Category Archives: Historical Fiction

[Book Review] The Long Journey Home by Cassandra Pierce

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The Long Journey Home

Cassandra Pierce

What rating would you give it?
2/2.5 of 5 Stars (at best… :/)

Give us a summary.

(Goodreads Description)
For eighteen years, Wren has lived isolation with his guardians, Grum and Krulch, in the heart of a deep, peaceful forest. His life is tranquil except for the doubts that torment him: why does he look so different from his parents, and how did two male ogres manage to birth a small, pale creature like Wren?

Everything changes when he accidentally wanders too far from home and comes upon an entire village of people who look like him. One in particular, a scribe’s apprentice named Valerus, is simply the most beautiful being Wren has ever seen.

His elation soon turns to fear when the people of the village tell Wren he is one of their own and must remain with them—abandoning the ogres who raised him. Though he would love to stay with Valerus and build a new life, he doesn’t want to do it at the expense of the life that made him. But if he wants to enjoy a promising future, he’ll have to find a way to unravel his mysterious past.

What did you think of the book?

Although this isn’t considered a YA book, I’d definitely classify it as one. It wasn’t a bad read, it just wasn’t all that good, either. I think there were too many vague urges trying to find purchase for it to be a cohesive tale. I was torn reading it, because there were moments I liked… but far too many I didn’t. :/

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

To be… confused. I think this story fell short on its grand notion. Two daddies? Check. Displaced teen? Check. Warring worlds? Check. What any of this has to do with one another to make a story that actually has meaning and depth outside of what I already mentioned? Yeah… big, fat red X there.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Tons and tons, per usual.

Would you recommend this book?

I doubt it. I just… ughh… I can’t even explain WHY it was so irritating a read. I think it stands to reason that it fell short on so many levels it’s just not worth bothering other people about.

Facepalm

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher:  Less Than Three Press
Publication Date: July 2015
Format: eBook, RvC
Pages: 42
Genre & Themes: Fantasy, M/M Relationships,
YA, Fairy Tales, Romance, Prejudice, Orges,
Insta-love, Family, Isolation,
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided by NetGalley
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (157),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
Read A Million Pages105 Reading Challenge,
2015 New To You Reading Challenge,
NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge,
2015 Graphic Novel and Comic Reading Challenge
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[Book Review] Satellite Sam (Vol.3) by Matt Fraction

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Satellite Sam Vol. 3

(Satellite Sam, #3)

Matt Fraction

What rating would you give it?
1 of 5 Stars OR just simply DNL

Give us a summary.

(Goodreads Description)
The popular star of a children’s show during Golden Age of Television dies, sending waves of scandal and shock through the community of men and women inventing an entire medium on the fly in this blistering finale to this twisted tale of sex, death, and live TV. Collects Satellite Sam #11-15.

What did you think of the book?

…what a weird fucking book. An unintelligible mess.

I can’t even say there WAS anything about it that I liked. The art wasn’t really to my liking. The story – though gritty like I like it – was actually pretty chaotic or just plain flat (and boring). There was too much weird sex and wank-off angles that really weren’t necessary, especially since this was in no way a humorous tale (as some ecchi manga generally are).

I just… I don’t even know why I picked this up in the first place. I know it had everything to do with that cover, which intrigued and lured me in. BIG mistake that I certainly won’t be repeating again.

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

Lots of weird sex and overtly sexual scenes (for really no reason whatsoever), and random acts of violence as well.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Tons and tons, per usual.

Would you recommend this book?

Not particularly. In fact I might even go so far as to say avoid it at all costs. It was just… bad.

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Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher:  Image Comics
Publication Date: August 2015
Format: eBook, RvC
Pages: 144
Genre & Themes: Graphic Novel, Comics, Sex,
Politics, Secrets, Historical Fiction, Mystery,
Crime, Fiction, Thriller, Violence, Noir
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided by NetGalley
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (157),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
Read A Million Pages105 Reading Challenge,
2015 New To You Reading Challenge,
NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge,
2015 Graphic Novel and Comic Reading Challenge

[Book Review] Re-creation by Dusk Peterson

Re-creation

(Part of The Three Lands universe)

Dusk Peterson

What rating would you give it?
4.5 of 5 Stars

Give us a summary.

