Arc Review: Today We Go Home

Title: Today We Go Home

Author: Kelly Estes

Series: Standalone

Genre: Adult Fiction

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook

Received: Netgalley, Publisher

Review Word Count: 500

Rated: 5/5 stars

Notes: Beautifully written and captivating!

This tells the story of Emily turned Jesse Wilson, a young woman donning man’s clothing and joining her brother in the war to save her family after her Pa and oldest brother are killed by senech rebels. A girl disguising herself as a man is one of my favorites tropes in fiction, and so I jumped at the chance to read this book. It’s a wonderful story; it alternates between her story and another woman’s tale during the present day, a woman named Linda who lost her sister Sarah to a war as well. Linda finds the diary that inspired Sarah into becoming a soldier, and dives into Emily/Jesse’s tale, and soon is captivated over her story. She reads the story to get over the loss of her sister, she reads the story to see what happened with Emily, and she reads the story because she has rarely heard of a woman becoming a man to join a war back in the civil war era.

This was a beautiful, yet long tale-it took me four days to read through, and admittedly I liked Emily/Jesse’s chapters better as they were far more interesting to me, but overall there were quite a few things I liked about both women characters. I should note warnings for PTSD, typhoid/detailed sick scenes in hospitals, civil war battle scenes, attempted suicide, and sexist assholes scattered throughout the story. There’s a mindfield of triggers scattered throughout for anyone whose ever been involved in war, or has a sibling/relative that was in the war, so take caution in reading this book, please.

But it is an important book, as the story shows that women aren’t just willing to be shoved aside, and treated as simple creatures. They’re willing to stand up for what they believe in is right, and won’t take no for an answer. They can fight with guns, crawl through mud just as well as a man can, and I admire these women in this book, because they are badasses.

My one complaint is the dual character pov, alternating between past and present. But the author handled that so well, that it’s a minor complaint, so. I’m giving this book a 4.5/5 stars, and rounding it up to a solid 5 because it’s well deserving of it. I plan on buying a copy to add a physical copy to my shelves here at home, it’s that lovely of a story. There are several sad scenes scattered throughout, so be prepared for a box of tissues when reading this book. Trust me, you’ll need them if your heart isn’t made of stone.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

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Book Review: Daggerspell

Daggerspell

Title: Daggerspell
Author: Katherine Kurr
Series: Book 1
Genre: Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Spectra
Page Count: 600
Type of Book: Paperback
Who Recommended it: My mother
Received: bought secondhand
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: It didn’t end on a cliffhanger!

Daggerspell was an interesting fantasy novel. I loved the start of it; Jill’s character seemed to really develop as she lost her mother, and then met her silver dagger father who is labeled one of the most dangerous men in the country. Jill leaves her little village with her father after her mother dies, and winds up traveling across country, helping his father stopping family fueds, finding coin, and so forth. Jill has her own secrets too though, much as her father doesn’t like it-she can see and speak to the Wildfolk, Fae creatures. He forbids her from attempting to do so again, even as he explains that were people to see her doing such strange actions, they would consider her a witch.

This was a fun fantasy, and I wish I’d read it when I was years younger, back in my teens would have been preferable, because it definitely felt a bit dated at times. There’s some neat battle scenes, some love interest, a prophecy of sorts revolving around Jill, and lots of history and magic explained throughout the book but not wordy and never in the boring fantasy way that some books seem to have.

For those who were wondering if this book was worth it? I feel as though it is. It’s entertaining, though not wholly gripping it’s definitely got potential as a series, and though I’ve heard it from many people that book two is easily the worst in the series? I’m still willing to press on and see where the story goes.

4/5 stars for a unique and fun read, though not quite as powerfully fantastical as some other classic fantasy I could name, still definitely worth giving it a try.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

TBR Thursday: 6 Books I aim to Read and FINALLY get them off my waiting list!

