Book Review: Hawksmaid

Hawksmaid

Hello friends,

Hawksmaid by Kathryn Lasky is a retelling of Robin Hood and Maid Marion.

A children’s fiction story of Maid Marion, this was not at all what I was hoping for it to be, in that while it contained action and plot, it also contained Christianity and praying every few chapters. I liked the writing in regards to the Hawks and raising birds in general, and how Matty was a strong girl throughout the story, surviving harsh environments, however I felt the story wasn’t quite meant for me, and that younger audiences would definitely appreciate it more.

I appreciated the writing, and characters, however I doubt that I’ll come back to this book again in the future. Another book that’s been on my TBR shelf for years, I’m pleased at finally getting around to reading it, and getting it off the pile at last.

3 out of 5 stars.

Until next time,

Pass Me That Book

 

New Release Review: All the Wandering Light

All the Wandering Light

Title: All the Wandering Light
Author: Heather Fawcett
Series: Book 2
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Harper Collins
Page Count: 430
Type of Book: Hardback, New Release
Received: Library
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4.5/5 stars
Notes: Another sequel finished. Alas, book three is not out so now I have to wait. *cries*

River. Kazmin. Ragtooth. Azar-at. Lusha. These characters have devoured my soul within 400 pages of complicated story plot, action, adventure, treachery, royalty, and even death. There was so much going on that I lingered through the pages, and took most of a day to read, as opposed to just a few hours. I don’t know why I spent a week putting off this book, and now after having finished reading book two, I do know-I didn’t want this world to end, again, for the second time on such a drastic cliffhanger.

You can’t trust River. But then he goes and does things like saving Kazmin’s life again and again. He even saves Lusha’s life. He helps her with Azar-at. He does things that keep confusing Kazmin to no end, and towards the end of the book even River appears confused by all that he’s been lead to believe. For he isn’t quite what he thought he was.

On that mysterious note, there’s also the added fact of the group chasing down a falling star one that has the power to raise the dead. It’s powers are limitless, but that’s the power that their afraid River will use it for. Whoever has the star can command literal armies of the dead.

There’s also the added fact that Ragtooth, who had been thought dead at the end of book two, is no longer dead in this volume…but he’s also not quite himself. We learn more about him towards the end of the book, yet still mysteries carry.

The writing is so vivid and detailed within this book, that I truly hated finishing it. I know it’ll be months before I get book three, and even then the story will remain firmly etched in my mind (probably not, but it feels like it will, though we all know I’ll likely forget all that happened by the time book three rolls around).

This was my first read for Feburary. As far as first reads go, this was glorious, and I really hope the rest of the month proves to be this entertaining. I completely skipped the first week, and we’re now into the remaining three weeks of the shortest month of the year because I just couldn’t be bothered to read, and I was working on writing my own books as well, so…

Not too many reads for this month, but the one that I started out with? Absolutely perfect.

4.5/5 stars, and I definitely am getting book three as soon as it releases!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Paperback Review: Over Ruled

 

A Over Ruled Book

Title: Over Ruled
Author: Brittney Joy
Series: Book 1
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Author
Page Count: 300
Type of Book: Paperback
Received: From the Author
Review Word Count: 300
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes:

This is a hard book to review. I spent a couple of days thinking the review over while reading other books, and wondering what to say.

The writing for this was strong, and I really loved the characters. I liked Nancy a lot more than I liked Princess Jade, but I understood Princess Jade’s character. I liked the plot, and how evil the queen was in the story. I liked the magic, and the mystery that sent tension soaring.

Two girls. One Kingdom. No way out..

Princess. Royal. Prisoner. Jade is the heir to the throne, but her mother, the Queen, isn’t willing to give up her title— ever. Queen Katrina doesn’t see her daughter as her legacy, but as a threat that has to be stopped. Jade has never left the palace, and is trapped inside its boundaries… but she wonders if the walls are meant to keep her safe, or keep her imprisoned.

Peasant. Pauper. Savior. Nova left the Kingdom of Sterling before she could crawl— now that she’s returned with her father to rescue her orphaned cousin, it’s nothing short of a nightmare. Magic is used to control the people, and the monarchy is a dictatorship. Within the kingdom, Nova is hunted for a power she doesn’t even know she has… yet.

