Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews

Book Review: Daggerspell

Daggerspell

Title: Daggerspell
Author: Katherine Kurr
Series: Book 1
Genre: Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Spectra
Page Count: 600
Type of Book: Paperback
Who Recommended it: My mother
Received: bought secondhand
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: It didn’t end on a cliffhanger!

Daggerspell was an interesting fantasy novel. I loved the start of it; Jill’s character seemed to really develop as she lost her mother, and then met her silver dagger father who is labeled one of the most dangerous men in the country. Jill leaves her little village with her father after her mother dies, and winds up traveling across country, helping his father stopping family fueds, finding coin, and so forth. Jill has her own secrets too though, much as her father doesn’t like it-she can see and speak to the Wildfolk, Fae creatures. He forbids her from attempting to do so again, even as he explains that were people to see her doing such strange actions, they would consider her a witch.

This was a fun fantasy, and I wish I’d read it when I was years younger, back in my teens would have been preferable, because it definitely felt a bit dated at times. There’s some neat battle scenes, some love interest, a prophecy of sorts revolving around Jill, and lots of history and magic explained throughout the book but not wordy and never in the boring fantasy way that some books seem to have.

For those who were wondering if this book was worth it? I feel as though it is. It’s entertaining, though not wholly gripping it’s definitely got potential as a series, and though I’ve heard it from many people that book two is easily the worst in the series? I’m still willing to press on and see where the story goes.

4/5 stars for a unique and fun read, though not quite as powerfully fantastical as some other classic fantasy I could name, still definitely worth giving it a try.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Posted in Romance

Book Review: Virgin River

Virgin River

Title: Virgin River
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Book 1
Genre: Romance, Adult Fiction
Publisher:
Page Count: 500
Status: Completed
Type of Book: Kindle Ebook
Received: Library Loan
Rated: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Notes: Trigger warnings for detailed pregnancies, abandoned babies, army men returned from war, brief mention of spousal abuse, teens making poor choices, and occasional harsh language, as well as lots of injured patients, background death of a husband

This book didn’t quite live up to my expectations of what I wanted out of a romance. While the romance was very sweet and well handled, I just didn’t come away feeling super attached to the characters. I really liked Jack’s character, but Mel seemed a bit over the top and really dramatic. To be fair, she did have a lot going on but she seemed overall whiny and just not what I was in the mood to read about.

I should note, this is apparently being turned into a Netflix series, another reason that I snapped up the book to read and see if it was worth trying out. I love medical dramas, especially medical dramas set out in the wilderness where there isn’t as much medicine, help, or whathaveyou. The medical scenes in this book where well handled, coming from a grandmother who was a nurse and my mother who was a nurse, I recognized a fair bit of this book was definitely well researched. My hat goes off to the author for a splendid job, and I will be passing this book along to my grandmother who likes this type of romance more than I do.

I spent maybe three and a half hours with this 500 page chunker, fyi. I simply flew through the pages, staying up till eleven o’clock to see what happens with Mel and Jack. The author’s writing style makes me think vaguely of Nora Roberts and Susan Mallory; the book was easy to read, and there was plenty going on…it was just too “cute” and “awwww” for me, if you get what I mean. I wanted a bit more than just mellow romance that was barely a 4 out of the 10 romance scale for hotness.

Overall, not bad but not sure I’ll continue trying out the author. Depends on what mood I’m in I guess. 3.5 out of 5 stars, and the jury’s out whether I’ll try out the Netflix series.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews

Book Review: Mystic and Rider

Mystic and Rider

Title: Mystic and Rider
Author: Sharon Shinn
Series: Book 1 of 5
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Ace
Page Count: 500
Status: DNF’d at 45%
Type of Book: Mass Market Paperback, Owned
Received: I honestly don’t remember where I got this, I got it *years* ago
Rated: 2/5 stars
Notes: Recommended for people bored and desperate to read fantasy with shapeshifters.

Perhaps my notes might be harsh, but this book did not live up to the expectations that I’ve been hearing about on Goodreads. Just another reason I don’t typically trust most Goodreads Reviews unless its from people I know and trust in regards to reviewing books.

Let me start off with the good:

The book opened up with a fascinating first chapter told from a barkeep’s point of view, as his attention is drawn towards a young nobleman, two foreigners, and his own band of thieves, not to mention his indentured slave, Cammon. He thinks that all those attending his bar that night are going to die, even if overpowered by sheer numbers. But when the young nobleman turns out to be a young noblewoman, that’s when things change. The two foreigners rescue Cammon from indentured servitude because they believe him to be a Mystic-though they didn’t originally set out to rescue Mystics they were on a quest for the King, for they are King’s Riders.

Now the bad:

I wanted the story to be from Cammon’s pov. It wasn’t. I wanted something besides hysterical fear from normal humans over Mystics power-seen that all too often in fantasy books before. I wanted something that wasn’t political intrigue between houses focused on the group that’s NOT Cammon. In fact, the half of the book that I read Cammon is barely in the story at all. There’s also shapeshifters, firestarters, and healers in this book.

