Posted in Historical Fiction Book Reviews, Romance

Netgalley Review: The Trouble We Keep

The Trouble We Keep

Hello friends,

The Trouble We Keep by Cara Devlin is a historical second chance romance. It has a strong start, and keeps up the pace throughout the entire book. I liked the main character, Emma, as she strives to survive pregnant, alone and searching for her wayward brother. While this was christian fiction, it didn’t have hardly any of the religious praying going on that I’m used to in christian fiction, and read more like a romantic western than anything else, a fact that surprised and delighted me. The little bit of christianity I did see wasn’t overpowering in regards to the story, and tied in neatly with the era that the characters were in.

I loved the author’s writing style of this; how it flowed, and made the characters have real depth to them. Jo, Ms. Lewis, and Dean all felt lifelike. I loved the survival elements, how realistic everything read. I sat and read this in two hours, and am now definitely adding this author to my favorites list, and searching out for more of her books.

If you’re looking for a good survival story about strong female characters determined to survive no matter what even while pregnant, then I suggest reading this. Emma doesn’t back down from a challenge, and she definitely gives as good as she gets. My hat goes off to the author-if I had a hat like the fine ladies in this book that is. Five stars, and my thanks to the publisher for granting me an arc of this delightful novel.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Posted in Uncategorized

Netgalley Review: The Author’s Checklist

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Hello friends,

The Author’s Checklist is a nonfiction book that I honestly have no clue of which how to review. Y’all know that I rarely read non-fiction. Was this useful, as a guide for new beginners? Yes. I learned that I’ve been slacking in terms of editing my books and perhaps that is why no one is accepting my work, because of poor editing even if the story has good quality, if it’s that badly edited (or not edited at all) then it’s not going to get published no matter how hard I try.

I learned also that there’s a lot more work to be had in terms of publishing novels. I thought it was hard before-I hadn’t realized that there was even more tasks to be accomplished through editors, translators (if it got that far or popular as a book), copy editing, contracts, and a lot more paperwork than I realized. It’s a bit intimidating, actually, but I’ve started making plans in terms of how to get through the next stages of getting published.

This book was a strange read for me, yet I did like it. It was easy enough to follow along, even if it was slightly intimidating and uncertain at times in my finishing it. I’m overall giving this book a solid three out of five stars. And a warning to new authors that aren’t published everywhere-there’s always more work in writing involved than you think.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews, Mystery/Thriller Book Reviews

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

Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews, Historical Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: The Court of Miracles

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Hello friends,

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant is a retelling of Les Miserable with magical elements, an enormous cast of characters, and a revolution. There are many different courts one can attend within this gorgeously filled, world building fast paced plot. The characters are each unique and intriguing. There are nods towards Les Miserable, but it’s been so long since I read Les Mes that I’ve likely missed even more appreciative nods towards the work.

This book was long. It was complex. It had plot, it had depth, and it had characters that I fell hard for. It took a solid week to read this book, and that was only because I lingered over it for days, relishing in the excellent fantasy retelling. Most retellings don’t impress me these days, with a few rare exceptions thrown in. This is an exception. I adored this book. I wish to own this book. I’ll probably buy a hardcover of this book.

“Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.”
~As quoted from Goodreads

Now, while I’ve yet to read Six of Crows, I have read Leigh Bardugo, and this is a safe comparison to make, as I also adore Leigh Bardugo’s crafting into world building. One would be pleased at the historical elements flung into this book, along with the epic fantasy twists and turns, the thieves, the murderers, the magic that revolves around the various courts. I’d love to dive into the courts, but I barely recall most of them, and I desperately need to do a re-read, take notes, and keep up with characters of whose alive and whose not. I warn readers, do not get attached. That could prove fatal to you, should you do so.

There’s a spark of romance within the pages as well, along with myths thrown in I think, if I recall correctly. It’s admittedly been a bit since I’ve read the book, and as stated above, I need a reread. However, the story is still fresh in my mind enough that I feel safe in giving it 5/5 stars. I highly recommend for all fans of retellings, and that of historical fiction, or classics in general. Please read this. You won’t regret it.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Posted in Historical Fiction Book Reviews

Netgalley Review: For Love and Country

ForLoveandCountry

Hello friends,

For Love and Country by Candace Waters is a strong female character driven historical novel centered around the WAVES program and Pearl Harbor. While overall I found the plot fascinating, I also found several issues in this book that I wasn’t expecting to have encountered. This book is very Christian based. There’s praying every few chapters, an always when Charlotte Palmer, our heroine, prays she seems to be able to get what she wants, even if it takes a bit in doing so. She’s a ‘proper rich girl’ and though I admired her for leaving her home, she seemed woefully ignorant about a lot of things around the world, not just the war. Maggie was far more interesting to me, as a whole, and I identified with her a fair bit.