This month is not just Arcs that I need to prioritize. I should be posting reviews, but I’m doing this instead. These are six books that I’ve had sitting on my shelves for over 2 years. So they need to be read, or go away!

1) The Magicians Guild by Trudi Canavan I’ve heard such mixed reviews on this book. You either love it or hate it. I’m hoping that I’ll love it. I only have book one so if I do love it, the series may have to wait.

2) The Covenant Rising by Stan Nichols This seems to have mostly negative reviews on Goodreads but I won’t judge until I’ve read it myself. That cover is also quite lovely don’t you think?

3) The Chamber of Culdi by Katherine Kurtz My mother swears by this series. I’m really nervous to read this.

4) The Shadow of a Dark Queen by Raymond E. Feist Everyone raves about this author. I have never read their books but am finally plucking the courage to do so.

5) Daggerspell by Katherine Kerr I also have been told by my mother that this series is excellent, except for book two. So again-nervous!

And finally…

6) Royal Exile By Fiona McIntosh Almost all negative reviews on Goodreads. I hope that won’t be me as well!

And those are the six books that aren’t arcs I hope to read this month. Have y’all read any of these? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

Pass Me That Book.

Monthly TBR: Books I Hope to Read in August

Hello all, and welcome to another tentative TBR for the month of August. These are all likely to be repeats and some new ones thrown in for good measure, as there’s several that I’ve STILL not gotten around to reading, despite my eagerness for them. Let’s see what’s up for the month of August shall we?

 

Now a lot of these are arcs, so I’ll be concentrating on those most of all, as I’ve been trying to narrow the amount of arcs in my Netgalley profile. I’ve got an alarming number growing, and today didn’t help because I went and requested a good fifty+ more, mainly because I was bored and feeling ambitious for the month of August. I’m hoping to get through all of these, but we’ll see how that actually turns out, shall we?

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Monthly Wrap Up: July 2019

Welcome to my usual monthly wrap up! After this month, it’s a single month away from my birthday! So for August I’m going to try to read as many books that have been on my radar as possible. It’ll be the month of the most popular books only! Let’s see how many I can power through, shall we? Anyways, here are the books that I’ve read for July:

 

1.Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs 5/5 stars
2.Eye Spy by Mercedes Lackey 4/5 stars LGBT Pick
3.Wolf Mountain by Isabella Hunt 4/5 stars
4.Persephone by Seanan McGuire 5/5 stars
5.Worth Her Weight in Gold by Sarah Gailey 5/5 stars
6.A Burden Shared by Jo Walton 4/5 stars
7.Into Bones like Oil by Kaaren Warren 2/5 stars
8.Salvation Day by Kali Wallace 5/5 stars
9.Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley 4/5 stars
10.The Bride Test by Helen Hoang 3/5 stars
11.Second You Sin by Scott Sherman 4/5 stars LGBT Pick
12.Restoree by Anne McCaffrey 3/5 stars Re-read
13.Larceny and Old Lace by Tamar Myers 2/5 stars
14.Bound to Two Bears by Kelex 4/5 stars LGBT Pick
15.Torn Part 1 by Amy Silva 2/5 stars
16.His Sub by Ellis O’Day 4/5 stars
17.Pretend for Him by Jack Wolfe 4/5 stars
18.The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier 3/5 stars
19.Brief Cases by Jim Butcher 5/5 stars
20.The Duke I Tempted by Scarlett Peckham 5/5 stars
21.The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winters 5/5 stars
22.The Unbound Empire by Melissa Caruso 5/5 stars
23.Third Girl by Agatha Christie 3/5 stars
24.Tracking Game by Margaret Mizuschima 4/5 stars
25.Bond by Tasha Black 3/5 stars
26.The Girl in Red by Christina Henry 4/5 stars
27.Irresistible by Susan Mallery 4/5 stars
28.Priest of Lies by Peter McLean 5/5 stars
29.Dragonsblood by Todd McCaffrey, 4/5 stars
30.Grave Expectations by Heather Redmond 4/5 stars
31.The Woman in the Veil by Laura Joh Rowland 4/5 stars
32.The Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden 3/5 stars
33.Hitting Black Ice by Heloise West 4/5 stars LGBT pick
34.Spellslinger by Sebastian de Castel 5/5 stars