Overall, while the plot was interesting it didn’t hold my attention for long. I’m giving this a 2/5 stars and moving on.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in Uncategorized

Book Review: Through Lya’s Eyes

Through Lyra's Eyes

Title: Through Lya’s Eyes
Author: Carbone/Cunha Justine
Series: Book 1
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Europe Comics
Page Count:
Type of Book: Comic Book/Graphic Novel
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 2/5 stars
Review Word Count: 100
Notes: This might possibly be my shortest review to date!

This was a strange read for me, and wound up being a DNF. While the artwork is lovely, the storyline just didn’t do it for me. I didn’t connect with the characters, and I’d seen this kind of plot before. Overall, 2/5 stars.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Posted in Uncategorized

Book Review: Little Witches

Little Witches

Title: Little Witches
Author: Leigh Dragoon
Series: Book One
Genre: Historical/Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Oni Press
Page Count: 115 (?)
Type of Book: Comic/Graphic Novel
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: A new category for my blog! I’ve started diving into Comics and Graphic Novels, so I figured to add the new button!

Little Witches took the popular children series Little Women and added magic to the storyline. I liked the idea of it, but the execution fell a bit flat. Still, the artwork was lovely, and the storyline definitely had potential. I’d be interested in reading more of the series once it came out, to see where it went. I’d love to explore more of the magic system, and the fact that slaves had magic too was interesting. That there were witch hunters was unsurprising, but the way that they went about hunting witches was intriguing. There were lots of nods towards the original story, and I think the author did a wonderful job in recreating it, though it didn’t quite meet up to what I had originally thought that this graphic novel would contain.

Overall, this is a 4/5 star read for me, and I really recommend it to fans of the Little Women series. While it has mixed reviews, this was a positive one from me. And I am sorry that this review is short, but this is a new thing, reviewing Graphic Novels/Comics, so please bear with me as I step into the learning process of learning such.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews

Hardback Book Review: Song in the Silence

Song in the Silence

Title: Song in the Silence
Author: Elizabeth Kerner
Series: Book 1
Genre: Fantasy, Adult Fiction
Publisher: Tom Doherty
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Hardback
Received: Library Loan
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: Short review, long book.

Epic fantasy at it’s finest. Fans of Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, and Robert Jordan may enjoy this author’s writing, for the author weaves words and tales as fine as George RR Martin but in a completely different sort of landscape. There are tales within tales in this first book, and the only thing that truly vexed me was the constant character pov change, but aside from that this was a truly marvelous find and one that I didn’t expect to fall in love with so completely.

The ending of the book left things hanging wide open, of course, as there was so much crammed into the beginning that there was obviously going to need more books later. I’m unsure how long this series will be, but it’s one that I’m aiming to keep reading more of as time goes on, and even buying if I find copies of the books themselves.

And while this is a short review, the book itself is long and entertaining. I sincerely hope that y’all check this book out because it’s well worth reading. This has been on my goodreads wishlist forever, and I wish I can remember where I first saw it. A library? A bookstore? A blog? The possibilities of such are endless, much to my chagrin. Ah well. Happy discoveries make for excellent finds.

Overall, I’m giving this book 5/5 glorious stars because of dragons, strong female characters, horses, magic, mystery, and romance. A thoroughly satisfying read!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews, Historical Fiction Book Reviews, LGBT Book Reviews, Romance, Science Fiction Book Reviews

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

Posted in Historical Fiction Book Reviews, Mystery/Thriller Book Reviews

Netgalley Review: Murder at Morrington Hall (Book 1 of a delightful new series!)

Murder at Morrington Hall

Title: Murder at Morrington Hall
Author: Clara McKenna
Series: Book 1
Genre: Mystery, Historical
Publisher: Kensington Books
Page Count: 300
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 5/5 stars
Review Word Count: 1,000
Notes: My, that was a lovely read!

This was utterly delightful, and exactly the kind of book I’d been hoping for here as of late. A cozy mystery but with plenty of drama, a tiny spark of rebellious romance, and a good old fashioned ‘who-dun-it’ air!

Stella is an excellent female detective, and I loved her personality. While I hated most of the others around her, who are overbearing and downright hateful towards her at times, I did enjoy her steadfastness and intelligence, her wit and her daring throughout the book. She drove the old American cars without caring who saw. She wore trousers beneath skirts, rode horses and cared for them, baked in a kitchen despite the fact it was far beneath her station, was kind to servants and remembered their names and helped them whenever she could…just a basic, all american good lady.

Yet she’s taken aback and furious when she learns that the reason she and her family are visiting in England at a prestigious families house isn’t for the upcoming Derby and her horses, but because of an arranged marriage her father had created between her and Lyndy. She hates to be thought of as nothing more but a prized stallion to be bartered with and traded about. Even worse the implication once she’s done her duty and produced an heir and a spare, then he could just push her aside and find plenty of mistresses to fill his time with, never giving her any time of day unless it was important enough for him to do so.