Men treated women harshly back then, I understand, and it hasn’t gotten much better if my mother being a car mechanic and carpenter is anything to go by. So this is accurate, but a lot of the men’s comments, and the fact that she got punished for the most minor of infractions is infuriating. I get that was what the author was aiming for, and applaud her dedication to the accuracy of her research in terms of writing this book. Even so, I despised a fair few male characters in this book.

I did like Charlotte, but she seemed to eager to please in terms of those that surrounded her. I wanted more from the story, and the way she handled Eugene could have been handled better, in my opinion. Overall the story was captivating, despite several issues that I had as a person. Others might not have the same issues. 4 solid stars for a new to me author, and I’ll definitely be keeping an interest in any of her future works.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Posted in Historical Fiction Book Reviews

Arc Review: The Fortunate Ones

The Fortunate Ones

Title: The Fortunate Ones
Author: Catherine Hokin
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Adult Fiction, Historical
Publisher: Bookouture
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: Belated review, but I’m trying to catch up on my backlog of arcs!

The Fortunate Ones was a spellbinding tale of political strife during Hitler’s reign, and it what it meant to survive in the harsh conditions where food was scarce, medicine was a joke, and war was looming on the horizon or already at their front door.

Felix is just a normal young man attempting to survive, in a place that doesn’t seem to care overmuch how he might fare. Being a prisoner in a camp, his future appears bleak until he meets Inge…a woman who tells him that her name is Hannah. He believes her a prisoner, and in a way she is one, having been forced through an arranged marriage to a monster who does horrific experiments on the prisoners within the camp. Yet she’s unaware of such, kept safe at home where her husband’s abuse speaks volumes.

Inge is a brave woman, though I preferred Felix’s side of the story in all honesty. While both perspectives were of interest, there were points in the story that seemed to drag. I liked how the ending wrapped up, and I rather enjoyed the author’s writing style overall, despite where parts of the story balked. I’ll definitely be checking out more by this author in the future, and I’m awarding 4.5 out of 5 stars for a wonderful trip through WWII. Though several moments were bleak and grim, the story itself was a good one, and recommended for fans of that time period.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in Uncategorized

Book Review: The Bear

The Bear

Title: The Bear
Author: Andrew Krivak
Series: Standalone
Genre: Adult Fiction
Publisher: Bellevue Literary Press
Page Count: 300
Status: Completed
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: I very much loved this book, it was beautifully rendered! Well deserving of 5 stars!

Lyrical and beautifully written prose throughout the whole book with a moving story about a girl struggling to survive in a world devoid of humanity. I’m so glad that I decided to ask for the arc of this on Netgalley. This is from an author I’ve never even heard of before, but rest assured I’m definitely invested in this author now. I should note that I’m also unfamiliar with this publisher, but am more curious about them as this is my first book read by this publisher, I do believe.

The Bear is a survival story. It’s a story about war, death, and the strength to move on when all you want to do is give up and surrender to the dark side. It’s a story about characters and people who have become the last two human beings in the world, an old man and his daughter. The story focuses primarily on the daughter, and how she grows up to become a strong, independent woman…alone in the entire world.

I found that you did have to suspend belief for some of the story, but otherwise it was very well done, and I greatly adored the writing and prose in this book. It’s well deserving of the five stars.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in Science Fiction Book Reviews

Anthology Review: The Eagle Has Landed

The Eagle Has Landed

Title: The Eagle Has Landed
Author: Anthology/Neil Clarke
Series: Standalone
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Skyhorse
Page Count: 600
Type of Book: Kindle Ebook, Arc
Received: Netgalley
Review Word Count: 1000
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: Definite recommendation for SciFi nerds!

This was a fascinating anthology about the moon landings, or people living on the moon and I jumped at the chance to read and review this book. I’ve been reading a lot of short fiction lately, from anthology collections to Tor’s Free Short Story Archive, to random other tidbits I’ve found here and there. My goal is to read one short story a day, perhaps more depending on what mood I’m in, or how impactful the story was and how much it lingers with me. And now that I’ve finished it, rating the stories on my goodreads review, I can say that this was a very well done anthology with several 4 star and 5 star short stories within, including two favorites which I really loved.

My overall two favorite stories were “A Walk in the Sun” by Geoffrey A. Landis and “How We Lost the Moon” by Paul J. MacAuley. Both were excellent, and there were several others that were high on my list of favorites as well. Neil Clarke definitely knows how to put together an anthology of great fiction, and I’m more interested than ever in seeing what other books he’s put together.

This took me two weeks to finish, rather a week and a half but put me in a little slump when I was done. I liked each story that was in here; there was nothing that I outright hated, which was unusual for an anthology for me, as there have been times where a few stories I simply could not stand-this was not the case here. Definitely made for science fiction, with little else in this book, I highly recommend it for scifi nerds like myself who love survival stories, as well as exploratory tales, and races against time.

My overall rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars, though I’ve settled on a 4/5 stars instead of rounding up, due to the slump it put me in as well as the few stories that simply weren’t to my taste. I feel that this will make a great read for those who are studying astronomy, or the moon, or the history of astronauts.

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