Almost 35 books, better than almost all my other months so far this year. A lot of these I thoroughly enjoyed, and the month ended on a high note with a new favorite series! I’m determined to read double next month, as per usual, and am hoping to read a book a day-provided life doesn’t get in the way, as August is typically a ridiculously busy month. What all did y’all read for July? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Book Review: Grave Expectations

Grave Expectations

Title: Grave Expectations
Author: Heather Redmond
Series: Book 2
Genre: Adult Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Kensington Books
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Publisher, Netgalley
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: I haven’t read book one, but it seems you don’t need to in order to read book two, thankfully.

This was a fun read, and worthy of Dickens. I really think he would enjoy this series, as it’s entertaining, well written, and with such strong characters. With plenty of excitement to go around from women falling out of windows by accident to discovering corpses, this mystery will definitely delight readers fond of historical fiction and who-dun-it’s.

I’m determined to get book one so that I can fill in some of the gaps. I feel it would at least help me figure out how Kate and Charles met, and why they’re so enamored with each other-he seems to treat her nicely enough, but also whenever she wants to go do something dangerous he’s all “now, now, let’s not be hasty, you’re a woman you must stay behind where it’s safe” which seems a bit sexist, though that was how it was during those times, I can’t fault him too much for that. It comes off more romantic as well, instead of sexist, because while he’s very telling in what she does, he’s not an asshole about it.

Charles is an overall good guy, he helps others that needs it, goes to those who are in danger and try to rescue them, and is generally the hero of the story. Kate is a kind girl who tries to help as much as she possibly can. There’s plenty for writers to like about this too, with passages of Charles struggling to come up with rhymes or lines for songs or sketches. And there’s one nod that I rather enjoyed about a guy suggesting Charles write books and Charles vehemently in denial about anyone buying anything he writes. Hehe. If only you knew Charles.

The mystery itself wasn’t hard to solve, though it was entertaining. All the clues were there, and with plenty of suspects you have chances in guessing wrong. There’s thieves, a murdered woman, and a dreadful tenant within these pages that all wind up getting their mysteries solved in the end, with a couple of harrowing moments for Mr. Dickens.

The book does leave it rather open for a sequel to follow through, so I’m sure when it comes out I’ll request it having thoroughly enjoyed this one. Overall, I’m giving this 4.5 out of 5 stars, rounding it up to 5/5 stars. I really like this author’s writing style, and I’m irate that I left it sitting in my kindle so long.
Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: The Woman in the Veil

The Woman in the Veil

Title: The Woman in the Veil
Author: Laura Joh Rowland
Series: Book 4
Genre: Adult Fiction, Mystery, Historical
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Publisher, Netgalley
Review Word Count:
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes:

I haven’t read any of the first three books, but will likely rectify that when I can because I very much enjoyed book four. While the mystery of Sleeping Beauty, as she’s called by the papers in this book, was interesting, I wasn’t fully invested in this book. I feel as though I missed out a lot on the characters, and their stories from previous novels. While the author does a great job of letting you know what’s happened, I feel it’s best to read this series in order.

There was a surprising gay couple in the book of which I very much enjoyed seeing, especially with one of the characters being a former priest. That was very surprising and nice to see in historical fiction for a change. I liked the main character, and I liked the mystery overall. But as I said, I think I’ll read the other three books and then re-read this one to see how I feel about it.

Overall I liked it, but I think I’ll enjoy it more when I read the rest of the series. 4/5 stars.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Book Review: Hitting Black Ice

Hitting Black Ice

Title: Hitting Black Ice
Author: Heloise West
Series: Book 1
Genre: Adult Fiction, Romance, LGBT
Page Count: 200
Publisher: NineStar Press
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley, Publisher
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: High action, lots of romance, and plenty of thrills.

