New Release Review: Nettle and Bone

Hello Everyone,

Such a gorgeous cover! 🥰

Book Title: Nettle and Bone

Author: T Kingfisher

Series: Standalone (I think)

Genre: Adult Fiction, Fantasy

Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates

Page Count: 300

Trigger warnings: starvation, murder, rotten teeth scene, gore, death of dogs, demonically possessed chickens, dark magic, child abuse, off screen rape, abusive husband, light language (?)

Goodreads Summary:

After years of seeing her sisters suffer at the hands of an abusive prince, Marra—the shy, convent-raised, third-born daughter—has finally realized that no one is coming to their rescue. No one, except for Marra herself.

Seeking help from a powerful gravewitch, Marra is offered the tools to kill a prince—if she can complete three impossible tasks. But, as is the way in tales of princes, witches, and daughters, the impossible is only the beginning.

On her quest, Marra is joined by the gravewitch, a reluctant fairy godmother, a strapping former knight, and a chicken possessed by a demon. Together, the five of them intend to be the hand that closes around the throat of the prince and frees Marra’s family and their kingdom from its tyrannous ruler at last.

My Thoughts:

I flew through this book in one sitting! It was sooo good! I really hope that this spins into a series though it doesn’t need to. It’s fun, fast, and just the right sort of dark that I love in fantasy stories. This is my first T Kingfisher and it won’t be my last!

My Review:

Marra is a fascinating character. I think she’s one of the first covenant raised children in a book that I actually liked. She wasn’t overbearingly religious and there was barely a hint of religion in here. I liked her attitude and her humor. She was easily identifiable with.

The story begins with her sisters. Damia is married off to a king, and she winds up dead. It’s suspected murder but nothing can be proven. Her other sister, Kania, goes to marry the same thing while Marra hides in a covenant. The family is pulled apart and Marra realizes that no one is going to rescue them. She has to do the rescuing and to do that she may need to kill a king.

She makes a few friends here and there. A witch that has a demonically possessed chicken. A forty year old sell sword. A bonedog whose name is Bonedog.

The quest is good, and fun for the reader, but for the characters they encounter all sorts of trouble along the way. And at the end there’s a brief feeling of loss and grief though we leave off with a happy ending.

I adore books like these. I love the dark atmospheric setting, the slow build up and the characters were all handled perfectly. I’m happy to rate this 5 stars. If I could, I’d give it ten stars in that I had such a good time! If you’re looking for a pick me up, I definitely recommend this one!

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: The Far Pavilions

Hello Everyone,

Not the best cover but not the worst!

Book Title: The Far Pavilions

Author: MM Kaye

Series: Book One of Two

Genre: Adult Fiction, Historical, Adventure, Romance

Publisher: St. Martins Press

Page Count: 1000

Goodreads Summary:

A magnificent romantic/historical/adventure novel set in India at the time of mutiny. The Far Pavilions is a story of 19th Century India, when the thin patina of English rule held down dangerously turbulent undercurrents. It is a story about and English man – Ashton Pelham-Martyn – brought up as a Hindu and his passionate, but dangerous love for an Indian princess. It’s a story of divided loyalties, of tender camaraderie, of greedy imperialism and of the clash between east and west. To the burning plains and snow-capped mountains of this great, humming continent, M.M. Kaye brings her quite exceptional gift of immediacy and meticulous historical accuracy, plus her insight into the human heart.

My Thoughts:

This book took me a solid week to read! Long winded, lots going on, a bit sexist here and there but those were the times, and I felt as though I would never finish reading this book. I learned there’s a part two. I’m not sure I’m going to read that, lol.

My Review:

This book was a struggle for me right from the start. While I was liking the adventure and the characters, it felt as though it went on and on and on. A 1000 pages of epic adventure, romance, and historical fiction at its best. While people adored Gone With The Wind this was the epic I wanted! The writing was lush, beautiful, and detailed.

I know a lot of newer book reviewers might not be enthusiastic about reading this 1000+ page time, but I’m insisting that it’s worth it! The ending is bittersweet, and the characters and setting will sweep you away. From India to England there’s something new to devour from each page.

The story starts with a premature baby being born in winter and the mother dying due to her not used to the fiercely cold winds. The story expands. It touches to n war. Cholera takes the baby-main character-father and uncle’s lives. More are lost. Travels are had.