One boy will intertwine their lives— or tear them apart. Chael is the secretive and handsome royal guard that might have the answers to save both girls, but he’s hiding something dark. An ally with questionable motives, both Nova and Jade have no choice but to trust Chael… and to fall for him.

But the lengths the Queen will employ to secure her crown are unforgivable. In the Kingdom of Sterling, the only thing more powerful than betrayal is magic

I didn’t like how the romance went for this book. I liked the characters, and I preferred Nancy over Princess Jade, but I still enjoyed all the delicious plot and twists and turns that kept on coming. I also didn’t like that cliffhanger, either, but it was a good stopping point for the book, and I can see why it ended there.

I definitely am looking forward to book two, where it shows how the characters advance from the pitfalls their in, what kind of ruling might occur, and if they find what they’re looking for. I’m giving this a 5/5 stars for a strong set of characters, and a really delightful bunch of plot twists.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Netgalley Review: The Turnaway Girls

The Turnaway Girls

Title: The Turnaway Girls
Author: Haley Chewins
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Candlewick
Page Count: 300
Type of Book: ARC, Netgalley Read
Review Word Count:
Rated: 3/5 stars
Notes: DNF’d at about 50% of the way through. Sigh.

I couldn’t finish this book. The writing wasn’t bad, and neither were the characters, I just couldn’t keep focused on it. Perhaps its my mentality state and trying to read so many books, one after the other, so that I can finish and write up my many belated reviews, but…I didn’t much like this one. It wasn’t grabbing me, and I didn’t feel any strong connection to it.

I’m sorry to the author, I know menial reviews like this hurt their product, but it just wasn’t for me. I’m going to try again in the future to read it, and finish it, but after weeks of forcing myself to keep flipping pages…

Meh.

3/5 stars for this book.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

ARC Review: A Wizard’s Forge

The Wizard's Forge

Title: A Wizard’s Forge
Author: AM Justice
Series: Book One
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher:
Page Count:
Type of Book: ARC, Kindle Ebook
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4/5 stars!
Notes: Apologies to the author for the long awaited review!

A while back I got on twitter and made a request of this book to the author, and I think it was almost a month (or two?) ago. My computer battery died, I got behind on reviews, though I did manage to read quite a bit because of it. I am heartily sorry for the long awaited review, and I sincerely hope that you like the review that I do now. This book is also going to be featured in my ‘Indie Must Read’ gallery off to the side, because it IS a must-read book!

This book drew me in, in part because of the cover. I know, I’m terrible judging books by covers, but sometimes I can’t seem to help myself. But it also helped that it was a fantasy and you guys know I’m always a sucker for a good fantasy story. My one regret is that I chose the start of yet another series. I have so many of them to read!

This book had it all-strong female characters, lots of action, adventure in spades. There were pirates, high seas, and even magical powers. There were girls being awesome, and plenty of world-building to go around too. I really liked this one for its science meshing in with the magic. The spaceship that landed on the planet, the people reciting logs for years to come even though those logbooks have long since lost meaning…it definitely painted a very vivid picture, and the book reminded me very strongly of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern at times for it.

Overall, the writing was good. The characters were very entertaining, and I definitely had a good time in reading it. I’m hopeful in getting book two soon, because if I don’t get it soon then it will be just one of many series that I’ve started and never finished, and I’m trying to get better about that. So, I’ve added book two to my amazon wishlist, and am eager to get started on it.

I’m giving this a four out of five stars, for an enjoyable time well spent while reading this fun and entertaining book. My sincere thanks to the author for providing me with a copy!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

ARC Book Review: A Scandal in Battersea

A Scandal in Battersea

Title: A Scandal in Battlesea
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: The Elemental Masters, Book 12
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Page Count: 300
Type of Book: ARC, Paperback
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: I haven’t read any of the rest of the elemental master series, but that doesn’t matter, because it’s reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, so of course I had to read it. I *have* however, almost all of Mercedes Lackey’s books sitting on my shelves, so am a tremendous fan of hers. The Elemental Masters series is one my younger sister reads, and this is completely new to me but I plan on reading the others of this series soon.
I found this book to be most intriguing, mainly due to the Sherlock Holmes characters. I definitely enjoyed it, due to the more magical elements, and I liked reading Alexandre’s parts best, though I enjoyed all the characters overall. I did find the ending to be a bit rushed, and I was unsatisfied with how the author handled Alexandre’s last scenes, but aside from that I really liked it. It wasn’t as good as her Bardic Voices series, or perhaps her Joust series, but it was a fine a way to pass the time for a few hours regardless.