This is one of those rare Netgalley arcs that I requested because it sounded like exactly what I wanted to read, got it within two hours, and then finished it three hours later. It left the book hanging wide open for a sequel, but I fell hard for Shawn and Hunter. Both young men were involved in a high stakes hostage situation, an mysterious FBI guy chasing after Shawn, guns, shootings, and more dangerous scenarios taking place in the snowy mountains during blizzard like conditions. Exactly what I wanted to read.

The only reason it’s four stars was because it left it hanging on a cliffhanger. Sigh. I very much need book two, and I am now invested in this series. The author immediately soared to my top ten favorite LGBT authors.

This made me think very strongly of the survival stories of Stargate Atlantis fanfiction that I used to read in a way, with lots of plot, romance, and characters. I very much enjoyed this and eagerly look forward to book two. Overall, I’m giving this 4/5 stars, and I’m hopeful book two will be out as quickly as possible. I especially liked the dogs that were thrown into the plot for good measure and the heroic rescue at the end. Highly recommended for those who enjoy fast paced action with lots of twists and turns!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: Tracking Game

Tracking Game

Title: Tracking Game
Author: Margaret Mizushima
Series: Book 5
Genre: Adult Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Page Count: ?
Type of Book: Kindle Ebook, Arc
Received: Publisher, Netgalley
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: I haven’t ready any of the rest of the series, nor have I read anything else from this author.

~*~

This was an interesting read. A standalone mystery, you really don’t have to read the rest of the series to get the gist, and it doesn’t give spoilers for the last few books in the series either, or at least not that I noticed. I liked it, overall, especially the dog.

It starts off with a literal bang-romance in the air, when a date is abruptly canceled when an explosion rocks nearby, killing one person…but it wasn’t due to the van exploding, it was two bullets to the chest. CPR definitely wasn’t going to revive that poor fella.

It goes on from there, tracking down who killed them, and there’s lots of hiking, mystery, twists and turns and overall plenty of goodness to be had within these pages. I’m terribly at writing reviews for mystery novels, can you tell? My problem is that I really don’t want to give away all the details, because I like going into mysteries blind with only a few things to guide me into if I want to read this or not. Or I pick the book because of the cover without realizing it’s part of a series. Lol, whoops.

Regardless, I highly recommend this one. It’s good, it’s not too long, and it’s not overly descriptive on either. There’s plenty of action to be had, and the characters are good enough that it almost seems like you’re standing there with them as they’re running for their lives.

4/5 stars.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: The Duke I Tempted

The Duke I Tempted

Title: The Duke I Tempted
Author: Scarlett Peckham
Series: Book 1
Genre: Adult Fiction, Historical Romance
Page Count: 400
Publisher: NYLA
Type of Book: Kindle Ebook, Library Loan
Received: Ebook Library
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: Prepare to grab a box of tissues when reading this book.

My poor heart. The writer certainly knows how to write lost, tortured souls struggling to find some means of love and comfort in anothers arms. While it does seem to drag in the middle a little, and the characters keep making mistake after mistake with one another (Archer, I’m looking at you), the writing is excellent, and the story itself is wonderful.

Cavendish is a female botanist. Archer is a Duke who is intent on getting married so that he can have a heir for his legacy. Both have no interest in marriage, and both have their own priorities in the world.

Even so, Archer’s sister meddles into his affairs, and arranges a ball so that he might find someone to be married to. Poppy Cavendish arranges the flowers and helps prepare for the ball, even as she unintentionally grows closer to the grim, forboding prescence of the Duke.

The plot was well structured with this book; there’s a missing child at one point, both main characters have tragic backstories, Poppy at one point gets thrown from her horse and Archer carries her back to his place for safety…

It’s very romantic feeling throughout the entire book.

