Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

Rise From The Ashes: Lena’s Story by Laura Franklin   Leave a comment

Blurb: The Taliban have bombed the US with a chemical agent. It wiped out over half of the population and left the country in shambles. Those who are left find unexplained things happening like premonitions in their dreams and enhanced senses. Lena, a young woman from Vermont, and Mick, a young man in the US Army, grow close and become leaders as they trudge north to meet up with a military camp at Lake Champlain. Their dreams continue to get more peculiar and have even synced up in a historical setting. With the power out and gasoline a scarce resource; motorcycles, horses and bicycles have become the new mode of transport. In another group that is trying to survive, a priest leads discouraged parishioners north and is faced with tough decisions as he has to put the well-being of the group ahead of individuals. They have to band together to make it through this new chaotic situation, relying on their intuition and basic survival skills. This motley crew must reorganize the country just as was done after the revolutionary war. The clock is ticking as the persisting threats of the Taliban, drug lords from south of the border and rival gangs across the country put US freedoms in jeopardy.

Review: Let’s get to the book. These post-apocalyptic deals are more my speed and I enjoyed this one thoroughly though it took me a minute to understand and get into it. We’re introduced to multiple POVs in this one, starting with co-protagonists Lena and Mick, a Vermont girl out of high school and a U.S. Army private that survive a two-pronged bio-weapon assault from the Taliban that renders people sneezing to death. In this new America, the Taliban are not the only threat; there are people who have awakened to their sadistic natures and Latin America drug cartels who want to invade and take over the country. This attack has also given several people improved senses, such as Mick’s reflexes, Sue (a member of Lena and Mick’s group) has improved sight, Lena’s thought process becomes near-superhuman, and so on. I was a bit confused at some parts in the book, but as time went on, things started to make sense- like the dreams everyone were having that felt all too real. The characters were unique, such as the priest, Steve- who was one of the nicest people in town but having his patience tested by the spoiled Kim to boiling points. The pace of the writing was interesting and while Mick and Lena had started a relationship, the author didn’t go into much detail about it but that’s okay because I can live without heavy emphasis on romance. If you’re into post-apocalypse writings, I’d suggest giving this one a shot despite the mixed reviews.

The Lost Dragon by Drako (Review and Dream Cast)   1 comment

So, this is the debut book released by my brother a year ago. The Lost Dragon is the first in a series that I have a feeling will expand across time and last as long as the author wishes for it to be.

We begin our story in ancient Greece, where Andreas, a soldier in the Spartan army and his lover Kazarian are battling alongside each other and overcoming the odds until the Athenians arrive and overwhelm them. Kazarian is killed in the melee and the identity of Andreas’ father is revealed when his birthmark is revealed. Contrary to his assumption, Zeus isn’t the father but another god is. The protector of man, the creator of the paranormal, Jarel the Black Dragon God.

Fast forward to the present and Andreas has completed part of his hunt of rogue vampires, vampire creations of Jarel that chose to turn their backs on his laws. It is revealed that Kalos, leader of the rogues and killer of Andreas’ youngest brother Julian, is after a healer by the name of Cassandra and the dragon’s twin nephews to get revenge against Apollo casting him from sunlight and the twins slaying his son.

 
But it isn’t just rogue vampires involved with this plot; werewolves have gotten involved and a full god with a grudge against Jarel is shielding the renegade vampire from the Dragon God King’s wrath. There is more to this plot than what it seems, as Kalos is attempting to use the twins (Brandon and Demun) and Cassandra to bring back the former king Cronus to topple the Olympians. Does this plan succeed or fail? Unfortunately, I have no intentions of spoiling this great book.And now, for my dream cast:

 
Andreas: Steven Jay Blum
Jarel: Crispin Freeman
Vic: David Lodge
Brandon: Yuri Lowenthal
Demun: Richard Ian Cox
Zeus: Keith David
Hera: Mary Elizabeth McGlynn
Kazarian: Vic Mignogna
 
All in all, I give this book a perfect five for the plot, the characters, and the action.

Posted May 28, 2013 by dragodrachedragao in Book Review

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Ancient Blood: A Novel of the Hegemony by Brian McKinley   Leave a comment

I have to say that this one was a particularly unique book. It took me almost three weeks to read it, as I was getting sidetracked constantly by a lot of things. Now I can post this review. This book has a ton of elements that I can name: such as servitude and domestic abuse (if you can call what was going on between Sebastian and Caroline that. The format it took as a series of journal entries was unique.

We’re introduced to Avery and Caroline, who are on the run from the Order, a society of vampires who function like the Illuminati or Freemasons or something along those lines- as they’re the ones who rule the world and control everything behind the scenes from the War on Terrorism to poverty in third world countries. We later learn it’s because Caroline has turned Avery and she herself has escaped from her Creator Sebastian, a violent Hegemon (leader) who gives in to his feral urges.

