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

March 2022 TBR: Can I Read 50 Books In A Month?

Hello Everyone,

So I’ve got a big goal for March. I’m already behind on my Goodreads tbr goal. Not badly, maybe 15 books behind schedule. But this month? I’m issuing a challenge to myself to read 50 books. What books might those be? Well, the last tbr is still on my “must reads” but I have other new ones added. Sit back, relax, and prepare for scrolling through my stack of books!

Such an ambitious pile, as always but I think that this is my biggest yet! (I could be wrong lol.) I’m definitely looking forward to The Poppy War, Vita Nostra, Light From Uncommon Stars, and Brandon Sanderson Way of Kings. Many of these look so good! Tell me which ones you think I should prioritize because I could definitely use the help! 😆

I hope everyone else has a great month in March. Stay safe out there everyone!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Discussion (Part Two): Series/Authors Backlist Titles To Focus On for 2022 (A Hefty List Continued!)

Hello Everyone,

As I’m writing this, the year is wrapping rapidly to a close and I’m still reading quite a bit. I plan to get a lot more serious in reading and reviewing next year as this past year I had a bit of a hiatus. Now it’s time to focus on my blog once again, and that means making priorities of book series to complete/finish for the next year. Here’s more authors and series I’m determined to get to!

Obviously I have quite a bit of books. 55 exactly on this list. I don’t have all of them listed that are on my wishlist that would take up far, far too much space. I’m not going to type up the list but if you want titles feel free to ask and I shall send you the titles in the comments. What’s on your tbr for next year? Anything good?

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: Winterwood

Summary From Goodreads:

Be careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.

From New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance perfect for fans of Practical Magic,where dark fairy tales and enchanted folklore collide after a boy, believed to be missing, emerges from the magical woods—and falls in love with the witch determined to unravel his secrets.

My Review:

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw is a fantasy novel that’s beautiful, lyrical, atmospheric, and mysterious. It involves a witch, a dead boy, and a missing boy found. It blends magical realism with witchcraft, history with enchanting tales of witches throughout the Walker family, that live near the Wicker Woods. It tells about Oliver-the missing boy found in those woods, and Nora Walker-the witch who found him. It has a hint of romance, that’s barely there within the pages. It was perfect for the winter season in terms of when this book should be read.

It’s lyrical prose was enchanting throughout the whole book. It reminded me of why I adore witches in small towns, of haunted forests, of magical spells and enchantments. I was reminded quite strongly of Alice in Wonderland, before she went off to her adventures, eager to see what lay beyond the fantastical. There’s an all boy’s school, there’s a mystery to the story, of what happened to the lost boy, as well as the dead boy. The writing was beautiful, and perfectly captured the atmosphere of the small town setting, back when things were mysterious and wild.

Its easily one of my new favorites of the year (though we’re early in the year, I know, lol) and I’m hopeful to snag The Wicked Deep by the author soon as well since I missed out on that one as well. I’m going to go ahead and rank this one five out of five stars. I really loved this book and hope to buy a copy to add to my collection because the binding of it is beautiful as well.

Final Rating: 5/5 stars!

Top 25 Books on my 2021 Most anticipated reads

It seems as though all the bloggers are making top ten lists, top twenty, so on and so forth. I thought I would do a slightly bigger number. Top twenty five books on my tbr pile that I’d like to get to. I chose random books from fantasy to romance to historical fiction. The choices were hard to pick, but I narrowed it down at last.

#1:

To survive the Holocaust, a young Jewish woman must pose as a Christian farmer’s wife in this unforgettable novel from USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Robson—a story of terror, hope, love, and sacrifice, inspired by true events, that vividly evokes the most perilous days of World War II.

#2

In The Need, Helen Phillips has created a subversive, speculative thriller that comes to life through blazing, arresting prose and gorgeous, haunting imagery. Anointed as one of the most exciting fiction writers working today, The Need is a glorious celebration of the bizarre and beautiful nature of our everyday lives.

#3:

Inspired by the true story of a daring deception that plunges a courageous young woman deep into the horrors of a Nazi POW camp to be with the man she loves.

#4:

An electrifying, page-turning debut about a young woman haunted by her tragic past, who returns to her hometown and discovers that there might be more to her police detective mother’s death—and last case—than she ever could have imagined.

#5:

A traveling librarian ventures into the mining towns of Kentucky on horseback and rediscovers her passions in this powerful novel from the best-selling author of A Silken Thread.

#6:

Combining the emotional power and dual narrative style of ‘Before We Were Yours’ with the nuanced, layered, and atmospheric mystery of ‘The Dry’, a powerful debut novel revolving around a shocking disappearance, two neighbor families, and shameful secrets from the past that refuse to stay buried.

#7:

Happily ever after is only the beginning as Belle takes on the responsibility of becoming queen and learns to balance duty, love, and sacrifice, all while navigating dark political intrigue—and a touch of magic.

#8:

A propulsive, richly entertaining novel about two adventure-seeking brothers, the enemies who threaten them, and the women who reveal to them an unjust world on the brink of upheaval.