Overall, 5/5 stars for one of my new favorite books this year, and I will definitely be continuing on with this series.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: Brief Cases

Brief Cases

Title: Brief Cases
Author: Jim Butcher
Series: #15
Genre: Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Ace
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Arc, Physical Copy, Paperback
Received: Publisher
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: Still deserving of the 5 star rating, very nice!

As Sarah J Maas fans say about their author; I’m trash for Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, it’s quick light reading for hot summer days. The world building is great, the magic system is easy enough to understand (even if you don’t always agree with it, let alone like it) and the characters are so realistic you almost feel as though you’re there with them in the story.

This is book number 15, though it’s a collection of short stories, so of course I read it anyway. I think there was only one story referencing a book that I hadn’t read that I skipped (though I don’t recall which one, unfortunately), as I’m only on book six of the Dresden Files series.

For those who don’t know what Dresden Files is: it’s about a detective who solves unusual cases in chicago. The twist? He’s a wizard. And he’s listed in the phone book. He’s a sarcastic guy that likes helping innocent people so long as they have the money with which to pay him. Hey being a wizard isn’t easy, after all. Especially when there’s dangerous bad guys out to get you…

These stories all revolve around Harry’s universe, some of them funny, some of them serious. I’m very much hoping there’s going to be another anthology, because I like reading short stories set in my favorite character universes.

5/5 stars, and highly recommended to urban fantasy fans.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: The Harp of Kings

The Harp of Kings

Title: The Harp of Kings
Author: Juliet Marillier
Series: Book 1
Genre: Fantasy, Adult Fiction
Publisher: DAW
Page Count: 500
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Publisher
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 3/5 stars
Notes: Not my favorite Juliet Marillier, but not bad either.

This is one of my favorite authors, so when I was offered an arc of her new book, I immediately accepted. Not only is that cover absolutely gorgeous, but Juliet Marillier is a prolific, well known fantasy author that writes really well and does some interesting stuff.  I read her first book in the Sevenwaters series, and it’s easily one of my most favorite fantasy series though I haven’t read the rest of the series yet, it’s on my wishlist.

However, when I read this, it didn’t knock me into cloud nine. Instead, it was more like when I read Raymond E Feist for the first time; strange, unreal, and a little not what I expected from the amount of hype that I’d gotten from this book. It wasn’t bad, but I’m not a big fan of character pov changes. And both characters were not to my liking. At all.

It could be I didn’t know much about that world, which is said to be based on some of her other works? I’m unsure, as I’ve read very few of the authors books, but adore her writing style and world-building. I may need to re-read this book again, and see if it’s better the second time around.

3/5 stars for an interesting reading experience, and recommended for hardcore Juliet Marillier fans.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

That Fun Stats Post No One Wanted (But I’m Doing Anyway):

A bit belated, as it’s already halfway through the year, and everyone (including me. Aren’t parenthesis fun? {Where would we be without them?}) and their mother’s did The End of the Year Book Freak Out Tag, I decided to do a post that actually featured Statistics. Though I’m horrible at math unlike my younger sister, I’m still fascinated when it comes to stats and the amount of books that I read. So. Without further adieu, here are my stats so far this year, in regards to plots and plans. I’ll update again later on. Yes, yes, I should have done this at the start of the year, but ah well. You live and learn.

Goodreads Goal: 250 Books
Books Reads: 161 (24 books ahead of schedule) YAY!!!!!!

Kindle Ebooks Begging to Be Read| 1002 ebooks total
Physical Copies I Haven’t Touched| 456
Library Books Patiently Waiting For Me| ?
Gifts From Friends/Family I Haven’t Read (the Shame!)| ?
Priority Arcs That Are STILL WAITING| 414
Amazon Wishlist Withering Away| ?
Library Ebooks I Probably Will Never Get To| 670
*That Rare Audiobook I Might Listen To| I plan to listen to 5 of them. 1 down!