This book also has an interesting cast of characters other than the main three:

Valmont, the pedophile with quite the sword skill

Jade Tiger, the nymphomaniac

Geoffrey, the businessman who actually follows the human world and profits from its chaos

Draco, the super-strong pyrokinetic capable of kicking Avery’s teeth in

Iago, the benevolent leader

Julia: the scheming bitch who teams up with Sebastian to remove Iago from power

There’s so much I want to say about this book that I don’t think I should, because I might give it all away. But just know I give it five out of five.

The Hunters by Heidi Angell   Leave a comment

Synopsis: 

I’m going to say this again, because I never get tired of it: I’m grateful for this author, because in this book: vampires maim, kill, drink blood, and actually fucking die when exposed to the sun. You know, things that hominus nocturna  is supposed to do. So, if you’re looking for disco ball vampires, you’ve come to the wrong author. Anyway, The Hunters is about Chris, his older brother Lucas, and the band of friends they’ve gotten together to resist the vampire takeover of their small town. They’ve only killed a few in the year they’ve been fighting. During a vampire ambush that sees one of their own dead and Chris about to join her, two mysterious vampire hunters join the fight, doing in a single night what Chris, Lucas, and the others were unable to do in a year. The two introduce themselves as Fury and Havoc, and though they want nothing to do with the group at first to keep them out of danger, Chris admires their prowess in suckhead killing. Lucas and the others don’t quickly put their trust in the two, obviously wanting to know more about them. There are times that the pair come into conflict with members of the group, such as Lana’s father being slain by Fury, despite Lana’s protests that he wasn’t like the rest of the vampires. Eventually, everyone begins to trust Fury and Havoc, and the pair begin to train them for survival against the vampires.

Review:

The action was amazing, with well-done combat scenes. The only gripe I have about that is that I wish there had been more down and dirty hand-to-hand action with a transformed Havoc and I would’ve loved to know what type of power aside from heightened senses Fury has as an Immortal and has it been helpful in the fight. The sex scene between the two with Chris watching seemed out of place, but even the greatest warriors must wind down somehow and escape the reality of blood, gore, and death. That was their way. 

Posted April 18, 2013 by dragodrachedragao in Book Review

Nightlife: Las Vegas by Travis Luedke   2 comments

I love reading about things I enjoy from the point of view of others. This author’s point of view of suckheads is quite unique: in the world of Nightlife, vampires are extremely sexual creatures whose bites are of an orgasmic and addictive quality to humans. Las Vegas continues where New York left off, with the pairing of Aaron and Michelle now living in Sin City after slaying the two corrupt cops who had been bent on getting revenge on Michelle for physically humiliating them. Michelle is Aaron’s mistress and forbids blood slaves, humans addicted to the vampire’s bite if said bite is prolonged for too long. Wanna guess what happens here? I’m sure you already know.

Meet Anastasia, a girl having a good time a concert until she finds Aaron grinding and groping her. Ana has gypsy blood in her and abilities similar to the primary character of Blood Slave, Hope. She’s a mind reader of sorts. Anyway, Aaron finds herself attracted to her and delivers his bite, but makes the mistake of feeding for too long. It’s pretty interesting how Michelle disapproves of his violation of her rule, but eventually bends on the rule she imposed for him, deciding to partake in some fun with her man and his pet.

Throw in a casino manager addicted to Michelle’s sexual prowess, a Colombian thug who got schooled in poker by Aaron, both men’s willingness to get rid of Aaron, and we’ve got ourselves an erotic gangster vampire thriller that shocked even me on how it ended.

Fatal Healing by Drako, Live by the Sword, Before the Release Party Comments   Leave a comment

So, two days ago, I managed to procure a copy of Fatal Healing by my brother, Drako. Needless to say, this continuation of the Dragon Hunters series has me wanting more. The next book being released will be The Three Fates, due to there having to be three new overseers of destiny because of Cronus killing the Moirae in the Dragon Witch. I suppose I should just get on with it.

As I said in one of my previous blogs, the book is about the god and goddess of healing Apollo and Odele going out to rescue Odele’s mortal twin brother from the clutches of the former god king Cronus, who is holding Cassius hostage in the realm of Lucifer (useless son of Erebus and Nyx). But we get more than we’ve bargained for regarding this latest edition to the series. Brandon, the new god of darkness, has his own issue he needs to stop running from. I loved how he was forced to come to terms with it, even after he confronted said issue and continued to be in denial. Now, if only Demun would stop running from his. But I guess we’ll learn more about that coming soon.

(Before I continue this, I just want to say that Hera practically implied that Adonis was the soul mate of Brandon in The Lost Dragon.)


Hera to Andreas: “Both boys have met their soul mates…”

Anyway, Brandon, Apollo, and Odele confront their issues head on despite the two-front assault by Cronus and Typhon. If you’re interested in, I promise that it’s a good read. Drako has become one of my favorite authors. He’s in my top five. Trust me, read anything by him and you will never be disappointed. Ever.