This book does have it’s horribly sexist moments. While it’s a relic of the time it’s set in, there are certain things that are hugely sexist in the book. There’s dry spells here and there when it feels like nothing happened. And the ending was a slow burn that felt bittersweet; exactly as those on Google and Goodreads both have stated.

I feel as though this, while a hefty tome, is well worth the effort in reading. Especially if you’re a fan of Gone With The Wind and Outlander. This is equally as huge and well written as the pair.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

New Release Review: You’ve Lost a Lot of Blood

Hello Everyone,

Book Title: You’ve Lost a Lot of Blood

Author: Eric Larocca

Series: Standalone

Genre: Adult Fiction, Horror

Publisher: Author

Page Count: 300

Trigger warnings: violence, torture, abandonment, cancer, child death, parent death, other(?)

Please note: The only horror authors I’m familiar with are Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Paul Tremblay. Horror is a new genre to me and I’m already finding that I like being scared but I don’t like gore for the sake of gore. I’m attempting to list triggers as I can. If I missed something vital please let me know in the comments!

Goodreads Summary:

A disturbing new vision of terror from the author of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke.

“Each precious thing I show you in this book is a holy relic from the night we both perished-the night when I combed you from my hair and watered the moon with your blood.

You’ve lost a lot of blood . . .”

My Thoughts:

I honestly don’t know what to think about what I just read!

My Review:

I first encountered Eric Larocca about a year ago when I read Things Have Gotten Worse Since Last We Spoke and thought that the title and cover art was absolutely hysterical (if morbid) and picked up the slim volume not realizing what I was reading. I read it in a single sitting and I’m still thinking about that brilliant, disturbing book to this day. I never read anything like that before. Even King didn’t make me shiver like that.

What’s this about? Well I don’t want to give anything away. I went into this blind but I will say that this was another book that creeped me out! It’s short but packs a punch straight to the gut! I’m devouring everything by the author that I can get my hands on. Highly recommend!

My Rating:

⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: The Circus Infinite

Hello Everyone,

Another book I picked because of the cover. I have no shame. 😆

Book Title: The Circus Infinite

Author: Khan Wong

Series: Standalone (?)

Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure

Publisher: Angry Robot

Page Count: 400

Trigger warnings: scenes of violence, drug use, torture

Goodreads Summary:

Hunted by those who want to study his gravity powers, Jes makes his way to the best place for a mixed-species fugitive to blend in: the pleasure moon. Here, everyone just wants to be lost in the party. It doesn’t take long for him to catch the attention of the crime boss who owns the resort-casino where he lands a circus job. When the boss gets wind of the bounty on Jes’ head, he makes an offer: do anything and everything asked of him, or face vivisection.

With no other options, Jes fulfills the requests: espionage, torture, demolition. But when the boss sets the circus up to take the fall for his about-to-get-busted narcotics operation, Jes and his friends decide to bring the mobster down together. And if Jes can also avoid going back to being the prize subject of a scientist who can’t wait to dissect him? Even better.

My Thoughts:

I tried reading this three times. I managed to finish it. I’ve got mixed feelings about this book.

My Review:

Wow. This book is heavy. I had a hard time reading this. It took three tries like I said above. I have no clue how to write this review. On the one hand, awesome ideas. An ace main character that controls gravity and reads people’s minds? So cool!

But there’s also the negatives. This book is dark. And heavy. Please pay attention to triggers when diving into this book!

Let’s start with the world building. This was so cool. Loads of interesting things were in this book. The circus was only a part of it. The planets, the people, and the characters were all fascinating! The whole idea of the book was supremely intriguing and I so wanted to like it.

But there were scenes in this that just felt like it was trying to hard, and seriously stretching believability. I’m aware this is science fiction/fantasy, yet I struggled to connect with a lot of the characters. I didn’t really get the plot, and I just have no clue how to review this book.

Maybe I might need to read the again but I’m giving this a 2.5 stars rounded up to a generous three. It had great elements! It had a lot of promising features! But it just wasn’t to my taste.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: Dance of Twilight and Tears

Hello Everyone,

I’ll admit it. I was sold by this cover and learning that this was a Swan Lake retelling!