*I despise audio books. The voices are never quite right, though there are a few rare cases, such as Good Omens, where it’s too good to pass up or ignore and I wind up falling in love.

?’s = unsure of the exact # because I haven’t stopped and counted every last thing, especially in my public library. One day I might do that, and catalog all the books into my phone. THAT will be an insanely long but maybe fun? project to accomplish

800 Kindle Ebooks, yikes. The number just keeps growing too, with the daily free kindle deals I keep getting. My poor kindle is overloaded, and my phone is too since I haven’t touched my kindle in forever and a day. Maybe I’ll pick up some of the books on there that I’ve forgotten about…lol, yeah. I can dream if I want to! I can leave this world behind…

400 Arcs: yes, I have a problem. It’s called Netgalley…
~*~

I very much need to keep better track of all the books I get from friends and family, but it’s hard enough keeping everything straight as it is. I’m typically NOT an OCD person, but lately I’ve been meaning to be more organized when it comes to my reading because it feels like I’m scattered all over the place. I hope y’all enjoyed this horrifying stats post, and that you’re stats are looking far better than my own. I plan on updating more again towards the end of the year, and when next year starts, I will have a firm idea of what better to do with charts. (lol *knocks wood* dies)

Upcoming Reviews: The Duke I Tempted, The Harp of Kings, Brief Cases, and Into Bones Like Oil

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Arc Review: Salvation Day

Salvation Day

Title: Salvation Day
Author: Kali Wallace
Series: ?
Genre: Science Fiction, Adult Fiction
Page Count: 300
Publisher: Berkeley
Type of Book: Arc, Physical Hardback
Received: Publisher
Review Word Count:
Rated: 5/5
Notes: Highly recommended for fans of The Expanse, Illuminae, and Binti.

This was an awesome, adventurous ride from the very beginning, building into a mystery that you didn’t know where it would end up at, though you kept hoping you would know the answer. The writing is strong, the characters are full of depth and each have their own unique backstories, and everyone’s agenda is complicated…you’ll fall for this world just as easily as I have, especially if you enjoy watching the show The Expanse.

I should warn readers not to get attached to characters. This author must have taken liberties from George RR Martin with how often he talked about death, dying, killing characters, and so on.

The story here was just so well done. The build up suspense was well executed, the hostage scenario at the beginning was tightly woven and you just were eager to see where everything landed at the end of the book.

I sincerely, sincerely hope there’s a sequel. Or more to come from one of my new favorite authors.

5/5 stars for a beautifully written space adventure romp with ghost ships, hostages, mysterious viruses, and loads of character deaths you didn’t see coming. My thanks also to the publisher for sending me a copy, I’ll be putting this with my Expanse collection at once.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Arc Review: The Girl in Red

The Girl in Red

Title: The Girl in Red
Author: Christina Henry
Series: Standalone?
Genre: Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Page Count: 300
Publisher: Berkeley
Type of Book: Arc, Physical Copy, Paperback
Received: Publisher
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4/5
Notes: Delightful!

I’ve been meaning to try Christina Henry for a while, since I first heard of her through CodiesBookCorner on Youtube. Codie talks about Christina Henry so highly, so I decided I had to jump on the bandwagon, and muck my way through her books. The Girl In Red was offered as an arc, so I politely asked for a copy, and was sent it almost at once. Thank you kind publishers! This shall remain a favorite on my Arcs shelf!

While I typically don’t read a whole lot of retellings, this-as I said-was recommended from a trusted BookTuber. So I went in tentatively, not knowing what to expect. What I found surprised me. While it was a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, the main heroine was not so weak, and was a strong female character (one of my favorite things to read of these days) and she was a battle ax warrior woman of the Amazons!

Not really, but it certainly seemed like it.

