Netgalley Review: Conviction

Conviction

Title: Conviction
Author: M. D. Neu
Series: Book Two
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, LGBT, Futuristic
Page Count: ?
Publisher: Nine Star Press
Release Date: March 15th
Type of Book: Ebook, Kindle Book, ARC
Review Word Count: 1000
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: This series continues to delight. It went a different area than what I expected, though still pulled through with a happy ending with plenty of things to resolve in the next book.

Following the continuation of Book One “Contact” which I read last year, and really enjoyed, I was delighted to find myself approved for this book within hours of requesting it. Therefore, my thanks to the publisher Nine Star Press, and I am pleased to have read and am reviewing almost immediately within receiving it. (If only all my requests worked out this way!)

Todd Landon is recovering from the attack that took his husband, and many of the Nantreaa that had arrived at Earth last year when they had first visited San Jose. He’s still grieving the loss, but he’s determined to help these visitors of another world settle in without too many hiccups along the way. Yet others are bound and determined to prevent them staying, fear, bigotry, and outright hatred making it difficult for him to do his job as well as he can.

Then there’s Mi’cen and his family. With the political aspects of this book proving to be challenging, as well as interesting in reading, Todd’s attempt at getting to know and understand Mi’cen’s family is fascinating to read and see through his eyes. I loved Todd’s interaction with Faa, a small creature that can speak, and I also liked how everyone was their own person and unique to the story. Each character breathed life to the pages that otherwise would have seemed to be dull and overly political when dealing with an alien ‘invasion’, though really the Nantreaa are more political refugees than anything, as they are trying to find a safe place to stay after their planet was destroyed, their sun having gone supernova.

The whole situation is a bit impressive build-up, and I found myself devouring each page. I really like the author’s writing style, and he explains things reasonably well without pandering or info-dumping the reader. My one complaint was the religious aspects of the book. Granted, it wasn’t bad, and more debatable between aliens and humans which is understandable, but attempting to sway aliens over to a god that they know nothing about? No. Sorry, but I don’t think that would actually fly. Not to mention “God is mysterious, his ways of hurting people always has a reason”-I never liked nor believed that was a good line to tell worshippers. You need to have a better reason than that to make innocent people suffer. Sorry, but that’s just my opinion.

Though since the religion aspect did actually matter and come to play a part in the story-surprising me completely, actually-I actually didn’t mind it overmuch. I found it was actually helpful in the plot as well, because of course when introducing aliens to a human world, they’re going to touch base on religion at some point or another, and it seemed that much more realistic than anything else.

But I digress.

The plot was excellent. The world-building was cool, and the aliens were unique and fascinating. I would have liked to have learned more about their technology, animals, and history, but it focused more on the characters than the actual history of the Nantreaa this time around. I’m hoping that those things will be more explored in book three, or perhaps four if this is a series and not a trilogy.

Overall, I’m definitely giving this a 5/5 stars, because this was a delicious LGBT science fiction with politics, humor, some pretty hefty action towards the end, and a HEA but with enough unresolved issues that it still leaves things wide open for at least two more books. I highly recommend reading these if you like realistic characters, believable science fiction, and a fast paced plot. Book three cannot come fast enough!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Netgalley Review: No Man of Woman Born

 

No Man of Woman Born

Title: No Man of Woman Born
Author: Ana Marsdell
Series: Anthology
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Acacia Moon Publishing
Page Count: 300
Type of Book: Netgalley ARC, Kindle Ebook
Review Word Count: 600
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes:

No Man of Woman Born. The title is what caught my eye, it was catchy and interesting and sounded like the kind of thing I would read. Then I realized it was a collection of short stories, and while I’m not normally one for Anthologies, I definitely had to read this. It was exactly what I hoped for; true love, heroes, girls turned boys, boys turned girls, dragons, magic, witches…it was an amazingly, awesome experience reading this book.

I wish to thank the publisher for letting me have a copy of this on Netgalley. I was crossing my fingers, but wasn’t sure I would receive it, and am thrilled to have gotten it, and even more thrilled in reading it. Yet before I dive into the review, let’s go over the trigger warnings, shall we? Because there’s quite a few of them to list here.

Warnings: trans-characters in trying situations, non-supportive family members of a trans character, death of family members and children, imprisonment, murder, war crimes, suggested genocide of certain kinds of character, suggested rape

There’s various different kinds of short retelllings you might notice in here. The ‘sword from the stone’, not to mention the ‘sleeping beauty’; but there’s also quite a few that I didn’t recognize as being retellings. If they are, they’re done well enough that I’ve missed it, and it doesn’t state it in the story either.