(Taken from GoodReads)
“He could not leave this room without his father’s permission. And he could not imagine going to his father and saying, ‘Please let me go gather moss so that my slave can have a proper New Year for once.'”

What can you give a slave who, by law, can own nothing? That is the question faced by Peter, the teenage heir to the throne of an empire. Despite his father’s desire that the imperial heir maintain a formal distance from servants, Peter finds himself drawn in friendship to the younger boy who serves as his slave.

But a shocking revelation on the eve of the New Year forces Peter to confront his own motives for keeping the slave close by. And that in turn will help him understand the deeper meaning of the gift-giving festival.

This coming-of-age novelette on gender and sexual identity is a holiday tale that can be read on its own or as a side story in The Three Lands, a fantasy series on friendship, romance, and betrayal in times of war and peace. The series is inspired by conflicts between nations during the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages.

What did you think of the book?

Huh.

This is yet another unexpectedly awesome read by Dusk Peterson. I think, moreso than the themes he likes to write about, it’s the way in which he tells stories, the characters, the… the real meat of the message being told that I like—that I LOVE.

I found this particular story very… endearing. Most probably because the characters were so young and yet so “wise beyond their years;” in particular Andrew, who most assuredly grew up far too soon during his harsh time as a slave. I found this a very thoughtful and critical piece, something that can easily be turned into a prequel or starter for a series.

If there are more books being made (or have already been made) I would very much want to read them.

NOW.

I am unabashedly curious as to where their complex relationship will take them, and furthermore to the reform and possible deconstruction of unjust and cruel societal hierarchies, magistrates, and laws that could occur once Peter (the other boy) becomes the new Chara.

Or might not.

One thing I would like to make very clear… is that this book is in no way considered M/M romance, but more M/M friendship. I don’t know if in the rest of the series (ya know, when they’re actually older) if they ever become more than “just friends,” but even if they do not… the relationship between the two is truly enthralling to watch unfold.

I think that in today’s more – ehem –”accepting” society, far too many people are far too quick to jump to the conclusion that just because the story revolves around two guys who are close, that they must be banging each other. This story could certainly disprove this belief, yet show that a friendship story is just as captivating and endearing as any M/M romance.

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

I get the impression that if there are other stories in this universe, those might be a bit graphic and violent… but this story was without anything too remarkably disturbing. At least in graphic detail, at any rate.

Is it available to read for free? Where can I purchase it?

It’s actually a free ebook, so you can download it from any of these sources here:

Gumroad | AR | Smashwords | Amazon Kindle

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Yup! A whole bunch. xD

Would you recommend this book?

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I’d think so. Even to those unfamilar with the rest of the series. I mean, I really enjoyed it, and I didn’t have the slightest idea it was part of a series. The story works well as a stand-alone, and I think the story behind these two young boys would definitely make the reader want to pick up the rest of the series to read what happens to them as they get older (and what already happened to them to lead them to the point where they meet in Re-creation).

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Love in Dark Settings Press
Publication Date: December 2013
Format: ebook
Pages: est. 58
Genre / Themes: Romance, Gender
Study, QUILTBAG / LGBTQUI, Coming
of Age, Historical Fiction, Sex, Nudity,
Friendship (Male Friendship), Gender & Sexual
Identity & Study, Fantasy, Betrayal, War,
Peace, Warring Nations, Holiday Short,
Holiday Celebration, Master And Slave (non-
sexual), Social Injustice, Social Hierarchy,
POC (Person/People of Color)
Age: Young Adult (I think…)
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Index From Author’s Website
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (18),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
2015 New To You Reading Challenge,
Read A Million Pages105 Reading Challenge,
Readathon Day 2015, 2015 LGBT Reading Challenge,

[Book Review] Mercy’s Prisoner

mercysprisoner6x9Mercy’s Prisoner

(Life Prison, Volume 1)

Dusk Peterson

What rating would you give it?
4.5 of 5 Stars

Where can you buy or borrow the book?

[Amazon] [Gumroad] [All Romance]
[Smashwords]

Borrow the ebook: [Scribd]

 

Give us a summary.
(Provided by Author)

“‘You have committed a vile and savage act, one that any other nation would punish with death. Our punishment, on the other hand, will only be to give you what you want. You have sought to live in a world without boundaries of civilization, and such a world shall henceforth be your dwelling place.'”