She goes on a quest, she has an evil enemy, she has a weapon of choice, and she doesn’t back down despite her fear of becoming a killer. The plot is intricately woven, the characters are strongly depicted throughout the book, and the story itself while based on the original Riding Hood tale, was uniquely done in that it didn’t feel like a tired repeat.

I very much enjoyed this book, enough to really want to read more Christina Henry novels. I’m not a fan of retellings, however, so it will all depend upon my mood, but I’m definitely willing to give this author another go in the near future. Perhaps I might read her Alice book for Halloween? Won’t that be fun?

Overall, a solid 4/5 stars, and a desire to see more from this author. This is definitely one that I recommend readers try, especially if they don’t generally read retellings.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Arc Review: Priest of Lies

Priest of Lies

Title: Priest of Lies
Author: Peter McLean
Series: Book 2
Genre: Fantasy, Adult Fiction
Page Count: 400
Publisher: Ace
Type of Book: Arc, Physical Copy, Paperback
Received: Publisher
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: Ah, the build-up of anticipation! Now I just need the next book…

The sequel to the Priest of Bones was an excellent and much needed grimdark fantasy read at its finest. With a build up of plot, characters, and another look into the past of the world they’re in as well as what might come, I very much enjoyed this wonderful installment into the series, and thank the publisher for a copy which in no way or shape changes my review.

The characters were more fleshed out. We saw more action, more Tomas, and more war. I liked every part of this book, and it’s easily one of my most favorite grimdark fantasies that I’ve read to date. It ranks right up there with Anna Smith Spark, and Ed McDonald.

Overall, 4/5 stars, and I would very much like to have the next book in the series, ASAP.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Arc Review: Eye Spy

 

Eye Spy

Title: Eye Spy
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: Book 2 of the Family Spies
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Hardback, Arc
Received: publisher
Rated: 4/5 stars
Review Word Count: 500
Notes: unsatisfactory ending, leaving it wide open. Mentions of assault, asexual main character, and lots of drama + danger in this latest installment
Abi’s ‘gift’ is unique in that she can sense where things are stressed and about to break apart. It doesn’t become evident until she’s on a popular bridge with her friend, the Princess Kat, and then it’s a mad dash to save everyone, including themselves from disaster. Abi’s new gift has potential, as it’s the only one of its kind. Abi’s unique as well, in that she’s asexual-she doesn’t have any interest in either gender romantically at all.

This wasn’t my favorite Valdemar book. I definitely enjoyed Perry’s story more than this one, but while it wasn’t my favorite it was still a quick and enjoyable read. There were lots of action scenes, some small spots of angst, and Mercedes Lackey tackled assault of a girl in school fairly well I thought.

It echoed current events of today; from dams threatening to break apart, assault and bullying, how asexual characters deal with their realization that they’re not interested in anybody…it all tied in very nicely with the plot, though I was unsatisfied with the ending, and now require book three to see how she handles Dudley Rump, our chief villain in this book-who seems to be a sniveling though wealthy coward determined to get his goals completed, most of which seems to make Abi miserable after she humiliated him when defending herself.

I can’t say too much more within the review, because that would give away the plot. Mags had very little appearance in here as he’s getting older, along with that of his family. I’m still entertained by Mercedes Lackey, so of course I’m definitely still going to be reading her works.

Overall, 4/5 stars for a solid reading experience, and definitely continuing onwards with book three. My thanks to the publisher for sending me an unsolicited copy, and I sincerely look forward to seeing more of Mercedes Lackey’s works.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Arc Review: The Hills Have Spies by Mercedes Lackey

The Hills Have Spies

Title: The Hills Have Spies
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: Book 1 of the Family Spies
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Mass Market Paperback (it doesn’t match my book two hardback!)
Received: publisher
Rated: 5/5 stars
Review Word Count: 500
Notes: The new generation of Herald Mags.

While I’m sad we’re not getting more adventure stories from Mags point of view, Perry is still almost as interesting as that of his father. This series continues to be one of the longest ones that I’ve ever read, as it is well over 40+books and counting. I’ve started reading these books when I was in my teens, and seen many a herald come (and tearfully go) and adore this series with all my heart.