Book Title: Dance of Twilight and Tears

Author: Zara Mills

Series: I *think* it’s a Standalone? But I’ve been wrong before lol

Genre: YA

Publisher: FinnStar Publishing

Page Count: n/a

Goodreads Summary:

Algae and toe shoes, feathers and tutus

Behind the gilded doors of the Paris Opéra Ballet, two best friends, Madeleine and Lucie, dance the night away. But at first morning light, their human bodies transform into webbed feet, billed lips, and wings.

When enchanted, the girls are the Bois de Boulogne’s famous black and white swans. For ninety years, they have floated in the lake, unable to find true love and break the evil Dance Master’s curse. But when Madeleine meets American transplant Zig Young, everything changes.

Suddenly, Madeleine wins a coveted solo spot in an upcoming ballet, and her growing relationship with Zig means she’s on the verge of breaking the enchantment. However, doing so means leaving the Bois, the ballet, and Lucie forever—something she’s not sure she can bear.

Desperate to not lose her best friend, Lucie will do anything to keep Madeleine with her—including betrayal. She’ll stop at nothing—even if it means breaking Madeleine’s heart and dooming her to life as a swan forever; even if she ruins her own chance at happiness.

In this retelling of Swan Lake, the lines of good and bad blur as Madeleine and Lucie struggle to choose between the life they want and their friendship.

My Thoughts:

Okay, admittedly I don’t know much about Swan Lake. So I have no idea if this is a good retelling or not lol. You guys will have to tell me if it is or not!

My Review:

This was a fascinating book, in that I love books about dancing and mysterious elements, and yet I feel as though maybe I just wasn’t the right age for this book. It was weird. Good weird but weird. I loved the opening chapters, the dark atmospheric setting and the curse upon the girls that turn into swans. I don’t feel as though that’s spoilers, so apologies if it is. It’s literally right in the opening couple of chapters.

I haven’t read much dancing books. I think that the first book that had dance in it was Twilight lol. Remember Bella with the ballet studio in book one? For those that know, you know exactly what I am talking about. I think that was my first exposure to dance in fiction. I’ve since read a decent amount of books that will have dancing mentioned. I’ve watched both first films of Step Up (I think that was the title!) And I adore ballet but after watching a documentary about the hospital bills and how painful ballet really is? No thanks, definitely not for me!

That said, I am not an expert on dancing. I don’t dance, my balance is crap. So reading books about it is the best way to go. This was a good book. Descriptive but not over the top. Fun, but not a challenging read. But it is YA so maybe I shouldn’t have thought otherwise oopsie.

What’s this story about? It’s about a curse. It’s about romance. About dancing, and healing and figuring out what one wants. It’s a fast paced read; I easily managed to finish this in a few hours. I’m trying to be vague about this as I don’t want to spoil anyone! And as I don’t know much about Swan Lake, all I can say is that this was quite good and definitely worth reading! If you like curses, dancing, and darkly atmospheric books, then do check this one out!

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice

Hello Everyone,

Book Title: A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice

Author: Rebecca Connolly

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing

Page Count: 320

Date Published: April 5th, 2022

Goodreads Summary:

Based on the remarkable true story of the Carpathia—the one ship and her legendary captain who answered the distress call of the sinking Titanic.

Shortly after midnight on April 15, 1912, the captain of the Carpathia, Arthur Rostron, wakes to a distress signal from the Titanic, which has struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage. Though information is scarce, Rostron leaps into action, determined to answer the call for help. But the Carpathia is more than four hours away, and there are more questions than answers: Will his ship hold together if pushed to never-before-tested speeds? What if he also strikes an iceberg? And with the freezing temperatures, will there be any survivors by the time the Carpathia arrives?

Kate Connolly is a third-class passenger on Titanic, and she is among the last to receive instruction and help after it hits an iceberg. Despite the chaos of abandoning ship, Kate is able to board a lifeboat, though after seeing the Titanic sink into the abyss and hearing the cries from hundreds of people still in the water, she wonders if any rescue is even possible.

Told in alternating chapters from both Captain Rostron and Kate Connolly.

My Thoughts:

This was quite good, but with heavy religious overtones that rather began to annoy. The first half of the book I was hooked, but by the time the characters are rescued and being taken to New York, there’s a lot of prayer and singing.