There’s a fair bit of ‘women aren’t meant to do that’ in this book, which was infuriating to say the least, but Stella remains stubborn and prideful, though the others call her head strong and dangerous. I mean really, just because she bucks tradition, she’s considered to be ‘full of herself’? That’s ridiculous! I understand it was the times back then, but many women and men I very much wish to strangle. Grr…

Stella and Lyndy both talk, and get to know one another as they are now for all intents and purposes, engaged to be married. Stella wishes to speak with the vicar, and so while giving her a tour of the house, the two of them wind up to the library where they find the vicar…quite obviously dead, and in no mood to talk.

There’s an eventual missing horse, missing jewels, a meeting with the King while at the Derby, and more exciting adventures throughout this wonderful first novel. Stella is a true inquisitive lady, determined to figure out who killed the priest that was supposed to be the one to marry her, while Lyndy attempts to figure out who stole the jewels and their families latest and newest horse that was part of the wedding deal from Stella’s father.

(No harm comes to the horse at the end of the book, for those that are worried. It’s returned safe and sound, with not even a scratch on him-bonus points to the author for making sure the animal remains unharmed!)

I really enjoyed this book, and am now adding this author to my favorites list. This was clearly well written and researched, and there was a large cast protrayed so that one could continue to guess and still be surprised by the end of the book. I was half-right in who committed a certain crime, but the author surprised me completely with who was actually the killer, so more bonus points towards her as well. Though I’d paid attention, there were a couple of things I hadn’t considered towards the end of the book, and that was how she’d managed to surprise me, the sly writer.

5/5 stars for a splendid read, and I definitely aim to read more of this series as time goes on. For those that like Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness series, you might give this a try. Same kind of style, though not in journal format, it’s still got the adventurous feel and strong female character to enjoy reading throughout.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in Mystery/Thriller Book Reviews, Romance

Netgalley Review: Penne Dreadful

Penne Dreadful

Title: Penne Dreadful
Author: Catherine Burns
Series: Book 1 of the Italian Chef Mystery Series
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Page Count: 500
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Type of Book: Netgalley Read, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 5/5 stars
Review Word Count:
Notes: A wonderful start to a new mystery series that will surely leave readers hungry for more!

I should start this off with a warning to readers: don’t read this book without snacks nearby. Especially tasty snacks. Because this book has described food that made me hungry and craving pasta for lunch (which I successfully had while reading this book!) and it’s description of food is definitely on par with a lot of chefs that I’ve met who know what they’re talking about when they talk about food. The type of food in this book is my favorite kind too-pizza, pasta, and many other things besides (except for eggplant. Blagh.)

This was a fun, yet depressing at times, mystery book. There was a murder, plenty of suspects, an overly helpful cat, another murder, several attempted murders, blackmail, robbery, and even a happy ending. This book was a non-stop action ride from beginning to end, and I spent two days flying through the pages wanting to know who would was the killer. I was half right in my guess, but forgot several factors, and was therefore still taken by surprise at the end. Clever of the author to do so!

I highly recommend this author’s book. It’s very fun, it’s a quick read, and it’s definitely one to be added to my shelves at home. Her writing is flawless, and her characters are realistic and entertaining each with their own secrets that will keep you guessing until the very end.

5/5 stars!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in Mystery/Thriller Book Reviews

Netgalley Review: A Spell for Murder

A Spell for Murder

Title: A Spell for Murder
Author: Clea Simmon
Series: book 1
Genre: Mystery (Cozy)
Publisher: Polis Books
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Netgalley ARC, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 5/5 stars

This is a cozy mystery book that’s seemingly told from the cats point of view. Need I say more? Well, apparently I must for this to be a full length review that’s more than a hundred words, so here goes.

{“It’s Harriet’s fault. It’s always her fault, not that she’ll ever admit it.” So begins A Spell of Murder: A Witch Cats of Cambridge mystery, the first in a new cozy series that mixes feline fiction with a touch of the paranormal, and a little romance as well.

Becca, newly single and newly unemployed, wants to believe she has psychic powers. With nothing but time – and a desire for empowerment – she’s studying to become a witch. What she doesn’t know is that her three cats – Harriet, Laurel, and Clara – are the ones with the real power. And when Harriet – “a cream-colored longhair with more fur than commonsense” – conjures a pillow for her own comfort, Becca believes her spells are finally working. Could that be why Trent, the coven’s devilishly handsome leader, has been showing her special attention? Or why Suzanne, a longtime coven member, draws her aside to share a secret – a confidence that may lead to murder?

-As seen on Goodreads}

I loved the cats. I loved how accurate they were described in their behavior, I loved the humor and feel-goodness of it all. It was a perfect read, and I hope to be able to continue the series soon. I really liked the whole mystery set up too, and I can honestly say that there are very few books that I’ve read where the cats are the ones to go on the case to solve a mystery. I think this will be one of my favorites. Especially with the magical elements, the witches, and the dark atmosphere throughout the book itself.

If you like cozy mysteries featuring cats, then this book will definitely be to your liking. It’s fun, it’s clever, and it’s thoroughly magical. 5/5 stars for a an excellent first read from a new author, and I definitely look forward to getting to the rest of the series!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book