Perry’s story is interesting, though. He mindspeak-not just with Companions, but with any animal, be it magical or otherwise. I thought it a cool ‘gift’ to have, and handy as well when you’re training to become a spy and can use animals to help you escape troubling situations, overhear conversations too far out of reach, or see things beyond areas that you can’t see. Perry is a good lad, strong, capable, and determined to be just like his hero of a father, Herald Mags.

Trouble abounds, and father and son set out to go and take care of it, with lots of little interesting scenes filled along the way. Perry picks up a crow as a familiar, along with a few other animals as friends, and things progress. The story evolves quite nicely, and there’s adventure and danger at every turn.

This felt a little rushed, to be honest, in some places. However, I still enjoyed this story, and there are two more children that Mags has that I’m interested in reading about, a boy and girl each. Amily is also one I’m interested in, being Mags wife from the previous series.

Though not my most favorite of the series (that would be Vanyel), this was still a quick and exciting adventure to page through within a few hours. I’m definitely going to check out the next in the series, and probably continue reading these books as if they were candy. 5/5 stars for a lovely time in Valdemar and highly recommend for those who haven’t read the books yet.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Arc Review: Choices by Mercedes Lackey

Choices Mercedes Lackey

Title: Choices
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: Tales of Valdemar/Anthology
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Page Count: 400
Received: publisher
Rated: 4/5 stars
Type of Book: Paperback
Notes: a collection of short stories, one of them being from Mercedes Lackey herself, tells various tales of various characters in the lands of Valdemar.

This was an interesting anthology. On the one hand, I really liked these new stories, on the other they obviously hadn’t come from Mercedes Lackey, but that’s not a bad thing. With fresh new voices as well as some familiar ones (Janny Wurts was a surprise and a treasure to read here, and the only other author that I recognized), this anthology definitely is one of my favorites.

As previously mentioned, I only recognized one name aside from Mrs. Lackey, and that’s Janny Wurts. I haven’t read anything from the author, though she’s been on my TBR pile for years, I just haven’t found her books easily. My library doesn’t have her books, and they’re outside my budget on Amazon. I may break down and see if Book Outlet carries her works, because I’ve been curious about her writing for years. “Beyond Common Sense, She Persisted” was one of my favorite short stories out of the collection, and if she writes that well all the time, then I have found a new favorite author. If you’re familiar with Janny Wurts, perhaps y’all might help me figure out where to start in regards to reading her massive list of novels.

Another favorite short story I enjoyed was “Of Crows and Karsites” by Kristen Schwengal. This was a completely new to me author, but the story was very enjoyable though I wished it could have been expanded into something more, as most short stories seems to be lately for me. The characters had a strong voice in this one, and I liked the overall feel of it as well.

My third favorite short story? “Women’s Need Calls Me” by Mercedes Lackey herself. Classic Mercedes Lackey, in that it’s got the tone, characters, and abilities down pat. I always love returning to this world, and this was no exception. I’m greatly looking forward to Volume Two of The Hills Have Spies (review for volume one next), and am eager to share with you my thoughts on those books as well.

Overall, I’m rating this a solid 4 out of 5 stars, for wonderful world-building, fabulous new authors to check out, and the latest new favorite short story from an all time favorite author.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Upcoming Books: TBR + Anticipated Reads for 2019/2020

Hello friends.

Instead of a normal TBR, because we all know that’s a laugh these days and I don’t always follow through with planned reading, I decided to try a little something different. I’m going to post my most anticipated reads, and the books that I hope to read for the month as one combined post.

 

All of these are new releases, and I’m greatly looking forward to every one of them. They all sound awesome, but the one I’m most excited for is tied between Sarah J Maas and The Deep by Alma Katsu. What new releases are you all looking forward to? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book