I’ve read Mercedes Lackey ever since I was about thirteen, when I first began diving into the fantasy genre after having read Lord of the Rings and the Wheel of Time. This was refreshing, with its promotion of LGBT characters, fascinating world-building schemes, and magical elements, I was hooked by this author for years to come. Granted, I hadn’t read much of her books lately, aside from the new arcs that I have received: The Hills Have Spies, along with another book too that I forget the name of…

But I digress.

This gave several nods to the BBC series of Sherlock, or so I thought. Including the ‘cabbie’, who picked up victims, Mycroft Holmes appearing just at the end of the book, and various other little nods that I rather enjoyed. I found that the author did a good job in paying homage to Sherlock, and loved the scene where he was infuriated about having magic countered against him, thinking it wasn’t fair, and considered it cheating.

My only real complaints were how she’d handled Alexandre’s untimely end, and how the ending itself felt rather rushed, which is why the book is getting 4/5 stars. Otherwise, I’m sure fans of Mercedes Lackey will definitely enjoy this new release of hers.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Book Review: The Tethered Mage

The Tethered Mage

Title: The Tethered Mage
Author: Melissa Caruso
Series: Book One
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher:
Page Count:
Type of Book: ARC, Kindle Ebook, Birthday Buy
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 5/5 stars!!!
Notes: I’ve read this four times already!

Book Two is out, and I have yet to produce a review of this amazing book. Whoops. Let me correct that with a fresh new review of a book that I’ve already read four times. The first two I had to skim, because I didn’t have time to fully devote myself to this book, but now that I’ve read it again and again without skimming, I can fully appreciate the world that the author has given us. It’s unique, beautiful, and awesome. And I’m pleased that book two is released, and I don’t have to wait to go grab myself a copy.

I really enjoyed this book. It took me a while to figure out how to write this review, because I can’t really articulate this into words how much I really liked this book. I loved the main characters. I didn’t love the romance that sprang up, but it fit the story regardless so I let it slide. I did love all the world-building, the magical elements, the slow build up to that intense ending and how things got resolved…it all was very well delivered, and I found myself caring about the characters deeply, not to mention cheering them on as things spun out of control.

Overall, I’m giving this a 5/5 stars. I want to come back to this review, and work in more details too, because it seems like it’s lacking. It’s also been a bit since I’ve read the book proper, but I’m planning on yet another re-read, and immediately going to the review after doing so.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Paperback ARC Review: Malice of the Dark Witch

SDC12731

Title: Malice of the Dark Witch
Author: R.D. Crist
Genre: YA Fiction
Series: Book 1
Page Count: 310
Publisher: ShoRic Publishing
Type of Book: Arc, Paperback
Rated: 5/5 stars
Review Word Count: 700
Notes: A perfect read to the start of the Fall Season, filled with witchery and magic!

I greatly enjoyed this book, to the point I lingered over it for four days, trying to stretch it out as much as possible. The writing was good, though there were a few typos here and there (as this was a proof copy, I’m sure that these will be corrected). I would also like to thank the publisher for sending me one of the last two copies that were available. I feel quite honored and lucky in being sent such a fabulous book!

I selected October to be filled primarily with witchy reads. Titles with the word ‘witch’ in it will be my main goal, but of course I will read all my other ARCs as well, for they are more pressing in such. As I read nearly 40 books last month, I’m planning to aim October for 50 books. I’ve already written out a list of all the books that I desire to read for the month of October, including finishing all the ARCs that I have on Netgalley, three books of which were just published and so quickly need to be reviewed!

I digress. I should be writing a review about this book, my apologies. First though, the warnings:

Warnings: loss of a mother, death of main and minor characters, bullying, lies and trickery, witchcraft, strong female characters, and tragic orphan back-stories.

This book told the story of Natalie and how she lost her mother. It starts off with her coming to terms with loosing her only living relative, and avoiding a dangerous man named Saul, with the help of her Aunt Ava. There are horses in this book (which was a nice surprise, I *love* books with horses), there’s plenty of magic, adventure, intrigue, and suspense. Natalie barely survives with the help of her Aunt Ava, as well as the school of orphans she is sent to. There’s so much more to the story, but I really don’t know how to put into words the kind of review that generally comes easily. This story was so well done, and I really empathized with Natalie, Emma, and all the other girls. At first I hated the school bully Melissa, but then she kind of grew into a bad-ass and I really loved her character! Mrs. Hag was also an awesome character, and made me think strongly of McGonagall, in some ways.

