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

Novella Review: A Dead Djinn in Cairo

Hello Everyone,

Book Title: A Dead Djinn in Cairo

Author: P. Djeli Clark

Genre: Fantasy

Series: #0.1

Publisher: Tor

Page Count: 45

~•~•~•~•~

Book Summary:

Egypt, 1912. In an alternate Cairo infused with the otherworldly, the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities investigate disturbances between the mortal and the (possibly) divine. What starts off as an odd suicide case for Special Investigator Fatma el-Sha’arawi leads her through the city’s underbelly as she encounters rampaging ghouls, saucy assassins, clockwork angels, and plot that could unravel time itself.

My Thoughts:

I really don’t want to spoil this novella so my review is going to be short and sweet. This was so much fun to read. Granted, it took me a bit to actually get a feel for it, but once I did I just breezed through it and finished it in less than an hour. It’s fast. It’s fun. And with the murder mystery it kept my interest. I did guess who the bad guy was correctly but I still had an entertaining time reading this. Highly recommend for any fantasy or mystery fans

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Book Review: Sisters of the Vast Black

Hello Everyone,

Such a lovely sci-fi cover.

Book Title: Sisters of the Vast Black

Book Author: Lina Rather

Series: Book One

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Tom Doherty

Page Count: 150

Date Published: October 2019

~•~•~•~

Goodreads Summary:

The sisters of the Order of Saint Rita captain their living ship into the reaches of space in Lina Rather’s debut novella, Sisters of the Vast Black.

Years ago, Old Earth sent forth sisters and brothers into the vast dark of the prodigal colonies armed only with crucifixes and iron faith. Now, the sisters of the Order of Saint Rita are on an interstellar mission of mercy aboard Our Lady of Impossible Constellations, a living, breathing ship which seems determined to develop a will of its own.

When the order receives a distress call from a newly-formed colony, the sisters discover that the bodies and souls in their care—and that of the galactic diaspora—are in danger. And not from void beyond, but from the nascent Central Governance and the Church itself.

My Thoughts:

It took me a bit to actually get into the novella. The pacing was slow, off in a way, and I would have liked more. There is a sequel out now so I’ll happily be finding that at my library hopefully or purchasing both books. The author wrote nuns in space on board a living ship, a kind of slug? It gave me odd vibes of that old sci-fi tv series, Farscape. But with nuns.

There’s a lot of theology and debate in the first part of the book, but then it spirals into action and usual space plots. The little novella took only an hour to read but already I want to reread it and see if I’ve missed anything. Though I liked it, I don’t know how to review this without massive spoilers. So I’ll leave it here and let you all figure out how good it is. Highly recommend for all sci-fi fans.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Ebook Review: Brambles

Hello all,

New to me author and first review of October!

I have never read anything by Intisar Khanani but now she is high on my watch list. This is the short prequel to Thorn, that is the explanation of what Princess Alyrra had done to earn the court and her mother and brother’s hatred. (As described through Google/Goodreads). I won’t give away spoilers but I will list trigger warnings.

Trigger Warnings: bullying, mentions of flogging/beating, mistreatment of servants, abuse, emotional abuse?, physical abuse, and attempted murder

Now I’m unsure if it’s actually emotional abuse, but I feel it is. I can’t say without spoilers as it is a short story, but this is pretty hefty in how servants and the princess are treated. I would go in this with caution, if any of these triggers apply to you.

Goodreads Summary:

In the kingdom of Adania, everyone knows what Princess Alyrra did to earn the court’s contempt, her mother’s disdain, and her brother’s hatred.

She betrayed her own.

Yet, the truth hides another story, one of honor and honesty, of a princess gambling her own life for another’s. It’s a tale of courage and consequences, and a choice that can never be undone.

A short story prequel to her multi-starred fantasy, Thorn, Intisar Khanani’s “Brambles” gives Alyrra’s account of what really happened all those years ago, and how a few critical days turned her life into a daily fight for survival.

~•~•~•~

My Thoughts:

For 40 pages I was enchanted by this world. Valka was a villain you just couldn’t help but get strong feelings for in all the negative ways. Princess Alyrra was definitely a character to root for and her brother obviously needs a lesson in manners. Forty pages and yet I’m still pondering all the actions and characters in this novella.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

First read of the month gets five stars! I’m hopeful that this is a good sign. Happy reading to all!

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

New Release Review: The Black God’s Drums

The Black God's Drums

Title: The Black God’s Drums
Author: P. Djeli Clark
Genre: Science Fiction, Adult
Series: Hopefully a Book 1
Publisher: Tor.com
Page Count: 108
Type of Book: New Release, Paperback
Received: Library
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: So short, but oh so good! (Also that mention of Fillory at the acknowledgments at the end of the book!)

The Black God’s Drums swept me away for a solid half hour. I could have finished this book quicker, yet I lingered. It was short, but there was so much packed into it, that I find it’s hard to review such a beautifully well written read. I loved Creeper, and the Captain, and Feral was easily quipped my interest as to her backstory. The rich history and magic flared brightly through each page, and I tip my hat off to the author for one of my now top favorite reads of 2019.

Creeper, a scrappy young teen, is done living on the streets of New Orleans. Instead, she wants to soar, and her sights are set on securing passage aboard the smuggler airship Midnight Robber. Her ticket: earning Captain Ann-Marie’s trust using a secret about a kidnapped Haitian scientist and a mysterious weapon he calls The Black God’s Drums.

But Creeper keeps another secret close to heart–Oya, the African orisha of the wind and storms, who speaks inside her head and grants her divine powers. And Oya has her own priorities concerning Creeper and Ann-Marie…

~As seen on Goodreads

I am hopeful to check out other authors works as they are published. This is well deserved of the hype, and I highly recommend you read this if you read nothing else for the rest of the year. It’s an impressive piece of fiction, and the first piece that I’ve read from this author. It brings to mind short novellas like Binti by Nnedi Orkorfar, and Murdberbot by Martha Wells, it’s that good. Novellas are definitely making a come-up, I think.

Overall, 5/5 stars for a gorgeous piece of fiction that I’m re-reading as soon as I finish posting this review.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

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