clues or things I missed. There are some terrifying and gut wrenching moments. This book could be read in one sitting, it flows really well and it's very ha

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Steve

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones Review

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones Review

My Heart is a Chainsaw is a love letter to slasher movies. It reads like a slasher movie, there are a ton of references and call backs to slasher movies. While I've seen my share of slasher movies in my time, a lot of the references went way over my head. There were so many of them that it took me out of the story and just wasn't interesting. It is almost like showing up to a party that you meet up with a group of friends who are really close friends and you're kind of the outsider. You're

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Steve

Mark Lawrence Interview

Mark Lawrence Interview

Mark Lawrence was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.  Thanks to those of you who submitted questions:   11.)    In your bio it mentions you were surprised after a half hearted attempt to find an agent turned into a publishing deal.  What was your reaction at the time to that offer so suddenly?  How did that change your perspective?   Well, I was very pleased. It was a lot of money!     As far as changing perspective … well, I suddenly had 2 more

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Steve

Malice by John Gwynne

Malice by John Gwynne

The Faithful and the Fallen series seems to be beloved by many in the fantasy community.  After hearing so much about it I went out and bought the entire series, confident I was going to love it. I was wrong. The characters are all cardboard cutouts of exactly what you'd expect in a story like this.  They do exactly what you'd expect them to do.  They say exactly what you'd expect them to say when you expect them to say it.  There are no surprises here.  Nothing is ever in doubt.  The

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Steve

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey Review

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey Review

Usually when I watch the live adaptation I'll avoid reading the books because it ruins the reading experience for me. I enjoyed The Expanse more than I thought I would have and after hearing that the books continue beyond where the series went, I decided to give the books a try. There wasn't a whole lot of surprises from the television series, but I do see Miller much differently now. I feel as though his character had a lot of time in the show but I didn't understand his motivations nearly

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Steve

Kings of Paradise by Richard Nell Review

Kings of Paradise by Richard Nell Review

Kings of Paradise is the first installment in the Ash and Sand trilogy Synopsis:   What I Liked: The plot moves smoothly from one POV to the other, each character has it's own distinct voice and background. The characters make both heroic and horrific decisions though the story, but because you feel as though you've been on this journey with them you have a little bit of sympathy when you probably shouldn't.  You care for the characters in the world even when they

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Steve

Kings of Ash by Richard Nell Review

Kings of Ash by Richard Nell Review

Kings of Ash is the second book in the Ash and Sand trilogy and was published in January of 2019. https://www.amazon.com/Kings-Ash-Sand-Book-ebook/dp/B07KMTW9BB Synopsis: What I Liked: Ruka.  He's one of my all time favorite characters, not only in fantasy but overall.  He has some great quotes in this book that make me a bigger fan. In my Kings of Paradise review I mentioned that there were some parts of the story that felt as though they were missing.  Without a

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Steve

House of Leaves

House of Leaves

House of Leaves isn't a book.  It's an experience. Before starting House of Leaves I read that some people skip the footnotes and just read the story.  Don't skip the footnotes. You'll cheat yourself out of the experience.  It's tough to describe House of Leaves to someone who hasn't read it yet, or attempted to read it.  It took me a little while to get into a rhythm with this book because you don't read this book like any other book that I know of.  It's almost 700 pages long, but fr

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