A cold-hearted murderer. A vicious abuser. A young man hiding a shameful secret. A bewildered immigrant. A pure-minded spy.

All of these men have found their appointed places at Mercy Life Prison, where it is easy to tell who your enemies are. But a new visitor to Mercy is about to challenge decades-old customs. Now these men’s worst enemies may be hiding behind masks… and so may their closest allies.

A runner-up in the Rainbow Awards 2014, the book bundle “Mercy’s Prisoner” can be read on its own or as the first volume in the Life Prison series. Friendship, desire between men, and the costs of corruption and integrity are examined in this multicultural speculative fiction series, which is inspired by prison life at the end of the nineteenth century.

What did you think of the book?

Alright. So, I may have gotten a little over-excited reading this book.

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Also, just FYI, this volume is a collection of five novellas/short stories all taking place with the Life Prisoner series. A second volume (possibly also a collection) is said to be published in the summer. Do not confuse this title with the novella Life Prison (as it is just first story/novella in this collection).

I was SO unsure of it originally… hoping beyond hope that it would blow my socks off, or at least not be a complete flop. I even had hopes of another Under Grand Hotel situation going on –which it wasn’t, by the way, but still. No UGH, but I might have just gotten something even better. (Or at least on par.)

This historical speculative fiction novel easily captures the minds of any reader, even those who might not think this to be “their thing,” with its dark setting and even darker themes. But there is a point to all this seemingly unnecessary suffering and pain. Reformation is at hand and with it comes a serious call to action, to the re-examination one’s own sense of morality and of right and wrong. Believe you-me, this book makes you THINK – about topics of discussion most would prefer never to think about or take into account. To consider the circumstances of those everyone prefers to not even think of. To ponder the basic human rights denied to those who violate others’ rights with their actions and deeds.

To consider that a murderer is also a human being too… and does that not mean they, too, deserve to be treated as such with basic human rights?

There’s a lot of philosophy and activism going on in here, a lot of moral discussion that doesn’t really have easy answers. I can’t say I believe prisoners – especially those that have done truly horrible things for selfish or unthinkable reasons – should be allowed to go free or be treated kindly, but I do believe they have the right to be treated with some decency and the basic human rights that no one should be denied.

This book makes you think about the hard questions no one wants to ask or bring to light in discussion, and I AB-SO-LUTELY LOVE IT.

I cannot wait to read the next book in the series!

Any warnings you wish to make for your readers?

The stories are dark. I think I explained that already, so expect DARK THINGS. XD Other than that, the third of the five stories in the volume showcases some BDSM. It’s not too intense, as it is more of master/slave story than anything else. Other things that occur either in passing (not detailed) or minorly: non-con, rape, blood, some torture, lots of punishment, sickness & illness, and otherwise horrible living conditions.

Does it count towards any reading challenges?

Yep! A whole bunch~

Would you recommend this book?

ReadHunny

Hell YEAH! Though, of course, I would absolutely warn whoever I recommend it to about just how dark and violent this book can be at times. It’s not alarmingly graphic, detailing every vicious act… but it IS still disarming and poignant in a way that might leave the reader who is more inclined to the visually graphic quite disturbed, so it might be best to read it, knowing full well how disturbing some imaginary within can be.

Reviewed by AMS (amomentsilence)

Publisher: Love in Dark Settings Press
Publication Date: August 2014, reissue December 2014
Format: eBook, ARC
Pages: 229
Genre: Historical Speculative Fiction,
Crime Fiction, M/M “Romance,”
Prison / Prison Life, BDSM, Master/Slave,
Reformation, Penal Code, Love Mates,
Punishment, Whipping, Non-con, Torture,
Consumption, Fair Treatment, QUILTBAG
/ LGBTQUIA, Friendship, Corruption,
Morality, Integrity, Nineteenth Century Fiction
Age: Adult
Reviewer: AMS (amomentsilence)
Source: Provided by Author in exchange for an honest review
Award(s): Runner-up, Gay Fantasy category, in the Rainbow
Awards 2014. Honorable Mention in the Rainbow Awards 2014.
Challenge2015 Good Reads Reading Challenge (9),
52 Books in 52 WeeksYou Read How Many Books?,
2015 LGBT Reading Challenge, Read A Million Pages,
105 Reading ChallengeNew To You