#9:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone comes an epic novel of love and heroism and hope, set against the backdrop of one of America’s most defining eras—the Great Depression.

#10:

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

#11:

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men. Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue, and adventure.

#12:

An unforgettable tale of what we owe to those we love, and those we have left behind

#13:

A queer retelling of “Snow White and Rose Red” in which teenage twins battle evil religious extremists to save their loves and their circus family.

#14:

A space princess on the run and a notorious outlaw soldier become unlikely allies in this imaginative, sexy space opera adventure—the first in an exciting science fiction trilogy.

#15:

Superbly tense and oozing with atmosphere, Anna Downs’s debut is the perfect summer suspense, with the modern gothic feel of Ruth Ware and the morally complex family dynamics of Lisa Jewell.

#16:

Bestselling author Nancy E. Turner returns to the world of Sarah Agnes Prine through the wide-eyes of her irrepressible young niece, Mary Pearl.

#17

It’s late summer, war is raging, and families are torn apart by divided loyalties and deadly secrets. In this complex and dangerous time, a young French Canadian lieutenant is captured and billeted with a Long Island family, an unwilling and unwelcome guest.

#18:

When fragmented images and unfocused panic force Noelle St. Claire to flee her wealthy, sheltered life in New York, she gains sanctuary on a ranch in the Rocky Mountains.There Noelle finds solace in the breathtaking scenery she paints. But as the attentions of two brothers, Rick and Morgan Spencer, breach the wall she hides behind, the past she yearns to escape becomes a menacing threat from which she can no longer hide. Award-winning and bestselling author Kristen Heitzmann has skillfully created a story resonating with emotion and depicting a poignant spiritual journey.

#19:

A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’s HamletThe Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten.

20:

All the Light We Cannot See meets The Nightingale in this literary WWI-era novel and epic love story of a brilliant young doctor who races against Einstein to solve one of the universe’s great mysteries.

#21:

Li has a father and a sister who love her. A best friend, Mirabae, to share things with. She goes to school and hangs out at the beach and carefully follows the rules. She has to. Everyone she knows–her family, her teachers, her friends–is an alien. And she is the only human left on Earth.

#22

From a beloved, award-winning writer, the much-anticipated novel about what happens when two families go on a tropical vacation and the children go missing.

#23

An instant New York Times Bestseller, this is a stunning debut set in a world where reading is unheard-of. Perfect for fans of Inkheart and Shadow and Bone

#24

Set in a magical world of terror and wonder, this novel is a deeply felt epic of courage and war, in which the fates of these characters intertwine—and where ordinary people become heroes, and their lives become legend.

#25:

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes tells the incredible true life story of Mrs. Grace Humiston, the New York lawyer and detective who solved the famous cold case of Ruth Cruger, an 18-year-old girl who disappeared in 1917. 

And those are my top 25 books I’m anticipating in 2021. I should note, all of these are backlist titles, except Kristin Hannah’s, and maybe a couple other historical fictions that I couldn’t resist adding onto the pile. This list was also in no particular order, as I’m determined in getting all these read, as my library has ebook copies, as well as physical copies, of all of these apart from the new releases. I hope some of these caught your attention. I also hope that y’all can send me more recommendations in the comments for backlist titles!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book.

Netgalley Review + Novella: Chili Cauldron Curse

ChiliNovella

Hello friends,

Chili Cauldron Curse by Lynn Cahoon is a delightful novella of witchiness, cozy murder mystery, and cooking all wrapped up in one. I don’t believe that I’ve read anything by this author before, but a short mystery from Kensington Publishers sounded like just the thing to read.

The story takes place with a chili cook off. Mia, our main character, runs the event in terms of cleaning up a food bank for her grandmother, whose a practicing Wiccan. Magic runs in the family, however Mia’s not near as powerful as her grams, though she tries. When she volunteers to assist in running the food bank to help feed the poor, with the chili cook off upcoming as an event, she doesn’t bargain on finding a dead body right before the event’s set to take place…the body belonging to Dorian Alexander, who happens to be her grandmother’s boyfriend.

Threats abound, magic occurs, and cats get inhabited by ghosts in this delightful cozy mystery. This was a fun paranormal mystery, with a spark of potential romance sideplot that was interesting to me as well. With a recipe in back for chili that I’m intrigued in trying one day during the winter holidays, I highly recommend this novella for those in the mood for a fun, light hearted read. I’m pleased to give this five stars, and I’m definitely going to keep reading more from this author in the future.

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

Book Review: Unpopular Opinion

WHTF_JKT_2p.indd

Title: We Hunt the Flame
Author: Hafsah Faizal
Series: Book One
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Page Count: 500
Status: DNF’d at 35/40%
Type of Book: Hardback, New Release
Received: Library
Rated: 2.5 stars rounded up to 3/5 stars
Notes: Unpopular Opinion-this book was not meant for one such as me.

I really had high hopes for this novel. Everything from the description to the gorgeous cover sounded like my type of read. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book, and I was really eager to finally dive into another 500+page epic fantasy series. Alas, that turned out not to be the case.