Moving on, I changed my mind about a series called The Vigilante’s Handbook I had decided not to publish. I think I will, because it sounds like a good idea. But only after I complete and publish this book I’m working on called Live by the Sword. Live by the Sword is the first book of a possible series set in a world without firearms after a war between the United States and Iran that pulled 85% of the world’s nation into the conflict. It’s centered around a young apprentice of a popular chef whose restaurant is harassed daily by a local gang offering “protection services.” Eventually, the apprentice reaches his limit and fights  the thugs, who retaliate after a vicious beating at his hands, by bombing the restaurant, attacking the chef, and later kidnapping the chef’s wayward daughter.

Unfortunately for the gang, their malevolent actions force Ben’s hand. In order to save the girl, he must return to the violent world he left behind and pick up the sword he swore to never wield again as atonement for the atrocities committed as a hit man. Ben swore that he would never again take a human life, but he has to prevent the unthinkable from happening to his boss’ only child.

And now, I want to talk about the release party. I’m going to have to bring it if I want to make this first party a blowout for my brother. I’m going to have to bring it so I can get some business for the future.

Well, now that I know what I’m gonna have to do to get this party to be a blowout tomorrow, I think I should sign off for tonight and blog again when we get tomorrow over with.

Also, I have a short story out on Kindle and Nook, but here’s the Smashwords link.

Interview at Gateway Sports, Beauty’s Release Review, More Fatal Healing Party information   Leave a comment

First of all, I managed to score an interview (on my own), for the first time in five years. It was a marketing firm whose biggest clients are the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, and St. Louis Rams. I went in on Wednesday and answered every question honestly, though the interview was very brief. How I think it went and will I get a call back is another question that’s meant for another time.

So, I finally managed to get around to the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy‘s conclusion. Damn, I gotta say that was pretty damn good. I’m not an uber-fan of Lady Anne Rice, but I can see why Drako loves her so much. Anyway, I think I should get to the review. This one’s going to be really, really short- since I want to get to the point and talk more about the Fatal Healing release party.

We pick up where Beauty’s Punishment left off, with Beauty, Tristan, and Laurent being captured by Arabs and being taken to Saudi Arabia (ooh, a sultan!), if this were set in the modern day. The story focuses more on Laurent in first person than it does Beauty, but Beauty does have her moments.

The new slaves are brought to the palace in a line, each man chained to the next. Laurent, being his rebellious self, is confronted by his new “Master”: a man by the name of Lexius. Lexius is a strong man, at least until he meets Laurent, who manages to switch their roles of lord and slave really quickly. Laurent whips Lexius before taking him briefly, to Lexius’ discovered pleasure. The Arabian lord’s secret desire is to be a slave; he desperately wants to be whipped, commanded, and raped by other men. From there on, the two carry on an intense sexual affair, with Laurent as master when it suits him.

But I can’t leave out Beauty. Beauty is introduced to her new life by being introduced to the Sultan’s harem. However, she takes a liking to the harem girl Inanna. When the two get intimate, Inanna becomes embarrassed and refuses to let Beauty touch her. Beauty discovers that it is because the woman’s clitoris and labia have been assaulted and mutilated, the same as every woman in the harem. This makes Beauty angry at the Sultan, but she and Inanna still engage in their sexual activity. Both women satisfied, they fall asleep in each other’s arms.

The next morning, Beauty is awakened by pounding on the locked door. She escapes the room, only to find guards are chasing her. They don’t belong to the Sultan; they’re the Queen’s men, led by the Captain of the Guard. They’ve come to rescue Beauty because of the strong alliance between the Queen and Beauty’s family. However, the trio do not want to be rescued.

As I said, I wanna make this short and patience ain’t my strong suit. Here’s the spoilers:

Beauty was rescued because her service was up.

Tristan and Laurent get sent to be ponies for a year until Laurent is informed that he is King of his lands due to the death of dad.

Beauty still longs to be a slave and is surprised and overjoyed when King Laurent orders her to marry him and become his queen, torturing her sexually the entire way home.

Okay, now I wanna get to the release party. Mainly ’cause I’m excited as hell for it and it’s going to be the first time I’ve actually catered and cook for a full party. I don’t know how big it’s going to be or where, but I think Drako needs to do some talking with the LGBT Center of St. Louis for the following reason, other than promotion. And so, nii-chan, I’m directing this part to you.

You, sir, are an LGBTQ writer- I’m sure you realize that. I’m sure Leon (director of the LGBT Center of St. Louis) would have zero beef with you if you were break it down to him properly that you’re a  published author and you’re trying to get yourself out there even more than you are now with a release party.

The address to Drako aside, I need to get down to business. once again, the Fatal Healing release party is set for December 15, 2012. As far as what I think should be served for the party, ’cause the ball’s in my court- Drako asked me could I make him mostacciolli one day. I told him to give me his mom’s recipe and we’d be cool. But I’ll do him one better. I will serve it at the release party. That is confirmed. If he’s down for it, I’ll serve some pizza made with feta cheese and olive, to keep the flavors Greek. Throw on some Greek chicken wings, Greek chicken wraps… possibilities are endless. If Drako wants a Greek thing, it’s up to him. If he wants other things, that’s up to him as well. He wanted to leave me in charge of his party, but I don’t mind getting some input from him as well.

In the meantime, the party’s venue is to be determined.