The Book Barrio

A Blog for Fantasy and Romance Readers



I have an Ereader and it has everything.

Once upon a time, I was the only person I knew who read books on an ereader. I realized this when the highly controversial Fifty Shades of Grey became a big thing, and everyone, even the non-readers, wanted to read the book.

Being a regular Romance reader, I already knew about the book (Fifty Shades) and had been following the series for maybe a year. So it was quite a surprise when people I didn’t even normally talk to, were messaging me on facebook just to ask me about how they could get their hands on a digital copy of the book, how they could read it from their mobile phones or desktops. And it happened to me a lot.

At the time, I was also half-thinking that they were missing half of their lives by not even knowing about the unlimited opportunities in the ebook world. I come from a place wherein we don’t even have a local library. Bookstores didn’t always have everything and if I wanted to buy a book, I had to really choose wisely.

When I first discovered ebooks, I read like crazy. I read microsoft lit format ebooks on my old box-monitor desktop computer. I read books by authors who aren’t in my local bookstore. I read the hard-to-find bodice ripper books by famous Authors. I even read pdf files until 3am in the morning. My eyes hurt but I had a blast. And then Amazon and Sony started started selling ereaders and I wanted one so badly. It was a few years later when I was able to finally get my hands on a Kindle Keyboard. And I loved it. I took it everywhere with me. It was just like when I got my first ipod and could suddenly take 1000 songs with me anywhere. Like the people who got music crazy because of the apple ipod, I went book crazy because of Kindle. 61d-zvxgccl-_sl1000_

It was very liberating. The reading experience was so much better, because of the bigger fonts provided by the kindle keyboard. My only complaint was that it was pretty slow when I was navigating my library, but once I was in the ebook page-turning wasn’t a problem. If I was willing to read on my desktop for hours and hours, then the e-reader’s slow reaction time was nothing. No more eye strain due to the e-ink technology.

I also didn’t have much clutter in my bookshelf anymore. Bookworms are always having trouble finding places to put their books at. Plus I really hate it when I buy a book by an author I’ve never tried before, and end up not liking it. So I’d have to make bookshelf space for that book, and be reminded of my book regrets every time I saw it. With ebooks, there’s no need for that. I can be risky and try new authors, and if I didn’t like the book, then it was OK.

I’m on my second kindle now. It’s a Kindle Paperwhite. So aside from the e-ink technology that prevents eye-strain, it also has its own light, which was perfect for reading before bed time. The device reaction time is also way better than the Kindle Keyboard. Which makes life marginally better.

61-nx2bu95bl-_sl1000_I still like reading from real paper books. But I only keep the books that are closest to my heart. I keep the books that I want to read over and over again, and I love seeing my bookshelf with all my favorites side by side. The one-time read books are all on my kindle. And I’ve been reading happily ever after.



Review: Land of the Beautiful Dead by R. Lee Smith

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Horror, Erotica 




He ascended from the darkness years ago—Azrael the Eternal, Azrael the Undying, Azrael Who Is Death—bringing with him the black rains, the fires, the souring of the sky, and the Eaters. Now he rules in the walled city of Haven with his favored Children and his dead court, while all that is left of the living struggles to survive in the ruins of a world that used to be their own. But even as extinction looms, humanity will never surrender to their monstrous conqueror.

For Lan, this brutal life has been the only one she’s ever known, but she still believes it can change. If the war can never truly end until the Eaters are ended, she will go to Haven, to Azrael himself, and demand he end them. To her surprise, she does not immediately die the hero’s death she expected. Instead, Azrael offers her a chance to convince him, and all she has to do is submit herself to the chill embrace of the lord of the Land of the Beautiful Dead.


When I heard that R. Lee Smith had a new book out, I just knew I had to stop everything and read it. And it was a very long, very satisfying read. I was totally obsessed. My eyes were tired, I knew it was unhealthy to stay up so late reading but I just couldn’t put it down.

The story is set in a post apocalyptic world. Azrael, the Lord of the Dead, has conquered the world. He has the power to control the dead, make them live again, or turn them into zombies called Eaters. He invaded England, and is enjoying his victory over mankind. Lan, a young woman born in a harsh world, decides to face Azrael to ask him to end the Eaters. She believes in peace and she wants to end the suffering.

And herein lies the dilemma. If Azrael ends the Eaters, which are what keeps the humans at bay, the humans will surely attack and there will be war and death all over again. But Lan is stubborn and she is not leaving until she gets what she wants. So Azrael decides to grant her an audience. She can plead her hopeless case again and again, in exchange for being his whore, courtesan, mistress, his dolly.

Azrael is not exactly human, think demonic, scarred human-like immortal creature. He has been betrayed, tortured, hunted down, burned, piked, anything you can think of, but he does not die. And humans, being really stupid kept on trying to destroy him and provoked a war. Azrael did not want a fight with the humans, but in order to have his peace, he was pushed into creating his dead army to protect himself. War became the only way he knew how to live.

Lan  has lived a harsh life. She was born in a post apocalyptic world. People who die turn into Eaters. There was no proper grieving for the dead. There was a lack of food, and she has had to sell pieces of herself to survive. Despite all this, she believes that if the Eaters just went away, the world could move on from the war. And she is willing to do anything to stop the Eaters.

The story is very raw, emotional and obsessive.  It was about humanity, death and love. It’s a character driven epic love story. And their love was so beautiful, unforgettable. The ending was one of the best endings I’ve ever read. I know on the surface it sounds really horrific, but trust me and give this book a chance.

It is even a bit more tame and less violent compared to the other novels by R. Lee Smith. So if you have never read anything by this author before, then this would be a good book to start with. You won’t regret it.

Rating: 5 Stars

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