My Review:

Everyone knows the story of the Titanic, and those who don’t ought to learn one of the most important events in history. The Titanic taught us that all ships can be sinkable. (And to always double our lifeboats just in case.) That we can plan for every structure to be huge and impossible but the slightest item can damage it in the blink of an eye. The story of the Titanic is one of my favorites in history. I can’t put my finger on why, exactly. Maybe it’s because of the heroism of those reaching the poor people that barely survived the sinking of the Titanic. Maybe it’s because I adore ocean stories and survival stories. Maybe because it was such big news back in the day that it still haunts us all even now. Whatever the case, I read every Titanic book I can get my hands on, along with other sunken ships.

This story is historically accurate in terms of events, down to the timing being listed on every chapter. I appreciated the story for it’s accuracy and I did like the characters that I read. I flipped through the book rapidly and had to sit and think about how this review was going to go. Because while the first half was absolutely brilliant, the second half was nothing but paragraph after paragraph of prayer, hymns, and “thank god we’re alive!”. Of which, yes I’m aware that they likely did all that. But I was hoping for more backstory about the ship that rescued the survivors of the Titanic, not half a book of prayer.

The first half of the book was amazing; strong characters, I felt as though I was right there with them, vivid details, lots of rushing about to safety. The author did a fabulous job in recreating history, she’s a great writer. I was seeing a five star book on the horizon.

Then the characters were rescued by the Captain of the Carpathia. They were pulled up to safety, to warmth, to life again. And that’s where the story swapped from harrowing historical events to prayer. Praying almost every page. Hymns being sung. I flipped through the rest, and that was it. Nothing else but grateful for being alive.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that back then religion was rampant. As it is today. However I was really hoping for more information about the Carpathia. So I’m rating this four stars-reluctantly. After all. I did enjoy it. It just wasn’t what I thought it would be.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: Riverbend Gap

Hello Everyone,

Such a pretty cover!

Title: Riverbend Gap

Author: Denise Hunter

Series: Book 1

Genre: Christian fiction, Romance

Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.

Page Count: 400

Goodreads Summary:

She came in search of the family she’d always wanted—and found the kind of love she’d never dared to imagine.

When Katelyn Loveland’s car veered off a winding Appalachian Mountain road, she thought she was done for. That is until Cooper Robinson, local sheriff’s deputy, came to her rescue. And though Katie narrowly escaped her brush with death, she still fell. Hard.

She wasn’t the only one. But soon Cooper learns that the woman he’s more attracted to than any he’s ever met is his brother’s new girlfriend—and therefore unquestionably off limits. Yet, despite his best efforts, Cooper and Katie can’t seem to avoid running into each other. Or ignore the undeniable chemistry between them.

As they grow closer, Katie shares the secrets of her past and the real reason she moved to their small North Carolina town. She also wins over Cooper’s welcoming and bighearted family. But they don’t know that her feelings for Cooper keep growing—all while she’s dating his brother. Soon the stakes of their emotional connection become higher than either of them could have imagined. Katie stands to lose the first family she’s ever had, and a scandal could doom Cooper’s campaign for sheriff’s office. Suddenly they find themselves on the edge of another precipice—and they’re forced to make a decision that could change their lives forever.

My Thoughts:

I wanted to like this, but I just am not a fan of christian fiction. The romance and all was fine but going into this book blind was not a good idea for me.

My Review:

I’ll be the first to say, I am not a Christian fiction reader. I’m not religious in the slightest. I picked this up because I wanted a good romance for Valentine’s day, and this had a good romance but the religious bits just weren’t for me. I also picked this up for the Appalachian mountains, as I love books that feature any sort of mountain terrain for romance novels. The writing was quite good, and I did like the characters, but it felt a bit… lacking in what I was wanting for a romance which is a “me thing” and no fault of the authors whatsoever. But I did enjoy this book, despite that it wasn’t what I thought. Fun, fast paced read, and I may or may not pick up the sequel.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: The Border Keeper

Hello Everyone,

Title: The Border Keeper

Author: Kerstin Hall

Series: Book 1

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Tor dot com

Page Count: 300

Goodreads Summary:

She lived where the railway tracks met the saltpan, on the Ahri side of the shadowline. In the old days, when people still talked about her, she was known as the end-of-the-line woman.