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

I liked Nasir but his character didn’t really *grab* me. Same with Zafira, however cool her name was, she was a bit baffling to me and I just couldn’t muster enthuasism for her character. Naasir’s story was a bit more promising…but it just fell flat, for both of them. I made it about 150 pages in, before giving up entirely.

Another issue was language. The book really should have a glossary, terminology, and character chart list at the start of the book. There’s supposedly one on the author’s website, but that doesn’t do me much good since I do not have internet at home to look it up, and rely on my phone more often than not for service. Therefore, nothing of that sort for me.

Then there was the Chapter: Boy’s POV and Chapter: Girl’s POV back and forth switch that I hate reading. I like sticking with just the one character, though there have been exceptions-such as The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, but those exceptions are few and far between. It just was frustrating-as soon as I started getting interested in that character, it would swap back to the other and I would loose interest all over again. Ugh.

The writing, admittedly, wasn’t bad at all. In fact, I was interested in the plot’s story arc, but my main complaint is the characters, strange terms, and the weird names. There’s one character whose name is Umm. Seriously? Umm.

I get this is supposedly to be otherworldly fantasy. I get this was building up to something probably epic and awesome and thrilling for all. I get that, I do. But sadly, it just couldn’t keep my attention and I want to read things that I enjoy reading and not have to reach so hard to find the parts that I like. Therefore, unfortunately for me, this is a definite DNF. Maybe I might try again in the future, but it’s highly doubtful.

Overall, 3/5 stars and I feel as though I’m being generous.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Book Review: Small Spaces

Small Spaces

Title: Small Spaces
Author: Katherine Arden
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher:
Page Count: 200
Type of Book: Hardback
Received: Library Loan
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: Warning for some bullying throughout the book, theft of a book, and the main characters mother has died and she’s dealing with it.

Small Spaces was a delightfully quick book to read, apart from the long fantasies that I’ve been doing here as of late. I flew through it in less than four hours, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The kids were a bit, well, juvenile at times, but they are kids so I let it slide. There’s also a bit of questionable bullying towards one particular character, but in the end it turned out all okay anyway.

The story was delightfully creepy at times, though little to pretty much no gore in this book at all, which made me very pleased. I dislike heavy amounts of mindless gore in creepy suspense novels, for obvious reasons. The stickmen and smiling man I was familiar with in regards to mythological stories that I have read over the years, but this was a new twist to it, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Overall, this was a fun and entertaining read, with the right amount of creepy vibes and dark tones that would make for a great re-read for Halloween, or for those of you who haven’t gotten around to it yet, I highly recommend it for Halloween. You won’t regret it. 4/5 stars!

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

New Release Review: Once and Future

Once and Future

Title: Once and Future
Author: Amy Rose Capetta + Cori McCarthy
Series: Book 1
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Publisher: Hatchett
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Hardback, New Release
Received: Library
Rated: 5/5 stars
Review Word Count: 500
Notes: Read for the “Ancient Runes” category of my O.W.L. Exams/Read-a-Thon, for in Ancient Runes you were meant to read a ‘retelling’.

Slow to start, this built up to a cliffhanger that made me scream as I saw at the end of the book a page that read “The Sword in the Stars Coming 2020”. Noooo. I didn’t want to start another series. And did this list it as a series on Goodreads? Nope. Did it list it at the beginning of the book? Nope. Grr. But I’m heavily invested now, because oh the characters!

The storyline is definitely different from the original, and it’s not just because Arthur got turned into a girl for this plot. There was a f/f romance that I didn’t see coming-two of them. There was a back romance plot of an m/m romance that I also didn’t see coming. There were knights in shining armor, even while in space. There were dragons. There were miracles and heartache and flirting and lots of musical references. Everything from Queen to Katy Perry musical references that made me appreciate the book even more.

At points, it felt like this story dragged in the middle, but then it picked up again with a startling speed that I flipped through to the end faster than anticipated and read the book in one sitting, it was that good. I was invested in the characters, their romances, the betrayals, the deaths, the bad guys and if they were going to be defeated or not. There was so much going on, but it wasn’t a hard book to read and the authors took care not to pander or info-dump the readers with a whole lot of back story which I appreciated. There were brief bits where they explained certain things, but it went well with the story. Even if I already knew the story of Arthur and Merlin, it being one of my favorite classics to read retellings of more so than, say Beauty and the Beast.

This was a breathtaking and beautiful retelling, with its own original twists and storyline that felt fresh and new. With plenty of positive LGBT representation, this book was a lovely read and one that I didn’t expect to be in my top ten favorites list for 2019 this early in the year. There have been several others of those already, and this year is shaping up to be a great year with loads of amazing books, with this being one of them.

I’m definitely going to get the second book to the series. Because that cliffhanger was evil and unexpected and just plainly left me wanting more. My hat is off to the authors for a spectacular job well done on a new version of the tale, and I eagerly anticipate the sequel. 5/5 glorious stars.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

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