I liked all the stories, though I think my favorites are probably “the Father’s Son” and “The sword from the Stone” remixed version. The writing was strong, the characters were believable, and I wish, I wish that I had found and read this as a thirteen year old teenager when I was confused about gender and everything else. While I’m not trans, I have a lot of trans friends, as well as gay and lesbian friends too. Most of my circle is part of the LGBT community, in fact. I have the feeling that had I read this as a teenager, it would have helped me to grow and figure a few things out a lot quicker.

I can’t review this book without spoiling it. I will say that there are quite a few scenes that are dark and heart-wrenching to read. So if you’re easily triggered or there are things you don’t like reading in fantasy books that deal with the LGBT community…I highly suggest not reading it.

But if you’re not scared away so easily, then I highly recommend reading this book. Because it is an important book, especially if you’re new to the LGBT community. It shows just how important gender identity is, and why it matters what you call a person.

I’m giving this a 5/5 stars because of how powerful the message is in this book, and I really hope that any who reads this review at least checks this book out and spreads the message that there’s a positive book for LGBT people to read that’s in the YA fantasy genre.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: Under the Midnight Sun

 

Under the Midnight Sun

Title: Under the Midnight Sun
Author:  Lore Graham
Genre: Fantasy, LGBT
Page Count: 150/200
Publisher: Less Than Three
Series:  ?
Type of Book: ARC, Kindle Format, Netgalley Read
Review Word Count: 400
Rated: 3.5/5 stars
Notes: Possibly this might be my LGBT pick of the month book?

I received this book from Netgalley after requesting it based on it’s title. The title was intriguing to me, and the cover was interesting as well. I wasn’t expecting an lgbt fantasy with Norse mythology however. It was a pleasant surprise, and a lovely read as well.

The eldest son of Thunderhill’s warrior-kings, Otto Johanson lives for battle but has forsaken love since the death of his partner three years ago. Still when the Midsummer festivities bring nomadic reindeer herders back to town, Otto can’t help but notice the handsome, if sullen, Lukas.

Tension rises between them during the annual tournament, but when a terrible attack devastates Thunderhill, Otto and Lukas must put aside their burgeoning rivalry to embark on a dangerous quest that may be the town’s only hope of survival.

-as described on Goodreads

The book was a bit short, with only about eight or nine chapters, I flew through it with ease. The characters were likable, the storyline was interesting, but I wished there was more. Granted, I didn’t really need more for the story to be complete, but I just wished that there was a bit more in general, because it just felt like a really fast read and I wanted it to last longer.

That being my only complaint, really, I found that the writing style of this book is almost lyrical. The characters are quite vivid, and I really liked Otto most of all, he was an fascinating character from the start. I do hope that there’s a sequel to this, though I’m not holding my breathe if there isn’t.

I give this book 3.5/5 stars, rounded up to 4 for a beautiful short novel that left me feeling lost in another world for a few enjoyable hours.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Kindle Ebook Review: Cursed: Broken

CursedBroken

Title: Cursed: Broken
Author: X Aratare
Series: Book 1
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, M/M
Page Count: 250 pages
Publisher: Raythe  Reign
Review Word Count: 400
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: An LGBT, M/M Book Review

Nick Fairfax didn’t want to spend a year at Bane’s home. But to save his family, he was willing to sacrifice a year of his life.

This was an enthralling book, right from the start. A cool twist on a favorite classic fantasy of mine, where two men play the characters of Bell and Beast. There were several nods towards the original story, but the author seemed to make it her own in its own way as well. I definitely liked Nick best, as Bane was not just a cool shape-shifting immortal that’s been cursed by a Priestess in India way back in the day, but Bane was also something of a childish ass, especially towards Nick.

I will warn readers: there is one attempted rape scene towards the end of the book in regards to the main character, Nick. It’s intense, but Bane does come and save the day before it’s too late. There are also warnings for: abusive, cold hearted fathers, mentions of slavery in the fact that Bane has taken Nick on as an ‘intern’ for a year, and a dreadful cliffhanger at the end of the book, as it’s book one of a…trilogy? Series? I’m not sure.

This is a heavy duty romance, meaning there is smut in this book. Nick and Bane both grow close midway through the book, as the two actually try to talk to one another instead of just Bane being an ass. Bane’s Bengal white tiger that’s inside him is also very interested in Nick, and there’s one heavy scene of the tiger pinning Nick to the forest floor…I’ll let you imagine what happens next. 😉

Overall, I liked the book. A lot. I rate this book 5/5 stars, and I like it enough that I might just purchase book 2 to see where it goes, but I’m not going to do so immediately because I have far too many other books to read at the moment. It’s a book that if you’re not squeamish about detailed sex scenes between two men, then you should like this quite a bit. I will warn readers that it’s for 18+ only!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.