Vasethe, a man with a troubled past, comes to seek a favor from a woman who is not what she seems, and must enter the nine hundred and ninety-nine realms of Mkalis, the world of spirits, where gods and demons wage endless war.

The Border Keeper spins wonders both epic—the Byzantine bureaucracy of hundreds of demon realms, impossible oceans, hidden fortresses—and devastatingly personal—a spear flung straight, the profound terror and power of motherhood. What Vasethe discovers in Mkalis threatens to bring his own secrets into light and throw both worlds into chaos.

My Thoughts:

Beautifully told, excellent execution. This is a strange, yet lyrical story of demons, gods, and more. Despite that this was less than 300 pages (240 exactly) it still packed a punch. Each chapter was new and interesting. I’m going to ponder this for ages.

Notes:

While I can write the characters names please don’t ask me to pronounce them. I honestly have no clue. I don’t do audiobooks though I may try to figure out how to say Vasethe.

My Review:

Vasethe goes to the Border Keeper for help. Eris, the name that he chooses to call the Border Keeper-for she has many names-is unimpressed with him. This whole book revolves around the pair of them, as Vasethe catches Eris up on current history, culture, people and more. Together the pair work together.

I can’t tell you more about the plot without giving away spoilers. There’s a quest involved, sort of, and more questions than there are answers. There’s a curse, and limited time in searching for that they hunt. There’s betrayals and confusion and lots of near death experiences. Magical and enchanting, I recommend this for fans that like unusual settings and great characters.

My Rating:

⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Library Book Review: Warrior of the Wild

Hello Everyone,

Title: Warrior of the Wild

Author: Tricia Levenseller

Series: Standalone

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends 

Trigger Warnings: mentions of rape, bullying, favoritism, violence and monster gore

Book Summary:

How do you kill a god?

As her father’s chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: To win back her honor, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year—or die trying.

My Thoughts:

This surprised me by how good it was! I went into this completely blind and unaware of much of the plot. Sure, some of it was predictable but it was still enjoyable due to the banter, romance and it’s a standalone so I flew right through it. I liked there was a gay main character in it. I liked they all had happy endings. I was fast paced, with great characters and a believable plot. While I didn’t agree with how certain people got their ending, it was still well handled. The writing was strong and the book itself was fun.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Ebook Review: The Traitor Baru Cormorant

Hello Everyone,

Such a gorgeous cover!

Book Title: The Traitor Baru Cormorant

Book Author: Seth Dickinson

Series: Book One of Four

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Macmillan

Page Count: 400

Goodreads Summary:

Tomorrow, on the beach, Baru Cormorant will look up from the sand of her home and see red sails on the horizon.

The Empire of Masks is coming, armed with coin and ink, doctrine and compass, soap and lies. They’ll conquer Baru’s island, rewrite her culture, criminalize her customs, and dispose of one of her fathers. But Baru is patient. She’ll swallow her hate, prove her talent, and join the Masquerade. She will learn the secrets of empire. She’ll be exactly what they need. And she’ll claw her way high enough up the rungs of power to set her people free.

In a final test of her loyalty, the Masquerade will send Baru to bring order to distant Aurdwynn, a snakepit of rebels, informants, and seditious dukes. Aurdwynn kills everyone who tries to rule it. To survive, Baru will need to untangle this land’s intricate web of treachery – and conceal her attraction to the dangerously fascinating Duchess Tain Hu.

But Baru is a savant in games of power, as ruthless in her tactics as she is fixated on her goals. In the calculus of her schemes, all ledgers must be balanced, and the price of liberation paid in full.

Trigger Warnings: Content and trigger warnings for homophobia (always in a negative light, but still very abundant throughout the story), racism, colonialism, sexism, misogynistic comments, talk of genital mutilation. (According to Google)

My Thoughts:

I was completely enthralled with the first fifty two percent of the book! While the plot wasn’t original (at least to me) the writing was beautiful and Baru was a strong, likable character.

The writing drew me in, though it certainly contained a lot of tough subject matter so please do pay attention to the trigger warnings listed.

Though I enjoyed the first half of the book, it started slipping as Baru is an accountant and… numbers just aren’t my thing, okay? It was hard until I just dnf’d at 60% of the way through. Who knows? I may go back to it but for now I’m just going to keep mulling about how much I liked the first half of the book that I’m still thinking of it a week and a half later.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

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