This is a story that I will be thinking of in days to come, because there were lots of quotes that I deeply felt true and beautiful, such as this one:

“Natalie felt herself run and breathe with Galla. She could feel Galla’s thoughts and communicate with her without speaking aloud. Even their hearts beat together. Natalie felt the freedom of true existence-the wonder of being a horse. Running this way was greater than any euphoria she had ever felt. They ran, sprang, and flowed with each other in synch-like a body and limb, entirely complimentary. Natalie lifted her head to feel the wind in her face. This was freedom, this was contentment.”

There’s a great deal of school and learning in this book about what it means to be a witch. There’s friendship between girls, there’s battles against evil. There’s even discussions about power, and magic. I liked the many different lessons that were scattered throughout this book, about what it means to control such power and how to use it properly, as well as the amount of time it takes to build up a spell.

This was definitely one of my top favorite books of the month of September, finished just a day before October starts. I cannot highly recommend this book enough for young readers, even for adults as there is so much within this book to read and learn and love. If you enjoy witches and schools for girls as well as orphans, then I think you will definitely love to read this particularly fine novel worthy of a 5 stars rating.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Hardback Review: The Midnight Dance

 

The Midnight Dance

Title: The Midnight Dance
Author: Nikki Katz
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA
Page Count: 310
Publisher: Macmillian
Type of Book: Hardback, Library Loan
Review Word Count: 300
Rated: 4/5
Notes: Look at the beautiful cover!

Another beautiful cover that I adore, this book contained some of my favorite things to read: brainwashing, beautiful girls, ballet…it really reminded me very strongly of Natasha Romanov as she was trained for being an assassin, though there wasn’t any kind of assassins in this book, it still read just fine.

This book wasn’t as dark as I thought it would be. While it was still a lovely read, full of girls struggling to dance and be perfect under the guise of the ‘Master’, it went in a completely different direction than what I’d pictured, which lowered the rating a bit. I may write my own kind of ‘brainwashing tale’ for myself, because this was a bit of a let-down towards the end. While everything was settled happily, and the ending was resolved in a satisfactory rate, I just wasn’t as wowed as I had hoped to be.

Aside from the ending, I loved all the characters: Madam, Crickett, even unhappy Bianca who I wanted to throttle at times because of how hateful she could be. The girls were all unique and interesting in their own way, especially Sara-I would have loved to have learned more of her backstory about the wolves.

The cover, while beautiful, did match up with the story, but due to the ending of the story, I’m giving this 4/5 stars.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: Fawkes

 

Fawkes

I was not yet ready to turn to stone. 

Title: Fawkes
Author: Nadine Brandes
Series:
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Page Count: 500
Publishing: Thomas Nelson
Type of Book: ARC, Netgalley Read, Kindle Ebook
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: THE HYPE IS DESERVED!

Fawkes starts off with a bang, instantly capturing my attention and having me read a 500 page book in less than a day!

FawkesReviewImage{Look, I did art! For a review!}

Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

-As Described on Goodreads

Then I read the first sentence: I was not ready to turn to stone, and I was HOOKED. From the very first sentence, this book was a true treasure to read. Thomas Fawkes was an easily identifiable character, the book was filled with twists and turns that I did not see coming, the world-building was unique and well written. I adore this book, and am putting it on my ‘to-buy-immediately’ list, because it’s well worth sitting on my shelves for when I want a re-read.

This book ripped my emotions apart several times. There’s a violent plague going on in this book, and the main character is affected, but with only one eye so that he wears an eyepatch most of the time. He hopes to get a mask from his father after passing a test in order to make it so that people don’t see his affliction and so that he can have the power to help change things. When his father doesn’t show up as he’s promised to do, Thomas Fawkes takes matters into his own hands and goes out to find him.

This book was a delicious read, from beginning to end, and I can’t give you enough reasons why you should read it, only that it needs to be added to your TBR post-haste! It’s got thieves and spies and London and plagues and magic and….what more could you want?

Giving this book a very well deserved 5/5 stars for it’s beautiful voice and unique world-building skills!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book